Karlstadt am Main

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Karlstadt am Main
Old town of Karlstadt with the new building area at the Saupurzel in the background
Old town of Karlstadt with the new building area at the Saupurzel in the background
Coat of arms of Karlstadt am Main
Coat of arms
Karlstadt am Main is located in Germany
Karlstadt am Main
Karlstadt am Main
Location of Karlstadt am Main within Main-Spessart district
Karlstadt in MSP.svg
Coordinates: 49°57′37″N 9°46′20″E / 49.96028°N 9.77222°E / 49.96028; 9.77222Coordinates: 49°57′37″N 9°46′20″E / 49.96028°N 9.77222°E / 49.96028; 9.77222
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Unterfranken
District Main-Spessart
 • Mayor Paul Kruck (Die Freien Wähler)
 • Total 98.11 km2 (37.88 sq mi)
Elevation 163 m (535 ft)
Population (2017-12-31)[1]
 • Total 15,043
 • Density 150/km2 (400/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 97753
Dialling codes 09353, 09359 (Rohrbach)
Vehicle registration MSP
Website www.karlstadt.de

Karlstadt is a town in the Main-Spessart district in the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia (Unterfranken) in Bavaria, Germany. It is the Main-Spessart district seat (Kreisstadt) and has a population of around 14,000.



The town lies roughly 25 km north of Würzburg in the Main-Franconian winegrowing region. Whilst the town itself is located on the right bank of the Main river, the municipal territory extends to the left bank as well.

Constituent communities[edit]

Since the amalgamations in 1978, Karlstadt's Stadtteile have been Gambach, Heßlar, Karlburg, Klein Laudenbach, Laudenbach, Mühlbach, Rohrbach, Stadelhofen, Stetten and Wiesenfeld.


From the late 6th to the mid-13th century, the settlement of Karlburg with its monastery and harbor was located on the west bank of the Main. It grew up around the Karlsburg, a castle perched high over the community, that was destroyed in the Peasants' War in 1525. In 1202, Karlstadt itself was founded by Konrad von Querfurt, Bishop of Würzburg. The exact founding date is unknown. However, given that the founder’s time in office was only four years (1198-1202), the time can be reckoned fairly easily.

The town was methodically laid out with a nearly rectangular plan to defend Würzburg territory against the Counts of Rieneck. The plan is still well preserved today. The streets in the old town are laid out much like a chessboard, but for military reasons they are not quite straight.

In 1225, Karlstadt had its first documentary mention. In 1236, the castle and the village of Karlburg were destroyed in the Rieneck Feud. In 1244, winegrowing in Karlstadt was mentioned for the first time. From 1277 comes the earliest evidence of the town seal. In 1304, the town fortifications were finished. The parish of Karlstadt was first named in 1339. In 1369 a hospital was founded. Between 1370 and 1515, radical remodelling work was being done on the first, Romanesque parish church to turn it into a Gothic hall church. About 1400, Karlstadt became for a short time the seat of an episcopal mint. The former Oberamt of the Princely Electorate (Hochstift) of Würzburg was, after Secularization, in Bavaria’s favour, passed in 1805 to Grand Duke Ferdinando III of Tuscany to form the Grand Duchy of Würzburg, and passed with this to the Kingdom of Bavaria.

The town’s synagogue was destroyed on Kristallnacht (9 November 1938) by SA men, an event recalled by a plaque at the synagogue’s former site.[2]



The mayor of Karlstadt is Paul Kruck (Freie Wähler).

Town council[edit]

The council is made up of 24 council members, not counting the mayor.

CSU SPD Grüne FWG Total
2002 10 7 2 5 24 seats
2008 8 6 3 7 24 seats

(as at municipal election held on 2 March 2008)

Coat of arms[edit]

The town’s arms might be described thus: Quarterly, first and fourth azure, second and third argent a fleur-de-lis gules.

The town’s earliest seal, from 1277, showed an effigy of Charlemagne, who is said to have founded and named the town (Charlemagne is called Karl der Große in German). The next seal after this one also bore Charlemagne’s likeness, and this appeared on town seals until the 18th century. However, in 1544, the town began using a quartered shield as its arms. This is thought to have come from the banner of state borne by the Prince-Bishopric (Hochstift) of Würzburg, to which the town once belonged. The fleurs-de-lis were added in the early 19th century, and they refer to Charlemagne.[3]



  • Karlstadt lies at the junction of two Bundesstraßen, the B 26 and the B 27. On two road bridges, the Old Main Bridge (Alte Mainbrücke) built in 1953 and the more northerly New Main Bridge (Neue Mainbrücke) built in 2005, the river Main can be crossed.
  • Through the municipal area runs the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed rail line, north-south. Within the municipal territory lie a section of the Mühlberg Tunnel and part of the Nantenbach Curve.
  • Karlstadt has a small airfield east of the town.


Crafts and industry[edit]

Local industry includes Düker Ironworks, the Schwenk Cement Works and the Kohl Wood Veneer Factory. Besides these three large industrial plants, many handicraft businesses have also set up shop in Karlstadt. Another big employer is the Main-Spessart Landratsamt (district administration). Many inhabitants commute to Würzburg, 25 km away, or Lohr am Main, 18 km away.


Winegrowing has only a small economic importance nowadays but still has great cultural significance. Even if very few people in Karlstadt earn their livelihoods from winegrowing, it is still important for self-perception and the local way of life. Vineyards in Karlstadt are the Roßtal and Im Stein. There are also others in many of the outlying centres, especially in Stetten (Stettener Stein) and on the way from the main town out to Gambach.


In 1999 the following institutions existed in Karlstadt:

  • Kindergartens: 549 places with 548 children
  • Primary schools: 5 with 63 teachers and 1,147 pupils
  • Gymnasium: 1 with 60 teachers and 923 students
  • Realschule with just under 600 students (in 2004)
  • “Piranha” youth cultural centre: with some 1,000 visitors each year

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). September 2018.
  2. ^ Gedenkstätten für die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Eine Dokumentation, Band 1. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Bonn 1995, ISBN 3-89331-208-0, S. 152
  3. ^ Town’s armorial history at Heraldry of the World

External links[edit]