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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Arnstadt
Map of Germany, position of the city of Arnstadt highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 50 ′  N , 10 ° 57 ′  E

Basic data
State : Thuringia
County : Ilm district
Height : 288 m above sea level NHN
Area : 104.99 km 2
Residents: 27,314 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 260 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 99310
Primaries : 03628, 03629, 036207
License plate : IK, ARN, IL
Community key : 16 0 70 004
City structure: Core city + 17 districts

City administration address :
Markt 1
99310 Arnstadt
Website :
Mayor : Frank Spilling (independent)
Location of the city of Arnstadt in the Ilm district
Alkersleben Amt Wachsenburg Arnstadt Bösleben-Wüllersleben Dornheim Elgersburg Elleben Elxleben Geratal Großbreitenbach Ilmenau Martinroda Gehren Osthausen-Wülfershausen Plaue Stadtilm Witzleben Thüringen Landkreis Schmalkalden-Meiningen Suhl Landkreis Hildburghausen Landkreis Sonneberg Landkreis Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Landkreis Weimarer Land Erfurt Landkreis Gothamap
About this picture

Arnstadt ( pronunciation ? / I ), also known as the Bach city of Arnstadt , is a district town in the center of Thuringia and is located on the Gera , around 20 kilometers south of the state capital Erfurt . The city is a medium-sized center and the administrative seat of the Ilm district . Audio file / audio sample

With the first documentary mention in the year 704, Arnstadt is the city in Thuringia with the oldest evidence of its existence and one of the oldest cities in Germany outside of the Roman settlement areas. Up until the 18th century, Arnstadt was a royal seat of the Counts of Schwarzburg . The first written mention of the Thuringian bratwurst (1404) and the German wheat beer outside Bavaria (1617) come from Arnstadt . Arnstadt is one of five Thuringian Bach cities: Johann Sebastian Bach had his first job as organist at the new church (1703–1707). As early as the 17th century, numerous ancestors of Bach, also known as “Bache”, were court, council or church musicians here.

Arnstadt has a well-restored historic city center with partially preserved city ​​walls . Due to its location on the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest , Arnstadt is also known as the “gateway to the Thuringian Forest”. The Erfurter Kreuz , the largest contiguous industrial and commercial area in Thuringia, is located between the city and the motorways 4 and 71 .


Riedtor (left) and Jacobsturm are landmarks of Arnstadt

Arnstadt lies on the southern edge of the Thuringian Basin at an altitude of about 300 meters and is traversed by the Gera . The Wipfra flows through the eastern districts. The hilly foreland of the Thuringian Forest with the Reinsbergen and the Alteburg extends to the southern border of Arnstadt. It is located in the middle of an area in which Keuper is spreading over a large area. It is the type locality of the Arnstadt formation of the Middle Keuper in geological history. The highest mountain in the city is the 605 m high neck cap in the very south near Schmerfeld on the border with Ilmenau. The lowest point is in the Geratal north of Rudisleben at a height of about 250 m.

City structure

Districts of Arnstadt
Arnstadt town hall

In addition to the core city of Arnstadt, the following places belong to the city:

Expansion of the urban area

The city center is on the west side of the Gera. It used to be surrounded by a city wall. With the onset of industrialization, residential areas were built in the west, industrial plants in the north and residential areas in the south of the city. After the Second World War, the city expanded further north along the Geratal, new residential areas were built in the 1970s and 80s, the east quarter in the east and the Rabenhold residential area in the south-east.

Neighboring communities

Neighboring communities are clockwise, starting in the northwest: Office Wachsenburg - Alkersleben - Dornheim - Alkersleben - Bösleben-Wüllersleben - Stadtilm - Ilmenau - Plaue - Geratal .


The annual precipitation is 487 mm. The amount of precipitation is in the lower twentieth of the values ​​recorded in Germany. The driest month is January, with the most rainfall in June. In June there is 2.7 times more rainfall than in January.


From the first mention to the award of city rights

On May 1, 704 in an in were Wuerzburg issued deed of the Thuringian Duke Hedan II. To the Anglo-Saxon bishop Willibrord of Utrecht places Arnstadt (as Arnestati ), Mühlberg and Großmonra first mentioned. These are therefore the oldest documented places in Thuringia and central and eastern Germany. Arnstadt was therefore presented as the oldest city in the GDR until 1990 . With this attribution one must bear in mind that this document is not available in an original from 704, but in a copy of the monks of the Echternach Abbey in the Liber Aureus Epternacensis - not to be confused with the Codex aureus Epternacensis - from the late 12th century, a source written almost 500 years later. The document is now in the manuscript department of the Research and State Library in Friedenstein Castle in Gotha . Archaeological finds show that the place was a preferred settlement site as early as the Neolithic Age .

In 726 Arnstadt passed to the Echternach Abbey and later to the Hersfeld Abbey by exchange . After August Beck the place was enlarged by Heinrich I in 925 as a bulwark against the invading Hungarians . On December 17, 954, King Otto I held a Reichstag in Arnstadt , where he made peace with his rebellious son Liudolf von Schwaben and appointed another son, Wilhelm , Archbishop of Mainz . At the same time he decided to found the Church of Our Lady in Arnstadt.

In the 12th century, part of Arnstadt fell under the rule of the Counts of Kevernburg . Good traffic routes in north-south direction and the proximity to the Via Regia favored Arnstadt's development into a market settlement: Arnstadt became an important transshipment point for wood, grain, wine and woad . Hersfeld held the land and sovereignty, held the coinage and market rights and appointed the mayor of the city.

In 1220 Arnstadt was first referred to as civitas , i.e. a city. The town charter was only granted to the place on April 21, 1266 by Abbot Heinrich III. from Boyneburg to the Hersfeld Abbey . What is remarkable about this process is that Abbot Heinrich did not take into account the rights and the manorial power of the Counts of Kevernburg in the underlying document. With this unilateral declaration of will, the Hersfeld Abbey questioned the secular power of the Counts in Arnstadt. Unclear legal relationships and disputes were the result. Only a further treaty from 1273 finally regulated the status of both parties.

Arnstadt in the 14th to 19th centuries

After the Kevernburg family died out in 1302, their property in Arnstadt passed to the Counts of Schwarzburg until 1306 . Attempts on the part of Erfurt to seize the rich city in 1342 and 1345 failed because of the strong fortifications. The prosperity was based on the milling trade, the cloth making trade, on tanneries and the trade in wine and woad, wood, grain, wool and vegetables.

On January 30, 1349 was with Count Günther XXI. von Schwarzburg, the Arnstadt sovereign in Frankfurt am Main was elected and crowned as the anti-king of Charles IV . He renounced this title on May 26 for 20,000 silver marks. In 1496 the Schwarzburg possessions were divided into the dominion of Arnstadt and the subordinate rule of Sondershausen . During the German Peasant War on June 17 and August 2, 1525, nine and five participants respectively in the uprising were beheaded as ringleaders on the Arnstadt market square. The city had to pay a "sensitive fine" (3,000 guilders) for supporting the rebels. In 1531 the Reformation was introduced in Arnstadt . Initially was the Benedictines in 1538 and the -Jungfrauenkloster, Barfüßer monastery secularized . The church of the Barefoot Monastery became the main church of the city from 1581 as the upper church. In 1553, construction work began on the Count's residence at Schloss Neideck . The moated castle was completed in 1560.

Arnstadt around 1650

In 1581 over 380 houses, including the town hall , fell victim to a major fire, the plague claimed over 1,700 in 1582 and over 1,200 in 1625. The Thirty Years' War did not spare Arnstadt either: the total damage caused by units of all warring parties moving through was 80,000 guilders. In 1670, 170 houses in the south-east of the city were destroyed by another large fire.

In 1703 the 18-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach checked the newly built organ of the New Church , was also hired as an organist and worked in the city for four years. In 1705 Bach undertook a trip to Lübeck on foot to see Dieterich Buxtehude , one of the leading organists of his time. In doing so, he exceeded his approved vacation by weeks. Because of this and because of other "irregularities" and dissatisfaction, "he confuses the community with tones foreign to harmony", there were disagreements with the city council. In the summer of 1707 he moved to Mühlhausen . His successor was his cousin Johann Ernst Bach . In October of the same year Johann Sebastian Bach married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach , a daughter of Johann Michael Bach , in Dornheim, three kilometers east of Arnstadt .

In 1709 the Counts of Schwarzburg announced the elevation to the imperial prince status, approved by Emperor Leopold I in 1697 , which the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, as Thuringian Landgrave, did not recognize. Arnstadt was temporarily occupied by his troops, but the city was able to buy recognition by paying 3,500 thalers. Princess Auguste Dorothea , Anton Günther's splendor-loving and extravagant wife , had Augustenburg Castle built and created an attraction that can still be admired in Arnstadt today: Mon plaisir (My Pleasure), a doll town in Arnstadt, was created over decades of work by the court and the citizens 82 rooms with around 400 wax figures including the associated furnishings, which represent a true-to-detail image of life in a small residential town. The exhibition is located in the New Palais , which was built between 1729 and 1734 as the widow's seat of Princess Elisabeth Albertine von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen.

In 1867 Arnstadt was connected to the railway network. The city lies on the Neudietendorf – Ritschenhausen railway line . Since 1894/95, the Arnstadt – Saalfeld railway has branched off from here .

Arnstadt around 1900
1976: Highway 4 passes the Riedtor in Arnstadt

From the 20th century to the present

November 12, 1989: Around 10,000 Arnstadt residents demonstrated together with their mayor Bernd Markert (3rd from left) for peaceful changes, improved environmental protection and the approval of democratic associations and free elections.

The defining personality of the first quarter of a century was Harald Bielfeld ( NLP , DDP ), (Lord) Mayor from 1894 to 1928. In addition to his office as Mayor, he was President of the Landtag of the Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen and later Minister in the newly created Thuringia.

After the resignation of the Schwarzburg prince Günther Victor in November 1918, Arnstadt belonged to the Free State of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen ( sovereignty ), which in 1920 became part of the State of Thuringia.

From 1868 to 1933 the Academic Arnstadt Association met in Arnstadt and in 1926 erected a memorial on the Alteburg for its members who died in the First World War.

1910–1912 the railway in the urban area was "raised", i.e. H. guided through the city on dams, walls and bridges. Thanks to these extensive measures, there is not a single level crossing on the two main routes in the city center. In the course of this construction work, the Südbahnhof was built, the predecessor of which was called Arnstadt-Längwitz until then.

In 1912 Arnstadt became an independent city. The district office that existed until then was merged with Gehren and relocated there.

In 1922 the Arnstadt district was formed. Arnstadt remained independent and became the seat of the district administration . The old boundary stones between the city and district of Arnstadt can still be found on some arterial roads . The places Angelhausen-Oberndorf, Dornheim and Rudisleben were incorporated - Dornheim and Rudisleben became independent again after a few years at their own request.

On April 1, 1923, the Arnstadt station was renamed Hauptbahnhof . It is one of only 4 main train stations in Thuringia.

In the night of the pogrom in 1938 , the synagogue on Krappgartenstraße was burned down, which has been commemorated by a memorial stone at the previous location since 1988. 30 male Jews were deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp . A memorial stone commemorates the murdered Jews in the New Cemetery on Parkweg . There is also a grove of honor to commemorate the six working-class victims who were killed by the National Socialists .

During the Second World War , 2,950 women and men, mainly from the Soviet Union and Poland, as well as prisoners of war from the countries occupied by Germany, had to do forced labor : in Polte works 1 and 2 , in the Siemens & Halske company , in the Winter iron foundry , at the Schmidt company & Co. Daimon , in the Erfurt repair plant , in the corporation for the cardboard industry , in the Braunsteinwerke Kunze & Co. company , in the Renger & Co. vehicle factory and in the railway maintenance office . 102 gravestones in the New Cemetery commemorate those who perished in forced labor. In addition, the National Socialists had a secret construction project in the nearby Jonastal .

Main article Air raids on Arnstadt

In an American bombing raid on the B-17 flying fortresses on February 6, 1945, railway systems, businesses and residential buildings, the Marienstift, the Gottesackerkirche, the old cemetery, the Prinzenhof and the annex to the Neideck Tower were hit. From April 3 to 10, 1945, the town hall and buildings of great architectural value on the market square (pharmacy, arcades, Güldener Greif) and on the leather market were damaged by artillery fire. The Liebfrauenkirche, the upper church and the former Franciscan monastery were also affected. In total, more than 155 civilians were killed in the air strikes and shelling.

On April 10, 1945, Arnstadt was occupied by American troops . These were replaced by the Red Army at the beginning of July as agreed . Arnstadt was, like all of Thuringia, in the Soviet Zone and from 1949 in the GDR .

In the Arnstadt New Cemetery there is a burial ground with a memorial and gravestones for 124 people buried here. A base plate (from 2002) bears the inscription: “In memory of the victims who were killed in the bombing raids in 1944/1945 and in the artillery shelling of April 4-10. April 1945 and by shootings on April 12, 1945 in Arnstadt. Keep the peace. "

In 1951 the SED had the memorial for the poet Marlitt removed from the cemetery (“Preacher of the Subjective Spirit”).

In 1951 Arnstadt lost its status as an independent city and was included in the Arnstadt district. In 1952, the district was cut through by the Erfurt / Suhl district border and divided into the Arnstadt and Ilmenau districts.

1300 years Arnstadt: German postage stamp from 2004

Arnstadt was involved in the Peaceful Revolution of 1989/90 early on . On September 30th, 200 citizens responded to Günther Sattler's typewritten call for a demonstration at the wood market. A week later, on October 7th, the 40th anniversary of the GDR, considerably more people from Arnstadt took part in the protest. This time, however, People's Police units armed with clubs dispersed the assembled crowd. About 10,000 people took part in demonstrations in November 1989.

In 1994, with the regional reform of Thuringia, the Arnstadt district was restored to its original size. Since then it has been called the Ilm District. Arnstadt has been the seat of the district administration for 91 years. In the course of this regional reform, Arnstadt took over the administration of the newly formed Wachsenburg municipality and the municipality of Wipfratal as a fulfilling municipality .

In 1999 the community of Rudisleben was incorporated again.

In 2004 the city celebrated its 1,300 year first mention. On this occasion, including a was tilting - ICE of DB - Series 411 in the main train station in the name of Arnstadt baptized and a commemorative stamp issued. In the same year, the city won the national competition Our city is blooming for the gold medal.

In 2006, during the city festival and the Open Monument Day, the people of Arnstadt were shown the restored sculpture of the Bismarck fountain from 1909 for the first time since 1942 . This is still in a warehouse in 2012 because the city - despite an earlier commitment - did not give permission for it to be installed on the market square.

In 2008 a memorial with the following inscription was erected in Arnstädter Rosenstrasse: “To the victims of communist violence 1945–1989”.

On December 31, 2012, the Wachsenburg community was administratively outsourced and has been part of the Wachsenburg office since then .

In the district of Rudisleben, the new Arnstadt juvenile prison with 340 prison places was put into operation on July 7, 2014 .

The Arnstadt district of Siegelbach


Angelhausen-Oberndorf was incorporated as the first district in 1922. On April 14, 1994 Siegelbach was incorporated with Espenfeld , which was incorporated on January 24, 1974, and Dosdorf, which was incorporated on August 1, 1975 ; Rudisleben followed on July 1, 1999 .

On January 1, 2019, the municipality of Wipfratal was incorporated into 12 districts.

Population development

Development of the population of Arnstadt
1814 to 1985 1989 to 2006 2007 to 2019 graphic
  • 1814: 4.169
  • 1843: 5.779
  • 1890: 12.818
  • 1905: 16.270
  • 1910: 17.841
  • 1925: 21,693
  • 1933: 22.024
  • 1939: 24.134
  • 1946: 27.846
  • 1950: 28.195
  • 1961: 26,400
  • 1970: 28,990
  • 1981: 30.024
  • 1984: 29.851
  • 1985: 29,944
  • 1989: 31,493
  • 1994: 27,571
  • 1995: 26,944
  • 1996: 26.385
  • 1997: 26.023
  • 1998: 25,865
  • 1999: 27.278
  • 2000: 27.220
  • 2001: 26,848
  • 2002: 26,565
  • 2003: 26.121
  • 2004: 25,926
  • 2005: 25,722
  • 2006: 25,500
  • 2007: 25,256
  • 2008: 25.092
  • 2009: 25,090
  • 2010: 25,000
  • 2011: 23,758
  • 2012: 23,571
  • 2013: 23,539
  • 2014: 23,899
  • 2015: 24,481
  • 2016: 24,340
  • 2017: 24,409
  • 2018: 24,348
  • 2019: 27,314
The population development of Arnstadt from 1814 to 2016

Population development from 1814 to 2017


Local elections 2019
Turnout: 55.2% (2014: 44.3%)
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
 % p
-3.2  % p
+ 16.8  % p.p.
-0.1  % p
-1.8  % p
-11.9  % p
-6.0  % p
+ 4.3  % p
+1.8  % p
Template: election chart / maintenance / notes
d Citizen Project

City council

The Arnstadt city council with 34 seats has been composed as follows since the local elections on May 26, 2019 :

  • Pro Arnstadt : 24.7% / 8 seats (± 0)
  • AfD : 16.8% / 6 seats (+6)
  • CDU : 16.4% / 6 seats (± 1)
  • Citizen project : 12.8% / 4 seats (± 0)
  • LEFT : 12.3% / 4 seats (−3)
  • SPD : 9.5% / 3 seats (−2)
  • Greens : 4.3% / 2 seats (+2)
  • FDP : 3.2% / 1 seat (± 0)

Two AfD seats remain vacant as only four applicants have been placed.


Frank Spilling (independent, nominated by CDU and Pro Arnstadt ) has been mayor since July 1, 2018 . In the local elections in Thuringia in 2018, he replaced the incumbent incumbent Alexander Dill in the second ballot .

Former mayor (since 1990)

  • 1990–1994 Helmut Hüttner (CDU)
  • 1994–2012 Hans-Christian Köllmer (Pro Arnstadt)
  • 2012–2018 Alexander Dill (independent)

Coat of arms, flag and official seal

The coat of arms appears for the first time around 1200 on hersfeld coins, also on the prince's deed from 1697. It can be seen today on the trough of the hop fountain, on the town hall (portal to the Ratskeller - registration office), on the outside of the Ried Tower and at the Pestalozzi School.

Description of coat of arms
“On a yellow or gold-colored field, the coat of arms shows a simple black eagle with spread wings, an open beak and a suggested tongue. Seen from the observer, the eagle's head is directed to the left. "
Flag description
The flag of the city shows the city colors black and yellow (from top to bottom) with horizontal stripes and the city coat of arms in the middle.
Official seal

The city coat of arms is shown in the official seal. The official seal bears the inscription: Thuringia - City of Arnstadt and the seal number. It is listed as a "small seal" and a "large seal".

Town twinning

Arnstadt maintains partnerships with the following cities:

Culture and sights

Arnstadt Castle Museum
Church of Our Lady Arnstadt
District administration building with Neideckturm in the background
Bach monument in the market

"Cultural operation of the city of Arnstadt"

The “Kulturbetrieb der Stadt Arnstadt” is a municipal subsidiary. As an independently operating institution, it has the structure of a municipal company. All of the cultural institutions for which the city is responsible, the city and district library, the Arnstadt Castle Museum with Bach exhibition, the Tierpark Fasanerie and the theater in the castle garden as well as the Arnstadt Tourist Information Center are integrated into it and are subsidized or operated by it.

Bach Festival Arnstadt

The “Kulturbetrieb der Stadt Arnstadt” organizes concerts, festivals and other events every year. In addition to the cabaret arts festival in the home and yard , the annual Bach Festival Arnstadt , in memory of Johann Sebastian Bach , is one of the most important cultural events in Arnstadt. Originating from the “Arnstädter Bachtagen” (1990 - 2004), the festival was held for the first time in 2005 with various events over a period of ten days - around Bach's birthday on March 21st. The tradition and program of this Arnstadt stream maintenance extends beyond these 20 years. Central event locations are authentic, historical buildings such as the Bachhaus in Kohlgasse, the Bach Church or the Bach Church in Dornheim.

"Bach: Summer"

Around the second weekend in August, Arnstadt has been the venue for Bach: Summer under the artistic direction of the conductor and musicologist Joshua Rifkin since 2011, alongside Wandersleben . Der Bach: Sommer , as a consequence of Rifkin's research results, stands for historical and solo performance practice. Under his direction, international ensembles in residence develop the respective program:

  • 2011: The Bach Ensemble
  • 2012: Vox Luminis
  • 2013: The Bach Ensemble and Vox Luminis
  • 2014: The Bach Ensemble and Vox Luminis
  • 2015: The Bach Ensemble and Vox Luminis

Public rehearsals, roundtables and a summer party with the participating artists in the rectory are part of the festival.

The initial spark of the brook: In summer 2009 there was a keynote D concert by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and Deutschlandfunk to support the renovation of the early Gothic upper church. At the latest when a new organ was received in 1611, this was the house church of the ruling Black Burgers and the main church of the city. During these years, the Arnstadt church, court and council music took the upswing that three generations later led to the work of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Bach: Summer with the upper church and rectory in the center has made it its business to keep alive and to animate not only his work, but also the early baroque work of Bach's ancestors and pioneers.

The Bach: Summer is a festival at the original historical location. Venues are u. a. the Bach Church, the Upper Church, the rectory of Arnstadt and St. Petri, Wandersleben, which is the baptismal church of the Baroque poet Christian Friedrich Hunold , who called himself Menantes, whose texts Bach set to music in some works.

Theater in the castle garden

The theater in the castle garden was created in 1842 through the reconstruction of the then princely riding arena by order of Günther Friedrich Carl II. In the decades that followed, the playhouse experienced numerous ups and downs and was threatened with closure. The house was reopened in 1995 after extensive renovation and restoration. It is partly played by its own amateur ensemble, but mostly by other theaters.


  • The palace museum is located in the New Palace , which was built from 1729 to 1735 as the widow's seat for Princess Elisabeth Albertine von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen . The most famous exhibition is the baroque doll town Mon plaisir by Princess Auguste Dorothea from the first half of the 18th century. There are also the princely living rooms with an original porcelain cabinet from the 18th century with East Asian porcelain from the 16th to the 18th century and, since 2009, the Bach exhibition on the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and his numerous musically active relatives in Arnstadt.
  • The former railway depot on the north-western edge of the city has been transformed into a railway museum ( Bahnbetriebswerk Arnstadt ) in which all the traditional locomotives of the Deutsche Reichsbahn - Reichsbahndirektion Erfurt can be viewed. The focus is on steam locomotives of various series.
  • The Kleine Galerie , Lohmühlenweg 11, exhibits graphics by the Arnstadt draftsman Paul Weber .
  • The art gallery, Angelhäuser Str. 1, is located in a former flashlight factory. It shows changing exhibitions of contemporary art.
  • The Arnstadt city ​​model is exhibited around 1740 in the oldest gardener's house in Thuringia in the palace gardens . You can also visit the exhibitions on the history of Neideck Castle and the history of the Counts of Kevernburg-Schwarzburg.


  • The castle ruin Neideck with a castle tower that can be climbed is well worth seeing .
  • The New Palais is within sight of the Neideck castle ruins . A baroque city palace, which was built from 1729 to 1734 by Prince Günther I von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (1678–1740) for his wife Elisabeth Albertine (1693–1774), b. Princess of Anhalt-Bernburg, was built. The baroque three-wing complex with stables and a small adjoining pleasure garden now houses the Arnstadt Castle Museum.
  • One of the most important sacred buildings of the transition from the Romanesque to the Gothic in Central Germany is the Evangelical parish church of the Liebfrauenkirche . The three-aisled basilica was built between 1180 and 1330, the last major alterations and renovations took place around 1880, 1912 and 1996.
  • The Bach Church , completely Johann Sebastian Bach Church, was rebuilt as the "New Church" after the great fire of 1581. The St. Boniface Church, which had stood here until then, burned down to the ground. It was named Bach Church in 1935. The organ, completed by Johann Friedrich Wender in 1703, was the musician's and composer's first place of work until 1707. For the Bach year 2000, the baroque organ was extensively restored and reconstructed and has been available again for church services and concerts since then.
  • The Protestant parish church Barfüßerkirche - also known as the upper church after its location - was built around 1250 and was originally the church of a Franciscan monastery. It was built as a Gothic hall church, about 60 m long and 11 m wide, a tower was added to stabilize the church in 1461, extensive changes to the interior followed in the 17th century, for example Burkhard (t) Röhl created the in the middle of the Thirty Years' War in 1625 Pulpit, 1639 the baptismal font and 1642 the altar in the Mannerist style . Also worth seeing is a picture gallery of Old Testament scenes in the galleries. From 1641 to 1692 Heinrich Bach, a great-uncle of Johann Sebastian Bach was the organist at the upper church. In 1751 the church received a new organ from Johann Stephan Schmaltz , the new citizen and organ builder from Wandersleben . The upper church was Arnstadt's main church for a long time. Due to severe structural damage, the church was closed in 1977, the roof was renovated and the structure was secured in 1991. Since then, it has been used for concerts, cinema, markets and children's programs since 2007. 2008 was the beginning of an extensive renovation of the church and monastery, which should be completed by the Luther year 2017.
  • Opposite the upper church is the Arnstadt town house , the former Möller'sche glove factory, a half-timbered house from 1582/1697, which is now used as a hotel under the motto "Spend the night in a monument". It is an industrial building from 1903, in which, among other things, concerts, readings and exhibitions take place and which has been the venue for Bach: Summer since 2011 under the artistic direction of the conductor and musicologist Joshua Rifkin . Burkhard (t) Röhl, master builder from Graflich- Schwarzburg , owned the house in the middle of the 17th century. He created the pulpit, the baptismal font and the altar for the upper church opposite. From 1720 superintendent Johann Christoph Olearius , theologian, historian and numismatist, was the owner of the house. Olearius was the author of numerous writings, including the Historia Arnstadtiensis and preacher at the New Church in Johann Sebastian Bach's time in Arnstadt. Under Olearius' tenure, the baroque Church of the Assumption , part of a Campo Santo , today at the Old Cemetery, with its octagonal outline, was built. The first funds for this building were donated as early as 1649, from 1631 the city council stepped up efforts to finally get the last of the funds together. The foundation stone was laid in 1738 and the church was consecrated in 1743.
  • The Alteburgturm (formerly Kaiser Wilhelm Tower), built in 1902, stands on the Alteburg mountain .
  • Arnstadt has many historically valuable houses in the old town, which are described by house names , see the list of historical houses in Arnstadt .
  • Many old fountains have been preserved in the old town, see the list of fountains in Arnstadt .

Bach monument

The Bach monument erected in 1985 is located on the market square .

Stumbling blocks

Economy and Infrastructure

Public facilities

The city is the seat of the Arnstadt District Court , which belongs to the district of the Erfurt Regional Court . In Arnstadt there are also the Ilm District Clinics Arnstadt as well as two ambulance stations operated by the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund and the German Red Cross .


In the second half of the 20th century two large companies certain, each with several thousand employees, the decisive role in the economic structure of the city: the VEB chemical plant Erfurt Rudi life as well as to combine RFT owned VEB Fernmeldewerk Arnstadt . These operated their own cultural centers in the city, which determined cultural life. After the reunification , the number of employees fell sharply, so that their importance for the city as an employer became less and the cultural institutions were no longer economically viable. The current name of the companies is Chema Prozess- und Systemtechnik GmbH or Thales Transportation Systems GmbH . Part of the former telecommunications plant, the so-called Mechanics Center, has been an independent company since 2007 under the name Development and Production Center GmbH (EPZ GmbH).

Instead, some commercial and industrial areas were created in the north of the city:

  • Erfurt Cross
  • Arnstadt-Rudisleben
  • Arnstadt-North
  • At the Bachschleife
  • Ichtershausen-Thörey-Autobahn (GITA)

Together they make up the largest contiguous industrial and commercial area in Thuringia.

The Erfurt Cross is the largest area (400 hectares) with the greatest development dynamic in 2008. The Arnstadt-Rudisleben area borders on the Erfurter Kreuz and also shows a high level of development dynamics, but is already more busy. GITA is located directly on the motorway and belongs to the municipality of Ichtershausen. This area is almost full and an expansion is being planned. In 2008, the Erfurt Cross and the Arnstadt-Rudisleben area offer space for immediate investments.

With the newly established companies and the traditional companies, numerous companies are based in Arnstadt and the immediate vicinity.

In addition, there was Europe's largest box malt house in Arnstadt. The company, which was run by the grain wholesaler Hermann Windesheim (later by the sons Hugo and Max Windesheim ), became a trust company after the Second World War. Hermann was financially supported by his godfather Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild in setting up his company , Hugo and Max also maintained the relationship with Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (the son-in-law of Wilhelm Carl Rothschild) and his wife Minna Karoline Freiin von Rothschild until they emigrated to the USA in 1935. After the war, the Arnstadt box malt house was active until 1991.

Since the end of the 19th century, the Kesselbrunn estate with an area of ​​104 hectares was located in the north-west of Arnstadt and was set up to support the city's population. After the Second World War, the property became a state-owned property , which was then managed according to the principles of GDR agriculture. After 1990 a workshop for handicapped people was set up here, which was supplemented by a new workshop in 1996. Almost 200 people, primarily in metalworking, have a job here.

List of major companies

Paper and packaging industry
Timber industry
  • HOLZ-INDUSTRIE, Thomas Gerling, special formwork systems, industrial packaging, firewood
Solar and electronics industries
mechanical engineering
  • Heller Maschinen & Technologie AG
  • N3 Engine Overhaul Services GmbH & Co. KG (Lufthansa & Rolls-Royce)
  • BorgWarner Transmission Systems Arnstadt GmbH (USA)
  • Gonvauto Thüringen GmbH (Spain)
  • IHI Charging Systems International (ICSI) GmbH
  • Garant doors and frames GmbH
  • Bosch Sicherheitssysteme Montage und Service GmbH
  • Avermann Laser and Kant Center GmbH
  • Wintersteiger Sägen GmbH (Austria)
  • German Foundry and Industry Holding AG (Eisenwerk Arnstadt GmbH)
  • Arnstädter Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau AG (AWM)
Logistics industry
Chemical industry
Food industry
  • Beverages Fachmarkt Waldhoff GmbH
  • Grabower Süßwaren GmbH
  • Born Senf und Feinkost GmbH
  • Sauels Schinken GmbH & Co. KG
  • The Thuringian meat and sausage specialties Rainer Wagner GmbH
  • Arnstadt Kristall GmbH

Development of the labor market

Due to the extensive industrial settlement, the unemployment rate in Arnstadt and the surrounding area fell from around 13 percent (as of January 2008) to 5.3 percent (as of May 2018) and is thus slightly below the average for the Ilm district and Thuringian average of 5.7 and 5.4 percent.

Transport links


Arnstadt got a connection to the autobahn as early as 1940 with the Reichsautobahn 18 (today A4 ), exit Arnstadt (today Neudietendorf / Arnstadt-West). In 1998 the A 71 was added with the Arnstadt-Nord and Arnstadt-Süd junctions. The southern districts in the Wipfratal are connected to the A 71 via the Stadtilm junction, which opened in 2018. The federal road 4 was replaced by the A 71 and downgraded to the state road in 2003. It connects the city with Erfurt in the north and Ilmenau in the south. Other state roads lead to Gotha in the northwest, Neudietendorf in the north, Stadtilm in the southeast and Gehren in the south. There are also district roads to Kirchheim , Osthausen , Dienstedt , Heyda , Crawinkel , Bittstädt and Rehestädt and between the districts.


Arnstadt received in 1867 its rail connection with the route Dietendorf-Arnstadt. Today's Neudietendorf was already connected to the Thuringian Railway in 1847 . In 1879 the railway line was extended beyond Arnstadt to Ilmenau , in 1883 branching off in Plaue to Ritschenhausen (continuing from there to Schweinfurt and from Grimmenthal to Meiningen) and in Arnstadt beginning in 1885 to Ichtershausen and in 1895 to Saalfeld / Saale .

The former railway depot in Arnstadt is now the Museum Bahnbetriebswerk Arnstadt . The Arnstadt Süd stop was called Längwitz station until 1912 . All traffic on the branch line to Ichtershausen was discontinued in 1966; a remainder of the route is now operated as the shunting district of Arnstadt main station. The Neudietendorf – Arnstadt Hbf line was electrified in 1984 in order to be able to move locomotives from Erfurt (where there was insufficient capacity) to Arnstadt. In 1996 the overhead line was taken out of service and dismantled, only the contact line masts are still there. There are no plans to re-electrify, as none of the connecting lines to Schweinfurt in the south are electrified either.

Today is the main station the district center node of three regional express - lines (RE 7, STx 45, STx 50) and three regional train -lines ( EB 23 / STB 46, STB  44). In clock traffic regular direct connections exist in the upper and middle centers Erfurt, Saalfeld / Saale , Suhl , Meiningen , Schweinfurt , Würzburg and Ilmenau . 103 passenger trains stop at the main station every working day, 49 in Arnstadt Süd. Another station is located in the Marlishausen district on the route to Saalfeld.

Arnstadt is currently not affected by regular long-distance freight traffic. Local freight loading with daily service by DB Cargo takes place in the main station and in the sidings in the former Arnstadt Ost station (former Arnstadt-Ichtershäuser railway), in the ironworks and at the siding to the industrial area Arnstadt Nord / Erfurter Kreuz, among other things to operate the aircraft turbine maintenance facility N3 and the Gonvauto Thuringia company.

The high-speed line Nuremberg – Erfurt runs through the eastern urban area parallel to the A 71 .

Air traffic

About eight kilometers east of Arnstadt is the Arnstadt-Alkersleben airfield , which is mainly used for sport, leisure and sightseeing flights as well as small charter planes. The nearest international airport is Erfurt-Weimar Airport , around 20 kilometers north of Arnstadt. The most important airport in the metropolitan region of Central Germany is Leipzig / Halle Airport . The distance from Arnstadt is 147 kilometers by road.


There are four primary schools, two regular schools and one grammar school in Arnstadt . Insolvency proceedings were opened on March 1, 2013 for the private art college FH KUNST , which was founded in 2008 . There is also a vocational school, a music school and a community college .


The most important sporting event in Arnstadt was the high jump with music , which took place every year from 1977 to 2014 at the end of January / beginning of February, and which had developed into the first international competition of the world's best high jumpers in the respective year. The Swede Kajsa Bergqvist achieved an indoor world record here in 2006. In 2008 there were annual world best performances in both the men's and women's competitions. The event took place in the sports hall at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Stadium in the east of the city . This is also the home of the city's most important football team, SV 09 Arnstadt , which was created in 2009 from the Motor Rudisleben and BC 07 Arnstadt clubs. Motor Rudisleben played in the GDR league between 1978 and 1984, and in 2008 the team was promoted to the regional league of the Thuringian Football Association , in which it has played since then.

Altogether there are over 60 sports clubs in Arnstadt. The largest sports club in the city is SG Motor Arnstadt , from whose athletics department, among others, Katrin Schreiter emerged as a member of the 4 × 400 m world championship relay in 1990. The handball players from Motor Arnstadt play in the Thuringian regional league.

Other important sports facilities are the sports field of ESV Lok Arnstadt , the Angelhausen equestrian center and the tennis courts at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Stadion.


Well-known Arnstadt personalities include the writer Eugenie Marlitt and the graphic artist A. Paul Weber as well as Willibald Alexis , Ludwig Bechstein and the composer Johann Sebastian Bach , who was the organist and cantor of the local New Church from 1703 to 1707. Members of his family had lived in and around Arnstadt for generations. More than 20 members of the Bach family are buried in the old cemetery. The Bach House in Kohlgasse and the Bach Exhibition in the Castle Museum bear witness to this. Between 1706 and 1720 the geographer and polymath Johann Gottfried Gregorii alias Melissantes lived and worked in Arnstadt. Here he wrote most of his well-known and for decades popular writings on geography, cartography and genealogy.


  • Janny Dittrich / Andrea Kirchschlager: Arnstadt 1949 to 1989. Sutton Verlag, Erfurt 2007, ISBN 978-3-86680-090-8
  • Wieland Held: The citizenship of Arnstadt in Thuringia in the middle of the 16th century. Their wealth and social structure as well as their relationships with the rulers and the rural population in the area . in: Yearbook for Economic History 1982 Part 1, pp. 113-136 ( digitized version )
  • Andrea Kirchschlager, Ulrich Lappe, Peter Unger (eds.): Chronicle of Arnstadt. Timeline / Lexicon. Kirchschlager, Arnstadt 2003.
  • Jan Schönfelder: The courage of the individual. The revolution in Arnstadt in 1989 . Bussert & Stadeler, Jena 2009, ISBN 978-3-932906-93-0 .

Web links

Commons : Arnstadt  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Arnstadt  - sources and full texts
Wikivoyage: Arnstadt  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Population of the municipalities from the Thuringian State Office for Statistics  ( help on this ).
  2. Georg Heinrich Pertz u. a. (Ed.): Scriptores (in folio) 23: Chronica aevi Suevici. Hanover 1874, pp. 55–56 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized version )
  3. ^ Helge Wittmann: On the role of the nobility in the foundation of churches and monasteries in Thuringia (until the end of the reign of Charlemagne) . In: Enno Bünz, Stefan Tebruck, Helmut G. Walther: Religious movements in the Middle Ages. Festschrift for Matthias Werner on his 65th birthday . Böhlau, Cologne 2007, pp. 107–154, here p. 110.
  4. ^ Theodericus mon. Epternacensis, Chronicon Epternacense , accessed August 6, 2013
  5. Dr. August Beck: History of the Gothaischen Land , Volume I, Gotha, 1868, p. 31.
  6. a b Boyneburg, Heinrich III. from. Hessian biography. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  7. ^ Heinrich Gottfried Gengler: Regesta and documents on the legal and constitutional history of German cities in the Middle Ages , Erlangen 1863, pp. 57–59 .
  8. Medieval Ashkenaz. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016 ; Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  9. ^ Martin Geck: Johann Sebastian Bach . Rowohlt, Reinbek 2002, ISBN 3-499-50637-8
  10. Thuringian Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime - Bund der Antifaschisten und Studienkreis deutscher Resistance 1933–1945 (Ed.): Heimatgeschichtlicher Wegweiser to places of resistance and persecution 1933–1945 , series: Heimatgeschichtliche Wegweiser, Volume 8 Thüringen. Erfurt 2003, ISBN 3-88864-343-0 , pp. 137ff.
  11. ^ Lothar Günther: Missions and Fates in the Air War over Southwest Thuringia 1944/45 . Wehry-Verlag, Untermaßfeld 2014. ISBN 978-3-9815307-6-6 . P. 323
  12. ^ Klaus Reinhold: Chronicle Arnstadt 704-2004. 1300 years of Arnstadt . Arnstadt, 2004. Part 7
  13. Rudolf Zießler: Arnstadt In: Götz Eckardt (Hrsg.): Fates of German architectural monuments in the Second World War . Henschel-Verlag, Berlin 1978, Volume 2, p. 467.
  14. ^ Karl Müller: From Arnstadt's difficult days, spring 1945 . In: "From the past of Arnstadt and the surrounding area", Thüringer Geschichtsverein Arnstadt eV, 14th issue, 2005, pp. 6–34
  15. ^ Klaus Reinhold: Chronicle Arnstadt 704-2004. 1300 years of Arnstadt . Arnstadt, 2004. Part 7
  16. Municipalities in 1994 and their changes since January 1st, 1948 in the new federal states . Publisher: Federal Statistical Office, Metzler-Poeschel publishing house, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-8246-0321-7
  17. StBA Area: changes from 01.01. until December 31, 1999
  18. Thuringian Law and Ordinance Gazette No. 14/2018 p. 795 ff. , Accessed on January 3, 2019
  19. ^ Source for Schwarzburgische and Saxon places: Johann Friedrich Kratzsch : Lexicon of all localities of the German federal states . Naumburg, 1843. Available online from Google Books . Source for Prussian places: Handbook of the Province of Saxony. Magdeburg, 1843. Available online at Google Books
  20. ^ Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. Population figures. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  21. October 29th
  22. August 31
  23. from 1970: December 31
  24. Population development since 1989 (TLUG) ( Memento from October 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 18 kB)
  25. Data source from 1994: Thuringian State Office for Statistics
  26. From 2012 the 2011 census will serve as the basis for the update.
  27. ^ Elections in Thuringia. Retrieved June 11, 2019 .
  28. ^ Thuringian State Office for Statistics: Elections in Thuringia. Retrieved August 3, 2018 .
  29. CDU politician gives up parliamentary group chairmanship in the city council for reasons of age . In: Thuringian General . ( [accessed on August 31, 2018]).
  30. a b § 2 Paragraph 1 Main Statute of the City of Arnstadt and Annex A Coat of Arms
    This description of the coat of arms does not consistently correspond to heraldic customs.
  31. § 2 paragraph 2 of the main statutes of the city of Arnstadt and Annex B flag
  32. § 2 paragraph 3 of the main statute of the city of Arnstadt and Appendix C official seal
  33. Peter Unger: From the founding of the GDR to joining the FRG 1949–1990. In: Andrea Kirchschlager; Ulrich Lappe, Peter Unger (ed.): Chronicle of Arnstadt. Timeline / Lexicon. Verlag Kirchschlager, Arnstadt, 2003, p. 141.
  34. Music festivals and festivals in Germany. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  35. Joshua Rifkin. Bach's Chorus: A Preliminary Report. In: The Musical Times, November 1982, 123: 747-754. doi: 10.2307 / 961592
  36. Andrew Parrott : Bach's Choir - Towards a New Understanding. Metzler / Bärenreiter, Stuttgart 2003.
  37. Bach: Summer 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  38. Kristina Maidt-Zinke: One of them had the key to Bach's church. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, August 22, 2012.
  39. Konrad Küster : Who was Giovanni Gabrieli's “last student”? To Christoph Klemsee and Gallus Guggumos. In: Schütz yearbook . Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel 1991.
  40. ^ A b Ingrid Scheuermann, Katja Hofmann: Funding projects of the German Foundation for Monument Protection . Ed .: German Foundation for Monument Protection. tape 1 (sacred buildings). Monuments, Bonn 2012, ISBN 3-935208-10-3 , p. 313 .
  41. ^ Website of the city of Arnstadt
  42. a b From the past of Arnstadt and the surrounding area - Issue 17. Thüringer Geschichtsverein Arnstadt e. V. 2007.
  43. Malt from Arnstadt was once a popular product
  44. Klaus Rheinhold: Chronicle Arnstadt 704 to 2004 1300 years Arnstadt , part 2 and 4, Arnstadt 2004
  45. Jürgen Gruhle: Black Book of Land Reform. E-Book, 2011 ( Memento from June 4, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  46. Homepage of the workshop at Kesselbrunn
  47. Insolvent art college: Help, we're broke . Mirror online. March 19, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013.