Schönau (Odenwald)

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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Schönau
Schönau (Odenwald)
Map of Germany, position of the city of Schönau highlighted

Coordinates: 49 ° 26 '  N , 8 ° 49'  E

Basic data
State : Baden-Württemberg
Administrative region : Karlsruhe
County : Rhein-Neckar district
Height : 180 m above sea level NHN
Area : 22.49 km 2
Residents: 4438 (Dec. 31, 2018)
Population density : 197 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 69250
Area code : 06228
License plate : HD
Community key : 08 2 26 080

City administration address :
Rathausstrasse 28
69250 Schönau
Website :
Mayor : Matthias Frick ( CDU )
Location of the city of Schönau in the Rhein-Neckar district
Bayern Hessen Rheinland-Pfalz Heidelberg Heilbronn Landkreis Heilbronn Landkreis Karlsruhe Mannheim Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis Eberbach Altlußheim Angelbachtal Bammental Brühl (Baden) Dielheim Dossenheim Eberbach Eberbach Eberbach Edingen-Neckarhausen Edingen-Neckarhausen Epfenbach Eppelheim Eschelbronn Gaiberg Heddesbach Heddesheim Heiligkreuzsteinach Helmstadt-Bargen Hemsbach Hirschberg an der Bergstraße Hockenheim Ilvesheim Ketsch Ladenburg Laudenbach (Bergstraße) Leimen (Baden) Leimen (Baden) Lobbach Malsch (bei Wiesloch) Mauer (Baden) Meckesheim Mühlhausen (Kraichgau) Neckarbischofsheim Neckargemünd Neidenstein Neulußheim Nußloch Oftersheim Plankstadt Rauenberg Reichartshausen Reilingen Sandhausen St. Leon-Rot Schönau (Odenwald) Schönbrunn (Baden) Schriesheim Schwetzingen Schwetzingen Sinsheim Spechbach Waibstadt Walldorf (Baden) Weinheim Weinheim Wiesenbach (Baden) Wiesloch Wilhelmsfeld Zuzenhausenmap
About this picture
Schönau around 1560
Schönau around 1790

Schönau is a town with around 4400 inhabitants in the Rhein-Neckar district in Baden-Württemberg . It belongs to the European metropolitan region of Rhine-Neckar (until May 20, 2003 the Lower Neckar region and until December 31, 2005 the Rhine-Neckar-Odenwald region ). The settlement developed around the Schönau monastery and, like the incorporated Altneudorf, belonged to the Electoral Palatinate for centuries .


The city of Schönau is located on the southern slope of the Odenwald in the valley of the Steinach river , a right tributary to the Neckar .

Neighboring communities

The urban area borders in the north on Heiligkreuzsteinach , in the northeast on Heddesbach , in the east on the city of Hirschhorn and in the southeast on the city of Neckarsteinach , both in the Hessian district of Bergstrasse , in the south on the city of Neckargemünd and in the west on the municipality of Wilhelmsfeld and the city Heidelberg .

City structure

The former municipality of Altneudorf belongs to the town of Schönau.

The villages of Oberdorf and Unterdorf belonged to Altneudorf. The towns of Bei Altneudorf, Landheim Lessingschule (Lochmühle) and Lindenbach as well as the houses Hasselbacherhof belonged to the town of Schönau within the borders of May 8, 1975. In the area of ​​the town of Schönau there is also the deserted Bauerländerhof.



The documented history of Schönau begins with the founding of the Schönau monastery by the diocese of Worms in 1142. The monastery came under the patronage of the Electoral Palatinate in the 12th century and became the home monastery, residence and burial place of the Count Palatine near the Rhine . During the Reformation the Electoral Palatinate became Protestant and in 1558 the monastery was placed under a secular guardian by Elector Ottheinrich and the monks were expelled. The lordly rights went to the care Schönau . In 1562 35 Calvinist refugee families from Wallonia (at that time: Spanish Netherlands ) were settled on the monastery grounds, who converted the monastery complex for residential purposes. The immigrants brought their crafts, mainly weaving and dyeing , into the rural environment. Schönau was first referred to as a city around 1600. After the destruction of Waldeck Castle in the Thirty Years War, the administrative headquarters of the so-called Waldeck Winery was relocated to Schönau, where it remained until 1803.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Schönau came to Baden . Around 1900 Schönau had around 2000 inhabitants. In 1935 Schönau's town charter was revoked, which it was given back in 1956. After the Second World War , Schönau took in 553 refugees, so that the number of inhabitants rose to 3,035 by 1947.


Altneudorfer coat of arms

Altneudorf was first mentioned in a document in 1316 as "Nuendorf". The settlement was probably created by the Strahlbergers from Waldeck Castle in the 13th century. With the castle it came to the Electoral Palatinate in 1357 and after its dissolution in 1803 to Baden. It was not until the beginning of the 18th century that the name Altneudorf became established to distinguish it from Wilhelmsfeld , which was initially called Neudorf . The place had its own district and its own property, but politically it belonged to Heiligkreuzsteinach until it became independent in 1844.


The city in its current form was created in the course of the municipal reform in Baden-Württemberg through the merger of the city of Schönau with the municipality of Altneudorf on May 9, 1975.

Population development

year 1727 1818 1852 1905 1939 1950 1961 1970 1975 1991 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2017
Altneudorf 116 302 501 487 581 765 807 1163
Schönau 470 1163 1974 2056 2104 3031 3271 3357
total 586 1465 2475 2543 2685 3796 4078 4520 4381 4524 4619 4786 4793 4526 4370 4447


town hall

Administrative association

The city is the seat of the community administration association Schönau (member communities: Heddesbach, Heiligkreuzsteinach, Wilhelmsfeld, city of Schönau) and the wastewater association Steinachtal (member communities: Heiligkreuzsteinach, Wilhelmsfeld, city of Schönau).

Municipal council

In addition to the presiding mayor, the municipal council has 14 members. The 2019 local elections led to the following result (+/−: difference to 2014):

  • SPD : 46.5% of the votes (- 3.3; 2014: 49.8%)
  • CDU : 27.4% (- 7.7; 2014: 35.1%)
  • FWS : 26.1% (+ 11.0; 2014: 15.1%)

Thus the SPD holds 6 seats and the CDU and the Free Voters Schönau (FWS) each hold 4 seats in the municipal council.

In Schönau and Altneudorf there are three local political groups of the SPD, the CDU and the Free Voters and with the Junge Union a political youth organization.


Marcus Zeitler (CDU) had been mayor of Schönau since October 8, 2007 . Zeitler had won the mayoral elections in a second ballot on July 29, 2007 with a narrow lead over the incumbent incumbent Philipp Krämer (SPD), who has been in office since 1983. In the local press, this change in the so-called “red stronghold” of Schönau was rated as a “sensation” and a “landslide”. In 2015 he won this office again with 87 percent of the vote against two competitors in the first ballot. On July 21, 2019, Zeitler was elected as the new Lord Mayor of Hockenheim . With this he resigned from his previous office in Schönau on August 31. Matthias Frick (CDU) was elected as his successor. He took office on January 1, 2020.

The following people have held the office of mayor of Schönau since 1975:

  • Klaus Hafendörfer 1975–1983
  • Philipp Krämer (SPD) 1983-2007
  • Marcus Zeitler (CDU) 2007-2019
  • Matthias Frick (CDU) 2020–

Because of being voted out of office in 1983, Hafendörfer went down in the history of the mayoral elections in Baden-Württemberg by only two votes.

coat of arms

The blazon of the coat of arms reads: In silver, a blue bishop's staff protruding from the lower edge with the curve backwards (left), around whose shaft the blue Latin capital letter S is wrapped. It can be proven since 1862 and corresponds to the coat of arms of the monastery.

The city flag is atypically not derived from the coat of arms, but is square in violet and white and contains a green wave bar in each field. It is depicted in a book of arms by Frederick IV as early as 1604 .

Culture and sights

Old post house


The Protestant town church was built around 1230 as the master 's refectory of the monastery “in the beautiful Au” in the late Romanesque style with early Gothic elements by builders from Burgundy. The three seat from the choir stalls comes from the former monastery church.

The monastery gate is from the time around 1200. To the left of the gate is the so-called gatehouse in half-timbered construction on the foundations of the former "George's Chapel at the Porte", built around 1600, from which the early Gothic archway to the gatehouse comes.

The so-called Hühnerfautei is a former monastery building built around 1250 in Romanesque style , in which the city history museum is set up and which serves as a cultural center for exhibitions, concerts, etc. The name "Hühnerfautei" evidently connects the work of the master of the interest with the building. The civil servant, who also went under the name Hühnerfaut (Vogt), used to have to compensate for tax payments in cash or in kind.

The town hall stands on the foundations of the chapter house of the former Cistercian monastery. The monastery was ruled from the chapter house. The Convention met in it and contracts were concluded. According to the ordinances, the abbots and some high secular personalities were buried in the chapter room, such as Konrad von Hohenstaufen , Count Palatine near Rhine, d. 1195, who was a brother of Emperor Barbarossa .

The Walloon House , a half-timbered house from 1588, stands on the foundations of the former monastery forge. In 1357 the monastery bell was cast here. It is the oldest bell in the Odenwald and is now located on the tower of the Protestant town church in Erbach in the Odenwald. After the abolition of the monastery, it was brought to there by the taverns of Erbach in 1563.


Schönau has more than fifty clubs that are dedicated to sport, culture or simply enjoying life. The singing clubs Eintracht Altneudorf, MGV Liederkranz 1841 eV, the MGV Singverein Freiheit 1889 eV, the gymnastics and sports club TSV 1890 eV and the soccer clubs SV Altneudorf and VFB Schönau make significant contributions to the club landscape of culture and sport.

Sports facilities

The Schönauer Sports Center (SSFZ - school, sports and leisure center) consists of a soccer field with an athletics facility including a pitch, a sports hall , a tennis facility with three courts and a soccer field . There is another soccer field and a sports hall in the Altneudorf district. These sports facilities are used by VfB Schönau (soccer and other things), TSV Schönau (basketball, athletics, gymnastics (including dance), skiing and tennis) and SV Altneudorf (soccer, table tennis).


There are several inns and restaurants.

Economy and Infrastructure


The best-known companies are the Schönauer school furniture factory (Mannschott company), the Beckenbach GmbH and Odenwald-Chemie GmbH companies, and the Schwarzbeck Mess-Elektronik company in the Altneudorf district .


Between 1928 and 1981 Schönau was connected to the railway network via a branch line to Neckarsteinach , and passenger traffic was discontinued as early as 1969. Today there are bus routes to the surrounding communities. There is a train station in nearby Neckarsteinach with a connection to the Rhein-Neckar S-Bahn . Schönau is part of the tariff area of ​​the Rhein-Neckar transport association .

State road 535 runs through Schönau and leads to federal road 37 (Heidelberg – Mosbach) in the south .


There is a primary school and a music school in Schönau, and a primary school in the Altneudorf district. A Protestant kindergarten and a forest kindergarten are located in Schönau and a Protestant kindergarten in Altneudorf.


  • Hildegunde von Schönau (1170–1188), died in Schönau Monastery
  • Franz Junius (1545–1602) became the first Reformed pastor in Schönau in 1565. He was a French nobleman and founded the Walloon colony Otterberg in 1578 with his Schönau community. He returned to Schönau after 1583 and worked temporarily as court and field preacher to the Prince of Orange and finally taught as a professor in Leyden.
  • Carl Höfer , born in Brehmen in 1819 , was a teacher in Altneudorf from 1846 until he was legally executed in 1849. He was significantly involved in the popular uprising led by Friedrich Hecker to introduce a democratic republic of Baden as captain of the vigilante groups Altneudorf, Bärsbach, Brombach, Eiterbach, Heddesbach, Heiligkreuzsteinach, Hilsenhain, Lampenhain and Schönau.
  • The Baden revolutionary Friedrich Wilhelm Henninger (1817–1881) was a pastor in Schönau from 1858 to 1872.
  • Adam Remmele (1877–1951) was born in the mill in Altneudorf. The social democrat was the first vice-president of the Baden national assembly, interior minister, minister for culture and education and state president of Baden as well as a member of the Reichstag in Berlin. He died on September 9, 1951 in Freiburg im Breisgau .
  • Ulrich Nitschke (1879–1971) was a painter and sculptor. He studied from 1898 to 1900 at the Karlsruhe Art Academy under Ernst Schurth, and from 1900 to 1903 together with Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Hans Purrmann under Franz von Stuck at the Munich Art Academy. From 1903 to 1908 he was a master student of Leopold von Kalckreuth and Adolf Hölzel at the Stuttgart Art Academy. He became known in 1907 for the wall paintings for the concert hall of the Pfullinger Hallen; his larger-than-life head sculptures with physiognomies "from all over the world" at the Wertheim department store in Wroclaw ("Renoma" Wrocław) were faithfully restored in 2009.
  • Wilhelm Hempfing (1886–1948) born in Schönau. From 1909 to 1913, Hempfing was a master student at the Karlsruhe Art Academy with Friedrich Fehr. He learned etching processes and printing techniques from Walter Conz in Karlsruhe. Hempfing is an important member of the Karlsruhe School


  • Andreas Cser: Schönau in the Palatinate era . City of Schönau (Ed.) 2012. ISBN 978-3-89735-743-3
  • State Archive administration Baden-Württemberg in connection with d. Cities and districts Heidelberg u. Mannheim (ed.): The city and districts of Heidelberg and Mannheim: Official district description .
    • Vol. 1: General part . Karlsruhe 1966
    • Vol. 2: The city of Heidelberg and the municipalities of the district of Heidelberg . Karlsruhe 1968
  • Friedrich Bossert: From the history of Schönau near Heidelberg . Lautenschläger, Schönau 1950.
  • Friedrich Bossert: Schönau near Heidelberg in the past . OV, Neckargemünd 1938.
  • Andrea Liebers: This man was a woman. The story of Hildegund von Schönau. eFeF, Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-905493-06-3
  • District archive and department for public relations of the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in connection with the city of Schönau and the association Alt-Schönau eV (publisher): Kloster und Hühnerfautei Schönau . Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Heidelberg 2002. ISBN 3-932102-08-8

Web links

Commons : Schönau  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. State Statistical Office Baden-Württemberg - Population by nationality and gender on December 31, 2018 (CSV file) ( help on this ).
  2. ^ The state of Baden-Württemberg. Official description by district and municipality. Volume V: Karlsruhe District Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 3-17-002542-2 . Pp. 396-397
  3. Harald Gomille: Wilhelmsfeld. The history of the community . 2004, p. 23
  4. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 487 .
  5. District description, vol. 2 p. 373/902: Population figures up to 1950, then: State Statistical Office Baden-Württemberg
  6. ^ State Statistical Office of Baden-Württemberg: Municipal elections 2019, Schönau ; City of Schönau: City Council Election 2019 (PDF) ; accessed May 30, 2019.
  7. ^ Herwig John, Gabriele Wüst: Wappenbuch Rhein-Neckar-Kreis . Ubstadt-Weiher 1996, ISBN 3-929366-27-4 , p. 104
  8. Norbert Krämer (ed.): The figure and landscape painter from Schönau in the Odenwald . Kaden, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 3-922777-80-5 .