Westheim (Knetzgau)

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Place view

Westheim ( East Franconian Wasdäm ) is a district of the municipality of Knetzgau in the Lower Franconian district of Haßberge with almost 900 inhabitants (883 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2015)).


Geographical location

Westheim is located on the northwestern edge of the Steigerwald Nature Park , about 5 km south of Haßfurt in northeast Lower Franconia. The parish village is at an altitude of about 250 m above sea level. NN.

Transport links


The village of Westheim celebrated its 750th anniversary in 1981, when it was first notarized three quarters of a millennium ago. However, the settlement has existed for a good 1200 years. For the 750th anniversary, R. Wailersbacher wrote a village chronicle. The historical population of the Evangelical Confession has been documented since 2008.

A Jewish community had existed for centuries, and around 1900 it had almost 100 members. In 1913 she built a synagogue in the center of the village (Kirchgasse 4) next to the old religious school (Jewish school) , which also contained a ritual bath . After the expulsion and deportation of the Jewish citizens and the destruction of the interior furnishings during National Socialism , the synagogue came into private ownership and was used as a residential building for more than 50 years. The building, which is currently vacant, has been completely preserved in its structure despite the renovations. The Jewish school, which had been in a bad state of construction for a long time, was demolished in early 2008.

Well-known son of the village is the sculptor Waldemar Kuhn, born in 1923 .

If you take a look at the chronicle of Westheim, you can read that the Steigerwald community probably formed into a village as early as the Frankish period. The basic word “-heim” indicates a reason in the Merovingian period. Probably first named around the year 1151, an official notarization is rather uncertain. An actual certification must be proven for the year 1231. The basis for the 750th anniversary celebration that Westheim celebrated in 1981 is based on this year. In 1479, the seven village lords, the Ganerbe, proclaimed the oldest peasant law in the old Haßberge district. The Ganerbe and the Mahlmeister, a peasant court, direct the political fortunes of Westheim. In the 15./16. In the 19th century the first “ protective Jews ” settled and soon formed a Jewish community. In 1632 we can read that Swedish regiments occupied the village of Westheim for two months. Chivalric fiefs are taxed in 1810. Strictly speaking, only then does the rule of the Ganerbe end.

On April 11, 1945 at around 3 p.m., Westheim experienced an Allied bombing raid during World War II.

Church conditions

St. Sebastian in St. Michael

The population of Westheim almost completely adopted the Lutheran denomination around the middle of the 16th century, but was at least partially re-Catholicized by the surrounding sovereigns (Hochstift Bamberg and Hochstift and Diocese of Würzburg) until the middle of the 17th century. In 1678 the Catholic parish Westheim was re-established. From then on there was a Catholic minority in the village, which grew continuously due to immigration from the surrounding area and high birth rates and finally outnumbered its Protestant counterpart for the first time around the middle of the 19th century. Due to the war losses in the world wars and the influx of refugees from the formerly German eastern areas, the proportion of Catholics in the place rose again.

In 1823 the Gothic Church of St. James was closed because it was dilapidated. In the previous decades - around 150 years - both Catholics and Protestants used the St. Jacob church together as a simultaneous church. But this state of affairs was associated with compromises and conflicts for everyone involved. In the years 1829 to 1832 the Protestant parish church St. Jakob was finally built and in the years 1836 to 1839 the Catholic church St. Michael. A figure of St. Sebastian from Tilman Riemenschneider's school (around 1500) adorns the church. The side altars are decorated with works of art by the Westheim artist Waldemar Kuhn . Westheim was the Catholic parish seat until the turn of the millennium. St. Jakob still functions as the Protestant parish church today; Westheim is the parish seat of the Evangelical Lutheran parish Westheim-Eschenau.

On July 1, 1974, the municipality of Westheim near Haßfurt was incorporated into the municipality of Knetzgau.

Culture and sights

Regular events

The parish fair traditionally always takes place on the last weekend in September (Michaelmas). The parish fair is one of the great traditions in Westheim. It is celebrated in the churches, with a big hype with bumper cars, lottery and shooting booths as well as a children's carousel on the village square and with TSV Westheim with big plate parties in the gym.


  • Former synagogue
  • Catholic village church St. Michael with a figure of St. Sebastian from the environment of Tilman Riemenschneider and side altars by the young Waldemar Kuhn
  • Evangelical parish church of St. Jakob
  • Marienkapelle with grotto on the Eichelberg
  • 8 meter high Golgota cross on the Eichelberg
  • Restored Westheim cellar
  • Former Mantel restaurant and brewery
  • TSV Westheim sports grounds
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's house
  • Catholic rectory
  • Restored village fountain

Club life

The Westheim Settlers Association organizes an “Advent Magic” with a campfire, a settlers festival and a May hike every year.

The TSV West Home was established in 1946. With around 650 members, it is one of the largest sports clubs in the Haßberge district.


  • Waldemar Kuhn (born January 19, 1923 in Westheim; † October 29, 2015 in Königsberg in Bavaria), sculptor and artist

Web links

Commons : Westheim  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andreas Flurschütz: Evangelical family book of the village Westheim near Haßfurt 1650-1900 . Nuremberg 2008 (Fränkische Ahnen, 7), ISBN 978-3-929865-38-7 .
  2. Irene Raßmann: "Lived life (fate of a village from the large municipality of Knetzgau and its residents)" Westheim 2000
  3. ^ 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. 758 .
  4. www.tsv-westheim.de

Coordinates: 49 ° 58 ′ 46 ″  N , 10 ° 30 ′ 8 ″  E