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Aschaffenburg

Aschaffenburg

Aschaffenburg, city (1994 pop. 65,650), Bavaria, S central Germany, on the Main River. Its manufactures include clothing, machine and precision instruments, and colored paper. Once the location of a Roman garrison and later of a Frankish castle, Aschaffenburg passed to the archbishopric of Mainz in the 10th cent. The imperial diet met there in 1474. It changed hands several times during the Thirty Years War (1618-48) and was stormed in 1672 by the French marshal Henri Turenne. It passed to Bavaria in 1814. Noteworthy buildings include a 12th-century church and a 17th-century castle.
Aschaffenburg (aˈʃafənbʊɐ̯k; dialect: [ˈaʒəˌbɜːʃ]) is a large town in northwest Bavaria, Germany. The town of Aschaffenburg is not considered part of the district of Aschaffenburg, but is the administrative seat.

Aschaffenburg is known as the Tor zum Spessart or "gate to the Spessart". It is also called the Bayerische Nizza or "Bavarian Nice" due to its relatively mild climate for a Bavarian city and Mediterranean gardens overlooking the Main.

Although it is within Bavaria, the town's inhabitants claim to be Franconians, not Bavarians. This is consistent with the attitude of the inhabitants of other parts of Franconia, all of which lies within the state of Bavaria. However, Aschaffenburg was never part of historical Franconia, as it belonged to the Archbishopric of Mainz. The inhabitants speak neither Bavarian nor Franconian but rather Central Hessian.

Geography

Geographic location

The town is located on both sides of the River Main in the South-west part of Germany, 41 kilometers (25 miles) South-east of Frankfurt am Main. Aschaffenburg's coordinates are 49°58′0″N and 9°09′0″E.

Municipal districts

Aschaffenburg counts 10 districts:

  • Damm
  • Gailbach
  • Leider
  • Nilkheim
  • Obernau
  • Obernauer Kolonie
  • Österreicher Kolonie (Austrian Colony)
  • Schweinheim
  • Stadtmitte (city center)
  • Strietwald

Nilkheim and Leider are the only districts located on the left bank of the river Main.

Neighbouring communities

The following municipalities border Aschaffenburg:

Johannesberg, Glattbach, Goldbach, Haibach, Bessenbach, Sulzbach am Main, Niedernberg, Großostheim, Stockstadt am Main and Mainaschaff.

History

Etymology

The name Aschaffenburg (Ascaffaburc, Ascapha or Ascaphaburg in the Middle Ages) originally meant "castle at the ash tree river" deriving from the river Aschaff that runs through parts of the town.

Brief history

The earliest remains of settlements in the area of Aschaffenburg date from the Stone Age. Aschaffenburg was originally a settlement of the Alamanni. Roman legions were stationed here, and on the ruins of their castra the Frankish mayors of the palace built a castle. In the Middle Ages the town was known as Ascaffaburc, Ascapha or Ascaphaburg. Saint Boniface erected a chapel to Saint Martin and founded a Benedictine monastery here. A stone bridge over the Main was built by Archbishop Willigis in 989. Adalbert increased the importance the town in various ways about 1122. In 1292 a synod was held here, and in 1474 an imperial diet, preliminary to that of Vienna, approved a concordat (sometimes called the Aschaffenburg Concordat).

The town suffered greatly during the Thirty Years' War, being held in turn by the various belligerents. It formed part of the electorate of the Archbishop of Mainz, and in 1803 was made over to the chancellor, Archbishop Charles of Dalberg as the Principality of Aschaffenburg. In 1810 it was merged into the new Grand Duchy of Frankfurt, although Dalberg retained Aschaffenburg as his residence. In 1814 the city was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria by an Austrian-Bavarian treaty. In 1817 it was included within Bavarian Lower Franconia.

From 1842–49, King Ludwig I of Bavaria built a country house to the west of town. It was named Pompejanum after its model, the house of Castor and Pollux at Pompeii. In 1866 the Prussian Army inflicted a severe defeat on the Austrians in the neighbourhood during the Austro-Prussian War.

In World War II, Aschaffenburg was heavily damaged by Allied area bombing, including Schloss Johannisburg which was completely restored several years later. In the decades following the war, Aschaffenburg and the surrounding region experienced robust economic prosperity, partially due to its close proximity to Frankfurt am Main.

According to an online 2002 survey in Stern (magazine),[Stern 14/2002], 82 percent of residents living in the "Bayerischer Untermain" region where Aschaffenburg is located were satisfied with the place where they lived. This was the highest level recorded in the survey making this region the #1 place to live in Germany, based on several factors including employment opportunities in the region, educational facilities, public services, transportation, recreational options, shopping, cultural facilities/events, climate, etc.

Another survey taken in 2006 by McKinsey, Stern (magazine), ZDF, and web.de showed that Aschaffenburg has one of the highest ratings for quality of life in Germany.

US military presence (1945-2007)

Aschaffenburg was the location of several United States Army installations throughout the Cold War. The US Army occupied facilities formerly used and controlled by the Wehrmacht. The installation sites were known as Ready Kaserne, Smith Kaserne, Graves Kaserne, Fiori Kaserne, Engineer Kaserne and Jaeger Kasern, housing armour, infantry, engineer, maintenance and artillery elements of the US Army 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and various VII Corps elements including the 9th Engineer Brigade. Much of the US Army presence in Aschaffenburg ended in 1992 with the ending of the Cold War. The last buildings, which were primarily used for housing, were handed back in 2007.

Sights

Aschaffenburg's chief buildings are the Schloss Johannisburg, built 1605–14 by Archbishop Schweikard von Kronberg, which contains a library with a number of incunabula, a collection of engravings and paintings; the Pompejanum, a replica of a Roman town house discovered in Pompeii commissioned by King Ludwig I. and opened in 1850; the Stiftskirche basilica, founded in 974 by Otto of Swabia, duke of Bavaria, but dating in the main from the early 12th century on, in which are preserved various monuments by the Vischers, a sarcophagus with the relics of Saint Margaret, and a famous painting by Matthias Grünewald; the Capuchin hospital; a theatre, which was formerly a house of the Teutonic Order; several mansions of the nobility; and the beautiful, historical "Altstadt" (the oldest section of Aschaffenburg).

The graves of Clemens Brentano and his brother Christian Brentano (died 1851) and that of Wilhelm Heinse are on the Altstadtfriedhof.

Demographics

Population

Year Population
1900 18,093
1910 29,892
1925 34,056
1939 45,379
1945 30,861
1946 36,383
1950 45,499
Year Population
1961 54,131
1970 55,193
1980 59,257
1987 60,964
1990 64,098
1995 66,360
2000 67,592
Year Population
2003 68,607
2007 68,646

Age distribution of current population

Age Population
0-19 13,888
20-39 19,505
40-59 18,951
60 & older 16,556

Transportation

Roads

Aschaffenburg is located on Bundesautobahn 3 between Frankfurt am Main and Würzburg. The southern terminus of Bundesautobahn 45 is located just west of the city. Bundesstraßen B 8 and B 26 pass through the city. Three road bridges cross the river Main at Aschaffenburg: Ebert Bridge (a new span opened in 2008), Willigis Bridge and Adenauer Bridge.

The final section of the limited-access Innenstadtring or "inner-city-ring" road is currently under construction in the district of Damm and will be completed by 2011. It will allow motorists to bypass the stadtmitte (city center) and reduce traffic congestion in Aschaffenburg, which has been a problem in recent years. A section of the road has already opened.

Parking

There are about 7,000 parking spaces in the ten districts of Aschaffenburg and 5 parking garages open to the public.

Public transport

Aschaffenburg has a comprehensive bus network serving all districts and the surrounding region. The 15 main bus lines which serve the districts of Aschaffenburg are run by Stadtwerke Aschaffenburg. There are several other bus lines which link Aschaffenburg with the surrounding region. Those lines are run by other companies, including the Deutsche Bahn. A new bus terminal adjacent to the Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) is currently under construction and will be completed in 2009.

Taxis

Taxis can be found at the following locations:

  • Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof (main railway station)
  • Stadthalle am Schloss
  • City Galerie shopping mall
  • Wermbachstrasse (by the Fußgängerzone).

The normal way to obtain a taxi is to either call one of the numerous taxi operators in Aschaffenburg or go to one of the locations listed above.

Railway stations and stops

  • Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) - The station has long-distance InterCityExpress and InterCity services as well as regional connections to neighboring towns and cities. A new station building is currently under construction and should be completed in 2010. It will offer increased commuter parking and retail space.
  • Aschaffenburg-Hochschule/High School - The stop, located between the Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof and Aschaffenburg-Süd, opened in 2008 to accommodate students attending nearby schools.
  • Aschaffenburg-Süd/South
  • Obernau
  • Nilkheim - The station closed when passenger service on the "Bachgaubahn" railway line ended in 1974.
  • Leider - Freight railway terminal close to Aschaffenburg's port on the Main. There is no passenger service.

All passenger train service is provided by the Deutsche Bahn.

Harbor

Aschaffenburg has an active port along the Main with railway access. In 2005, 2.8 million tons of cargo passed through the port.

Airports

A small general aviation airport (Flugplatz Aschaffenburg, ICAO-Code: EDFC) is located in nearby Großostheim. Frankfurt Airport is located 46 kilometers (30 miles) from Aschaffenburg and offers connections to destinations all over the world. The trip to and from the airport takes about 30 minutes by motor vehicle or approximately 45 minutes by InterCityExpress train.

Shopping

City Galerie

The City Galerie, opened in 1974 and located in the city center (Stadtmitte), is the largest shopping mall in Northern Bavaria. It was one of the first indoor shopping malls to open in Germany. It was first renovated in 1984. From 1997 to 1999, it was expanded and modernized. Stores include C&A, Galeria Kaufhof, GameStop, H&M, Media Markt City (electronics) and Mueller.

Fußgängerzone

Aschaffenburg also has a pedestrian shopping zone (fußgängerzone in German) closed to motor vehicles, except for deliveries. It is located in the city center (Stadtmitte). Several upscale stores have opened in this zone in recent years. There are also several restaurants and cafes. The following streets & alleys are included in this zone: Roßmarkt, Herstallstraße, Steingasse and Sandgasse.

Frohsinnstrasse

This street, located close to the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station), has a variety of different stores.

Culture and recreational

Cultural events

Aschaffenburg hosts numerous festivals, fairs, exhibitions, markets and concerts throughout the year including the annual Stadtfest, held on the last weekend in August.

Theaters and entertainment venues

  • Stadttheater (City Theater)
  • f.a.n. Frankenstolz Arena (formerly Unterfrankenhalle)
  • Stadthalle am Schloss
  • Kabarett im Hofgarten
  • Erthaltheater
  • Ludwigstheater
  • Zimmertheater
  • Colos-Saal, a live-music club featuring concerts by up-and-coming bands, aging legends, local acts and musicians from around the world including the US & UK.

Museums and galleries

  • Stiftsmuseum
  • Naturwissenschaftliches Museum
  • Gentilhaus
  • Städtische Galerie "Kunsthalle Jesuitenkirche"
  • Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg
  • Künstlerhaus Walter Helm

Library

  • Stadtbibliothek Aschaffenburg (Aschaffenburg City Library)

Cinema

  • Kinopolis, a modern multiplex cinema located directly across the street from the City Galerie shopping mall on the Goldbacher Strasse.
  • Casino

Parks

Aschaffenburg has numerous parks including the following:

  • Schönbusch Park, located in the Nilkheim district
  • Schöntal Park, located in the city-center
  • Aschaffenburger Schlossgarten, located at Schloss Johannisburg
  • Kleine Schönbuschallee

Recreational

A large recreational complex is located in the district of Leider. It includes an indoor and outdoor swimming pool complex as well as an indoor ice rink and tennis courts, which are open to the general public. There's also a marina on the Main between the Willigis and Adenauer bridges.

Sports

Football (Soccer)

Viktoria Aschaffenburg is the primary football (soccer) club. The club was formed on June 24, 1904 out of the merger of FC Aschaffenburg (August 6, 1901) and FC Viktoria Aschaffenburg (April 12, 1902). It was re-named Sportverein Viktoria 01 Aschaffenburg on June 3, 1906. Their homefield is Stadion am Schönbusch (Schönbusch stadium), a modern stadium located in the Nilkheim district.

American football

In 1996, the Aschaffenburg Stallions began playing American football at Schönbusch stadium. A cheerleader squad also exists.

Education

There are about 55 various types of schools in Aschaffenburg serving approximately 18,000 students from the city and surrounding region.

Medical

The three primary medical centers in Aschaffenburg are:

  • Klinikum Aschaffenburg, the main hospital
  • Hofgartenklinik
  • Frauenklinik (Women's Clinic) am Ziegelberg

There are approximately 789 hospital beds, 159 doctors, 68 dentists and 38 pharmacies in the districts of Aschaffenburg.

Local and regional media

Printed media

  • Main-Echo, Aschaffenburg-based newspaper published daily except Sunday. This is the main newspaper for Aschaffenburg and the surrounding region. It was first published on 24. November 1945 replacing "Aschaffenburger Zeitung". It has a daily circulation of approximately 200,000 readers.
  • Prima Sonntag, Newspaper published only on Sunday
  • FRIZZ Das Magazin, Culture/scene magazine
  • Brot & Spiele, Culture magazine
  • Szene Magazin

Radio and television

  • Radio Primavera, Frequency in Aschaffenburg 100,4 MHz (internet-streaming available)
  • Radio Galaxy, Frequency in Aschaffenburg 91,6 MHz
  • TV touring, Aschaffenburg programming

Internet

  • Aschaffenburg24.de - Online-News (Aschaffenburg city and regional)
  • www.main.tv - Video-Website for Aschaffenburg (city and regional)
  • Kommweichei.com e.V., The community and party scene in Aschaffenburg
  • MainReporter.de - Portal for Aschaffenburg (city and regional)
  • abscene.de | NEWAGE MAGAZINE
  • ABhörn, Online Magazine
  • Main-netz.de, News and community information for the region

Town twinning

Aschaffenburg is twinned with:

In 2006, Aschaffenburg and Perth celebrated the 50th anniversary of their partnership.

References

External links

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