Schlitz is a small town in the Vogelsbergkreis in eastern Hesse, Germany.
The town of Schlitz lies at the outlet of the small river Schlitz on the Fulda
Schlitz borders in the north on the communities of Breitenbach
(both in Hersfeld-Rotenburg
), in the east on the communities of Haunetal
(Hersfeld-Rotenburg) and Burghaun
and the town of Hünfeld
(both in Fulda
district), in the southeast on the city of Fulda
(Fulda district), in the south on the communities of Großenlüder
and Bad Salzschlirf
(both in Fulda district), in the southwest on the community of Wartenberg
, and in the west on the town of Lauterbach
Schlitz is divided into the following communities: Bernshausen, Fraurombach, Hartershausen, Hemmen, Hutzdorf, Nieder-Stoll, Ober-Wegfurth, Pfordt, Queck, Rimbach, Sandlofs, Schlitz, Üllershausen, Ützhausen, Unter-Schwarz, Unter-Wegfurth and Willofs.
The name Schlitz had its first documentary mention in 812. For the town's five castles
, Schlitz is known throughout Hesse and is therefore also called the Romantische Burgenstadt Schlitz
– the Romantic Castle Town of Schlitz.
One peculiarity about the town is its so-called Burgenring, or Castle Ring, with the town built on a hill with its accumulated castles, towers, lords' houses, the town church and many half-timbered houses presenting a well preserved, compact, historic Old Town. For the Castle Ring's splendour and the town's outstanding location, Schlitz was sometimes called in earlier times the "Hessian Rothenburg ob der Tauber"
The Lords of Schlitz had built up their mastery in an autonomous fief from the Fulda Abbey. As of 1404 they were calling themselves Schlitz von Görtz (in documents also Gurz or Görz). After the Reformation came in 1563, and as a result of the Thirty Years' War, however, they broke away from Fulda. In 1677, they became Imperial Barons and, in 1726, Imperial Counts. In 1806, the area passed to Hesse-Darmstadt.
Schlitz was granted town rights in the early 15th century.
Since 1951, the Fluß-Station Schlitz ("Schlitz River Station") has been in Schlitz. This working group from the Max Planck Institute for Limnology is researching the ecology of the river Breitenbach in the neighbouring Breitecke Nature Preserve, making the Breitenbach, through many studies and publications, one of the world's best researched and documented streams. In 2006, this research station, with the current scientific leader's retirement, is to be closed by the Max Planck Society.
Coat of arms
Schlitz's civic coat of arms might heraldically be described thus: In argent a fess sable, within, an inescutcheon, in argent bendlets sinister embattled three points each sable.
The oldest town seal dates only from the 17th century. The current arms were conferred in 1919. The embattled bendlets in the inescutcheon stand for the town's castles.
Schlitz can be reached by long-distance travel by Autobahn A 7
(Hünfeld/Schlitz interchange). Nearby lie the towns of Fulda
Schlitz is home to the Hessische Akademie für musisch-kulturelle Bildung GmbH
("Hessian Academy for Artistic-Cultural Education, Limited"), the state music
academy, at Schloss Hallenburg.
- Schlitzerländer Trachtenfest ("Schlitz-Land Costume Festival"), takes place in odd-numbered years on the second weekend in July.
Sons and daughters of the town
The fictional town of Schewenborn, where the plot of the 1983 novel The Last Children of Schewenborn
(Die letzten Kinder von Schewenborn) takes place (depicting life in Germany in the aftermath of a nuclear war
) is modeled on Schlitz, as specifically stated by the writer Gudrun Pausewang
, herself an inhabitant of the town.