Arnstadt, city (1994 pop. 27,470), Thuringia, E Germany, on the Gera River. Known for its glove-manufacturing industries, Arnstadt also has glassworks, wood-finishing works, and foundries. Fluorspar and manganese are mined nearby. Arnstadt passed to the counts of Schwarzburg in the 14th cent. and later was the capital of the principality of Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen. Noteworthy buildings include the 13th-century Church of Our Lady and an 18th-century palace. J. S. Bach was organist (1703-5, 1706-7) at the Church of St. Boniface there.

Arnstadt is a town in Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany, situated on the Gera River. It is one of the oldest towns in Thuringia and is nicknamed Das Tor zum Thüringer Wald, The Gate to the Thuringian Forest.

Modern Arnstadt has a population of approximately 25,000. It is a manufacturing center, with glassworks and foundaries, as well as glove-manufacturing and wood-finishing businesses. Manganese is one of the ores mined in the vicinity.


In the 14th century Arnstadt was ruled by the counts of Schwarzburg and later became a capital of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen.

The composer Johann Sebastian Bach, whose family lived for generations in the vicinity of Arnstadt, began his musical career in the city. Most Bach scholars believe his well-known "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" was written here between 1703 and 1709.

Main sights

Arnstadt has a beautifully kept Old City, restricted to pedestrian traffic. Some of its noteworthy buildings include the 13th-century Church of Our Lady and an 18th-century palace.


In the arts

  • In literature Arnstadt is (hypothetically) one of the closest towns to the fictional displaced town of West Virginia and is featured in various deep back ground stories published in The Grantville Gazettes e-publications.


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