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Guide to Bach Tour
Eisenach
[L] [F]

Contents

Description | History
J.S. Bach: Connection | Events in Life History | Performance Dates of Vocal Works | Festivals & Cantata Series
Features of Interest | Information & Links | City Guide | The Bach House Eisenach
Photos: Part 1 | Part 2: Bachhaus Outside | Part 3: Bachaus Inside | Part 4: Gerogenkiche | Part 5 | Maps

Description

Eisenach is a city in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated between the northern foothills of the Thuringian Forest and the Hainich National Park.

Country: Germany | State: Thuringia | District: Urban district | Area: 103.84 km˛ | Population: 43,600 (December 2006)

History

The history of Eisenach is linked with the Wartburg Castle, which was built according to legend in 1067. There were at least three settlements below the castle, that merged to a common city in the second half of the 12th century. This town, Eisenach, was first mentioned in 1180.

Several now legendary events took place on the Wartburg in the following decades, best known is the "Singers' Contest on the Wartburg" (Sängerkrieg, which is part of the Tannhäuser legend).

After the Thuringian War of Succession (1247-1264) Eisenach became subject to the Wettin dynasty of Meißen. Later several mini states were established in what is now Thuringia, and Eisenach became a principality on its own in 1521. In 1809 Eisenach became part of the duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

Eisenach was the place where Martin Luther lived as a child, although he was not born there, and later for his receiving protection by Frederick the Wise after having been pursued for his religious views. It was while he was staying at Wartburg Castle that he translated the New Testament into German.

The town is famous as the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach as well.

The Social Democratic Party of Germany was founded in 1869 in Eisenach.

 

Bach Connection

J.S. Bach was born on the 21st March 1685 in Eisenach and grew up here until he was ten. Within nine months he lost first his mother and then his father. As a result of this, his brother Johann Christoph Bach [22] (1671-1721, who was 14 years older, took him to his house in Ohrdruf. Nevertheless, the impressions from his childhood of the little Royal Town, with its 7,000 inhabitants, remained with him. Martin Geck writes in his biography about the composer, that the town unites everything in detail like an "original scene" which later became his purpose in life and which he simply built on productively: The family house which served as the old Town Pipery, the Latin School, rich in tradition, with its school choir in the old Dominican Monastery, the Church of St. George with its organ, the Town Hall with the tower trumpeters, and the nearby Wartburg.

A whole row of the "Bache" settled down in Eisenach too. J.S. Bach's uncle, Johann Christoph Bach [12] (1645-1693), founded a tradition of organists in 1665, which carried on in unbroken succession for 132 years.

Other famous names also made their mark on the musical life of that time: Johann Pachelbel, Daniel Eberlin, Georg Philipp Telemann. Father Johann Ambrosius Bach was in the service of the town as town piper since 1671. During the early years, he lived in the Rittergasse 11, which is today an attractive half-timbered house with a memorial plaque.

Directly opposite is the garden of the Bach House, which has been the official Bach Museum since 1907. The entrance is on the Frauenplan 21, where a Bach memorial made by Adolf von Donndorf in 1884 stands in the middle of the garden (See: Memo-1205). Each year on the 21st of March, the birthday of J.S. Bach is remembered with a ceremony. The Bach House, which originally was taken for the birthplace of J.S. Bach, is a middle class house from the 16th/17th century with historic furniture. Apart from an extensive collection of instruments from the 16th to 19th century it houses today a permanent exhibition on the life and work of J.S. Bach and his relatives and regularly there are invitations to top quality concerts in the Instrument Hall. However, even during the daily museum opening times; every visitor can experience the live sound of historic keyboard instruments.

J.S. Bach was baptised on March 23, 1685 in the Church of St. George on the Market Square. The original Romanic building was reconstructed in the 16th century into a three-aisle hall church: In the vestibule there is a statue of J.S. Bach, which originates from the Berlin sculptor Paul Birr. Every year in spring the town honours J.S. Bach with concerts by well-known artists within the framework of the Thüringer Bachwochen. Not far from here, at the Prediger Square is the old Latin School, where 200 years before J.S. Bach another important man of this town went to school: Martin Luther, whose name is given to the present day Grammar School.

The town became famous thanks to Martin Luther and J.S. Bach. However, in the area of conflict between the Wartburg and the Bach House, other great minds showed their reverence to this idyllic town which lies at the gateway to the Thuringian Forest: In particular Goethe, who is said to have been here about twenty times, but also Richard Wagner: Franz Liszt and last but not least the poet Fritz Reuter, who spent his old age at the foot of the Wartburg.

Events in Life History of J.S. Bach

Date/Year

Event

Prior J.S. Bach’s Birth (1600-1685)

Oct 12, 1671

Successful audition and appointment of Johann Ambrosius Bach (J.S. Bach’s father) as court trumpeter & director of town music in Eisenach

Eisenach & Ohrdruf (1685-1700)

Mar 21, 1685

Birth of Johann Sebastian Bach, 7th and youngest child of Johann Ambrosius Bach and Maria Elisabeth

Mar 23, 1685

Baptism at Georgenkirche, Eisenach’s main church

May 3, 1686

Burial of sister Johanna Juditha

1690-1693

Attends a German school in Eisenach

1692

Enrolment in the Latin School, Eisenach

May 1, 1694

Death of mother (age 50)

Nov 27, 1694

Marriage of father Johann Ambrosius Bach with Barbara Margaretha Bartholomäi, née Keul

Feb 20, 1695

Death of father (age 50); buried Feb 24

 

Performance Dates of J.S. Bach’s Vocal Works: None.

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series

Festival (Link to Website)

Artistic Director

Years

Months

Place

BCW

Thüringer Bachwochen

Christoph Drescher

2005-

Mar-Apr

Thuringia, Germany

BCW

 

Features of Interest

Bachhaus (Bach House): where J.S. Bach was born and grew up until he was 10 years old. See description & photos at: The Bach House Eisenach
Bach Memorial and school
Georgenkirche (St. George Church): where J.S. was baptised.
Lutheran School: which J.S. Bach attended.
Wartburg, Luther House
Preachers’ Church, with exhibition entitled “Medieval Art in Thuringia”
Reuter Villa with the Richard Wagner Collection
Automobile Museum
Nicolaikirche (Church of St. Nicolai)

See detailed description& photos at: City Guide

Information & Links

Bachhaus (Bach House)
Frauenplan 21
D-98817 Eisenach
Tel: +49-3691/79340 / Fax: +49-3691/793424
Website: Bachhaus Eisenach
E-mail: bachaus@t-online.de

Gerogekirche (St. George Church)
Markt
D-98817 Eisenach

Tourism Eisenach GmbH
Eisenach Tourist Information
Markt 2
D-98817 Eisenach
Te: +49-3691-19433, +49 3691-79 23-0 / Fax: +49-3691-7923-20
Website: Eisenach Tourist [German/English]
E-mail: tourist-info@eisenach-tourist.de

Eisenach (Official Website) [German/English]
Eisenach Online [German]
Eisenach/Thüringen (Meinestadt) [German]
Die Wartburg Eisenach [German]
Lutherhaus in Eisenach [German/English]

Bachhaus Eisenach
Eisenach 1685-1695 (Koster)
The J.S. Bach Tourist 2: Eisenach (Koster)
On the Traces of J.S. Bach: Eisenach (Germany Tourism)
On the Traces of J.S. Bach: Eisenach Bach House (Germany Tourism)
Eisenach (Wikipedia) [various languages]
Cityreview: Thüringen > Eisenach [German]
J.S. Bach Biographie: Eisenach 1685-1695 (Schlu) [German]
J.S. Bach Education & Career: Eisenach 1685-1695 (T.A. Smith)
J.S. Bach Biography: Childhood (Carolina Classical)

 

Prepared by Aryeh Oron (October 2003 - December 2009)

Guide to Bach Tour: Main Page | Life History of J.S. Bach | Performance Dates of J.S. Bach’s Vocal Works | Maps | Route Suggestions | Bach Organs | Discussions of Bach Tour
Places: Altenburg | Ammern | Arnstadt | Bad Berka | Berlin | Brandenburg | Bückeburg | Celle | Collmen | Dörna | Dornheim | Dresden | Eisenach | Erfurt | Gehren | Gera | Gotha | Halle | Hamburg | Heiligengrabe | Jena | Karlsbad | Kassel | Kleinzschocher | Köthen | Langewiesen | Leipzig | Lübeck | Lüneburg | Meiningen | Merseburg | Mühlhausen | Naumburg | Ohrdruf | Pomßen | Potsdam | Ronneburg | Sangerhausen | Schleiz | Stöntzsch | Störmthal | Taubach | Wechmar | Weimar | Weißenfels | Weißensee | Wiederau | Zeitz | Zerbst | Zschortau

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Last update: ýDecember 28, 2009 ý15:02:00