Bechtheim is an
Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a
Verbandsgemeinde, a kind
of collective municipality found only in this state – in the
Alzey-Worms district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
to the Verbandsgemeinde of
Westhofen, whose seat is in the like-named municipality.
nobleman Bero supposedly took
his lordly seat here in the 6th century and founded “Beroheim”
means “home”), out of which developed Bechtheim.
Saint Lambert’s Basilica was founded
in the 8th century by the Cathedral Foundation of Liège, in whose ownership the municipality found itself
Bechtheim had its first documentary mention in a document from
In the Lorsch
the place was named in 1070. First the Lords of
Bolanden and thereafter, as of 1267, the Counts of
Leiningen held ownership rights to Bechtheim.
latter nobles pledged their holding several times. In 1700, the
introduced into Bechtheim, whereby Protestant
churches could also be used by
, although this spawned
quarrels between the two denominations. In 1722, Bechtheim was
granted market rights.
In 1934, a
“wine partnership” was concluded with Erfurt.
through the association Heimattreue Erfurter (“Erfurters
Loyal to the Homeland” – made up of those from Erfurt living in
Germany), contacts with Bechtheim were newly forged.
In particular, the Martinsfest
on 10 and 11 November was
from then on jointly held in Bechtheim. After German reunification
in 1990, the City
of Erfurt also officially resumed the partnership.
area toponym Pilgerpfad (“Pilgrims’ Path”) was first
documented in 1392 as an dem bilgerim phade, and recalls a
north-south route (from Bingen to Speyer) of Saint James’s
The council is made up of 16 council members elected by proportional representation
the honorary mayor as chairwoman. The municipal election held on 7
June 2009 yielded the following results:
- 1984 - 2009 Ortsbürgermeister Wolfgang Thomas
- 2009 - present Ortsbürgermeisterin Jutta Schick
Coat of arms
The municipality’s arms
described thus: Azure a bear rampant argent armed, langued and
gorged gules, in his paws a staff Or held palewise.
Bechtheim’s oldest seal from about 1500 already shows the same
as today’s arms do, and as
all others since this earliest known one have done, although the
composition has not always been the same. For instance, in the late
19th century, the arms were Argent a bear rampant sable armed and
langued gules (that is, a black bear on a silver background with
red tongue and claws, and without the collar and the staff). Over
the years, the bear gained a cherry in its mouth, now missing, and
also the collar and the staff. It is possible that the bear is
for an older form of the
municipality’s name, Berchtheim
(“Bear” is Bär
, pronounced like the first
three sounds in the older name). The arms in their current form
were conferred in 1958.
Economy and infrastructure
Bechtheim is characterized to a considerable extent by winegrowing
, with 654 ha of vineyards under
cultivation, 70.2% with white wine
varieties and 29.8% with red
. After Worms (1 490 ha), Nierstein (783 ha), Alzey
(769 ha), Westhofen (764 ha) and Alsheim
(704 ha), Bechtheim is Rhenish Hesse’s sixth biggest winegrowing municipality, and one of
the biggest in Rhineland-Palatinate.
There was once the railway
Osthofen and Gau Odernheim.
- Johannes Sommer: Bechtheim - St. Lambertus. Königstein
i. Ts. 1980, ISBN 978-3-7845-0202-1
- S. Thiebes: Jakobspilger S: 11 ff mit urkundlichen
Belegen zu 1392
- Der Landeswahlleiter Rheinland-Pfalz: Kommunalwahl
2009, Stadt- und Gemeinderatswahlen
- Description and explanation of Bechtheim’s arms