(orig. Bruohselle, Bruaselle) is a city at the
western edge of the Kraichgau,
approximately 20 km northeast of Karlsruhe in the state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany.
is located on Bertha Benz
is the largest city in the district of Karlsruhe and is known for being Europe's largest asparagus
producer and one of the economic centers of the region of
Karlsruhe. The Bruchsal area also includes the cities
and towns of Bad
Sch├Ânborn, Forst, Hambr├╝cken, Karlsdorf-Neuthard, Kraichtal, Kronau, Oberhausen-Rheinhausen, ├ľstringen, Philippsburg, Ubstadt-Weiher und Wagh├Ąusel. Until 1972 Bruchsal was the seat of the
district of Bruchsal, which was merged into the district of Karlsruhe as a result of the district reform, effective
January 1, 1973.
Bruchsal's population passed the 20,000 mark around 1955. When the
new Body of Municipal Law for Baden-W├╝rttemberg went into effect on
April 1, 1956, the city was therefore immediately awarded Gro├če
Kreisstadt status. In addition, Bruchsal cooperates with the
neighboring communities of Forst, Hambr├╝cken and Karlsdorf-Neuthard in administrative matters.
is located at the edge of the Upper Rhine River Plains and the Kraichgau along
the Saalbach, which is a small tributary of the Rhine that joins
it between Philippsburg and Oberhausen.
The following cities and towns share a border with Bruchsal.
belong to the district of Karlsruhe and are listed clockwise,
starting in the North: Forst , Ubstadt-Weiher, Kraichtal, Bretten, Gondelsheim, Walzbachtal, Weingarten , Stutensee and Karlsdorf-Neuthard. In addition the incontiguous land North of
Karlsdorf-Neuthard, that is part of the City of Bruchsal, shares
borders with the towns of Graben-Neudorf, Wagh├Ąusel und Hambr├╝cken.
The city of Bruchsal is made up of Bruchsal proper along with the
boroughs of B├╝chenau, Heidelsheim, Helmsheim, Obergrombach and
A few neighborhoods within the city limits are known by their own
name, but their limits are not precisely documented. Furthermore,
former homesteads are located inside today's city limits. These
often only consist of one or several buildings, such as Langental,
Rohrbacher Hof, Scheckenbronnerhof, Staighof, Talm├╝hle and Auf dem
Michaelsberg in the borough of Untergrombach.
Ancient era and early Middle Ages
Excavations and artifacts provide evidence of a settlement on the
Michelsberg (Untergrombach) as early as 4000 BC
during the Neolithic
. In the core of Bruchsal the oldest
settlement discovered was dated back to 640 AD. It is located near
the present Peterskirche. The first mention of Bruchsal in official
documents occurred in 976 when the King came to town. During
October of the year 980, Otto II
and his Court stayed at
the King's palace in Bruchsal for several days.
of Bruchsal in 1002 following the subjugation of his rival Herrmann of Swabia
. In 1056
the settlement to the bishop of
as a gift. The city remained part the diocese until the
It also was the seat of an administrative district that originally
only consisted of the core of Bruchsal (i.e., the city as it
existed prior to the various district reforms). In 1067 Henry IV
resided in Bruchsal
from time to time. 1248 was the first time Bruchsal was referred to
as a city, and in 1278 St. Peter's Church is mentioned for the
first time. After extensive damage to both, the Palace and the
Peterskirch were reconstructed in 1320. The Bergfried (an outlook
and defensive tower bastion) was erected in 1358, and the city wall
was completed in 1452. In 1460 the first coin was minted in
1501 - 1750
In 1502 the first peasant revolt (Bundschuh
), led by Jo├č Fritz of
Untergrombach, chose Bruchsal as its target. Traitors to the
rebellion allowed the authorities to take the revolt's leaders into
custody. Ten were decapitated in the Bruchsal Palace courtyard.
got away and went into hiding in the Southern Black Forest.
In 1525 the peasant revolts peaked.
Inflation, hunger and the Plague
to the desperation, and the revolts were forcibly put down by the
Prince. The known peasant leaders Hall, Wurm and the Minister
Eisenhut were captured and decapitated in the Palace courtyard.
During the 30 Years War
Bruchsal was completely destroyed, and in 1644 the French garrison
in Philippsburg raided the city. In 1676 the French again destroyed
parts of Bruchsal, and on August 10, 1689 the city was bombarded by
the French general Duras and was completely destroyed. After that
Bruchsal counted only 130 residents.
24, 1711 Bruchsal had recovered sufficiently to play host to
Prince Eugene of Savoy of the
Habsburg Court in Vienna.
in 1716 the Bishop of Speyer, Heinrich von Rollingen, moved his
residence into the Bruchsal Palace. This move elevated the city's
status to that of an official residence of the Diocese of Speyer
. At the same time,
Bruchsal became the seat of the "Vizedomamt", the most important
office held by the Diocese on the West bank of the Rhine. In 1719
Cardinal Damian Hugo
became the new Bishop, and after settling in he
commissioned in (1722), among others, the new baroque
ch├óteau and the new Peter's Church (from
1742). Both were built and, in part, designed by Balthasar Neumann
. In the Bishop's honor,
the Southern gate out of the ch├óteau grounds is referred to as
Damian's Gate to this day. In 1743 Franz Christof von Hutten,
Sch├Ânborn's successor, completed the extensive construction of the
baroque city of Bruchsal, by adding Damian's Gate, the military
barracks (today home to the International University in
) and the Water Ch├óteau (home to one of the city's two
regional, college track high schools, the Sch├Ânborn
1751 - 1815
In 1753 the Sch├Ânborn Gymnasium was founded by Bishop von Hutten.
In 1770 the new Bishop, Count August von Limburg-Stirum
entered into office. Bruchsal now counted 6,000 residents. In 1796
French troops occupied the city. German Mediatisation turned all
property owned by the Diocese of Speyer over to the House of
, and Bruchsal became the seat of the
district court. The district then was divided and reunited several
times through 1819.
In 1806 the Marquess Amalie of Baden, widowed since 1801, took up
residence in Bruchsal's baroque ch├óteau and lived there until 1823.
She had 8 children of whom 6 were daughters, and she was known as
Europe's mother-in-law. Amalie's son, the later Grand Duke Karl
, was married to
, a niece of Napoleon
's wife Josephine
per orders given by
Napoleon himself. In 1812 Stephanie gave birth to a son, who died
after 14 days. This was the origin of the legend of Kaspar Hauser
's nobility. Amalie's daughter
Louise was married to Alexander I
and became the Russian Tsarina
wed Gustaf IV Adolf
to become Queen of
Sweden (though she asked for and received asylum in Bruchsal after
1807 due to the Coup d'Etat
husband's government). Amalie's daughter Maria was married to the
Duke of Braunschweig, and two other daughters were married to the
regents of Bavaria and of Hessen-Darmstadt.
In 1815, after Napoleon's reign was over, Bruchsal and Amalie
entertained the following company in the baroque ch├óteau at
Bruchsal until the dust settled: The Russian Tsar
, the King of Prussia
, as well as
his son, the later Emperor
1816 - 1880
the railway was completed between
Heidelberg, Bruchsal, and Karlsruhe.
In 1848/1849 the Baden Revolution
did manage to stray into
Bruchsal a bit. While the revolutionaries (Gustav Struve
, Lorenz Brentano, Amand Goegg
and others) met in the ch├óteau, the burgers freed prisoners from
the just-completed prison. This prison, the Old Palace, played host
to executions well through World War II
and even later. On June 23, 1849, the revolution was quelled by
Crownprince Wilhelm at the battle of Ubstadt. 1856 brought gas lighting
to Bruchsal, and the city received
. In 1864 the district
of Philippsburg was merged into the Bruchsal district, which now
belonged to the newly formed "Larger District Karlsruhe." On June
1, 1869 the first German railway
factory, Schnabel-Henning, was founded in Bruchsal.
Later it was merged into Siemens AG
the Franco-Prussian War
and 1871 made Bruchsal an important rail
for the provisioning of German troops.
1881 - 1945
In 1881 a Jewish synagogue
was built. The Industrial Revolution
growth, mostly with the help of the railway and the area's tobacco
production. 1889 gave residents in Bruchsal their first telephones
, and in 1906 the Prince-Styrum Hospital
was built. The city's slaughterhouse
opened in 1908, and
World War I
again turned Bruchsal into a
major hub on the supply line for the troops. Immediately after the
war, in 1919 and 1920 the city was wired for electricity
. When the Nazis came to power in
1933 the city's residents took it quietly. In 1934 the Autobahn was built between Heidelberg and Bruchsal, and in 1936 the Bretten district was merged into the Bruchsal
In 1938 the Nazis destroyed the synagogue (in its
place stands a fire station today), and the Jewish part of the
population was deported. In 1939 the District Bruchsal became the
district of Bruchsal, which included 38 towns and cities until it was
merged into Karlsruhe (district) during the district reform of
In the afternoon of March 1, 1945, Bruchsal was bombed
by the Allies. At the time of the attack, the war was essentially
over, with the front lines only 20 km from the city limits and
nearly no one left to defend it. To this day, that particular
attack upsets residents as the consensus is that it had been staged
even though unnecessary and inconsequential to the outcome of the
war. In addition to the 1,000 lives that perished that day, the
entire inner city and the baroque ch├óteau were destroyed. On April
2, 1945, allied forces took Bruchsal without resistance.
1946 - present
Effective April 1, 1956 Bruchsal was awarded Gro├če Kreisstadt
status, as its population had passed the 20,000 mark in 1955.
Between 1971 and 1974 the district reform merged 5 neighboring
communities into the city of Bruchsal, including the cities of
Heidelsheim and Obergrombach. The district reform in 1973 also effected
the merge of the district of Bruchsal into Karlsruhe
As a result, Bruchsal lost district seat
status, though it still remains a major economic center of the
During the district reform in the early 1970s the following cities
and towns became part of the City of Bruchsal. Before the district
reform these all were part of Bruchsal .
- July 1, 1971: Obergrombach and Untergrombach
- July 1, 1972: B├╝chenau and Helmsheim
- October 1, 1974: Heidelsheim
Figures reflect the city limits at the time and are estimates or
Census data (┬╣), or official extensions thereof, counting only
|December 1, 1871
|December 1, 1880 ┬╣
|December 1, 1890 ┬╣
|December 1, 1900 ┬╣
|December 1, 1910 ┬╣
|October 8, 1919 ┬╣
|June 16, 1925 ┬╣
|June 16, 1933 ┬╣
|May 17, 1939 ┬╣
|December, 1945 ┬╣
|September 13, 1950 ┬╣
|June 6, 1961 ┬╣
|May 27, 1970 ┬╣
|December 31, 1975
|December 31, 1980
|May 27, 1987 ┬╣
|December 31, 1990
|December 31, 1995
|December 31, 2000
|March 31, 2004
┬╣ Census data
connection with the district reform in the 1970s the municipal laws
of Baden-W├╝rttemberg were amended to introduce borough councils.
Residents of each borough elect their Borough Council at each
municipal election. The Borough Council must be consulted on issues
that significantly affect the respective borough. The Borough
President also leads the Borough Council.
Since the last municipal elections on June 13, 2004, the City
Council of Bruchsal consists of 39 members whose official title is
"Stadtrat" (City Advisor). They belong to political parties as
The head of the city is the Mayor, who is elected by registered
voters for a term of 8 years. His permanent Deputy is the City
Mayors since 1900
- 1898 - 1913: Karl Stritt
- 1913 - 1933: Dr. Karl Meister
- 1945 - 1963: Franz Bl├Ąsi
- 1964 - 1985: Adolf
- 1985 - 2009: Bernd Doll
- 2009 - present: Cornelia Petzold-Schick
Coat of arms
Bruchsal's Coat of Arms features a
solid, polished silver cross on blue background, with a silver ball
in the top left quadrant. The official city colors are white and
blue. The Coat of Arms symbolized the Cross of Speyer, referring to
the fact that Bruchsal was the official residence of the Bishop
until 1803, and has been in use for many centuries. There is some
uncertainty as to how the ball came into the picture. It is
possible that the ball became part of the Coat of Arms by accident,
in that an engraving fault may have been misinterpreted in an older
print. Residents refer to it commonly as the Taint ("Schandfleck")
of the city.
The Ch├óteau of Bruchsal was built in
the baroque style of the mid 18th century
starting around 1720 and served as the official residence of the
bishops of Speyer. Its center
was a three-winged building that was based on the plans of Maximilian von Welsch. After the plans
had been modified several times, the central staircase was built by
Balthasar Neumann, who had taken
over and filled the role of Chief Engineer since 1731. It is
generally regarded as one of the most successful design solutions
for a baroque staircase. The Ch├óteau complex includes numerous
other buildings, among them Damian's Gate and the Church of the
Court. In the waning days of World War
II the Ch├óteau was badly damaged as a result of the aerial
bombings aimed at Bruchsal, and it burned out completely. The
famous staircase largely survived (though it was badly damaged),
but the dome did not.
After lengthy discussions about whether and how it should be done,
the large central part of the building (Corps de Logis) was reconstructed (well into
the 1970s) as a museum, while the Church wing design was changed to
a modern design.
The Belvedere was originally
designed as a Manor for fun and games, to which a shooting house
was added for use in the shooting competitions often held by the
Court. As time went by, the Manor was nicknamed Belvedere
by the city's residents, as it enjoyed the best view of the city.
The Belvedere is part of the City Gardens.
The most significant church in Bruchsal is St. Peter's Church,
where the last of the Bishops of Speyer were laid to rest. Another
important church structure is the City Church of Our Dear Lady and
the Martin-Luther-Church (the main Protestant church of the city).
City Hall adjacent to the Market Place is a modern building erected
in the 1950s which has since been protected by law as an important
The prison, constructed ca. 1848, is nicknamed the Cafe with Eight
Corners or "Cafe Achteck". Today it is a high security institution
and serves predominantly as residence to individuals convicted of
violent crimes and convicted terrorists, such as members of the
Red Army Faction.
The State Museum of Baden operates a branch in parts of the Ch├óteau
at Bruchsal. It features an art-historic collection and the German
Music Box Museum.
Additionally, the boroughs of Heidelsheim and Untergrombach each
maintain a museum of local history, and a Kindergartenmuseum
displays items showing the history and development of preschools
and includes games, dolls, and preschool furnishings. Inside
Damian's Gate at the southern exit of the ch├óteau grounds, the
local art society (Kunstverein Bruchsal e. V.) exhibits
The City Gardens near the Belvedere were constructed in
1901. Then there is the B├╝rgerpark around the Community Center and,
last but not least, the Ch├óteau Gardens, the largest park in the
city. Its upper gardens were constructed at the same time the
ch├óteau was built, starting around 1721, while the middle and lower
gardens were never completely finished. The railway to Heidelberg
cuts through the lower gardens today and reduced them to a
The Badische Landesb├╝hne theater company calls Bruchsal home, its
home theater being the stage in the Community Center (built on the
grounds of the former Psycha, which is today the B├╝rgerpark and
intended to be Bruchsal's cultural center).
Bruchsal also supports an amateur theater company called Die
Koralle. Die Koralle has produced between two and four plays a
year, both modern and of the classics, since approximately
Willi - die B├╝hne organizes independent arts events from time to
time at the city slaughterhouse.
Although Bruchsal is a fairly small city it has a very active night
Bruchsal is located near the
Autobahn A 5
(Karlsruhe - Frankfurt) (Bruchsal Exit). In addition, the city is traversed by
federal highways B
3 (Karlsruhe - Heidelberg) and B
35 (Bretten - Germersheim).
Bruchsal's train station is
located at the intersection of the Karlsruhe - Heidelberg Line and
the M├╝hlacker - Germersheim line.
Light rail or "S-Bahn" Lines
S 3 (Karlsruhe - Heidelberg - Speyer) and
S 4 (Bruchsal - Heidelberg - Speyer) of the
S-Bahn RheinNeckar, and the
S 31 (Karlsruhe - Bruchsal - Odenheim), S 32 (Karlsruhe -
Bruchsal - Menzingen) and S 9 (Bruchsal - Bretten - Knittlingen - M├╝hlacker) lines of the Stadtbahn Karlsruhe in the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbunds (KVV)
also stop at the Bruchsal train station. Furthermore, most of the
boroughs have stops along these light rail lines.
Additional public transportation
within the city and its immediate surroundings (├ľPNV) is offered by numerous bus lines.
The Badischen Neuesten Nachrichten (BNN), a daily newspaper
operating out of Karlsruhe, publishes a local edition by the name
of Bruchsaler Rundschau.
Willi, a monthly magazine, is published and is also
available online, at no charge, in .pdf form.
Stadtinfoplattform Bruchsal-XL offers facts,
reports and up-to-date information on events in the city and
Cable TV's Channel S14 broadcasts the Bruchsal-Magazin
BM-TV with weekly programs on news from Bruchsal and the
region. These broadcasts are also available via live Internet-TV
through the Stadtinfoplattform Bruchsal-XL.de site. Also available
are online archives.
Finally, the Bruchsaler Wochenblatt, a weekly offered free
of charge, and the Kurier, an advertising weekly published by the
Badischen Neuesten Nachrichten and also offered free of charge,
round out the picture.
Bruchsal is the home of the International University in
Germany, one of the first private colleges in Germany. The
university occupies the former military barracks complex in the
also offers a wide variety of liberal arts schools, among them the
Justus-Knecht-Gymnasium, the Sch├Ânborn-Gymnasium (both public
college-track high schools), the St. Paulusheim gymnasium, a private college-track high school that
started out as a boys-only boarding school, and the
Albert-Schweitzer-Realschule, a non-college track public high
school (all in the core of Bruchsal).
The school system also operates the following grammar and middle
schools: Burg School in the borough of Obergrombach,
Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-School, Johann-Peter-Hebel-School (near the
Ch├óteau Gardens), Joss-Fritz-School in Untergrombach,
Konrad-Adenauer-School in the southern core of the city and Stirum
School in the centrum, as well as an independent grammar school
each in the boroughs of B├╝chenau and Helmsheim.
Specialized schools are offered as well: Pestalozzi School for the
learning disabled and, administered by the district of Karlsruhe,
Karl-Berberich-School for the mentally disabled. The district also
runs the four vocational schools located in Bruchsal. They are the
Balthasar-Neumann-School I, Balthasar-Neumann-School II (teaching
artisan, mechanics and other hands-on occupations), the merchant
and bookkeeping school (teaching administrative and merchant
professions) and K├Ąthe-Kollwitz-School (teaching professions in the
field of home economics).
The Abendrealschule Bruchsal allows students with middle school
diplomas to achieve the first in a series of steps to gain college
entrance prerequisites on a part-time basis after work. It is part
of a structured program commonly referred to as the Alternate Path to Higher Education.
Furthermore, three private schools, the nursing school attached to
the F├╝rst-Stirum-Klinik Bruchsal and the College for Special
Education of St. Maria complete Bruchsal's educational
- 1470 (approx.) in Untergrombach, Jo├č Fritz, leader during the
peasant revolts, died after 1524
Hugo Tr├Ândle, artist, died 1955 in
Leo Kahn, artist, died 1983 in Safed, Israel
Wilhelm Sauter, painter (paintings
and drawings), died 1948 in G├Âppingen
Emil Belzner, writer, died 1979 in
- 1923 Alexander Br├Ąndle,
author of children's books, died in Bruchsal
- 1938 in Untergrombach, Franz Alt,
journalist and author
- 1949 Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Red
Army Faction member
- 1971 Thomas Hellriegel,
- 1974 Anke Huber, tennis player
Twin towns ÔÇö Sister cities
Bruchsal is sister city to the
Much of the content of this article comes from the equivalent
German-language wikipedia article (retrieved January 28, 2006) and
its sub-article on the History of Bruchsal. The following
references are cited by that German-language article:
- Badisches St├Ądtebuch; Vol. IV Part 2 of the Deutsches
St├Ądtebuch. Handbuch st├Ądtischer Geschichte - Im Auftrage der
Arbeitsgemeinschaft der historischen Kommissionen und mit
Unterst├╝tzung des Deutschen St├Ądtetages, des Deutschen St├Ądtebundes
und des Deutschen Gemeindetages, published by Erich Keyser,
- Anton Heuchemer: Zeit der Drangsal. Die
katholischen Pfarreien Bruchsals im Dritten Reich.
Ver├Âffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission der Stadt Bruchsal.
Bruchsam, Publisher K.W. D├Ârr, 1990.
- Hubert Krins et al.: Br├╝cke, M├╝hle und Fabrik. Technische
Kulturdenkmale in Ba-W├╝. Theiss, Stuttgart. Vol. 2
Industriearch├Ąologie. Publisher Landesmuseum f Technik u Arbeit,
Mannheim. 1991. ISBN 3-8062-0841-7 . S. 33 zum Schlachthof, Tafel
12. Ein Denkmal f├╝r Backstein-Industriearchtiektur.