For other uses, see Ansbach (disambiguation).

Coat of arms
Coordinates: 49°18′0″N 10°35′0″E / 49.30000°N 10.58333°E / 49.30000; 10.58333Coordinates: 49°18′0″N 10°35′0″E / 49.30000°N 10.58333°E / 49.30000; 10.58333
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Mittelfranken
District Urban district
  Lord Mayor Carda Seidel (BAP/FWG/ödp)
  Total 99.92 km2 (38.58 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 41,159
  Density 410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 91522
Dialling codes 0981
Vehicle registration AN

Ansbach (/ˈænzbæk/; German pronunciation: [ˈansbax]) is a city in the German state of Bavaria. It is the capital of the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Ansbach is 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Nuremberg and 90 miles (140 km) north of Munich, on the Fränkische Rezat (Rezat River), a tributary of the Main river. In 2004, its population was 40,723.

Developed in the 8th century as a Benedictine monastery, it became the seat of the Hohenzollern family in 1331. In 1460, the Margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach lived here. The city has a castle known as Margrafen–Schloss, built between 1704–1738. It was not badly damaged during the World Wars and hence retains its original historical baroque sheen. Ansbach is now home to a US military base and to the Ansbach University of Applied Sciences.

The city has connections via autobahn A6 and highways B13 and B14. Ansbach station is on the Nürnberg–Crailsheim and Treuchtlingen–Würzburg railways and is the terminus of line S4 of the Nuremberg S-Bahn.

Name origin

Ansbach was originally called Onoltesbach (about 790 AD), a term composed of three parts.

The individual word elements are "Onold" (the city founder's name), the Suffix "-es" (a possessive ending, like "-'s" in English) and the Old High German expression "pah" or "bach" (for brook). The name of the city has slightly changed throughout the centuries into Onoltespah (837 AD), Onoldesbach (1141 AD), Onoldsbach (1230 AD), Onelspach (1338 AD), Onsbach (1508 AD) and finally Ansbach (1732 AD).[2][3]

It was also formerly known as Anspach.[4]


According to folklore, towards the end of the 7th century a group of Franconian peasants and their families went up into the wilderness to found a new settlement. Their leader Onold led them to an area called the "Rezattal" (Rezat valley). This is where they founded the "Urhöfe" (meaning the first farms: Knollenhof, Voggenhof and Rabenhof). Gradually more settlers, such as the "Winden-Tribe" came, and the farms grew into a small village. Many villages around Ansbach were founded by the "Winden" during that period (even today their settlements can easily identified by their names, like "Meinhardswinden", "Dautenwinden" or "Brodswinden" for example). A Benedictine monastery was established there around 748 by the Frankish noble St Gumbertus. The adjoining village of Onoltesbach is first noticed as a proper town in 1221.[5]

The counts of Öttingen ruled over Ansbach until the Hohenzollern burgrave of Nürnberg took over in 1331. The Hohenzollerns made Ansbach the seat of their dynasty until their acquisition of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1415. After the 1440 death of Frederick I, a cadet branch of the family established itself as the margraves of Ansbach. George the Pious introduced the Protestant Reformation to Ansbach in 1528, leading to the secularization of Gumbertus Abbey in 1563.

The Markgrafenschloß was built between 1704–1738.[6] Its gardens continued to be a notable attraction into the 19th century.[7] In 1791, the last margrave sold his realm to the Kingdom of Prussia.[7] In 1796, the Duke of Zweibrücken, Maximilian Joseph — the future Bavarian king Max I Joseph — was exiled to Ansbach after Zweibrücken had been taken by the French. In Ansbach, Maximilian von Montgelas wrote an elaborate concept for the future political organization of Bavaria, which is known as the Ansbacher Mémoire.[8] Napoleon forced Prussia to cede Ansbach and its principality to Bavaria[7] in the Franco-Prussian treaty of alliance signed at Schönbrunn Palace on 15 December 1805 at the end of the Third Coalition. The act was confirmed by the 1815 Congress of Vienna;[7] Prussia was compensated with the Bavarian duchy of Berg. Ansbach became the capital of the circle of Middle Franconia following the unification of Germany; at the time, it had a population of 12,635.[7]

Jewish families were resident in Ansbach from at least the end of the 18th century. They set up a Jewish Cemetery in the Ruglaender Strasse, which was vandalised and razed under the Nazi tyranny. It was repaired in 1946, but it was damaged several times more. A plaque on the wall of the cemetery commemorates these events. The Jewish Congregation built its synagogue at No 3 Rosenbadstrasse, but it too was damaged by the SA, though it was not burnt down for fear of damaging the neighbouring buildings. It serves today as a "Symbolic House of God". A plaque in the entrance serves as a memorial to the synagogue and to Jewish residents who were murdered during the Holocaust.[9] In 1940, at least 500 patients were deported from the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Ansbach [Ansbach Medical and Nursing Clinic] to the extermination facilities Sonnenstein and Hartheim which were disguised as psychiatric institutions, as part of the Action T4 euthanasia action. They were gassed there. At the clinic in Ansbach itself, around 50 intellectually disabled children were injected with the drug Luminal and killed that way. A plaque was erected in their memory in 1988 in the local hospital at No. 38 Feuchtwangerstrasse.[9]

During World War II, a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was located here.[10] Also during the Second World War the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht had bases here. The nearby airbase was the home station for the Stab & I/KG53 (Staff & 1st Group of Kampfgeschwader 53) operating 38 Heinkel He 111 bombers. On 1 September 1939 this unit was one of the many that participated in the attack on Poland that started the war. All of its bridges were destroyed during the course of the war. During the Western Allied invasion of Germany in April 1945, the airfield was seized by the United States Third Army, and used by the USAAF 354th Fighter Group which flew P-47 Thunderbolts from the aerodrome (designated ALG R-82) from late April until the German capitulation on 7 May 1945.[11][12][13] At the end of the war, 19-year-old student Robert Limpert tried to get the town to surrender to the US Forces without a fight. He was betrayed by Hitler Youth and was hung from the portal of the City Hall by the city's military commander, Col. (Oberst) Ernst Meyer. Several memorials to his heroic deed have been erected over the years, despite opposition from some residents — in the Ludwigskirche, in the Gymnasium Carolinum and at No 6 Kronenstrasse.[9] After the Second World War, Ansbach belonged to the American Zone. The American Military authorities established a displaced persons (DP) camp in what used to be a sanatorium in what is today the Strüth quarter.[9]

Bachwoche Ansbach has been held in Ansbach since 1947. Since 1970, Ansbach has enlarged its municipal area by incorporating adjacent communities. Ansbach hosts several units of the U.S. armed forces, associated with German units under NATO. There are five separate U.S. installations: Shipton Kaserne, home to 412th Aviation Support Battalion, Katterbach Kaserne, formally the home of the 1st Infantry Division's 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, which has been replaced by the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade as of 2006, as part of the 1st Infantry Division's return to Fort Riley, Kansas; Bismarck Kaserne, which functions as a satellite post to Katterbach, hosting their Post Theater, barracks, Von Steuben Community Center, Military Police, and other support agencies, Barton Barracks, home to the USAG Ansbach and Bleidorn Barracks, which has a library and housing, and Urlas, which hosts the Post Exchange as well as a housing area opened in 2010. Ansbach was also home to the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division (United States) from 1972 to the early 1990s.[14]

On 24 July 2016 a bomb was detonated in a restaurant in the city, killing at least one person and injuring multiple people. The perpetrator was reported to be a Syrian refugee whose asylum application had been rejected but who had been given exceptional leave to remain until the security situation in Syria returned to a safe condition. Witnesses reported he had tried to enter a nearby music festival but had been turned away, before detonating his device outside a nearby wine bar.[15][16]




Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen climate classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[17]

Climate data for Ansbach
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1
Average low °C (°F) −3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 38
Source: Weatherbase[18]


Around the time of the unification of Germany in 1871, the chief manufactures of Ansbach were woollen, cotton, and half-silk goods; earthenware; tobacco; cutlery; and playing cards. A considerable trade in grain, wool, and flax was also supported.[7] By the onset of the First World War, it also produced machinery, toys, and embroidery.[19]

Today there is a large density of plastics industry in the City and rural districts around Ansbach.[20]

Notable people

Born in Ansbach

Theodor Escherich

International relations

Ansbach is twinned with:

In popular culture

In the novel The Schirmer Inheritance (1953) by Eric Ambler (1909–1998), Sergeant Franz Schirmer of the Ansbach Dragoons is wounded in the battle of Preussisch-Eylau in 1807. He returns to Ansbach to settle but changes his name as he has been posted as a deserter. The bulk of the novel concerns efforts by an American law firm to trace his descendants to claim an inheritance.

See also


  1. "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). June 2016.
  2. Wolf-Armin von Reitzenstein: Lexikon fränkischer Ortsnamen (eng: "Lexicon to franconian toponymy"), Verlag C. H. Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-59131-0. (in German)
  3. Heinz Bischof, Wilhelm Sturmfels: Unsere Ortsnamen. Im ABC erklärt nach Herkunft und Bedeutung (eng: "Names of our towns. A Guide to name origins and significance"), Dümmler Verlag, Rastatt 1961, (in German)
  4. "Anspach-Baireuth" (in German). Retrieved 2016-02-21.
  5. Werner Bürger: Heimatgeschichte der Stadt Ansbach (eng: "The history of Ansbach"), Oldenburg Verlag, Munich 1990, (in German)
  6. Spaltro, Kathleen; et al. (2005). Royals of England: A Guide for Readers, Travelers, and Genealogists. iUniverse. p. 262. ISBN 9780595373123. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 EB (1878).
  8. "Montgelas".
  9. 1 2 3 4 de:Ansbach
  10. Christine O'Keefe. Concentration Camps.
  11. "Factsheets : 354 Operations Group (PACAF)".
  12. "Skylighters, The Web Site of the 225th AAA Searchlight Battalion: USAAF Airfields in the ETO".
  13. "AAF Airfields". Archived from the original on 2009-01-06.
  14. A Summary History of the 1st Armored Division
  15. Tannenberg, Robert (26 July 2016). "Seehofer fordert Überprüfung aller Flüchtlinge" via Welt Online.
  16. "Ansbach explosion: Syrian asylum seeker blows himself up in Germany". BBC News.
  17. "Ansbach, Germany Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)".
  18. "". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on 6 July 2013.
  19. EB (1911).
  20. website of the Ansbach economic forum (in German)
  21. Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ansbach.
Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Ansbach.
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