Lorch, Hesse


Coat of arms

Coordinates: 50°2′39″N 7°48′12″E / 50.04417°N 7.80333°E / 50.04417; 7.80333Coordinates: 50°2′39″N 7°48′12″E / 50.04417°N 7.80333°E / 50.04417; 7.80333
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Darmstadt
District Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis
  Mayor Günter Retzmann
  Total 54 km2 (21 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 4,056
  Density 75/km2 (190/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 65391
Dialling codes 06726
Vehicle registration RÜD
Website www.stadt-lorch-rheingau.de

Lorch am Rhein is a small town in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany. It belongs to the Rhine Gorge World Heritage Site.



The town is characterized by winegrowing and tourism.


Lorch lies in the southwestern part of the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the foothills of the Rheingaugebirge (range), some 10 km north of the bend in the Rhine near Rüdesheim. The town owes its picturesque setting in the Middle Rhine Valley between Rüdesheim am Rhein and Sankt Goarshausen to its location at the mouth of the Wisper and to its steep vineyards. The town’s municipal area stretches into the richly wooded Wisper valley along Landesstraße (State Road) 3033 between Lorch and the district seat of Bad Schwalbach. The town is a state-recognized recreational resort (Erholungsort). The Rheinsteig, the new hiking trail on the Rhine's right bank leading from Wiesbaden to Bonn, runs on the Rhine heights. In the Rhine near Lorch lies the island and nature conservation area called Lorcher Werth.

Constituent communities

Lorch's Stadtteile, besides the main town, also called Lorch, are Lorchhausen, Espenschied, Ransel, Ranselberg, and Wollmerschied.


The area was settled quite early on, first by the Celts, and then, come the Christian Era, by the Ubii and later the Mattiaci. In the first century, the Romans thrust forth to the Taunus. The Romans were followed by the Alamanni and with the onset of the Migration Period, the Franks.

The town’s oldest documentary mention is a document from 1085 in which Archbishop Wezilo documented a donation from the Mainz Cathedral Canon Embricho to the cathedral chapter of a number of holdings, among them a house and vineyards in Lorch.

In the Middle Ages, Lorch served as the northern bastion of the Archbishopric of Mainz facing toward the Rheingau. Beginning in the twelfth century, Lorch found itself at the southern end of the Rheingauer Gebück, a kind of border defence made out of an impenetrable “hedge” of stunted trees (the word itself comes from the root of the German word bücken, meaning “stoop”, a reference to the trees’ thick, low boughs). This was put in place by the Archbishops of Mainz.

In the thirteenth century, a parish, whose first documentary mention came in 1254, was established in Lorch.

In 1460, 1631, 1794, and in the final phase of the Second World War, there was warfare in Lorch, which sometimes brought considerable destruction.

Twentieth century

On 10 January 1919, the Free State Bottleneck, a provisional statelike entity between occupation zones after the First World War, was proclaimed, with Lorch as the “capital”. Even today, many of the ministate’s coats of arms in the town still recall this time.

In the early 1960s, the Bundeswehr came to town with its Flugabwehrregiment 5 (“Antiaircraft Regiment 5”). A new settlement, the Ranselberg, was built for soldiers and their families. The barracks in the picturesque Wisper Valley represented an important economic factor for the town of Lorch. Many local people found work in the barracks, the attached post administration, the munitions depot, the equipment depot, and the sanitary depot.

In the course of Bundeswehr reform, the barracks were closed in 1993. At the site, the underground Gerätehauptdepot Lorch-Wispertal (“Main Equipment Depot”) and the likewise underground Sanitätshauptdepot Lorch-Rheingau (“Main Sanitary Depot”) remained. In November 2003, the complete abandonment of the Bundeswehr post was announced. The sanitary company was to be withdrawn in early 2008. By 31 December 2007, the Sanitätshauptdepot was to be dissolved, and a year later the Gerätehauptdepot was to disappear. Some 280 civilians would thereby lose their jobs.

Meanwhile, various businesses have set up in the abandoned Bundeswehr facilities, which has offset the job losses due to the military’s pullout to a certain extent.


Lorch’s character is overwhelmingly Catholic, and serving this community is the church St. Martin. Since 1908 the Evangelical parishioners have been gathering in a church room in a house at Oberweg 4. Other religions are barely represented.


Town council

The municipal election, held on 26 March 2006, yielded the following results:

Parties and voter communities %
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany 40.4 8 45.6 9 49.1 11
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany 26.2 5 25.2 5 29.2 7
FWG Free Voters 22.9 4 21.7 4 14.2 3
GREENS Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 10.5 2 7.5 1 7.5 2
Total 100.0 19 100.0 19 100.0 23
Voter turnout in % 54.7 55.0 60.6

Town partnerships

"Adopted wine town":

Culture and sightseeing


Culturally and politically, Lorch is part of the Hessian Rheingau.


The Robert-Struppmann-Museum is the town's local history museum. It houses valuable carvings, documents, sculptures, and sacral objects, among other things a woodcarving of John the Baptist's severed head from the twelfth century and the seated Madonna with Christ Child and grapes from the early fourteenth century. It is open weekend afternoons in spring, summer, and autumn and also serves as a tourist information centre. There are many brochures to be had there for free. Moreover, books about Lorch's history and winegrowing are on sale there.


St. Martin, Lorch

Regular events

Economy and infrastructure


Lorch lies on Bundesstraße 42 (Koblenz–Wiesbaden) and the railway line that roughly parallels it. It is some 40 km to the Autobahn interchange in Wiesbaden where the B 42 meets the A 66 going towards Frankfurt. There is a connection to the Autobahn “cross” at Mainz (A 61/A 60, Cologne/Koblenz/Ludwigshafen) across the Wiesbaden-Schierstein bridge over the Rhine; and by way of the Rhine ferries at Lorch and Kaub to the on-ramps at Laudert and Rheinböllen (about 15 km).

The town is served by regional services on the East Rhine Railway sponsored by the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund.

Moreover, there is the Wiesbaden-Lorchhausen ORN (Omnibusverkehr Rhein-Nahe) busline.

The Rheinsteig, the new hiking trail from Wiesbaden to Bonn by way of the Ehrenbreitstein fort runs on the Rhine heights of Lorch.

After dealings with the Bundesvermögensverwaltung (“Federal Estate Administration”), the town of Lorch managed to build an industrial park with some 20 firms on the lands formerly occupied by the barracks.


Winegrowing in Lorch is run within the Rheingau winegrowing region under the Großlage (roughly “vineyard group” or “appellation”) “Burgweg”. The individual vineyards are Schlossberg (53 ha), Kapellenberg (58 ha), Krone (13 ha), Pfaffenwies (35 ha), and Bodental-Steinberg (23 ha).

The dominant grape variety is Riesling, but Pinot noir has a growing share of the harvest. From the wines, Edelbrände and sekt are also produced.

The grapes grow in hillside vineyards on stony, heat-storing slate- and quartzite-bearing earth. The great expanse of water that is the Rhine accounts for the temperature balance, working as a reflector off which sunlight shines, thereby strengthening it.


Famous people

The town’s noble family named itself “von Lorch”. Their most important representative was Johann Hilchen (1484–1548), knight and Imperial field marshal.

Sons and daughters of the town


Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lorch (Rheingau).
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lorch am Rhein.


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 5/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.