Niederwalluf’s center

Coat of arms

Coordinates: 50°03′N 08°09′E / 50.050°N 8.150°E / 50.050; 8.150Coordinates: 50°03′N 08°09′E / 50.050°N 8.150°E / 50.050; 8.150
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Darmstadt
District Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis
  Mayor Manfred Kohl
  Total 6.74 km2 (2.60 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 5,493
  Density 810/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 65396
Dialling codes 06123
Vehicle registration RÜD
Website www.walluf.de

Walluf is a community in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany. With 5,581 residents in its 6.74 square kilometer area, it is the most densely populated community in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis.[2]



Walluf, also known as Pforte des Rheingaus (“Gateway to the Rheingau”), lies on the southern slope of the Taunus Mountains and on the north bank of the Rhine River. Walluf is the Rheingau’s easternmost community. It is made up of the two formerly independent communities of Niederwalluf and Oberwalluf.

Walluf lies in the valley of a creek also named the Walluf (German Wallufbach). The 13.7-kilometer (8.5 mi) creek rises in the foothills of the Taunus southwest of Schlangenbad-Bärstadt. It flows past Eltville-Martinsthal and the Walluf district of Oberwalluf, flowing into the Rhine at Niederwalluf.

Neighbouring communities

Walluf borders in the north and east on the boroughs of Schierstein and Frauenstein of the district-free city of Wiesbaden and in the west on the town of Eltville. In the south, the Rhine forms the boundary with the community of Budenheim (Mainz-Bingen in Rhineland-Palatinate).


Old Town Hall in Oberwalluf

Walluf was formed on October 1, 1971 through the voluntary merger of the former municipalities Niederwalluf and Oberwalluf. Through this merger, Walluf was able to preserve its independence even through the territorial reform of January 1, 1977.

In 1932, the remains of a characteristic Ottonian tower castle were excavated in the immediate vicinity of the so-called Johannisfeld below the ruins of the Johanniskirchen. Researchers noted the remains of Celtic, Roman and Carolingian residences and a palace. Pot shards indicated settlement dating back to the La Tène period (about 400 BC).[3]

The first documented use of the town’s name, as Waltaffa, was in about 770. Winemaking has been documented at Walluf since that time (according to a document dating from 779), making it the Rheingau’s oldest winegrowing community. The name Waldaffa or Waldaffen was used until the 13th century. The name is of Germanic origin at means “forest water,” referring to the Wallufsbach creek. In the Middle Ages, this creek formed the boundary between the Rheingau and the Königssondergau to the east. Walluf lay along an old thoroughfare that led from Mainz, across a ford of the Rhine, up into the Limburg Basin.

Near Walluf was also once found the easternmost entrance through the Rheingauer Gebück, an impenetrable 50 to 100 meter-wide “hedge” of stunted trees which formed a kind of border defense to protect against attacks from the north. The name comes from the German word bücken, meaning “to stoop,” a reference to the trees’ thick, low boughs. The Gebück, which extended as far as Lorch, was put in place by the Archbishopric of Mainz, which controlled the Rheingau. It also gave Walluf its nickname Pforte des Rheingaus (“Gateway to the Rheingau”). The village entrance, facing the Johannis fountain (Johannisbrunnen), was fortified with a great bulwark, which from its shape was known as the Backofen – “the Oven”.

In the early Middle Ages, present-day Walluf was politically divided. Only the western part of the community near the present parish church belonged from the beginning to the Rheingau, under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz. The larger district was originally east of the Wallufbach and did not belong to the Rheingau, but to Königssondergau. It eventually became the property of the Count of Lindau. After the construction of the Gebück, the residents gradually withdrew behind its protection on the west side of the Wallufbach.[3]

Another self-contained settlement arose above the riverside community of Walluf and was named Oberwalluf. The original community on the Rhine was thereafter known as Niederwalluf. Oberwalluf is first mentioned in documents from the 11th century as a branch of the Eltville parish. The town hall of the formerly independent community still remains at the market square. It was first built 1412 and rebuilt in 1616. On its front is the coat of arms of Oberwalluf – the Wheel of Mainz to the left and to the right a key.[3]

The first mention of a church or chapel in Niederwalluf dates to the time of the Archbishop of Mainz Willigis (975-1011). The original Church of St. John (German Johanniskirche) was built around the year 1000, but now only ruins of it remain. There may have already been a church or baptistery as early as 744, because tradition names it as the place of the baptism that year of the later Benedictine monk Gerhardus, who was given the name “Fidelis.”[4]

On December 15, 1988, Walluf was the scene of a gas explosion, apparently caused by a switching error. The accident killed two people and forced the evacuation of 200 others.

Infrastructure and economy


Walluf lies on the East Rhine railway (Rechte Rheinstrecke) running between Koblenz and Wiesbaden. At Niederwalluf railway station, Regionalbahn trains from the DB Regio AG stop.

Likewise running along the Rhine’s right (east) bank is Bundesstraße 42, which merges into Autobahn 66 just past the community’s eastern limits. From Bundesstraße 42, Bundesstraße 260 branches into the Taunus.

A foot passenger and bicycle ferry operates across the Rhine between Walluf and the Budenheim quay.



Several companies in various fields (such as the chemical industry, construction, nurseries, and wine estates) have their headquarters in Walluf. The town administration also desires to expand the industrial park with additional environmentally friendly establishments. For the tourism sector, attractions include the marina (with a base of the German Sailing Association), large stables, a riding hall, a tennis hall, and a sports park in the industrial area.

In the industrial area "Im Grohenstück/In der Rehbach” are trucking companies, as well as establishments producing construction machinery and packaging equipment. There are also various service providers, such as the Customer Service of Siemens Elektrogeräte GmbH, HSGM Heißschneidegeräte und Maschinen GmbH, ASCAD Anwendersoftware GmbH, and ISI Automation GmbH. On the link road "Am Klingenweg" is the so-called press house in which several publishers have their headquarters, and the new building of ENGEL GmbH with its production of small electric motors, precision rotating parts, and electrical systems.[5]


Wine tasting stands Rhine River bank

Walluf is, like all communities in the Rheingau, a winemaking community with many Straußwirtschaften and estate taverns. Vineyards in Walluf include:[5]

Mainly Riesling grapes are grown, but there are also Pinot noir, Pinot blanc, and other grape varieties. Walluf wines are of outstanding quality, but are overshadowed by the much more widely known wines from the neighbouring town of Eltville. Among the better known winemakers or wine estates are Weingut Becker, Weingut Mehl, Weingut Russler, Weingut Klerner und Erben, Weingut Scherer and Weingut Bug, some of which also run Straußwirtschaften or estate taverns, in which is served the wine, together with typical Rheingau dishes.


Community council

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

Parties and voter communities %
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany 38.9 11 39.0 12
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany 33.2 10 33.7 11
BVW Bürgervereinigung Walluf (Citizens Association of Walluf) 21.2 6 20.5 6
FDP Free Democratic Party 6.7 2 6.8 2
Total 100.0 29 100.0 31
Voter turnout in % 51.5 57.1


The current mayor (German Bürgermeister) of Walluf is Manfred Kohl of the Social Democratic Party. First elected on April 14, 2002, he was re-elected to another six-year term on April 13, 2008. Running without opposition, he received 92.6% of the vote with an election turnout of 42.9%.[6] Mr. Kohl succeeded the directly elected mayors Heinz Spiekermann (Christian Democratic Union, elected May 29, 1994) and Jürgen Knode (CDU, elected September 22, 1996).[7]

Town partnerships

Culture and sightseeing

Stork’s nest in the Wallufer Bucht

Along the Wallufbach between Niederwalluf and Oberwalluf, there were once numerous mills, of which only remnants remain today. This area between the former villages is now the site of the new centrally located City Hall. An ancient path in lovely parkland through by the Distrikt Paradies (paradise district) along the Wallufbach combines the two districts.


Breeding in the nature conservation area between Walluf and Wiesbaden-Schierstein are 50 white stork pairs, which inhabit Walluf and the surrounding area. These were reinstated here by the Schiersteiner Storchengemeinschaft (“Schierstein Stork Association”).

Wallufer Turmburg

The remains of the Wallufer Turmburg (castle tower) are on the eastern outskirts of Niederwalluf, consisting of not much more than the foundation of a square tower. One well-preserved section of wall is about 10 meters (33 ft) long and 2.20 meters (7.2 ft) thick. Excavations in the area of the castle have indicated that was built in about the 10th century for protection against Norman attacks. Potshards found at the site date to the sixth to ninth centuries. The castle was surrounded by a wall and the tower itself was probably surrounded by a moat. The castle tower was destroyed around 1200 and in 1263 came into possession of Frank von Wiesbaden. It is not known whether the castle tower still stood at this time, but the Knights of Landau already were based about 2 km away at the Hof Armada in Frauenstein. Today, the site is open year-round to visitors and is occasionally used for choir concerts and church services.[8]

Johanniskirche (Church of St. John)

Ruins of the Johanniskirche (“Saint John’s Church) in Niederwalluf

The ruins of the Johanniskirche (Church of St. John) are east of Niederwalluf. Once the center of the village, the church now consists only of a square of stone walls, measuring about 10.30 m (33.8 ft) by 13 m (43 ft), which date from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 16th centuries. Its northern wall includes remnants of two previous structures from the 10th and 12th centuries.

The first structure was built by the inhabitants of the nearby castle tower, which dates to the 10th century and lies only a few meters southeast of the church. Built in approximately the year 1000, the original church consisted of a small hall, about 5.8 m (19 ft) by 10 m (33 ft), with an attached square choir (or possibly a tower). It was about 1.8 m (5.9 ft) below the current ground level. The stones of this level have a red color that is evidence of a fire, in which the first church was obviously badly damaged.

In the 12th century (about 1197), the church had apparently become too small and an extension was added on the north end. To connect this addition with the original church, two arched gateways were broken through the northern wall. The stones around these gateways were not laid in conjunction with the original wall, but rather were built onto the old stones. The brighter color of the stones suggests that the arches had been broken through the wall after the fire.

The latest building dates to the 14th century. The original church had apparently been destroyed and was rebuilt, this time at the present ground level. The arches were again closed, but the floor area of the church was increased in the southwest and the walls made higher. Above the level of the first two buildings, one can see finely carved gray stones, which came from a quarry in Oppenheim and had apparently been taken from the castle tower (which had been destroyed around 1220). The last building initially had circular windows. Their irregular outbreak traces are evident in the high Gothic windows, which were built later (around 1500 to 1508).

The building served Niederwalluf as the parish church until the 18th century, even though, by this time, the village itself had migrated to the west, on the other side of the Wallufbach. In the mid-18th century, the people of Niederwalluf built a new chapel, the Adelheidkapelle, in the center of the village and dedicated it also to St. John the Baptist. The altars and artistic objects from the old parish church were transferred there. From the beginning of the 19th century, the original church, badly damaged in the war of 1793-95, was abandoned. It served only as a barn and ice cellar.

In his sketch book of 1813, the Mainz painter Caspar Schneider (1755–1839) portrayed the Church of St. John's in a westward-looking view of Niederwalluf. In the foreground of the sketch is a rubble mound under which the castle tower is buried. The small church is in a ruined state. A remainder of the plaster can also be discerned on north interior wall and the outer walls and the late Gothic tracery of the window is only partially damaged. A high arch is shown in the east wall. It had been made for a choir addition that was never completed and had been only sealed with a temporary wall of inferior construction until the church’s destruction. The sketch also shows the remains of part of the high steep roof, which had once been crowned by a small bell tower.

It was probably the Johanniskirche which Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described in 1814, during a visit to the Rheingau: "Nearby there is a ruined chapel, which sits on a green mat with its green ivy-covered walls standing wonderfully clean, simple and pleasant."

Dr. Ferdinand Kutsch (1889–1972), director of the Museum Wiesbaden, conducted excavations in the area of the Johanniskirche in 1931 and 1932. Buried remains of the old castle tower were rediscovered and the previously unknown architectural history of the church was reconstructed.

Some restoration of the church was done in the 1970s. In 2000, at the initiative of Elmar Lorey, the Kulturinitiative Alte Johanniskirche eV (Old St. John's Church Culture Initiative) was founded to organize events for enrichment of the cultural life of Walluf. The town rehabilitated the Johanniskirche remains for use as a cultural event venue. A line of dark stones in the newly introduced floor shows the course of the first structure’s walls. Outside the north wall, another line of paving stones indicates the walls of the second construction.[9]


Currently there are two Roman Catholic churches in Walluf (one in Niederwalluf and one in Oberwalluf) and one Protestant church in Niederwalluf.

Between 1648 and 1649, the Adelheid chapel was extended on side of the church facing the village, up to where a small annex now stands. In 1718 there was another widening of the church, in which the three windows on the Rhine-facing side were added. Two of the windows bear an inscription with the year of construction that indicates the work was overseen by Peter Kirn. Inside the church on the same side there is a marble panel, which also names Kirn as overseer of the construction which added to the area of the existing church by a third. The last addition was completed in 1954-55 after plans of the architects Paul and Fritz Johannbroer.
The Baroque high altar was probably a later gift, since it is too high for the Gothic chancel. On the two sides were altars to the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph dating to 1659 and 1661, respectively. St. Joseph is the patron saint of Niederwalluf. Until the beginning of the 20th century, a wooden figure of Mary treading on the Serpent stood in the Marian altar. Until 1907, a Baroque figure with Joseph with the Child stood in the Joseph’s altar. When the statue of Mary was replaced by a portrayal of her as mother with her child, the figure of Joseph was replaced by one without the child. The two older figures, together with one of St. Nicholas, are still visible on podiums at the Rhine side of the church.
The pulpit dates to 1603. On its panel is a depiction of a marsh alive with vipers - the crest of Niederwalluf. Over the crest are three flowers and the year 1576. The old baptismal font also dates to 1603. The two paintings "Birth of Christ" and "Presentation of the Lord" are works of Rhenish peasant art. The school and dating of the painting "Assumption of Mary into Heaven" can not be ascertained. The Wooden Pietà has stood since about 1700. On its back is the emblem of the Crusaders. The church received new windows in 1968. The organ was built in 1978 by the Förster & Nicolaus Company.[4]
The architect of the church was Ludwig Hofmann, born in Herborn. He described the construction style as “Early Gothic,” which is most recognizable in the big window groups to the left and right. The small church was built for about 200 visitors, 164 in the nave and 30 in the organ loft.
The walls are made of stone, primarily quartzite from a quarry in Schlangenbad. The edges of the walls, windows and pinnacles are made of yellow and red sandstone. The building materials and style of the towers give it a fortified, castle-like appearance. Inside, the walls are plastered and painted. The original painting was reproduced as part of a thorough renovation in 1993 saw them of the. The painted frieze is crowned with a crenellated band made of tin, again giving the impression of a castle.
The chancel window depicts the patron of the Church, the Risen Christ. The representation, in the style of the Middle Ages, depicts Jesus as Savior, standing returned from the dead on the stone rolled away from the tomb. All of the windows were restored in 2005.
The altar, pulpit and baptismal font created by Walluf stoneworkers. The Gothic crucifix above the altar is much older than the church itself, made around 1470 in Oberfranken. The organ was made in 1904 by the Raßmann company in Möttau. For space reasons, the organ loft is only accessible from the outside via a narrow spiral staircase in a stair tower. Three bells hang in the bell tower, ringing daily at 12:00 and 6:00 p.m., in addition to ringing before Sunday services.[10]


Kirchner-Mühle in Niederwalluf

A number of former watermills (German Mühle) along the Walluf millrace today recall the community’s early economic development:

Bug-Mühle in Niederwalluf
Hild-Mühle („Mühle der Schönen Künste“) in Niederwalluf
Weller-Mühle in Niederwalluf
Arnet-Mühle in Oberwalluf


SG Walluf
Full name Sportgemeinschaft Walluf e.V. 1932
Founded January 30, 1932

Two football clubs are based in Walluf, SG Walluf 1932 e.V. and FSV Oberwalluf 1951 e.V..

As of the 2008-2009 season, SG Walluf competes in the Verbandsliga Hessen-Mitte (the second-highest level in the state). The club won the league title in 2000, earning promotion to the Oberliga Hessen (now the Hessenliga). After two seasons in the Oberliga, they were again relegated to the Verbandsliga.

FSV Oberwalluf competes in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis Kreisliga A. Both clubs play at the sporting ground in the Johannisfeld on the Rhine.

Famous residents

Walluf is hometown to the comic character “Karl - der Spätlesereiter”, a legendary character in the story of how Spätlese wines began.


  1. "Bevölkerung der hessischen Gemeinden". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). August 2016.
  2. Bevölkerungsentwicklung im Vergleichszeitraum 1997 bis 2007, Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis official website. Retrieved on 2009-01-11.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Kurzer Überblick über die Geschichte von Walluf (A brief overview of the history of Walluf) by Norbert Brühl, Walluf official website. (German) Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
  4. 1 2 Church of St. John, Walluf parish website. (German) Retrieved on 2009-01-11.
  5. 1 2 Walluf official website. (German) Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
  6. Wiesbadener Tagblatt, October 6, 2008: Weiterhin Geduld und gute Nerven. Bürgermeister Kohl startet in zweite Amtszeit
  7. Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt: Direktwahlen in Walluf. (German)
  8. Wallufer Turmburg, Rheingau.de. (German) Retrieved on 2009-01-11.
  9. Die alte Johanniskirche in Walluf (Rheingau). (German) Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
  10. Heilandskirche parish website. (German) Retrieved on 2009-01-11.


This article incorporates text translated from the corresponding German Wikipedia article as of 2009-01-10.

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