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Schmalkalden about 1900
|• Mayor||Thomas Kaminski (SPD)|
|• Total||105.35 km2 (40.68 sq mi)|
|Elevation||295 m (968 ft)|
|• Density||190/km2 (480/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
Schmalkalden (German pronunciation: [ʃmalˈkaldən] ) is a town in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district, in the southwest of the state of Thuringia, Germany. It is on the southern slope of the Thuringian Forest at the Schmalkalde river, a tributary to the Werra. As of 31 December 2010 [update] , the town had a population of 19,978.
First mentioned in an 874 deed, Smalcalta in the Frankish duchy of Thuringia received town privileges about 1180. When Landgrave Henry Raspe of Thuringia died without issue in 1247, it passed to the House of Henneberg-Schleusingen, while the major part of the landgraviate fell to the House of Wettin in Meissen. To secure their acquisition the Counts of Henneberg allied with the Landgraviate of Hesse, including the conclusion of an inheritance treaty. In 1360, together with Landgrave Henry II of Hesse they paid off Frederick V, Burgrave of Nuremberg, son of Elisabeth of Henneberg.
In 1531 the town hall of Schmalkalden was the site of the establishment of the Schmalkaldic League by Protestant princes under the lead of Landgrave Philip I of Hesse, in order to protect religious and political interests within their domains. In 1537 the Smalcald Articles were drawn up by Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and other reformers.
When the Counts of Henneberg became extinct in 1583, their share was inherited by William IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. William made the town a residence and had Wilhelmsburg Castle erected, finished in 1590. The Lordship of Schmalkalden remained an exclave of Hesse, from 1868 on it was part of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau until it was incorporated into the Province of Saxony in 1944 and in 1945 became part of the State of Thuringia.
The town sustained heavy bomb damage in World War II. From 1949 on, with Thuringia, it formed part of East Germany. After reunification it attained its present political configuration. In July 2018 the former municipality of Springstille was merged into Schmalkalden.
Lordship of Schmalkalden
|Status||State of the Holy Roman Empire|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Acquired by Henneberg
• Joint rule with Hesse
• To Hesse-Kassel
• To Thuringia
Schmalkalden is twinned with:
This article includes a list of general references, but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations . (January 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The House of Hesse is a European dynasty, directly descended from the House of Brabant. It ruled the region of Hesse, with one branch as prince-electors until 1866, and another branch as grand dukes until 1918.
Graf (male) or Gräfin (female) is a historical title of the German nobility, usually translated as "count". Considered to be intermediate among noble ranks, the title is often treated as equivalent to the British title of "earl".
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg was a German landgraviate, and independent principality, within the Holy Roman Empire, that existed between 1458 and 1500, and between 1567 and 1604/1650.
Henry I of Hesse "the Child" was the first Landgrave of Hesse. He was the son of Henry II, Duke of Brabant and Sophie of Thuringia.
Eschwege, the district seat of the Werra-Meißner-Kreis, is a town in northeastern Hesse, Germany. In 1971, the town hosted the eleventh Hessentag state festival.
Meiningen is a town in the southern part of the state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in the region of Franconia and has a population of around 25,000 (2020). Meiningen is the capital and the largest town of the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district. From 1680 to 1920, Meiningen was the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen.
The German emperor was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire. A specifically chosen term, it was introduced with the 1 January 1871 constitution and lasted until the official abdication of Wilhelm II on 28 November 1918. The Holy Roman emperor is sometimes also called "German emperor" when the historical context is clear, as derived from the Holy Roman Empire's official name of "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" from 1512.
Frederick I, the Belligerent or the Warlike, a member of the House of Wettin, ruled as Margrave of Meissen from 1407 and Elector of Saxony from 1423 until his death.
Henry III, calledHenry the Illustrious from the House of Wettin was Margrave of Meissen and last Margrave of Lusatia from 1221 until his death; from 1242 also Landgrave of Thuringia.
Tambach-Dietharz is a town in the district of Gotha, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated in the Thuringian Forest, 19 km south of Gotha.
Wanfried is a town in the Werra-Meißner-Kreis in northeasternmost Hesse, Germany. It is classified as a Landstadt, a designation given in Germany to a municipality that is officially a town (Stadt), but whose population is below 5,000. It literally means “country town”.
The Landgraviate of Hesse was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire. It existed as a single entity from 1264 to 1567, when it was divided among the sons of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse.
Henneberg was a medieval German comital family (Grafen) which from the 11th century onwards held large territories in the Duchy of Franconia. Their county was raised to a princely county in 1310.
Barchfeld is a village and a former municipality in the Wartburgkreis district of Thuringia, Germany. Since 31 December 2012, it is part of the municipality Barchfeld-Immelborn.
The Ludovingians or Ludowingians were the ruling dynasty of Thuringia and Hesse during the 11th to 13th centuries.
The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia, established about 631 by King Dagobert I after his troops had been defeated by the forces of the Slavic confederation of Samo at the Battle of Wogastisburg. It was recreated in the Carolingian Empire and its dukes appointed by the king until it was absorbed by the Saxon dukes in 908. From about 1111/12 the territory was ruled by the Landgraves of Thuringia as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire.
William of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld was a member of the House of Hesse and was Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld from 1721 to 1761.
The Wilhelmsburg Castle in the city of Schmalkalden was a secondary residence of the Landgraves of Hesse. It is one of the most important Renaissance buildings in central Germany, which has experienced no structural changes to this day and is preserved in almost its original condition.
The Thuringian Counts' War, or Thuringian Counts' Feud was a conflict between several ancient aristocratic families and the House of Wettin for supremacy in Thuringia. The war lasted from 1342 to 1346. The conflict is also called by various other names in English sources including War of the Thuringian Counts and Thuringian Comital War.