Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|:|| 49° 29' 33" north |
09° 46' 25" east
|pop. density:||172 per km²|
|post code:||97980 (old: 6990)|
|mayor:||Dr. Lothar Barth|
Mergentheim (Mariae domus) is mentioned in chronicles as early as 1058, as the residence of the family of the counts of Hohenlohe , who early in the 13th century assigned the greater part of their estates in and around Mergentheim to the Teutonic order. It rapidly increased in fame, and became the most important of the eleven commanderies of that society. On the secularization of the Teutonic Order in Prussia in 1525, Mergentheim became the residence of the grand master, and remained so until the final dissolution of the order in 1809 by Napoleon.
Bad Mergentheim's fortunes were reversed in 1826, when a shepherd discovered rich mineral springs in the surrounding area, during the time when spas were expanding in Germany at a rapid pace. The water turned out to be the strongest sodium-sulfate water in all of Europe, especially good for the treatment of digestive disorders.
The most interesting sight in Bad Mergentheim is the Deutschordenschloss, the medieval castle where the Teutonic Knights has once their home base. It is a complex of buildings built over a period of eight hundred years. The first buildings of the castle were probably already erected in the 12th century. The castle was expanded in the late 16th century under Grand Master Walter von Cronberg. Over the course of time a representative Renaissance complex was built by connecting the individual buildings in the inner palace courtyard to a closed ring of buildings. In 1574, the main architect, Blasius Berwart, also constructed the spiral staircase between the west and north wing still famous today. Today the castle houses the Deutschordensmuseum (Museum of the Teutonic Order).
The castle complex is dominated by the Schlosskirche (Castle Church), built in 1730 in Baroque style. Its Rococo interior features elaborate ceiling frescos by the court painter Nikolaus Gottfried Stuber, depicting "The Defense of Faith", the "Glorification of the Cross in Heaven and on Earth" and the "Emperor Constantine's Vision of the Cross".
Near the part Löffelstelz there is a concrete tower serving as transmission tower for FM and TV. This tower was built in 2000 as replacement for another concrete tower carrying a reusen aerial for medium wave.
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