Germersheim (German: [ˈɡɛɐ̯mɐsˌhaɪm] ( listen)) is a
town in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, of around 20,000
inhabitants. It is also the seat of the
Germersheim district. The
neighboring towns and cities are Speyer, Landau, Philippsburg,
Karlsruhe and Wörth.
1 Coat of arms
3 Local council
4 Honorary citizen
5 Sons and daughters of the town
7 External links
Coat of arms
The coat of arms features a golden crowned eagle on a blue background.
The eagle derives from the fact that, at one time the town was ruled
directly by the emperor of Germany.
After his invasion of Gallia, Gaius Iulius Caesar made the
the border between the
Roman Empire and Germania. Some small areas
east of it were later invaded and added to the
Roman province of Agri
Decumates. As it was attacked more and more it was given up in the
second half of the third century and a military camp was founded,
named "Vicus Iulii" ("Village of Julius/Julius' Village). It was
supported up to the fourth century.
The first record of the name "Germersheim" is from 1090, when it was
named in the Sinsheimer Chronik (
Chronicle of Sinsheim). The German
King Rudolph von Habsburg (Rudolf of Habsburg) gave
rights in 1276 (18 August). There is a legend which says that he, as a
sick man, rode from
Speyer to die there and not in
In 1325 the town was given to the
Electorate of the Palatinate
Electorate of the Palatinate by King
Ludwig IV. It got a higher status in the following centuries. A
Catholic Order founded a monastery in 1298 which it used up to 1527.
Having been nearly destroyed in the times of the plague and the Thirty
Germersheim was burned down by French troops in 1674. Only
the crypt and the foundations of the Catholic Church survived.
Still strategically important during the French Revolutionary Wars, in
Germersheim was the scene of a significant French defeat
when an Austrian army under the veteran Field Marshal von Wurmser
defeated a French army under Beauharnais.
From the year 1797,
Germersheim belonged to France, incorporated into
the newly created
Mont-Tonnerre department in 1798. It was conquered
by Bavarian troops in 1814. After being retaken in 1814, Germersheim's
Bavarian rulers started to build a fortress in 1831. It was completed
in 1855, although excavations for underground passages continued until
1861. By this time, however, the fortress had become outdated, as
artillery had improved greatly in the thirty years since work began.
The fortress was destroyed in 1921/22 as a result of the Treaty of
Versailles. Some parts still exist, such as the "Fronte Beckers",
where the town's Music School is today.
Germersheim was the scene of several conflicts between French troops
and German veteran associations during the occupation of the Rhineland
following the First World War.
General Hans Graf von Sponeck, who ordered the retreat of his troops
from Kerch because they were going to be hopelessly cut off by the
Russian landings at Theodosia, on the Crimean Peninsula, and against
express instruction of his superior officer in the winter 1941, was
interned here in the fortress after
Hitler had commuted his death
sentence to six years detention. In the purge following the failed
assassination attempt on
Hitler Graf von Sponeck, although not
involved, was shot. Today, a street in
Germersheim is named
Hans-Graf-von-Sponeck-Straße in his honour.
Germersheim-Weissenburger Tor (Tor=gate)
Old train station
Bridge over the Rhine
Seat distribution in the town council (2014)
Number of seats
Gravestone of Eberhard Arbogast and his wife Katharina
Karl Schmitt-Walter (1900-1985), opera singer
Eduard Orth (1902-1968), politician (CDU), Education minister of the
Rhineland-Palatinate 1956 - 1967
Sons and daughters of the town
Paul Josef Nardini
Paul Josef Nardini (1821-1862), theologian
Eugen von Zimmerer
Eugen von Zimmerer (1843-1918), Governor of
Cameroon and minister
Frank Hardart, born as Franz Anton Hardardt (1850–1918), American
entrepreneur, co-founder of the Horn & Hardart food services
Otto Freiherr Kreß von Kressenstein (1850–1929), Bavarian general
and War Minister
Friedrich Kreß von Kressenstein (1855-1920), Bavarian General of the
Hermann Kriebel (1876-1941), German officer, Freikorpsführer,
diplomat and NSDAP politician
Friedrich Krebs (1894-1961), lawyer and politician (NSDAP)
Franz Sondinger (1896-1939), director, actor, director and writer
Karl Schmitt-Walter (1900-1985), opera singer
Franz Immig (1918-1955), soccer player
Lothar Fischer (1933-2004), German sculptor
^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2015"
Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2016.
^ The Century Cyclopaedia of Names, coordinated by Benjamin E Smith
and published by the De Vinne Press, New York 1894 (Page 434)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Germersheim.
Official website (in German)
History of the
Germersheim fortress (in German)
Project Via Rhenana - Roman Road along the Upper Rhine
"Germersheim". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.
Towns and municipalities in
Erlenbach bei Kandel
Neuburg am Rhein
Ottersheim bei Landau
Wörth am Rhein