Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Guide to Bach Tour: Main Page | Life History of J.S. Bach | Performance Dates of Bach’s Vocal Works | Maps | Route Suggestions | Discussions
Maps of Bach Places | Videos of Bach Places | Symbols (Coats of Arms) of Bach Places | Organs in Bach Places
Places: Altenburg | Ammern | Arnstadt | Bad Berka | Berlin | Brandenburg | Bückeburg | Celle | Collmen | Dörna | Dornheim | Dresden | Eisenach | Erfurt | Gehren | Gera | Gotha | Halle | Hamburg | Heiligengrabe | Jena | Karlsbad | Kassel | Kleinzschocher | Köthen | Langewiesen | Leipzig | Lübeck | Lüneburg | Meiningen | Merseburg | Mühlhausen | Naumburg | Ohrdruf | Pomßen | Potsdam | Ronneburg | Sangerhausen | Schleiz | Stöntzsch | Störmthal | Taubach | Wechmar | Weimar | Weißenfels | Weißensee | Wiederau | Zeitz | Zerbst | Zschortau

Guide to Bach Tour
Bad Berka
[V]

Contents

Description | History
J.S. Bach: Connection | Events in Life History | Performance Dates of Vocal Works | Festivals & Cantata Series
Features of Interest | Information & Links
Photos: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Maps

Description

Bad Berka is a small town (7,800 inhabitants) in Thuringia. It is situated on the river Ilm, 10 km southwest of Weimar, in spruce and beech forest.

Due to its sulphur baths, Bad Berka is well-known as a health resort (or spa town), the spa having been established in 1813.

Bad Berka was once celebrated for its Cistercian nunnery, founded in 1251. It is twinned with Żabno in Poland. The Party.San Open Air music festival takes place outside of the town.

Country: Germany | State: Thuringia | District: Weimarer Land | Area: 55.27 km² | Population: 7,600 (December 2007)

History

The name Bercha - Berchaha - Birka means "Place of the Birches by the Waterside" or "by Birchwater”.

Chronicle of Events

1119

c1240
1414

First official record of the settlement as “Bercha“, in an endowment document at the Marienkirche
(St Mary’s Church), Erfurt.
Count Dietrich III of Berka establishes a Cistercian Nunnery.
First citation as a town.

1604-1608

1608

1613

after several changes of rulers during the foregoing centuries, the former County of Berka passed
into the possession of the Duchy of Weimar.
Great town fire, in which altogether 44 houses, the church, the school and the town hall fell victim
to the flames.
23 of Berka’s houses sank in the torrents of the “Thuringian Deluge“

1727-1731

1739

Reconstruction of the church tower 119 years after the great town fire and, in 1739-1741, the
Baroque church nave was built.
Handover of the ducal Hunting Armoury to house the wagons, coaches and equipment for the grand hunts of the Dukes of Weimar.

1813


1816

1825



1884

1887

1888

1898

After the discovery of health waters containing iron and sulphur in the vicinity of today’s spa park,
Duke Carl August of Saxony-Weimar ordered the building of sulphur baths in Berka. The
establishment of the health facility was supported by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Greatest town fire in the history of Berka - 90 houses and ancillary buildings, the town hall and the
girl’s school were all reduced to ashes.
Building of the new Society Bath House. On the inspiration of Goethe the project was realised by
Weimar’s regional master builder Clemens Wenceslaus Coudray. The ceremonial opening of the
building (today the Coudray House) on the edge of the spa park on 24th June 1825 was held in the
presence of the entire Court of Weimar.
Opening of the Pauline Tower as an observation tower standing on the 416 m high Adelsberg. 143
steps lead up to the platform of the 26 m high limestone tower.
Inauguration of the Weimar - Berka - Blankenhain railway line with a branch line leading off
initially to Tannroda.
First treatment of patients suffering from lung diseases in the so-called Forest Wards in the
extensive forest “Auf der Harth” by the spa physician Dr. Willrich.
The first lung sanatorium, the “Sophienheilstätte”, is opened on the Emskopf near Munich.

1901
1911

1951-1957

1956-1959

From 1991

1994


1994/1997

Opening of the cement works, since 1971 producer of thermal insulation materials.
Berka is officially permitted to adopt the name “Bad Berka“. This followed a substantial
improvement to the infrastructure that is important for a spa town.
Construction of the Central Clinic on the Harth, initially for the treatment of tuberculosis patients,
in the 1960's extending into the area of heart surgery.
The Clinic’s sanatorium is built above Bad Berka’s spa park for the treatment of patients with
diseases of the digestive system, the metabolism and the heart and circulatory system.
Enlargement of the Central Clinic, in private hands, into an ultramodern intensive care medical
facility specialising in a number of fields.
Incorporation of the villages Bergern, Meckfeld, Schoppendorf, Tannroda with Böttelborn and
Kottendorf as well as Tiefengruben into the municipality of Bad Berka with its own associated
community Munich.
Opening of the new MEDIAN-Clinics I and II on the Adelsberg.

2002

Award of the predicate “State Recognised Spa with Mineral Spring Health Facility”.

 

Bach Connection

c1742, while he was serving in Leipzig, J.S. Bach visited Bad Berka to examine the new organ built by H.N. Trebs (28 stops and 3 sections). J.S. Bach himself drew up the specification for this organ (only the Prospekt is original, but is very fine). The specification survives, as indeed the only one from J.S. Bach to have so done.

Events in Life History of J.S. Bach

Date/Year

Event

Leipzig (1741-1750)

1742

Organ examination in Bad Berka

Performance Dates of J.S. Bach’s Vocal Works: None.

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series: None.

 

Features of Interest

Rathaus (Town Hall) and Market
Zeughaus (Hunting Armoury)
Goethe House
Stadtkirche Sankt Marien (St Mary's Church): St Mary’s Church stands on the foundations of the monastic church that was burnt down in 1608. For over a hundred years the people of Berka were unable to afford a new church. It was not until 1727 that a new church tower was built. It bears a weather vane in the form of a deer. In response to that, the residents of Berka mounted a cross on the Town Hall. From 1739 to 1741 the Baroque church nave was constructed. The east wall with a Gothic pointed arch survived. The entire land around the church once belonged to the Cistercian nunnery, which existed in Berka from about 1240 until 1525.
Goethe Fountain
Coudray House
Edelhof
Schlossberg
Pauline Tower

Videos

Information & Links

Tourist Info
Tel: +49-364-5819433
E-mail: info@bad-berka.de

Bad Berka (Official Website) [German]
Cityreview: Thüringen > Bad Berka [German]
Bad Berka (Meinestadt) [German]
Bad Berka (Wikipedia)

 

Prepared by Aryeh Oron (March 2004 - December 2009)
Thanks to contributors: Francis Monkman (December 2007)

Guide to Bach Tour: Main Page | Life History of J.S. Bach | Performance Dates of Bach’s Vocal Works | Maps | Route Suggestions | Discussions
Maps of Bach Places | Videos of Bach Places | Symbols (Coats of Arms) of Bach Places | Organs in Bach Places
Places: Altenburg | Ammern | Arnstadt | Bad Berka | Berlin | Brandenburg | Bückeburg | Celle | Collmen | Dörna | Dornheim | Dresden | Eisenach | Erfurt | Gehren | Gera | Gotha | Halle | Hamburg | Heiligengrabe | Jena | Karlsbad | Kassel | Kleinzschocher | Köthen | Langewiesen | Leipzig | Lübeck | Lüneburg | Meiningen | Merseburg | Mühlhausen | Naumburg | Ohrdruf | Pomßen | Potsdam | Ronneburg | Sangerhausen | Schleiz | Stöntzsch | Störmthal | Taubach | Wechmar | Weimar | Weißenfels | Weißensee | Wiederau | Zeitz | Zerbst | Zschortau

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýDecember 27, 2009 ý10:00:00