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Guide to Bach Tour
Naumburg
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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

Naumburg is a town in Germany, on the Saale River. It is in the district Burgenlandkreis in the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, formerly a part of East Germany. It is approximately 60 km (37 mi) southwest of Leipzig, 50 km south-southwest of Halle, and 40 km north-northeast of Jena.

Naumburg is one of those pretty little medieval towns for which Germany is so famous. Once a powerful market town and member of the Hanseatic League, it's best known for its exquisite cathedral, but its friendly people and general accessibility are equally charming. Its claims to fame are brief visits by Martin Luther (he stayed, preached, drank and taught here twice), and the fact that it was, for several years, the residence of Friedrich Nietzsche.

The town goes absolutely barking mad on the last weekend in June with the Kirsch Fest, held at the Vogelwiese at the southeast end of town. It celebrates the unlikely story, dating from the Middle Ages, of the lifting of a blockade by Czech soldiers when their leader, Prokop, gave in to requests by the town's children, dressed in their Sunday finest, to please leave and let the townsfolk eat again.

Local industries include the manufacture of foodstuffs, textiles, machinery and toys. Naumburg is in a wine-growing region, with numerous vineyards in the surrounding area. SC Naumburg was a former football club in the town.

Country: Germany | State: Saxony-Anhalt | District: Burgenlandkreis | Area: 76.04 km˛ | Population: 28,700 (December 2008)

 

History

The first written record of Naumburg dates from 1012, when it was mentioned as the new castle of the Ekkehardinger, the Margrave of Meissen. It was founded at the crossing of two trade-routes. The successful foundation not long beforehand of a Propstei Church on the site of the later Naumburger Cathedral was mentioned in the Merseburg Bishops' Chronicles in 1021. In 1028 Pope John XIX gave his approval for the transfer of the bishopric from Zeitz to Naumburg. Until 1568, during the Reformation, Naumburg was the seat of the bishops. The last Catholic bishop was Julius von Pflug. The foundation of the Cathedral school is dated to 1030. Naumburg has been known as a town since 1144.

Naumburg was a significant trading centre on the Via Regia in the Middle Ages, especially because of the Naumburg Trade Fairs, first known to have taken place in 1278. The emergence of Leipzig as a trade-fair centre from 1500 and the Thirty Years' War adversely affected the Naumburg economy.

The ecclesiastical domain was secularised in middle of the 16th century and transferred to the Dukes of Saxony, who administered the district through a government endowment (Stiftsregierung) and later provided administrators.

After the fraternal competition between the four brothers of John George I Elector of Saxony in 1657 the Naumburger administrative area came into the possession of the secondogeniture area of Saxony-Zeitz, which the youngest son, Moritz, inherited.

Before the Moritzburg castle was built in nearby Zeitz, the Naumburger city castle served as the residence of this line. This period came to an end with the death of the last Protestant representative of the line Saxony-Zeitz in the year 1718. The Naumburger administrative area reverted to the Dukes of Saxony in Dresden and became fully integrated into Albertine Saxony. However it remained until 1815 the seat of its own administrative authority (Consistory of the district of Naumburg-Zeitz). After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Naumburg was ceded to the Kingdom of Prussia, becoming part of the Province of Saxony. It gained control over the cathedral and its close in 1832.

In 1846 the town was connected to the rail line from Halle to Erfurt, in 1889 to Artern and eventually in 1900 to Teuchern. On September 15, 1892 a steam tram system opened in Naumburg. From January 2, 1907 it was electrified.

Although industry was only weakly developed, a socialist club was founded in 1848. During the 1920 Kapp Putsch five workers were killed. The establishment of the local Communist Party followed in December 1920. Under the German Democratic Republic Naumburg was a centre of mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, metal-working and footwear manufacture. It was also a garrison town for the Soviet Air Force. Unofficial estimates are that the number of Soviet military personnel approximately equalled that of the local population. The fall of communism in 1989 was accompanied by demonstrations and gatherings in the churches of the city.

Chronicle of Events

c1000

1028
1033
1042
12th century

13th century

1432/1433
1517

The margraves of Meissen build their new fortress. the "Nuwenburg", on the site where the
Higher Regional Court stands today
The bishop's seat was moved from Zeitz to Naumburg, first documented reference to the town
Emperor Konrad II grants Naumburg the right to hold markets
First Cathedral consecrated
The old part of town founded as a civil town in its own right. one of merchants, tradespeople,
craftsmen and civil servants
Building of the late Romanesque Cathedral begins. Trade in wine, beer, woad, spices and cloth
and lively fair activities (Peter-Paul's fair) bring the town wealth and renown
Naumburg was briefly a member of the Hanseatic League
Town fire

1632

The Swedish King Gustav Adolf and his troops quartered in the town, just before the Battle of Lützen

1714/1716

Town fires (1714 gunpowder explosion at the Peter-Paul fair)

1806/1813

1815
1816

The German Wars of Liberation take a heavy toll on the town. Napoleon stays in Naumburg on
several occasions
As the outcome of the Vienna Congress Naumburg falls under Prussian jurisdiction
Naumburg becomes the seat of the Higher Regional Court of the Prussian province of Saxony

WW II
1990
1992

Most of Naumburg's town centre remains unscathed by the destruction of the war
Naumburg becomes a model town of urban renewal
Naumburg becomes the seat of the Higher Regional Court of Saxony-Anhalt and the administrative seat of the Burgenlandkreis rural district

Notable People

Johannes Ambundii (1384-1424), German ecclesiastic
Nicolaus von Amsdorf (1483-1565), theologian and Protestant reformer
Johann Agricola [Johannes Eisleben] (1492/1494-1566), Protestant reformer and humanist and poet of church hymns; follower and friend of Martin Luther
Heinrich Faber (bef.1500-1552), composer and music theorist and Kantor; was was rector of the monastery school at Naumburg,
Wolfgang Figulus (c1525-c1588), composer, Thomaskantor 1549-1551
Elias Nikolaus Ammerbach (c1530-1597), organist and arranger of organ music of the Renaissance; published the earliest printed book of organ music in Germany
Georg Weber (c1549-1599), composer
Johann Georg Graevius (1632-1703), classical scholar and critic
Johann Heinrich Acker (AKA Melissander) (1647-1719), writer
Johann Christoph Altnikol [Altickol] (1729-1759), composer; mostly known for his marriage to Elisabeth Bach, J.S. Bach's daughter
Johann Gottfried Gruber (1774-1851), critic and literary historian
Christian August Lobeck (1781-1860), classical scholar
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), philosopher and classical philologist
Botho Strauss (b 1944), playwright, novelist and essayist

 

Bach Connection

In September 1746 J.S. Bach travelled to Naumburg. There he and the famous organ-builder Georg Silbermann wanted to check on the new organ of the Wenzelskirche. The old organ from 1613 was totally rebuilt in 1700. J.S. Bach and Silbermann arrived in Naumburg on September 14, 1746. In the restaurant "Zum Grünen Schilde" they had dinner. Two days later they went to the Town Hall and the day after they submitted their report concerning the organ. Two years later J.S. Bach contacted the council of Naumburg again. He wanted to recommend his son-in-law and former student Johann Christoph Altnikol to become the organist. J.C. Altnikol was probably already engaged with J.S. Bach 's daughter Elisabeth Juliana Friederica (1726-1781) and they got married in Leipzig in January 1749. In October of the same year their son was born and called Johann Sebastian but died soon after.

Source: Reisewege zu Bach - Travelling Ways to Bach (Michael Imhof Verlag, 2003), p. 98

Events in Life History of J.S. Bach

Date/Year

Event

Leipzig (1741-1750)

Sep 27, 1746

Organ examination in Wenzelskirche, Naumburg

Posthumous Years (1750-1800)

Fall 1750

Gottfried Heinrich Bach [48] (1724-1763) joins the household of his brother-in-law Johann Christoph Altnickol in Naumburg

Feb 12, 1763

Death of Gottfried Heinrich Bach (age 39) in Naumburg

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

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series: None.

 

Features of Interest

The most important architectural landmark of the town is the Naumburger Dom (St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral), an impressive late Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th centuries. The early Gothic western rood screen was built in 1250. The eastern screen was added in the high Gothic style in the first half of the 14th Century. The Romanesque crypt under the east gallery was established around 1170 and was part of an earlier building. Both of the towers at the east end of the church are octagonal and have Baroque canopies. The south-western spire was completed only in 1884; both western spires are closely modelled on the spires of the cathedrals of Laon and Bamberg. The pulpit dates from 1466. Its interior includes windows from the Middle Ages, as well as the famous 13th century statues of the founders of the cathedral, Margrave Ekkehard and his wife Uta, along with other local nobles. The western tower has been open to the public since Easter 2007, after having long been closed for renovations.

Other attractions include:
The late Gothic Rathaus (Town Hall)
The late Renaissance residence of the Duke Moritz of Saxony-Zeitz
The Gothic Wenzelskirche (Stadtkirche St Wenzel, St Wenceslas Curch), which displays paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and the Hildebrandt organ that J.S. Bach played on.
The former bishop's Castle Schönburg, which overlooks the town and the Saale River.
Some parts of the medieval town fortifications survive, including one of the old town gates, the Marientor.
Marienplatz.
Marien-Magdalen-Kirche.
Hohe Lilie
Nietzsche Haus : The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche spent his childhood and his later years in Naumburg in the home of his mother's family. The house is now a museum.

Hussite Cherry Festival
Every year on the last weekend in June, when the cherries are ripe, the city of Naumburg celebrates the Hussite Cherry Festival. This festival has a long tradition and dates back to at least the 16th century. Since the 17th century the celebrations have been connected with a supposed (but actually fictitious) siege of Naumburg by the Hussites in 1432. A teacher is said to have led his pupils outside the gates of the beleaguered town to beg the Hussite commander Andreas Prokop for mercy. The latter granted their request and gave the children cherries. The legend is commemorated in the song Die Hussiten zogen vor Naumburg (The Hussites marched on Naumburg) written by Karl Friedrich Seyferth in 1832.

Videos

Information & Links

Tourist- und Tagungsservice Naumburg
Markt 12
06618 Naumburg
Tel: +49 3445 / 273125 | Fax: +49 3445 / 273128
Website: http://www.naumburg-tourismus.de
E-mail: info@naumburg-tourismus.de

Stadt Naumburg/Saale (Official Website) [German]
Naumburg Online [German]
Stadtmuseum Naumburg (Saale) [German]
Cityreview: Sachsen Anhalt > Naumburg (Saale) [German]
Naumburg (Saale) (Meinestadt) [German]
Naumburg (Wikipedia)

 

Prepared by Aryeh Oron (March 2004 - December 2009)

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

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Last update: ýDecember 30, 2009 ý19:16:58