The history of Sulzbach am Main and its districts Soden and Dornau

It's history time...

We say "Dankeschön" to Anna-Lena who translated this page.

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Sulzbach - Hier tut sich wasDiscoveries from the late stone age prove that already in 3500 B. C. people have lived in the valley of Sulzbach. A circle mound on the "Schlossberg" ("chateau mountain") - also called "Altenburg" ("old castle") by the inhabitants - between the towns Soden and Ebersbach was probably built around 1250 - 750 B. C. It was fortified by arcitadel in the early middle-ages.

Sulzbach lies at the border of a low mountain range called "Spessart". In the times of the land-takeover by the Roman empire, the Limes and the river Main formed the border between the region of the Spessart, which belonged to the unoccupied Germania, and the region of the Odenwald, which was occupied by the Romans. In the following time, Germanic tribes called "Chatten", "Alamannen", "Burgunder" and "Franken" settled in the valley of Sulzbach. In the lifetime of Karl Martell (714 to 741) the community of "Ruchelnheim" probably had been founded as the first settlement. (This town was destroied during the 30-years-war.) A short time later the settlements Sulzbach, Ebersbach, Leidersbach, Rossbach and eventually Soden came into being.

Sulzbach was documented the first time in 1184: Pope Lucius the 3rd promised in a document to protect the parishs "St. Peter" and "St. Alexander" and doing so he confirmed a "Curtem in Sulzibah", that means "court in Sulzbach". 

The districts Dornau and Soden aren't much younger. Dornau was confirmed the first time in a document of 1243 and Soden in 1248. Soden was an agricultural society. The salt-springs which came to light in Soden gave the town its name (Middle High German "sot" = "spring", "mineral spring"). 

On the 27th of August 1456 Lord Theodorich von Erbach permitted Peter Eberbach and his wife to produce salt on the condition that they handed over a part of their products. Today, mineral and healing water are still sold in the whole area.

To use the springs which contained jodine and bromine, a cure bath was opened in Soden in 1856. Until the end of the 1st world-war "Bad Sodenthal" was a famous bath. After 1918 the buildings and the park were turned to a children's rest home of the city of Frankfurt/Main. Today it is a girls education center.

Since the middle of the 13th century Sulzbach belonged to the "Centena Ascaffinburg". In the 15th century it became the "Cent vorm Spessart". Since 1623 Sulzbach appears as an own district. In 1772 the Cents were renamed to "Vogteiaemter", which were renamed again to "Distriktsmairie" in the time of Napoleon.

As a part of the archbishopric Mayence, Sulzbach was assigned to the new built principality of Aschaffenburg/von Dalberg in 1803. In 1814 this principality (at this time a departement of the grand duchy of Frankfurt/Main) was assigned to the kingdom of Bavaria because of the contracts of Paris. (In the contracts of Paris, the grand duchy of Wuerzburg and the principality of Aschaffenburg were assigned to Bavaria. This was a result of a contract which were already signed between Austria and Bavaria in Ried on the 8th of October 1813. In return Austria received Tirol, Salzburg and Vorarlberg from Bavaria.)

After the change-over to Bavaria, Sulzbach was at first administrated by the landcourt of the town Kleinwallstadt and since 1861 it was a district of Obernburg.

The possessional split-up of the agricultural areas because of the law of succession caused a deterioration of the living conditions. This problem didn't only reach Sulzbach, but also the other parts of the Spessart. The poverty didn't begin to disappear until the growing of the industry in Aschaffenburg (this was mostly clothing industry) and the opening of the railway-line from Aschaffenburg to Miltenberg in 1876.

With the towns Soden and Dornau becoming districts of Sulzbach in the time after the 2nd world war, Sulzbachs' population increased and is now more than 7000 inhabitants.

In 1955 Sulzbach got its own arms: Its name comes from the salty water of the small river, called "Sulzbach" ("salt creek"). Symbol for that are the two "salt-hooks". The lily is taken from the arms of Sulzbachs' noblemen. The sign with the three red indentations is from the arms of the landlords of "Eppstein". The wheel with its six spokes symbolizes the belonging of Sulzbach to the archbishopric of Mayence until 1803.

Sulzbachs' trading and industries are well known, also behind its boarders. In its forests you can enjoy hiking and the local restaurants are properly prepared for resting there.

Special sights are the old, renovated church and the old towers of the northern gate with the rests of the village's walls.