|Admin. region||Lower Franconia|
|o Lord mayor (2020–26)||Jürgen Herzing (SPD)|
|o Total||62.45 km2 (24.11 sq mi)|
|Elevation||138 m (453 ft)|
|o Density||1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|Dialling codes||06021, 06028 (Obernau)|
Aschaffenburg belonged to the Archbishopric of Mainz for more than 800 years. The town is located at the westernmost border of Lower Franconia and separated from the central and eastern part of the Regierungsbezirk (administrative region) by the Spessart hills, whereas it opens towards the Rhine-Main plain in the west and north-west. Therefore, the inhabitants speak neither Bavarian nor East Franconian but rather a local version of Rhine Franconian.
The town is located on both sides of the Main in north-west Bavaria, bordering to Hesse. On a federal scale it is part of central Germany, just 41 kilometers (25 mi) southeast of Frankfurt am Main. In the western part of the municipality, the smaller Aschaff flows into the Main. The region is also known as Bayerischer Untermain ("Bavarian Lower Main").
The climate is continental, typically with warm, dry summers and cold, damp winters. Aschaffenburg usually receives less snowfall during the winter than the nearby Spessart.
Aschaffenburg comprises 10 Stadtteile:
Nilkheim and Leider are the only Stadtteile which are located on the left bank of the river Main.
The following municipalities border Aschaffenburg (clockwise, from the north): Johannesberg, Glattbach, Goldbach, Haibach, Bessenbach, Sulzbach am Main, Niedernberg, Großostheim, Stockstadt am Main and Mainaschaff.
The name Aschaffenburg (Ascaffaburc, Ascapha or Ascaphaburg in the Middle Ages) originally meant "castle at the ash tree river" deriving from the river Aschaff that runs through parts of the town.
The earliest remains of settlements in the area of Aschaffenburg date from the Stone Age.
Aschaffenburg was originally a settlement of the Alamanni. Roman legions were stationed here. In c. 700 AD, the Ravenna Cosmography names two settlements in region: Uburzis (Würzburg) and Ascapha (Aschaffenburg).
Around 550, the area had been conquered by the Franks, and their Hausmeier built a castle here. In the 8th century, a Benedictine monastery was founded, dedicated to St. Michael, reportedly by Saint Boniface. This became the Kollegiatstift St. Peter und Alexander in the second half of the 10th century (957). In 869, King Louis the Younger married Liutgard of Saxony at Aschaffenburg. She also died here in 885 and was later laid to rest with her daughter Hildegard in the Stiftskirche. Ascaffinburg is mentioned first in 974 in a gift document by Otto II, in which he gave several villages including Wertheim am Main and a stretch of forest in the Spessart to the collegiate church.
In the Middle Ages the town was known as Ascaffaburc, Ascapha or Ascaphaburg. A stone bridge over the Main was reportedly built by Archbishop Willigis in 989, who also made the town his second residence. The town (referred to in 975 as a civitas) was part of the Archbishopric of Mainz from 982, when Duke Otto died. A Vizedom is mentioned for the first time in 1122 as the top local representative of the Archbishop. In 1292 a synod was held here, and in 1447 an imperial diet, preliminary to that of Vienna, approved a concordat (sometimes called the Aschaffenburg Concordat). In the German Peasants' War (1525), the town backed the losing side.
In 1552, the late-Gothic castle of Johannisburg was destroyed. It was replaced in 1605-14 by the Renaissance Schloss Johannisburg. The town suffered greatly during the Thirty Years' War, being held in turn by the various belligerents. During the Battle of Dettingen (1743), which took place to the north, the town was occupied by French troops. It formed part of the electorate of the Archbishop of Mainz, and in 1803 was made over to Archbishop Karl Theodor von Dalberg as the Principality of Aschaffenburg.
Aschaffenburg was the site of the "Forstliche Hochschule Aschaffenburg" ( Königlich Bayerische Centralforstlehranstalt ), established in 1807, "made famous by the researches of Professor Dr Ernst Ebermayer." The Academy was "dissolved in 1832, but re-organized under the Ministry of Finance in 1874"; and, as "of 30th March, 1874, united to the University of Munich."
In 1810, the Principality of Aschaffenburg was merged into the new Grand Duchy of Frankfurt, although Dalberg retained Aschaffenburg as his residence. In 1814 the town was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria by an Austrian-Bavarian treaty. In 1817 it was included within Bavarian Lower Franconia. From 1840 to 1848, King Ludwig I of Bavaria had a Roman villa built to the west of town. It was named Pompejanum after its model, the house of Castor and Pollux at Pompeii.
In World War II, Aschaffenburg was heavily damaged by Allied area bombing, including Schloss Johannisburg which was completely restored several years later. The German military chose to strongly defend Aschaffenburg during the last weeks of the war, which resulted in the "Battle of Aschaffenburg" fought 28 March - 3 April 1945. The U.S. 45th Infantry Division was forced to take the fortified town against stiff German resistance in a series of frontal assaults that involved house-to-house fighting and vicious close combat. The resulting widespread urban destruction was quite severe, as cannon fire was used point-blank to blast through structures.
At the end of World War II the United States Army occupied military facilities formerly used and controlled by the Wehrmacht. These were converted for use by U.S. military personnel as processing centres for displaced persons at the end of the war. From 1945 7,000 Ukrainians were accommodated in four displaced persons camps:
In the decades following the war, Aschaffenburg and the surrounding region experienced robust economic prosperity, partially due to its close proximity to Frankfurt am Main.
According to an online 2002 survey in Stern magazine, [Stern 14/2002], 82 percent of residents living in the Bayerischer Untermain region where Aschaffenburg is located were satisfied with the place where they lived. This was the highest level recorded in the survey, making the region the #1 place to live in Germany, based on several factors including employment opportunities in the region, educational facilities, public services, transportation, recreational options, shopping, cultural facilities/events, climate, etc.
Another survey taken in 2006 by McKinsey, Stern magazine, ZDF, and web.de again showed that Aschaffenburg has one of the highest ratings for quality of life in Germany.
Aschaffenburg was the location of several United States Army installations throughout the Cold War. After initially taking over the administration of the ex-Wehrmacht installations, which were then used as displaced persons camps, the American presence in the Aschaffenburg military community began after general renovations in 1948. The installation sites were known as Ready Kaserne (previously Artillerie Kaserne), Smith Kaserne (previously LaGarde Kaserne), Graves Kaserne (previously Bois Brulé Kaserne), Fiori Kaserne (previously Pionier Kaserne), and Jaeger Kaserne (previously Jäger Kaserne). These housed armour, infantry, engineer, maintenance and artillery elements of the U.S. Army 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and various VII Corps elements including the 9th Engineer Battalion, the 3rd Bn 21st Field Artillery (Honest John), and the 1st Bn 80th Field Artillery (LANCE). Much of the U.S. Army presence in Aschaffenburg ended in 1992 with the ending of the Cold War. The last buildings, which were primarily used for housing, were handed back to the local government in 2007.
The City Galerie, opened in 1974 and located in the central part of the city, is the largest shopping mall in northern Bavaria. It was one of the first indoor shopping malls in Germany. Aschaffenburg also has a pedestrian shopping zone closed to motor vehicles, except for deliveries.
Aschaffenburg hosts numerous festivals, fairs, exhibitions, markets and concerts throughout the year including the annual Stadtfest, held on the last weekend in August.
A large recreational complex is located in the Stadtteil of Leider. It includes an indoor and outdoor swimming pool complex as well as an indoor ice rink and tennis courts, which are open to the general public. There's also a marina on the Main between the Willigis and Adenauer bridges.
The main sights of Aschaffenburg are the Schloss Johannisburg, built 1605-1614 by Archbishop Johann Schweikhard von Kronberg, which contains a library with a number of incunabula, a collection of engravings and paintings; the Pompejanum, a replica of a Roman town house discovered in Pompeii commissioned by King Ludwig I. and opened in 1850; the St. Peter und Alexander collegiate church, founded in the second half of the 10th century, but dating in the main from the early 12th century on, in which are preserved various monuments by the Vischers, a sarcophagus with the relics of Saint Margaret, and a painting by Matthias Grünewald; the Capuchin hospital; a theatre, which was formerly a house of the Teutonic Order; several mansions of the nobility; and the historical old town. Across the river are the Park and Schloss Schönbusch.
Aschaffenburg has numerous parks including the following:
Viktoria Aschaffenburg is the primary football club. The club was formed on 24 June 1904 out of the merger of FC Aschaffenburg (6 August 1901) and FC Viktoria Aschaffenburg (12 April 1902). It was renamed Sportverein Viktoria 01 Aschaffenburg on 3 June 1906. Their homefield is Stadion am Schönbusch (Schönbusch stadium), a modern stadium located in Nilkheim .
Aschaffenburg is also home to the Aschaffenburg Mohawks Baseball and Softball team. The softball team won the 2010 German Championship. The adult baseball team won the 2011 Landesliga South Championship and will play in the highest league of the state Hessen in 2012.
Aschaffenburg is located on Bundesautobahn 3 between Frankfurt am Main and Würzburg. The southern terminus of Bundesautobahn 45 is located just west of the town. Bundesstrasse B 26 passes through the town. Bundestrasse B 8 used to pass through Aschaffenburg, but has now been rerouted along the Bundesautobahn 3. Three road bridges cross the river Main at Aschaffenburg: Friedrich Ebert Bridge (a new span opened in 2008), Willigis Bridge and Konrad Adenauer Bridge. In the 1980s, a road tunnel was constructed under the Schlossplatz to improve traffic flow through the Stadtmitte (town center).
After 43 years of planning and construction, the limited-access Innenstadtring or "inner-town-ring" road was completed in July 2013. It allows motorists to bypass the Stadtmitte (town center) and reduces traffic congestion in Aschaffenburg, which has been a problem in recent years. Another road project called Bahnparallele is currently under construction, with a small section already opened. It is located in the Stadtteil of Damm and runs parallel to the railway tracks.
There are approximately 7,500 parking spaces in the ten Stadtteile of Aschaffenburg and eight public parking garages.
Aschaffenburg has a comprehensive bus network serving the town and surrounding region. The 15 main bus lines which serve the Stadtteile of Aschaffenburg are run by Stadtwerke Aschaffenburg. There are several other bus lines which link Aschaffenburg with the surrounding region. Those lines are run by other companies, including the Deutsche Bahn. A new regional bus terminal opened in 2008, adjacent to the Aschaffenburg Hauptbahnhof (main railway station). The Regionale Omnibusbahnhof Aschaffenburg (ROB) was built to consolidate all of the scattered bus stops in the area around the main railway station into one central location and reduce traffic congestion in the area.
All passenger train service is provided by the Deutsche Bahn.
Aschaffenburg has an active port along the Main in the Stadtteil of Leider. There is railway access to the port. In 2005, 2.8 million tons of cargo passed through the port.
A small general aviation airport (Flugplatz Aschaffenburg, ICAO-Code: EDFC) is located in nearby Großostheim. Frankfurt Airport is located 46 kilometers (29 mi) from Aschaffenburg and offers flights to destinations all over the world. The trip to and from the airport takes about 30 minutes by car or approximately 45 minutes by InterCityExpress train.
The three primary medical centers in Aschaffenburg are:
There are approximately 789 hospital beds, 159 doctors, 68 dentists and 38 pharmacies in the Stadtteile of Aschaffenburg.
There are various types of schools in Aschaffenburg serving approximately 18,000 students from the town and surrounding region.
Hochschule Aschaffenburg is a university of applied sciences (or Fachhochschule ).