Schweinfurt (/ˈʃvaɪnfʊərt/ SHVYNE-foort, German: [ˈʃvaɪnfʊɐ̯t] (listen); lit. 'swine ford') is a city in the Lower Franconia region of Bavaria in Germany on the right bank of the navigable Main River, which is spanned by several bridges here, 44 km northeast of Würzburg.

Market square with town hall
Market square with town hall
Coat of arms of Schweinfurt

Coat of arms
Location of Schweinfurt
Schweinfurt is located in Germany
Schweinfurt is located in Bavaria
Coordinates: 50°3′0″N 10°14′0″E / 50.05000°N 10.23333°ECoordinates: 50°3′0″N 10°14′0″E / 50.05000°N 10.23333°E
Admin. regionLower Franconia
DistrictUrban district
 • Lord MayorSebastian Remelé (CSU)
 • Total35.71 km2 (13.79 sq mi)
226 m (741 ft)
 • Total54,032
 • Density1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes09721
Vehicle registrationSW


The city was first documented in the year 790,[2] although as early as 740 a settlement called Villa Suinfurde was mentioned. In the 10th century Schweinfurt was the seat of a margraviate.[2] After the defeat of count Henry of Schweinfurt in 1002/1003, in the feud against King Henry II of Germany, his family lost its leading position in the town. In the first half of the 13th century Schweinfurt expanded to become a proper city with city wall, towers and city gates. At that time the Nikolaus hospital was founded, a mint was established and construction work on the Saint Johannis church began.

Imperial City of Schweinfurt

Reichsstadt Schweinfurt
Territory of Schweinfurt in the 18th century
Territory of Schweinfurt in the 18th century
StatusFree Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Founded
before 791
• Gained Reichsfreiheit
• Joined Swabian League
• Joined Franconian Circle
Preceded by
Succeeded by
March of the Nordgau
Electorate of Bavaria

Around 1250 Schweinfurt was totally destroyed during a feud between the Count of Henneberg and the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. In the following years it was reconstructed. A document from 1282 signed by Rudolf I of Habsburg states that Schweinfurt was a free city within the Holy Roman Empire. At least since then the coat of arms of Schweinfurt has been an imperial white eagle.

In 1309 the city was given to the Count of Henneberg, but in the 1360s the city regained its independence and joined the Swabian–Franconian Confederation. In 1397 King Wenzel entitled the town to utilize the River Main, and in 1436–1437 Schweinfurt acquired the village of Oberndorf, as well as the Teutonic Order Fort on the Peterstirn (the site of a former castle, derived from the monastery name stella Petri[3]) and a small piece of land – including the villages of Zell and Weipoltshausen. Some years later there was the first uprising of Schweinfurt's citizens against the town council, followed by a second in 1513–1514. This time the issuing of a constitution was allowed.

The city joined Martin Luther's Reformation in 1542. Schweinfurt was again destroyed in the course of the Second Margrave War, in 1554. The years up to 1615 were spent by the citizens for its reconstruction.

Schweinfurt joined the Protestant Union in 1609. In the Thirty Years' War it was occupied by Gustavus Adolphus, who erected fortifications, the remains of which are still extant.[2] In 1652 the four doctors Johann Laurentius Bausch, Johann Michael Fehr, Georg Balthasar Wolfahrt and Balthasar Metzger founded the Academia Curiosorum in Schweinfurt, which is known today as the German Academy of Life Scientists, "Leopoldina".

At some point Schweinfurt became a predominantly Roman Catholic city owing to migration from the surrounding Catholic territories, only again to receive a large section of Lutheran refugees/expellees after 1945 from Germany east of the Oder-Neisse line. The latest addition to the Lutheran churches in Schweinfurt arrived during the last years of the Soviet Union.

In 1777, Johann Martin Schmidt began to produce white lead (ceruse). Schweinfurt suffered from heavy casualties during the Napoleonic Wars of 1796–1801.[4]

Schweinfurt remained a free imperial city until 1802, when it passed to the Electorate of Bavaria. Assigned to the grand duke of Würzburg in 1810, it was granted to the Kingdom of Bavaria four years later.[2] The first railway junction was opened in 1852. In the following years Schweinfurt became a world leading centre for the production of ball bearings.[5] This was to lead to grievous consequences for the city during World War II.

World War II

WWII Schweinfurt Raid
A USAAF raid on ball-bearing works in Schweinfurt in 1943

In 1939 Schweinfurt produced most of Nazi Germany's ball bearings, and factories such as the Schweinfurter Kugellagerwerke became a target of Allied strategic bombing during World War II to cripple tank and aircraft production. Schweinfurt was bombed 22 times during Operation Pointblank by a total of 2,285 aircraft.

The Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission caused an immediate 34% loss of production[6] and all plants but the largest were devastated by fire. Efforts to disperse the surviving machinery began immediately and the Luftwaffe deployed large numbers of interceptors along the corridor to Schweinfurt.[7] Bombing also included the Second Raid on Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943 ("called Black Thursday because of the enormous loss of aircraft (60) and lives (600+)") and Big Week in February 1944.

Although losses of production bearings and machinery were high and much of the industrial and residential areas of the city were destroyed, killing more than a thousand civilians, the factories were restored to production and the industry dispersed. Although German planners initially thought it essential to purchase the entire output of the Swedish ball-bearing industry, losses in the production of bearings were actually made up from surpluses found within Germany in the aftermath of the first raid. The decentralized industry was able to restore output to 85% of its pre-bombing level. Hitler made restoration of ball bearing production a high priority and massive efforts were undertaken to repair and rebuild the factories, partly in bomb-proof underground facilities.

The 42nd Infantry Division (United States) entered Schweinfurt on 11 April 1945 and engaged in house-to-house fighting.[7]:2 On 12 April an internment camp at Goethe-Schule[7]:2 held male civilians aged 16–60.[8]

Recent years

SKF building Schweinfurt 2012
The SKF building, a widely visible symbol for the ball bearing production in Schweinfurt

After the war Schweinfurt became a stronghold of the US military and their dependants. Thus Schweinfurt recovered relatively quickly from its third period of destruction. Schweinfurt formerly hosted the U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt, which the U.S. Army closed on 19 September 2014 due to an ongoing effort to concentrate the U.S. military's footprint in Germany to fewer communities.[9]

Also in post-war years, the new suburbs of Bergl, Hochfeld and Steinberg were developed to settle a growing population. In 1954 the city laid the foundation stone for the new town hall and commemorated the 700th and 500th anniversaries of the two earlier periods of destruction as well as the ongoing reconstruction following World War II. In 1998 German and American veterans and survivors of the bombing raids came together to erect a war memorial to the fallen.

Schweinfurt - Maineinfluss West - 2017
View onto the city when entering via river Main from the west.

Main sights

City walls near St. Salvador Church

Schweinfurt's main landmarks include:

  • The Renaissance Town Hall (1570–1572)
  • The church of St. Johannes (1554–1562)
  • The Old Grammar School, seat of the local museum

The Museum Georg Schäfer specializes in 19th-century paintings by artists from German-speaking countries.

The Schweinfurter Rathaus (town hall) square has a large Friedrich Rückert monument in the centre, around which weekly markets and many city festivals are held. A large number of people, including immigrants from many other countries, add to the crowded inner-city traffic-free Markthalle shopping area.

Motherwell Park connects the surrounding medieval buildings to the inner-city market square. To avoid car-filled streets, walking through the park with part of the original city walls offers paths and shortcuts, bringing one on foot from one end of town to another, reminiscent of medieval town life.


Schweinfurt is known for its metal industry, especially ball bearing plants and bicycle manufacturing; see also FAG Kugelfischer AG, ZF Sachs AG, Bosch Rexroth and SKF. The pigment Schweinfurt Green is manufactured here. SRAM Corporation hosts the world's largest development center of the bicycle industry in Schweinfurt.

With GDP per capita of €78,382, Schweinfurt ranks third richest city in Germany after Wolfsburg and Frankfurt am Main.[10]

According to a recent study by the Swiss Institute of Economic Research forecasters Schweinfurt is one of the fastest growing cities in Germany. The study confirmed the city, among other things, the highest concentration of jobs in Germany with particularly high Beschäftigungsanteil (employment share) in the German high-tech sector. The Contor-2010 study, which was commissioned by the Manager magazine, ranked Schweinfurt as one of the most dynamic cities in Europe in terms of development opportunities. From rank 63 in 2007, the city significantly improved to rank 16 in 2010.[11]

Communal facilities

Historical population

Year Population
1939 49,302
1950 46,128
1961 56,923
1970 58,446
1987 51,962
2002 54,670
2004 54,467
2006 53,970
2010 53,433[12]
2015 51,969[13]

Notable people

Friedrich Rueckert (Carl Barth)
Friedrich Rückert
Mechwart András
Andreas Mechwart

Twin towns


  1. ^ "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ "Brochure: Welcome to Schweinfurt" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ Dugdale-Pointon (16 November 2000), Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), retrieved 27 March 2016
  5. ^ "Industrial history". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  6. ^ Coffey, Thomas M. (1977). Decision Over Schweinfurt. David McKay Company, Inc. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-679-50763-5.
  7. ^ a b c Walden, Geoff. "Third Reich in Ruins". Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  8. ^ Turner, S.J., (F. R. G. S) – maps (June 1944). Pictorial History of the Second World War. Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc. p. 1880. Germans await American orders April 14, 1945 THEY DON'T LIKE IT. After the fall of Schweinfurt, the ball bearing centre of Germany, male civilians between sixteen and sixty were rounded up to be screened by American authorities. (caption)
  9. ^ "US Army says farewell to Schweinfurt". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ 2016, © Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik, Fürth (4 April 2018). "Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik - GENESIS-Online Bayern". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  13. ^ 2016, © Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik, Fürth (4 April 2018). "Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik - GENESIS-Online Bayern". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ Scottish Government, St Andrew's House (18 September 2007). "Scotland's International Strategy: Research to Support Scotland's Strategy for Stronger Engagement with Germany". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)


External links

1. FC Schweinfurt 05

1. Fussball-Club Schweinfurt 1905, Verein für Leibesübungen e.V., called 1. FC Schweinfurt 05, Schweinfurt 05, or simply FC 05, is a German association football club established in Schweinfurt (Bavaria) in 1905. It has sections for netball, fistball, field hockey, badminton, gymnastics, rugby, American football, futsal, and athletics.

The club is well-known nationally and even internationally due to successful years in top and second tier football leagues from the 1930s to the 1970s. During the late 1930s, Schweinfurt's midfielders Albin Kitzinger and Andreas Kupfer, today considered as two of the best half-back players of all time, formed the core of the Germany national football team and represented their country at the 1938 FIFA World Cup and within the FIFA selection Europe XI.The FC 05 first team, which competes in the tier-four Regionalliga Bayern since the 2013–14 season, is organized within 1. FC Schweinfurt 1905 Fußball GmbH. The club plays its home games at Willy-Sachs-Stadion in Schweinfurt.

2001–02 2. Bundesliga

The 2001–02 2. Bundesliga was the 28th season of the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of the German football league system. Hannover 96, Arminia Bielefeld and VfL Bochum were promoted to the Bundesliga while SpVgg Unterhaching, 1. FC Saarbrücken, FC Schweinfurt 05 and SV Babelsberg 03 were relegated to the Regionalliga.

Adam Jabiri

Adam Jabiri (born 3 June 1984) is a German professional footballer who currently plays as a striker for 1. FC Schweinfurt 05.

Andreas Kupfer

Andreas Kupfer (7 May 1914, in Schweinfurt – 30 April 2001, in Marktbreit) was a German football player.

Kupfer played for VfR 07 Schweinfurt until 1933 and then joined 1. FC Schweinfurt 05 for the rest of his career.

On the national level he played for Germany national team (44 matches/1 goal), and was a participant at the 1938 FIFA World Cup.

Kupfer was one of two FC Schweinfurt 05 players featured in the Breslau Elf that beat Denmark 8:0 in Breslau in 1937 and went on to win 10 out 11 games played during that year. 'Ander' Kupfer was one of the best half backs in the history of German football and is the only player to have played Germany’s last international game before the end of World War II (played in 1942) and the first one after the war (in 1950). Kupfer became famous in German football as a left-footed right half and together with his Schweinfurt club colleague Albin Kitzinger formed the best half back duo in German football. Playing between the two-halves was center half Ludwig Goldbrunner and this trio was considered the best assembly of halves during the time Germany played the 2-3-5 system.Kupfer was a player that fascinated the crowds with his elegant ways of playing. He was a master of kicking the ball with just moving his ankle joint. In 1938 he was called up to play for the Europe XI against England at Highbury Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Football Association. He finished his active career in 1954 after having played in over 650 games for 1. FC Schweinfurt 05.In his 1978 book Fussball, Helmut Schön characterised Kupfer as follows:

As an outside half he was a player who certainly would be a regular in our midfield today. I would have been glad if we could have had a player like him in our ranks in Argentina. When he played behind me, with his hardness, deftness and pace, I felt absolutely safe upfront. Kupfer's left foot was stronger than his right; when he moved with the ball from the right side to the center, he played diagonal passes with his left foot towards the right wing, which tore apart the defense. An exceptionally gifted player.

Kupfer was the last member of the Breslau Elf to die, in 2001.

Bundesautobahn 70

Bundesautobahn 70 (translates from German as Federal Motorway 70, short form Autobahn 70, abbreviated as BAB 70 or A 70) is an autobahn in southern Germany, connecting the A 7 via Schweinfurt and Bamberg to the A 9.

Christian Wück

Christian Richard Wück (born 9 June 1973) is a retired German footballer who is now coach of the Germany Under-16 national team.

Erwin Albert

Erwin Albert is a retired German footballer who played as a forward.

European route E48

European route E 48 is a road part of the International E-road network. It begins in Schweinfurt, Germany and ends in Prague, Czech Republic.The road follows the route:


A 70: Schweinfurt, Bayreuth

B 303: Marktredwitz

Czech Republic

D6 / I/6: Cheb, Karlovy Vary, Prague


Gerolzhofen is a town in the district of Schweinfurt, Bavaria, Germany. The town is the former center of the district of Gerolzhofen and has about 7,000 inhabitants. The mayor of Gerolzhofen is Thorsten Wozniak (CSU).

Henry of Schweinfurt

Henry of Schweinfurt (de Suinvorde; c. 970 – 18 September 1017) was the Margrave of the Nordgau from 994 until 1004. He was called the "glory of eastern Franconia" by his own cousin, the chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg.

Henry was the son of Berthold and Eilika (Eiliswintha or Eila) of Walbeck. His father's parentage is not known with certainty, but he may have been a son of Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria. Henry was Bavarian, whoever his grandfather.

Henry held a succession of countships after his father's death in 980. He was appointed marchio, like his father, of the Bavarian Nordgau in 994. In 1003, he revolted against Henry II of Germany claiming that he had been promised the Duchy of Bavaria in return for his support. The king said that the Bavarians had a right to elect their own duke. Henry allied with Boleslaus I of Poland and Boleslaus III of Bohemia. Nevertheless, his rebellion was quashed and he himself was briefly captive. The king established the Diocese of Bamberg to prevent any further uprisings in the region. The new diocese took over the secular authority of the margrave in the region of the Bavarian Nordgau.

Finally, it was only the joint persuasion of both his saecular and ecclesiastical overlords, Bernard I, Duke of Saxony, and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg, that reconciled him to Henry in 1004. Henry of Schweinfurt did subsequently gain new and old countships before his death in 1017. He was buried at Schweinfurt.

Judith of Schweinfurt

Judith of Schweinfurt (Czech: Jitka ze Schweinfurtu / in old Czech: Jitka ze Svinibrodu; before 1003 – 2 August 1058) was Duchess consort of Bohemia from 1034 until 1055, by her marriage with the Přemyslid duke Bretislav I.

Lothar Emmerich

Lothar ("Emma") Emmerich (29 November 1941 – 13 August 2003) was a German football player who played as a forward. He was born in Dortmund-Dorstfeld and died in Hemer.

He won 5 caps for West Germany in 1966.Emmerich scored 115 goals in only 183 Bundesliga matches.

Lower Franconia

Lower Franconia (German: Unterfranken, Austro-Bavarian: Untafrankn) is one of seven districts of Bavaria, Germany. The districts of Lower, Middle and Upper Franconia make up the region of Franconia.

Nicolas Görtler

Nicolas Görtler (born 8 March 1990) is a German footballer who plays as a striker for 1. FC Schweinfurt 05

Paris green

Paris green (copper(II) acetate triarsenite or copper(II) acetoarsenite) is an inorganic compound. As a green pigment it is also known as Schweinfurt green, emerald green or Vienna green. It is a highly toxic emerald-green crystalline powder that has been used as a rodenticide and insecticide, and also as a pigment, despite its toxicity. It is also used as a blue colorant for fireworks. The color of Paris green is said to range from a pale blue green when very finely ground, to a deeper green when coarsely ground.

Schweinfurt (district)

Schweinfurt is a Landkreis (district) in the northwestern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are (from the north clockwise) Bad Kissingen, Rhön-Grabfeld, Haßberge, Bamberg, Kitzingen, Würzburg and Main-Spessart. The district-free city Schweinfurt is surrounded by the district.

Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission

The Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission was a strategic bombing mission during World War II. Carried out by Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers of the U.S. Army Air Forces on August 17, 1943, it was an ambitious plan to cripple the German aircraft industry. The mission was also known as the "double-strike mission" because it entailed two large forces of bombers attacking separate targets in order to disperse fighter reaction by the Luftwaffe, and was the first American "shuttle" mission, in which all or part of a mission landed at a different field and later bombed another target before returning to its base.

After being postponed several times by unfavorable weather, the operation, known within the Eighth Air Force as "Mission No. 84", was flown on the anniversary of the first daylight raid by the Eighth Air Force.

Mission No. 84 was a strike by 376 bombers of sixteen bomb groups against German heavy industry well beyond the range of escorting fighters. The mission inflicted heavy damage on the Regensburg target, but at catastrophic loss to the force, with 60 bombers lost and many more damaged beyond economical repair. As a result, the Eighth Air Force was unable to follow up immediately with a second attack that might have seriously crippled German industry. When Schweinfurt was finally attacked again two months later, the lack of long-range fighter escort had still not been addressed and losses were even higher. As a consequence, deep penetration strategic bombing was curtailed for five months.

As soon as the reconnaissance photographs were received on the evening of the 17th, Generals Eaker and Anderson knew that the Schweinfurt raid had been a failure. The excellent results at Regensburg were small consolation for the loss of 60 B-17s. The results of the bombing were exaggerated, and the high losses were well disguised in after-mission reports. Everyone who flew the mission stressed the importance of the escorts in reducing losses; the planners grasped only that Schweinfurt would have to be bombed again, soon, in another deep-penetration, unescorted mission

Second Raid on Schweinfurt

The second Schweinfurt raid was a World War II air battle that took place on 14 October 1943, over Nazi Germany between forces of the United States 8th Air Force and German Luftwaffe fighter arm (Jagdwaffe). The American bombers conducted a strategic bombing raid on ball bearing factories to reduce production of these vital parts for all manner of war machines. This was the second attack on the factories at Schweinfurt. American wartime intelligence claimed the first Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission in August had reduced bearing production by 34 percent but had cost many bombers. A planned follow-up raid had to be postponed to rebuild American forces.As the squadrons rebuilt, plans for the return mission were modified based on the lessons learned. Planners added additional fighter escorts to cover the outward and return legs of the operation and sent the entire force against Schweinfurt alone, instead of splitting the force. Despite these tactical modifications, a series of minor mishaps combined with the ever-increasing efficiency of the German anti-aircraft effort proved to be devastating. Of the 291 B-17 Flying Fortresses sent on the mission, 60 were lost outright, another 17 damaged so heavily that they had to be scrapped and another 121 had varying degrees of battle damage. Outright losses represented over 26 percent of the attacking force. Losses in aircrew were equally heavy, with 650 men lost of 2,900, 22 percent of the bomber crews. The American Official History of the Army Air Forces in the Second World War acknowledged losses had been so great that the USAAF would not return to the target for four months, "The fact was that the Eighth Air Force had for the time being lost air superiority over Germany".The operation was a failure, there were no Merlin engined P-51 Mustangs available for USAAF fighter squadrons to provide long-range escort until the winter of 1943–44), while the P-47 Thunderbolt was inadequate. The bomber formations were left exposed to unrelenting attacks by German fighters and the improper preparations for the creation of reserves in the summer of 1943 meant that such costly operations could not be sustained. The intelligence of the Allied air forces was also flawed. Arthur Harris, Air Officer Commanding RAF Bomber Command questioned the intelligence that claimed ball bearings to be vital to the German war economy. Harris refused to cooperate with the Americans, believing ball bearing targets to be a "panacea". Post-war analysis has shown Harris's objections to be correct. An escort of 24 squadrons of Spitfires equipped with drop tanks was provided on the first and last leg of the mission. The Germans had built up enormous reserves of ball bearings and were receiving supplies from all over Europe, particularly Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. The operation against these industries would, even if successful, have achieved little. By 1945, the Germans had assembled more reserves than ever.

ZF Sachs

ZF Sachs AG, also known as Fichtel & Sachs was founded in Schweinfurt in 1895 and was a well-known German family business. At its last point as an independent company, the company name was Fichtel & Sachs AG.

In 1997, the automotive supplier was taken over by Mannesmann and renamed Mannesmann Sachs AG. As of 2001, Sachs belonged to ZF Friedrichshafen as a subsidiary company ZF Sachs AG. In 2011, ZF Sachs, like other Group subsidiaries, was legally merged with ZF Friedrichshafen AG and the independent business units integrated into the ZF divisions. Sachs has since become a brand of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. The head office for development, production and sales of products of the brand Sachs remained in Schweinfurt. The Schweinfurt plant is today (2017) the largest location of the automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen.

Today, Fichtel & Sachs is a German manufacturer of automotive parts, producing powertrain and suspension components. In the past the company also having produced ball bearings, motorcycle engines, bicycle parts and – via its subsidiary Sachs Motorcycles – motorcycles, mopeds, motorised bicycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).


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