Visitors to the town will discover a mediterranean feel, Bavarian hospitality and remarkable witnesses to an eventful history and exciting present. Aschaffenburg’s geographical and geopolitical location has given the town, its residents and its visitors a diverse cultural heritage to enjoy, in a region rich in history and artistic tradition.
The municipal archive, which is open to the public, curates and preserves documents relating to over 1,000 years of Aschaffenburg’s history. These original records range in date from 1127 to the present day. The archive also conducts its own research and teaches people about local history through talks, exhibitions, publications and other activities.
The court library in Johannisburg Palace has its roots in the collection of the prince bishops of Mainz, and has since grown through book donations. It houses an exquisite collection of manuscripts, rarities and early printed books. Particularly worth mentioning are a Gutenberg Bible, the Mainz Gospels – Codex Aureus – and Albert of Brandenburg’s Halle Relic Book.
Aschaffenburg was once home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Lower Franconia and Bavaria. Its origins can be traced back to the 13th century, with a Jewish school first mentioned in records in 1267. At the start of the 20th century, the community considered itself an equal part of Aschaffenburg’s citizenry. The largest fashion store was Kaufhaus Löwenthal, which in 1929 moved to new premises built in the Bauhaus style of New Objectivity, making it the town’s most avant-garde building at the time. No remnants of it remain today as it was damaged during the war and rebuilt. The Jewish community was completely annihilated by 1942 following the destruction of the synagogue in 1938 and the persecution by the National Socialist regime. Since the 1970s, Aschaffenburg has honoured its Jewish history by developing a multifaceted culture of commemoration and remembrance.
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