Coat of arms of Lorch
Coat of arms
Location of Lorch within Ostalbkreis district
Schwäbisch GmündHeidenheim (district)Schwäbisch-Hall (district)Rems-Murr-KreisGöppingen (district)AalenAbtsgmündAdelmannsfeldenBartholomäBöbingen an der RemsBopfingenDurlangenEllenbergEllwangenEschachEssingenGöggingenGschwendHeubachHeuchlingenHüttlingenHüttlingenIggingenJagstzellKirchheim am RiesLauchheimLeinzellLorchMögglingenMutlangenNeresheimNeulerObergröningenOberkochenRainauRiesbürgRiesbürgRosenbergRuppertshofenSchechingenSchwäbisch GmündSpraitbachStödtlenTäferrotTannhausenTannhausenUnterschneidheimWaldstettenWaldstettenWesthausenWörtBavariaLorch in AA.svg
About this image
Lorch is located in Germany
Lorch is located in Baden-Württemberg
Coordinates: 48°47′54″N 09°41′18″E / 48.79833°N 9.68833°E / 48.79833; 9.68833Coordinates: 48°47′54″N 09°41′18″E / 48.79833°N 9.68833°E / 48.79833; 9.68833
Admin. regionStuttgart
Subdivisions4 Stadtteile
 • MayorKarl Bühler
 • Total34.28 km2 (13.24 sq mi)
288 m (945 ft)
 • Total10,885
 • Density320/km2 (820/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes07172
Vehicle registrationAA

Lorch is a small town situated in the Ostalbkreis district, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, by the river Rems, 8 kilometers west of Schwäbisch Gmünd. It is a part of the Ostwürttemberg region.


Lorch lies in a vallay of the river Rems, a tributary of the Neckar River, with Schwäbisch Gmünd to its east, Schorndorf to its west, the Swabian-Franconian Forest to its north and the Swabian Alps to its south. Lorch is part of the Swabian-Franconian Forest Nature Park and is located at the Limes hiking route (HW 6) of the Swabian Alp Association.

In addition to Schwäbisch Gmünd, the town also borders the municipality of Alfdorf to the north, the municipalities of Wäschenbeuren and Börtlingen to the south as well as the municipality of Plüderhausen to the west.

Lorch, with the formerly independent municipality of Waldhausen, holds 35 hamlets, villages and farms in addition to Lorch itself. In accordance with the borders drawn at the 31st of December 1971, Lorch, the Weiler Bruck, Klotzenhof, Metzelhof, Oberkirneck, Schnellhöfle, Stauben and Unterkirneck, the farmlands of Hetzenhof, Maierhof im Remstal, Reichenhof, Sägreinhof, Schafhaus, Schwefelhütte, Trudelhöfle and Ziegelhütte as well as the Brucker Sägmühle, Edenhof, Götzenmühle, Hohenlinde, Hollenhof, Kloster Lorch, Muckensee, Seemühle, Wachthaus and the Walkersbacher Tal make up the territory of the Town Lorch.

As of 2012, Lorch has been divided into 5 boroughs: Kirneck (396 inhabitants), Lorch (6492 inhabitants), Rattenharz (251 inhabitants), Waldhausen (2698 inhabitants) and Weitmars (1030 inhabitants).[2]


During the Roman Era, it served as a vital link in the Limes Germanicus. The monastery at Lorch was founded by Frederick I of Swabia in 1102.[3]

Roman Era

View of Lorch from the East. Steeple and buildings of monastery are visible on hill at right.
Lorch Monastery, Württemberg

The Roman Empire expanded its sphere of control to the north of the Alps into the borders of today's Switzerland, southern Germany and Austria under Emperor Augustus in the year 15 B.C. When they advanced past the Danube and Rhine rivers about 100 years later, they took control of the so-called "Dekumtaenland", which included the territory of modern day Lorch. Over the following decades, this new border was secured and became a heavily guarded area, resulting in the creation of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes. The new Limes lines met in what is called a "Limensknie" ('Limens knee') between modern day Lorch and Schwäbisch Gmünd.[4]

During the reign of Emperor Antonius Pius (138-161 A.D.), the fort of Lorch was established as a cohort fort to secure it. It was the southernmost fort of this Limes with the Rhaetian Limes to its east. Its centre was located in what is now the yard of the town's Protestant church and its sides were approximately 150 to 160 meters long. A civilian settlement (vicus), which stretched on for about one kilometre at its largest expanse, was connected to the fort along the Roman arterial road running through the Remstal.[4] The time strategically important road leading from Augsburg ( Augusta Vindelicorum ) on today's Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt to Mainz ( Mogontiacum ).

The Roman name of what would later be Lorch is uncertain, though Lauriacum is commonly suggested due to its usage during medieval times as well as the existence of an Upper Austrian town of the same name that is known to have been referred to as such.

Both the region and the fort were surrendered between 260 and 268 A.D. due to pressure from the Alemanni (Limesfall/ eng.: Fall of the Limes). [4] After the Romans retreated, the Alemanni settled the region themselves.

Middle Ages

Not much is known about the area's history during the medieval period and it remains unclear whether it was continuously inhabited at all.[4] During the mid-11th century, a "Kollegiatstift", a collegial chapter, was founded at the parish church located in the village of Lorch, where the ancestors of the Staufer family were laid to rest.

Around 1100 the monastery of Lorch was donated by the Staufers as a Benedict abbey, meant to serve as the family's home monastery. It was founded upon a local mountain which may have held a castle, though the sources claiming such are unverified.[5] From there on, the monastery dominated the goings ons of the town. Conrad III. eventually had his ancestors remains, still buried at the local graveyard, relocated to the monastery.

During the 12th century, the town is mentioned in various documents under the name of both Lorchia and Lorche, as well as the Latin Laureacus, with the monastery referred to as Laureacum monasterium.[5]

The Lorch monastery came to be a part of the bailiwick of the Counts of Württemberg in the 13th centuy and the collegial chapter was abolished during the second half of the 14th century. Towards the end of the middle ages, the town had gained the "Marktrecht", literally market right, and had a court as well as a bath house.[5]

Modern period

Duke Ulrich introduced the Reformation in Lorch in 1535. As a result of the Schmalkldic War in 1548 Catholic forms of worship were temporairly reintroduced, though Protestant pastors were already reinstated by 1553. The Reformation also resulted in the foundation of a school, which received its own dedicated building in 1560. The Lorch monastery was also abolished during the 16th century. Sometime during the 16th century, the monastery was also abolished.[6]

The Thirty Years' War reduced the local population by two thirds. During the following decades a lively reconstruction began and in 1660 the city regained its right to hold two fairs, which it had lost prior to the war. From 1810 to 1819 Lorch was the registered office of an "Oberamt", which was then transferred to Welzheim. In 1831 and 1832 the town received permission for another two markets.[6]

With the opening of the Bad Cannstatt-Wasseralfingen section of the Rems Railway in 1861, tourism gained economic importance in Lorch. Accommodation options were built and renovated. Lorch was finally awarded the title of City by King Karl on the 22nd of June 1865. In addition to efforts from the city council, a "Verschönerungsclub" (literally: embellishment or beautification club) promoted tourism and Lorch became a popular health resort. For the year of 1898, 464 spa visitors were recorded, amongst which were 64 foreigners.[7][8]

At the same time, industrial enterprises were founded, amongst them the pasta factory "Gebrüder Daiber", founded in 1876, which by 1904 employed 125 people, making it the most important local employer. In 1893 it also became the first company of Lorch to make use of electricity, which it generated itself and which was passed on to the surrounding private homes.[7][8]

National Socialist period

In the early 1930s, the Nazi Party was able to count well above average election results in Lorch and Waldhausen. At the 1933 elections, it received 56,5% of votes in Lorch, compared to the 41,9% the party received in the state Wüttemberg and the 43,9% it received in total.[9] A possible reason for these results is the high unemployment rate, caused by the Daiber factory, still the city's largest employer, closing down due to a fire a few years prior. None of the local NSDAP groups founders was an employee, however, the local party being carried by middle-class families, under the Ortsgruppenleiter Hermann E. Sieger, a local stamp salesman.[9][10]

As a result of the Gleichschaltung, the number of people on the community council was reduced from 16 to 10. During the new council's first session, several streets were renamed after Paul von Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler and Wilhelm Murr. By May 1934, the NSDAP had successfully driven all remaining council members not with their party out of their offices.[10]

While there is no record of Jews living in or around Lorch, a number of disabled people from the area are known to have fallen victim to the Nazis racial ideology at the Tötungsanstalt Grafeneck.[11]

The 44th infantry division of the US-Army marched into Lorch from the north on 19 April 1945.[12] Thanks to the mayor, in co-operation with the local NS elite, preventing the planned defense through the Volkssturm from occurring, the Americans were greeted with a white flag at the Lorch monastery.[13] In total, Lorch and its surrounding area lost 256 people due to World War Two, with 64 more remaining missing.[14]

Post-War Times

On 17 December 1945, the former mayor Wilhelm Scheufele, who had held the office since 1910, was dismissed by the occupying forces and replaced with Theo Lauder until Otto Bareiß took over the position in April 1946, having been elected by the new community council.

1945 and 1946 also saw a large number of refugees being relocated to Lorch, with a total of 650 people being counted in spring 1946.[15]

On 1 January 1972, Lorch received its current borders after being merged with the municipality of Waldhausen.[16]


Since the Reformation, Lorch has been predominantly protestant and there are currently three evangelical communities, those of Lorch, Waldhausen and Weitmars. In addition to these, there are two Roman Catholic communities, those of Lorch and Waldhausen, as well as a new apostolic community, which was formed after the new apostolic communities of Lorch and Waldhausen were merged in 2008.[17]


Born in Lorch


Lived in Lorch

  • Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) famous German poet and writer lived in Lorch from 1764 to 1766


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2018". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). July 2019.
  2. ^ Town of Lorch Facts and Figures, accessed July 9, 2014. http://www.stadt-lorch.de/,Lde/Startseite/Stadt+Lorch/Stadtteile.html
  3. ^ "Monastery of Lorch" at "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c d Hans-Ulrich Nuber: Zur Frühgeschichte der Stadt Lorch, in: Lorch, Band 1, S. 9 ff.
  5. ^ a b c Klaus Graf: Kloster Lorch im Mittelalter, in: Lorch, Band 1, S. 39 ff.
  6. ^ a b Hermann Ehmer: Lorch und die Reformation, in: Lorch, Band 1, S. 229 ff.
  7. ^ a b Kurt Seidel: Lorch im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, in: Lorch, Band 2, S. 35 ff.
  8. ^ a b Rolf Dieterle: Handel, Handwerk, Industrie, in: Lorch, Band 2, S. 301 ff.
  9. ^ a b Manfred Schramm: Die NSDAP und ihre Gliederungen in Lorch, in: Schramm, S. 29 ff.
  10. ^ a b Rainer Wahl, Manfred Schramm: Die Gemeinderäte und der Bürgermeister werden nicht mehr gewählt, sondern von der Partei ernannt, in: Schramm, S. 21 ff.
  11. ^ Gudrun Haspel, Sonja Waible: Rassenwahn – Zwangssterilisierung – Euthanasie – Antisemitismus, in: Schramm, S. 133 ff.
  12. ^ Walter Hees: Die Amerikaner kommen …, Remshalden 2006, ISBN 3-927981-84-2.
  13. ^ Günter Michaelsen, Manfred Schramm: Kriegsende, in: Schramm, S. 173 ff.
  14. ^ Nachbemerkungen, in: Schramm, S. 201.
  15. ^ Walter Kübler: Lorch 1945–1972, in: Lorch, Band 2, S. 129 ff.
  16. ^ . p. 455. ISBN 3170032631. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Gemeinde Lorch, Neuapostolische Kirche, abgerufen 20. August 2008.