Schmalkalden 1900
Schmalkalden about 1900
Wappen Schmalkalden
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 50°43′0″N 10°27′0″E / 50.716667°N 10.45°E / 50.716667; 10.45
Country Germany
State Thuringia
District Schmalkalden-Meiningen
Mayor Thomas Kaminski (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 98.35 km2 (37.97 sq mi)
Elevation 295 m  (968 ft)
Population 20,653  (31 December 2007)
 - Density 210 /km2 (544 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate SM
Postal code 98574
Area code 03683
Location of the town of Schmalkalden within Schmalkalden-Meiningen district
Schmalkalden in SM

Schmalkalden (German pronunciation: [ʃmalˈkaldən]) is a town in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district, in the southwestern portion of Thuringia state in Germany. It is situated on the southern slope of the Thuringian Forest at the Schmalkalde river, a tributary to the Werra. The present population is about 18,000.


First mentioned in a 874 deed, Smalcalta in the Frankish duchy of Thuringia received town privileges about 1180. When Landgrave Henry Raspe died without issue in 1247, it passed to the House of Henneberg-Schleusingen, while the major part of the landgraviate fell to the House of Wettin in Meissen. To secure their acquisation the Counts of Henneberg allied with the Landgraviate of Hesse, including the conclusion of an inheritance treaty. In 1360 they together with Landgrave Henry II of Hesse payed off Frederick V, Burgrave of Nuremberg, son of Elisabeth of Henneberg.

Schmalkalden De Merian Hassiae

Schmalkalden, Matthäus Merian, Topographia Hassiae, engraving, 1655

In 1531 the town hall of Schmalkalden was the site of the establishment of the Schmalkaldic League by Protestant princes under the lead of Landgrave Philip I of Hesse, in order to protect religious and political interests within their domains. In 1537 the Smalcald Articles were drawn up by Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and other reformers.

When the Counts of Henneberg became extinct in 1583, their share was inherited by William IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. William made the town a residence and had Wilhelmsburg Castle erected, finished in 1590. The Lordship of Schmalkalden remained an exclave of Hesse, from 1868 on it was part of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau until it was incorporated into the Free State of Thuringia in 1944.

The town sustained heavy bomb damage in World War II. From 1949 on, with Thuringia, it belonged to East Germany. After reunification, it attained its present political configuration.

Stadtkirche Schmalkalden2

St. George Church

Wilhelmsburg Schmalkalden


Main sights

  • St. George, a late Gothic hall church finished in 1509 with stained glass windows designed by Charles Crodel
  • Town hall
  • Reformed school
  • Lutheran Deanship
  • Todenwarth's stone house
  • The island and the Salt Bridge
  • The Rose Pharmacy
  • Luther's house
  • The Court of Hessen
  • The Liebaug House
  • Large stone house
  • Weidebrunn Lane 30
  • Town fortifications
  • The hospital and its chapel
  • Wilhelmsburg Castle, the former residence of the Hessian landgraves, built about 1590 in Renaissance style
  • Stengel's house
  • The cemetery church

Lordship of Schmalkalden
Herrschaft Schmalkalden
State of the Holy Roman Empire
Flag of Thuringia.svg
1247 – 1583 Flag of Hesse.svg
Capital Schmalkalden
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Acquired by Henneberg 1247
 - Joint rule with Hesse 1360
 -  To Hesse-Kassel 1583
 - To Thuringia 1944

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Schmalkalden is twinned with:

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.cs:Šmalkaldyeo:Schmalkaldenla:Smalcaldiano:Schmalkalden pt:Schmalkalden ro:Schmalkalden ru:Шмалькальден sv:Schmalkalden uk:Шмалькальден vo:Schmalkalden