City of Saalfeld/Saale
Location of Graba in Thuringia
Graba is a district of Saalfeld in the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt administrative district in Thuringia. It lies close to the city centre in a northerly direction and is significant for medieval regional history.
The district Graba is located north of the city centre and has grown together with Saalfeld. The core of the former street village lies along Grabaer Straße, which leads from Saalfeld through the town on to Remschütz. In former times this trade route was the connection to Rudolstadt and further to Erfurt. Graba lies – like the old town of Saalfeld – on the flood-protected left steep bank of the Saale valley, into which the valley of the Siechenbach stream has dug deep south of the village church. At the mouth of the brook, protected mountain spurs form on the right and left, on which the St. Peter’s Monastery (today’s site of Saalfeld Castle) is located to the south and the Graba village church, once the seat of an original parish, to the north. Thus, together with the Alter Markt to the south and the village of Altsaalfeld to the east of the Saale, the area was already a central settlement location in the newly developed areas of southeast Thuringia in the early Middle Ages. The high medieval town complex of today’s Saalfeld further south did not come into being until some time later.
In the 10th century Saalfeld was an imperial estate. The royal court is believed to have been located on the southern spur of the Siechenbach near Graba; where the monastery and then Saalfeld Castle were later built.
The first documented mention of Graba was in December 1074. Saalfeld, on the other hand, was first mentioned in a document on 11 March 899 and thus belongs to the oldest places in Eastern Thuringia. This mention is closely connected with the village of Graba, because a Carolingian royal palatinate existed here, whose chapel was the church of the district of Graba. Today, the Gertrudiskirche Graba stands in place of the chapel, but Graba existed as an original parish long before the town was founded and also in the time when the Benedictine monastery was founded in 1071. The cult of Gertrudis is of Frankish origin and was probably introduced with the Frankish royal court. For centuries the village developed next to Saalfeld independently of the town.
In 1922 Graba was incorporated into Saalfeld.
Places of interest
- Gertrudis Church
- Caspar Tryller (1542-1625), civil servant and founder of several foundations
- Michael Tryller (1551-1610), official of the Electorate of Saxony
- Gottlob Nathanael Fischer (1748-1800), pedagogue and writer
- Hans Patze, Peter Aufgebauer (eds.): Handbuch der historischen Stätten Deutschlands. Volume 9: Thuringia (= Kröners Taschenausgabe. Volume 313). 2., improved and supplemented edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-520-31302-2, p. 372.
- Wolfgang Kahl: Ersterwähnung Thüringer Städte und Dörfer. A handbook. 5th, improved and substantially expanded edition. Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza 2010, ISBN 978-3-86777-202-0, p. 96.
- Wolfgang Kahl: Ersterwähnung Thüringer Städte und Dörfer. A handbook. 5th, improved and substantially expanded edition. Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza 2010, ISBN 978-3-86777-202-0, p. 243.
- N.N.: Saalfeld/Saale Stadtgeschichte erleben – Gertreudiskirche – Graba. Self-published by the Saalfeld town council, Saalfeld 2007, pp. 1 and 2.
- Land use plan of the city of Saalfeld, section 3.2.History (PDF; 6.7 MB). Retrieved 22 December 2011.
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