Merkers-Kieselbach was a municipality in the Wartburgkreis district of Thuringia, Germany, which existed from 1994 until 30 December 2013.
Merkers-Kieselbach lay on both sides of the Werra between the mountains of the Thuringian Forest and the Rhön.
The community Merkers-Kieselbach consisted of the districts Merkers, Kieselbach and the small district Kambachsmühle.
The district of Kieselbach was first mentioned in documents by the Hersfeld Monastery in 1155, the district of Merkers in 1308.
The two formerly independent municipalities of Merkers and Kieselbach merged in 1994 to form the unified municipality of Merkers-Kieselbach.
Development of the number of inhabitants:
- Data source: as of 1994 Thuringian State Office for Statistics – values as of 31 December
Last municipal council
The last municipal council of Merkers-Kieselbach consisted of 16 council members:
- FWG Merkers-Kieselbach: 5 seats
- CDU: 5 seats
- LINKE: 4 seats
- SPD: 1 seat
- GREENS: 1 seat
(as of local elections on 7 June 2009)
The last full-time mayor, Inka Sollmann (non-party), was elected with 91% of the votes.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms was designed by heraldist Uwe Reipert and introduced on 1 July 1994. The wave bar with the pebbles symbolizes the place name Kieselbach, the castle represents the Krayenburg.
Culture and sights
- Merkers Adventure Mine – The largest potash mine in the world when it opened attracts thousands of visitors to the “world of white gold” every year. Large parts of the Reich’s gold reserve, cash and works of art were hidden here in 1945.
- Fortified church in the district of Kieselbach – The church was built in 1563. The oldest of its three bronze bells dates from 1462 and probably comes from the chapel on the Krayenburg.
- Historic half-timbered houses in both parts of the village – in Kieselbach there is the oldest still preserved and inhabited four-sided farm.
- “Country-Canyon” in Kieselbach – The former old sandstone quarry was lovingly converted into a western village by the Country Club Kieselbach.
- Regional museum Krayenbergregion – In the museum of local history of the district Kieselbach history becomes experiencable and the visitor gets interesting insights into home and customs of Kieselbach and surroundings.
- “Andreas-Fack-Haus ” – In the house where the Rhönlied poet Andreas Fack was born in Merkers, a small museum has been lovingly set up in his honour.
- February: Carnival
- Maundy Thursday: Easter fire
- 1. May: Fire brigade festival
- Ascension Day: Big event in Country Canyon
- June: Summer festival (horticultural association) and sports festival
- October: Fair
- November: St. Martin’s procession
- February: Carnival
- May: Florian fire
- June: Handball and sports festival
- October: Fair
- November: Carnival
Economy and infrastructure
The Merkers industrial estate is located on the eastern outskirts of Merkers on the site of the former mine. It has a total area of 70 ha (as of 2009). Furthermore, the commercial area Am Hämbacher Kreuz is of importance, it is located directly at the border to the Tiefenort district Hämbach.
The federal road 62 leads in west-east direction through the village Merkers, the federal road 84 through Kieselbach.
During the Second World War, 700 prisoners of war as well as women and men from numerous occupied countries had to perform forced labour: in the potash shafts I and II of Merkers, in the shafts I and II in Kaiseroda and Hämbach as well as in agriculture.
- Thuringian Ordinance on the Dissolution and Merger of the Municipalities of Kieselbach and Merkers of 20 January 1994 (GVBl. p. 234), a) § 5 amended by Ordinance of 6 April 1994 (GVBl. p. 410)
- Draft of the Thuringian law on the voluntary reorganization of municipalities belonging to a district in 2013(Memento of the Originals of 24 September 2015 in the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note.
- StBA: Territorial changes from 01 January to 31 December 2013
- Local elections in Thuringia on 7 June 2009. Elections of municipal and city council members. Preliminary results.(PDF; 1.9 MB) The State Election Commissioner, retrieved 6 February 2010.
- Hartmut Ulle Thüringer Wappenbuch – Arbeitsgemeinschaft Genealogie e.V.(publisher).
- Industrial estates in the Wartburg region.In: Wartburgkreis-Online. Archived fromOriginal15 May2011; retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Thuringian Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime – Association of Anti-Fascists and Study Group of German Resistance 1933-1945 (eds.): Heimatgeschichtlicher Wegweiser zu Stätten des Widerstandes und der Verfolgung 1933-1945, Series: Heimatgeschichtliche Wegweiser Band 8 Thüringen, Erfurt 2003, p. 327, ISBN 3-88864-343-0
– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files