Sure: when you managed to read this chapter, you know every location, that might call itself a Bach city or a Bach place. However: my presentation of all Bach locations is based on the research of others - earlier - but, this is how we saved a lot of time for research. In the picture above you see the old Bach monument right in front of the St. Thomas School. The St. Thomas School doesn't exist any more, the old Bach monument is just a stone's throw away from the new one. The Bach City of all Bach cities: Leipzig.
Again, it's not that easy with Johann Sebastian Bach. While we connect Beethoven to Bonn, Germany, Mozart to Salzburg, Austria and both Strauss, father and son to Vienna, Austria as well, it is different by far with the star of this website and in this project. There is no such thing like the Bach City. Because there are several Bach cities, actually even - many Bach cities.
Excuse me, what is he doing here? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart considered the work of Bach brilliant. Here he is displayed, because it's possible to associate him with Salzburg, Austria, which we mentioned above. Which of the cities do you connect with Johann Sebastian Bach? Now, not later. Before you start to read this chapter.
Bach city is not Bach city. And that starts with some of these Bach cities actually are Bach places or Bach locations as they are too small to be called a city. And some of these Bach cities are not related to Johann Sebastian Bach at all. Finally there are several Bach cities, which are called Bach cities for just one visit, one performance or one interview that Johann Sebastian Bach led to that place. Actually when you surf on the German internet, you will find one name of a town suggested for the term "Bach city" just because one of Johann Sebastian Bach's students copied many of the master's works in that town. Yes, I am really serious. I won't tell you the name of that city right here, but may be you try it on your own. What you need are the German words for such, which is "Bach" - of course - and "Bachstadt", which is Bach city in one word. A secret note: actually this town is considered the Schumann City.
So it is nothing left but to organize them. The Bach cities. You don't have to because I did it for you. One reason is, that you meet more and more Bach cities discovering the Thomas Cantor's life. In the very beginning you believe, you count nine Bach cities ( ... or places) and you know them all. And actually this is correct. But suddenly when googling "Bach cities" there is a hit "Bach city of Hamburg", the "Bach city of Luebeck" and of course "the Bach city of Erfurt". Wechmar plays a big role for all those too, who are interested in the Bach genealogy. But that doesn't mean, Wechmar is a Bach city. Because Wechmar is way too small to be called a city, so we call it a Bach location or a Bach place. However... - do you remember? Me ... - funny maker.
Zwickau, Saxony = Schumann City. It's true, a student of Johann Sebastian Bach copied many of the master's works, so they survived the 250 years until the present day. However this is no reason to call this great town, Zwickau, a Bach city.
We made many, many trips. To take photos and to make videos. Plus, for that we checked on the weather report for months. "Bach Country" how we call the area in Thuringia, is located in a distance of some three hours drive from Heilbronn. Leipzig respectively Koethen is an addition of one and a half hours to two hours. What came out, are hundreds of photos, which you may watch in our Bach photo archive. Of course these photos and videos were foundation for the Bach videos about the Bach cities and Bach places. The number has grown with the project, the reason was, that some of the Bach places weren't considered as such by some biographers. However, on this website " ...they are just allowed to call themselves Bach locations" plus that was the case, when a city just excited me, like Gotha did. Why there are five, eight, nine or thirty-three cities and villages, which might call themselves a Bach city or Bach place, is what you can read a little later. Now you get four Bach videos regarding the theme of Bach cities and Bach places in a compact summary - may be after watching these you are in the mood to experience more of them.
Video 1 about the Bach cities and Bach places: Wechmar. There everything began for the Bache, that is what they were called back then. Four minutes short and with music. Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, but of more composers as well.
Video 2 about the Bach cities and Bach places: Gotha. Five and a half minutes short and with narrated text. The music is composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, plus by others too. Why Gotha is a Bach city, is what you discover while watching.
Video 3 about the Bach cities and Bach places: Eisenach. Three and a half minutes short and with text. Plus, with music, by Johann Sebastian Bach, and again, by others too. If you could "post" it for others later, when you loved it, we would be very pleased.
Video 4 about the Bach cities and Bach places: the little community of Dornheim. Five minutes short and with narrated text. The music: by Johann Sebastian Bach and others. You don't know Dornheim yet? Than click on "play" here.
Video 5 about the Bach cities and Bach places: Leipzig. Five minutes short and with narrated text. The music is composed ( ... you know it already ...) by Johann Sebastian Bach and by others too. Have fun watching.
Let us start with the four categories. First there are those Bach cities and Bach places, which are commonly well-known as cities and places with this honor. Or less known ... - and, which you find in general in most short biographies about Johann Sebastian Bach. And it goes without saying in the real biographies as well. In five Bach cities Bach "really" lived plus acted. And beyond that there are four more Bach cities and Bach places of importance. I call this addition of nine villages, cities and places category A. In the order of Johann Sebastian's stay these are Eisenach, Ohrdruf, Lueneburg ( ... his childhood), Arnstadt, Muehlhausen, Dornheim, Weimar, Koethen and finally Leipzig ( ... where he worked and married). The Bach city of Weimar here shows up only once, although Bach lived and made music there twice in his life.
Bach city of "quality grade 1" in the category A: Eisenach, Thuringia waits for you with three highlights around the theme of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Now we get to "category B" of the Bach cities and Bach places. This section is exciting exclusively for those who are interested in the Bach Family, that is to say it is beyond the Royal Court Composer and Thomas Cantor Johann Sebastian Bach. However: if I would list every city or place, in which one of the numerous members in this family of musicians has made music, or was a cantor or an organist, we would have, especially in Thuringia, one Bach city beside the next Bach city. That ... - makes no sense at all. However: there are cities, where Bachs were present in such a large number or their presence was of such an importance between 1600 and 1800, that they just deserve the title "Bach city" or "Bach place" for sure. On the one hand those places are important for the Bach Genealogy, like the Bach place of all Bach places, which is the village of Wechmar, on the other hand it is the city of Erfurt. In the Bach city of Erfurt more than 60 church files of members of this Bach Family of Musicians are found. The village of Gehren is one more of those Bach places and Gotha as well is a Bach city. Hamburg is sort of borderline and so is Luebeck.
Wechmar is the unchallenged position 1 in the category B. Although it is no Bach city, as with 576 residents you wouldn't call such a place a city - however it is the most important Bach place in the genealogy of the Bach Family of Musicians.
It is a little bit overdone, I know: my third category C. But this section is researched on a scientific basis. As one or the other website might report there's one more Bach city or another, I want to make this website to clear things. This is why the following Bach cities and Bach places, actually must show up here. First these are the Bach cities and Bach places, which do not belong into the categories A and B. And more precisely? These are those Bach places, which are connected to Johann Sebastian in the broadest sense. These are the cities and villages, in which Johann Sebastian Bach either once applied for a job, or in which he performed music or in which he at least was present once as an organ specialist. For somebody who can not get enough of Johann Sebastian Bach, all three categories of Bach cities and Bach places are surely exciting. At least here they are organized in a way, that beyond having a list you learn a little more about these villages, communities and cities and you may enjoy some nice photos.
As well a strong representative town in the category B: a Bach city which is connected to a vacation of Johann Sebastian Bach in his era in Arnstadt when he came back from this vacation not after four weeks but after more than twelve weeks: the Bach city of Luebeck.
Whether the village of Wechmar, the city of Celle or the village of Gehren is a Bach place or a Bach location. Or whether it's not ... - that is what you may decide on your own after you have read this chapter. Like everything else, this list is just an offer for you. The decision ... - finally is on you.
Bach city after Bach city: you may learn more about all of them here on "Bach on Bach". And you may decide up front, where the line is, from where it's "too much of a good thing". Not really seriously I once planned a category E, where all cities and villages would have been listed if there was at least one person living, who loves the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. But, that would have made no sense at all, as every city would than have been a Bach city and every village would have been a Bach place. The picture above is taken at Weissenfels, Saxony-Anhalt where Johann Sebastian Bach once was consultant of the baronial court band - did you know that?