Dear visitors to our website,
I am very pleased to see the interest you are showing in our town. On these pages we would like to provide you with some essential information about Schwabach, in a number of different languages.
The town of Schwabach, with its own administrative district (approx. 40,000 inhabitants), has a long-standing tradition of industry and craftsmanship. Yet, it is also a lively, modern centre for commercial activities and offers particular attractions for entrepreneurs and business start-ups.
Schwabach is ideally situated between Franconia's main urban axis, created by Nuremberg, Fürth and Erlangen just to the north, and the new Franconian Lake District to the south, so the town has an excellent location enabling people to take full advantage of the region's variety of cultural and leisure time activities.
But the town itself has a lot to offer, too: one of the most beautiful traditional Franconian market places, the treasured high altar in the town church, a fascinating history of "gold leaf", as well as many other attractions.
"A modern industrial town with a traditional Franconian heart" is the way that Schwabach has often been and is still described. I would be very happy if you felt inclined to experience Schwabach's undisputably, "golden" charm for yourself, and I hope that the information we give you here encourages you to pay us a first visit or to come to our beautiful town once again.
Lord Mayor of Schwabach
Schwabach can look back on a long history as a centre for industry and craftsmanship and, with a population of 40,000, it is the smallest of the 25 Bavarian towns which have their own administrative district. As the southernmost location of the Middle Franconian urban axis of Nuremberg – Fürth – Erlangen – Schwabach, the town provides the link between the urban area of Nuremberg and the picturesque surroundings to the south, in particular the community of Roth and the new Franconian Lake District.
In centuries gone by the industry of the area was dominated by craftsmen, above all, by brewers and gilders (gold beaters), and some of the first manufacturing industries such as needle-making and wire-drawing. Nowadays the town's industry is characterised by a broad range of mostly medium-sized enterprises that have established themselves here specializing in production, craftsmanship or service activities. A lot of these highly flexible businesses cater for niche markets and in many cases have become the leading experts in the German market. Schwabach can claim to have a healthy economic and business structure and to offer secure employment prospects.
Schwabach may not be able to claim the greatest architectural treasures of European culture but it offers some charming features of a typical Franconian town with its numerous well-preserved old buildings, the jewels which document the town's rich history. The excellent restoration of Schwabach's old town centre earned Schwabach the distinction in 1977 of becoming the first German town to be awarded the "Europa-Nostra Medal" for the conservation of European architectural and cultural heritage. The main highlights of the historical town centre are the splendid town church dating from 1495, the town hall built just in front of it in 1528, and the "Schöne Brunnen" (Beautiful Fountain) that was completed in 1717.
The town church also houses one of the masterpieces of sacred art, the magnificent high altar created in the workshops of the Gothic painter Michael Wolgemut.
Schwabach also has an array of cultural amenities (public library, galleries, puppet theatre, school of music, centre for adult education and the town archive). The town museum displays a large range of exhibits from the town's past that are of both local and national significance, and it incorporates a unique Egg Museum showing one of the world famous Fabergé eggs. An attractive cultural programme every year focuses attention on a broad variety of subjects, for example as part of the series of events entitled "Kultur im Großraum" (Culture in the Conurbation) and in the Children's Theatre series. And the Festival ORTUNG – our golden heritage, which is based on the town's history of gilding work and which has been a resounding success in Schwabach now for the eighth year in succession.
Festivals and Partnerships
The annual highlight on the events calendar is the three-day Citizens' Festival, a celebration of art and culinary delights which draws thousands of visitors into the town centre. And the partnerships with Schwabach's three twinned towns, Les Sables d'Olonne/France (since 1975), Kemer/Turkey (since 1998) and Kalambaka/Greece (since 2002) also offer plentiful opportunities for celebrations.
The general trend towards a greater emphasis on leisure-time activities is a boom for a sporting town like Schwabach. Under the patronage of Schwabach's Sport Association, the town's 35 sports clubs offer the opportunity to take part in 54 different kinds of sporting activities. The refurbished open-air swimming pool on the edge of the picturesque municipal park is a great attraction for local swimmers, but only 30 minutes' drive away, the Franconian lake district offers a total of about 1,500 hectares of water, a paradise for all water-sports enthusiasts, particularly for surfers and sailors.
Environment and Nature
Environmental protection and nature conservation have a long tradition in Schwabach, too. The new three-phase water purification plant, the pilot project bio-waste fermentation plant which was awarded the Bavarian Energy Prize in 1999, a variety of innovative installations for renewable energy, nomination for its model town ecology, participation in the European Architecture Competition Europan 5 and the Agenda-21 Process are just a few of Schwabach's significant achievements. The programme for the protection of species and biotopes, and the countryside conservation activities all help to safeguard the fauna and flora in the green areas of the town as well as in the precious valley habitats and the charming open landscape and woods of the neighbouring areas.
School and Education
The key role that Schwabach plays becomes particularly clear when you consider the comprehensive range of educational institutions it provides: primary and secondary schools, business and vocational schools, two grammar schools as well as a centre for children and youths with special needs, and pre-school centres.
By virtue of its geographical proximity to Middle Franconia's main urban axis, Schwabach is an excellent base for students of higher education, either at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg or at the Georg-Simon-Ohm Polytechnic Institute for Applied Technology in Nuremberg.
One of the best examples of the town's social amenities is the town hospital (health provision level II, 200 beds) with its special departments for internal medicine, accident and general surgery, and obstetrics, anaesthesiology, and the GP beds for eye, ear and throat treatment. The hospital ensures a very high standard of healthcare and is one of the most up-to-date hospitals in Middle Franconia. Associated with the hospital is a vocational training centre for nurses.
The number of nursery schools and the range of establishments and activities provided for children and young people are convincing evidence that Schwabach makes every effort to cater for the needs of its children and families.
The Generation 60 plus
A wide range of services for the older generations is also offered by the differently structured charitable organisations; these include mobile medical emergency and nursing services, modern senior citizens' and nursing homes, numerous advisory centres dealing with a variety of problems as well as a women's hostel.
The town's central location is one of its strengths in terms of private and public transport. Schwabach has two direct access links to the A6 motorway (Amberg - Heilbronn) and thus enjoys convenient connections to areas outside the region via the motorways BAB A 9 (Munich – Berlin) and A 3 (Passau – Frankfurt a. Main).
From Schwabach's main railway station, on the main Nuremberg - Munich line, there are frequent, regular regional and commuter services to Nuremberg's main station. Schwabach is also integrated into the local public transport network for the greater city area of Nuremberg. The central bus station provides an excellent example of the functional coordination of road and rail services. The local public transport system includes scheduled commuter train and tram services, city buses, collective taxis-on-demand and 'night-liners'.
Nuremberg airport is only 20 kilometres away and can be reached directly by commuter and underground train services. This is the gateway that gives us access to the major cities in Germany and Europe.
The Rhein-Main-Donau canal with its harbour in Nuremberg (10 kms) also provides us with a waterway linking us to the regions of south-eastern Europe as well as to those of the north and west of Europe.