|Municipal assoc.||Bad Sobernheim|
|Mayor||Egon Eckhardt (SPD)|
|Area||17.05 km2 (6.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||172 m (564 ft)|
|Population||1,429 (31 December 2011)|
|- Density||84 /km2 (217 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Merxheim is an Ortsgemeinde - a member of the Verbandsgemeinde [United Municipalities of] Bad Sobernheim - in the district of Bad Kreuznach in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, in southwestern Germany.
Merxheim is on the Naheweinstraße [Nahe Wine Route] as well as the Deutschen Baum- und Alleenstraße [German Avenues Route]. The Naheradweg [Nahe Bikeway] is the bicycling path that runs through the village and the rest of the whole Nahe Valley. There are also hiking trails throughout the Valley around Merxheim.
To Merxheim, the residences Gänsmühle, Kornsmühle (formerly Eltges- or Iltismühle), Estrella (formerly Kauzenmühle) and Weinelsmühle (formerly Franzenmühle), also belong.
Merxheim appeared in the records for the first time in 1061, when the Archbishop of Trier, Eberhard, gave the property of "Merkedesheim" to the Simeonstift of Trier. In the early 12th Century, the spelling of "Merxheim" was used for the first time, in a deed of confirmation from the Archbishop of Mainz, Adalbert I von Saarbrücken. In 1350, a Ritter [knight] named Conrad von Merxheim was mentioned. His two children, Rorich and Adelheid, were the heirs of his estates in Merxheim, and they shared it until Rorich died. Then the village of Merxheim and its so-called "castle" were divided. One half went to the family of the Vögte [bailiffs] von Hunolstein, and the other to Weyrich von Hohenburg. But it was the Freiherren [barons] von Hunolstein that would rule Merxheim for the next four centuries.
Like so many of the towns and villages in the Nahe River Valley, Merxheim had had a hard life, filled with wars and disasters. In the Landshut War of Succession (1503-1504), the village was plundered by the troops of Alexander, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken. In 1504 Merxheim was completely burned. In September 1612, the plague came. In just four months, it killed 228 people. In 1778 and 1788, because of the heavy rains, mudslides came to Merxheim and crushed whole houses at a time. But the worst catastrophe in the history of the village happened on 24 July 1870, when a fire was started by children playing in a barn. Within three hours, 107 houses and farms were destroyed. The old "Nuremberg Tower”, the village's landmark for centuries, was completely burnt out and had to demolished. Even the Evangelical Lutheran Church was not spared but it was quickly rebuilt.
Napoleon and his Grande Armée ended the barony of Hunolstein. From 1798 to 1814, Merxheim was French. It was a part of the Département de la Saar in the French Empire. This was when it was assigned to the district (French: canton) of Meisenheim for the first time, for the prefecture (French: arrondissement) of Birkenfeld. In 1816, the Congress of Vienna gave it to the Landgraviate of Hesse-Homburg but it remained in the district (German: Oberamt) of Meisenheim. It was Homburger for 50 years. Then, in 1866, after the Seven Weeks War, the victorious Kingdom of Prussia annexed Merxheim and put it in the Rheinprovinz [Province of the Rhineland]. But Merxheim still belonged to the district (now Kreis) of Meisenheim. It stayed Prussian until the end of the First World War, when it finally became German.
The growth of the population of Merxheim, between 1871 and 1987, according to the numbers from the national censuses:
The Municipal Council of Merxheim consists of 16 councilors. They were chosen in the municipal elections of 7 June 2009, according to the proportional representation method, with the honorary mayor as the chairman.
Distribution of the Municipal Council after the municipal elections of 2004 and 2009:
Coats of Arms
The blazon of the arms reads: "Above the golden bottom crossed with a red bar above three red shingles, the shield is split in red and silver. On the left is a silver diagonal bar coverd with three red roses; on the right, a red castle tower with a hipped roof.“
The red tower is the “Nuremberg Tower”, the landmark of the village for many centuries. The bottom of the shield are the arms of the Vögte and Freiherren von Hunolstein, the owners and rulers of Merxheim for four hundred years. But the village's original owners are remembered by the silver bar with three red roses. These arms were used in 1437 by Rorich von Merxheim.
The following historic and cultural places of the Ortsgemeinde Merxheim are on the Register of Heritage Places of the State of Rheinland-Palatinate (as of 13 January 2013):
- Bachstraße 17: courtyard, in the Renaissance style, circa 1572
- (at) Großstraße 28: remains of the stairway tower, Late Gothic style, mentioned 1572
- Großstraße 34: Alte Rathaus [Old Town Hall], in the Renaissance style, 1570, with the archway added in 1572
- Hahnenstraße 4: hipped roof, in the Baroque style, made with timber and plaster, 18th Century
- Hauptstraße 4: single-roof building; built with a hipped roof, partially splintered timber frame, mentioned 1811
- Hauptstraße 17: Evangelical Lutheran Church; Neogothic style, built with square blocks of sandstone, 1874
- Hauptstraße 19: Catholic Church for the parish of St. Borromäus [German for St. Bartholomew]; former castle of the bailiffs of Hunolstein, elongated building of stucco in the Classical style, 1791 and later; on the east side 1817 fixtures of the Catholic parish church of St. Borromäus; on the west side of the Catholic school, roof turret, 1865, Neoclassical tower, 1919
- (at) Hauptstraße 22/24: Renaissance-style archway, 1592; sundial, circa 1700
- (at) Hauptstraße 32: portal, mentioned 1622
- Hauptstraße 61: villa-like clinker building, one and a half-story tall, in the Late Victorian style, mentioned 1903
- Corner of Hauptstraße and Großstraße: War Dead Memorial of 1914/1918, obelisk of sandstone, after 1920
- Jewish Cemetery with 51 tombstones dated between 1830 and 1936.
- on the Nahe River, north of the town: Gänsmühle [Geese Mill]; stately Neoclassical residence with a dormer and jamb, around 1860; outbuildings in brick
- "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden am 31.12.2011". Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz (in German). 2012.
- (de) Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz [Rhineland-Palatinate State Bureau of Statistics], Amtliches Verzeichnis der Gemeinden und Gemeindeteile [Official Directory of the Municipalties and Their Divisions], page 17 (PDF)
- (de) Ortsgemeinde Merxheim, Etwas Geschichte [A Bit of History]
- (en) "Merxheim", http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Merxheim
- (de) Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz [Rhineland-Palatinate State Bureau of Statistics], Regional Data
- (de) Kommunalwahl Rheinland-Pfalz 2009, Gemeinderat [2009 Municipal Council Elections of the Rhineland-Palatinate]
- (de) Ortsgemeinde Merxheim, Das Wappen [The Coat-of-Arms]
- (de) Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz [General Commission of the Cultural Heritage of Rhineland-Palatinate] (ed.): Nachrichtliches Verzeichnis der Kulturdenkmäler Kreis Bad Kreuznach [Register of Heritage Places of the District of Bad Kreuznach] (PDF; 1.6 MB), Mainz, 2013, p. 55
- (de) Werner Vogt, Merxheim: Aus der Geschichte eines Dorfes an der mittleren Nahe [Merxheim: From the History of a Village in the Middle of the Nahe Valley]. Merxheim, Ortsgemeinde Merxheim, 1992
- (de) Kurt Herbert Küstner, Die katholischen Einwohner von Merxheim 1695-1900: Reihe Genealogie im Nahe-Hunsrückraum Nr. 16 [The Catholic Residents of Merxheim 1695-1900: Genealogy in the Nahe-Hunsrück Area Series, No. 16]. Kirn, Verbandsgemeinde [United Municipalities of] Kirn-Land, 1997
- (de) Kurt Herbert Küstner, Ev. Einwohner in Merxheim 1525-1900: Reihe Genealogie im Nahe-Hunsrückraum Nr. 27 [Evangelical Lutheran Residents in Merxheim 1525-1900: Genealogy in the Nahe-Hunsrück Area Series, No. 27]. Kirn, Verbandsgemeinde [United Municipalities of] Verbandsgemeinde Kirn-Land, 2000
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Merxheim|
- (de) Official Website of Merxheim
- (de) Official Website of the Verbandsgemeinde [United Municipalities of] Bad Sobernheim for Merxheim