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Schönau is a city with approximately 4400 inhabitants in the district of Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated in the Odenwald hills, 10 km northeast of Heidelberg. Schönau Abbey is located here.

Old post office
Old post office
Coat of arms of Schönau
Coat of arms
Location of Schönau within Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district
BavariaHesseRhineland-PalatinateHeidelbergHeilbronnHeilbronn (district)Karlsruhe (district)MannheimNeckar-Odenwald-KreisEberbachAltlußheimAngelbachtalBammentalBrühlDielheimDossenheimEberbachEberbachEberbachEdingen-NeckarhausenEdingen-NeckarhausenEpfenbachEppelheimEschelbronnGaibergHeddesbachHeddesheimHeiligkreuzsteinachHelmstadt-BargenHemsbachHirschberg an der BergstraßeHockenheimIlvesheimKetschLadenburgLaudenbachLeimenLeimenLobbachMalschMauerMeckesheimMühlhausenNeckarbischofsheimNeckargemündNeidensteinNeulußheimNußlochOftersheimPlankstadtRauenbergReichartshausenReilingenSandhausenSankt Leon-RotSchönauSchönbrunnSchriesheimSchwetzingenSchwetzingenSinsheimSpechbachWaibstadtWalldorfWeinheimWeinheimWiesenbachWieslochWilhelmsfeldZuzenhausenSchönau in HD.svg
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Schönau is located in Germany
Schönau is located in Baden-Württemberg
Coordinates: 49°26′08″N 08°48′33″E / 49.43556°N 8.80917°E / 49.43556; 8.80917Coordinates: 49°26′08″N 08°48′33″E / 49.43556°N 8.80917°E / 49.43556; 8.80917
Admin. regionKarlsruhe
 • MayorMarcus Zeitler
 • Total22.49 km2 (8.68 sq mi)
180 m (590 ft)
 • Total4,447
 • Density200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes06228
Vehicle registrationHD



Schönau lies on the southern slope of the Odenwald hills, in the valley of the River Steinach, a tributary of the Neckar River.

Neighbouring CommunitiesEdit

The city is bordered to the north by Heiligkreuzsteinach, by Heddesbach to the northeast, by Hirschhorn to the east, Neckarsteinach and Neckargemünd to the south, and Wilhelmsfeld and Heidelberg to the west.

City structureEdit

The city Schönau belongs to the former municipality Altneudorf (German: combination of the words "old", "new" and "village"), which was created by the conglomeration of the villages Oberdorf and Unterdorf. On 8th of May 1975 when municipal reform updated the city's zoning, Schönau's borders came to include Bei Altneudorf, Landheim Lessingschule (Lochmühle), Lindenbach and the houses of Hasselbacherhof. Additionally, the deserted village Bauerländerhof lies within its designated limits.[2]



Schönau was first historically documented with the founding of the Schönau Abbey by the Prince-Bishopric of Worms in 1142. The monastery came under the patronage of the Electoral Palatinate in the 12th century and became a House monastery, abode and burial place of the [[List of Counts Palatine of the Rhine]|Counts Palatine of the Rhine]]. In the Reformation, the Palatinate converted to Protestantism, until 1558 when Elector Palatine Otto Henry was succeeded by a secular caretaker and the monks were expelled. In 1562 with the arrival of 35 Calvinism refugee families from Wallonia, the dwelling rights were passed on to Die Evangelische Stiftung Pflege Schonau[1] (German: The Evangelical Trust for the Care of Schönau) and the monastery grounds were converted to residential purposes. The immigrants brought their craft, mainly weaving and dyeing, into the rural environment.

Schönau was first designated a city in 1600. At the beginning of the 19th century, Schönau was part of Baden. In 1900, the city had approximately 2000 inhabitants. In 1935 Schönau's city designation was revoked, but reissued in 1956. After World War II the city took in 553 refugees, increasing the population to 3035 in 1947.


The first mention of Altneudorf appears in 1316 as "Nuendorf". The settlement was created by the Strahlenberg dynasty from Waldeck in approximately the 13th century. From 1357 it was associated with their castle's domain, until 1803 when the settlement was allocated to Baden upon dissolution. Beginning in the 18th century, the name "Neudorf" came into usage in order to differentiate the area as a separate entity to Wilhelmsfeld.[3] Although the region had its own district and assets, it belonged politically to Heiligkreuzsteinach until independence in 1844.


The city in its present form was created as part of municipal reform in Baden-Württemberg[2] through the unification of Schönau and Altneudorf on 9th of May 1975.

Population over time[4]
Year 1727 1818 1852 1905 1939 1950 1961 1970 1975 1991 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015
Altneudorf 116 302 501 487 581 765 807 1163
Schönau 470 1163 1974 2056 2104 3031 3271 3357
Combined 586 1465 2475 2543 2685 3796 4078 4520 4381 4524 4619 4786 4793 4526 4370


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2017". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). 2018.
  2. ^ Das Land Baden-Württemberg. Amtliche Beschreibung nach Kreisen und Gemeinden. Band V: Regierungsbezirk Karlsruhe [The State Baden-Württemberg. Official description by districts and municipalities. Volume 5: government district Karlsruhe]. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. 1976. pp. 396–397. ISBN 3-17-002542-2.
  3. ^ Gomille, Harald (2004). Wilhelmsfeld. Die Geschichte der Gemeinde [Wilhelmsfeld: the history of the community]. p. 23.
  4. ^ Kreisbeschreibung Band 2. Einwohnerzahlen bis 1950. Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemburg. pp. 373/902.