Main Seat of the Bach Family

For seven generations, the Bach family dominated musical life in Erfurt. As late as 1793, the Erfurt town musicians were generally referred to as “Bachs”. From here, their influence spread over all of central Germany.

Bach’s ancestors, town musicians and organists, were the determining factor in the trading metropolis of 17th century Erfurt. The sons of Johann Bach the minstrel, namely Johann who came to Erfurt in 1635, and Christoph, founded the musical reputation of the so-called “Bache” or Bachs in Erfurt.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s grandfather, Christoph Bach, was the city piper in Erfurt from 1642 until 1654. His father, Johann Ambrosius, lived in Erfurt until 1671 at Junkersand 3, 31 and married Elisabeth Lämmerhirt, Bach’s mother, in the Kaufmannskirche in 1668. The Bachs enriched the musical life in Erfurt. This is where a new musical interval, the “major sixth” was introduced.


Guided walking tour

Following the Bach Family through Erfurt

Foto: Robert Elias Wachholz, weimar GmbH

Both family and business matters often brought Johann Sebastian Bach to Erfurt, e.g. to inspect the organ in the Augustinian Church in 1716, or to consult with the Erfurt music scholar Jakob Adlung in 1728. It was Duke Johann Georg I von Saxony-Eisenach who kept Johann Sebastian Bach from becoming an Erfurt-born citizen. In 1684, after thirteen years in Eisenach, Johann Ambrosius wanted to return to Erfurt. The duke refused his request, however, and this is why his son, Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach.

(1) Kaufmannskirche Erfurt, Foto: Clemens Bauerfeind, weimar GmbH
(2) Preacher's Church Erfurt, Foto: Clemens Bauerfeind, weimar GmbH
​​​​​​​(3) St. Thomas Church Erfurt, Foto: Clemns Bauerfeind, weimar GmbH