Among all Bach locations, Ohrdruf is the smallest. It enjoys, however, over 170 years of Bach tradition in addition to being a home for the young Johann Sebastian for five years. The founder of the Bach family in Ohrdruf is considered to be Johann Sebastian Bach’s brother, Johann Christoph. He took on the position of the organist at the City Church of St. Michael in 1690, became very popular as a musician, remaining there for the rest of his life.
Stadtverwaltung und Tourist Information Ohrdruf
Visit the library in the spire of St. Michael's upon advance reservation
Guided tour following in the footsteps of Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach Cycling Experience Route
After the early death of his parents in Eisenach, the ten-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach came to live with his brother. Because of the age-difference of 14 years, Johann Christoph not only became Johann Sebastian’s legal guardian, but also his first piano, organ, and basso continuo teacher. With that, he laid the foundation for the creative accomplishments of his brother in later years.
Johann Christoph had acquired his own musical skills during three years of lessons with Johann Pachelbel in Erfurt, and then through experience as an organist at St. Thomas’ Church in Erfurt and in Arnstadt, before he was hired as the organist for Arnstadt.
By participating with the “Kurrende” walking through the city, Bach was able earn his first income. Furthermore, his first organ chorales from this period survived and were discovered in 1985 in the autograph “Neumeister-Sammlung”. After he left Ohrdruf, the younger Bach maintained a close professional and familial contact to his brother Johann Christoph that extended into the Weimar period.
More about Ohrdruf Bach Family.
of all Bach Locations
City Church St. Michael's
Until its destruction in 1945, St. Michael’s was the main city church of Ohrdruf. Today, only the spire remains and can be visited upon advance reservation. The small library in the spire holds true treasures from Bach’s Ohrdruf period.
Listen to the young Bach's music in authentic places. Here you can find a stylised organ, on which you can push the pedal and play Bach's compositions. It also offers the most important information about his life there.
Module 1: Ehrenstein Castle
Module 2: St. Michael's
Module 3: Shoemakers' Fountain
Bach Monument Ohrdruf
The Bach monument at the Michaelisplatz (St. Michael's Square) in Ohrdruf, forged by the students of the Michaelisschule (St. Michael's School).
During Bach’s day, Ehrenstein Castle was occupied by the counts of Hohenlohe-Neuenstein. The territory had belonged to the dukes of Saxony-Gotha since 1657. The splendid rococo hall and the various exhibitions are worth visiting. In addition, one can find original documents as evidence of Bach’s tenure in Ohrdruf.
Bach Cycling Experience Route
Enjoy a varied circular bicycle tour through charming places with half-timbered houses and the impressive panoramic views from the mountain ranges of the Thuringian Forest! In the area around Crawinkel, Konik horses and llamas graze on large meadows. Walk in ach’s tracks as a Latin pupil and choir boy in Ohrdruf.
Route can begin/end anywhere
Parking: Ehrenstein Castle