Wechmar is regarded as the birthplace of the Bach family of musicians. Johann Sebastian Bach, who himself researched his ancestors, got as far as Veit (Vitus) Bach, who probably settled in Wechmar around 1600, after having left his home for religious reasons, being a Lutheran himself (it has not been
conclusively proven whether this was in Hungary or Bohemia). Today, he is regarded as the progenitor of the Bach family.
It is known that he was a baker, died in 1619, and left behind five sons. It is also known that Veit Bach was very musical. Johann Sebastian Bach himself described how his ancestor would play the cittern in time with the mill wheel when he was milling grain in his “Ursprung der musicalisch-Bachischen Familie” (origin of the musical Bach family). The cittern is a stringed instrument dating back to the Renaissance resembling a modern-day mandolin.
More about Wechmar Bach Family.
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Bach Ancestral Home
The Bach ancestral home, also known as the Oberbackhaus (upper bakery), was already the home of Veit Bach, and has been a Bach memorial site since 1994 with a museum about the town of Wechmar during Veit Bach’s lifetime, the Bach heritage there today, and exhibitions on Thuringian minstrels and instrument makers.
Listen to the young Bach's music in authentic places. Here can you 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.
This is probably where Veit Bach played his cittern - for Johann Sebastian Bach, this was “the beginning of music for his descendants”. It was the idea of playing music to the beat of the mill that sounded best to him. The Veit-Bach-Mill has been restored to the way it looked in 1685 and can be visited.
Bach Cycling Experience Route
Cycling along the Bach Route, you can you can literally hear the sound of the wooden cartwheels of days gone by. After passing through Schwabhausen, you reach the idyllic setting of Wechmar with the ancestral home of the musical Bach family. Veit Bach, Johann Sebastian’s great-great-grandfather, settled here at the end of the 16th century.
Route can start/end anywhere
Parking: Bach Ancestral Home