On 17 October 1707, a wedding party set off from Arnstadt and made its way to the town of Dornheim, located three kilometres away. They passed through a large gate which, as it continues to do today, leads into a charming little interior courtyard containing the St Bartholomew’s Church where Bach got married. The bridal pair consisted of the organist from Mühlhausen’s Divi Blasii Church, Johann Sebastian Bach, and his second cousin, Maria Barbara Bach.


Freundeskreis zur Erhaltung der Traukirche Dornheim

Hauptstraße 65
99310 Dornheim


The friendly ties between the groom and Dornheim priest Johann Lorenz Stauber may have been the reason behind the couple’s decision to choose the small village church for their wedding. The marriage to the musically gifted Maria Barbara resulted in seven Bach children, including the most famous sons Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel, as well as Johann Gottfried Bernhard, who also became an organist in Mühlhausen. Apart from the church registry entry, a fragment of the wedding quodlibet BWV 524 – a joyous piece of impromptu music whose lyrics are believed to allude to members or relatives of the Bach family – has also been preserved. While the church was continuously maintained until Johann Sebastian Bach’s 250th birthday, and was even given a new organ. The main attractions inside the church include the epitaph of the Schwarzburg senior councillor Christoph von Entzenbergk from 1585 and a Gothic winged altar from 1430. The Bach bust in the churchyard was inaugurated in 2002. Just like the monument in Arnstadt, it was crafted by the sculptor Bernd Göbel from Halle (Saale).

Thuringia 20 km