The Bach ancestral home of Wechmar is considered the cradle of the musical Bach family. Johann Sebastian Bach himself researched his ancestry and got as far back as Veit (Vitus) Bach, whose Lutheran religion brought him to Wechmar from Hungary (or Bohemia – there remains no clear proof of his origins to this day), and who is today considered the forebear of the Bach family.
We know he was a baker who died in 1619, leaving behind five sons. But he also passed down his sense of music, for he is said to have “enjoyed the zither, which he took with him to the mill and played while milling”, as Johann Sebastian Bach himself wrote in The origin of the family of Bach musicians. The instrument, written in the original as a Cythringen, is a stringed, guitar-like instrument.
Thuringia 20 km
The Bach ancestral home
The Bach ancestral home, also known as the Oberbackhaus, was where Veit Bach himself lived, and has, since 1994, been a Bach memorial with a museum providing information on the town of Wechmar during Veit Bach’s lifetime, on the way the town preserves the Bach tradition to this day, and with exhibits on Thuringian bandsmen and instrument-builders.
Veit Bach Mill
This is probably where Veit Bach played his “Cythringen” – and what Johann Sebastian Bach considered to be “the musical beginnings for his descendants”. He found it particularly melodious to play in time with the mill. The Veit Bach Mill has been restored to its 1685 condition and is open to the public by prior appointment.