Matrimonial Church in Dornheim

On October 17th, 1707, a wedding party in Arnstadt set off for Dornheim, 3 kilometres away. Both then and now, a large gate led into the small, enchanting courtyard next to Bach’s matrimonial church, Saint Bartholomew. The bridal couple were the organist of the Divi Blasii Church in Mühlhausen, Johann Sebastian Bach, and his second cousin, Maria Barbara Bach, the daughter of the organist and composer Johann Michael Bach.

​​​​​​​Perhaps it was their friendship with the Dornheim pastor Johann Lorenz Stauber that caused the couple to choose the little village church for their wedding. Seven of Bach’s children were born during his marriage with the musically talented Maria Barbara, including the most famous Bach sons Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel.

In addition to the entry in the church records, a fragment of the wedding quodlibet BWV 524 has survived - a cheerful, spontaneous piece, with texts that probably refer to members of the Bach family or their relatives.



Bach by bicycle

Underway with Johann Sebastian Bach.

Bach Cycle Experience Route, Foto: Thomas Müller, weimar GmbH

Gentle hills, colourful meadows, small rivers and castles shrouded in legend - the landscape at the heart of Thuringia is picturesque. Johann Sebastian Bach spent his early years and youth here in this idyllic region. 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!

You can cycle from Arnstadt to the church where Bach was married in Dornheim along the paths taken by the wedding party. Be enchanted by the young, temperamental Bach in Arnstadt. ​​​​​​​Cycle on to Wechmar, Johann Sebastian Bach’s ancestors worked here as bakers in the originally preserved Oberbackhaus and in the Veit-Bach-Mill.

​​​​​​​(1) Bach bust Dornheim, Foto: Clemens Bauerfeind, weimar GmbH
(2) Matrimonial Church ​​​​​​​Dornheim, Foto: Clemens Bauerfeind, weimar GmbH
​​​​​​​(3) Matrimonial Church ​​​​​​​Dornheim, Foto: Clemens Bauerfeind, weimar GmbH