Karlstein am Main

Coordinates: 50°2′56″N 9°1′6″E / 50.04889°N 9.01833°E / 50.04889; 9.01833
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Karlstein am Main
Old town hall in Dettingen
Old town hall in Dettingen
Coat of arms of Karlstein am Main
Location of Karlstein am Main within Aschaffenburg district
AlzenauKahl am MainKarlstein am MainKleinostheimStockstadt am MainGroßostheimMainaschaffMömbrisJohannesbergGlattbachWiesener ForstForst Hain im SpessartHeinrichsthaler ForstHeinrichsthaler ForstWaldaschaffer ForstSchöllkrippener ForstSailaufer ForstRohrbrunner ForstRothenbucher ForstDammbachDammbachGoldbachGeiselbachWesterngrundSchöllkrippenKleinkahlWiesenKrombachSommerkahlBlankenbachHösbachSailaufHaibachHeigenbrückenHeinrichsthalLaufachWeibersbrunnRothenbuchWaldaschaffBessenbachMespelbrunnHeimbuchenthalDammbachWeibersbrunnAschaffenburgHesseMiltenberg (district)Main-Spessart
Karlstein am Main is located in Germany
Karlstein am Main
Karlstein am Main
Karlstein am Main is located in Bavaria
Karlstein am Main
Karlstein am Main
Coordinates: 50°2′56″N 9°1′6″E / 50.04889°N 9.01833°E / 50.04889; 9.01833
Admin. regionLower Franconia
Subdivisions2 Ortsteile
 • Mayor (2023–29) Peter Kreß[1]
 • Total12.68 km2 (4.90 sq mi)
110 m (360 ft)
 • Total8,027
 • Density630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes06188
Vehicle registrationAB

Karlstein am Main (officially Karlstein a. Main) is a municipality in the Aschaffenburg district in the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia (Unterfranken) in Bavaria, Germany. It is the westernmost settlement in Bavaria. Karlstein's Ortsteile (constituent villages) are Dettingen and Großwelzheim, the former being notable as the site of the Battle of Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession. In the 20th century, the town was the site of the, now decommissioned, Großwelzheim Nuclear Power Plant.



Constituent communities

Karlstein am Main lies on the River Main, and on the railway between Frankfurt am Main and Aschaffenburg, 16 km northwest of Aschaffenburg.

Constituent communities[edit]

Karlstein's Ortsteile are Dettingen and Großwelzheim.



The placename Dettingen suggests an Alamannic settlement (3rd to 14th century), and the placename Großwelzheim a Frankish one.

First mentions[edit]

Großwelzheim had its first documentary mention in a donation document from Lorsch Abbey in 772. Then, the village was called Walinesheim. The placename has the —heim ending that was typical for places founded in Frankish times. The name comes from a count named Walah who held sway in the Maingau.

Dettingen had its first documentary mention in a donation document from Emperor Otto II.

Battle of Dettingen[edit]

George II at the Battle of Dettingen

During the War of the Austrian Succession a battle took place in the Karlstein area on 27 June 1743, known as the Battle of Dettingen. The so-called "Pragmatic Army", made up of 35,000 Britons, Hanoverians and Austrians found itself fighting a 23,000 strong French army. The Pragmatic Army overcame the French, thus giving rise to the legend of the "Wandering Englishman", which has been handed down in Dettingen to this day. The Battle of Dettingen marked the last time a British monarch, King George II, personally led his troops into battle. George Frideric Handel wrote the Dettingen Te Deum in honour of the British victory, which was first performed on 27 November 1743 – exactly five months after the battle began – in George II's presence.


In the course of municipal reform in Bavaria came the merger of the two communities of Dettingen and Großwelzheim on 1 July 1975. In a vote, the new community's citizens decided on the name Karlstein, which had cropped up as early as some time about 1000 in a description of the Aschaffenburg Forest Region, and was also the name given an old community limit stone between Dettingen and Großwelzheim.


The name Karlstein supposedly, according to a traditional anecdote, goes back to Charlemagne (who is called Karl der Große in German). Charlemagne reportedly often stayed in Seligenstadt, right across the river, and was much given to hunting in the Spessart. To reach there, he would cross the Main in his ship to the place then still known as Tettingen. The stone at the landing, or even the limit stone between Tettingen and Walinesheim, then came to be known as Karlstein.


Community council[edit]

The council is made up of 20 council members, not counting the mayor.

2008 13 5 1 1 20 seats

(as at municipal election held on 2 March 2008)

Coat of arms[edit]

The community's arms might be described thus: Party per fess wavy, azure the Cross of Dettingen argent, argent an atom symbol with three orbits of the first and a nucleus gules.

The wavy parting refers to the community's location on the Main, which is also part of the community's name. Since the community was formed out of the two former communities of Dettingen and Großwelzheim in 1975, the arms display charges from each former community's arms. The uniquely shaped cross above the parting is the so-called Cross of Dettingen (or Dettinger Kreuz in German). It comes from Late Gothic times and is found in Saint Hippolytus's Church (Kirche St. Hippolyt) in the constituent community of Dettingen. The atom symbol below the parting is taken from the arms formerly borne by the community of Großwelzheim. Within community limits, Germany's first nuclear power station was built, although it was only experimental. In 1960, it began feeding electricity into the power grid. The reactor was shut down in 1985, and by the end of 2008, it had been fully removed.

The arms have been borne since 13 October 1977.


Nuclear power stations[edit]

On 13 November 1960, the Kahl Nuclear Power Plant, which despite the name is wholly within Karlstein's limits, came into service. The neighbouring community of Kahl am Main merely stood godfather at the christening.[clarification needed] On 25 November 1985, after running for 25 years, the power station was shut down. In 1988 the first dismantling work began, ending by late 2008.

The Großwelzheim hot steam reactor was in the same area; it was fully dismantled by 1998.


External links[edit]