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|Bundesland: Freistaat Thüringen||Thuringia|
Arnstadt is situated at an altitude of 288 m in the foothills of the Thüringer Wald mountains. The town is the seat of the administration of the Ilm district and has a population of about 27,200 (2003).
Arnestati was first mentioned in a document of AD 704; Arnstadt thus is the oldest documented town of Thuringia. In 726 Arnstadt came in possession of the monastery of Echternach in Luxembourg and later passed to the abbey of Hersfeld. In 925 the Counts of Käfernburg founded a monastery, which was first mentioned in 1196. The election of Philipp of Swabia as German King took place in Arnstadt in 1198. The first mention of Arnstadt as a 'civitas', a town, dates from 1220. The formal rights of a town were granted in 1266. In 1290 one part of Arnstadt came in possession of the counts of Käfernburg, while the other part remained with the abbey of Hersfeld. After the line of the counts of Käfernburg became extinct in 1302, the counts of Schwarzburg bought their part of Arnstadt in 1306. The remaining, larger, part of Arnstadt was bought in 1332. In 1342 and 1345 the city of Erfurt unsuccessfully besieged Arnstadt. In 1599 the countries of the counts of Schwarzburg were divided between the counties (1695 principalities) of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (with Arnstadt) and Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. A separate line of Schwarzburg-Arnstadt existed between 1651 and 1669 and between 1681 and 1716. After the abdication in 1918 of the last ruling prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Arnstadt became part of the free state of Thuringia in 1920. Arnstadt became an independent city in 1912, the district Arnstadt was created in 1922, and in 1950 Arnstadt was incorporated into the district. In 1952 the districts Arnstadt was divided into the new districts Arnstadt (circuit Erfurt) and Ilmenau (circuit Suhl). The two districts were combined again in 1995 (Ilm-Kreis).
The town hall [left] of Arnstadt was built in Renaissance style in 15811583.
Johann Sebastian BACH whose family had lived in Arnstadt for several generations, was organist in Arnstadt from 1703 until 1707.
Eugenie MARLITT (18251887; real name Friederieke Henriette Christiane Eugenie JOHN), an important German writer of the Biedermeier period, was born in Arnstadt.
Her pseudonym 'Marlitt' is an acronym of 'Meine Arnstädter Litteratur'.