FRANKENTHAL, a town of Germany, in the Bavarian Palatinate, on the Isenach, connected with the Rhine by a canal 3 m. in length, 6 m. N.W. from Mannheim, and on the railways Neunkirchen-Worms and Frankenthal-Grosskarlbach. Pop. (1905) 18,191. It has two Evangelical and a Roman Catholic church, a fine medieval town-hall, two interesting old gates, remains of its former environing walls, several public monuments, including one to the veterans of the Napoleonic wars, and a museum. Its industries include the manufacture of machinery, casks, corks, soap, dolls and furniture, iron-founding and bell-founding—the famous “Kaiserglocke” of the Cologne cathedral was cast here. Frankenthal was formerly famous for its porcelain factory, established here in 1755 by Paul Anton Hannong of Strassburg, who sold it in 1762 to the elector palatine Charles Theodore. Its fame is mainly due to the modellers Konrad Link (1732–1802) and Johann Peter Melchior (d. 1796) (who worked at Frankenthal between 1779 and 1793). The best products of this factory are figures and groups representing contemporary life, or allegorical subjects in the rococo taste of the period, and they are surpassed only by those of the more famous factory at Meissen. In 1795 the factory was sold to Peter von Reccum, who removed it to Grünstadt.
Frankenthal (Franconodal) is mentioned as a village in the 8th century. A house of Augustinian canons established here in 1119 by Erkenbert, chamberlain of Worms, was suppressed in 1562 by the elector palatine Frederick III., who gave its possessions to Protestant refugees from the Netherlands. In 1577 this colony received town rights from the elector John Casimir, whose successor fortified the place. From 1623 until 1652, save for two years, it was occupied by the Spaniards, and in 1688–1689 it was stormed and burned by the French, the fortifications being razed. In 1697 it was reconstituted as a town, and under the elector Charles Theodore it became the capital of the Palatinate. From 1798 to 1814 it was incorporated in the French department of Mont Tonnerre.
See Wille, Stadt u. Festung Frankenthal während des dreissigjährigen Krieges (Heidelberg, 1877); Hildenbrand, Gesch. der Stadt Frankenthal (1893). For the porcelain see Heuser, Frankenthaler Gruppen und Figuren (Spires, 1899).