1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gelnhausen
GELNHAUSEN, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, on the Kinzig, 27 m: E.N.E. of Frankfort-on-Main, on the railway to Bebra. Pop. 4500. It is romantically situated on the slope of a vine-clad hill, and is still surrounded by ancient walls and towers. On an island in the river are the ivy-covered ruins of the imperial palace which Frederick I. (Barbarossa) built before 1170, and which was destroyed by the Swedes during the Thirty Years' War. It has an interesting and beautiful church (the Marien Kirche), with four spires (of which that on the transept is curiously crooked), built in the 13th century, and restored in 1876–1879; also several other ancient buildings, notably the town-hall, the Fürstenhof (now administrative offices), and the Hexenthurm. India-rubber goods are manufactured, and wine is made. Gelnhausen became an imperial town in 1169, and diets of the Empire were frequently held within its walls. In I634 and 1635 it suffered severely from the Swedes. In 1803 the town became the property of Hesse-Cassel, and in 1866 passed to Prussia.