1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mühlhausen

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[ 957 ]

MÜHLHAUSEN, a town of Germany, in Prussian Thuringia, on the right bank of the Unstrut, 25 m. N.W. of Gotha by rail. Pop. (1905), 34,359. It consists of a new and an old town, surrounded by five suburbs, and has numerous old churches and towers. The most interesting churches are those of St Mary and of St Blasius, dating respectively from the 14th and the 12th century; the town-hall is also a fine medieval structure. The chief industries are the spinning and weaving of woollen and cotton. Other manufactures include needles, machinery, cigars, soap, hosiery, furniture and shoes. There are also establishments for dyeing, tanning, lime-burning, iron-making, brewing and the preparation of liqueurs.

Mühlhausen is one of the oldest towns in Thuringia, and is said to have been fortified in 925. Its early importance is shown by the grant of privileges made to it by the German King Henry I., and by the diet held here in 1135. During the Reformation period Mühlhausen became notorious as one of the chief seats of the Anabaptists. Thomas Münzer, one of their leaders, was captured in the vicinity and executed in the town. Internal dissensions and injuries received during the Thirty Years' War and the Seven Years' War afterwards reduced Mühlhausen to unimportance. In 1802 it lost its independence and passed to Prussia, in 1807 it was attached to the kingdom of Westphalia, but in 1815 it again became Prussian. The Teutonic Order established itself at Mühlhausen in 1200.

See E. Heydenreich, Aus der Geschichte der Reichsstadt Mühlhausen (Halle, 1900); Nebelsieck, Reformationsgeschichte der Stadt Mühlhausen (Magdeburg, 1905); Herquet, Urkundenbuch der ehemaligen freien Reichsstadt Mühlhausen (Halle, 1874); F. Stephan, Verfassungsgeschichte der Reichsstadt Mühlhausen (Sondershausen, 1886) ; Jordan, Chronik der Stadt Mühlhausen (Mühlhausen, 1900-1906); and Führer durch Mühlhausen und Umgegend (1901).