1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fürth

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FÜRTH, a manufacturing town of Germany, in the kingdom of Bavaria, at the confluence of the Pegnitz with the Regnitz, 5 m. N.W. from Nuremberg by rail, at the junction of lines to Hof and Würzburg. Pop. (1885) 35,455; (1905) 60,638. It is a modern town in appearance, with broad streets and palatial business houses. Of its four Evangelical churches, the old St Michaeliskirche is a handsome structure; but its chief edifices are the new town hall, with a tower 175 ft. high and the magnificent synagogue. The Jews have also a high school, which enjoys a great reputation. There are besides a classical, a wood-carving and an agricultural school and a library. Fürth is the seat of several important industries; particularly, the production of chromolithographs and picture-books, the manufacture of mirrors and mirror-frames, bronze and gold-leaf wares, pencils, toys, haberdashery, optical instruments, silver work, turnery, chicory, machinery, fancy boxes and cases, and an extensive trade is carried on in these goods as also in hops, metals, wool, groceries and coal. A large annual fair is held at Michaelmas and lasts for eleven days. The earliest railway in Germany was that between Nuremberg and Fürth (opened on the 7th of December 1835).

Fürth was founded, according to tradition, by Charlemagne, who erected a chapel there. It was for a time a Vogtei (advocateship) under the burgraves of Nuremberg, but about 1314 it was bequeathed to the see of Bamberg, and in 1806 it came into the possession of Bavaria. In 1632 Gustavus Adolphus besieged it in vain, and in 1634 it was pillaged and burnt by the Croats. It owes its rise to prosperity to the tolerance it meted out to the Jews, who found here an asylum from the oppression under which they suffered in Nuremberg.

See Fronmüller, Chronik der Stadt Fürth (1887).