A short history of the municipality of Olching

Olching is situated approximately half way between Fürstenfeldbruck and Dachau, on both banks of the Amper river. In 1978 the former small independent municipalities of Olching, Esting and Geiselbullach joined to become one community.

Olching

After the archaeological findings from the "Glockenbecher" era were unearthed near Esting, we now know for sure that even towards the end of the Neolithic period people lived in and around the Olching of today. There are also traces from the "La-Tène" era in the form of a row of grave mounds along the road from Neu-Esting to Geiselbullach. Excavations carried out by the Electoral Academy of Science in 1789 and the Historic Association of Upper Bavaria in 1873 exposed urns filled with ashes in 21 Celtic grave mounds, so-called "Cartgraves". From Roman times there have only been a few coins found in Olching.

 

Olching

Olching, as well as Esting and Graßlfing, belong to old Bavarian settlements. According to a controversial document, which is only a copy of a late medieval charter, the last Duke of the Agilofinger Tassilo III, donated the municipality, together with its church and mill, to the monastery of Benediktbeuren. Judging by this charter there must have already been a simpler church preceding the late medieval church of St. Peter and Paul, which was demolished in 1903.

The next proven documents date from the 11th century. Olching appears again in the light of history when Duke Ludwig the Strict had to found a monastery as atonement for the murder of his wife Mary of Brabant, committed out of jealousy. This monastery was first founded in the area around Aibling, then it was transferred to Olching. On the evening prior to Mary´s Ascension Day, on the 14th of August 1262, the Cistercian monks came and "soon erected a wooden building". In the very same year they elected their first abbot, Anselmus. But shortly afterwards in 1263, the monks moved to the "Dukes Field" (des Fürsten Feld) in the vicinity of where Fürstenfeldbruck is situated today. We cannot say exactly whether it was the flooding of the Starzel rivulet or the unsettled ownership claims that caused this hasty transfer. The Fürstenfeld monastery was very wealthy in the following centuries until the onset of secularisation in Olching (1802/03). There are also a large number of documents about secular and ecclesiastical estates.

 

The Thirty Years` War proved to be disastrous for the area around Munich. On the 17th May 1632, King Gustav Adolf of Sweden marched into Munich. Although the city was spared because of its ransom payments, the surrounding countryside had to bear the full burden of the war. Olching was also substantially destroyed, and from the 67 estates counted in 1631, a mere 9 survived.

 

However, the village managed to recover from the war damage again in the course ofthe 18th century. When the Bavarian monasteries were dissolved in 1802/03, large areas of land along the Amper, which belonged to the Monastery Fürstenfeld, were allotted to Olching. It was then when the 55 estate owners purchased their rights to the new land. In 1821 Olching, which up until then had been administered by Dachau, was affiliated to the newly-founded bursary in Fürstenfeldbruck, and in 1823 with the new district court.

The first school was founded in 1834. Until that time the village youth had been taught by the beneficiary of Esting.

 

Presumably, Olching and Esting belonged to the parish of Emmering as regards its ecclesiastical history. It was only in 1895 that, by order of the Archbishop, the beneficiary of Esting moved from Esting to Olching. This occurred because the rapid development of Olching made increased pastoral care necessary. It is interesting to note that the beneficiary had to be protected by the police because farmers from Esting had threatened to throw him into the Amper. Olching was first granted the status of an own parish in 1909, after the new parish church had been erected under considerable sacrifice between 1899 and 1901. The tiny medieval church was not only too small, but also rather dilapidated. So it was demolished, because its renovation would have overly strained the municipality's finances.

 

Until the construction of the Munich-Augsburg railway line in 1839, Olching was a quiet village with some 50 farms and about 300 inhabitants. The originally planned railway route via Fürstenfeldbruck was successfully prevented by the local family Weiß, who were in charge of the postal services. By the 27th October,1839, the railway line from Munich to Olching was completed, and in the following year the first steam train ran as far as Augsburg. The establishment of the timber industry, with an upper and a lower branch, under the management of the Munich-Dachau Shareholders Company for Paper Production (MD), caused a substantial increase in the local population, as many workers settled here.

In the 20th century Olching´s social, political and cultural life was widely influenced by the workers. This was the reason why the parties on the left always held the majority in the local council during the Weimar Republic. For some of their representatives however, for example for the Social Democratic mayor Josef Tauscheck, this meant that they were imprisoned in the concentration camps from 1933 onwards and had to suffer endless harassment for their political convictions. On the other hand, in the Third Reich the National Socialist also had wide support among the population of Olching.

 

The second World War also caused great hardship and suffering among Olching´s residents. 181 soldiers were killed in action and 22 people lost their lives as a result of an allied air raid on 22nd February, 1944. Among those killed was a Polish woman and a Russian forced labourer. Innumerable buildings were severely damaged and others completely destroyed.

 

The "collapse" in 1945 presented the municipality with new challenges. About 2000 displaced persons, mostly from Silesia and Czechoslovakia , had to be accommodated. By 1950 the percentage of these new citizens already comprised more than a quarter of the total population. Their initiative contributed substantially to the dynamic development of post-war Olching.

Since then, Olching´s appearance has changed completely. Whereas in 1950 farmhouses dominated the Main Street, today they have been replaced by modern commercial buildings and shops. Many people work in metropolitan Munich and enjoy life on the outskirts of the city. The construction of the "S" trains, built on the occasion of the Olympic Games in 1972, have greatly improved connections between Olching and the Bavarian capital.

Olching´s development has progressed incessantly since it amalgamated with Esting and Geiselbullach. At present the population is still increasing due to the new housing project in the Schwaigfeld.


Esting

Esting also belongs to the early settlements in post-Roman Bavaria. It was first mentioned between 793 and 806 in a Maisach deed of gift in the "Freising Traditions".

From the 12th century onwards, in the High Middle Ages, proof has been established of the existence of a lineage of ministry officials, named "de Ehstingen". However, this family never achieved any great importance as it disappeared again in the middle of the 14th century.


After Munich's foundation (1158) Esting profited from the fact that it was situated near the Amper bridge. So the village was also seat of a ducal magistrate of the Dachau district court. It was actually the Ettal monastery which exercised power in late medieval Esting as well as the right to levy a bridge toll from 1330 on. Ettal was the owner of the Monastic Mark Maisach, to which Esting belonged. In 1760 the village came under the sphere of influence of the Fürstenfeld monastery by means of an exchange auction.


Numerous military conflicts affected the village severely. During the Spanish War of Succession the Duke of Marlborough's troops ransacked the village and burnt down the newly-erected castle of the wealthy merchant and tobacco monopolist Johannes Senser. Senser frequently received the Bavarian Electoral Prince Max Emanuel as his guest to hunting parties in Esting. The Castle Chapel, erected on the road side of the castle building and consecrated in 1599, was a regional place of pilgrimage during the 18th century. The castle itself often changed owners during that period.

 

The Romanic church St. Stephen originates from the 13th century and therefore is the oldest remaining historical building in the municipality. Originally it was, just like the church in Olching, a branch of the parish in Emmering. Today it is a branch of the parish of St. Elizabeth in Esting.

 

In the course of the 20th century the concentration of the local population moved out of the original village centre to the striving housing estate of Neu-Esting, situated north of the Munich-Augsburg railway line. Due to the rapid rise in population after 1945, which was also increased by the large number of displaced persons, Esting developed into a community of 5,000 inhabitants by 1978.


Geiselbullach

Near the Amper river, in the open fields on the "Buelach" - which probably means beech forest - there was a huge area of land. This area was entrusted by Bavaria's Electoral Duke Max Emanuel to Court Councillor Adam Geisler for agricultural purposes in 1724. Additionally, he was granted the title of "von Geiselbullach". The knighted official erected a small castle with an enclosed park and a chapel commemorating the holy John Nepomuk. He also built some cottages for his dependent labourers and artisans.

 

Poor administrative qualities, however, made it difficult for him and his frequently changing successors to run the estate successfully. Success first came with the merchant Alois Sabbadini from Udine, who seems to have possessed the necessary skills for the job. During his time the tower was added to the chapel, which had been painted in the finest rococo style by the court painter Adam von Schöpf six decades before.

 

In 1918 the estate was purchased by the Raadts´ family from Hungary. Ernst Raadts made a model farm out of it. In 1947 he became Chief Councillor(Landrat) of the district of Fürstenfeldbruck. The present owner of the castle is the Stürzer family, who have extensively restored it.

 

Graßlfing

As far as administration is concerned, Graßlfing has belonged to the municipality of Geiselbullach since the 19th century. However, it can look back on a long history of its own. As excavations in the area of the present golf course have shown, its origin can be traced back till the early Middle Ages. The settlement is first mentioned in a document from the monastery of Schäftlarn from 1200. Apart from Schäftlarn, Ettal and Fürstenfeld also owned property in the Graßlfing area. These agricultural properties were leased at a profit.

 

In 1605 Electoral Prince Maximilian I. purchased the farmsteads in Graßlfing and combined them to an "Electoral Estate". His particular aim was to breed horses on this princely model estate. At stages, this stud farm kept up to 300 horses and had an overall area of 3,280 "Tagwerk" of cultivated land. After the old Bavarian electoral lineage had died out in 1777, the estate was sold, although the Electoral Prince Karl Theodor repurchased it in 1783 in order to use it as hunting grounds, until he finally bequeathed it to his mistress in 1791. In 1818 the estate was passed on to the military treasury, which made a "Remontedepot" for the cavalry out of it. Since the end of World War I the buildings and lands of the estate have been administered by the Wittelsbach Compensation Fund (WAF).

 

The famous painter Wilhelm Leibl, a member of the "Munich School", stayed in Graßlfing from 1872-1876. The composer and church musician Heinrich Kaspar Schmid was also a citizen of the municipality of Geiselbullach from 1933 on. The façade painter Karl Sonner, whose work and influence extended well beyond the region, opened a school for painters in Graßlfing in 1927. He was also well-known for his frescos on a number of facades. His most famous work is the series of frescos on the façade of the castle chapel in Esting, painted in 1924-25.

 

Tobias Weger, M.A.


Literary reference:
Konrad Bauer, Fritz Scherer, Tobias Weger: Geschichte der Gemeinde Olching. Olching, Esting, Geiselbullach, Graßlfing. Dachau 1994.

 

Translated by Audrey and Klaus GLÖCKNER

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