Oberkochen is a town (officially a city, despite its size) in the Ostalbkreis, in Baden-Württemberg, in Germany, central Europe.

Coat of arms of Oberkochen
Coat of arms
Location of Oberkochen within Ostalbkreis district
Schwäbisch GmündHeidenheim (district)Schwäbisch-Hall (district)Rems-Murr-KreisGöppingen (district)AalenAbtsgmündAdelmannsfeldenBartholomäBöbingen an der RemsBopfingenDurlangenEllenbergEllwangenEschachEssingenGöggingenGschwendHeubachHeuchlingenHüttlingenHüttlingenIggingenJagstzellKirchheim am RiesLauchheimLeinzellLorchMögglingenMutlangenNeresheimNeulerObergröningenOberkochenRainauRiesbürgRiesbürgRosenbergRuppertshofenSchechingenSchwäbisch GmündSpraitbachStödtlenTäferrotTannhausenTannhausenUnterschneidheimWaldstettenWaldstettenWesthausenWörtBavariaOberkochen in AA.svg
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Oberkochen is located in Germany
Oberkochen is located in Baden-Württemberg
Coordinates: 48°47′02″N 10°06′19″E / 48.78389°N 10.10528°E / 48.78389; 10.10528Coordinates: 48°47′02″N 10°06′19″E / 48.78389°N 10.10528°E / 48.78389; 10.10528
Admin. regionStuttgart
 • MayorPeter Traub (FW)
 • Total23.57 km2 (9.10 sq mi)
496 m (1,627 ft)
 • Total7,895
 • Density330/km2 (870/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes07364
Vehicle registrationAA


The name "Oberkochen" consists of the two German words "ober", meaning "above" or "upper", and "Kocher", the name of the local river. The name indicates, that this settlement lies above the river Kocher or on its upper part. The river Kocher has its spring just to the south of Oberkochen and runs to the north. Therefore, the village next to the north of Oberkochen is Unterkochen, with the German "unter" meaning "lower" or "under".


Oberkochen is located in and above the valleys of the rivers Kocher and Langertbach between the area of Albuch in the west and north and the area of Härtsfeld in the east. The highest point in the area of Oberkochen is the top of the Volkmarsberg mountain (743 m above sea level). Directly south of the city the river Kocher has its origin.

The city consists of two main parts: the downtown area with the city center, Spitztal, Lenzhalde and Brunnenhalde and the Heide area, which lies 100 m above the city on a hill to the northeast.



(all dates after christ)

year event
1137 first mentioning of the name "Cochon" in a table of goods of the Ellwangen Abbey
1147 first mentioning of the name "Kochen" in modern spelling
1337 first mentioning of the name "Oberkochen" in the table of goods of the Ellwangen Abbey
1343 first parish in Oberkochen
1535 a general set of village rules is formulated
1551 blast furnace is established on the source of the river Kocher
1578 Oberkochen gets a new detailed set of village rules
1582 until 1583. Construction and consecrating of the first Protestant church
1650 until around 1710. Arrival of Austrian settlers
1698 boundary description of the Oberkochen district
1725 oil mill on the "Ölweiher" (German for "oil pond")
1840 nearly 30 potters (German: "Hafner") are working in Oberkochen
1864 opening of the railway line Aalen-Ulm
1876 founding of the "Württembergische Holzbohrerfabrik A. Leitz" predecessor of the present-day "Leitz GmbH & Co. KG" in Oberkochen
1916 connection to the national water supply
1945 allied bombings of Oberkochen during World War II
1946 the company Carl Zeiss is relocated in Oberkochen after the partly emigration from Jena
1967 new town hall is opened
1968 Oberkochen becomes officially a city (June 29)
2006 The Carl Zeiss SMT opens a new factory with 2,500 employees in the intercommunal industrial area Oberkochen-Königsbronn

Schultheiß and mayors of OberkochenEdit

From 1553 until Feb 25th 1803 Oberkochen had two Schultheißen, one of the catholic Ellwangen and one of the Protestant würtembergian Königsbronn. Since 1933 Oberkochen has a mayor, who wears a livery collar since Oberkochen became a city in 1968. The collar was donated by trade, commerce, industry and liberal professions.

year title name
1803 Schultheiß Johann Sebastian Gold (Ellwangen) and Kaspar Scheerer (Württemberg)
1809 Schultheiß Kaspar Scheerer (alone)
1830 Schultheiß Sigmnund Jonathan Maier (also surgeon)
1849 Schultheiß Michael Wingert (also master bricklayer)
1889 Schultheiß Johannes Betzler
1901 Schultheiß Alois Butscher
1903 Schultheiß Franz Anton Bucher
1905 Schultheiß Richard Frank
1933 mayor Otto Heidenreich
1945 mayor Richard Frank (same person as Schultheiß in 1905)
1946 mayor Rudolf Eber
1948 mayor Gustav Bosch
1977 mayor Harald Gentsch
since 1993 mayor Peter Traub


During the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) the population of Oberkochen was reduced from c. 500 to c. 100 inhabitants. It took nearly 200 years to reach a population of 500 again. In the 19th century the population saw a greater rise due to the industrialisation.

The next remarkable growth took place after World War II, when the population quadrupled from 2,000 to 8,000 people in just 20 years. One of the main reasons for this growth was the relocation and expansion of the company Carl Zeiss. In 1968 Oberkochen became officially a city, which is remarkable, because at this time a population of 10,000 people was a condition for towns in Germany to become a city. The reason for the premature change in the status of Oberkochen was the intense growth of the population prior to 1968, which made the mayor Gustav Bosch, as well as the responsible authorities believe, that a population of 10,000 would be reached soon. Therefore, the change of the status of Oberkochen from town to city was applied for and finally granted. Despite these expectations and actions the population stalled instead and even saw a slight decrease.

Today, there are more commuters working in Oberkochen than working people living there.

year population foreigners[2]
1618 c. 500 n/a
1648 c. 100 n/a
1830 630 n/a
1880 1,202 n/a
1900 1,176[3] n/a
1925 1,512 n/a
1939 2,002 n/a
1950 3,681 n/a
1961 7,979 127
1970 8,648 360
1980 8,118 547
1990 8,446 682
1995 8,589 830
2000 8,271 764
2005 8,206 844
2008 8,040 859
2009 7,915 864
2010 7,816 856
2011 7,755 651
2012 7,815 713
2013 7,833[4] 742

Coat of armsEdit


The blazon of the coat of arms spells: "In blue three (2:1) golden roses." (German: "In Blau drei (2:1) goldene Rosen.")

The coat of arms was introduced in 1968 and is based on the one of the "Görig von Kochen" from 1404. He owned several pieces of land in Oberkochen. The colours were chosen without historic meaning.



Oberkochen can be reached by using the Bundesstraße 19 ("B 19"), which runs along the Kocher-Brenz-Valley from north to south. Oberkochen has two junctions to the Bundesstraße, Oberkochen-North ("Oberkochen-Nord") and Oberkochen-South ("Oberkochen-Süd"). The nearest Autobahn is the Bundesautobahn 7 with the Aalen-Oberkochen-junction, which is reached via the B19 and L1084 after an 11 km drive from Oberkochen.

Oberkochen has no traffic lights. The traffic is mainly reglemented by the priority to the right rule, roundabouts and crosswalks.

By train Oberkochen is connected through the Brenz Railway, which is used by the Regional-Express of the DB Regio company. The nearest connection to national and international train services is made via the Aalen railroad station, which is 10 km away from Oberkochen and has a direct link to it. The railroad station of Oberkochen has two platforms and is friendly for disabled persons, i.e. people using wheelchairs, through an elevator. It is possible to buy tickets for the train on a ticket machine located on the platforms.

Oberkochen does not have an own airport. The nearest airport with regular national transportation is the Stuttgart Airport (IATA: STR, ICAO: EDDS) which is a 90 km drive by car away from Oberkochen.


Oberkochen has three municipal and one Roman Catholic kindergarten.[5] There is a Gemeinschaftsschule, the Dreißentalschule, which contains a primary school and a secondary school, where a Mittlere Reife can be awarded. There is a Förderschule, the Sonnenbergschule also. The local Gymnasium is the Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium, named after the scientist Ernst Abbe.[6] There also is a Musikschule (music school).[7] Oberkochen has no university and the next university can be found in Aalen.

The local folk high school is located in the building of the city hall. For a wider set of courses there is also a folk high school in Aalen. The municipal library was installed in the old Protestant church. It contains 19.000 media volumes and faces over 40.000 check outs per year.

Sacred buildingsEdit

The St.-Peter-und-Paul-Kirche (German for: St. Peter and Paul Church) is the local Roman Catholic church and was consecrated October 25, 1900. This church was the replacement for an older church from the Baroque period.

The local Protestant church is the Versöhnungskirche (German for: Reconciliation Church), which was consecrated in 1968. The predecessor of this church became the local library.

Despite the growing Muslim community there is no mosque in Oberkochen. The nearest mosque can be found in Aalen.


After World War II, the allied troops moved parts of the Carl Zeiss Company in Jena to Oberkochen. Today, the headquarters of the Carl Zeiss AG are located in Oberkochen. Another important business is the Leitz company, which is the world-leading manufacturer for wood-processing tools.

International relationsEdit

Oberkochen is twinned with:

Honorary citizensEdit

awarded name profession born-died
1893 Karl Fröhner head forester ("Oberförster") 1844-1898
1894 Franz Breitenbach parson 1819-1900
1909 Emil Bucher parson 1870-1949
1909 Carl Weiger head forester ("Oberförster") 1843-1911
1953 Josef Schmid manufacturer 1887-1960
1955 Albert Bäuerle manufacturer 1901-1979
1968 Dr. Gerhard Kühn member of the board of the company Carl Zeiss 1902-1990
1968 Dr. Heinz Küppenbender member of the board of the company Carl Zeiss 1901-1989
1978 Gustav Bosch mayor of Oberkochen 1914-1979
2001 Dr. Gert Littmann member of the board of the company Carl Zeiss 1927-
2004 Dr. Dieter Brucklacher entrepreneur 1939-
2010 Bruno Balle merchant 1936-
2011 Dietrich Bantel "Gymnasialprofessor a.D." 1935-


  • Oberkochen has not a single traffic light. It is the only such city in Germany.
  • There is a Christmas market in Oberkochen. It is open on a single day in the year.
  • The local museum of Oberkochen can be visited on 12 days each year. On the first Sunday of each month.


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2018". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). July 2019.
  2. ^ Fläche, Bevölkerung - Statistisches Landesamt Baden -Württemberg(online)
  3. ^ Fläche, Bevölkerung - Statistisches Landesamt Baden -Württemberg(online)
  4. ^ Jahresbericht 2013 in Zahlen. In: Bürger und Gemeinde. Amtsblatt der Stadt Oberkochen. 60. Jahrg., Nr. 51/52, 20. Dezember 2013, S. 961. (online)
  5. ^ https://www.oberkochen.de/betreuung
  6. ^ https://www.oberkochen.de/de/Stadt-Buerger/Bildung-Familie/Schulen
  7. ^ https://www.oberkochen.de/de/Stadt-Buerger/Bildung-und-Familie/Musikschule

External linksEdit