Roßbach, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

The wine village Roßbach with 320 inhabitants belongs to the municipality of Naumburg in county of Burgenland and is embedded in the natural park Saale-Unstrut-Triasland and in the landscape conservation area „Saale“.

Since the integration in 1994 into the municipality of the town Naumburg one kilometre away Roßbach has a village council and a village mayor, maintains its independent rural village character and has developed over years a specific settlement and economic policy whereby the support of the specialist departments of the town municipality, with whom there is an excellent understanding, contributed significantly to the success.

The population has risen in recent years by 10.3 percent whilst in Saxony-Anhalt it has dropped by 15.5 percent. A distinct increase in businesses and jobs (+280) can be noted in the areas of trade and business.

In a communal entrepreneurial spirit several trade firms settled into the typical large inner courtyards of the historical buildings on either side of the village street. The young companies carefully renovated and adapted the already dilapidated houses so that today a restaurant, several construction companies, a telecommunication provider, a bed and breakfast hotel, alteration shop, technical and other service providers and the two large winemakers give the compact village centre with the historical image the character of a lively shopping street. This settlement development was strengthened even more by the consequential adaptation of existing buildings and constructing in gaps where also living space was created for young families.

The harmonic image of the village is topped off by the village church dating from the 13th century that stands out above all else and the adjacent St. Michael house that as a modern comfortable youth movement and educational centre houses many people of all ages and offers ideal conditions for meeting, conference and leisure programmes. The living ecumenism can be experienced in its significant entirety with the close connection of the catholic church, the predominantly protestant Christian community and the common support of the catholic St. Michael house with its comprehensive annual programme.

Additional entrepreneur spirit is conveyed by the two young well trained winemakers who cultivate their more than 62 acre vineyards full time. In professional cooperation with the six cooperative winemakers and four winemaker association winemakers this northern wine region sells its one products either directly serving them or selling bottles at the vineyards. The wine village occupies a central position in the large annual festival „Saale-Weinmeile“ (Saale wine mile) and at national wine festivals where 16 full and part time winemakers sell their wine. The tourist efforts of the winemakers in conjunction with hiking and biking routes have a solid basis and in addition to the cultural programmes of the city of Naumburg are increasingly developing into a valuable asset of the region.

Naumburg with its surrounding cultural landscape and the typical wine terraces has applied for recognition as a “World Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO”.

The club work with its many attractive offerings strengthens self confidence and the feeling of belonging together that has a positive influence on the leisure activities and communicates a lust for life that is expressed in small celebrations that can take place at any time in Roßbach. Roßbach fulfils the motto “ Future through social innovation” with the successful initiatives that, after the social upheaval of 1989/90, managed to stop the emigration of young families.

The wine village Roßbach convinces repeatedly with very forward-looking efforts towards the creation and retention of location appropriate jobs with trade and craft companies that have a professional entrepreneur spirit as a basis and reflect the authentic revitalisation of the village centre taking modern requirements into consideration. With a self-concept of its own strengths a solid basis for an expected valuable tourism was built with the participation of the inhabitants and clubs and in addition the activities of both denominations and the innovations of the winemakers.

Evaluated: 2008