"Hochstadt" does not mean high city, but apparently derives from "Staette des Hoho" - places of the Hoho. Hoho would be the name of a tribe.
The earliest known reference to Hochstadt is a document from 776 CE, in which a certain Alaolf gave the Lorsch cloister a meadow in "hohunstater marca" (the Hochstadt area).
Sometime before 1251 the village was split between two authorities. (The medieval splitting and merging of bits of territory, due mostly to dividing a noble's area among heirs, resulted in the Pfalz being a jigsaw puzzle with numerous heads before Napoleon rationalized things.) Oberhochstadt was purchased in 1404 by the Bishop of Speyer. Niederhochstadt was conquered by the Elector Paletine in 1485.
Hochstadt has been devastated by countless armies though the centuries. At the beginning of the Reformation, Niederhochstadt followed its lord (the Elector) and opted for the Protestants, while Oberhochstadt was forced to remain Roman. During the 30 Year's War it was nearly depopulated. The Napoleonic era continued the suffering. In 1812 there was a famine. In 1813 the area was occupied by the French. In 1814 they were replaced by the Russins, who were replaced in turn by Bavaria in 1815. In 1849 it was the turn of the Prussians.
Since WW2 the villages have grown substantially, and any obvious division between the two disappeared. While the region is still agricultural, the bulk of the working population are now commuters. Oberhochstadt and Niederhochstadt were merged into the commune of Hochstadt on 1 January 1970. The crest shown above is the one designed for the merged commune.
(Mosty a summary translation of the Hochstadt history page of Verbandsgemeinde Offenbach an der Queich, with some additional material from other sources.)
last update 16 February 2002
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