SCHM ALKALDEN, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, situated in a narrow valley at the southwestern slope of the Thuringian forest, 30 m. S.W. of Erfurt, on the railway Wernshausen-St Blasii. Pop. (1905) 9529. It has a Gothic parish church, a palace Schloss Wilhelmsburg with an interesting chapel and a collection of antiquities, and possesses a Gothic town hall in which the important Protestant League of Schmalkalden, or Smalkald, was concluded in 1331, and also the house in which the articles of Schmalkalden were drawn up in 1537 by Luther, Melanchthon and other reformers. It has three other Evangelical churches, a Roman Catholic church and several schools. Its industries are chiefly connected with ironwares, but leather, beer, soap and toys are also manufactured. Karl Wilhelms (1815-1873), the composer of " Die Wacht am Rhein," was born here, and there is a memorial of him in the market-place. Schmalkalden, which was first mentioned in 874, came wholly into the possession of Hesse in 1583, having been a town since 1335.
See Wagner, Geschichte der Stadt und Herrschaft Schmalkalden (Marburg, 1849); and Wilisch, Schmalkalden und seine Umgebungen (Schmalkalden, 1884).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)