Bruchsal, a town of Germany, in the grand-duchy of Baden, prettily situated on the Saalbach, 14 m. N. from Karlsruhe, and an important junction on the main railway from Mannheim to Constance. Pop. (1900), including a small garrison, 13,555. There are an Evangelical and four Roman Catholic churches, among the latter that of St Peter, the burial-place of the bishops of Spires, whose princely residence (now used as a prison) lies in the vicinity. Bruchsal has a fine palace, with beautiful grounds attached, a town hall, a classical, a modern and a commercial school, and manufactures of machinery, paper, tobacco, soap and beer, and does a considerable trade in wine. Bruchsal (mentioned in 937 as Bruxolegum) was originally a royal villa (Königshof) belonging to the emperors and German kings. Given in 1002 to Otto, duke of Franconia, it was inherited by the cadet line of Spires, the head of which, the emperor Henry III., gave it to the see of Spires in 1095. From 1105 onward it became the summer residence of the bishops, who in 1190 bought the Vogtei (advocateship) from the counts of Calw, and the place rapidly developed into a town.
It remained in the possession of the bishops till 1802, when by the treaty of Lunéville it was ceded, with other lands of the bishopric on the right bank of the Rhine, to Baden. The Peasants' War during the Reformation period first broke out in Bruchsal. In 1609 it was captured by the elector palatine, and in 1676 and 1698 it was burnt down by the French. In 1849 it was the scene of an engagement between the Prussians and the Baden revolutionists.
See Rössler,Geschichte der Stadt Bruchsal (2nd ed., Bruchsal, 1894).