Battenberg, Hesse
Battenberg is a small town in the Waldeck-Frankenberg
Waldeck-Frankenberg is a Kreis in the north of Hesse, Germany. Neighbouring districts are Höxter, Kassel, Schwalm-Eder, Marburg-Biedenkopf, Siegen-Wittgenstein, Hochsauerland.-History:...

 district in Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. The town is noted for giving its name to the Battenberg family
Battenberg family
The Battenberg family was a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, rulers of the Grand Duchy of Hesse in Germany. The first member was Julia Hauke, whose brother-in-law Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse created her Countess of Battenberg with the style Illustrious Highness in 1851, at her...

, a morganatic branch of the ruling House of Hesse-Darmstadt, and through it, the name Mountbatten
Mountbatten is the family name originally adopted by a branch of the Battenberg family due to rising anti-German sentiment among the British public during World War I...

 used by members of the British royal family, a literal translation of Battenberg.


The centre of Battenberg lies in the Ederbergland, or Eder Highland, to which the Burgwald abutting the town to the east also belongs, on the southern edge of the Sauerland
The Sauerland is a rural, hilly area spreading across most of the south-eastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, in parts heavily forested and, apart from the major valleys, sparsely inhabited...

 and the Rothaargebirge
The Rothaargebirge is a low mountain range reaching heights of up to 843.1 m in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, Germany....

. Lying between 320 and 650 m above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

, the town is also crossed by the river Eder
The Eder is a 177 km long river in Germany, and a tributary of the Fulda River. It was first mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus as the Adrana in the territory of the Chatti....


Neighbouring communities

Battenberg borders in the north on the community of Bromskirchen
-Location:Bromskirchen lies at the edge of the Rothaargebirge in southwest Waldeck-Frankenberg, right on the boundary with North Rhine-Westphalia's district of Hochsauerlandkreis.More than 70% of the community's area is wooded.-Neighbouring communities:...

, in the northeast on the community of Allendorf
Allendorf (Eder)
Allendorf is a municipality in Waldeck-Frankenberg in Hesse, Germany.- Location :Allendorf lies in the upper Eder Valley between Frankenberg and Battenberg west of the Burgwald range and east of the Breite Struth ....

, in the southeast on the community of Burgwald
-Location:Burgwald lies east of Battenberg and roughly 30 km north of the university town of Marburg. The community lies on the northwestern edge of the Burgwald range, Hesse's biggest contiguous woodland.-Neighbouring communities:...

 (all three in Waldeck-Frankenberg), in the south on the community of Münchhausen am Christenberg
Münchhausen am Christenberg
The community of Münchhausen is found north of Marburg on the northern edge of Marburg-Biedenkopf district. It has 3,605 inhabitants and has had its current boundaries since 1974. The community's area is roughly 41 km².-Location:...

Marburg-Biedenkopf is a Kreis in the west of Hesse, Germany. Neighboring districts are Waldeck-Frankenberg, Schwalm-Eder, Vogelsbergkreis, Gießen, Lahn-Dill, Siegen-Wittgenstein.- History :...

), and in the west on the towns of Hatzfeld
Hatzfeld is a small town in Waldeck-Frankenberg district in Hesse, Germany.-Location:Hatzfeld lies in west Hesse 25 km northwest of Marburg and north of the Sackpfeife in the valley of the Eder.-Neighbouring communities:...

 (Waldeck-Frankenberg) and Bad Berleburg
Bad Berleburg
Bad Berleburg is a town, in the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is one of Germany's largest towns by land area. It is located approx...

Siegen-Wittgenstein is a Kreis in the southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Olpe, Hochsauerlandkreis, Waldeck-Frankenberg, Marburg-Biedenkopf, Lahn-Dill, Westerwaldkreis, Altenkirchen.-History:...

 in North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...


Constituent communities

Battenberg includes the following centres:
  • Berghofen
  • Dodenau
  • Frohnhausen
  • Laisa


In 778 fighting took place near Laisa and Battenfeld as part of Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

's Saxon Wars
Saxon Wars
The Saxon Wars were the campaigns and insurrections of the more than thirty years from 772, when Charlemagne first entered Saxony with the intent to conquer, to 804, when the last rebellion of disaffected tribesmen was crushed. In all, eighteen battles were fought in what is now northwestern Germany...

. A branch of the Wittgenstein noble family began calling themselves the "Counts of Battenberg" in 1214 - compare Sayn-Wittgenstein
Sayn-Wittgenstein was a county of mediæval Germany, located in the Sauerland of eastern North Rhine-Westphalia. Sayn-Wittgenstein was created when Count Salentin of Sayn-Homburg married the heiress Countess Adelaide of Wittgenstein in 1345...

. In 1232, Battenberg had its first documentary mention, and two years later it was granted town rights. The early-Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 church dates from 1249. In 1297, the town's ownership was transferred to the Archbishops of Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

. In 1464, the Amt
Amt (subnational entity)
Amt is a type of administrative division governing a group of municipalities, today only found in Germany, but formerly also common in northern European countries. Its size and functions differ by country and the term is roughly equivalent to a U.S...

of Battenberg passed to Hesse. In 1932, Battenberg became part of the Frankenberg/Eder district. As part of municipal reform in 1974, the districts of Frankenberg (including Battenberg) and Waldeck united to form the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg.

The dynasty of the counts of Battenberg ceased to exist in 1314, their castle was demolished throughout the following centuries. When Prince Alexander von Hessen-Darmstadt
Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine
Prince Alexander Ludwig Georg Friedrich Emil of Hesse, GCB was the third son and fourth child of Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and Wilhelmina of Baden.-Questioned parentage:...

, the brother of the grand duke of Hesse, married Julia von Hauke
Julia von Hauke
Princess Julia of Battenberg was the wife of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, the mother of Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria, and ancestress to the current generations of the British and the Spanish royal families.-Life:Julie Therese Salomea Hauke was born in Warsaw, in Congress Poland, then...

, the orphaned daughter of the former Deputy Minister of War
of Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

, their liaison was not considered befitting of his rank. Therefore her brother-in-law made her countess of Battenberg in 1851 and princess of Battenberg in 1858. With her husband, who agreed to carry the same title and name, she lived near Seeheim-Jugenheim at "Schloss Heiligenberg", a re-modelled manor. Her sons Ludwig Alexander and Heinrich Moritz both served the British empire, their families anglicized their name to Mountbatten
Mountbatten is the family name originally adopted by a branch of the Battenberg family due to rising anti-German sentiment among the British public during World War I...

 (Berg means "mountain" in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

) in 1917.

Population development

31 December 1988 : 5,099 inhabitants
31 December 1991 : 5,602 inhabitants
31 December 1995 : 5,693 inhabitants
31 December 2000 : 5,752 inhabitants
31 December 2004 : 5,701 inhabitants

Town council

Municipal elections held on 26 March 2006 apportioned the town council's 31 seats thus:
Party name Amount of seats
Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

8 seats
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

7 seats
Bürgerliste Stadt Battenberg 5 seats
Bürgerliste der Stadtteile Laisa, Frohnhausen und Berghofen 5 seats
Bürgerliste Dodenau 4 seats
Free Democratic Party (Germany)
The Free Democratic Party , abbreviated to FDP, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Germany. It is led by Philipp Rösler and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union in the German federal government...

2 seats

Note: Bürgerlisten are "citizens' lists", not actual political parties.

Coat of arms

Battenberg's civic coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 might heraldically be described thus: Per pale sable and argent.

The tincture
Tincture (heraldry)
In heraldry, tinctures are the colours used to emblazon a coat of arms. These can be divided into several categories including light tinctures called metals, dark tinctures called colours, nonstandard colours called stains, furs, and "proper". A charge tinctured proper is coloured as it would be...

s come from the arms borne by the town's old overlords, the Counts of Battenberg(a branch of the Counts of Wittgenstein). Battenberg's arms have their roots in the 13th century, putting them among Hesse's oldest municipal coats of arms.

Various other charge
Charge (heraldry)
In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon . This may be a geometric design or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object or other device...

s have appeared in the arms over the centuries, however. Sometimes it was a tower, the Count of Battenberg and the Archbishop of Mainz, the Archbishop by himself, or the Wheel of Mainz
Wheel of Mainz
thumb|150px|version until 1992thumb|150px|version from 1992 - 2008thumb|150px|version from 2008The Wheel of Mainz or Mainzer Rad, in German, was the coat of arms of the Archbishopric of Mainz and thus also of the Electorate of Mainz , in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It consists of a silver wheel...

. One version even showed the same simple composition seen here, but with gules (red) instead of sable (black). This would have made the arms identical to those currently borne by Buchloe
Buchloe is a community raised to city status in 1954, lying in Ostallgäu district in Bavaria. Together with the neighbouring communities of Jengen, Lamerdingen and Waal, Buchloe belongs to the Verwaltungsgemeinschaft of Buchloe.-Geography and transport:Buchloe lies right on Bundesautobahn 96 ...

 in Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...


Town partnerships

Senonches is a commune in the Eure-et-Loir department in north-central France.-Population:-References:*...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

Romsey is a small market town in the county of Hampshire, England.It is 8 miles northwest of Southampton and 11 miles southwest of Winchester, neighbouring the village of North Baddesley...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Litvínov is a town in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. The largest oil refinery in the Czech Republic is located there. Models Eva Herzigová and Iva Frühlingová come from Litvínov. The HC Litvínov ice hockey club is based in the town....

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 Horní Jiřetín
Horní Jiretín
Horní Jiřetín is a Czech municipality with 1,900 inhabitants in Most District, in the Ústí nad Labem Region in the foothills of the Ore Mountains on the border with Germany.- Geography :...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 Loon op Zand
Loon op Zand
Loon op Zand is a municipality and a village in the southern Netherlands. It has 23.000 residents.- Loon op Zand :Loon op Zand is the oldest village of the municipality. Somewhere around the year 1000, this village was founded in a very wet and swampy area. There was also a lot of drift-sand whose...

, Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...


  • In 1954, Battenberg "adopted" Sudeten Germans who had been driven out of the community of Obergeorgenthal (Horní Jiřetín) in the Brüx district.

External links

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