Finnentrop is a community in Olpe district
Olpe (district)
Olpe is a Kreis in the south-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Märkischer Kreis, Hochsauerland, Siegen-Wittgenstein, Altenkirchen, Oberbergischer Kreis.- 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...

, 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...



Finnentrop lies near the forks of the rivers Bigge and Lenne in 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 is divided into the following constituent communities:
  • Ahausen
  • Ahauser Mühle
  • Altfinnentrop
  • Bamenohl
  • Bausenrode
  • Becksiepen
  • Dahm
  • Delf
  • Deutmecke
  • Elsmecke
  • Faulebutter
  • Fehrenbracht
  • Finnentrop
  • Fretter
  • Frettermühle
  • Fretterspring
  • Frielentrop
  • Giebelscheid
  • Gierschlade
  • Glinge
  • Heggen
  • Hollenbock
  • Hülschotten
  • Illeschlade
  • Klingelborn
  • Kuckuck
  • Lenhausen
  • Mißmecke
  • Müllen
  • Ostentrop
  • Permecke
  • Ramscheid
  • Rönkhausen
  • Sange
  • Serkenrode
  • Schliprüthen
  • Schliprüthener Mühle
  • Schöndelt
  • Schönholthausen
  • Schwartmecke
  • Steinsiepen
  • Tiefenau
  • Weringhausen
  • Weuspert
  • Wiebelhausen
  • Wörden

  • History

    The community of Finnentrop came into being on 1 July 1969 when it was cobbled together from parts of the old Amt of Serkenrode (Meschede district), the communities of Schliprüthen and Oedingen and parts of Attendorn-Land and Helden. This restructuring also saw the community pass from Meschede district (which was abolished in 1974) to Olpe district.

    The community’s name is drawn from the original centre of Finnentrop lying a few hundred metres up the Bigge, and now known as Altfinnentrop (“alt” is 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....

     for “old”). The ending —trop comes from trop or torp, meaning “village”. The High German word Dorf is a cognate, as is the English
    English language
    English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

     word thorpe. It is quite a common placename ending in North Rhine-Westphalia. Other examples are Bottrop
    Bottrop is a city in west central Germany, on the Rhine-Herne Canal, in North Rhine-Westphalia. Located in the Ruhr industrial area, Bottrop adjoins Essen, Oberhausen, Gladbeck and Dorsten. The city had been a coal-mining and rail center and contains factories producing coal-tar derivatives,...

    , Castrop
    Castrop, since 1 April 1926, is part of Castrop-Rauxel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.The name comes from trop/torp for village and chasto/kast for shed. The oldest mention is from 834 as Villa Castrop....

    , Frintrop and Waltrop
    Waltrop is a town in the district of Recklinghausen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated on the Datteln-Hamm Canal, approx. 15 km east of Recklinghausen and 15 km north-west of Dortmund.-Division of the town:...


    Until 13 July 1908, the place now known as Finnentrop had three names: Habbecke, Neubrücke (“Newbridge”) and, once the Ruhr-Sieg Railway was built there came Bahnhof Finnentrop (“Finnentrop Railway Station”). Neubrücke consisted of only one building at the forks of the Bigge and Lenne (Reuters Haus, first mentioned in 1847). The “new bridge” seems to have already been built by 1847, as the “Reuter” had to charge tolls. The other centre lying farther north, Habbecke, originally also consisting of only a few farms, may have arisen in the Middle Ages
    Middle Ages
    The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...


    Farther up the Lenne lies Frielentrop, an old knightly estate, now surrounded by an industrial park.

    The municipal 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...

     bear a rose under a wavy chevron. The rose stands for the Lords of Finnentrop (von Vinnentrop) and comes down from the year 1358. The chevron stands for the two rivers, the Bigge and the Lenne, which merge in the community. The colour green refers to the great swathes of greenery in the municipal area.

    Finnentrop maintains partnership arrangements with: Diksmuide
    Diksmuide is a Belgian city and municipality in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Diksmuide proper and the former communes of Beerst, Esen, Kaaskerke, Keiem, Lampernisse, Leke, Nieuwkapelle, Oostkerke, Oudekapelle, Pervijze, Sint-Jacobs-Kapelle,...

    , Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     (since 1979); Helbra
    Helbra is a municipality in the Mansfeld-Südharz district, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany....

    , Saxony-Anhalt
    Saxony-Anhalt is a landlocked state of Germany. Its capital is Magdeburg and it is surrounded by the German states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia.Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of...

     (since 1990).


    • Schützenhof Lichtspiele – 1954-vintage cinema
      Movie theater
      A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

       thoroughly renovated in 2006 with 170 seats
    • Kulturgemeinde Finnentrop
    • Laienspielgruppe „Ostentroper Scala“
    • Laienspielgruppe Serkenrode


    • Junger Chor Schönholthausen (choir
      A choir, chorale or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus...

    • Frauenchor Fun & Joy Finnentrop- Ostentrop/Schönholthausen (women’s choir)
    • Frauenchor Lenhausen 1987 (women’s choir)
    • Gesangverein Bamenohler Männerchor e. V. 1903 (singing club)
    • Kinder- und Jugendchor Serkenrode (children’s and youth choir)
    • MGV 1901 Fretter e. V. (men’s singing club)
    • MGV Finnentrop von 1897 (men’s singing club)
    • MGV Liederkranz Weringhausen 1908 (men’s singing club)
    • MGV Sängerbund Heggen 1902 (men’s singing club)
    • MGV Sängerbund Schönholthausen 1850 (men’s singing club)
    • Männer-Gesang-Verein Cäcilia 1850 Ostentrop (men’s singing club)
    • Sängerchor Serkenrode von 1881 (mixed choir)
    • Musikzug der Freiwilligen Feuerwehr Bamenohl (fire brigade band)
    • Hard Rock Band InBetween


    • Catholic parish church “St. Johannes-Nepomuk”
    • Evangelical
      Evangelical Church in Germany
      The Evangelical Church in Germany is a federation of 22 Lutheran, Unified and Reformed Protestant regional church bodies in Germany. The EKD is not a church in a theological understanding because of the denominational differences. However, the member churches share full pulpit and altar...

       parish church
    • Railway station: the reception building built in 1896 at a junction on the Ruhr-Sieg Railway was torn down in 2007.
    • Reiterstellwerk (signal box
      Signal box
      On a rail transport system, signalling control is the process by which control is exercised over train movements by way of railway signals and block systems to ensure that trains operate safely, over the correct route and to the proper timetable...

    • Ringlokschuppen (locomotive roundhouse
      A roundhouse is a building used by railroads for servicing locomotives. Roundhouses are large, circular or semicircular structures that were traditionally located surrounding or adjacent to turntables...

    • Festhalle Finnentrop (festival hall)
    • Schloss Ahausen bei Heggen (castle)
    • Haus Bamenohl in Bamenohl
    • Schloss Lenhausen in Lenhausen (castle)

    Regular events

    • Shooting festivals in Finnentrop and the bigger outlying centres
    • Waldfest „Im Schee“ Finnentrop (“forest festival”, weekend before Whitsun
      Whitsun is the name used in the UK for the Christian festival of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ's disciples...

    • Bürgerfrühschoppen der Freiwilligen Feuerwehr Finnentrop (beer-drinking event held by the fire brigade on German Unity Day
      German Unity Day
      The Day of German Unity is the national day of Germany, celebrated on 3 October as a public holiday. It commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990, when the goal of a unity of Germany that originated in the middle of the 19th century, was fulfilled. Therefore, the name addresses...

      , 3 October)
    • Christmas Market at the town hall (second weekend in Advent
      Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi...

    • Prunksitzung by the Lenhaus Carnival Club (LCC) (revue, Saturday before Altweibertag – Old Women’s Day)
    • Prunksitzung by the Festkommitee Finnentroper Karneval (revue)
    • Donnerwetter Donnerstags im Frettertal (Held in the Fretter Valley, this takes place every Thursday [Donnerstag], and its name is from a traditional German exclamation [Donnerwetter!])

    Culinary specialities

    Finnentrop is the birthplace of the “Dicke-Sauerländer”-Bockwurst
    Bockwurst is a kind of German sausage invented in 1889 by restaurant owner R. Scholtz of Berlin. It is one of the most popular varieties within Germany, and can be found abroad. The sausage is traditionally made from ground veal and pork...

     made by the firm Metten Fleischwaren.

    Economy and infrastructure

    Among the nationally known companies in Finnentrop are:
    • Metten Fleischwaren
    • Eibach Federn (springs)
    • Menshen
    • Thema-Federn (springs)


    Finnentrop railway station lies on the Ruhr-Sieg line from Hagen
    Hagen is the 39th-largest city in Germany, located in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is located on the eastern edge of the Ruhr area, 15 km south of Dortmund, where the rivers Lenne, Volme and Ennepe meet the river Ruhr...

     to Siegen
    Siegen is a city in Germany, in the south Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia.It is located in the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein in the Arnsberg region...

    , from which the tourist railway called the Bigge Valley Railway
    Bigge Valley Railway
    The Bigge Valley Railway is a 24 kilometre long, single-tracked branch line from Finnentrop via Attendorn and Olpe to Freudenberg in western Germany. It is not electrified and the section of line from Olpe to Freudenberg is now closed. The section between Olpe and Finnentrop is regularly...

    , which runs to Olpe
    Olpe, Germany
    Olpe is situated in the foothills of the Ebbegebirge in North Rhine-Westphalia, roughly 60 km east of Cologne and 20 km northwest of Siegen. It is part of the Regierungsbezirk of Arnsberg and is the seat of the district of Olpe.- Location :...

    , branches off. Until May 1966, there was passenger service on the line from Finnentrop to Wennemen.

    Public institutions:
    • Rathaus Finnentrop (town hall)
    • Erlebnisbad Finto (“adventure pool”)
    • Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross
      German Red Cross
      The German Red Cross , or the DRK, is the national Red Cross Society in Germany.With over 4.5 million members, it is the third largest Red Cross society in the world. The German Red Cross offers a wide range of services within and outside Germany...

    • Jugendherberge Bamenohl (Germany’s first youth hostel
      Hostels provide budget oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available...

       after the Second World War)
    • Freiwillige Feuerwehr Finnentrop mit elf Löschgruppen (volunteer fire brigade with eleven “extinguishing groups”)


    In Finnentrop there are several primary schools, one Hauptschule
    A Hauptschule is a secondary school in Germany and Austria, starting after 4 years of elementary schooling, which offers Lower Secondary Education according to the International Standard Classification of Education...

     and one Realschule
    The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It has also existed in Croatia , Denmark , Sweden , Hungary and in the Russian Empire .-History:The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and...


    Honorary citizens

    • Erwin Oberkalkofen, former mayor
    • Ernst Vollmer, former community director

    Sons and daughters of the community

    • Heinrich Martin Arens, in the USA: Henry M. Arens (born 21 November 1873 in Bausenrode, died 6 October 1963 in Jordan, Minnesota
      Jordan, Minnesota
      Jordan is a city in Scott County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 5,470 at the 2010 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it is water. U.S. Highway 169; and State Highways 21 and 282 are three...

      , politician, held many public offices, including one term as Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
      Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

      , member of the House of Representatives
      United States House of Representatives
      The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

       in Washington
      Washington, D.C.
      Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    • Josef Baumhoff (born 10 September 1887; died 1962) was a German official, newspaper publisher and politician of the Centre Party
      Centre Party (Germany)
      The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

    • Johann Joseph Freidhoff (born 13 February 1768 in Heggen, died 14 March 1818 in Berlin
      Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

      ) was one of the 18th century’s most important engravers.
    • Alexander Haindorf (born 2 Mai 1784 in Lenhausen; died 16 October 1862 on the Caldenhof Estate near Hamm
      Hamm is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany. It is located in the northeastern part of the Ruhr area. As of December 2003 its population was 180,849. The city is situated between the A1 motorway and A2 motorway...

      ) was a medic, a Jewish reformer, a psychologist, a university lecturer, a publicist, an art collector and cofounder of the Westphalian Art Club.
    • Friedrich Georg Pape (born 1763 in Fehrenbracht, died 1816), one of the first German democrats.
    • Friedrich Christian von Plettenberg
      House of Plettenberg
      The House of Plettenberg is a Westphalian noble family of the Uradel. It dates back at least to 1187, when Heidolphus de Plettenbrath was mentioned in a document by Philip I...

       (born 1644; died 1706), Prince-Bishop of Münster (1688–1706)
    • Gertrud von Plettenberg
      House of Plettenberg
      The House of Plettenberg is a Westphalian noble family of the Uradel. It dates back at least to 1187, when Heidolphus de Plettenbrath was mentioned in a document by Philip I...

       (died 1608), mistress of Ernest of Bavaria, Archbishop of Cologne.
    • Benno Heimes (born 1927), of Deutmecke, a Düsseldorf Arts Academy absolvent, internationally acclaimed painter and concrete glass artist
    • Klaus-Dieter Uelhoff (born 1936), politician (CDU
      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...

      ), Member of the German Bundestag 1987–1998.

    Famous people who have worked in the community

    • Johannes Dornseiffer (born 2 February 1837 in Wenden-Gerlingen; died 11 December 1914 in Eslohe), vicar in Fretter and pastor in Eslohe, founder of the (agricultural) Winterschule (“Winter School”) in Fretter, stands as cofounder of many savings and loan companies in the Finnentrop-Eslohe area in personal contact with Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen
      Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen
      Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen was a German mayor and cooperative pioneer. Several credit union systems and cooperative banks have been named after Raiffeisen, who pioneered rural credit unions.- Life :...

    • Anneliese Schmidt-Schöttler (born 1920), artist and hostel warden at the Bamenohl Youth Hostel, first youth hostel after the War.

    Further reading

    External links

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