Hilchenbach is a town in the Siegen-Wittgenstein
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:...

Districts of Germany
The districts of Germany are known as , except in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein where they are known simply as ....

(district) of 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...



The map shows Hilchenbach's location in Siegen-Wittgenstein district. It is about 15 km northeast of 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...

. The town borders in the south on Netphen
Netphen is a town in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It lies on the river Sieg, roughly 7 km northeast of Siegen.-Location:...

, in the west on Kreuztal
Kreuztal is a town in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Location:Kreuztal is a town in the low mountains of the northern Siegerland and lies at the western edge of the Rothaargebirge about 10 km north of Siegen....

, in the north on Kirchhundem
Kirchhundem is a community in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It belongs to the Olpe district.- Location :The community of Kirchhundem lies in the Olpe district’s southeast in the south Sauerland and belongs to the so-called Bilsteiner Bergland...

 and in the east on Erndtebrück
Erndtebrück is a municipality in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Location:Erndtebrück situated on the river Eder in the Rothaargebirge, approx...



The town's largest flowing body of water is the Ferndorfbach, a tributary to the river Sieg
The Sieg is a river in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany named after the Sigambrer. It is a right tributary of the Rhine and 153 kilometres in length....

. The municipal area's average elevation is 427 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...

, with its highest elevation being at 678 m at the Riemen, a peak in the Rothaargebirge
The Rothaargebirge is a low mountain range reaching heights of up to 843.1 m in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, Germany....


Constituent communities

The town is made up of the following centres: Allenbach, Dahlbruch, Grund, Hadem, Helberhausen, (Alt-)Hilchenbach (alt means "old"), Lützel, Müsen, Oberndorf, Oechelhausen, Ruckersfeld and Vormwald. The recent political unit of Hilchenbach was founded in 1969.


The town of Hilchenbach was first mentioned in documents in 1292, when it went by the name Heylichinbach in a donation document from Countess Agnes von Nassau and her eldest son Heinrich to the Keppel Monastery. There are however clues that a church was established in this area sometime between 950 and 1000 by the Corvey Monastery, implying that there was settlement there.

In a document from 20 July 1365, a "firm house" – "festes Haus" – (Wilhelmsburg) in Hilchenbach is mentioned, which from 1489 to 1622 was enfeoffed to the Wischen von Langenau noble family. A castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 with a moat
A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that surrounds a castle, other building or town, historically to provide it with a preliminary line of defence. In some places moats evolved into more extensive water defences, including natural or artificial lakes, dams and sluices...

 was mentioned in 1623. It supposedly replaced Count Wilhelm von Nassau-Siegen-Hilchenbach
William of Nassau-Hilchenbach
William of Nassau-Siegen was Count of Nassau in Hilchenbach.- Life :William was the fourth son of John VII, Count of Nassau and his wife Magdalena von Waldeck-Wildungen .William was educated in the Reformed faith, and studied in Heidelberg and Sedan...

's Ginsburg residence.

In 1687, the village of Hilchenbach was raised to Flecken – market town.

In 1689 and 1844 nearly the whole town of (Alt-)Hilchenbach was destroyed by fire.

Hilchenbach and the villages in the surrounding were a part of the former County of Nassau. During the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 in 1807 it became part of the Kingdom of Westphalia
Kingdom of Westphalia
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a new country of 2.6 million Germans that existed from 1807-1813. It included of territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire, ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte...

. In 1815 after the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 Hilchenbach and other villages in the Siegerland
The Siegerland is a region of Germany covering the old district of Siegen and the upper part of the district of Altenkirchen, belonging to the Rhineland-Palatinate adjoining it to the west.Geologically, the Siegerland belongs to the Rheinisches Schiefergebirge...

 became part of the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n province of Westphalia
Province of Westphalia
The Province of Westphalia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.-History:Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Kingdom of Westphalia, which was a client state of the First French Empire from 1807 to 1813...


Town council

The town council's 38 seats are apportioned thus, in accordance with municipal elections held on 26 September 2004:
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...

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

Alliance '90/The Greens
Alliance '90/The Greens is a green political party in Germany, formed from the merger of the German Green Party and Alliance 90 in 1993. Its leaders are Claudia Roth and Cem Özdemir...

Free Democratic Party (Germany)
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...

FW total
2004 8 10 5 4 11 38

Note: FW is a citizens' coalition.


The mayor has an unusual rôle in Hilchenbach owing to one council member's decision to switch allegiance in autumn 2005. The member in question left the "Free Voters" (UWG or FW) and joined the CDU, leaving the former with 10 seats and giving the latter 9 seats. The governing bloc of the FDP, FW and Greens then had 19 seats instead of 20, while the CDU and SPD together also had 19 instead of 18, creating a deadlock where there had been none before. It therefore now falls to the mayor to break the deadlock between the two blocs.

Coat of arms

Hilchenbach'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: The shield in azure a wolf statant Or langued gules, the crest a crenellated castle with three crenellated towers argent. The arms were last approved in this form on 13 April 1970. The first version of the coat was approved in 1911 by German emperor Wilhelm II.

The wolf charge refers to the charge in preserved examples of the old Hilchenbach jurymen's seal, which had the circumscription "S. der scheffen von helchenbach" ("S" stood for Siegel – seal – and the rest is archaic 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 der Schöffen von Hilchenbach – of the Jurymen of Hilchenbach), and which appears on documents from 6 October 1477 and 17 November 1485.

Town partnerships

The town of Hilchenbach maintains town friendship links with the following places: Arendsee
Arendsee is a municipality in the Altmarkkreis Salzwedel, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is named after the lake Arendsee, located north of the town.-Geography:...

 in the Altmark
The Altmark is a historic region in Germany, comprising the northern third of Saxony-Anhalt. As the initial territory of the Brandenburg margraves, it is sometimes referred to as the "Cradle of Prussia", as by Otto von Bismarck, a native from Schönhausen near Stendal.- Geography :The Altmark is...

, 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...

The town of Seiffen is located in the district of Erzgebirgskreis, which is the south-center of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. The earliest record of the town is from 1324 when it was referred to as "Cynsifen"....

, a spa town in the Erzgebirge, Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....


  • In the constituent community of Dahlbruch is found the Viktoriakino, a cinema
    Movie theater
    A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

     also used as a theatre
    Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

    . Viktoria Filmtheater


At the mining museum in Müsen, the finds from digs in the Altenberg area are on display. Furthermore, there is a mining gallery for visitors.


The Ginsburg, lying high above the constituent community of Grund was mentioned in 1255 as a Nassau border fortification. The castle achieved historic importance in 1568 when William I of Orange-Nassau
William the Silent
William I, Prince of Orange , also widely known as William the Silent , or simply William of Orange , was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648. He was born in the House of...

 drafted plans to free the Netherlands at the castle, also making final preparations for the campaign there. On the Ginsburg Heath was the meeting point for the third army group under Count Ludwig von Nassau, making the Ginsburg, and thereby also Hilchenbach, into a starting point for the Dutch struggle for freedom. Nowadays, only the castle's keep
A keep is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the...

 is still fully preserved, the rest of the complex lying in ruins.

Keppel Convent

This convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

 from 1239 was documented by a Sir Frederick (Ritter Friedrich). After the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, Keppel became a noble convent. A Gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 is today housed in the buildings. Elsewhere in Hilchenbach was, from 1867, a teachers' college, which lasted until after the First World War. Later, the Jung-Stilling-Gymnasium was housed in the college's old building. Hilchenbach is thereby the town with the second longest – after 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...

 – education tradition in the Siegerland
The Siegerland is a region of Germany covering the old district of Siegen and the upper part of the district of Altenkirchen, belonging to the Rhineland-Palatinate adjoining it to the west.Geologically, the Siegerland belongs to the Rheinisches Schiefergebirge...



Between the constituent communities of Dahlbruch and Allenbach lies the Breitenbachtalsperre, or Breitenbach Dam, which furnishes a water supply to the Siegerland. For the hiker, there are many trails here to choose from.


At the Altenberg between the constituent community of Müsen and Kreuztal
Kreuztal is a town in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Location:Kreuztal is a town in the low mountains of the northern Siegerland and lies at the western edge of the Rothaargebirge about 10 km north of Siegen....

-Littfeld are found the remains of a settlement from the 13th century. A hiking trail leads through this former mining settlement. Archaeological
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 finds are on display at the mining museum in Müsen.

Owing to their prominence in mining history documentation, a great number of finds have been taken up by the Deutsches Bergbaumuseum (German Mining Museum) in Bochum
Bochum is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area and is surrounded by the cities of Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten and Hattingen.-History:...

. Exhibited to the visitor there, around a complete coalpit display and with the help of the Müsen finds, is the mediaeval miners' way of life.

Regular events

  • KulturPur – international tent theatre festival at Whitsun on the "Giller" (local heath) in Grund.


The main transport connections are in the east-west direction by Federal Highway (Bundesstraße) B 508 and the Rothaar Railway
Rothaar Railway
The Rothaar Railway is a 48 km long German branch line running from Kreuztal on the Ruhr–Sieg line to Bad Berleburg via Erndtebrück with a through connexion to Siegen...

 from Kreuztal to Erndtebrück. The South Westphalia Transport Community (Verkehrsgemeinschaft Westfalen-Süd; VGWS) runs buslines connecting the town with neighbouring communities. Hilchenbach can furthermore also be reached through the Siegerland Airport (Siegerlandflughafen) in the south of the district.

Established businesses

Hilchenbach has a specialized neurological
Neurology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Specifically, it deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of disease involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue,...

 clinic offering neuropsychology
Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain related to specific psychological processes and behaviors. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. It has also been applied to efforts to record electrical activity from individual cells in...

, psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a general term referring to any form of therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client or patient; family, couple or group...

, speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy
Occupational therapy
Occupational therapy is a discipline that aims to promote health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful activities. Occupational therapists work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, and/or emotionally disabling condition by utilizing treatments...

, music
Music therapy
Music therapy is an allied health profession and one of the expressive therapies, consisting of an interpersonal process in which a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their...

 and art therapy
Art therapy
Because of its dual origins in art and psychotherapy, art therapy definitions vary. They commonly either lean more toward the ART art-making process as therapeutic in and of itself, "art as therapy," or focus on the psychotherapeutic transference process between the therapist and the client who...

, rehabilitative therapy, social counselling and nutritional and dietary counselling.

Honorary citizens

  • Wilhelm Münker (1874-1970), conservationist
    Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

     and cofounder of the German Youth Hostel Association (Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk; DJH).

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Johann Heinrich Jung
    Johann Heinrich Jung
    Johann Heinrich Jung , best known by his assumed name of Heinrich Stilling, was a German author.-Life:He was born in the village of Grund in Westphalia...

     (known as Jung-Stilling) (born 12 September 1740 in Grund; died 2 April 1817 in Karlsruhe
    The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...

    ), taylor, teacher, eye specialist, economist (kameralist
    Cameralism was a German science of administration. According to Lindenfeld, it was divided into three: public finance, Oeconomie and Polizei. Here Oeconomie did not mean exactly 'economics', nor Polizei 'public policy' in the modern senses...

    ), writer, consultat of the Count of Baden.
  • Carl Kraemer (1873-1951), animal welfare
    Animal welfare
    Animal welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals.The term animal welfare can also mean human concern for animal welfare or a position in a debate on animal ethics and animal rights...

  • Ulf Weiß-Vogtmann (1900-1989), inventor of the ejector seat
    Ejector seat
    In aircraft, an ejection seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. In most designs, the seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it. The concept of an eject-able escape capsule has also...

  • Robert Ochsenfeld
    Robert Ochsenfeld
    Robert Ochsenfeld was a German physicist born on May 18, 1901 in Hilchenbach . In 1933 he discovered with Walter Meissner the Meißner-Ochsenfeld effect.He died on December 5, 1993 in Hilchenbach....

    (born 18 May 1901 in Hilchenbach-Helberhausen; died 5 December 1993 in Hilchenbach-Helberhausen), German physicist


  • Rainer S. Elkar: Menschen-Häuser-Schicksale. Hilchenbach zwischen Monarchie, Diktatur und Republik. Kreuztal 1992. ISBN 3-925498-41-9

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.