Lennestadt lies 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...

 in southeast 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...

 and 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 :...

. It is the district’s most populous municipality.
Lennestadt itself is not an actual town but a community which comprises several towns and villages.


Lennestadt lies at the common point of the Ebbegebirge (in the west), Homert and Rothaargebirge (in the east) Nature Parks and is crossed by the river Lenne
The Lenne is a river in the Sauerland area in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany, a left tributary of the Ruhr.Having its source on top of the Kahler Asten near Winterberg in an intermittent spring at an elevation of 2,687 feet, the Lenne ends after a course of 128 km flowing into the...

, a tributary to the Ruhr. Besides the Hundem, which empties into the Lenne in the outlying centre of Altenhundem, the Veischede also feeds this river.

Lennestadt’s position is 51° 03' to 51° 12' N, 7° 58' to 8° 15' E. The town’s highest point is the Härdler (756 m), and its lowest is on the Lenne near Borghausen (239 m).

Neighbouring communities

Lennestadt borders in the north on the communities of Eslohe
Eslohe is a municipality in the Hochsauerland district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.- Neighbouring municipalities:* Finnentrop* Lennestadt* Meschede* Schmallenberg* Sundern- Division of the town :...

 and Finnentrop
Finnentrop is a community in Olpe district in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.- Geography :Finnentrop lies near the forks of the rivers Bigge and Lenne in the Sauerland and is divided into the following constituent communities:- History :...

, in the east on Schmallenberg
Schmallenberg is a town in the district of Hochsauerland. Relating to its area of 188 square miles it is the largest town belonging to an administrative Kreis in the federal state of North Rhine/Westphalia, Germany....

 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...

, in the south 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 west on the towns of Attendorn
Attendorn is a German town in the Olpe district in North Rhine-Westphalia.As of 2008 it had a population of 24, 801.- History :The town’s location was favoured by the good climate in the Attendorn-Elsper Limestone Double Basin , the fruitful soil and favourable transport potential, and was already...

 and 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 :...


Constituent communities

Within Lennestadt’s municipal area lie the following centres:

Altenhundem, Altenvalbert, Bilstein, Bonzel, Bonzelerhammer, Brenschede, Bruchhausen, Burbecke, Elspe, Elsperhusen, Einsiedelei, Germaniahütte, Gleierbrück, Grevenbrück, Habbecke, Hachen, Haus Hilmecke,Haus Valbert, Halberbracht, Hengstebeck, Hespecke, Kickenbach, Kirchveischede, Kracht, Langenei, Maumke, Meggen, Melbecke, Milchenbach, Oberelspe, Obermelbecke, Obervalbert, Oedingen, Oedingermühle, Oedingerberg (formerly Berge), Saalhausen, Sporke, Stöppel, Theten and Trockenbrück.

The fact that there is not a physical town Lennestadt, but Lennestadt being an aggregation of smaller towns listed above, often leads to confusion among visitors.


The town of Lennestadt was founded on 1 July 1969 as legal successor to the Amt of Bilstein out of seven former communities and outlying centres.

The earliest traces of settlers in what is now the municipal area go back to the Early Middle Ages. The centres of Elspe and Oedingen were first mentioned in a document in 1000 that Emperor Otto III
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III , a King of Germany, was the fourth ruler of the Saxon or Ottonian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. He was elected King in 983 on the death of his father Otto II and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 996.-Early reign:...

 had issued. This makes them the oldest places in Olpe district.

In the 19th century, parts of the current town area were characterized by mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, ironworking and metalworking
Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It therefore includes a correspondingly wide range of skills,...



In 1975, Milchenbach was amalgamated with Lennestadt. It had formerly belonged to the community of Lenne (now part of Schmallenberg
Schmallenberg is a town in the district of Hochsauerland. Relating to its area of 188 square miles it is the largest town belonging to an administrative Kreis in the federal state of North Rhine/Westphalia, Germany....


Population development

Year Population figure Population development graph
1998 27,846
1999 28,013
2000 28,026
2001 28,046
2002 28,072
2003 28,084
2004 27,953
2005 27,831

Town council

Municipal election results, 30 August 2009
Party Votes ± as against 2004 Seats
CDU 59.6%
SPD 28.1%
Grüne 11.1%

Mayor (Bürgermeister) Stefan Hundt of the CDU was elected with 72.9% of the vote.


Until 1997, Lennestadt’s chief administrator bore the title Stadtdirektor (“Town Director”). The Bürgermeister, or Mayor, was an honorary office and was mainly ceremonial.
Time in office Chief administrator Honorary mayor (until 1997)
July 1969 to November 1969 Erwin Krollmann (CDU), Commissioner for the Fulfilment of the Town Director’s Duties Heinrich Hanfland (CDU), Commissioner for the Fulfilment of the Council Chairman’s Duties
December 1969–1989 Erwin Krollmann (CDU)
  • 1969–1983: Josef Beckmann (CDU), Namesake of Bürgermeister-Beckmann-Platz
  • 1983–1989: Wilhelm „Willi“ Soemer (CDU)
1989–1997 Dr. Franz-Josef Kaufmann (SPD) Hubert Nies (CDU)
1997–2009 Alfons Heimes (CDU)
2009–today Stefan Hundt (CDU)

Coat of arms

The town’s 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...

 were conferred on 31 December 1971. The gold and green bars in the background were taken from the arms formerly borne by the Amt of Bilstein. The wavy bend stands for the river Lenne, the town’s namesake, and the rose comes from the outlying centre of Oedingen.

Town patron

Town council decided in 1995 to name Sir Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

 as the town’s patron. Since 2001, the town has been awarding the Thomas-Morus-Preis to citizens “who in their acts have let themselves be led by the convictions of their conscience and who without regard to possible personal disadvantages through bravery and moral courage have thereby become examples to the good of others and our society.”

Town partnership

The town of Lennestadt entered into a partnership with the town of Otwock
Otwock is a town in central Poland, some southeast of Warsaw, with 42,765 inhabitants . It is situated on the right bank of Vistula River below the mouth of Swider River. Otwock is home to a unique architectural style called Swidermajer....

 in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in 1992. In May 2006, a cycling tour was held which saw 32 participants ride from Lennestadt by way of 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...

 and Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 to Otwock as a symbol of solidarity.


The Kulturgemeinde Hundem-Lenne, founded in 1946, offers a cultural programme in the Pädagogisches Zentrum (PZ, “Educational Centre”), a venue with 480 seats at the Anne-Frank
Anne Frank
Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank is one of the most renowned and most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Acknowledged for the quality of her writing, her diary has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.Born in the city of Frankfurt...

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...

 in Meggen.


In Grevenbrück is found the town museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

, the Museum der Stadt Lennestadt in whose building the town’s homeland and regional studies library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

 and the town archive
An archive is a collection of historical records, or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of an organization...

 are also to be found.

Since 1998, the Förderverein Bergbaudenkmäler Lennestadt (“Lennestadt Mining Monument Development Association”) has run the Bergbaumuseum Siciliaschacht (“Sicilia Mineshaft Mining Museum”) in Meggen, which recalls the town’s mining tradition.


Among well known buildings in Lennestadt are the Burg Bilstein (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...

), the Peperburg castle ruins, many timber frame
Timber framing
Timber framing , or half-timbering, also called in North America "post-and-beam" construction, is the method of creating structures using heavy squared off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs . It is commonplace in large barns...

 houses, the so-called Sauerlandpyramiden, the Sicilia Mineshaft and the Hohe Bracht viewing tower. On Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße , abbreviated B, is the denotation for German and Austrian national highways.-Germany:...

 55 between Oedingen and Eslohe, the Madonna der Straße (“Madonna of the Road”) roadside shrine is to be found.


A spa is to be found in the outlying centre of Saalhausen, which is a recognized Luftkurort (“air spa resort”).

Regular events

Among the town’s regular events is the traditional Schützenfest (“fair featuring shooting matches”) that is held in all of the bigger centres each year. Furthermore, every August there is a town festival lasting several days which since 2005 has been held together with the Sauerländer Straßenmusiker-Festival (“Sauerland Street Musicians’ Festival”) in Altenhundem.


Lennestadt is home to a variety of small and middle-sized businesses, mainly in the manufacturing field. Most prevalent are companies in the metal-working, machine building, automotive parts supply, and electrical industry.

Public institutions

Lennestadt’s town hall is located in the central constituent community of Altenhundem.

The local court, the Amtsgericht Lennestadt, is located in the outlying centre of Grevenbrück.

Local public transport

With its Altenhundem, Grevenbrück (Westf.) and Lennestadt-Meggen stations, Lennestadt 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...


Furthermore, bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

lines of the Verkehrsbetriebe Westfalen-Süd (VWS, “Westphalia-South Transport Services”) and Busverkehr Ruhr-Sieg (BRS, “Ruhr-Sieg Bus Transport”) run to Kirchhundem, Olpe, Hilchenbach, Finnentrop, Schmallenberg, Meschede and Attendorn.

Until 1944 there was another railway connection to 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...

 by the Altenhundem–Birkelbach railway line, whose bridges, however, were blown up by retreating units of the German army in the Second World War. Parts of the tunnels are still preserved.

The line to Wenholthausen was still run until the mid 1960s. At this time, Altenhundem was said to be a railway village.

Private transport

The Federal Highways (Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße , abbreviated B, is the denotation for German and Austrian national highways.-Germany:...

n) B 55 and B 517 run through the town.

Cycle transport

Lennestadt is connected to the North Rhine-Westphalia Cycle Transport Network (Radverkehrsnetz NRW) and furthermore lies on the Lenneroute running from the Lenne’s source on the Kahler Asten
Kahler Asten
The Kahler Asten is an 841.9-meter-high mountain in the Rothaargebirge range in the district of Hochsauerland, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia...

 down to its mouth at the Hohensyburg (castle).


The Westfalenpost and the Westfälische Rundschau each have a local edition in Lennestadt and appear as daily newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s. As well, the advertising sheets Sauerlandkurier and Sauerländer Wochenanzeiger come out on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Lennestadt belongs to the Westdeutscher Rundfunk 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...

 studio area. News from the South Sauerland is broadcast on WDR 2
WDR 2 is a radio channel produced by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk public broadcasting organization in Germany. It focuses on contemporary pop music for an adult audience.-FM:*Aachen / Euregio 100.8 MHz*Eifel 101.0 MHz*Monschau 94.2 MHz*Kölner Bucht 100.4 MHz...

 and in local broadcasts on WDR Fernsehen
WDR Fernsehen
WDR Fernsehen is a regional public service television station owned & operated by Westdeutscher Rundfunk and serving North Rhine-Westphalia. It is one of the seven regional "third programmes" that are offered within the federal ARD network....



Lennestadt is home to many elementary school
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

s, one special school whose emphasis is on learning, 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...

n, 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...

n and two Gymnasien
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...

. Both the Gymnasium der Stadt Lennestadt as well as the Gymnasium Maria Königin
are located in Altenhundem. Moreover, there is a folk high school
Folk high school
Folk high schools are institutions for adult education that generally do not grant academic degrees, though certain courses might exist leading to that goal...

 and a professional college. Lennestadt furthermore lies in the feeder area of the University of Siegen
University of Siegen
The University of Siegen in Siegen, North Rhine-Westphalia, was founded in 1972. 14,100 students were enrolled at the university as of October 2010.-Faculties:University of Siegen offers in total 126 degree programmes across four faculties:...


Sons and daughters of the town

  • Johannes Becker, politician, Member of the Reichstag
    Reichstag (Weimar Republic)
    The Reichstag was the parliament of Weimar Republic .German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. Another organ deals with legislation too: in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat...

  • Reinhold Bicher, painter
  • Harry Blum, politician and former Chief Mayor of Cologne
    Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

  • Christel Frese, athlete
  • Adolf Hennecke, “Activist of the first hour” in East Germany
  • Theo Kruse, politician, Member of the Landtag
    A Landtag is a representative assembly or parliament in German-speaking countries with some legislative authority.- Name :...

  • Benjamin Mikfeld, politician
  • Hubert Mohr, former Pallottine
    The Society of the Catholic Apostolate , better known as the Pallottines, are a Society of Apostolic Life within the Roman Catholic Church, founded in 1835 by the Roman priest Saint Vincent Pallotti. Pallottines are part of the Union of Catholic Apostolate and are present in 45 countries on six...

    , later historian in East Germany
  • Karl Joseph Cardinal Schulte, Archbishop and Cardinal
  • Peter Soemer, theologian and poet
  • Margareta Wolf, politician
  • Thomas Hebbeker, professor RWTH Aachen
    RWTH Aachen
    RWTH Aachen University is a research university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with roughly 33,000 students enrolled in 101 study programs....

People connected with the town

  • Helmut Körschgen, amateur exhibitor
  • Josefa Berens-Totenohl, writer
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