Olpe, Germany
Olpe is situated in the foothills of the Ebbegebirge 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...

, roughly 60 km east 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...

 and 20 km northwest 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...

. It is part of the Regierungsbezirk
In Germany, a Government District, in German: Regierungsbezirk – is a subdivision of certain federal states .They are above the Kreise, Landkreise, and kreisfreie Städte...

of Arnsberg and is the seat of the district of Olpe
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 :...



Olpe 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...

 on the southern edge of the Ebbegebirge Nature Park. In the town’s north lies South Westphalia’s biggest reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

, the Biggesee.

Rivers and mountains

The highest mountains are:
  • Engelsberg (589 m)
  • Rother Stein (583 m)
  • Feld-Berg (556 m)
  • Hohe Rhonard (526 m)

The inner town is ringed by the following hills:
  • Imberg
  • Hatzenberg
  • Gallenberg
  • Lindenhardt
  • Eichhardt
  • Kimicker Berg
  • Bratzkopf
  • Kreuzberg

The municipal area also has a few rivers or brooks that all empty into the Biggesee:
  • Bigge, fed by:
  • Olpe, itself fed by:
  • Günse
  • Felmicke (underground),
  • Kortemicke (underground),
  • Ahe

Other rivers in the municipal area:
  • Brachtpe
  • Neger

The Veischedebach does not empty into the Biggesee, but rather into the 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...

 near Grevenbrück.


Olpe is found in a broad stretch of hilly country. In the town’s north, the slopes are steeper and the dales narrower (for instance near the centres of Rhode and Neger); in the south, the hills have soft knolls and the dales are more spacious. There are also no plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

x there.

The area around the Biggesee and the main town of Olpe, as the Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung (“Federal Office for Construction and Regional Planning”) sees them, are included in the Mittelbiggebergland (“Middle Bigge Mountain Land”), while the eastern and southern portions of the municipal area are designated Südsauerländer Rothaarvorhöhen (“South Sauerland Rothaar Foothills”).

The municipal area is an integral part of the Rheinisches Schiefergebirge
Rheinisches Schiefergebirge
The Rhenish Massif is a geologic massif in western Germany, eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and northeastern France.The Rhenish Massif consists of the Belgian and French Ardennes, the German Eifel and east of the river Rhine the Sauerland and Siegerland. The Mosel and Hunsrück hills form its...

(“Rhenish Slate Mountains”).

The underlying minerals around the middle and upper Bigge are made up to a considerable degree of schist
The schists constitute a group of medium-grade metamorphic rocks, chiefly notable for the preponderance of lamellar minerals such as micas, chlorite, talc, hornblende, graphite, and others. Quartz often occurs in drawn-out grains to such an extent that a particular form called quartz schist is...

ose, partly chalk
Chalk is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores....

y clays and coarse clay. Furthermore, there are sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

s with quartzite
Quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to gray, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink...

like characteristics.

Municipal area’s extent

Olpe’s municipal area has a total area of 86 km². Its greatest extent is in both the north-south and east-west directions, reaching 11 km. Olpe’s lowest point is the Biggesee lying at 307.5 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...

, and its highest point is the Engelsberg near Neuenkleusheim at 589 m above sea level.

Neighbouring communities

  • Town 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...

  • Town of Drolshagen
    Drolshagen is a town belonging to the district of Olpe in the Regierungsbezirk of Arnsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, lying roughly 5 km west of Olpe.- Location :...

  • Town of Lennestadt
    Lennestadt lies in the Sauerland in southeast North Rhine-Westphalia and is a community in Olpe district. It is the district’s most populous municipality....

  • Community of 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...

  • Town of 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 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:...

  • Community of Wenden

Constituent communities

The municipal area is divided into the following centres:

Altenkleusheim, Apollmicke, Bruch, Dahl, Eichhagen, Fahlenscheid, Friedrichsthal, Griesemert, Grube Rhonard, Günsen, Hardt, Hanemicke, Hitzendumicke, Hof Siele, Hohl, Howald, Hüppcherhammer, Kessenhammer, Lütringhausen, Möllendick, Neger (divided into Unter-, Mittel- and Oberneger), Neuenkleusheim, Neuenwald, Oberveischede, Rehringhausen, Rhode, Rhonard, Ronnewinkel, Rosenthal, Rüblinghausen, Saßmicke, Siedenstein, Sondern, Stachelau, Stade, Tecklinghausen Thieringhausen and Waukemicke.


Owing to the location of the hills and the west wind, it rains often in Olpe. The clouds gather water vapour over the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, and when they run into the slopes in the hilly country around Olpe, they rise and the water vapour condenses into bigger droplets because of the cooler temperatures. These then fall as rain.

The coldest month is January, and the warmest July. The high humidity in the winter months often leads to fog
Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of stratus cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated...



Olpe supposedly got its name from an older name for the land at the forks of the Olpe and Bigge (“Ol-apa” = brook in moist meadowland)

The first 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 in the Olpe area date to about AD 900: potsherds and slag
Slag is a partially vitreous by-product of smelting ore to separate the metal fraction from the unwanted fraction. It can usually be considered to be a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide. However, slags can contain metal sulfides and metal atoms in the elemental form...

 (from iron mining and working) in the abandoned centre of Kimickerberg, coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

s in Dahl (from after 1005).

Olpe had its first documentary mention in 1220. In 1311 it was granted town rights on the Soest model by the Archbishop of Cologne, Count Heinrich II of Virneburg
Heinrich II of Virneburg
Count Heinrich II of Virneburg was Archbishop of Cologne from 1304 to his death in 1332.-Life:Heinrich was the sixth son of Count Heinrich of Virneburg and his wife Ponzetta of Oberstein...

. In 1500, the Kreuzkapelle (“Cross Chapel”) was first mentioned. The first evidence of a shooting society followed in 1525.

History also records evidence of witch trial
Witch trial
A witch trial is a legal proceeding that is part of a witch-hunt. * Witch trials in Early Modern Europe, 15th–18th centuries** Salzburg witch trials - 1675-1690, Salzburg, Austria** Spa witch trial - 1616, Belgium...

s being held in the Olpe judicial area between 1587 and 1697.

In 1615, Olpe had its first schoolteacher, and in 1634 it had a great fire. The first vow to Saint Agatha of Catania
Agatha of Sicily
Saint Agatha of Sicily is a Christian saint. Her memorial is on 5 February. Agatha was born at Catania, Sicily, and she was martyred in approximately 251...

 for protection against conflagrations, however, was not recorded until 1665. Eight years later came the first vow to Saint Roch of Montpellier
Saint Roch or Rocco ; lived c.1348 - 15/16 August 1376/79 was a Christian saint, a confessor whose death is commemorated on 16 August; he is specially invoked against the plague...

 against the Plague and other pestilences. In 1696, the last “witch” was sentenced.

In 1711, the post
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

 first came to Olpe. In 1795, the Great Fire of Olpe destroyed 83% of the town. When the town was built once again, the old mediaeval appearance was cast aside in favour of a master plan that saw three broad, parallel streets built, connected by sidestreets running at right angles to them.

In 1819 Olpe became a district seat. At that time, it was the seat of the Bilsteiner Kreis; today it fills that place in the district of Olpe.

In 1828, the shooting club was refounded. Its name is “St.-Sebastianus-Schützenverein”. The 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...

 community was founded between 1842 and 1844. In 1863, the Arme Franziskanerinnen von der ewigen Anbetung (“Poor Franciscans of the Everlasting Worship”), a Catholic women’s order whose main work is in taking care of children and nursing, was founded. It is nowadays known as the Franziskanerinnen von der ewigen Anbetung zu Olpe (“Franciscans of the Everlasting Worship at Olpe”).

In 1864, there was a telegraph station in Olpe. In 1875, the railway reached Olpe, running at first to Attendorn and Finnentrop. Then came an Olpe-Rothemühle line in 1880, and in 1903, another to Bergneustadt. In 1888, the town had its first electric light
Electric light
Electric lights are a convenient and economic form of artificial lighting which provide increased comfort, safety and efficiency. Most electric lighting is powered by centrally-generated electric power, but lighting may also be powered by mobile or standby electric generators or battery systems...


In 1908, the St.-Martinus-Kirche (church) burnt down almost utterly owing to, it is believed, arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

. It was built anew in 1909, but this time in the Gothic Revival style.

On 28 March 1945, in the Second World War’s dying days, Olpe was heavily bombed. In 1965, the Bigge Reservoir (Biggetalsperre) was created through damming.

The Bundesautobahn 45
Bundesautobahn 45
is an autobahn in Germany, connecting Dortmund in the west with Aschaffenburg in the southwest. It is colloquially known by its byname Sauerlandlinie, which derives from the Sauerland, the landscape which said autobahn is running through between the cities of Hagen and Siegen. Many people think of...

 and the Bundesautobahn 4 were opened in 1971 and 1976 respectively.


Olpe’s population is overwhelmingly Catholic
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

. The town’s patron is Saint Martin of Tours.
Religion Adherents %
Catholic: 17,834 67.99
Evangelical: 3,732 14.26
Other/None: 4,644 17.75


Olpe belongs to the Archbishopric of Paderborn. At the middle level, Olpe is ecclesiastically administered by the Deanery of the South Sauerland, which was formed out of the former deaneries of Attendorn, Elspe and Olpe on 1 July 2006, and is coëxtensive with the district of Olpe.

At the lowest level, there are two parish clusters (Pastoralverbünde) in Olpe:
  • Olpebach-Täler, consisting of the Pfarrei St. Mariae Himmelfahrt Olpe (“Parish of St. Mary’s Assumption, Olpe”) with the “chapel parishes” of Günsen, Lütringhausen, Rhonard, Stachelau, Thieringhausen along with the Kirchspiel Kleusheim (parish) with the centres of Altenkleusheim, Neuenkleusheim and Rehringhausen. * Pastoralverbund Olpe-Biggesee, consisting of the Pfarrei St. Martinus Olpe (“Parish of St. Martin, Olpe”) with the branch parishes of Dahl-Friedrichsthal and Saßmicke, the parish vicary of Heilig Geist (“Holy Ghost”, west area of Olpe and Rüblinghausen) and the parish region of Hatzenberg along with the Pfarrei St. Cyriakus (parish) in Rhode with the branch parish of Sondern and the parish vicaries of Oberveischede and Neger.

Once a year, in early July, at the Festival of the Assumption
Assumption of Mary
According to the belief of Christians of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and parts of the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglicanism, the Assumption of Mary was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life...

, hundreds take part in the town pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 from Olpe to Werl
Werl is a town located in the district of Soest in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Geography:Werl is easily accessible because it is located between the Sauerland, Münsterland, and the Ruhr Area...


Moreover, there are two monastic
Monasticism is a religious way of life characterized by the practice of renouncing worldly pursuits to fully devote one's self to spiritual work...

  • a 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...

     run by the Franciscans of the Everlasting Worship at Olpe;
  • the 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...

    Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

     at the Pallotti-Haus.

The Pallottines’ provincial head has stated that his congregation will, at least in the medium term, stay in Olpe. For economic reasons, however, the order has sold the building to an investor who wants to set up 40 dwellings for the aged and 100 fully equipped nursing care places. The Brethren and the Father are staying in rented accommodations in town while the conversion is being done. They are to return to the Pallotti-haus afterwards as renters. Spiritual work is to continue unchanged.


There has been an Evangelical parish since 1844. To it belongs Olpe’s oldest church, which was built of red brick in 1898.

Other religious communities

An Evangelical Free Church community, the Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

, the New Apostolic Church
New Apostolic Church
The New Apostolic Church is a chiliastic church, converted to Protestantism as a free church from the Catholic Apostolic Church. The church has existed since 1879 in Germany and since 1897 in the Netherlands...

, an Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic community and the Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

 are all represented in town.


As a result of municipal restructuring on 1 July 1969, the “old town” (the older town of Olpe and the outlying former Amt) has now been joined by the formerly autonomous communities of Kleusheim, Olpe-Land and Rhode as well as by parts of the old communities of Helden (Oberveischede, Tecklinghausen, Neuenwald), Rahrbach (Fahlenscheid) and Kirchveischede (Apollmicke) to form a new, expanded municipal area swelling from a former 12.78 km² to 85.65 km² in area, and from 14,184 to 21,705 in population

Population development

(for 31 December in each case)
Year Inhabitants
1781 1,354
1890 3,088
1910 5,334
1939 7,561
1950 10,280
Year Inhabitants Remarks
1969 14,148 Before municipal restructuring
1970 21,164 After municipal restructuring
1975 22,137
1980 22,351
1985 23,799
Year Inhabitants
1990 24,708
1995 25,430
2000 25,660
2004 26,370
2005 26,440
Year Inhabitants
2006 26,377
2007 25,954

Town council

2004 municipal election results
Party/Voter community Votes Seats
CDU 49.9% 19
UCW e. V. 29.4% 11
SPD 15.1% 6
Greens 5.6% 2

Youth parliament

The Jugendparlament has existed since late 2005. It represents youth’s interests with the goal of developing proposals for improving the situation for child
Biologically, a child is generally a human between the stages of birth and puberty. Some vernacular definitions of a child include the fetus, as being an unborn child. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority...

ren in Olpe and of suggesting measures to be taken, so that the town’s council and administration can be more strongly responsive to children’s and youths’ wishes.

The youth parliament currently consists of 25 members, each elected for a two-year mandate by secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s. For every 150 students, one representative is elected, although each school gets at least two representatives. All students, even those from neighbouring communities, in Years 5 to 10 may vote at the schools in Olpe. Only students who live in Olpe, however, may stand as candidates.

The youth parliament sits, usually publicly, at least four times each year. If it is so wished, working groups can be formed at sittings for various projects in which even unelected member children and youths may work.

Mayors and Directors

From 1946 until 1997, the chief administrative office in Olpe was known as the Stadtdirektor (“Town Director”). The Bürgermeister (“Mayors”) were honorary and had mostly ceremonial duties.
Mayors (since 1800) Time in office Remarks
Johannes Möllendik 1802, 1804, 1806 First Mayor
Dr. Johann Edmund Funcke 1802 Second Mayor
Dr. Johann Edmund Funcke 1803 First Mayor
Franz Josef Zeppenfeld 1804, 1806, 1811 Second Mayor
Jodocus Edmund Weber 1811–1823 Stadtschultheiß
Schute 1824
Gottfried Anton Gerlach 1825
Johann Adam Halbfas 1825–1850 Amtmann
1851–1861 Mayor
Ernst Hermann Halbfas 1861–1879
Louis Wilhelm Liese 1880–1891
Ewald Röper 1891–1896
F. Josef Caspar Hundt 1896 acting (deputy)
Franz Karl Dütz-Josun 1897–1901
Heinrich Sommerhoff 1901–1933
Theodor Schulte 1933–1943
Josef Wurm 1943–1945
Dr. Heinrich Otto Spies April 1945
Josef Schrage (CDU) 1945–1946 fulltime
Dr. Adolf Bieker 1946
Franz Adam 1946–1947
Franz Stork (CDU) 1948–1952
Ignatz Müller (CDU) 1952–1964
Alfred Enders (CDU) 1964–1979
Wilma Ohly (CDU) 1979–1997
Horst Müller (CDU) since 1997 fulltime

Stadt- and Amtsdirektoren (1946–1996) Time in office
Josef Klein 1946–1949
Paul Habbel 1949–1968
Dr. Ernst Elbers 1968–1988
Karl- Josef Leyendecker 1989–1996

Coat of arms

The 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...

 show an episode from Saint Martin’s life, when he gave a beggar half his coat. As early as 1360, this scene adorned the town’s oldest seal. In 1911, as a sign of the long membership in the Archbishopric of Cologne (1180-1802), the cross of the Elector-Archbishops of Cologne was added to the upper right corner.

Town partnerships

Since 28 July 2001 there has been a partnership arrangement with the French
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...

 town of Gif-sur-Yvette
Gif-sur-Yvette is a commune in the south-western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.-Geography:The town is crossed by and named after the Yvette river.The total area is and is green spaces and woods.-Place names:...

. The town 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...

 in Olpe has for years been conducting student exchanges with a collège in Gif-sur-Yvette.

Culture and sightseeing

Culture plays an important rôle in the district seat. The town cultural office's regular events, as well as those staged by clubs from various fields form the portrait of cultural work in Olpe. Concert
A concert is a live performance before an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band...

s of all kinds, play
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

s, musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

s, cabaret
Cabaret is a form, or place, of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue: a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables watching the performance, as introduced by a master of ceremonies or...

 acts, exhibitions and other events appear regularly in the programmes.

The following venues are on hand:
  • Stadthalle Olpe (“town hall”, but an event hall rather than the administration centre)
  • Marktplatz (marketplace)
  • Lorenz-Jaeger-Haus
  • Altes Lyzeum
  • Kreishaus Olpe (district administration centre)
  • Kreuzkapelle (chapel)


Since 1997, the Förderverein Stadtmuseum Olpe (“Olpe Town Museum Development Association”) has been trying to establish a local 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...

. Owing to the town’s difficult financial situation, however, it has not yet been possible to realize this. Nevertheless, the Association’s goal is still to open such a museum in time for Olpe’s 700-year jubilee in 2011.


Seventy-three buildings are listed on the town’s list of monumental buildings, among them churches, rectories and chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

s, but also houses and monument
A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, or simply as an example of historic architecture...

s. Not all the buildings listed here are protected monuments, but each has an important function for Olpe:
  • Historic town wall with Engelsturm and Hexenturm (towers)
    Once Olpe was raised to town in 1311, the fortified town wall appeared no later than 1373. It consisted of three great and two lesser town gates and a few round towers. Today all that is left of the old town wall is some remnants in the Weierhohl with the Engelsturm (“Angels’ Tower”) and Hexenturm (“Witches’ Tower”). The latter, built in the 14th century, is the town’s oldest preserved profane building. Its name might refer to the persecution
    Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The most common forms are religious persecution, ethnic persecution, and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, isolation,...

     of witches, for which the tower might have been used as a prison
    A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

    . However, there is no proof of this. The Olpe Heimatforscher
    Heimatforscher, also called Heimatkundler, is a German language description for somebody researching his homeland, home town or region.Most of them are amateurs and autodidacts, covering history-related fields like genealogy, archaeology, geography, meteorology, zoology or botany.See...

    (“homeland researcher”, roughly “local historian”) Manfred Schöne assumed that the name came from Hessenturm (“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...

    Furthermore, under the town wall has lain the memorial site created by Ewald Mataré in 1963. It recalls the war’s victims and serves as a memorial for the living, and since 1996 there has also been a “Hounds’ Memorial” commemorating a particular breed that arose in Olpe.
  • Waterwheel
    The waterwheel stands at the former site of the Oberste Stadtmühle (“Uppermost Town Mill”) in the Weierhohl. It is complemented by the old mill’s
    A watermill is a structure that uses a water wheel or turbine to drive a mechanical process such as flour, lumber or textile production, or metal shaping .- History :...

     remains. The Unterste Stadtmühle (“Lowermost Town Mill”) persisted into the 1960s on Mühlenstraße, where the new cinema
    Movie theater
    A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

     now stands. The mills were supplied from the Olpe and Bigge through two millraces.
  • Martinus
    Martin of Tours
    Martin of Tours was a Bishop of Tours whose shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints...

    with Agatha statue
    After the arson fire in 1907, Saint Martin’s Church was built in the Gothic Revival style as a three-naved hall church
    Hall church
    A hall church is a church with nave and side aisles of approximately equal height, often united under a single immense roof. The term was first coined in the mid-19th century by the pioneering German art historian Wilhelm Lübke....

     with transept
    For the periodical go to The Transept.A transept is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture...

     and twin-tower façade. One of the two towers was destroyed in the bombing on 28 March 1945 and was never repaired, being left in its damaged state today as a memorial for peace. The current mayor, however, is trying to raise an endowment whose goal would be to rebuild the tower. Before the north exit, a statue of Saint Agatha has stood since 1979.
  • Evangelical church
    This was built in 1897 and 1898 an is thereby the town’s oldest church. It was built out of red brick.
  • Marketplace with Pannenklöpper (local word for “tinsmiths”) Memorial
    After the Great Fire in 1795, the mediaeval
    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...

     layout was abandoned and a new one built from the ground up. This was conceived by Johann Adam Stahl. The marketplace
    A marketplace is the space, actual, virtual or metaphorical, in which a market operates. The term is also used in a trademark law context to denote the actual consumer environment, ie. the 'real world' in which products and services are provided and consumed.-Marketplaces and street markets:A...

    ’s current shape was drawn from this plan. Many houses that were built at this time stand on cellar
    __FORCETOC__A basement is one or more floors of a building that are either completely or partially below the ground floor. Basements are typically used as a utility space for a building where such items as the furnace, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, car park, and air-conditioning system...

    s of the older houses that burnt down. In places, they jut into the street. In the 1990s, the marketplace was overhauled, and, except on Sundays when High Mass
    High Mass
    High Mass may mean:*Solemn Mass, a Tridentine Mass celebrated with deacon and subdeacon *Missa Cantata, a sung Tridentine Mass without deacon and subdeacon...

     is celebrated at Saint Martin’s Church, it is a carfree area
    Car-free zone
    Pedestrian zones are areas of a city or town reserved for pedestrian only use and in which some or all automobile traffic may be prohibited. They are instituted by communities who feel that it is desirable to have pedestrian-only areas...

    . The Panneklöpper-Denkmal was erected in 1982 and recalls the former importance of this profession in the town of Olpe.
  • Chapels (Kreuzkapelle, Rochuskapelle and Valentinskapelle)
  • Kurkölner Platz (“Electoral-Cologne Square”) with the Geschichtsbrunnen (“History Fountain/Well”)

Natural monuments

  • Biggesee
  • Kölsches Heck
Kölsches Heck (roughly “Cologne Hedge”) refers to what is now the administrative boundary between the districts of Olpe and 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:...

. It once served as a border defence, consisting of ditches and walls with hedges cut to a man’s height and interlaced with each other. Beyond a space of 15 to 100 m there often followed another ditch or wall structure. Today, traces of this old fortification may be found above Altenkleusheim.


Locally, Olpe has a number of places where people can involve themselves in athletic activities. For example, there are eleven gymnasia, nine tennis courts, and ten football/soccer fields. Also, Olpe is the birthplace of Markus Obermeier, a professional footballer.
  • Kreuzbergstadion
    Olpe's largest sports site is the Kreuzbergstadion. It holds both natural and artificial
    Artificial turf
    Artificial turf is a surface manufactured from synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns and commercial applications as well...

     turf, and is equipped with a 150–lux
    The lux is the SI unit of illuminance and luminous emittance, measuring luminous flux per unit area. It is used in photometry as a measure of the intensity, as perceived by the human eye, of light that hits or passes through a surface...

     projection system. The Kreuzbergstadion is the center of the German Football Association's
    German Football Association
    The German Football Association is the governing body of football in Germany. A founding member of both FIFA and UEFA, the DFB organises the German football leagues, including the national league, the Bundesliga, and the men's and women's national teams. The DFB is based in Frankfurt and is...

     under-12 through under-21 development programs. There is also an eight-lane track, a high jump
    High jump
    The high jump is a track and field athletics event in which competitors must jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without the aid of certain devices in its modern most practiced format; auxiliary weights and mounds have been used for assistance; rules have changed over the years....

     pit, a long jump
    Long jump
    The long jump is a track and field event in which athletes combine speed, strength, and agility in an attempt to leap as far as possible from a take off point...

     pit, and triple jump
    Triple jump
    The triple jump is a track and field sport, similar to the long jump, but involving a “hop, bound and jump” routine, whereby the competitor runs down the track and performs a hop, a bound and then a jump into the sand pit.The triple jump has its origins in the Ancient Olympics and has been a...

     pit for the athletes.
  • Aquatics
    In Olpe's newly renovated pool, there are several different pools and hot tubs. The same building also houses a sauna
    A sauna is a small room or house designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these and auxiliary facilities....

     and an outdoor pool.

  • Football
    Olpe is home to eleven football clubs who play on ten fields.
  • Diving
    Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, sometimes while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally-recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime.Diving is one...

    The Biggesee
    The Biggesee or Bigge Reservoir is a reservoir in Germany. It lies in the southern part of the Sauerland between Olpe and Attendorn.- Purpose :The lake serves to regulate the Ruhr and Lenne as well as providing water for the Ruhrgebiet...

     offers a great place for diving. Not only do locals come: there have also been many groups that come from abroad to have the opportunity to dive in the Biggesee.
  • The Athletic Club
    With over 3,000 members, the Turnverein Olpe or TVO is the largest athletic club in the municipality of Olpe. It has an eclectic lot of activities such as gymnastics
    Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. Internationally, all of the gymnastic sports are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique with each country having its own national governing body...

    , badminton
    Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs , who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their...

    , basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , handball
    Team handball
    Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

    , track and field
    Track and field
    Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

    , taekwondo
    Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

    , and volleyball
    Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...


Regular events

Many of the customs observed in town and in the outlying countryside are many hundreds of years old. They often have roots in church tradition.
  • Shooting festivals are held in many of the town’s centres. The biggest one in the municipal area is the Olpe Shooting Festival held by the St.-Sebastianus-Schützenverein, always on the weekend of the third Sunday in July. It is held on the Ümmerich, the shooting range on the Imberg. The club boasts almost 5,000 members.
  • Agatha-Tag (Saint Agatha’s Day), 5 February, and a procession the following Sunday.
  • Poschefeuer, an Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

     fire on the Gallenberg, the Bratzkopf and in almost every village in the town.
  • Rochus-Gelübde (“Vow to Saint Roch”) with procession following.
  • Muggelkirmes (third Sunday in September), a great festival for a good cause offering many things for young and old without the usual carney trade, but instead with much amateur participation and a family atmosphere.
  • St. Martin’s Day with procession
  • Organ piece Der alte Zimmermann (“The Old Carpenter”) at Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

  • Between the Days-Festival (known as such even 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....

    ) – For more than 30 years this musical event, known far beyond the town, has beckoned many concertgoers every 29 December to Olpe with its broad array of pop
    Pop music
    Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

     and rock
    Rock music
    Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

  • Ölper Tied (11 o’clock in the morning – traditional “Ölper” time for a drink)

Culinary specialities

  • Shooting festival specialities
    The Olper Beff is a kind of beef
    Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

     patty into which potato
    The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

     is also mixed. It is served with a brown gravy – oxtail soup
    Oxtail soup
    Oxtail soup is made with beef tails. The use of the word "ox" in this context is a legacy of nomenclature; no specialized stock of beef animals are used...

     – and served warm together with a breadroll. Its quality is officially tested the Friday before the shooting festival at the Beff-Probe.
  • Only at the Olpe Shooting Festival do a few of the town’s butcher
    A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments...

     shops offer Spürne for sale, a cold meat made of pickled cow’s udder
    An udder is an organ formed of the mammary glands of female quadruped mammals, especially ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep and deer. The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands...

    . There is also a children’s drink at the shooting festival called Quatsch (literally “balderdash” or “hokum”, although it is actually raspberry
    The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

  • Butterbrezel
    A genuine Olpe speciality is the Butterbrezel (butter pretzel) which was originally made by the Gastreich Bakery
    A bakery is an establishment which produces and sells flour-based food baked in an oven such as bread, cakes, pastries and pies. Some retail bakeries are also cafés, serving coffee and tea to customers who wish to consume the baked goods on the premises.-See also:*Baker*Cake...

    , then later by the Sommerhoff Bakery and nowadays by the Konditorei
    Konditorei is the German word for a pâtisserie and confectionery shop. A Konditorei typically offers a wide variety of pastries and is like a little café. In Germany and Austria it is a very popular custom to go to a Konditorei to have a cake and some coffee or hot chocolate mid-afternoon...

  • Kemper’s Korn
    At the Kemper distillery, owned by Arens, with water from its own well
    Water well
    A water well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, boring or drilling to access groundwater in underground aquifers. The well water is drawn by an electric submersible pump, a trash pump, a vertical turbine pump, a handpump or a mechanical pump...

    , a grain schnapps
    Schnapps is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage. The English word schnapps is derived from the German Schnaps , which can refer to any strong alcoholic drink but particularly those containing at least 32% ABV...

     is produced, along with various liqueur
    A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.The...

  • Veischeder Landbier
    In the outlying centre of Oberveischede for a few years now, the Müller Brewery
    A brewery is a dedicated building for the making of beer, though beer can be made at home, and has been for much of beer's history. A company which makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company....

     has been brewing dark and light Pils
    Pilsner is a type of pale lager. It takes its name from the city of Pilsen , Bohemia, in today's Czech Republic, where it has been developed since 1842, when a bottom-fermented beer was first produced. The original Pilsner Urquell beer is produced there today.-Origin:Until the mid-1840s, most ...

     in a house brewery, which is also sold outside the house. A neighbouring bakery also uses the beer to bake Veischeder Landbierbrot (beer bread
    Beer bread
    Beer bread is a simple bread based on the idea that both beer and bread have a common creation process: yeast is used to turn sugar into alcohol, which in the case of bread then boils off....



The wealth of forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

, ore
An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element....

 and water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 was the foundation on which the iron foundries, hammerworks, tinsmithies and tanneries
Tanning is the making of leather from the skins of animals which does not easily decompose. Traditionally, tanning used tannin, an acidic chemical compound from which the tanning process draws its name . Coloring may occur during tanning...

 were built. Moreover, the town’s location between the Siegerland on one side and the Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

-ruled Sauerland on the other favoured economic development. No later than the 18th century, Olpe and its outlying areas were one of the economic centres of the Duchy of Westphalia
Duchy of Westphalia
The Duchy of Westphalia was a historic territory in the greater region of Westphalia, located in the east of modern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Originally, Westphalia formed with Angria and Eastphalia one of the three main regions of Saxony...

  • Tinsmithing
    This has a long tradition in Olpe, thereby having played an important rôle in the town’s life. There was already a smiths’ guild by 1567, the Schmiedeamt. The smiths gradually came to concentrate mainly on making sheet metal or plate. Protected as they were by the guild privileges that were continually confirmed by the Electors, Olpe’s smiths managed to secure a virtual monopoly
    A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

     position in sheet metal manufacture in south Westphalia. The bronze
    Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

     memorial at the marketplace recalls the old guild.
  • Hammerworks
    These craftsmen also had their own guild and took up the important preparatory work for the tinsmiths, and also for other smiths. The works were powered by water.
  • Mining
    There is evidence of copper
    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

    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...

     since the mid 16th century in the Rhonard. Alongside many other small pits in Olpe the Grube Rhonard was the biggest. It belonged until 1805 to the Brabeck family estate. Until it closed in 1890, it was the oldest and biggest pit in Olpe. Alongside copper, iron ore was also mined. Moreover, there were also small yields of silver
    Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

    , quicksilver
    Mercury (element)
    Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

     and cinnabar
    Cinnabar or cinnabarite , is the common ore of mercury.-Word origin:The name comes from κινναβαρι , a Greek word most likely applied by Theophrastus to several distinct substances...

  • Other important occupations in the Olpe area were the charburners
    Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

     and tanners.


Midsize and nationally active businesses in various fields are the underpinnings of today’s economic life in the district seat. Among these are foundries, tube drawing factories, drop forges, valve
A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. Valves are technically pipe fittings, but are usually discussed as a separate category...

 factories, machine factories and electronics manufacture. Furthermore, there are many businesses in crafts, trade and service industries. Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 is also important.

Important enterprises in Olpe are:
  • Karl Jungbecker GmbH & Co, Olpe
  • Ohm & Häner GmbH & Co. KG, Olpe
  • Peterseim GmbH & Co. KG, Olpe
  • Gebr. Kemper GmbH & Co. KG, Olpe
  • Schell GmbH & Co. KG
  • Karl Imhäuser GmbH & Co. KG
  • Metallwerke Gustav Imhäuser GmbH & Co. KG

Rail and bus transport

Olpe’s railway station lies on the single-tracked Biggetalbahn (KBS 442) on which hourly runs the Biggesee-Express (RB 92) passenger service to 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 :...

 with connections to the Ruhr-Sieg-Express (RE 16). In the outlying centre of Sondern is a “lake station” which allows a direct transfer from the railway to a passenger boat. It is the only one in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The line was built by the Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn (railway), going into operation between Finnentrop and Olpe on 1 November 1875. Originally it ran by way of Gerlingen and Rothemühle (both belonging to the community of Wenden
Wenden is a community in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It belongs to the Olpe district in the Sauerland. It lies 10 km south of Olpe and approx. 20 km northwest of Siegen.- Location :...

) to Freudenberg in Westphalia where it joined to the Asdorftalbahn by way of Niederfischbach to Kirchen (Sieg) with a further connection to another line, the Siegstrecke (KBS 460). Another line ran from Olpe by way of Drolshagen and Bergneustadt to Dieringhausen with a connection to the Aggertalbahn (KBS 459).

As for local road transport, many 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 run, joining Olpe to the neighbouring towns and communities. The operators are the Verkehrsbetriebe Westfalen-Süd (VWS, “Westphalia-South Transport Services”) whose seat is in Siegen, a daughter company to the Stadtwerke Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, and the Busverkehr Ruhr-Sieg (BRS, “Ruhr-Sieg Bus Transport”). Also, lines of the Regionalverkehr Köln
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...

bus company run to Olpe.

Local rail and road transport are integrated with the Westphalia South Transport Community (Verkehrsgemeinschaft Westfalen Süd, VGWS).

Streets and roads

There are three traffic thoroughfares in the town of Olpe. Bruchstraße carries north-south traffic to the Autobahn interchanges. Westfälische Straße leaves the historic Old Town towards the northeast while Martinstraße, which is barred to heavy vehicles, leads out of the town centre towards the east. The inner town has at its disposal four free parking garages
Multi-storey car park
A multi-storey car-park is a building designed specifically to be for car parking and where there are a number of floors or levels on which parking takes place...


At almost every street junction within the town, a roundabout
A roundabout is the name for a road junction in which traffic moves in one direction around a central island. The word dates from the early 20th century. Roundabouts are common in many countries around the world...

 has been installed. Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße , abbreviated B, is the denotation for German and Austrian national highways.-Germany:...

55 serves as a northern town bypass and comes together with Bundesstraße 54, which serves as an eastern town bypass, near Rhode. In the south and west, the Autobahnen A 4 and A 45 surround the municipal area. It is thereby possible for heavy traffic to bypass the town altogether on any side.

The town of Olpe is connected to two Autobahnen:
  • A 4 (E 40
    European route E40
    European route E 40 is the longest European route, more than long, connecting Calais in France via Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan, with Ridder in Kazakhstan near the border to China....

    ) Aachen
    Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

    Görlitz is a town in Germany. It is the easternmost town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in the Bundesland of Saxony. It is opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Historically, Görlitz was in the region of Upper Lusatia...

    , interchange: Wenden (Olpe-Süd)
  • A 45 (Sauerlandlinie)
    Bundesautobahn 45
    is an autobahn in Germany, connecting Dortmund in the west with Aschaffenburg in the southwest. It is colloquially known by its byname Sauerlandlinie, which derives from the Sauerland, the landscape which said autobahn is running through between the cities of Hagen and Siegen. Many people think of...

     (E 41) Dortmund
    Dortmund is a city in Germany. It is located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Its population of 585,045 makes it the 7th largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union....

    Aschaffenburg is a city in northwest Bavaria, Germany. The town of Aschaffenburg is not considered part of the district of Aschaffenburg, but is the administrative seat.Aschaffenburg is known as the Tor zum Spessart or "gate to the Spessart"...

    , interchange: Olpe and Wenden (Olpe-Süd)

as well as to the Bundesstraßen 54 (Münster–Lünen–Dortmund–Hagen–Olpe–Siegen–Limburg–Wiesbaden) and 55 (Olpe-Lennestadt-Meschede).

Water transport

Boat tours can be taken on the Biggesee. The waters are plied from April until late October by two boats run by the Personenschifffahrt Biggesee. A trip round the reservoir lasts roughly two hours, and may be boarded at any of five docks. A few years ago there were still four boats in this Weiße Flotte (“White Fleet”), as it is known. Along with the still available MS Westfalen and MS Bigge, a further boat plied the reservoir. In the reservoir’s forward basin (called the Obersee, or “Upper Lake”) was a canal boat by the name of Olpe. Its low-slung design was necessary so that the boat could get under the low railway bridge.

Cycling paths

Around the Biggesee and the Lister Reservoir (Listertalsperre) is a closed cycling path network. This leads to the Biggedamm in 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...

. Furthermore, Olpe is connected to the North Rhine-Westphalia Cycling Transport Network (Radverkehrsnetz NRW).

Hiking paths

Through Olpe runs the 1 080 km-long Wanderweg der Deutschen Einheit (“Hiking Path of German Unity”). Also, there are many smaller, well marked hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

 paths that lead around the town.


The following 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 publish local editions daily:
  • Siegener Zeitung
  • Westfälische Rundschau
  • Westfalenpost

Furthermore, each of these newspapers also has a local office in Olpe. Currently, all three publish in the morning, although until 2000, the Siegener Zeitung was an afternoon paper. The Siegener Zeitung is a midsize family business with its headquarters in Siegen. The other two papers both belong to the WAZ
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung
The Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung is a leading commercial newspaper from Essen, Germany, published by WAZ-Mediengruppe.It was founded by Erich Brost and first published 3 April 1948....

 newspaper group.

Also published, on Wednesdays and Sundays, is the free advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 sheet Sauerlandkurier with information from the whole Sauerland. Further advertising sheets are the Sonntags-Anzeiger – as the name suggests, appearing Sundays – and the Sauerländer Wochenanzeiger, which comes out Wednesdays and Sundays, each of which is produced by the Siegerländer Wochen-Anzeiger GmbH & Co. KG, a daughter company of the Siegener Zeitung.

On special occasions such as the shooting festival, the Sauerländer Börse, a glossy DIN-A-4-format advertising sheet, appears.

Until about 2000, there was also a Wednesday advertising sheet called the Stadtanzeiger published by a WAZ daughter company, and until some time around 1980, Olpe was the publishing site of the Sauerländisches Volksblatt.


The Olpe district has no local transmitter
In electronics and telecommunications a transmitter or radio transmitter is an electronic device which, with the aid of an antenna, produces radio waves. The transmitter itself generates a radio frequency alternating current, which is applied to the antenna. When excited by this alternating...

 or radio station
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

 at its disposal. Current news about Olpe is to be had only through the 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...

 programme from the Siegen regional studio
Westdeutscher Rundfunk
Westdeutscher Rundfunk is a German public-broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia with its main office in Cologne. WDR is a constituent member of the consortium of German public-broadcasting institutions, ARD...

, sending out news from south Westphalia on the half-hour. With a decision on 28 April 2006, however, Olpe was chosen by the Landesanstalt für Medien Nordrhein-Westfalen (LfM), the responsible overseeing authority for radio broadcasts in North Rhine-Westphalia, as a possible area for expansion of local broadcasting. An organizing association has existed for many years.


Olpe belongs to 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....

’s Siegen studio’s broadcast area. The Lokalzeit Südwestfalen reports on the region.
Markus Obermeier was born in Olpe and is one of the lead actors in the American Comedy Show Messed up Life. www.messeduplife.com.
Markus Obermeier and his wife Priscilla Obermeier have created and produced this show with their Production Company TRUESELF LLC in Hollywood, CA. Markus Obermeier has starred as an Actor in 6 Movies in the last 9 months and 1 Epsiodic show as well in the Hollywood Theater play "The Berlin Dig"

Public institutions

  • Agentur für Arbeit Siegen, Olpe office (employment agency
    Employment agency
    An employment agency is an organization which matches employers to employees. In all developed countries there is a publicly funded employment agency and multiple private businesses which also act as employment agencies.-Public employment agencies:...

  • Amtsgericht Olpe (court
    A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

  • Finanzamt Olpe (financial office)
  • Regionalforstamt Kurkölnisches Sauerland, Olpe service building (regional forest office)

Since 1 August 2007, there has been this current forest office made up of the former Attendorn (partly) and Olpe forest offices. The first time that a forest office in Olpe was mentioned was in 1810.
  • Kreishaus Olpe (district administration)
  • LWL-Archäologie für Westfalen, Olpe branch

In a former school on 31 August 1982, the Olpe branch was officially opened. The main task is taking care of monuments in the Regierungsbezirk of Arnsberg. This is done through undertaking to propose monumental protection, taking part in procedures as sponsors of public concerns, onsite studies, publishing work and “small monmument care” (exchange with interested persons or groups).


The hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

 was founded in 1856 under the St. Martinus Olpe parish’s sponsorship and at first it was run by two Vincentine sisters. Each year, just under 11,000 patients, mainly from Olpe, Wenden and Drolshagen are treated. A staff of roughly 800 fulltime and partime workers have 385 beds in their care. The hospital has a surgical
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

 clinic, a medicinal clinic, a women’s clinic, an anaesthesia department, an intensive care unit
Intensive Care Unit
thumb|220px|ICU roomAn intensive-care unit , critical-care unit , intensive-therapy unit/intensive-treatment unit is a specialized department in a hospital that provides intensive-care medicine...

 whose main task is pain control and diagnostic radiology
Medical imaging
Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create images of the human body for clinical purposes or medical science...

, and a psychiatric
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

 department. Sisters of the Olpe Franciscan congregation took over nursing duties in 1900. As of 1997, the St.-Martinus-Hospital was run as a not-for-profit limited company (GmbH), and it merged in 2000 with the Catholic St.-Josef-Hospital in Lennestadt
Lennestadt lies in the Sauerland in southeast North Rhine-Westphalia and is a community in Olpe district. It is the district’s most populous municipality....

-Altenhundem into the Katholische Hospitalgesellschaft Südwestfalen gGmbH (gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, or “not-for-profit company with limited liability”). Attached to the hospital are, among other things, a nursing
Nursing is a healthcare profession focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life from conception to death....

 school, a course in geriatric care
Geriatric nursing
Geriatric nursing is the specialty that concerns itself with the provision of nursing services to geriatric or aged individuals.-Geriatric nursing:...

 and a mobile dialysis
In medicine, dialysis is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood, and is primarily used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with renal failure...

 centre. Since that time, the Franciscan sisters have no longer been working at the St.-Martinus-Hospital, and the convent found there was dissolved in late 2005.

Kinderhospiz Balthasar

When this children's hospice
Children's hospice
A children's hospice is a hospice specifically designed to help children and young people who are not expected to reach adulthood with the emotional and physical challenges they face, and also to provide respite care for their families.-Services:...

 opened in 1998, it was the first of its kind in Germany. “A second home for the whole family” is one of the hospice’s guiding principles. As well as living and laughing, dying and weeping can take place here. The whole family is to some extent guided over years until the child’s death. Each year, several stays of up to four weeks each are possible.

The sponsor is the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft der Franziskanerinnen zu Olpe mbH (“Not-for-profit Company of the Franciscan Sisters at Olpe, limited”, or GFO). It is one-third financed by sponsors such as longterm care insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 and two-thirds by donations and by the families themselves.


Olpe is a regionally important school
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools...

 centre. There are many different educational institutions here.
Schools and educational institutions in Olpe
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...

Secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

Katholische Bekenntnisgrundschule Hohenstein 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...

: Hakemickeschule Städt. Gemeinschaftshauptschule
Gemeinschaftsgrundschule Dahl 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...

: Realschule Olpe-Drolshagen
Katholische Bekenntnisgrundschule Auf dem Gallenberg Gymnasien: Sankt-Franziskus-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...

; Städtisches Gymnasium Olpe
Katholische Bekenntnisgrundschule Düringerschule Professional schools
Gemeinschaftsgrundschule Hakemicke Bäckerfachschule
Katholische Franz-Hitze-Bekenntnisgrundschule Rhode Berufskolleg des Kreises Olpe (vocational college)
Special schools Fortbildungsakademien für Gesundheitshilfe
Pestalozzischule, Förderschule Lernen des Kreises Olpe Nursing schools
Max-von-der-Grün-Schule, LWL special school with emphasis on bodily and motor development Other
Michael-Ende-Schule, LWL-Förderschule, emphasis on speech Rettungsfachschule des DRK (Red Cross rescue school)
LWL-Förderschule, emphasis on sight Music school
LWL-Förderschule,. emphasis on hearing and communication Folk high school

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Johann Bergmann von Olpe (1460–1531), theologian and publisher
  • Rudolf Bertram (1893–1975), medic
  • Mother Maria Theresia (née Wilhelmine) Bonzel (1830–1905), order founder
  • Rötger Hundt (1711–1773), theologian
  • Anton Deimel (1865–1954), theologian and researcher
  • Jochen Feldmann (born 3 August 1961), physicist
  • Adolf von Hatzfeld (1892–1957), poet
  • Franz Hitze (1851–1921), sociopolitical and theologian
  • Michael Kraus (1945–1978), artist and graphic artist
  • Michael Kügler
    Michael Kügler
    Michael Kügler is a German footballer who plays for 1. FC Kaan-Marienborn.-References:...

     (born 3 September 1981), footballer
  • Monica Pick-Hieronimi (born 14 December 1943), sopranist and professor of music
  • Johannes Rosenthal (1903–1975), Pallottine bishop and first Bishop of Queenstown
    Queenstown, Eastern Cape
    Queenstown, named after Queen Victoria, is a town in the middle of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, roughly half way in between the towns of Cathcart and Sterkstroom. It is currently the commercial, administrative, and educational centre of the prosperous surrounding farming district...

     in South Africa
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

  • Paul-Werner Scheele (born 6 April 1928), Bishop emeritus of Würzburg
    Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located at the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian....

  • Josef Schrage (1881–1953), Landrat and Member of the Landtag
  • Sigmar Solbach (born 3 October 1946), actor
  • Helmut Stahl (born 1947), politician (CDU)
  • Hermann Tilke
    Hermann Tilke
    Hermann Tilke is a German engineer and auto racer, who has designed numerous Formula One motor racing circuits.-Racing:...

     (born 31 December 1951), architect
  • Frank Matthée (born 27 October 1967), wedding planner
  • Patrick Rakovsky
    Patrick Rakovsky
    Patrick Rakovsky is a German footballer of Czech descent who currently plays for Bundesliga side 1. FC Nuremberg as a goalkeeper.-External links:** *...

     (born 2 June 1993), football player

Famous people connected with the town

  • Johann Nikolaus Düringer (about 1700–1756), sculptor
  • Wilhelm Marx (1851–1924), Chief Mayor of Düsseldorf (buried in Olpe)
  • Theodor Mietens (1804–1885), printer and cofounder of the Evangelical parish in Olpe
  • Herbert Straube (1904–1977), celebrity entrepreneur in the postwar years
  • Otto Müller (1870–1944), priest and resistance fighter in National Socialist times
  • Lorenz Jaeger
    Lorenz Jaeger
    Lorenz Jaeger was a German Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Paderborn from 1941 to 1973, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965.-Biography:...

     (1892–1975), Cardinal
  • Hans Krüger
    Hans Krüger
    Hans Krüger was a former member of the NSDAP party and other Nazi organizations who served as a judge in occupied Poland during Second World War. After the war he became West German politician of the Christian Democratic Union...

     (1902–1971), Minister for Displaced Persons in the Erhardt Cabinet
  • Gerhard Schneider (born 11 December 1938) collector of degenerate art
    Degenerate art
    Degenerate art is the English translation of the German entartete Kunst, a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany to describe virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were...

  • Gerd vom Bruch
    Gerd vom Bruch
    Gerd vom Bruch is a retired German football player and coach. He is currently a player agent.-External links:...

    (born 19 August 1941) former trainer for Spvg. Olpe (1972–1976)

Further reading

  • Westfälischer Städteatlas; Band: VIII; 3 Teilband. Im Auftrage der Historischen Kommission für Westfalen und mit Unterstützung des Landschaftsverbandes Westfalen-Lippe, published by the late Heinz Stoob and Wilfried Ehbrecht. Stadtmappe Olpe, Author: Manfred Wolf, ISBN 3-89115-170-5; Dortmund-Altenbeken 2004.
  • Gretel Kemper: Olpe, Stadt und Land; published by the Heimatverein für Olpe und Umgebung, publishing house: Die Wiehlandschmiede, ISBN 3-925498-67-2, Olpe

External links

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