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Anger in the Rundling Bussau

The term Anger ( mhd. Anger , ahd. Angar , Germanic nor Vangr ) describes a mostly grassy land or a village square in common ownership, which could be used by all residents of the city or the village (for common ownership see also: Allmende ). This goes back to the Germanic times when it was mostly before or near a settlement. There it was a place for celebrations, for communal activities (village oven, communal slaughter) and could also serve as a sacred place of worship, a place for council meetings ( thing ) or a place of execution for Germanic tribal law . In addition, it occasionally housed processional routes or Germanic tombs.

Concept development

The Germanic Akr (field) was understood in a similar way , which as a farmyard (field, storage place) represented the counterpart to the Anger (pasture) and was also mostly common land. Since the places of worship were built over mostly of churches during the Christianization, emerged as one part of the cemetery Sanger , which today represents an almost forgotten name, and even the cemetery , which itself as a modern synonym for the cemetery on the old word hov back.

Teutons therefore still associated the vangar with home. The Norwegian site in Trondheim- Ranheim made it possible to find such a cult site from around 500 BC. First to reconstruct.

In Old High German , the v was finally lost and the Vangar became Anger .

The rather early form of such Anger can generally be found in the entire Germanic, Baltic , Scandinavian and Slavic settlement area and is based on the local conditions on site.

Position and shape

Over time, due to the increasing density of settlements, the Vanger gradually moved into the center as a village green and, from the early Middle Ages, was also deliberately laid out centrally between two rows of houses that were far apart. This usually included a small lake or duck pond where the village community used fish or kept poultry . This was an adaptation to the medieval famines, which were mostly associated with wars and epidemics. The soldiers often dragged away everything that was edible but had no time to plunder the fish pond or catch the poultry. In this way, the fish and the poultry that remained free-roaming ensured the survival of the looted residents.

This typical type of settlement of German colonists, which was specifically planned for south-east Europe and east-central Europe, is also known as anger village . If the Anger is only accessible from one side, it is also called a Sackanger .


On the Anger, for example, the cattle were herded together and / or herded overnight (e.g. before slaughter), and the sick animals that did not go to pasture were often grazed here, hence the term Hutanger (an anger which is used "to the hat ", to herding). In addition, it also served as a feeding place for animals passing through (e.g. horses, stagecoaches, etc.), which is why the meadows were partially fenced in and thus resembled a village paddock. In contrast to this floor space, the Community was covering -Nutzfläche (place of slaughter) of a village as a knacker's yard called.

In modern times, this land was often privatized by the municipalities due to lack of money or converted into building land, so that municipalities today hardly have such usable areas. The village pond was also partially drained in order to gain additional land. Today, anger has often been turned into a park .

The term plan was used in Saxony , Lower Saxony , Westphalia and North Rhine-Westphalia in the composition of Bleichplan until the 20th century and is still used today as a street or square name in many villages in central and northern Thuringia and in southern Saxony-Anhalt. New German could be understood as a laundry place . The bleaching plan was understood to mean the place where laundry was laid out for bleaching . This was earlier z. B. cooked in the area around Bielefeld in ash solution, then laid out on the bleaching plan, a meadow in the sunlight and soaked again with sour milk, rinsed and dried in the sunlight until it was sufficiently faded.

At the time, taking care of the laundry was a very arduous job that took up a large part of the daily time. The language was correspondingly rich in terms of the use of these areas and the often arduous work involved.

  • In Slavic areas there is also the form plan , which comes from the Old Saxon , see its etymology and for example Czech Planá such as z. B. Planá nad Lužnicí or Chodová Planá in Bohemia. It is also included in the place name Planica in Slovenia, which became known as the venue in ski flying, which can largely also be referred to as aviators.
  • In Henneberg , the Anger can also be described as a deficiency . The word is probably derived from (am) Anger(am) AngelDeficiency .

Presumably only the use as a laundry area, which in the late Middle Ages was occasionally equipped with a kind of lack of press, was simply transferred to the area. The mangle was a device with which you could squeeze the water out of the laundry by pressing it between two rollers. In the beginning it was a big, bulky device that had to be operated by two people and therefore would hardly have fit in a room. There were also medieval torture devices that worked this way. So you were literally “turned through the mangle”.

Place names

Therefore, "Anger" is found in many old local and field names : Especially in flat areas of Lower Austria or German names of Hungarian settlements there are some that contain the word in place names such as Angern an der March or Szombathely . In the German-speaking Alpine region, the word Anger also stands for the alpine pastures in the high valleys, for example the Höllentalanger at the foot of the Zugspitze . There is also the municipality of Anger (Berchtesgadener Land) .

In Bavaria there is still a place called Wolfanger today, but it only consists of a single homestead . It belongs to the place Tacherting in the district of Traunstein , Upper Bavaria. In Regensburg the name Klarenanger was used as a name for the location of the Clariss monastery destroyed in 1809 and a school until 1982, although the area opened up in the newly designed Dachauplatz after World War II . In contrast, the name Wolfanger can also be found as a family name , especially in today's Saarland . However, it is not clear whether there is an etymological connection here. Even in large cities there are still districts or areas that go back to the Anger in the villages before the merger, for example the Feldmochinger Anger or the Denninger Anger in Munich . In Erfurt (Thuringia) the central town square called Anger has been preserved. The street between the trading houses, enlarged to the size of the square, is now used as a pedestrian zone and shopping mile. In the Saxon city of Leipzig there is an Anger-Crottendorf district , which, as Angerdorf, served as an anger village in earlier times (benefiting from the brook lowland area) the fruit and vegetable supplier of the up-and-coming city. In Kassel (Hessen) there is the district Wolfsanger-Hasenhecke, the first documentary mention "Vulvisanger" of the former village Wolfsanger dates back to the year 811 in a certificate of Charlemagne. A settlement in Lower Saxony is called Radauanger , but it only includes a few buildings owned by the city and has no supra-local relevance. It is located in Bad Harzburg in the Goslar district in Lower Saxony.

In Bad Reichenhall the name “Anger” has stood the test of time. The street Im Angerl is still called today after the place under the protection of the city wall. There was also a gate in the medieval city fortifications, which was called Angertürl after the square .


The second part of the historicizing Carmina Burana by Carl Orff is entitled Ûf the Anger . This section of the work, which is predominantly based on Middle High German texts, combines love songs and folk dances into a rural spring festival on the village square and thus represents a final connection to the former use as a festival and cult area.

See also


  • Thuringian State Office for Monument Preservation and Archeology (Hrsg.): The rural settlements in Thuringia - analysis of rural settlement forms. (= Workbooks of the Thuringian State Office for Monument Preservation and Archeology. 42), Sandstein-Verlag, Dresden 2013, ISBN 978-3-937940-98-4 .
  • Günter Peters: Marzahn - the most beautiful village in Berlin (= the historical place, No. 107: cities ). Homilius, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-89706-106-6 .

Web links

Commons : Anger  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Anger  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The term Anger in the vocabulary of the Germanic language unit , 1909 on
  2. ^ Term Anger in German dictionary , by Friedrich L. Weigand, 1968 on
  3. ^ Term Anger on