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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Altena
Map of Germany, position of the city of Altena highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 18 '  N , 7 ° 40'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Arnsberg
Circle : Märkischer Kreis
Height : 190 m above sea level NHN
Area : 44.42 km 2
Residents: 16,718 (Dec 31, 2019)
Population density : 376 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 58762
Area code : 02352
License plate : MK
Community key : 05 9 62 004
City structure: 7 districts and
3 districts

City administration address :
Lüdenscheider Strasse 22
58762 Altena
Website :
Mayor : Andreas Hollstein ( CDU )
Location of the city of Altena in the Märkisches Kreis
Dortmund Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis Hagen Hochsauerlandkreis Kreis Olpe Kreis Soest Kreis Unna Oberbergischer Kreis Altena Balve Halver Hemer Herscheid Iserlohn Kierspe Lüdenscheid Meinerzhagen Menden (Sauerland) Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde Neuenrade Plettenberg Schalksmühle Werdohlmap
About this picture

Altena  [ ˈʔalteˌna ] is a small town in the Märkisches Kreis in North Rhine-Westphalia . Please click to listen!Play

The city emerged below Altena Castle , which was founded in the 12th century and where Richard Schirrmann established the world's first permanent youth hostel in 1914 .



View of the city with river Lenne and castle

The city is located in the Sauerland in the Lenne valley . The highest point at 511  m above sea level. NHN is located on the Kohlberg on the border with the city of Neuenrade. The lowest point is at the Hünengraben at 145  m above sea level. NHN . Today's urban area has an area of ​​around 44.3 square kilometers; 61% of the area is taken up by forest.


Altena belongs to the Rhenish Slate Mountains .

Neighboring communities

The neighboring communities, like Altena itself, all belong to the Märkischer Kreis. The area of ​​the city of Altena borders clockwise to the west on the municipality of Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde , on the cities of Iserlohn , Hemer , Neuenrade , Werdohl and Lüdenscheid and on the municipality of Schalksmühle .

City structure

The city of Altena is divided into the districts of Dahle , Evingsen , Rahmede and the city center. The city center district consists of the city of Altena in its boundaries before 1969 and is divided into the following districts: Old Town (with Buchholz and Lennestein), Nettenscheid (with the Nette) and Breitenhagen (with the Städtische Rahmede and the Drescheider Berg). The districts of Knerling (with the Brachtenbecke), Pragpaul, Tiergarten and Mühlendorf (with the Linscheid) were each created in their form after incorporation by the municipality of Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde. The Rahmede district, which previously belonged to the municipality of Lüdenscheid-Land, is divided into the villages of Mühlenrahmede , Altroggenrahmede , Grünewiese and Rosmart as well as Großer- and Kleinendrescheid.


The city is located in a temperate climate zone .

Flora and fauna

In most of the urban area, sparse hornbeam and beech forests represent the potentially natural vegetation. On some valley slopes (for example Giershagen in the Nettetal) remains of past low and medium-sized forest management have been preserved. In the Siepen there are small-scale gallery forests formed by black alder and hornbeam. Afforestation with spruce and Douglas fir is also common. After Hurricane Kyrill in 2007, many clear-cut areas were covered by tall herbaceous corridors (epilobia). Gradually birch and grape elder are appearing on these areas where there has not yet been afforestation. Where in the Siepen (stream valleys) extensive grassland has not yet been afforested, there are impressive populations of celandine , wood anemones and cowslips in places . On calcareous lentils (for example near Grünewiese) the flora is more species-rich than in the other areas on acidic, weathered underground rock. Here you can find typical limestone pointers, such as the large two-leaf and the broad-leaved stendellum .

The beech forest formations of Altena with their numerous small creek cuts are home to larger populations of the fire salamander . Mountain newt and newt especially occur in stagnant water . Altena's avifauna is dominated by forest species, a total of five species of woodpecker can be observed regularly. The dipper is a constant breeding bird in the Rahmedetal, while the Lennetal is visited by goose saws from Scandinavia in winter .


Altena Castle
Altena around 1872
Panorama with castle

historical overview

The city of Altena emerged below the castle of the same name, built in the 12th century , which was built by a sideline of the Counts of Berg , who then called themselves Counts von Altena and later Counts von der Mark. The origin of the name of the castle has not yet been clarified. One theory says that the name goes back to a pre-Germanic river name, according to which the name comes from the river and the landscape "Altena" in Brabant. However, the term Altena could also have been formed from the Middle Low German expression "all te na", because the Counts of Arnsberg viewed the location of the castle as "all too close".

Count Engelbert III. von der Mark granted Altena the freedom rights on December 20, 1367. Altena Castle was the ancestral seat of the counts only until 1392, as they had lived mostly in a courtyard near Hamm since 1198 . In 1609 the area fell to the Elector of Brandenburg . Since October 3, 1753, the Altena district existed as one of four districts in the County of Mark. In 1794 Altena was given the title of city without ever having been granted city rights.

After the Peace of Tilsit , the city and the entire county belonged to the French- dominated Grand Duchy of Berg . In 1815, following the resolutions of the Congress of Vienna , the county returned to Prussia and became part of the new Arnsberg administrative district , which it has remained to this day. During the Second World War , several units were stationed in Altena, including an SS training unit .

In the first half of the 20th century there was a railway connection of the Iserlohner Kreisbahn through the Nettetal via Evingsen / Dahle to Ihmert and Westig / Hemer. In addition, a connection of the Altenaer Railway through the Rahmedetal led to Lüdenscheid, which was discontinued in 1961. Only the main connection through the Lennetal has remained.

On January 1, 1969, the Altena district and the previously independent city of Lüdenscheid were combined to form the Lüdenscheid district. In this context , Altena was greatly enlarged by the incorporation of Dahle and Evingsen , Rahmedetal to Grünewiese and parts of Nachrodt-Wiblingwerdes . On January 1, 1975, the Märkischer Kreis was formed by merging the Lüdenscheid and Iserlohn districts and the independent city of Iserlohn. The district cultural office, the district social welfare office and a branch office of the health office kept their offices on Bismarckstraße in Altena.

When the refugee crisis in Germany came in 2015 , Altena made headlines nationwide. The newspaper Die Welt called Altena the “capital of the courageous citizens” because the city voluntarily accepted 100 more refugees in addition to the 270 who met the quota. On October 3, 2015, an arson attack was carried out on a house in which two refugee families lived. The smoldering fire in the attic of the apartment building was quickly extinguished without causing any major damage. The two perpetrators were caught. In May 2017, the city was awarded the “National Integration Prize” because each of the 450 migrants registered there is looked after by a personal “caretaker” during the asylum procedure. A knife attack was carried out on Mayor Andreas Hollstein on November 27, 2017.

History of the Jews up to 1942

The oldest known mention of a Jew with the name "Urias" in Altena comes from a list of estimates from November 11, 1586. In a list of residents from 1738, the families Samson Levi and Hertz Meyer are named with eight and five people. In 1740/1741 there are four families with about 22 people. A registration register from 1740 shows that many Jews were active as shopkeepers, one as butcher . In October 1845 an order stipulated that all Jewish residents had to give themselves a family name, which had not been the norm for Jews until then. 23 families in Altena were affected by this. In 1900 there were around 100 Jewish citizens in Altena, in 1925 there were 40. In 1932 there were 23 and in 1939 20.

The Jewish cemetery on the Egge opposite Altena Castle (today Am Grünen Weg) was probably used for the first time around 1780 . The oldest information about the existence of the cemetery comes from the original cadastre from 1829, in which it is marked as "Juden Ways". The cemetery was the burial place of the Altena Jews until about 1930 and is still provided with a wrought iron gate with a Star of David . There are around 55 grave sites here, where many of the inscriptions on the stones are no longer legible. Some were made in Hebrew and German.

The position of the Jews changed abruptly, especially when the Nuremberg Laws were passed in 1935. In Altena, too, there were attacks on Jewish shops and the synagogue during the Night of the Pogroms. The textile merchants, men's clothing stores, department store owners, a butcher and others had long been integrated citizens of the city, with locations in Kirchstrasse, Lennestrasse and Nettestrasse. Siegmund Heinemann's (1878–1951) department store (later Böhrer department store) was, like many others, the target of destruction. The synagogue was not burned down like in many other places, but it was heavily devastated by uniformed SA members . According to witnesses, the Torah scrolls were burned and some objects from Altenaern were brought to the castle museum for safekeeping. The rest were smashed or damaged. The last remaining Jews were housed in the building until they were deported to concentration camps via Dortmund in 1942 .

Written references to a prayer room or a prayer room ( Yiddish : shtibel ) come from a mayor of the city named Trompeter. According to this, there was such a prayer room in 1778 at a location unknown today. The location of the first synagogue , which was bought in 1808 after having been leased for 30 years, is also unknown . Apparently the use of the first synagogue coincides with that of the cemetery. The second synagogue was located on Kirchstrasse in the center of the city from 1828/1829. This synagogue was approved by a cabinet decree at the Prussian court in Potsdam for the "vom Heedesche Wohnhaus". Later the Central Theater was located here. After the demolition in 1980, there is now a parking lot opposite a large fashion store. After it was acquired in 1914, the third synagogue was located in a residential building at Fritz-Thomée-Straße 17 (formerly Schloßstraße) that still exists today. At that time there were eleven Jewish families in Altena. With interruptions, a school with an employed teacher also belonged to the synagogue. If a teacher could not be found, the children were distributed to the Christian schools in the city. Later, these were mostly the higher girls' school (today the German Wire Museum ) opposite the synagogue from 1914 or the high school for boys (today the Burg-Gymnasium).

Population development

The following table shows the number of residents as of December 31.

Population development of Altena from 1900 to 2017 according to the table below
  • 1900 - 12,766
  • 1930 - 16,415
  • 1945 - 19,937
  • 1960 - 23,914
  • 1970-32,006
  • 1976 - 25,936
  • 1978-25,015
  • 1980 - 24,565
  • 1983 - 23,174
  • 1985-22,207
  • 1986 - 22,103
  • 1988 - 23,301
  • 1990-24,043
  • 1993-24,303
  • 1995-24,026
  • 1996 - 23,792
  • 1998 - 23,077
  • 2000 - 22,215
  • 2001 - 21,831
  • 2002 - 21,404
  • 2003 - 21,126
  • 2004 - 20,805
  • 2005 - 20,444
  • 2006 - 20,001
  • 2007 - 19,661
  • 2008 - 19,252
  • 2009 - 18,768
  • 2010 - 18,277
  • 2011 - 17,996
  • 2012 - 17,869
  • 2013 - 17,735
  • 2014 - 17,595
  • 2015 - 17,375
  • 2017 - 17,081
  • 2018 - 16,922

Altena is particularly affected by the demographic change that began in the 1970s due to the oil price crisis , but above all to the gradual decline of the metal industry . From 1990 to 2005, the city experienced a 15 percent population decline. Altena thus has a special position in North Rhine-Westphalia as the municipality with the fastest population decline and was selected by the Bertelsmann Foundation as a pilot municipality for the New Aging in the City (“NAIS”) project. The aim of this project was to support local authorities in maintaining the quality of life despite demographic change. The attempt was made to find improvements for problems such as the housing situation, health promotion or a lack of civic engagement. The project was planned for the period from 2006 to 2008. In 2006, the proportion of people over 60 in the Altena population was 28.3 percent. In June 2008 the city of Altena was awarded the NRW Prize for innovative municipalities for these projects, which the NRW Bank and the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia award. The municipality made a name for itself through intensive austerity measures and downsizing, as well as through the significantly increased civic engagement. Altena is therefore part of the URBACT project of EU regional funding, along with eight other municipalities in the EU. In recent years, attempts have been made to promote pop-up stores in order to counteract vacancies and to change the image of a “dying city”.


Around 47% of the population are Protestants, 23% Catholic and another 30% belong to another denomination or are non-denominational. Three out of five Catholic and two Protestant churches in Altena have been closed against the background of demographic change in the city (see church closure ).

The Evangelical Church of Westphalia has four places of worship:

  • the Luther Church, built in 1318 as St. Katharina Church and renamed after the Reformation, in the Altenaer core city, An der Kirche 2 and 4,
  • the Friedrichskirche in Altena-Rahmede, Am Stockey 8,
  • the church in Altena-Evingsen, Auf dem Kamp 2,
  • the church in Altena-Mühlendorf, Blumenstrasse 43
  • the Church in Altena-Dahle, Hasenkamp road 13, which was founded in 1777 and in Evangelical-reformed and in pietistic - Moravian standing tradition.

The Roman Catholic still has two places of worship today:

  • The St. Matthew Church , whose parish was founded in 1784, and the
  • Church of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus , which has existed since 1929.

The Association of Evangelical Free Churches is represented in Altena with four congregations. These include the Evangelical-Free Church Baptist Congregation in the small Altenaer village Grünewiese 40, the Evangelical-Free Church Brethren Congregation in Altena-Dahle, at Hochstraße 12-14, the Free Evangelical Congregation in Altena- Mühlenrahmede , at Mühlenrahmeder Straße 26 and the community of Seventh-day Adventists . The latter operate the so-called Bergheim Mühlenrahmede in Mühlenrahmede , a recreation and day care center. Another Evangelical Free Church is located in Altena-Evingsen, Am Ebberg 6. It is part of the Brethren movement .

The Serbian Orthodox community gathers in the Church of Saint Simeon, the Myrrh Donor , which is located at Graf-Eberhard-Straße 1 in Altena-Tiergarten. The building is the divorced Roman Catholic Church of the Peace of Christ .

The Coptic Orthodox Church took over in late November 2017, the 2008 entwidmete reformed city church.

A congregation of the New Apostolic Church is located on Hardenbergstrasse. 9 (corner of Richtstrasse). It was inaugurated in 1984.

There is also the DITIB's Mevlana Mosque at Lüdenscheider Straße 28.


Local elections in the city of Altena
Results 2014
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p
-2.94  % p
+ 2.01  % p
+1.15  % p.p.
-0.62  % p
+ 3.89  % p
-3.48  % p.p.

City council

The result of the local elections on May 25, 2014 for the Altena City Council is shown in the voting diagram opposite.

The following table provides an overview of the results of the two previous elections:

Political party Share of votes in percent Seats
2014 2009 +/- 2014 2009 +/-
CDU 48.33 51.27 - 2.94 15th 17th - 2nd
SPD 29.67 27.66 + 2.01 09 09 ± 0
Green 11.32 10.17 + 1.15 04th 03 + 1
left 04.72 05.34 - 0.62 02 01 + 1
FDP 02.08 05.56 - 3.48 01 02 - 1
SDA * 03.89 - + 3.89 01 00 + 1
All in all 100.000 100.000 32 32

* Social and democratic alternative Altena


  • 1662–1691: Johann Hermann Varnhagen
  • 1694–1696: Johann Adolf Varnhagen
  • ...
  • April 16, 1945 to August 7, 1945: Fritz Berg
  • August 7, 1945 to March 15, 1946: Friedrich Heyne
  • September 15, 1946 to November 9, 1952: Hermann Voss
  • November 21, 1952 to October 28, 1956: Gustav Trappe
  • November 9, 1956 to January 2, 1957: Hermann Voss
  • January 29, 1957 to March 19, 1961: Heinrich Malkus
  • March 29, 1961 to March 23, 1969: Gustav Trappe
  • April 1, 1969 to April 27, 1970: Friedhelm Halfmeier (SPD)
  • April 27, 1970 to September 12, 1999: Günter Topmann (SPD)
  • since September 12, 1999: Andreas Hollstein (CDU)

Andreas Hollstein was confirmed as mayor in the local elections on May 25, 2014. Hanna Freissler (CDU) was elected as the first deputy mayor and Rita Rüth (GREEN) as the second deputy. The general representative of the mayor is city treasurer Stefan Kemper.

coat of arms

Blazon : "In gold one of a three rows of red and silver geschachten , bowed beams growing , the upper plate edge touching, silbernimbierte, goldbekrönte blonde Saints in natural colors, in red robes with a silver belt and a blue jacket, a silver in his right hand Sword and with his left hand holding a red straightening wheel with silver knives. "

Declaration of coat of arms: The coat of arms of the city of Altena shows in the upper part the saint and martyr Catherine of Alexandria with the count's crown on her head and the utensils of her martyrdom in both hands. The lower part contains the Brandenburg chess bar. The image of the saint goes to Count Engelbert III. back from the marrow who had made a vow at her grave in Sinai.

Town twinning

The oldest partnership connects Altena with the French city of Péronne . On April 2, 1967, contacts between schools became an official partnership. A triple alliance was formed when the British Blackburn (already twin town Péronnes) was named partner town in 1972. In 1990 a partnership was concluded with the Belarusian city ​​of Pinsk .

There are also sponsorships. On the one hand via the town of Habelschwerdt in the former Silesia , as many Habelschwerdt people came to Altena during the Second World War. The economic and landscape parallels between the two places were one of the reasons that a sponsorship certificate was signed in 1952. On the other hand, there is a naval fellowship in Altena. At their suggestion, a sponsorship for the speedboat ferret of the German Navy was concluded in 1966 .

Culture and sights

The coordination office for the cultural region of South Westphalia is affiliated with the culture department of the Märkisches Kreis, based in Altena . In the city of Altena there is the Kulturring Altena e. V. has been an association since 1976 which organizes cultural events (e.g. the folk festival Castle goes Celtic ). The Werkstatt e. V. supports young artists and the Stadtgalerie e. V. organizes art exhibitions in Altena.


The Museum of Grafschaft Mark, the World Youth Hostel Museum, the Märkisches Schmiedemuseum and the German Hiking Museum have merged to form the Altena Castle Museums because of their common rooms . The carrier is the Märkische Kreis .

In 2012, construction of the Altena experience lift began , which opened on April 26, 2014. This makes it easier for visitors to climb to Altena Castle, and the history of the city and the castle is conveyed in multimedia in the entrance area of ​​the facility. This tourist attraction was financed by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, among others , as part of the Regionale 2013 structural funding program.

The German Wire Museum informs visitors about wire as a material and its importance for the region. It is the only museum of its kind in the world and is supported by the Märkischer Kreis. The role of wire in the local economy is also evident in the Evingsen district. There you can see the wire roll "Am Hurk" .

The city gallery in "Haus Köster-Emden" has existed since 1975 and has since specialized in contemporary art. The building probably dates from 1707; it got its name from its former owner Paul Köster-Emden, who was highly regarded in Altena.


The Holtzbrinck Castle in Altena
Former Dutch silversmiths - Today's Apollo Service cinema

All architectural monuments of the city of Altena are listed in the list of architectural monuments in Altena .

As the medieval seat of a count, the city of Altena can boast several historical buildings, above all Altena Castle from the 12th century. It was the main residence of the Counts of the Mark for almost a century and was used for military purposes until the 18th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, Richard Schirrmann founded the world's first youth hostel at Altena Castle .

The Holtzbrinck Castle is located in the city center of Altena and is the oldest town house in the city. It was first mentioned in a document in the middle of the 17th century and has been in municipal ownership since the 1970s. Today the castle-like building is a venue for celebrations and conferences. A developed garden is in front of it.

The "Holländer" building was built in 1901 and used as a silversmith's. Since Dutch people were coming and going there at that time , Altena residents later gave the old smithy the name that is still known today. After the forge closed, an inn opened, called "Zum Holländer". In 1924 the building became the cinema palace , in which the first film using the pin-tone method was shown in 1930 . In the 1950s, the theater was named "Apollo". The building was placed under protection on May 3, 2005 as a monument . To this day it is used as a cinema. It's on an island in the middle of Nettestrasse. In the immediate vicinity is the building at Nettestraße 18, which is also under monument protection and has been run as the Gasthaus Pilling since 1724 .

The parish church of St. Matthew was built from 1896 to 1899 according to a design by the Dortmund architect Johannes Franziskus Klomp and is considered an excellent example of neo-Gothic . The builder from the Netherlands brought a clinker structure of the columns and belt arches as a personal accent to the interior of the church. This creates an extraordinary clarity of the room architecture. The three altars by a Wiedenbrücker carving and painting artist ( Wiedenbrücker Schule ) have been completely preserved. Since 1996 a link organ with a southern German-French sound has been playing behind the imposing, late-romantic organ prospect. In addition to the church services, it can also be heard in numerous concerts.

The stone bridge over the Lenne was built in 1912 to improve the connection of the Rahmedetal to the road network. It replaced a bridge from the Middle Ages and is now part of the Märkische Strasse Technical Cultural Monuments .

Another building that is well worth seeing is the Mückenburg House . The listed Reformed Church of Altena is also worth seeing .

Protected areas for nature

The urban area belongs to the Sauerland-Rothaargebirge nature park . Areas outside the built-up districts and the scope of a development plan are designated as landscape protection areas, unless there is a higher protection status such as a nature reserve (NSG). In the urban area, the four nature reserves Leihenberg-Nordhelle with 19.29 ha, Auf dem Giebel with 4.87 ha, Pragpaul with 70.17 ha and Gesshardthöhle with 0.54 ha were designated.


Reinecke Stadium in the Pragpaul Sports Center (VfB Altena)

A well-known sports club is VfB Altena , which rose to the top league with its football and handball departments up to the 1970s and 1980s; the table tennis department became German team champions in 1973 and 1976. There is also a boxing club in Altena, which also has subdivisions in the sports of aikido and judo.

There is an indoor and outdoor swimming pool in the Dahle district.

Regular events

Lenneuferstraße - this is where the Altena Medieval Festival takes place
  • Schützenfest (every three years on Corpus Christi )
  • Castle goes Celtic (every two years / folk festival at the castle)
  • Weekly market (Thursday morning in the city center, Thursday afternoon in the Dahle district)
  • Mark E triathlon
  • Altena advertising week (AlWeWo, end of September)
  • Christmas market (2nd weekend in Advent)
  • Annual flea market across the city (always on October 3rd)
  • Hesitation market (in summer) in the city center
  • Altena Medieval Festival (city center, Lenneuferstraße and at the castle, in August)

Economy and Infrastructure

Former engine factory Basse & Selve

Due to the available raw material deposits of iron ore , water and wood, industry has always been the most important branch of the economy. Soft wrought iron Osemund has been mined since the 14th century . This laid the foundation for iron production. Mainly wire was produced, which was then transported to Aachen or England (for further processing into sewing needles). In 1784 a sewing needle factory was also opened in Altena itself. Since then, wire and metal processing have developed into important industries. Coins were produced in Altena for 100 years. The blanks of the D-Mark coins were also made here. VDM Metals is one of the metal processing companies that are still active in Altena today . In Altena, the company produces sheets and bars from nickel alloys and special stainless steels. The Altena construction company has been based in Altena since it was founded in 1870 .


Train traffic

Altena station building
Fire department in the Nette

The Altena stop is on the Ruhr-Sieg route from Hagen to Siegen .

Station building

The associated station building was to be completely redesigned in 2012. In 2013, the search for suitable tenants who should fill the property with life again was still in progress. So far there was only one snack, one installation company and the station bookshop in the station building. An apartment in the building is also rented. The conversion work is aimed at use by offices and practices. A computer office is to move into the area above the bookstore. The former express goods hall is to be converted into a physiotherapy practice. A building application has been submitted for the measures. The overall project should be completed in the course of 2012 if possible. The first steps taken by the owners after 2006 were repairing the roof, installing new windows and applying a new paint job.

Not only at the station building, but also in the entire area, a lot is to be changed. There is also to be the new "Lennepark" to be built, another pedestrian bridge over the river Lenne and other work by the railway. Specifically, this involves a new underpass and the renovation of the platform. This should be designed to be barrier-free and in some cases has to be raised by 38 centimeters. The railway is building two elevators for this. One is to lead directly to the new underpass at the train station and another is to be built on Bahnhofstrasse. Work for this was originally supposed to start in 2011. The site acquired by the city at the train station would gradually be developed and, in the final phase, a pedestrian bridge towards Markaner is to be added. Then there would be a direct connection to the city center of Altena from there.

In mid-November 2013 it was announced that the station building would be refurbished by mid-2014 [out of date] . The most recent completed projects so far have been the renovation of the slate tower on the station building and the installation of a neon sign on the side of the track. The interior of the building is to be remodeled in consultation with the monument authority so that the offices of the insurance agency and the real estate company can also be attractively integrated there.

Iserlohner Kreisbahn and Kreis Altenaer Eisenbahn

Trains of the Altenaer Eisenbahn AG (KAE) district operated in Altena until 1961 and the Iserlohner Kreisbahn until 1964 . The KAE train station was between the state train station and Lenne, the passenger trains stopped in the street in front of the state train station. The Iserlohner Kreisbahn train station was on the right bank of the river and was reached by a bridge from the state train station.

Bus transport

Altena also has local and regional bus routes , including to Iserlohn , Lüdenscheid (through the Rahmedetal and the Altena districts of Mühlenrahmede, Altroggenrahmede and Grünewiese), Werdohl and Hemer (through the Nettetal and the Altena districts of Nette, Nettenscheid, Dahle and Evingsen) and belongs to the Verkehrsgemeinschaft Ruhr-Lippe ; Service providers today are predominantly the Märkische Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) and the Altena citizens' bus . Within the city limits, there are bus routes to the districts of Breitenhagen, Mühlendorf and Pragpaul and a minibus to the districts of Knerling and Tiergarten.


The daily newspaper in Altena is the Altenaer Kreisblatt . A local edition of the Westfälische Rundschau also appeared by the end of 2013 .

The local radio for North Rhine-Westphalia is carried out in Altena by Radio MK , which is assigned the broadcasting location No. 68, frequency 91.5, by the State Agency for Media.

Public facilities

Altena has a city library that offers 40,000 media. In addition to books, newspapers and magazines as well as CDs and DVDs can be borrowed there. The library was founded in 1864 and has been housed in two historic town houses since 1989. The Altena Regional History Library is more than twice as large and comprises 110,000 media. It concentrates primarily on works on Brandenburg and Westphalian regional studies. The district archive of the Märkisches Kreis is located in the same premises in the district building. District culture office and district social office have their seat in the castle town.

There is also a tax office and a district court in Altena . The St. Vinzenz Hospital ( basic care ) was closed in January 2017.


Burggymnasium behind the town hall
Richard Schirrmann Secondary School

There are four primary schools (including one with all-day care) and one special school. In the secondary sector there is a Hauptschule , Realschule , Gymnasium and a secondary school in the development phase . The offer is supplemented by a vocational college .

The secondary school Rahmede and the Richard-Schirrmann-Realschule have not accepted any new students since the school year 2012/2013. The secondary school is taking its place. It was founded in the summer of 2012 as one of the first facilities of its kind in North Rhine-Westphalia. The first two grades are taught at the location of the previous secondary school in Nachrodt. In the summer of 2014, class 7 classes begin in the building of the previous Richard Schirrmann Realschule in the Nette. The official school authority is the city of Altena.

The grammar school got its name Burggymnasium Altena after the landmark of the city, the castle Altena. The Realschule was named Richard Schirrmann Realschule after the founder of the world's first youth hostel on this very castle . The other municipal schools each bear the name of the district in which they are located.

The Märkische Kreis maintains a branch of the Eugen-Schmalenbach vocational college in Altena (organizationally affiliated with the Halver-Ostendorf location). The location used to belong to the Lennetal vocational schools with the three locations Altena, Plettenberg and Werdohl. The highest possible educational qualification there is the Abitur at the commercial high school.

There are two adult education centers in Altena. The adult education center (VHS) Lennetal is maintained by an association of several municipalities. The Rahmede adult education center in the district of the same name is organized as an association.


Honorary citizen

sons and daughters of the town

Personalities who have worked on site


  • Adolf Feuring : The city of Altena and its ties to the district. 1988.
  • Karin Müller: Altenaer Bibliography. Märkischer Kreis, 2nd ext. Edition. 1992, ISBN 3-926890-05-3 .
  • Heinz Störing: Altena. (= Contributions to local and regional studies). Heimatbund Märkischer Kreis (Ed.), Altena 1988.
  • Hermann Flebbe: Sources and documents on the history of the city of Altena (Westf.). Volume I: From the beginnings to 1609, the extinction of the male line of the dukes of Klevian-Brandenburg. City of Altena (ed.), Altena 1967.
  • Willi Prösser: Old Altena. Sutton Verlag, Erfurt 2007, ISBN 978-3-86680-079-3 (illustrated book).
  • Beautification and tourist association in Altena iW (ed.): Official guide through Altena and the surrounding area. Altena 1909.
  • PA Santz: Altena. Portrait of a city. Altena 1974.
  • Kurt Höttler: Memories of Jewish fellow citizens: also a chapter of the city's history. In: Altena: Contributions to local and regional studies. Heimatbund Mark. Kreis, Altena 1988, pp. 66-70.

Web links

Commons : Altena  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Altena  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Altena  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Population of the municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia on December 31, 2019 - update of the population based on the census of May 9, 2011. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), accessed on June 17, 2020 .  ( Help on this )
  2. ^ Heinrich Ulrich Seidel, Agnes Zelck: Over hill and dale - 100 years of youth hostels. Lüdenscheid 2009, p. 29.
  3. Martin Bünermann: The communities of the first reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1970, DNB  456219528 , p. 75 .
  4. Altena is the "capital of courageous citizens". Die Welt vom December 21, 2015, accessed on December 27, 2015.
  5. ^ Arson in the Sauerland: "A right-wing extremist attitude consists of more than xenophobia". In: Spiegel Online of October 21, 2015, accessed on December 27, 2015.
  6. Immigration can “really strengthen our country”. In: on May 17, 2017.
  7. Der Spiegel (online edition November 28, 2017): knife attack on the mayor of Altena , accessed on December 4, 2017.
  8. Kurt Höttler: Memories of Jewish fellow citizens: also a chapter city history. In: Altena: Contributions to local and regional studies. Heimatbund Mark. Kreis, Altena 1988.
  9. ^ Entry in the list of synagogues in Germany until 1938 ( Memento from February 15, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Mike Redel: History in Westphalia-Lippe. 1987, p. 100.
  11. a b c d e Kurt Höttler: Memories of Jewish fellow citizens: also a chapter city history. In: Altena: Contributions to local and regional studies. Heimatbund Mark. Kreis, Altena 1988.
  12. ^ Friedrich Petrasch: Siegmund Heinemann (1878-1951) - a Jewish merchant in Altena. In: The Märker. Vol. 40, no. 5, Altena Sept./Oct. 1991.
  13. a b Kalonymos 1/1999 (online version) (PDF; 427 kB)
  14. a b c d e f g Information and Technology NRW, Statistics Division of the City of Altena ( Memento from May 31, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 222 kB). December 18, 2009.
  15. a b Joachim Karpa: Land without people: Altena faces change. In: The West. June 23, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012 .
  16. Andreas Fasel: Altena will not die. In: Welt am Sonntag. April 2, 2006, accessed July 12, 2018 .
  17. URBACT
  18. Information on a project page of the Bertelsmann Foundation on the subject , accessed on January 26, 2017.
  19. Population data Märkischer Kreis ( Memento from October 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF)
  20. Dahle: Our community (history) ; accessed on November 28, 2017
  21. commune Finder (Altena) ; accessed on November 28, 2017
  22. ^ Bergheim Mühlenrahmede: Free Church of the Seventh-day Adventists in Germany. Retrieved November 28, 2017 .
  23. New life in old walls: Reformed church is again a place of worship ; accessed on November 28, 2017
  24. ^ NAK-Iserlohn: Altena ; accessed on November 28, 2017
  25. Altena / Mevlana_Camii ; accessed on November 28, 2017
  26. a b Overall result of the council election on May 25, 2014
  27. a b Rolf Dieter Kohl In: Der Märker. Issue 2/1994, p. 46f.
  28. a b c d e f g h i j Mayor of the city of Altena (Westphalia)
  29. : Stadtgalerie Altena
  30. ^ House Pilling: History ( Memento of October 8, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  31. Press release from the city of Altena , accessed on December 9, 2016
  32. Where the D-Mark once rolled ... Coins were produced on the Schwarzenstein for 100 years . In: . January 6, 2018. Accessed March 15, 2020.
  33. ^ Report of the business newspaper Aktiv , accessed on April 10, 2017
  34. Altena (Westf.) EALN ( Memento from March 26, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Stredax of Deutsche Bahn
  35. Altena station becomes a gem. In: Altenaer Kreisblatt. February 8, 2012.
  36. ^ Provincial: move to the station only 2014. In: Altenaer Kreisblatt. November 14, 2013.
  37. Heinz Krischer: Quick exit for the hospital in Altena - Westphalia-Lippe - news - WDR . January 3, 2017 ( [accessed January 3, 2017]).
  38. Date on the website of the city of Altena , accessed on August 19, 2012.