|coat of arms||Germany map|
|County :||Altenkirchen (Westerwald)|
|Association municipality :||Altenkirchen-Flammersfeld|
|Height :||230 m above sea level NHN|
|Area :||10.98 km 2|
|Residents:||6305 (Dec. 31, 2019)|
|Population density :||574 inhabitants per km 2|
|Area code :||02681|
|License plate :||AK|
|Community key :||07 1 32 501|
|Association administration address:||Rathausstrasse 13
|City Mayor :||Matthias Gibhardt ( SPD )|
|Location of the city of Altenkirchen (Westerwald) in the district of Altenkirchen (Westerwald)|
Altenkirchen (Westerwald) ( seat of the district administration of the district Altenkirchen (Westerwald) in Rhineland-Palatinate and the administrative seat of the Verbandsgemeinde Altenkirchen-Flammersfeld . According to state planning, the city is designated as a middle center.) is the
Altenkirchen is located in the northwest of the low mountain range Westerwald in the natural area Altenkirchener plateau . It is located at the confluence of the Erbach in the Wied, which flows directly south of the city center .
Altenkirchen has the following districts:
The following communities border Altenkirchen (clockwise, starting from the north): Bachenberg , Obererbach (Westerwald) , Mammelzen , Sörth , Michelbach , Gieleroth , Fluterschen , Almersbach , Schöneberg , Neitersen , Helmenzen , Kettenhausen and Busenhausen .
Altenkirchen is mentioned for the first time in 1131 in a document from Pope Innocent II , who confirmed the two courts of Birnbach and Altenkirchen to the Bonn monastery of St. Cassius and Florentius .
Already in the middle of the 12th century Altenkirchen came into the possession of the Counts of Sayn , who were the governors of the St. Cassius monastery . On December 16, 1314, King Ludwig granted the Bavarian Altenkirchen town rights . Emperor Karl IV confirmed the Altenkirchen city charter on February 4, 1357, just a few days before the Almersbach in Wied, on the opposite bank of the Wied, was also granted city charter.
In the second half of the 16th century, the Diets of the Saynian Estates met in Altenkirchen in 1574 and 1584 . In 1561 the Wittenberg Reformation was introduced by the Counts of Sayn. Count Heinrich IV had Altenkirchen Castle built in 1586 , which was demolished in 1862. With him, the Counts of Sayn died out in the male line in 1606 . When on September 12, 1605 Wilhelm III. Count von Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn took over the government of the county, he ordered the transition to the Reformed Confession. Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn died out in the male line in 1636. The heirs of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn divided the county in 1670. Ernestine, married to the burgrave of Kirchberg, inherited Sayn-Hachenburg , Johannette, married to Duke Johann Georg von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach , received Sayn-Altenkirchen . In 1670 the city fell to the Duchy of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach. Daniel Eberlin , later Georg Philipp Telemann's father-in-law , was court musician at Altenkirchen Castle between 1665 and 1668.
In 1728 the city burned down almost completely. In 1741 the margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach inherited the county of Sayn-Altenkirchen , in 1791 this ceded the county to Prussia , which Sayn-Altenkirchen had to hand over to the Duchy of Nassau as a result of the Imperial Deputation Decision of February 25, 1803 . With the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Sayn-Altenkirchen and large parts of Sayn-Hachenburg and other areas fell back to Prussia and became the Altenkirchen district in the Prussian government district of Koblenz . The parish and city of Altenkirchen were assigned to the mayor's office in Altenkirchen .
During the Revolutionary Wars, on June 4, 1796, the French troops under General Kléber and the Imperial Habsburgs under the orders of Duke Ferdinand von Württemberg at the battle of Altenkirchen . During further fighting in autumn 1796 the French General Marceau was so badly wounded that he died in Altenkirchen.
On April 23, 1893, a large fire destroyed a total of 59 residential buildings, 33 outbuildings and the Protestant church, which was built between 1822 and 1827 to replace the Romanesque church according to the plans of the Berlin builder Karl Friedrich Schinkel .
In 1939 the places Leuzbach and Bergenhausen were incorporated into Altenkirchen.
On March 7, 1945 there were several air raids that almost completely destroyed the city, killing over 200 people. 193 houses in the city were completely destroyed, 120 other buildings damaged. Both churches, the schools, the train station and the old district court building were in ruins. Wilhelmstrasse was impassable, so that the advancing American tanks reached the Weg nach Wissen over the embankment of the railway to Hachenburg . The reconstruction was not largely completed until 1965.
With the district of Altenkirchen Altenkirchen came to Rhineland-Palatinate in 1946. On June 10, 1979, the previously independent community of Dieperzen was incorporated into the Honneroth estate. The new Honneroth district was built on this area between the 1980s and 1990s.
Altenkirchen was the smallest district town in the Federal Republic until reunification , after which it was initially Seelow , the former smallest district town in the GDR . Today Cochem is the smallest German district town.
The city council in Altenkirchen consists of 22 council members, who were elected in a personalized proportional representation in the local elections on May 26, 2019 , and the honorary city mayor as chairman.
Matthias Gibhardt ( SPD ) has been in office as honorary mayor of the district town of Altenkirchen since 2019 . He was elected for five years in a runoff election on June 16, 2019. His predecessor in the office of mayor was Heijo Höfer (SPD). His term of office was from 1992 to 2019.
Coat of arms and city flag
- coat of arms
Blazon : “In a red shield, a double-tailed leoparded golden lion with a full face; a three-tower sandstone-colored wall crown on the shield. "
In 1905 the city decided to reintroduce the coat of arms. On February 4, 1907, the Prussian Ministry of the Interior issued a royal decree to permit the use of the coat of arms and this was communicated to the city council on March 11, 1907.
- Description of the flag
The city flag is striped lengthways, red and gold, with both stripes being the same width. In the middle, the flag bears the coat of arms described above.
As a fully equipped medium-sized center, the district town of Altenkirchen is the seat of numerous authorities and public institutions:
- Altenkirchen district administration
- City and community administration Altenkirchen
- Altenkirchen District Court
- Altenkirchen-Hachenburg tax office
- Kreissparkasse Altenkirchen
- AOK Rhineland-Palatinate, Regional Directorate Altenkirchen
- Employment Agency Altenkirchen
- Altenkirchen Forestry Office
- Association fire brigade Altenkirchen
- DRK Hospital Altenkirchen-Hachenburg (network hospital for standard care with the Altenkirchen and Hachenburg locations )
- Specialist clinic for women with addictions from REHA Fachkliniken GmbH
- Altenkirchen sports center with indoor pool
- Lebenshilfe e. V.
Economy and Infrastructure
Since November 27, 2015 the city of Altenkirchen has been awarded the title Fair Trade City . This makes the city one of 382 cities in Germany to date with this title.
WERIT Kunststoffwerke W. Schneider GmbH & Co. KG has had its headquarters in the district town of Altenkirchen since 1949. It specializes in the production of storage and transport containers, industrial tanks, heating oil tanks and accessories for electrical installations. The Interface Solutions GmbH paper mill (formerly Ahlstrom Altenkirchen GmbH before Jagenberg ) is located in the Wiedtal between Altenkirchen and Almersbach . The bus operator Martin Becker GmbH & Co. KG , which belongs to the Rhenus Veniro Group, is also based in Altenkirchen. The company operates local public transport in the districts of Altenkirchen, Rhein-Lahn, Neuwied, in the Westerwaldkreis and also touring coaches.
In recent years, the industrial and commercial area Graf-Zeppelin-Straße and the industrial areas Siegener Straße , Rudolf-Diesel-Straße and Auf den Sech Morgen have been created for the settlement of medium-sized companies.
The station Altenkirchen is the regional rail line RB 90 Westerwald win-Bahn ( Kreuztal - Siegen - Betzdorf - Au -Altenkirchen-Hachenburg- Westerburg - Limburg (Lahn) ) tethered by the Hessian State Railway , area DreiLänderBahn of, as part of Rhineland Pfalz-Taktes is operated daily every hour.
The Au (Sieg) station is about 12 km from Altenkirchen located on the victory path . There is a connection to the Rhein-Sieg-Express to Aachen via Düren, Cologne and Siegburg; in the opposite direction via Betzdorf to Siegen and to the S 12 to Düren via Cologne and Siegburg.
Since August 1, 2002, the VRS tariff has been in effect in the transition to the rail routes in the Altenkirchen district. The Altenkirchen district has also been a member of the Rhein-Mosel transport association (VRM) since January 1, 2009 . The VRM tariff applies to trips within the district as well as to the Neuwied district or other districts that are members of the VRM.
The majority of regional bus traffic is carried out by Martin Becker , a company belonging to the Rhenus Veniro group . In addition to regular scheduled and travel services, kindergarten and school trips are also offered and around 7,500 schoolchildren are transported every day.
- Elementary schools
- Pestalozzi Elementary School
- Erich Kästner Elementary School
- Free Evangelical Confession School Altenkirchen (private school)
- Further training
- Westerwald high school
- August-Sander-Schule (Realschule plus) and Fachoberschule Altenkirchen
- District Music School
- District adult education center
- Evangelical rural youth academy
- Kindergartens and day care centers
- Dreamland Altenkirchen-Honneroth
- St. James Catholic Kindergarten
- Evangelical day care center Arche
- Glockenspitze day care center
- District media center
- Public library of the Ev. Parish Altenkirchen
- Since 2014 there is a public bookcase in Altenkirchen (Bahnhofstraße)
- Heimat- und Museumscheune (regional history museum) in the neighboring community of Helmenzen
- Historic quarter (permanent exhibition on the city's history), Marktstrasse
Culture and sights
Culture and customs
The socio-cultural center Haus Felsenkeller , which is known beyond the boundaries of the district town with its broad educational programs, conferences and its cabaret, attracts guests from near and far to Altenkirchen.
A wide range of entertaining and high-quality events is offered by the program of the town hall of the district town, which was newly built in the early 1980s.
The move of the Carnival Society Altenkirchen 1972 e. V. on Carnival Sunday, May Day on the first weekend in May, the traditional shooting festival of the Altenkirchener Schützengesellschaft 1845 e. V. at the beginning of July or the Oktoberfest are among the highlights of the year.
The Altenkirchen Christmas market emerged from the old Thomas market (Dommesmarkt) on December 21. On the last Friday of October finds Simon - Juda instead -Markt. This fair, which used to be a place where not only everyday items but also cattle were traded, was established after the great fire of 1728 and confirmed by the Prussian government in 1816.
The Jewish cemetery in Altenkirchen , the memorial ("Flammenmal") created by Erwin Wortelkamp in 1978 and erected on November 9, 1978, on the right in front of the Evangelical Church and the one on November 9, 1989, remind us of the Jewish community in Altenkirchen and the surrounding villages before 1933 A memorial plaque erected at the site of the former synagogue in Frankfurter Strasse and a memorial plaque installed in 1990 for the Jewish fellow citizens, which is located at the memorial ("Auf dem Dorn").
An international tennis tournament is held in Altenkirchen with the ITF Altenkirchen .
- The privileged pharmacy (lower Wilhelmstrasse , pedestrian zone) is one of the few historical buildings that survived the destruction of Altenkirchen. The pharmacy is one of the oldest and most traditional in the Westerwald; Its history can be traced back to 1699, when it was founded as a branch pharmacy by the Hachenburg pharmacist Johann Philipp Härtling. After two changes of ownership, in 1717 the pharmacist Christian Scharff received the “privilege”, the pharmacy license, signed by Duke Johann Wilhelm of Saxony; this guaranteed him area protection for Altenkirchen and the Saynische Lande. After numerous changes of ownership, it was taken over in 1912 by the Aachen pharmacist Franz Malmedie, whose grandson runs it today. The building has been a listed building since 1984; In 1997 the exterior was renovated.
- On the market square there are some restored half-timbered houses or house facades from the Wilhelminian era. In the middle of the square, a fountain and stair-shaped seating were created when the city center was rebuilt as a pedestrian zone in the 1970s.
- The Schlossplatz , the name of which is reminiscent of the former Altenkirchen Castle , has been shaped by the postmodern architecture of the new buildings of the Westerwald Bank and the Kreissparkasse Altenkirchen since its redesign in the 1990s . This urban redevelopment continues in new buildings in the nearby Saynstrasse district.
- The Park de Tarbes is 500 m north of the city center; at the entrance a monument dedicated to the twin city of Tarbes. It includes u. a. a larger pond and a boules play area . Adjacent are the Altenkirchen Jewish cemetery and a fairground. The park's green zone continues to the north in the nearby district of Honneroth.
- The Bismarck Tower is located on an elevation called Dorn in the south of the city at a height of 282 m; The architecture of the tower follows the tradition of the Bismarck towers built around 1900 . To preserve it, the “Förderverein Bismarck Tower Altenkirchen eV” was founded on August 6, 2008.
- The bronze bust of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen stands in front of the district administration building on Parkstrasse; the original of the bust is in the courtyard of the government of Lower Austria in Vienna.
- The Wiesental , located south of the city center (with the 434 hectare “Im Dorn” nature reserve), which follows the course of the Wied , is a popular local recreation and hiking area. a. The Wiedwanderweg continues to Michelbach .
- Evangelical parish Altenkirchen
- Altenkirchen is the seat of the church district Altenkirchen
The district town of Altenkirchen is characterized by the churches that emerged from the Reformation. Until the introduction of the Prussian Union in 1817, there was a Lutheran congregation in addition to the Reformed congregation that used the church building simultaneously. Since 1967 Altenkirchen has been the seat of the superintendent of the Altenkirchen parish , which belongs to the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland .
- Catholic parish Sankt Jakobus and Joseph Altenkirchen
The Roman Catholic parish is part of the Westerwald pastoral care district of the Altenkirchen district dean in the Archdiocese of Cologne .
A Catholic church building was erected between 1851 and 1853 because the coin wing of the castle, which had been used by the community up to that point, had been closed because it was in disrepair.
The church building was destroyed in World War II. In 1950 the foundation stone was laid for a new parish church, which was consecrated on July 26, 1952 by the Archbishop of Cologne, Joseph Cardinal Frings .
- Evangelical Free Church of Altenkirchen
- Evangelical Baptist Congregation Altenkirchen
- Evangelical Community of Altenkirchen
- Evangelical Free Church Congregation Altenkirchen
- Free Bible Study Group Gut Honneroth
- Friends of Jesus Altenkirchen
- Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship
- Mennonite Brethren Congregation Altenkirchen
Other religious communities
- Jehovah's Witnesses Congregation Altenkirchen
sons and daughters of the town
- Dirk Adorf (* 1969), racing driver
- Gerhard Augst (* 1939), linguist
- Sabine Bätzing-Lichtenthäler (* 1975), politician
- Frank M. Bischoff (* 1959), archivist
- Julian Braun (* 1995), racing cyclist
- Elisabeth Consbruch (born January 7, 1863; † May 20, 1938 in Kassel), educator and women's rights activist and in 1919 one of the six first female city councilors of Kassel
- Johann Jakob Geelhausen (1692–1737), physician and rector of Charles University in Prague
- Frank Glatzel (1892–1958), politician
- Marie Gülich (* 1994), basketball player
- Dieter Hackler (* 1953), former federal commissioner for community service
- Dittmar Hahn (* 1943), former judge at the Federal Administrative Court
- Claus Koch (* 1967), jazz musician
- Ernst Lindemann (1894–1941), officer in the Imperial Navy and later in the Navy , commander of the battleship Bismarck
- Heinrich August Luyken (1864–1947), writer in Esperanto
- Roderich Reifenrath (* 1935), journalist and editor-in-chief of the Frankfurter Rundschau from 1992 to 2000
- Friederike Elisabeth of Saxony-Eisenach (1669–1730), Duchess of Saxony-Weißenfels
- Dirk Schiefen (* 1979), musician
- Björn Sauer (* 1971), referee in the volleyball Bundesliga (VBL)
- Dirk Seiler (* 1967), drummer
- Georg Stoll (1828–1883), member of the Reichstag
- Hermann Heinrich Traut (* 1866), librarian
- Erich Wenderoth (1896–1993), lawyer and co-founder of the Rheinische Post
- Lutz G. Wetzel (* 1953), television director and writer
- Jürgen Zeltinger (* 1949), rock singer
The following personalities are not born in Altenkirchen, but have worked or lived in the city:
- Alfred Beth (* 1940), former Minister of State for Environment and Health of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate
- Wilhelm Boden (1890–1961), former Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate
- Julius Budge (1811-1888), anatomist
- Curt Englaender (1902–1983), former President of the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate
- Heiner Feldhoff (* 1945), writer
- Carl Otto Fey (1894–1971), painter
- Erhard Geyer (* 1939) former federal chairman of the German Association of Civil Servants
- Bernhard Grzimek (1909–1987), zoologist, cooperated in 1938 with the district veterinary office in AK to control cattle TB
- Emil Haas (1903–1977), Mayor of Altenkirchen
- Otmar Hesse (* 1940), Protestant theologian and former Lord Mayor of Goslar
- Klaus Immer (* 1924), agronomist and politician
- Karl Rainer Kilches (* 1945), former judge at the Federal Fiscal Court
- Hermine Körner (1878–1960), German actress and director
- François Séverin Marceau (1769–1796), French general
- Frank Mella (* 1949), editor, columnist, holder of the Federal Cross of Merit and "inventor" of the German DAX share index
- Krzysztof Meyer (* 1943), composer
- Hans Nüsslein (1910–1991), German tennis player, professional world champion 1933, 1936, 1937
- Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen (1818–1888), social reformer
- Reinhold Schenk (1930–2010), former German ambassador to Sweden and Iran
- Bernhard Constantin von Schoenebeck (1760–1835), physician and author
- Salamat Schiftah (* 1938), natural scientist, poet and musician
- Ewald Schnug (1930–2013), master gardener, holder of the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st alderman, Hegering manager and district hunting master
- Ewald Schnug (* 1954), agricultural scientist, university professor and researcher, President of the International Scientific Center for Fertilization (CIEC)
- Ralph Szepanski (* 1967), journalist
- Volker Wangenheim (1928–2014), conductor and composer
- Margret Wintermantel (* 1947), President of the DAAD , previously President of the University Rectors' Conference and Saarland University
- Franz-Josef Wuermeling (1900–1986), former Federal Minister for Family Affairs
- Margot Bitterauf-Remy: The art monuments of the Altenkirchen district. Düsseldorf 1935.
- Matthias Dahlhoff: History of the County of Sayn. Dillenburg 1874.
- Emil Haas: The district town of Altenkirchen 1314–1964. A contribution to the development of a small Westerwald town. Altenkirchen 1964.
- Eckard Hanke: Altenkirchen, Westerwald. About the change of a city. Altenkirchen 1988, ISBN 3-9801596-0-4 .
- Hans Helzer: Altenkirchen. Stadt-Bild-Verlag, Leipzig 2002, ISBN 3-934572-55-3 .
- Heinrich Holschbach: Folklore of the Altenkirchen district. Elberfeld 1928.
- Manfred Hermann: Target: Altenkirchen area. From the war diary of a Westerwald district town and its surroundings 1939–1945. Heupelzen 2005.
- Karl Käppele: Altenkirchen in old views. 2nd Edition. Zaltbommel 1983, ISBN 90-288-2242-9 .
- Josef Klein: The economic development of the Altenkirchen district since the beginning of the 19th century. Knowledge 1926.
- Hermann Krämer (Ed.): The district of Altenkirchen. Stalling, Oldenburg 1972, OCLC 74109949 .
- Marcel Oeben / Daniel Schneider: The city charter to Altenkirchen, Hachenburg and Weltersburg. With edition of the document from 1314. In: Nassauische Annalen 125 (2014), pp. 53–65.
- Jakob Rausch (ed.): History of the Altenkirchen district. Altenkirchen 1921.
- Kirsten Seelbach / Horst Heinemann / Manfred Herrmann: Altenkirchen Westerwald. 700 years of city rights 1314–2014. Much more than just contemporary history. 1st edition, Altenkirchen 2014, ISBN 978-3-9801596-2-3 .
- Martin Sinemus: The history of the Protestant parishes of the parish of Altenkirchen (Westerwald). Saarbrücken 1933.
- Daniel Schneider: The development of denominations in the county of Sayn in the plan . In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreis Altenkirchen. 58 (2015), pp. 74-80.
- Daniel Schneider: The estates in the county of Sayn as well as in Sayn-Altenkirchen and Sayn-Hachenburg . In: Yearbook for West German State History. 33 (2007), pp. 213-229.
- Daniel Schneider: The battle of Altenkirchen 1796 in its historical context. In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreis Altenkirchen. 55 (2012), pp. 183-194.
- Daniel Schneider: The granting of city rights to Altenkirchen, Hachenburg and Weltersburg in 1314 as part of imperial politics . In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreis Altenkirchen 57 (2014), pp. 103–110.
- Daniel Schneider: The urban policy of the Counts of Sayn in the late Middle Ages . In: Jahrbuch für Westdeutsche Landesgeschichte 41 (2015), pp. 33–49.
- Website of the municipality of Altenkirchen (Westerwald)
- Site of the Westerwald-Gymnasium Altenkirchen
- Page of the Realschule plus Altenkirchen
- AKdia (Stadtchronik Altenkirchen)
- Friends of the Bismarck Tower
- State Statistical Office of Rhineland-Palatinate - population status 2019, districts, communities, association communities ( help on this ).
- State Statistical Office Rhineland-Palatinate - regional data
- Illustration of the town charter and source critical edition by Marcel Oeben / Daniel Schneider: The town charter to Altenkirchen, Hachenburg and Weltersburg. With edition of the document from 1314. In: Nassauische Annalen 125 (2014), pp. 53–65. For the historical background of the award of city rights, see Daniel Schneider: The award of city rights in 1314 as part of imperial politics. In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreis Altenkirchen 57 (2014), pp. 103–110. See also Daniel Schneider: The urban policy of the Counts of Sayn in the late Middle Ages. In: Jahrbuch für Westdeutsche Landesgeschichte, 41 (2015), pp. 33–49.
- Daniel Schneider: The estates in the county of Sayn as well as in Sayn-Altenkirchen and Sayn-Hachenburg. In: Yearbook for West German State History 33 (2007), pp. 219–228.
- Daniel Schneider: The battle of Altenkirchen 1796 in its historical context. In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreis Altenkirchen 55 (2012), pp. 183–194.
- Official municipality directory (= State Statistical Office of Rhineland-Palatinate [Hrsg.]: Statistical volumes . Volume 407 ). Bad Ems February 2016, p. 157 (PDF; 2.8 MB).
- The Regional Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: City Council Election 2019 Altenkirchen. Retrieved November 13, 2019 .
- The State Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: direct elections 2019. see Altenkirchen-Flammersfeld, Verbandsgemeinde, last line of results. Retrieved November 13, 2019 .
- Altenkirchen's carnival call is: "Alekerje, schepp-schepp".
- Information from Franz-Gerd Malmedie: 300 years of Privilegierte Apotheke Altenkirchen. In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreis Altenkirchen 44 (2001), pp. 58–64.
- For the denominational development see Daniel Schneider: The development of denominations in the county Sayn in the plan, pp. 74-80.
- Diary of the Westerwald-Gymnasium with reference to Rhein-Zeitung of January 5, 1985 (+ autobiography 1974 p. 134 without naming names)
- Ewald Schnug, obituary in: rhein-zeitung.de , accessed on October 25, 2017.