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

Coordinates: 51 ° 7 '  N , 7 ° 54'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Arnsberg
Circle : Olpe
Height : 257 m above sea level NHN
Area : 97.95 km 2
Residents: 24,264 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 248 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 57439
Area code : 02722
License plate : OE
Community key : 05 9 66 004

City administration address :
Kölner Strasse 12
57439 Attendorn
Website :
Mayor : Christian Pospischil ( SPD )
Location of the city of Attendorn in the Olpe district
Rheinland-Pfalz Hochsauerlandkreis Kreis Siegen-Wittgenstein Märkischer Kreis Oberbergischer Kreis Attendorn Drolshagen Finnentrop Kirchhundem Lennestadt Olpe Wenden (Sauerland)map
About this picture
View over the city from the Atta cave
Downtown from the southeast

The Hanseatic city of Attendorn ([ ˈatn̩ˌdɔʁn ] dialect mostly [ ˈatn̩ˌdɔːʳn ] pronunciation ? / I ) is a medium-sized town in North Rhine-Westphalia in the Olpe district in the southern Sauerland with around 25,000 inhabitants. It is known nationwide for the Atta cave and the Biggesee . Since March 19, 2012, Attendorn has officially been allowed to use the addition Hanseatic City . Audio file / audio sample

Attendorn is only a little smaller than the two largest cities in the Olpe district, Lennestadt and Olpe . Due to the distance to the next regional centers Siegen (45 km), Hagen (60 km), Dortmund (75 km) and Cologne (85 km), the city has been a medium-sized center for a long time . The city's economy is industrial, especially the metalworking industry has grown historically and still offers the most jobs today. Hanseatic cities in the historical sense are characterized by supra-regional trade.


Geographical location

The Hanseatic city of Attendorn is located in the north-west of the Olpe district in the southern Sauerland at 7 ° 54 'east longitude and 51 ° 07' north latitude. The urban area is located in the Sauerland-Rothaargebirge nature park , north of Biggesee and Dünnekenberg . The reservoir is traversed by the Lenne tributary Bigge, which flows through the city below the Biggestau dam .

The highest point in the urban area is the Rüenhardt ( 636  m above sea  level ). At the Ahauser reservoir northeast of the city center it is only 248  m above sea level. NN . The urban area covers 97.86 km², of which about half is covered by forest.


Attendorn is located in the northeast of the Rhenish Slate Mountains, on the western edge of the Attendorn-Elsper Doppelmulde , a limestone reef that arose in the Devonian (about 400 million years ago) and rose as a result of tectonic shifts. One valley, starting in Attendorn, leads to Fretter, the other from Niederhelden to Elspe. Numerous caves were able to form in the mass limestone of the Upper Middle Devon, of which the Atta cave is the only one open to the public.

Expansion and use of the urban area

The urban area, the largest north-south extension of which is 10.89 km and east-west extension 14.57 km, comprises a total area of ​​97.86 km². This area includes, among other things, 51.13 km² forest area, 5.74 km² water area and 29.48 km² agricultural area. 5.97 km² are used as building and open space and 4.55 km² as traffic area. The following table shows the detailed land use:

according to type of use
and open space

Surface of water
Area in km² 29.48 5.97 51.13 4.55 5.74 0.32 0.16 0.51
Share of total area 30.1% 6.1% 52.2% 4.6% 5.9% 0.3% 0.2% 0.5%

without taking into account rounding errors

Neighboring communities

Attendorn borders on the area of ​​towns and municipalities of the Olpe and Märkisches Kreis districts . Starting in the north and moving clockwise, these are Plettenberg (N), Finnentrop (NE), Lennestadt (O), the district town of Olpe (S), Drolshagen (SW), Meinerzhagen (W) and Herscheid (NW).

City structure

In addition to the core city with almost 14,000 inhabitants, Attendorn consists of 55 other villages and residential areas. By developing the “Wippeskuhlen” and “Auf dem Schilde” building areas as well as the “Ennest”, “Askay” and “Donnerwenge” industrial areas, the districts of Biekhofen, Ennest and Holzweg have grown together with the center in recent years. The towns of Neu-Listernohl, Petersburg, Kraghammer, Ewig, Biggen and Schnellenberg are also in the immediate vicinity of the central town of Attendorn, so that there is a total of over 18,000 inhabitants in this central settlement area.


Characteristic for Attendorn is the great difference in altitude of almost 400 meters that prevails in the city area. The center of the city of Attendorn is located in a basin of the Biggetal, but has meanwhile also expanded to the hills around the city. This location affects the climate and leads to locally different temperatures.

At altitudes around 300 m, where the city center is also to be found, the annual average temperature is around 8 degrees Celsius, at those around 450 m at 7 ° C and at those around 600 m at 6 ° C. However, particularly in winter, the mean temperature drops significantly with increasing altitude. While it is still 0.5 ° C at 300 m, the temperature drops to 0 ° C at 450 m and to −1.5 ° C at 600 m. The evaluation of the entire weather record shows a range of peak values ​​between -27 and +34 ° C.

The reason for the low temperatures can be found in the low amount of sunshine in this area. The district of Olpe has the lowest values ​​in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Attendorn, the annual mean of the total global radiation is up to 930 kWh / m²a (kilowatt hours per square meter and year), while in the west of the country it is over 1,010 kWh / m²a.

The annual rainfall is around 1,100 mm. Precipitation is very evenly distributed over the year, with winter being the wettest season with around 300 mm.

Climatically significant sub-areas are the valleys as cold air collection and drainage areas. The Biggetal, the Ihnetal and the Repetal are particularly important here.



City of Attendorn 1832 with uml. City wall and moat
Overview map of the city of Attendorn 1840, Prussian first photo

The location of the city is favored by the good climate in the Attendorn-Elsper Doppelmulde , the productive soil and the favorable transport options and has already attracted people in prehistoric times. A stronger settlement can only be proven since the Middle Ages .

The city lies at the intersection of two trunk roads, Heidenstrasse and the so-called "Königsstrasse". In the time of Charlemagne , an original parish was established there . The foundations of a mission church are under the floor of St. John's Church. In 1072 the Archbishop of Cologne donated the Grafschaft monastery and furnished it a. a. with rights at a court in Attendorn. The deed of foundation of the Grafschaft monastery is the first documentary mention of Attendorn.

In 1222 were the Cologne Archbishop Engelbert II. Von Berg of the city by awarding of Soest right the city rights awarded. Schnellenberg Castle, built around 1200, and the acquisition of Waldenburg in 1248 served to secure the interests of the Archdiocese of Cologne in the region.

Besides the nine guilds, Attendorn owes its importance to the wool and linen weavers. Furthermore, the political and ecclesiastical position of the city as a border fortress between the Duchy of Westphalia belonging to the Archdiocese of Cologne and the County of Mark and as the seat of a deanery in the old Archdiocese of Cologne brought wealth and prosperity to the city. Attendorn was the only city in the Sauerland to join the Rhenish Association of Cities. Attendorn was only an indirect member of the German Hanseatic League and was therefore represented at the major Hanseatic days by the city of Soest.

Attendorn was already an archbishop's mint around 1200. Medieval coins from Attendorn can be found from Brussels to Lubnice in Poland and the island of Gotland .

From the beginning of the 14th century to the present day there was a hospital with a church and cemetery in front of the city walls. In 1420 Heinrich Weke founded the Ewig monastery . In 1429 he joined a hospital for the poor. At times the city was so prosperous that it was even able to grant loans to the Archbishop of Cologne. In addition, he received support during his dispute with the city of Soest. 1444-1445 the city helped in the so-called Soester feud in the conquest of the castle and the land of Bilstein.

In 1464, 1597, 1598 and 1613 the plague hit the city four times . In 1613, 1623, 1656, 1710, 1732, 1742 and 1783, large fires raged in the city. In 1656 half the city was destroyed. The city also suffered from wars, appraisals and billeting. For example in the Limburg War of Succession in 1280, in the Soest feud from 1444–1449, in the Truchsessischen Wirren from 1583–1584 and in the Thirty Years' War from 1618–1648. Attendorn reached its lowest economic level at the time of Napoleon . The city only recovered from this in the middle of the 19th century. During the National Socialist era, the city's Jewish residents were either expelled or murdered. In your memory, a total of 14 stumbling blocks were laid by the artist Gunter Demnig in 2006 and 2008 .

During the Second World War Attendorn was badly destroyed by bombs on March 28 and by a large munitions explosion on June 15, 1945.


Attendorn has been part of the central district since January 1, 2010 . This was decided by the state cabinet on November 11, 2008. With the new name, you can u. a. Take on new tasks as a building supervisory authority, the sponsorship of a full-time fire station or the obligation to maintain facilities for further training. Above all, however, the city itself can become responsible for youth care. Until then, the Olpe district was responsible for this. For financial reasons, however, this step should not be implemented for the time being.

Large parts of the Attendorn city center will be rebuilt between 2015 and probably 2023. The approach is based on an integrated inner city development concept, which includes the four fields of action "Transport and (local) mobility", "Business location inner city", "Urban development, cityscape and open space quality" and "Living and living". In the course of this concept, traffic management and the parking concept, among other things, will be optimized. The design of traffic areas and common areas ensure that the cityscape is upgraded. The investments in the infrastructure such as a new cinema, the conversion of the Alte Post into a large-scale catering facility and the redesign of the train station into a cultural center are intended to provide increased space for retail use to make the city center more attractive and revitalized. The city's 800th anniversary will be celebrated in 2022. By then, the urban redevelopment should be largely implemented.

To meet the needs of the local businesses, the new construction of the "Fernholte" industrial area is currently being implemented. Areas for commercial use are to be offered on 27.31 hectares. However, the implementation is very complex. After the longstanding resistance of the original landowner and the complaints of a citizens' initiative due to nature conservation concerns, the preparation of the land will require the movement of 696,000 cubic meters of soil. The project costs 12 million euros.


On July 1, 1969, the parishes of Attendorn-Land and Helden were incorporated.

Population development

Population development in Attendorn from 1939 to 2018 according to the table below

(as of December 31st)

year Residents
1939 12,100
1950 15,600
1961 19,130
1962 19,560
1965 21,083
1970 21,735
year Residents
1975 22,080
1977 21,806
1987 21,668
1990 22,736
1992 23,298
1997 23,863
year Residents
1998 24,126
1999 24,267
2000 24,460
2001 24,688
2002 24,791
2003 24,776
year Residents
2004 24,836
2005 24,814
2006 24,744
2007 24,818
2008 24,839
2009 24,780
year Residents
2010 24,693
2011 24,637
2012 24,399
2013 24,336
2014 24,277
2015 24,676
year Residents
2016 24,279
2017 24,335
2018 24,367


In the region around Attendorn religion still plays an important role in social life. The best example is the Easter customs, which put faith at the center of attention each year. (see section Easter customs )


The vast majority of Attendorns are of the Catholic faith. Attendorn belongs to the Archdiocese of Paderborn and is administered at the middle level by the Deanery of South Sauerland . This was formed on July 1, 2006 from the previous independent deaneries Attendorn, Elspe and Olpe and is the same area as the Olpe district. At the lowest level there is a pastoral network that is congruent with the city area. Nine parishes are united in this. After the departure of the Franciscans and the demolition of the Franciscan Church at the end of the 20th century, there is only one religious community in Attendorn. These are the Ursulines .


There is an Evangelical Lutheran congregation in Attendorn. This has 3,559 parish members, extends over the entire city area and is therefore divided into two districts. There are two places of worship, the Church of the Redeemer in the center of Attendorn from 1914 and the Church of Peace in the Petersburg district from 1972. Among other things, the community maintains its own library and there is a subdivision of the YMCA . In 1998 the Attendorner Tafel was launched, which gives free groceries to those in need once a month.


In Attendorn there has been an Islamic community of the DITIB since 1986 , which as a mosque association owns the Yeni Mosque, which opened in 2017 in the city center. The mosque has an area of ​​1453 square meters on four floors. Around 200 Muslims are organized in the association.

Other denominations

In addition to the above, there are also other faiths in Attendorn. Worth mentioning are the New Apostolic congregation, which has its own house of worship , a free church CrossLight Jesus Zentrum Sauerland e. V. and the Christian community Attendorn .


City council

Local election 2014
Turnout: 55.1% (2009: 62.4%)
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p
-3.2  % p
+ 8.9  % p
-0.7  % p
-4.0  % p
-0.9  % p

In the city council, 38 council members represent the interests of the approximately 25,000 inhabitants of Attendorn. The composition of the city council is as follows after the election results of the last local election on May 25, 2014 :

1999 19th 16 2 - 1 38 seats
2004 17th 17th 2 1 1 38 seats
2009 16 14th 3 3 2 38 seats
2014 15th 18th 3 1 1 38 seats


In the 2014 local elections, the SPD candidate Christian Pospischil was elected mayor. He has taken over the business of the non-party incumbent Wolfgang Hilleke.

History of the mayor of Attendorn

Since the city burned down in 1783 , only a few people from earlier times can be identified as mayors.

- Mayor before 1783:

  • before 1584: Jürgen Bosel
  • 1584: Cornelius Zeppenfeld (+ 13.05.1609)
  • 1593: Jacob Zeppenfeld

- Mayor 1783–1804

  • 1783–1804: Franz Anton Plange
  • 1783: Johann Eberhard Hoberg
  • 1783–1784: Johann Emmerich Gottfried Joanvahrs
  • 1786–1794: Johann Pieper
  • 1790–1796: Johann Arnold Gertmann
  • 1791-1793: Theodor Greve
  • 1800–1802: Ferdinand Dingerkus
  • 1802-1804: Johann Greve
  • 1804: [Stephan?] Dingerkus

- Stadtschultheiße (1812–1826)

  • 1812-1818: Johann Anton Goebel
  • 1818-1826: Adolf Salomon

- Mayor from 1826

  • 1826-1829: Adolf Salomon
  • 1829-1832: Kaspar Belke
  • 1832–1835: Eberhard Belke
  • 1835–1862: Arnold Becker
  • 1862–1864: Franz Lex
  • 1864–1865: Ferdinand Wurzer
  • 1865–1866: Eberhard Wilmes (alderman during vacancy)
  • 1866–1908: Richard Heim
  • 1908–1911: Heinrich Tück
  • 1911-1919: Theodor Laymann
  • 1920–1932: Wilhelm Hennemann
  • 1932–1933: Hans Becker (provisional)
  • 1933–1934: Peter Struif ( NSDAP )
  • 1934–1945: Josef Schütte (NSDAP)
  • 1945: Wolfram Ebers ( CDU )
  • 1945–1946: Johannes Weber (CDU)
  • 1946: Josef Mayworm ( SPD )
  • 1946–1948: Robert Schmidt (CDU)
  • 1948–1949: Erich Berghoff (CDU)
  • 1949–1950: August Bruse (SPD)

Coat of arms and seal

The coat of arms of the city shows in silver a black Balkenkreuz (Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Cologne), accompanied by a by right red-turned crescent in the upper right corner. The oldest surviving city seal from 1243 shows St. Peter, patron of the Archdiocese of Cologne, with his key and a crescent moon next to his head, in later seals enthroned on the Electoral Cologne shield. In 1910 the coat of arms was officially approved in its current form, and after the municipal reorganization in 1970 it was approved for continuation. The crescent moon is interpreted as a symbol for John the Baptist, who, as the patron saint of the parish, was also to be found in early secretion seals.

Town twinning

Attendorn has had its first town twinning with Rawicz in Poland since 2019

Culture and sights

Nature and landscape protection

Inside the Atta Cave

In partial areas of Attendorn, the beech forests, limestone semi-arid grasslands and rocks south of Finnentrop have been designated as a European protected area ( FFH area ). Further sub-areas of this 220 hectare FFH area are in the areas of Finnentrop and Lennestadt. There are 13 designated nature reserves (NSG) in the city. These are the nature reserves Quelle am Rüenhardt (0.68 ha), Biggen quarry (11.50 ha), Biggen alluvial forest (4.08 ha), Repe (2.94 ha), Hausschlade (22 ha), Breiter Hagen (20.28 ha), Dünscheder Heide (1.35 ha), In der Stesse (17.10 ha), Berndebachtal (36.07 ha), Wunderwäldchen (0.73 ha), Wesebachtal (1.38 ha) , Atta-Höhle (13.27 ha), Eschenbach-Quellbach (20.60 ha) and Gilberginsel (96.65 ha, the only NSG outside the landscape plan area). The most imposing and most visited NSG in Attendorn is the NSG Atta-Höhle .

There are nine natural monuments in Attendorn . These are the four rocks of the steep cliff Bigger Kopf (0.67 ha), the Bigger Kopf (0.44 ha), Drackerstein-Felsen (0.69 ha) and Ah-Shoulder-Felsen (1, 03 ha), four individual trees (two linden trees, one beech and one oak) and one with two groups of trees (oaks). In the municipality there are also 28 protected landscape components (LB) from 0.11 ha to 9.67 ha in size.

The urban area of ​​Attendorn belongs to the Ebbegebirge Nature Park, which was designated in 1964 . A large part of the nature park has also been designated as a landscape protection area since it was founded . The Attendorn-Heggen-Helden landscape plan has existed for the eastern part of the city since November 30, 2006 and also includes the western part of the municipality of Finnentrop. In this landscape plan, areas outside of the built-up districts and the scope of a development plan have been designated as landscape protection areas, provided that there is no higher protection status such as NSG. There are two landscape protection areas in the landscape plan area. These are the Attendorn-Heggen-Helden type A conservation area and the Attendorn-Heggen-Helden type B conservation area . Landscape protection area type A, stands for general landscape protection , while type B stands for special landscape protection: protection of characteristic meadow valleys . In the type A landscape protection area, the erection of structures is prohibited. In type B, first afforestation, including the creation of new Christmas tree cultures, is also prohibited, as is the conversion of grassland and fallow land. The type B landscape protection area consists of several sub-areas, while the type A landscape protection area forms a contiguous area in which all other protected areas and the built-up areas within the planning area are located.

In the urban area there are also numerous legally protected biotopes , such as springs and rocks. The legally protected biotopes are protected everywhere because of their rarity and exist independently of the above-mentioned protection categories.

In addition to the eagle owl , the large bird species gray heron , black stork , red kite and common raven occur in Attendorn .


Old market with the South Sauerland Museum

The Südsauerlandmuseum is located directly on the market square in the center of the city. In addition to cultural-historical exhibits from the Olpe district, it also shows the Westphalian tin figure cabinet and provides information about the city's history. After several years of renovation, it was reopened in June 2008 with a revised exhibition concept. The museum is jointly sponsored by the city of Attendorn and the district of Olpe. For many years it was called "Kreisheimatmuseum".

The Attendorn Fire Brigade Museum has been located on the site of the volunteer fire brigade since 1986. It is open every first and third weekend of the month from April to October and shows historical exhibits such as fire trucks, uniforms and equipment.

movie theater

In Attendorn there is the "JAC" cinema with five halls and a total of 478 seats. This was officially opened on June 17, 2019 after a construction period of around one year. The property is owned by the city, which had the building built especially for this purpose and leased it to the operator.

Before that there was no cinema in Attendorn for many decades. The two movie theaters "Lux-Lichtspiele" and "Apollo", which operated in the 20th century, were closed by the 1980s.


There is no municipal library in Attendorn, but this function is taken over by the Catholic public library, which has existed since 1851. This is operated by the parish of St. Johannes Baptist and comprises around 14,000 media.

In addition, the Protestant community operates a library for children and young people, which emerged in 2002 from the community library that has existed since 1957. There you can borrow more than 9,000 media.

Regular cultural events

Shooting festival

The traditional shooting festival is celebrated every year on the first weekend in July. At the beginning of the festival on Friday, the so-called “beer tasting” will take place in the festival tent. On Monday the King's Shooting takes place, where - unlike at most other shooting festivals - there are two shooting kings: a bird king and a target king.

The Schützengesellschaft Attendorn 1222 e. V. traces its origins back to the granting of city rights to the city of Attendorn in 1222. The riflemen, citizens of Attendorn, were responsible for the defense of the city and the maintenance of the fortifications around the city.


Attendorn is a carnival stronghold in South Westphalia. There are several carnival clubs in the city, some of which organize their own carnival sessions. The highlight of the foolish hustle and bustle is every year the Violet Tuesday parade, which starts at 11.11 a.m. at the Atta Cave . With more than 2000 active participants and up to 30,000 visitors, it is one of the largest in the Sauerland, which is why the city calls itself “Klein-Kölle” in the “fifth season”. The common fool call is "Kattfiller". This has its origin in history. Legend has it that a cat was accidentally shot with a crossbow by the besieging Attendorns while conquering the nearby Bilstein Castle .

Juggler Festival

The Attendorn Juggler Festival has been taking place every summer since 1988 . It is a family festival that attracts more than 20,000 visitors with a colorful program of comedy, music, art and games. Well-known small artists appear on several stages. Every year nationally popular bands, but also lesser-known big names in the scene, play on the music stage, as well as some unknown bands from the surrounding area.

Attendorn fire brigade festival

The Attendorn fire brigade festival traditionally takes place on the last weekend in June. One week before the shooting festival of the Schützengesellschaft Attendorn 1222 e. V. the members of the Attendorn fire brigade invite the population to a festival for the whole family. Every year the highlight of the event is a large summer night fireworks display, which is set off on Saturday evening around 10:30 p.m. from the roof of the fire station.

Single events

On May 10, 1975, the " Game without Borders " between the cities of Attendorn and Pulheim was held on the site below the Biggestaudamm . The motto of the competition was “In the Stone Age” and was broadcast live by ARD. Attendorn won and qualified for the international finals in Riccione, Italy.

On June 27th, 2009 the big event "A day with WDR 2" took place in Attendorn. Attendorn was able to assert itself against all other municipalities and cities from North Rhine-Westphalia in the " WDR2 für eine Stadt " campaign, which the broadcaster carried out over several weeks. It found u. a. free open-air concerts, live broadcasts and cabaret take place. Around 20,000 visitors took part.

regional customs

Easter tradition

Easter fire

The Attendorns cultivate numerous Easter customs, including the blessing of the bread roll on Holy Saturday and the beating, setting up and burning of the Easter crosses on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

Bread blessings: The Attendorner Easter bread, called Easter roll, is a mixed bread with caraway seeds that is baked in the local bakeries in the week before Easter. The notches on the ends of the loaves, which give them the appearance of fish fins, are particularly noticeable. The fish is an ancient Christian symbol. On Holy Saturday, the Attendorns gather in front of the parish church at 2 p.m. to have their rolls blessed by the pastor. This custom has been documented since 1658, but probably goes back further into the past.

Easter fire: In the weeks before Easter, the men of the Easter fire club (the so-called "Poskebrüder") meet in the surrounding woods to "stand wood". There, bundles of brushwood are prepared, the so-called “burdens”, which are used to burn the Easter crosses on Easter Sunday. The Easter Fire Club is divided into four "ports", which are derived from the former city quarters, each of which could be reached through a city gate. This means that the Attendorner “goes with the porte” in which he was born or where his family lives. These are the Ennester Pote, the Kölner Porte, the Niederste Poorte and the Wasserpoote. After the roll blessing on Holy Saturday, the members of the four portes move into the city forest and each cut a large spruce tree, which is then transported to the city and measured on the market square. There is also a competition: You try to get the longest spruce with the largest diameter. Then it goes to the "Osterköppe". These are high places on the outskirts or outside of the city where the Easter crosses are placed on Easter Sunday. On this day, people meet at the "Köppen" and prepare the spruce trees to burn in the evening. The spruce trees are provided with a crossbar, wrapped in straw and erected. Then the prepared burdens are layered around the base of the Easter cross and also covered with straw. At around 8:40 p.m., the Poske brothers begin “waving the torch”. Torches cut from spruce wood are lighted at a torch fire, which in turn has been lighted beforehand by the fire of the Easter candle. You stand around the Easter cross and swing the torches vertically in front of or next to your body. At 9 p.m., when the lights on the cross on the tower of the parish church are turned on, the torches are thrown on the burdens and the cross goes up in flames. At 9:30 p.m. , the four pillars of the Easter procession at the four former city gates, led by four illuminated lecture crosses , start moving towards the parish church of St. Johannes Baptist . A prayer service will be held there at the end of the Easter celebrations.


St. John Baptist
Drawing of Schnellenberg Castle (first half of the 18th century)
  • Parish Church of St. John Baptist
The parish church of St. Johannes Baptist is also called the Sauerland Cathedral. It has a Romanesque tower from around 1200 and a Gothic nave from the 14th century. The baroque dome of the tower, which has adorned the church since 1634, is striking.
The old town hall was probably built after the middle of the 14th century and changed significantly in the 18th and 19th centuries. 1962–1964 the exterior was restored to its original form based on some findings and a representation kept in the parish church. The entire interior design, the equipment with antique glass windows and lamp towers was done by the Aachen artist Benno Werth . The building is a mighty eaves structure with reconstructed stepped gables . The ground floor, which is open in arcades, was formerly used as a department store. The South Sauerland Museum is housed in the building.
  • Schnellenberg Castle
Schnellenberg Castle is located on a hill in the city . It has been owned by the Barons von Fürstenberg family since 1594 . In 1594, the later Landdroste of the Duchy of Westphalia, Kaspar von Fürstenberg , bought this imperial castle complex. It is considered the largest and most powerful castle in South Westphalia. It houses a hotel and a restaurant.
  • Monastery forever
The former Augustinian monastery Ewig at the gates of Attendorn houses part of the Attendorn correctional facility (JVA).
  • Hospital Church of St. Barbara
The former St. Barbara Hospital Church is also worth seeing .
  • Church of the Redeemer
The Erlöserkirche (Attendorn) is a listed building .
  • Towers of the city wall
The Powder Tower and the Bieketurm from the 13th century have been preserved from the city ​​fortifications that were demolished in 1812 . The Bieketurm is owned by the Schützengesellschaft Attendorn 1222 e. V. used as an armory. Flags, king's chains , tanks, etc. can be viewed on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. from May to October. On the tower side facing the fire pond, the height of the former city wall can still be read off at the beginning of the wall.

Natural monuments

Atta cave

The most famous sight of the town in the south of Sauerland is the Atta cave , which was exposed during the lime mining in 1907 and represents one of the largest contiguous cave systems in Germany. Their formation is mainly based on the lime deposits in the Attendorn-Elsper-Doppelmulde.


The Biggetalsperre dam is located in the south of the urban area . Together with the Listertalsperre and the Ahauser reservoir , it forms a large local recreation area for the city and its surroundings.


Hansa Stadium

The city of Attendorn has numerous sports clubs of various kinds. Most of the members have the TV Attendorn, which, as a classic popular sports club, offers many sports, but can celebrate the greatest successes in table tennis, cycling and triathlon. Football is divided into four clubs in the city center offered, of which the SV 04 Attendorn is the most successful. This plays in the Landesliga Westfalen . There are also the tennis clubs TC Blau-Weiß and TC Milstenau, the handball club SG Attendorn-Ennest, the archery club, the athletics club, the swimming club Schwarz-Weiß, the golf club Repetal, the motor sports club Lennetal-Bamenohl-Attendorn and others Clubs that offer almost all sports.

The city of Attendorn has an indoor swimming pool, a teaching pool, a natural turf athletics stadium, a riding hall, artificial turf soccer fields in all parts of the city, as well as several sports halls, tennis courts, a glider airfield, a golf course, a bike park, a skate park and other sports facilities.


In Attendorn there are numerous music clubs and a music school run by the city. The youth center also provides a rehearsal room for young bands.

Social associations

The Attendorn club life also enriches a number of socially and civically active clubs, e.g. For example, the Kolping family, the One World working group, the Bürgerhaus Alter Bahnhof initiative and the Attendorn meeting place .

Economy and Infrastructure


Attendorn is the workplace center in the Olpe district with 14,291 employees subject to social security contributions (as of December 31, 2017). 10,309 residents of the city are employed subject to social security contributions. The need for labor cannot be covered by its own population by a long way. This manifests itself in a positive balance of commuters and an unemployment rate of only around 4.2%.

Attendorn's commercial economy is shaped by medium-sized companies in the iron and metal processing industry. These are largely global automotive suppliers, such as B. Mubea (1072 employees on site), GEDIA (813 employees), Kirchhoff Automotive (799 employees) and Sodecia Kemmerich (407 employees). Another important industry is building and sanitary technology. The largest employers here are Viega (1366 employees), Aquatherm (270 employees) and BeulCo (228 employees).

Attendorn's tax rates for property tax A (for agricultural and forestry businesses) are 170%, property tax B (for most other properties) is 315% and the business tax multiplier is 395%. All three tax rates are well below the national average.

Despite the considerable purchasing power in Attendorn, the retail trade situation is unsatisfactory. According to the data on retail centrality (= ratio of retail sales per inhabitant to retail purchasing power per inhabitant) evaluated by the Siegen Chamber of Commerce and Industry , the ratio for Attendorn in 2018 was 81.8 and thus indicates a greater outflow of purchasing power (Reference numbers for the neighboring towns for comparison: Olpe 133.7 and Lennestadt 107.5). The unsatisfactory situation for the retail trade is influenced by ongoing renovation measures in the inner city area, which hinder public traffic.


Attendorn station

Attendorn is not directly connected to the motorway network. The closest motorway is the A 45 , which is west of the urban area. The Olpe junction is approx. 14 kilometers away and can be reached via the L 512. The Meinerzhagen junction can be reached via the L 539 and is approx. 20 kilometers away. The nearest federal road is the B 54 / B55 near Olpe or the B55 near Lennestadt. There are a total of 222.29 km of municipal roads in the city, of which approx. 42.62 km are local connecting roads, 29.95 km are farm roads and approx. 149.72 km are other roads. There are also state and district roads, which cover a total of approx. 30.90 km.

The city is located on the Biggetalbahn (KBS 442), on which the Biggesee Express (RB 92) runs and stops at several stops and train stations in the city: "Attendorn" , "Kraghammer" , "Listerscheid" and "Attendorn-Hohen Hagen " . The train enables journeys to Olpe and Finnentrop every hour . At the station Attendorn both trains meet, so here two tracks are present. In Finnentrop there is a connection to the Ruhr-Sieg route, which runs from Siegen to Hagen.

From April to the end of October, two excursion boats operated by the Biggesee passenger shipping company, the MS “Westfalen” and the MS “Bigge”, sail on the Biggesee. These drive to two stops in the Attendorn city area and three more in the Olper part of the lake. A board the bus which is located at the Bigge dam where connection to the tourist trackless train is "Biggolino" which runs every hour between Atta cave, downtown and Biggedamm.

There is a closed network of cycle paths around the Biggesee and the Listertalsperre . This leads u. a. from the dam in Attendorn to the south bank of Lake Bigge in Olpe and to Finnentrop. You are also connected to the NRW cycling network.

The Attendorn-Finnentrop airfield is located near Attendorn and is mainly used for gliding, but also has the status of a special airfield.



The local editions of the

However, the local sections of both newspapers have been identical since 2009. At that time, the local editorial offices of the newspapers published by the same publisher (newspaper group WAZ) were merged. There is still an editorial office in Attendorn.

In the meantime, the distribution area of ​​the Siegener Zeitung has expanded into the Olpe district, so that there is also a local edition for this area, in which Attendorn is reported.

In addition, the free advertising paper Sauerlandkurier appears on Wednesdays and Saturdays in a special edition for Attendorn and the surrounding area with information from the Olpe district. The Sauerländer Wochenanzeiger (SWA), a subsidiary of the Siegener Zeitung, appears on Saturdays.


The Olpe district is one of the few in North Rhine-Westphalia that does not have its own local radio. Current news about Attendorn can only be received via the WDR 2 radio program from the Siegen regional studio, which always broadcasts news from South Westphalia every half hour. With a decision of April 28, 2006, however, the Olpe district was designated as a possible distribution area for local radio by the LfM, the responsible supervisory authority for broadcasting in North Rhine-Westphalia. An organizer community has existed for many years. A test broadcast should begin in April 2010. The aim was to reach 68 percent of the population so that on January 1, 2011, a local radio for the Olpe district could have started operating. The local radio never started. In some areas of the city it is possible to receive the neighboring local radio stations Radio MK (Märkischer Kreis) and Radio Siegen. The Helios-Klinik Attendorn also has its own radio station. This can be heard once a week (Thursday) in the hospital.

watch TV

Attendorn belongs to the editorial area of ​​the Siegen studio of WDR television . The local time Südwestfalen reports on the region.

Public facilities

Authorities and institutions

All municipal authorities are housed in the city center in the town hall, which u. a. also houses the citizens' office, the municipal children's club and the administration of the Attendorn-Finnentrop music school.

The local energy supplier is "Bigge-Energie", a company in which the energy supply for the Attendorn municipal utility has merged.

The post office was closed in 2008. Since then, your tasks have been taken over by a postal agency.

The Attendorn correctional facility has been located in the Ewig district since 1968 . Initially, only an open execution was possible here. Between 2008 and 2010 the prison in Attendorn was rebuilt and expanded. The construction of an additional building complex, which was completed at the end of 2010, made it possible to dissolve the closed execution of the previous branch in Siegen and to relocate the detention places to Attendorn from mid-January 2011. The number of prisoners should remain limited to 390, 270 in the open, 120 in the closed prison. Fire protection in Attendorn is ensured by the volunteer fire brigade of the city of Attendorn. In the eight units (two fire engines and six fire fighting groups) 289 firefighters are on duty. In addition, there is the company fire department of a large metalworking company.

In addition, the technical relief organization has been stationed in Attendorn since 1965 in a local association with a technical train with the specialist group on water hazards .

There is a police station that is manned around the clock. Officials of the security service, the district service and the traffic commission work here.

The ambulance service is provided from the St. Barbara Hospital location. The rescue service is coordinated by the Olpe district. The DRK is available for ambulance transport , as well as for medical care at events. In the course of the emergency service reform in Westphalia, which came into force on February 1, 2011, an emergency service practice was set up in the St. Barbara Hospital.

Until 1979 Attendorn had its own local court . Since then, Attendorn has belonged to the district of the Olpe District Court .

In the district of Neu-Listernohl there is a branch of the Regional Forestry Office of the Kurkölnisches Sauerland, and the Biggetalsperre forestry district of the Ruhrverband is located there, which looks after the forests along the Biggetalsperre and on Gilberg Island.

Public leisure facilities

The Attendorn town hall has a capacity of 1,074 seats or 1,597 standing places. Mainly local events (e.g. shooting festival, carnival), comedy / cabaret events and concerts take place. In the city center is the indoor swimming pool, which is sponsored by the Attendorn municipal utility, while the Waldenburger Bucht lido is operated by Biggesee GmbH. In addition, the city has several sports halls, sports fields, a skater area and a mountain bike park and maintains a youth center.

Hospitals and specialist clinics

The only hospital in the city is the Helios Klinik Attendorn . The former municipal hospital St. Barbara was from 1999 to 2014 a 100 percent subsidiary of Rhön-Klinikum AG , Bad Neustadt / Saale. It has been part of the Helios Group of the Fresenius Group since 2014. The hospital has 286 beds and twelve places for day clinical treatment, as well as its own internal radio station KRA 2, which broadcasts once a week (Thursdays).

Educational institutions

As a school location, Attendorn is of regional importance.

The city of Attendorn has 17 day-care centers. There is one kindergarten each in Windhausen, Listerscheid, Helden, Röllecken and Ennest, while there are two kindergartens in Neu-Listernohl.

A total of six primary schools are responsible for the education of the children in the primary level. Three of them are in the core city area, one each in Ennest, Helden and Neu-Listernohl.

In addition, there were two secondary schools, which are also in Attendorn and are in direct proximity to each other. These are the community secondary school and the Catholic Cardinal von Galen School. Today there is the Hanseschule, a secondary school.

The only secondary school in Attendorn, the St. Ursula secondary school, is privately owned by the Catholic Church. Since it does not accept all students who want to attend this type of school, some students take advantage of the offer in Finnentrop.

There are also two grammar schools in Attendorn, one of which is run by the city: the Rivius grammar school. The forerunners of this school were founded in 1515. The second grammar school, the St. Ursula grammar school, is owned by the Archdiocese of Paderborn, just like the Realschule. This school has its origins in a monastery of the Ursuline Order, which came to Attendorn at the beginning of the 20th century. The Attendorn grammar schools are also heavily used by students from the community of Finnentrop and from the neighboring town of Plettenberg . In the upper level there is a cooperation between the two grammar schools, which enables advanced and basic courses to be carried out in less frequented subjects.

For vocational schools, the Olpe district is the school authority of the Attendorn branch of the Olpe district's vocational college. At this location, mainly trainees from commercial professions are taught school within the framework of the dual training system. However, full-time school courses before or after vocational training, full-time school vocational training and further training measures are also offered.

There is also the special school of St. Lawrence with a program focusing on cognitive development, and Martin's school with the funding priority language. The Albert Schweitzer School with a special focus on learning was closed in 2014.

The Attendorn Music School is sponsored by the City of Attendorn. The evening grammar school Attendorn is located in the Rivius grammar school building and enables working people to obtain their Abitur. The Biggesee Academy in Neu-Listernohl also provides adult education and offers various seminars. Furthermore, various courses at the Volkshochschule Olpe take place in Attendorn . The closest university is the University of Siegen.


Honorary citizen

Honorary citizens of the city of Attendorn are:

sons and daughters of the town

Other personalities connected with Attendorn

  • Willibrord Benzler (1853–1921), bishop of the Metz diocese from 1901 to 1919; attended high school in Attendorn
  • Carl Schmitt (1888–1985), constitutional lawyer and political philosopher; lived as a boy in the Catholic Konvikt in Attendorn and attended grammar school.
  • Heinz Günther Konsalik (1921–1999), writer with the real name Heinz Günther; lived in Attendorn after the end of the Second World War, where his mother was evacuated from Cologne. He wrote his first novel Liebesspiel mit Jubilar with a plot in Attendorn. Konsalik's wife was a teacher in Attendorn.
  • Paul-Werner Scheele (1928–2019), Bishop of Würzburg; passed the Abitur on October 8, 1946 in Attendorn
  • Paul Josef Cordes (* 1934), retired Curia Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church; passed the Abitur in 1955 at the Rivius Gymnasium
  • Frank Beckehoff (* 1954), politician (CDU), district administrator of the Olpe district since 1999; lives in Attendorn


  • Rainer Ahrweiler: The caves of the Attendorn-Elsper double hollow . With contributions by Elmar Hammerschmidt on the newly discovered parts of the Attendorn stalactite cave and Joachim Hoberg on the antique cave, Noaken cave and Frettermühler passage column. In: Karst und Höhle 1991/92. Munich 1995.
  • Josef Brunabend: Attendorn, Schnellenberg, Waldenburg and Ewig. A contribution to the history of Westphalia. 2nd edition, revised by Prof. Julius Pickert on behalf of the city of Attendorn, completed by Karl Boos Münster (1958) (the first edition was published in Münster in 1878)
  • Ferdinand GB Fischer : Walter Viegener - life sketches. Man, entrepreneur, pioneer, citizen. Attendorn 2002.
  • Norbert Henkelmann: Attendorner guild books, 1564–1988 . Series of publications from Attendorn archives. Volume 2. Attendorn 2001.
  • Otto Höffer: The parish church of St. Johannes Baptist in Attendorn . Westfälische Kunststätten, issue 28, ed. from the Westphalian Heimatbund in connection with the Westphalian Office for Monument Preservation. Münster 1983 (meanwhile 2nd edition 2003).
  • Otto Höffer, Ralf Breer, Rainer Scholz: Schützenfest in Attendorn. Attendorn stories, volume 1. Attendorn, 2006.
  • Otto Höffer, Ralf Breer, Rainer Scholz: Easter in Attendorn. Attendorn stories, volume 2. Attendorn, 2007.
  • Otto Höffer, Ralf Breer, Rainer Scholz: Carnival in Attendorn. Attendorn stories, volume 3. Attendorn 2007.
  • Otto Höffer, Ralf Breer: Hanseatic City of Attendorn, historical city guide. Attendorn, 2001.
  • Otto Höffer: Sightseeing flight over Attendorn as it used to be. Gudensberg-Gleichen, 2001.
  • Otto Höffer (Red.): Under the spell of water. The places of the parish Neu-Listernohl then and now and the history of the Biggetalsperre. Publication series of the city of Attendorn, Volume 1. Attendorn 1993.
  • Otto Höffer; Harald Kröning, Herbert Keseberg: Silvered city history. The Attendorn rifle silver since the baroque period. A contribution to the history of the Schützengesellschaft Attendorn 1222 e. V. Attendorn, 1997.
  • Otto Höffer: Vase Night, Fasslowend, Carnival. A documentation on the almost 400-year-old Attendorn Fastnacht, on the 125th Violet Tuesday procession (1863–1988), on the 75th anniversary of the Attendorn Carnival Society. V. (since 1912). Attendorn, 1987.
  • Otto Höffer, Ralf Breer: Churches and chapels in Attendorn, Lennestadt and Kirchhundem. Edited by Sparkasse Attendorn-Lennestadt-Kirchhundem . Attendorn, 1999.
  • Höffer Otto, Ralf Breer: Easter customs in Attendorn, published by the Sparkasse Attendorn. Attendorn, 1983.
  • Otto Höffer, Ralf Breer: Attendorn, portrait at the turn of the millennium. Attendorn, 1997.
  • Hermann Hundt: Cityscapes from Attendorn. Leipzig, 1995.
  • Eva von Broecker: Seek the city for the best - Evangelical in Attendorn - 150 years of the Evangelical Church Community. Attendorn, 1988.
  • Westphalian city atlas ; Volume: II; 1 part volume. On behalf of the Historical Commission for Westphalia and with the support of the Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe, ed. by Heinz Stoob † and Wilfried Ehbrecht. City folder Attendorn, author: Heinz Stoob , ISBN 3-89115-344-9 ; Dortmund-Altenbeken, 1981.
  • Compilation of further references on the website of the city of Attendorn: Attendorn in literature.
  • District of Olpe: Landscape plan Attendorn-Heggen-Heroes No. 3 . Olpe 2006.

Web links

Commons : Attendorn  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Attendorn  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

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. Local Minister Jäger approves the first additional designations for cities and municipalities. Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia March 19, 2012.
  3. Population statistics of the city of Attendorn (as of June 30, 2019) , accessed on August 18, 2019.
  4. VSU GmbH: Justification for the reorganization of the zoning plan 2020 of the city of Attendorn , Herzogenrath, 2008, p. 22.
  5. ^ Heinrich Gottfried Gengler: Regesta and documents on the constitutional and legal history of German cities in the Middle Ages , Erlangen 1863, pp. 63-65 in the Google book search
  6. Jewish life in Attendorn during the Nazi era. A project of class 9b of the St. Ursula-Gymnasium Attendorn (school year 2006/07), accessed on February 10, 2010 .
  7. City Center 2022 - City Center Development Concept - Hanseatic City of Attendorn. Retrieved December 13, 2017 (German).
  8. LokalPlus: Barbara Sander-Graetz: Development plan no. 74 n "Fernholte" has been decided - discussions in the Attendorner Council . In: LokalPlus news . ( [accessed on December 13, 2017]).
  9. Martin Bünermann: The communities of the first reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1970, p. 89 .
  10. Attendorn / Ev. Church district Lüdenscheid Plettenberg. (No longer available online.) Lüdenscheid-Plettenberg church district, archived from the original on October 27, 2015 ; Retrieved February 26, 2010 .
  11. LokalPlus: Ina Hoffmann: Ceremonial opening of the Attendorner mosque -. Retrieved April 20, 2020 .
  12. Pages of the Free Church
  14. Together with his "subst. B. Jürgen Bosel" member of the city of Attendorn in the state parliament of the Duchy of Westphalia ; Gerhard Kleinsorgen : Diary of Gebhardf Truchseß , 3rd part, Münster 1780; P. 484. His inheritance, including his farm in Rauterkusen worth 700 thalers, is divided up on Oct. 7, 1605; Archive of Baron von Fürstenberg-Herdringen, file AFH 3163.
  15. Kleinsorgen, p. 408.
  17. a b Biotopkataster NRW
  18. District of Olpe: Landscape plan Attendorn-Heggen-Heroes No. 3 . Pp. 16-40.
  19. District of Olpe: Landscape plan Attendorn-Heggen-Heroes No. 3 . Pp. 41-46.
  20. District of Olpe: Landscape plan Attendorn-Heggen-Heroes No. 3 . Pp. 52-63.
  21. ^ Olpe district: landscape plan Attendorn-Heggen-Heroes No. 3 ; Pp. 47-51.
  22. District of Olpe: Landscape plan Attendorn-Heggen-Heroes No. 3 . Pp. 75-82.
  23. Opening of the cinema. Retrieved June 17, 2019 .
  24. News. (No longer available online.) Schützengesellschaft Attendorn 1222 e. V., archived from the original on January 4, 2016 ; Retrieved June 1, 2011 .
  25. "Kattfiller" instead of "Alaaf" or "Helau". Carnival Society Attendorn e. V., accessed on February 10, 2010 .
  26. Juggler Festival. (No longer available online.) Jugendzentrum und Kulturbüro Attendorn e. V., formerly in the original ; Retrieved February 10, 2010 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  27. Attendorner fire brigade festival. Fire department of the city of Attendorn, accessed on June 25, 2011 .
  28. Games without Frontiers, episode guide., accessed on June 17, 2019 .
  29. Photo albums WDR 2 for a city • Attendorn stories - Attendorn News. Accessed June 17, 2019 (German).
  30. ^ IT.NRW, Düsseldorf: Employees subject to social insurance contributions (place of work). In: State database NRW. © IT.NRW, Düsseldorf, 2018, accessed on November 12, 2018 .
  31. ^ IT.NRW, Düsseldorf: Employees subject to social insurance contributions (place of residence). In: State database NRW. © IT.NRW, Düsseldorf, 2018, accessed on November 12, 2018 .
  32. Website , section: Economic job market and statistics / statistical data / overview in figures 2018 (accessed on January 6, 2020)
  33. Numbers, data, facts. City of Attendorn, accessed on February 10, 2010 .
  34. Ludwig Schieffer: New NRW network: dispute over the Cologne frequency. In: March 12, 2012, accessed on May 2, 2012 : "Possible coordination in the Heinsberg district (ex-frequencies of the local broadcaster" Welle West ") and the local radio in the Olpe district, which was never launched."
  35. ^ Hubertus Heuel: Prison director Wulf is retiring. In: The West. WAZ media group , February 6, 2009, accessed February 10, 2010 .
  36. The factual and local jurisdiction of the Attendorn prison
  37. THW OV Attendorn - Home. In: THW OV Attendorn. Retrieved August 4, 2016 .
  38. ^ Hospital St. Barbara Attendorn GmbH. (No longer available online.) Rhön-Klinikum AG, Bad Neustadt / Saale, archived from the original on January 29, 2010 ; Retrieved February 10, 2010 .