Bärenstein (Altenberg)

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Bear stone
City of Altenberg
Coordinates: 50 ° 48 ′ 0 ″  N , 13 ° 48 ′ 0 ″  E
Height : 467  (400-662)  m above sea level NHN
Residents : 900  (December 31, 2018)
Incorporation : January 1, 2004
Postal code : 01773
Area code : 035054
Bärenstein (Saxony)
Bear stone

Location of Bärenstein in Saxony

View of Bärenstein
View of Bärenstein

Bärenstein is a district of the Saxon city of Altenberg . With its castle, it is one of the oldest settlements in the Eastern Ore Mountains .


The market in Bärenstein with the Saxon distance column from 1734 (left), the new town hall from 1895 (middle) and the old town hall (right).

Bärenstein is located about 40 km south of Dresden in the Eastern Ore Mountains in the upper valley of the Müglitz . The Müglitztalstraße S 178 connects Bärenstein with Lauenstein and Bärenhecke . The Müglitztalbahn Altenberg - Heidenau runs parallel to the village, the stopping point is below the city, in the Müglitztal: Bärenstein (near Glashütte / Sachs.) . The place extends over an area of ​​1197  ha . It is delimited by the Sachsenhöhe ( 632  m above sea level ), the Kesselhöhe ( 655  m above sea level ) and the Börnchener Höhe ( 582  m above sea level ).

The neighboring towns of Bärenstein are Falkenhain , Lauenstein , Hirschsprung , Bärenhecke and Liebenau . Bärenstein is in the immediate vicinity of the city of Glashütte with its world-famous watch industry.



Bärenstein was mentioned for the first time in 1165 in connection with a knight Albrecht von Bernstein, who came from Switzerland and took part in a tournament in Zurich . In 1324 the village of Bernstein was first mentioned (HStA, orig. Document no. 2319). In 1348 Walzko (Walzig) von Bernstein received Bernstein Castle from Margrave Friedrich the Elder (the lean) of Meissen as a fief . The first tin finds were made around 1400 . In 1435 Peter von Bernstein defended the place against the invading Hussite armies . In 1436 tin ore mining began in solid rock. What is surprising is a sale from 1446, when the Bärenstein gentlemen sold the fourth part of their palace to the elector. This also included the area of ​​what is now Altenberg , and later they lent out the tin mines. In 1449 a judge was mentioned in the village's tax register. A certain Walzig von Bernstein took control of the place in 1453, and in 1462 also the electoral share. Now he was the owner of Bärenstein Castle with the villages of Börnchen , Dittersdorf , Falkenhain , the mountain Geising , Johnsbach , Waltersdorf and his part tithe and wagon money. In 1458, Graupener miners began their prospecting work on the Müglitz , near Bärenstein.

Until the Treaty of Eger in 1459, the official Bohemian-Saxon border ran through the Lauenstein-Bärenstein area. From 1462 to 1465, large land purchases were made for knighthood. Walzig pledged his property to the brothers Hans and Heinrich von Haubitz in 1486 . In 1489 Walzig died completely in debt. In 1491 Duke Georg bought the rule, separated the area around Altenberg and Altgeising and made it a ducal office. The larger, but without the mines, the worthless remainder he sold to Hans von Bernstein. In 1501 Hans von Bernstein founded the town of Bärenstein on his own initiative, which was initially not recognized, but gradually this "town", which consisted of only a few houses, received its town charter. In 1506 the town of Bärenstein was first mentioned in a fiefdom letter from Duke Georg to the brothers Christoph, Georg and Peter von Bernstein. Since 1529 the city received its beer license, so it was allowed to supply the innkeepers of the Bärensteiner rule with beer.

The Reformation was introduced in the period from 1539 to 1540. Under Magnus von Bernstein, the city was granted permission to build the town hall and the salt market in 1544 and the first city seal with the bear's head and the signature: "NAVSTADT BERNSTEIN" appeared. In 1564 the Neustadt Bärenstein asked Duke Georg to hold a weekly market . In 1576 the archive was lost when the castle burned. In 1578, feudal lord Hans von Bernstein and the elector were asked by the Bärenstein parish for permission to hold a fair. On March 10, 1618, Hans Wilhelm von Bernstein sold the knight's seat Bärenfels, to which the villages of Kipsdorf and Schellerhau belong, as well as the Eule silver mine and a tin chasm near Ammelsdorfer Strasse, to the Elector. In 1622, 1630 and 1640 the town was hit by huge fires. Siegfried von Lüttichau acquired the rule at auction in 1675. In 1699 Hans Heinrich von Schönberg became the new owner of the estate. In 1702 the name "Bärnstein" appeared for the first time. Christian Gottlieb von Holtzendorff took over the rule in 1711.

Post mileage column Bärenstein

In 1734 the Kursächsische Postmeile Pillar was built. In 1738 there was a big fire in the town, the church, the school, the parish, 18 houses and 6 barns burned down. Countess von Bünau, b. Cosel, acquired the Bärenstein estate in 1795. In 1816 Hanns Friedrich Curt von Lüttichau (1783–1864) was enfeoffed with Bärenstein, which he had bought from his mother-in-law Countess Bünau. The Müglitztalstraße has passed Bärenstein in the valley since 1857. In 1867 Otto Raffloer built a cardboard factory in Bärenklau , a district of Bärenstein. In 1890 the narrow-gauge Müglitztalbahn was opened , giving Bärenstein a connection to the rail network. In 1897 a flood caused severe damage in the Bärensteiner Valley, 13 km of the Müglitztalbahn tracks were destroyed. In 1918 the place was connected to the overland power grid. In 1921 the previously independent manor was merged with the village of Bärenstein. In 1926 the town and village were combined to form the municipality of Bärenstein.

In 1927 a heavy flood raged in the Gottleuba and Müglitztal valleys , and Bärenstein lost three people. From 1935 to 1938 the Müglitztalbahn was converted to standard gauge . In 1934 a bus line was set up across the market and in 1939 a new station building was built. On April 19, 1945, a Me 262 turbine fighter crashed in the Bielatal. On May 9, 1945, the Red Army marched into Bärenstein, and in the same year, on October 10, the von Lüttichau family had to leave the castle. The castle became a rest home for the NDPD . In 1952 a type III LPG was founded with the name "Vorwärts". In 1954 the local history researcher Arthur Klengel died, and in 1969 a memorial was built for him in the village. In 1957 a flood destroyed the Liebenau Bridge and caused severe damage to the railway line. In 1960 LPG Type I "Bergfrieden" was founded. A hurricane raged in Bärenstein in 1963.

The city has had the title of " State Recognized Resort " since 1964. In 1988, a small public swimming pool was inaugurated next to the school. The 1st Bärenstein Christmas market took place on December 8, 1991 . The "Stadt Bärenstein" restaurant was sold to the Hanewald family in 1992. In 1997, the changed city arms were approved. In 1998 the city bought the site of the former sawmill in order to set up an industrial area on it. In 1999 the city bought the station building for 80,000 DM to later use it as a museum . From 2001, the station building was then used by the Friends' Association for the Müglitztalbahn e. V. Construction of the “pro civitate” nursing home began in 2002. In 2006, the new market fountain with its history column was inaugurated.

Coat of arms and name

City coat of arms of Bärenstein (1997 version)
Coat of arms on the former town hall

The Bärenstein coat of arms shows a black bear head with a red tongue on a golden background, looking at the viewer. Heraldry calls the coat of arms “speaking”, that is, it explains the place name without any further paraphrasing. The coat of arms goes back to the noble family of Bernstein as the castle founder. There is evidence that the von Bernsteins had several coats of arms. These are shown in a Swiss chronicle from Stumpf. The choice of the heraldic animal could have expressed the defense and willingness to fight of the von Bernsteins. Until 1894 the coat of arms consisted of a brown bear head in a golden field. When the Saxon Ministry of the Interior requested the seals of all cities during a revision of the coat of arms, Mayor Petzold named the city colors brown and yellow. The main state archive announced in 1895 that the city colors are not yellow and brown, but black and silver, that the city coat of arms is a black bear's head in a silver field. Later this representation was wrongly described several times, even the bear's head got a different shape and color. In order to finally clear up these ambiguities, the Bärenstein city council applied for a change in the color of the field from silver to gold in 1997, based on the coat of arms valid in 1896.

The name of the place goes back to a knight Albrecht von Bernstein who was first mentioned in 1165 . In 1294 a Herrmann de Bernstein is mentioned as pastor of the place, in 1315 another knight Reinhold von Bernstein . The spelling of castle and village goes back to the name of the knight family who owned the castle. The city, laid out after 1501, was mentioned in 1502 as Naustadt , 1506 as Nawe Stettlin and in 1529 as Newstedtleyn . A short time later the name of the castle and village was adopted. The oldest surviving seal already bore the name Navstadt Bernstein in 1544 . The name itself refers to bears that used to be found in the jungle that once covered the Ore Mountains. According to legend, the founding of the castle was preceded by a fight between a knight and his son and two bears near today's castle.

Structural structure and buildings worth seeing

Saxon post mile column with a view of the town hall and the former drugstore

The market is lined with town houses, the church, which contains the tombstones of the Knights of Bernstein and their successors in the chancel, and the old town hall and brewery in the middle of the square. The oldest almost completely original Kursächsische distance column in Saxony, built in 1734, is also still on the original foundation at Bärensteiner Markt. Approx. 100 meters from the Markt is the product obtained from the ancient castle castle , which is privately owned. Many Bärenstein buildings and structures are listed.


On June 28, 1956, the Bärenstein city council decided to reclassify the districts at the Lauenstein and Hartmannmühle train stations to Lauenstein and Geising . The city of Bärenstein applied to the district council for the return of the districts at Lauenstein and Hartmannmühle stations that were reclassified in 1956. On March 1, 1994, Bärenstein and Lauenstein merged to form the "City of Bärenstein" with its administrative headquarters in Lauenstein. Hartmut Kohl was elected mayor.

On June 11, 1996, approval was given for the reclassification of the Lauenstein district to Geising. This reclassification was completed on August 1, 1996. On June 15, 1999, the joint agreement on the Altenberg - Bärenstein - Hermsdorf administrative community was signed .

Since January 1, 2004, Bärenstein has been a district of Altenberg.

Population development

Bärenstein, together with Frauenstein , Geising , Lauenstein and Liebstadt, form a group of towns in the Eastern Ore Mountains, which in the course of their history have shown only a comparatively modest increase in the number of inhabitants. Bärenstein itself was the smallest town in Saxony at the time of the merger with the village of Bärenstein. The reasons for the below-average population growth in a Saxon comparison include: a. To be seen in the relatively late traffic development, the natural conditions, the extensive lack of an own industrial base as a "mining successor economy" and the tightness of the urban network in the area.

Bärenstein village

  • 1449: 24 houses
  • 1474: 32 houses
  • 1530: 40 houses
  • 1548/52: 37 possessed men, 33 residents
  • 1748/64: 32 possessed men, 9 gardeners, 16 cottagers
  • 1834: 404 inhabitants
  • 1871: 489 inhabitants
  • 1890: 529 inhabitants
  • 1910: 504 inhabitants
  • 1925: 628 inhabitants
  • 1926: Unification of town and village to form the municipality of Bärenstein (1,300 inhabitants)

City of Bärenstein

  • 1530: 120 inhabitants
  • 1548/52: 49 possessed men, 43 residents
  • 1551: 298 inhabitants
  • 1748/64: 51 cottagers
  • 1815: 284 inhabitants
  • 1834: 449 inhabitants
  • 1871: 606 inhabitants
  • 1890: 586 inhabitants
  • 1910: 609 inhabitants
  • 1925: 672 inhabitants
  • 1926: Unification of town and village to form the municipality of Bärenstein (1,300 inhabitants)
  • 1939: 1,329 inhabitants
  • 1946: 1,693 inhabitants
  • 1957: 1,512 inhabitants
  • 1962: 1,477 inhabitants

Bärenstein district

  • 2006: 1,087 inhabitants
  • 2009: 1,005 inhabitants
  • 2010: 986 inhabitants
  • 2011: 977 inhabitants
  • 2014: 918 inhabitants
  • 2015: 900 inhabitants
  • 2017: 886 inhabitants
  • 2018: 900 inhabitants

Compilation according to the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin 1964, City of Bärenstein 2004, Zühlke 1966

Economy and Infrastructure

Development of the economy

  • 2000: Opening of the Schlossmühle industrial park

Established businesses

  • Herbrig & Co. GmbH - precision mechanics, manufacture of small turned parts, especially for the automotive industry and watch manufacturers in Glashütte, 113 employees (2011)
  • Wood processing and trading Martin Eberth, owner Marco Eberth
  • Interior construction, wood and metal processing Karl Naumann GmbH
  • Glass and building cleaning Mühle GmbH

Culture, leisure, education, social affairs


There is a small exhibition on Bärenstein's history in the church's former mansion box. In the village there is a memorial to local history researcher Arthur Klengel. In the station there is a museum about the history of the railway, which will be expanded and will also show historical rail vehicles. The inauguration of the new exhibition and vehicle hall (30 × 7 meters), for what is probably the only remaining "Altenberger Wagen", was on October 14, 2006. From this car, which was built in 1935/36 especially for the Müglitztalbahn and Dresden suburban traffic there were originally 96 pieces.


The 632 m high, densely wooded Sachsenhöhe above Bärenstein offers a beautiful view. A beautiful hiking route goes past the Sachsenhöhe to the Osterzgebirge Wildlife Park ( Geising ) and then towards Altenberg , to the Geisingberg . The Bielatal is easy to reach from the village and the racing sled and bobsled run in the Altenberg district of Hirschsprung . A bowling alley (two approved bowling alleys) is located near the sports field and the municipal swimming pool (which has been in use again for some time), directly in the garden area on Müglitztalstraße.

Regular events

In addition to spring and autumn tests, the Bärensteiner Hundesportverein hosts a breeding show and an open cup fight every year. The maypole is raised every year in May and the Christmas market takes place every year at the beginning of December.

Public and social institutions

  • Nursing home "pro civitate"


sons and daughters of the town

  • Hans Christoph von Bernstein (zu Borthen ) (born May 11, 1522 in Bärenstein, † January 4, 1580 in Borthen), councilor and court judge
  • Hans von Bernstein (* 1525 in Bärenstein; † April 17, 1589 in Dresden ), Privy Councilor and State Treasurer
  • Melchior Hoffmann (* around 1679 in Bärenstein; † October 6, 1715 in Leipzig), composer, organist, conductor
  • Albrecht Ernst Stellanus Graf von Holtzendorff (born January 16, 1792 in Bärenstein, † February 24, 1882 in Dresden ), Minister of War
  • Eugen Lothar von Lüttichau (zu Gamig and Meuscha ) (* 1822 in Bärenstein, † 1910 in Dresden), chamberlain , landowner
  • Arthur Klengel (born August 23, 1881 in Bärenstein, † May 31, 1954 in Meißen ), local history researcher
  • Johannes Hempel (born July 30, 1891 in Bärenstein; † December 9, 1964 in Göttingen), theologian and university professor


Disasters and calamities

  • Floods : In the past, the Müglitztal was repeatedly hit by catastrophic floods . In Bärenstein larger floods from the years 1609, 1618, 1679, 1694, 1897, 1927 , 1957, 2002 and 2013 have been handed down. The city itself was not affected due to its location far above the valley. More recently, damage has occurred to the train station in the valley.


  • The historical development in the Eastern Ore Mountains. In: Eastern Ore Mountains (= values ​​of the German homeland . Volume 10). 1st edition. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1966, pp. 187–193.
  • Karlheinz Blaschke : The urban system from the 12th to the 19th century. Supplement to map B II 6 of the atlas for the history and regional studies of Saxony. Edited by the Saxon Academy of Sciences and the State Surveying Office of Saxony. Leipzig, Dresden 2003.
  • German Academy of Sciences in Berlin (ed.): Between Müglitz and Weisseritz. Values ​​of the German homeland. Volume 8. Berlin 1964.
  • Karl-Hans Pollmer: Around the Geisingberg. From the church and home history of the Osterzgebirge. Berlin 1979.
  • Otto Eduard Schmidt : On the settlement history of the river areas of the Müglitz and the Gottleuba. In: Messages from the Saxon Homeland Security Association. Issue 9–12 / 1927. Dresden, pp. 367-378.
  • Rudolf Schumann : Manuscripts of the mining history of the Osterzgebirge. Edited by the Knappenverein Altenberg. Kleinvoigtsberg 2003.
  • Helmut Richter: 800 years of the village and rule of Bärenstein. A review. Bear Stone 2004.
  • Urban settlements in the eastern Ore Mountains. In: Eastern Ore Mountains (= values ​​of the German homeland . Volume 10). 1st edition. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1966, pp. 244-257.
  • Richard Steche : Bear stone. In:  Descriptive representation of the older architectural and art monuments of the Kingdom of Saxony. 2. Issue: Amtshauptmannschaft Dippoldiswalde . CC Meinhold, Dresden 1883, p. 5.

Web links

Commons : Bärenstein  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Notes and sources

  1. Numbers and facts on the website of the city of Altenberg
  2. cf. Martin Hammermüller: Lauenstein - Bärenstein - Glashütte. (= Our little traveling booklet. Volume 40). Leipzig 1961, p. 48.
  3. Federal Statistical Office (Ed.): Municipalities 1994 and their changes since 01.01.1948 in the new federal states. Metzler-Poeschel publishing house, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-8246-0321-7 .
  4. ^ StBA: Changes in the municipalities in Germany, see 1996
  5. Herbrig builds and hires in Bärenstein. In: Saxon newspaper. (Dippoldiswalde edition), September 8, 2011.
  6. Wood processing and trade Martin Eberth Altenberg / Bärenstein. Retrieved November 15, 2018 .
  7. ^ Entry in the Saxon biography