Herpf (Werra)

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The Seebaer See

The Seebaer See

Water code EN : 4134
location Thuringia , Germany
River system Weser
Drain over Werra  → Weser  → North Sea
source In Erbenhausen, local Schafhausen
50 ° 34 '14 "  N , 10 ° 10' 7"  O
Source height approx.  470  m above sea level NN 
muzzle At Walldorf coordinates: 50 ° 36 '28 "  N , 10 ° 24' 1"  E 50 ° 36 '28 "  N , 10 ° 24' 1"  E
Mouth height 278  m above sea level NN 
Height difference approx. 192 m
Bottom slope approx. 8.8 ‰
length 21.7 km
Catchment area 95.3 km²
Left tributaries Weißbach, Hörbach, Bach von Stepfershausen
Right tributaries Lüderbach, Sommerbach, Augraben, Rössebach, Stedtlingsbach
Medium-sized cities Meiningen (OT Herpf and Walldorf )
Communities Schafhausen , Rhönblick (districts Gerthausen , Wohlmuthausen , Helmershausen , Bettenhausen ), Rippershausen (OT Melkers )

The Herpf is a 22 km long orographically left tributary of the Werra in Thuringia in Germany .


The Herpf rises in a meadow on the southern edge of the municipality of Erbenhausen , district of Schafhausen . It flows in an east- south- east direction via Gerthausen , passes Wohlmuthausen to the south and finally Helmershausen and Bettenhausen , until it changes direction to the northeast.

Past Herpf and Melkers , it finally reaches Walldorf , where it flows into the Werra from the left .

The valley of the Herpf clearly forms a space divider between the 751 m high Gebaberg massif (together with the western summit of Diesburg ) in the north and the southern peaks, of which the 639 m high cone of the Hutsberg protrudes.


The Herpf source stream takes on numerous other sources and streams on the eastern edge of the Thuringian Rhön. The Weißbach coming from the north has a larger catchment area than the Herpf itself until then (8.3 vs. 6.1 km²) and is also significantly longer. The Seebaer See was originally also drained from the Herpf , the runoff is still clearly visible in the area, today this connection is interrupted. The confluence with the Werra is within sight of Landsberg Castle .

To be mentioned are in particular:

  • Weißbach (" Bach von Aschenhausen ", DGKZ 41342, from the left, 4.4 km long) - rises in Aschenhausen , northwest of the Diesburg, which flows around in a south-westerly direction until the brook flows into Gerthausen .
  • Hörbach (DGKZ 41344, left, 3.7 km) - rises in the saddle between Diesburg and Gebaberg and flows into Helmershausen
  • Stedtlingsbach (DGKZ 41346, right, 3.3 km) - rises east of the Neuberg and flows northeast of the double cone from Neuberg and Hutsberg in Bettenhausen
  • Bach von Stepfershausen (DGKZ 41348, left, 3.5 km) - rises southwest of Stepfershausen , runs in the lower reaches to the confluence in Herpf parallel to state road 1124.


The Meiningen district of Herpf is named after the Herpf flowing through there.


In Lower Saxony, Westphalia, on the Lower Rhine, in the Netherlands, as well as in Belgium and northeastern France, there is a whole series of names that were formed using the appellative hair "extensive heath areas". According to Wolfgang Haubrichs , afrk. * haru or umgelautet * heri "sandy mountain ridge" is a typical northern word (according to Pitz / Schorr 2003, p. 94, "northern words" are to be understood as lexemes that are in a geographical context with Dutch, Ripuarian, Lower Franconian and Low German stand ") and as such to be associated with the Franks of the early Middle Ages. From prev. * Heri- apa . "Bach in sandy area" Herifa / Herphe and NHG Herpf was a ahd. The mda really developed into this. [haͬbf]. (Incidentally, the Herpfer field names Gries, Heidig and Sand also testify to the frequency of sandy soils in the Herpf valley.) Since the basic word of the brook name Herpf, Germanic * apa "water, brook", can be found in many water bodies in the above-mentioned area and from Dittmaier when it was addressed as Franconian, it is quite possible to see a creation of Franconian settlers in our water body name, who took root here from the Mainland in the 1st half of the 7th century. Meaningful archaeological finds from the 1st half of the 7th century. were discovered a few decades ago near Kaltensundheim and Kaltenwestheim. The same applies to Ostheim and its surroundings. In this context it should not be uninteresting that there is a second brook whose name can be explained in the same way as that of the Herpf, today's Herfa (left for Werra near Heringen). In the Friedewald area, the important east-west connection of the short Hesse ran in its catchment area .

Economic history

Numerous mills were operated with the water of the Herpf as early as the High Middle Ages , for this purpose a branched network of mill ditches was created. Yet are Weyher mill , Red Mill , Karst Mill and Upper Mill .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Topographic map 1: 25,000
  2. a b c Length measurement via geoppath (kmz, 12 kB) results in 21.7 km for the Herpf, 4.4 for the Weißbach, 3.7 for the Hörbach, 3.3 for the Stedtlingsbach and 3.5 for the creek Stepfershausen.
  3. a b c Thuringian State Institute for the Environment (ed.): Area and waterway key figures (directory and map). Jena 1998. 26 pp.
  4. ^ Greule, Albrecht: Etymological studies on geographical names in Europe. Regensburg studies on name research. Vol. 2. Regensburg: edition vulpes 2007; P. 92.
  5. Pitz, Martina; Schorr, Andreas: Pre-Germanic and 'Franconian' toponyms. In: Taayke, E. ea (Ed.): Essays on the Early Franks. Groningen: Barkhuis & Groningen University Library 2003. pp. 62-110.
  6. ^ Haubrichs, Wolfgang: Franconian loan words, place names and personal names in the northeast of Gallia. In: Geuenich, Dieter (Hrsg.): The Franks and the Alemanni up to the Battle of Zülpich (496/97). (= Supplementary volumes to the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Vol. 19) Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter 1998. pp. 102–129, especially p. 120.
  7. Dittmaier, Heinrich: The Apa problem. Investigation of a western European river name type. Louvain (Belgium): International Center of Onomastics 1955; Pp. 80-82.
  8. Fuchs, Achim: 'North words' in southern Thuringia? Considerations for two types of field names that are rare in southern Thuringia. In: Meineke, Eckhard; Tiefenbach, Heinrich (Ed.): Microtoponyms. Jena Symposium October 1 and 2, 2009. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2011. pp. 55–73.