Hessian Lichtenau

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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Hessisch Lichtenau
Hessian Lichtenau
Map of Germany, position of the city of Hessisch Lichtenau highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 12 '  N , 9 ° 43'  E

Basic data
State : Hesse
Administrative region : kassel
County : Werra-Meißner district
Height : 387 m above sea level NHN
Area : 105.87 km 2
Residents: 12,431 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 117 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 37230-37235
Area code : 05602
License plate : ESW, WIZ
Community key : 06 6 36 006
City structure: Core city plus 12 districts

City administration address :
Landgrafenstrasse 52
37235 Hessisch Lichtenau
Website : www.hessisch-lichtenau.de
Mayor : Michael Heussner ( CDU )
Location of the city of Hessisch Lichtenau in the Werra-Meißner district
Werra-Meißner-Kreis Hessen Sontra Waldkappel Hessisch Lichtenau Gutsbezirk Kaufunger Wald Großalmerode Berkatal Meißner Neu-Eichenberg Witzenhausen Herleshausen Ringgau Wehretal Weißenborn Eschwege Wanfried Meinhard Bad Sooden-Allendorf Niedersachsen Thüringen Landkreis Hersfeld-Rotenburg Schwalm-Eder-Kreis Landkreis Kasselmap
About this picture

Hessisch Lichtenau is a small town in eastern northern Hesse in the Werra-Meißner district . In 2006 it was the venue for the 46th Hessentag .


Geographical location

Hessisch Lichtenau is located around 20 km (as the crow flies ) southeast of Kassel between the Hirschberg mountain up to 643.4  m above sea level. NHN high Kaufunger Wald in the north, the Hohe Meißner ( 753.6  m ) in the east, the Stölzinger Mountains with the iceberg ( 583  m ) in the southeast and the Günsteröder Höhe with the Himmelsberg ( 563.7  m ) in the southwest. The valley basin framed by these mountain ranges is called the Hessisch-Lichtenau Basin , which, like the core city of Hessisch Lichtenau, is traversed by the Losse and is part of the Frau-Holle-Land Geo-Nature Park.

Neighboring communities

City structure

View of the city center with the church

Local districts with a local advisory council have been set up for all parts of the city, including the core city . The Hirschhagen industrial area with mixed development has its own local advisory board but is not a separate district, but belongs to the core city.


The six settlements of Vortriden (main town), Siegershausen, Kamphis, Herzelshagen, Hönrode and Boppenhagen were originally located within the current city limits of Lichtenau. Between 1283 and 1289, at the instigation of the first Hessian Landgrave Heinrich I, a fortified square was created at the intersection of the old trade routes "Leipziger Straße" (connecting Thuringia and Hesse) and "Sälzerstraße" (Salzweg from Sooden to the south) These streets should also secure access to the state capital Kassel and relieve the border fortress Reichenbach .

The planned settlement "Lichtenowe" was first mentioned on March 25, 1289 as a "new city". From the start it had city ​​rights and its own jurisdiction. After the city was founded, the six surrounding settlements were abandoned by their residents and deserted; only the field names were retained. Lichtenau was secured next to a curtain wall with a ditch and a wall. With the relocation of the official seat from Reichenbach Castle to the city, Lichtenau became the capital of the Hessian office, now known as " Amt Lichtenau ". During the Thirty Years War , Lichtenau was conquered by Croats in 1637 and set on fire. 84 residential buildings including the town hall and all public and church buildings were destroyed. During the French occupation, Lichtenau was the capital of the canton of Lichtenau in the Eschwege district of the Kingdom of Westphalia between 1807 and 1813 .

1821 City and official Lichtenau were during the Hessian administrative reform the county Witzenhausen assigned. Since 1866 Hessen-Kassel, and with it Lichtenau, belonged to Prussia and from 1868 to the Prussian province of Hessen-Nassau . On August 3, 1889, the city of Lichtenau was given the name "Hessisch Lichtenau" by decree of the Royal Government of Cassel. The renaming from Lichtenau to Hessisch Lichtenau, in order to avoid confusion with the mail delivery, goes back to the initiative of the post office clerk Gustav Siegel .

Between 1936 and 1938 the Rothwesten air base was laid out and the " Hessisch Lichtenau explosives factory " was built in the Hirschhagen forest area . The armaments factory received a siding on the Walburg – Großalmerode railway line. The following large barracks were built for this purpose:

  • “Club house”: the current premises of the Heinrichstraße school
  • “Teichhof”: the site of today's orthopedic clinic
  • "Falkenhorst": today the Föhren settlement.

Fixed accommodations were created in

  • "Lager Herzog": now settlement west and
  • "Camp Waldhof": was removed from the urban area in 1950 and Eschenstruth was incorporated.

After the Second World War , the Allies arranged for the Hirschhagen plant to be dismantled. Most of the factories were blown up. Since 1946, Hessisch Lichtenau has belonged to the newly founded state of Hesse. In the war and post-war years, 340 evacuees and 1,450 displaced persons found a new home in the city. As part of the regional reform in Hesse , the city of Hessisch Lichtenau came to form the Werra-Meißner district on January 1, 1974 through the merger of the districts of Eschwege and Witzenhausen.


As part of the regional reform in Hesse, the previously independent communities of Retterode and Wickersrode were incorporated on December 31, 1971 . Reichenbach was added on April 1, 1972. Friedrichsbrück, Fürstenhagen, Hausen, Hollstein, Hopfelde, Küchen, Quentel, Velmeden and Walburg as well as parts of the neighboring town of Großalmerode, which had around 100 inhabitants at that time, followed on January 1, 1974 by state law.

Place name

The spelling of the place name changed in the course of time from Lichtenowe (1289) or Lybenowe (1297) to Lichtenau (1575). In 1889 the city was named Hessisch Lichtenau by decree of the Royal Government of Cassel (August 3rd). This countered the constant confusion with places of the same name (see Lichtenau ).


City Council

The local elections on March 6, 2016 produced the following results, compared to previous local elections:

Distribution of seats in the 2016 city council
A total of 37 seats
  • SPD : 15
  • G / L : 3
  • CDU : 11
  • FW : 3
  • Citizens : 5
Parties and constituencies %
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany 40.6 15th 47.4 18th 53.7 20th 51.6 19th
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany 29.2 11 30.7 11 31.6 12 29.3 11
GREEN Alliance 90 / The Greens - - 12.0 4th - - - -
FWG Free voter community Hessisch Lichtenau 9.6 3 10.0 4th 8.3 3 9.8 4th
Citizen List Citizen List 13.6 5 - - - - - -
Green / left Green / left 7.0 3 - - - - - -
FDP Free Democratic Party - - - - 2.0 1 3.2 1
ALH Alternative list heli - - - - 4.4 1 6.2 2
total 100.0 37 100.0 37 100.0 37 100.0 37
Voter turnout in% 54.9 49.1 47.4 53.8
The town hall


According to the Hessian municipal constitution, the mayor is chairman of the magistrate , which in the city of Hessisch Lichtenau includes seven honorary councilors in addition to the mayor . Michael Heussner (CDU) has been mayor since August 1, 2016. His predecessors were elected by the city parliament and from 1994 directly

  • 2000 to 2016 Jürgen Herwig (SPD)
  • 1988 to 2000 Adolf Winter (SPD)
  • 1976 to 1988 Ingo Geisler (CDU)

On March 6, 2016, at the same time as the local elections , a mayoral election took place because the incumbent Jürgen Herwig wanted to end his third term early. His successor Michael Heussner prevailed in a runoff election on March 20, 2016 with 55.8% of the vote.

Town twinning

Stone with coat of arms of Hessisch Lichtenau

Hessisch Lichtenau has been twinned with the Flemish city ​​of Dessel in Belgium since 1971 .

Culture and sights


Relatively little of the old townscape of Lichtenau has been preserved due to several major fires. The following damage was recorded:

  • 1521: most of the city,
  • 1523: 36 houses,
  • 1875: 52 buildings,
  • 1886: church and 54 buildings. The last major fire occurred in 1929.
Marktplatz church in Hessisch Lichtenau
Building complex of the Georg and Conrad Lenoir Brothers Foundation (former orphanages)

Historic buildings are:

  • in Landgrafenstraße: Gothic Protestant parish church from the 14th century and the town hall from 1656 with the town's landmark on the gable,
  • on Friedrichsbrücker Strasse: Marienkapelle (1370–1410, repaired in 1889, renovated again in 1981) and
  • in Burgstrasse: Junkerhof, the former castle seat of the Lords of Meisenbug,
  • in the Fürstenhagen district : building complex of the Lenoir Foundation (former orphanages ), Pestalozzi memorial, mausoleum of the Lenoir family, located on a hill by a pond (architect: Julius Eubell; built 1903); Donated in 1893 by George André Lenoir (1825–1909), son of JH Lenoir and honorary citizen of Kassel. The neighboring farm Teichhof originally belonged to the Lenoir Foundation.
  • in the district of Reichenbach : Church of the Deutschordensballei Hessen , formerly the monastery church Reichenbach , the oldest branch of the Teutonic Order in Germany. West of Reichenbach is the ruin of Reichenbach Castle at 522  m above sea level. NHN high Schlossberg .

Natural monuments


Hessisch Lichtenau is the gateway to the Frau-Holle-Land on the German Fairy Tale Route . So there is the Holleum here .

Frau Holle monument in the Frau Holle Park in Hessisch Lichtenau


Since 1968 the community center has been the cultural and social center of Hessisch Lichtenau. The indoor swimming pool was built in 1975.

Economy and Infrastructure


Despite the harsh climate, agriculture was the main source of income for the Lichtenau residents for centuries. Special privileges, such as markets and the monopoly for craft businesses in the courts of Lichtenau and Reichenbach, brought the city a certain level of prosperity. Linen weaving was of great economic importance and has been traceable since the 16th century and reached its peak in the 18th to the middle of the 19th century. At that time there were two trading houses that exported linen mainly to the West Indies. Due to the industrialization that started in the 19th century, this once so important branch of business came to a standstill. It was not until the lignite mining started in 1862 (ceased in 1967/68 civil engineering / open-cast mining) and the commissioning of a cigar factory (1868 to 1933) that the city experienced an upswing again. In the second half of the 19th century, construction began outside the old town center. The decisive economic upswing came in 1907 with the establishment of the heavy weaving mill Fröhlich & Wolff.


Rail transport

With the opening of the Kassel – Waldkappeler Railway (Lossetalbahn) in 1879, Lichtenau was connected to the railway. On June 1, 1985, local passenger transport was discontinued. Freight traffic to Walburg was maintained until December 31, 2002; then the section between Hessisch Lichtenau (kilometer 35.0) and Walburg was shut down, as was the previous section to Waldkappel. Since January 29, 2006, the Kassel tram has been running on the reactivated route to Hessisch Lichtenau. Until July 6, 2007, the RegioTram line 2 also ran on the route.

The tram line 4 in the direction of Druseltal has been running on the Lossetalbahn directly to Kassel City since January 29, 2006 and runs every 30 minutes on weekdays, every 15 minutes from Monday to Friday and every hour on the weekend. In some places, however, the tram route deviates from the original route. In Hessisch Lichtenau it leaves the railway line, crosses it by means of an underpass and ends in a turning loop on a meadow near the city center.

Road traffic

Wehretalbrücke (view from the southeast) of the A44 near Walburg

Hessisch Lichtenau is on the B 7 , in the east of the city between the junctions Hessisch Lichtenau-West and Hessisch Lichtenau-Ost (Walburg) there is a few kilometers long section of the BAB 44 with the Wehretal bridge ( 530 m long) and the Walberg tunnel (approx . 280 m long), the extension sections to Kassel and Wommen are in various construction and planning phases.

Bus transport

Since August 2015, Hessisch Lichtenau has been served daily on the L082 (Düsseldorf-Prague) line operated by the private long-distance bus operator Flixbus .

Air traffic

In the years 1936 to 1938 an airfield was laid out in an easterly direction as an external landing field for the Rothwesten air base . In 1962, the Blücher barracks was built on the disused airfield. The LAU radio beacon was located in the vicinity of the Fürstenhagen district until April 18, 2007 . World icon


In 1895/96 a school was built on Landgrafenstrasse. In several construction phases between 1950 and 1964, a modern school complex with a gym was built between Heinrich- and Hopfelder Straße. In 1960 the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Schule (grammar school), founded in 1946 as a private secondary school, was able to move into the new building on Bergstrasse, followed by the games and sports hall in 1965 and further buildings for the comprehensive school in 1971 and 1978.

There are currently three primary schools in the municipality:

  • Elementary school Hessisch Lichtenau
  • Fürstenhagen primary school
  • Meißnerlandschule Walburg.

The only secondary school in the community is the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Schule in the city of Hessisch Lichtenau, a comprehensive school with upper secondary level. The FvSS has a distinctive all-day offer.


There is an orthopedic clinic in Hessisch Lichtenau. The clinic and rehabilitation center "Lichtenau" was built from 1949 on the grounds of the Teichhof camp. The clinic had its own stopping point until the suspension of passenger traffic on the Lossetalbahn in 1985.


From 1960 to 1962 a garrison for the German armed forces was built on the former airfield, which made Hessisch Lichtenau a garrison town in 1962. As part of the restructuring of the Bundeswehr ( transformation ), the Blücher barracks was closed in 2006. Before it was closed, the barracks was home to the Bundeswehr's youngest battalion, the 2nd Panzer Artillery Battalion .


Sons and daughters of the town:


  • Erich Hildebrand (edit.): Land to Werra and Meißner - A home book . Bing-Verlag, Korbach 1983, with essays by 40 authors, 384 p., Very numerous. Fig.
  • Udo Bernhardt / Dagmar Kluthe: People between Werra and Meißner , [large format picture and text volume, 110 p.] Eschwege 1997
  • Karl Kollmann : Frau Holle and the Meißnerland - On the trail of a myth . 2nd ext. Ed., Eschwege 2007, 156 pp.
  • Thomas F. Klein: Hessisch Lichtenau - Ms. Holle lives deep in the Hohe Meißner . [with a small map of the "Hohen Meißner"] In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , August 9, 2013, No. 183, Frankfurt am Main 2013, p. 56.
  • Hessian Lichtenau. Hessian city atlas. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).

Web links

Commons : Hessisch Lichtenau  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hessian State Statistical Office: Population status on December 31, 2019 (districts and urban districts as well as municipalities, population figures based on the 2011 census) ( help ).
  2. ^ Section 6 of the main statutes of Hessisch Lichtenau
  3. ^ History of the city of Hessisch Lichtenau
  4. ^ Hans Gold: Gustav Siegel put the Hessian before Lichtenau . In: Hessisch Niedersächsische Allgemeine , April 1, 2014.
  5. a b Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality register for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 410 .
  6. Law on the reorganization of the districts of Eschwege and Witzenhausen (GVBl. II 330-21) of September 28, 1973 . In: The Hessian Minister of the Interior (ed.): Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Hesse . 1973 No. 25 , p. 353 , § 8 ( online at the information system of the Hessian state parliament [PDF; 2,3 MB ]).
  7. Hessisch Lichtenau, Werra-Meißner district. Historical local dictionary for Hesse (as of April 10, 2014). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS). Hessian State Office for Historical Cultural Studies (HLGL), accessed on July 11, 2014 .
  8. ^ History of the city of Hessisch Lichtenau
  9. ^ Result of the municipal election on March 6, 2016. Hessian State Statistical Office, accessed in April 2016 .
  10. ^ Hessian State Statistical Office: Result of the municipal elections on March 27, 2011
  11. ^ Hessian State Statistical Office: Result of the municipal elections on March 26, 2006
  12. ^ Hessian State Statistical Office: direct elections in Hessisch Lichtenau
  13. ^ Hessisch Lichtenau: Beginning of the mayor's term of office , accessed on August 6, 2016.
  14. HNA Regiowiki: "Evangelical Parish Church Hessisch Lichtenau"
  15. http://www.hessisch-lichtenau.de/kultur-tourismus/holleum.html