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

Coordinates: 51 ° 0 ′  N , 8 ° 7 ′  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Arnsberg
Circle : Siegen-Wittgenstein
Height : 360 m above sea level NHN
Area : 81.12 km 2
Residents: 14,801 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 182 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 57271
Area code : 02733
License plate : SI, BLB
Community key : 05 9 70 020
City structure: 12 districts

City administration address :
Markt 13
57271 Hilchenbach
Website : www.hilchenbach.de
Mayor : Holger Menzel ( independent )
Location of the city of Hilchenbach in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district
Rheinland-Pfalz Hessen Hochsauerlandkreis Kreis Olpe Bad Berleburg Bad Laasphe Burbach (Siegerland) Erndtebrück Freudenberg (Siegerland) Hilchenbach Kreuztal Netphen Neunkirchen (Siegerland) Siegen Wilnsdorfmap
About this picture

Hilchenbach is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany . It belongs to the Siegen-Wittgenstein district .


Geographical location

Hilchenbacher districts
Demolition of the Hilchenbach patch in 1772 (detail)
Half-timbered houses in Hilchenbach

Hilchenbach lies within the Siegerland in the southwest part of the Rothaargebirge . Its urban area borders on Netphen in the south, Kreuztal in the west, Kirchhundem in the north and Erndtebrück in the east .

The largest river in the city is the Ferndorfbach , a tributary of the Sieg . The average height of the urban area is 427  m above sea level. NN , with 677.7  m above sea level. NN the mountain Riemen forms the highest point in the city area and in the Siegerland.

City structure

Hilchenbach consists of these districts :


The first documented mention of Hilchenbach goes back to June 17, 1292, when the place "Heylichinbach" is mentioned in a deed of donation from Countess Agnes von Nassau and her eldest son Heinrich to the Keppel monastery . However, there is evidence that a church in this area was founded between the years 950 and 1000 from the Corvey Monastery , which suggests a settlement.

In a document dated July 20, 1365, a permanent house ( Wilhelmsburg ) in Hilchenbach is mentioned, with which the nobles Wischel von Langenau were enfeoffed from 1489 to 1622 .

In 1466 Hilchenbach had 47 houses and around 300 residents. The first written mention of the Hilchenbach office and court dates from 1467. This included the following settlements: Hilchenbach, Lützel, Oberndorf, Hadem, Helberhausen, Grund, Vor dem Wald, Watzenseifen, Alte Bruch, Siebelnhof, Hickebruch, Schreiberg, Sterzenbach, Haarhausen, Stöcken, Allenbach, Ginsburg Castle, Hof Wehbach, Müsen, Dahlbruch , Schweisfurth and Winterbach.

In the years 1490 and 1547 the plague raged in Hilchenbach. A customs office in Hilchenbach was first mentioned in 1533. In 1611, the first documentary mention of a school in Hilchenbach was recorded.

In 1625 the village of Hilchenbach was raised to the residence of Count Wilhelm von Nassau-Siegen-Hilchenbach as a result of an inheritance division . For this purpose, his father had acquired the Hilchenbacher Wasserburg from the Wischel von Langenau in 1622, as the Ginsburg had proven to be dilapidated. It has now been renamed Wilhelmsburg after its new owner and expanded structurally until 1627. This development subsequently raised Hilchenbach clearly above the other villages in its vicinity and also shaped the composition of its residents.

Hilchenbach was persecuted by witches from 1520 to 1653 : 21 women and men got into witch trials . The last witch trial took place in 1653. In this, chaired by the mayor 18 people (14 women and four men) sentenced to death for idolatry and witchcraft Theobald Stalp. Then ten were burned, while the rest were only beheaded and buried on earth because they amicably admitted their guilt. The victim of the last cremation on June 28, 1653 was Engen, Jacob Steinseifers zu Blittershagen, widow, commonly known as the Steinseifersche or the Klöncksche. The council of the city of Hilchenbach decided on May 25th, 2011 to rehabilitate the victims of the Hilchenbach witch persecution in a moral and socio-ethical way.

After Count Wilhelm's death in 1642, the office fell to his brother, the famous Count Johann Moritz , the "Brazilian", who bequeathed it to his nephew, Count Wilhelm Moritz von Nassau-Siegen . He began to set up a summer residence in Hilchenbach in 1682, and in this context the village was elevated to a town on May 1, 1687 . With the great fire on May 1, 1689, which cremated Wilhelmsburg and almost the entire settlement, and the Count's death in 1691, Hilchenbach's close ties with the courtly world were largely broken off. The palace, which was only partially rebuilt after the fire, subsequently became an official residence.

On May 24, 1824, the town was granted city rights . In a major fire on April 26, 1844, 42 buildings in Hilchenbach were destroyed by fire. In December 2016, a fire broke out in the traditional Deutsches Hof, which severely destroyed the well-preserved, listed half-timbered complex. The cause of the fire remained unclear, adverse circumstances prevented the fire brigade from deploying quickly and effectively. The remaining half-timbered front and other parts of the building were torn down after approval by the building department. Shortly after the decision, plans for the new building were presented.

Hilchenbach has been a climatic health resort again since 2018 , after initially being unable to meet the criteria of the Health Resort Act since 1972. The main reason for this was the leather factories that were producing in the city center until 1989.


On January 1, 1969, the Keppel Office (Hilchenbach Office until 1917) was dissolved and the associated communities Allenbach, Dahlbruch, Grund, Hadem, Helberhausen, Lützel, Müsen, Oberndorf, Öchelhausen, Ruckersfeld and Vormwald merged into the new town of Hilchenbach as part of the regional reform .

Population development

(As of December 31, residents with main residence.)

Source: State database NRW, accessed on April 2, 2017


Local election 2014
Turnout: 53.99% (2009: 57.1%)
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p
+ 9.37  % p.p.
-5.69  % p
-0.65  % p
-1.77  % p.p.
-2.92  % p
+1.76  % p

City Council

The 40 seats (up to 2014 38 seats) of the Hilchenbach City Council are distributed as follows after the last three local elections on May 25, 2014 , August 30, 2009 and September 26, 2004 :

SPD UWG CDU GREEN FDP Individual applicants total
2014 15th 8th 8th 5 3 1 40
2009 11 10 8th 5 4th 0 38
2004 10 11 8th 5 4th 0 38

The SPD parliamentary group has lost two seats during the current electoral term by leaving the parliamentary group. The two former SPD city councilors have come together to form a new parliamentary group called parliamentary group 2.0 and will join Die Linke on January 1, 2018 .


Mayor is Holger Menzel (independent). He succeeds Hans-Peter Hasenstab, who has been in office since 2004 (also independent), who was confirmed in office on August 30, 2009 with 78.82% against challenger Hans-Georg Ballbach (CDU).

Former mayor

  • Six years between 1952 and 1964: Moritz Weiss († September 16, 1992)
  • 1980s (re-election for third term on October 17, 1989): Paul Roth (SPD)

coat of arms

The coat of arms shows a yellow or gold wolf in a blue shield and was last approved in this form on April 13, 1970.

The heraldic animal refers to a striding wolf, which is present in the surviving jury seals of Hilchenbach with the inscription: S. (= seal) of the scheffen von Helchenbach on documents dated October 6, 1477 and November 17, 1485.

Town twinning

Culture and sights


Alt-Hilchenbach is the seat of the symphony orchestra Philharmonie Südwestfalen , which was founded in 1957 as the "Siegerland Orchestra" (and German youth orchestra). Its subtitle is called the State Orchestra of North Rhine-Westphalia. Charles Olivieri Munroe is currently the chief conductor. There are also various music clubs, marching bands and choirs.


The “Gebrüder Busch Theater” is located in the Dahlbruch district and is also used as a “Viktoriakino” by a private provider. This is also where the 6010 film and video festival takes place. The work of the Siegerland-Wittgenstein artist family Busch is given special recognition by the “Gebrüder Busch Kreis”.


  • In the city museum in Wilhelmsburg you can find out about local history and in changing exhibitions on historical, cultural or artistic topics in connection with Hilchenbach.
  • In the mining museum in Müsen, the finds from the Altenberg excavation area and the centuries-old mining tradition in the Müsen district are exhibited. There is also a visitor gallery.
  • In the Agricultural Museum in Hadem, the visitor has an insight into old Siegerland agricultural processes as well as into the hard life in the times of great grandma (18th century). You can admire a farmer's kitchen and various milk processing equipment here. Every year there is the "great threshing festival".
  • In the boarding school museum Stift Keppel you can see the life situation of the canon teachers in the period around 1900. Various rooms have been furnished true to the original.

Buildings and sights

Ruins of the Ginsburg above Hilchenbach-Grund
Keppel Abbey: View of the coat of arms hall with the Bridge of Sighs to the abbey wing, the New House and the collegiate church
St. Vitus Church


The Ginsburg , located high above the Grund district, was mentioned in 1255 as a Nassau border fortification. The castle gained historical importance in 1568 when William I worked out plans for the liberation of the Netherlands at the castle and made the final preparations for the campaign there.

The Ginsburger Heide was the gathering point of the third army group under Count Ludwig von Nassau , which made Ginsburg and thus Hilchenbach a starting point for the Dutch struggle for freedom in the Eighty Years' War . Today only the keep of the castle remains after it was rebuilt in the 1960s, the rest of the complex is in ruins. According to publications by the “Ginsburg Association”, the keep is now almost half its original height.


The Gillerturm is a lookout tower built in 1892 on the Giller mountain , from which there is a view of, among other things, the Rothaargebirge and Siegerland .

Historic market place

The Hilchenbacher Markt is located in the center of the city. Many events, such as folk festivals, fairgrounds and more take place here. The expanse of the square, which is unusual for Siegerland standards, is characterized by handsome farm bourgeois houses, half-timbered houses and the exposed Evangelical Church. In the gable of the Sparkasse building there is a carillon which sounds with familiar melodies at fixed times.

The painter Lothar Grisebach provided an artistic view of the market square with his watercolor Marktplatz Hilchenbach , on which many well-known Hilchenbach personalities are depicted, including the former city director Hans Christhard Mahrenholz .

Keppel monastery

The former Premonstratensian monastery Keppel is one of the most important baroque gems of the Siegerland: Particularly worth seeing are the Romanesque-Gothic monastery church with its baroque interior, the new house , the convent hall and the small monastery museum .

The Keppel Monastery was founded by Friedrich vom Hain before 1239 and was under the protectorate of the Counts and Princely House of Nassau-Orange , later under that of the Prussian royal family . After the Reformation, in 1547, Keppel became an aristocratic women's monastery with a girls' school, later an upper lyceum and a seminary for teachers. Today Keppel Abbey is a grammar school with a conference and guest house and a small museum. Until secularization, the monastery was subject to changing denominational superiors . Until around 1912 there were separate farm buildings (e.g. the so-called Stiftsökonomie, one of the mightiest half-timbered buildings in Siegerland) with a Protestant and a Catholic part.

In Hilchenbach - at a different location - the teachers' seminar, built according to designs by the Berlin architect Gustav Knoblauch , was located since 1867 and existed until after the First World War . The seminar building was later used to house the Jung-Stilling-Gymnasium and, after its closure in 2008, the Carl-Krämer-Realschule. Thus Hilchenbach is next to Siegen the city in the Siegerland with the longest tradition in education.

Breitenbach dam

The Breitenbachtalsperre is located between the districts of Dahlbruch and Allenbach , which with its reservoir serves to supply the Siegerland with water. There are numerous opportunities for hiking here.

Hilchenbach wind farm

In Hilchenbach there is a wind farm consisting of five Enercon E-82 wind turbines. Each of the wind turbines used has an output of 2 MW and a hub height of 138 meters. The wind turbines of the Hilchenbach wind farm were built in 2007/2008 and are the first Enercon E-82 wind turbines with a hub height of 138 meters. They were financed as a "community wind farm" by the shareholders of RothaarWind GmbH and Co. KG. In addition to the city of Hilchenbach, these are 87 private individuals from Hilchenbach and the surrounding area. To compensate for the 1.5 hectare area that had to be cleared for construction, 5 hectares of spruce forest were enriched with beeches.

Natural monuments


The remains of a settlement from the 13th century are located on Altenberg, between the Müsen district and the Littfeld district of Kreuztal . A circular hiking trail leads through this former mining settlement. Finds are exhibited in the mining museum in Müsen.

The oldest known mining company in the entire Siegerland was located on Altenberg; lead and silver ores have been mined there since the 13th century. Because of their outstanding importance in the documentation of mining history, a large number of the finds from Altenberg were included in the German Mining Museum in Bochum . There the visitor is shown the life situation of medieval miners around a complete shaft extension using the Müsen finds .

Regular events

  • KulturPur - international tent theater festival at Whitsun on Mount Giller near the Lützel district
  • Gillerbergturnfest - The mountain sports festival on the Giller, which has been held annually since 1907, is the largest in Germany with more than 2000 participants.



  • Evangelical parish Hilchenbach
  • Catholic parish of St. Augustinus Keppel in Dahlbruch
  • Evangelical parish of Müsen


  • Wat Doi Suthep - Thai temple

Economy and Infrastructure


Hilchenbach station

The main traffic connection is in an east-west direction via the B 508 and the Kreuztal – Cölbe railway in the direction of Kreuztal and Erndtebrück, on the Hilchenbach with the stations Dahlbruch , Hillnhütten , Stift Keppel-Allenbach , Hilchenbach , Vormwald Dorf , Vormwald and Lützel lies.

The Verkehrsgemeinschaft Westfalen-Süd connects the city with the neighboring towns with bus lines . Hilchenbach can also be reached via Siegerland Airport , located in the south of the district .

Established businesses

Neurological specialist clinic

There is a neurological specialist clinic in the village. Neuropsychology, psychotherapy, speech therapy / speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, music and art therapy, nursing therapy, social counseling and nutritional and diet advice are offered.

In the Dahlbruch district, SMS Siemag AG is one of the largest employers in the region. In addition, the BKK of Siemag, one of the oldest health insurance companies in Germany, is located in the company's buildings .

Disaster and civil protection

fire Department

The voluntary fire brigade of the city of Hilchenbach is divided into five fire engines that are responsible for individual parts of the city.

German Red Cross

The DRK Ortsverein Hilchenbach eV offers a variety of leisure activities for young and old. There are offers for many different population groups, from women's clubs to emergency services to the Red Cross Youth . There are currently 50 active volunteers between the ages of 17 and 65 and around 550 passive members. The chairman is Friedhelm Plate. The DRK emergency service consists of a rapid deployment group ( SEG ) that supports the fire brigade in the event of a fire , and Hilchenbach, together with the local associations from Freudenberg and Kreuztal, forms the fourth operational unit that is involved in major incidents ( MANV ) such as a bus accident, are used. An ambulance , a medical team , an emergency patient , a team transport, a 4-stretcher ambulance and a transporter are available as operational equipment. In 2008 the DRK moved into its new DRK social center in Ruinser Weg 2. This means that the social station, operational equipment and training rooms are housed in one building complex for the first time.


Honorary citizen

sons and daughters of the town

Jung-Stilling Monument

Other personalities with a connection to the city


  • Wolfgang Bell, Klaas Kort: Ruins - Hilchenbach. 25 years. 1965–1990 , ruins 1992.
  • Gerhard Bensberg: Significant in Hilchenbach , Hilchenbach 2005 (self-published).
  • Gerhard Bensberg: Famous Personalities in Hilchenbach , Hilchenbach 2002 (self-published).
  • Wilfried Ehbrecht: Westphalian city atlas. Buer (Gelsenkirchen), Freckenhorst, Hilchenbach, Höxter and Corvey, Ottenstein , Volume 9, 2006, ISBN 3-89115-180-2 .
  • Rainer S. Elkar : 300 years of Hilchenbach town rights 1687–1987 , Hilchenbach 1987.
  • Rainer S. Elkar: People-Houses-Fates. Hilchenbach between monarchy, dictatorship and republic , Kreuztal 1992, ISBN 3-925498-41-9 .
  • Reinhard Gämlich: History of the Wilhelmsburg. Hilchenbach Castle , Hilchenbach 2003.
  • Manfred Lusznat [et al.]: The mining settlement Altenberg , Ed .: Verein Altenberg eV, Hilchenbach 1979.
  • Wolfgang Leyener (ed.): 300 years of Hilchenbach town rights. 1687-1987 , Hilchenbach 1987.
  • Hans Christhard Mahrenholz: The series archive images. Hilchenbach , Erfurt 2005, ISBN 3-89702-825-5 .
  • Georg Sallen (ed.): Living and learning in Hilchenbach. 75 years of the Jung-Stilling-Gymnasium Hilchenbach. 1922–1997 , Hilchenbach 1997.
  • Gerold Schmidt: The Claus / Klaus family from Helberhausen in Siegerland, Sauerland and Münster (Westphalia). Lineage, descendants and ancestors , in: German Family Archives, Volume 82, Neustadt (Aisch) 1983, pp. 199–261.
  • Burkhard Wagner: Stories and reports to remember. On the occasion of the closure of the Wilhelm von Oranien secondary school in Hilchenbach. 1968–2006 , Hilchenbach 2006.

Web links

Commons : Hilchenbach  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Hilchenbach  - travel guide

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. Siegen Document Book Volume I, Siegen , 1887, p. 39, no. 63.
  3. ^ Menn, Walter: Hilchenbach, a historical overview. Festschrift for the 250th anniversary of the city. Hilchenbach 1937, here p. 24ff.
  4. Hilchenbach City Council template No. 252
  5. ^ Siegerländer Heimatkalender 1990, p. 14, 65th edition, Ed. Siegerländer Heimat- und Geschichtsverein eV, Verlag für Heimatliteratur.
  6. Stefan Meinhardt: Hilchenbach is finally a climatic health resort again after 36 years . ( wp.de [accessed on August 18, 2018]).
  7. Martin Bünermann: The communities of the first reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1970, p. 70 .
  8. Landesdatenbank NRW , accessed on April 2, 2017
  9. http://wahlen.kdvz-frechen.de/kdz/kwew2014/05970020/index.htm
  10. Menzel replaces Hasenstab as Mayor of Hilchenbach on derwesten.de, accessed on November 1, 2015
  11. ↑ Honoring the dead, Siegerländer Heimatkalender 1993, p. 39, 68th edition, published by Siegerländer Heimat- und Geschichtsverein eV, Verlag für Heimatliteratur.
  12. ^ Siegerländer Chronik from September 1, 1989 to August 31, 1990, Siegerländer Heimatkalender 1991, p. 174, 66th edition, published by Siegerländer Heimat- und Geschichtsverein eV, Verlag für Heimatliteratur.
  13. ^ Scrolled back ..., Siegener Zeitung, May 28, 2011.
  14. ^ Hilchenbach: City Museum / Hilchenbach. Accessed November 12, 2018 (German).
  15. ^ Hilchenbach: Boarding School Museum / Hilchenbach. Accessed November 12, 2018 (German).
  16. ^ Gustav Knoblauch, Royal School Teacher Seminar Hilchenbach. In: Architekturmuseum TU Berlin. Retrieved April 22, 2020 .
  17. RothaarWind GmbH & Co. KG - Village is energy (smart). Retrieved November 12, 2018 .
  18. ^ Andreas Rossmann : Schachtschätze. Traces of early mining discovered in Siegerland . In: In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of August 18, 2014, p. 9.
  19. ^ Hilchenbach fire-fighting train: Main page. Retrieved September 8, 2017 .
  20. Siegener Zeitung print edition January 31, 2015
  21. Friedrich Anton Sapp - Honorary Citizen ( Memento of the original dated February 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on hilchenbach.de, accessed on February 2, 2015  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.hilchenbach.de