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

Coordinates: 51 ° 23 '  N , 7 ° 42'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Arnsberg
Circle : Märkischer Kreis
Height : 247 m above sea level NHN
Area : 125.49 km 2
Residents: 92,174 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 734 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 58636-58644
Primaries : 02371, 02374 , 02304 , 02352 , 02378Template: Infobox municipality in Germany / maintenance / area code contains text
License plate : MK
Community key : 05 9 62 024
City structure: 5 boroughs

City administration address :
Schillerplatz 7
58636 Iserlohn
Website :
Mayor : vacant
Location of the city of Iserlohn in the Märkisches Kreis
Dortmund Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis Hagen Hochsauerlandkreis Kreis Olpe Kreis Soest Kreis Unna Oberbergischer Kreis Altena Balve Halver Hemer Herscheid Iserlohn Kierspe Lüdenscheid Meinerzhagen Menden (Sauerland) Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde Neuenrade Plettenberg Schalksmühle Werdohlmap
About this picture

Iserlohn ( Westphalian Iserlaun, Iserliaun , from Middle Low German îse (r) n-lô (ch) "Eisenwald") is a large city in the Märkisches Kreis ( administrative district Arnsberg ) in North Rhine-Westphalia and with around 93,000 inhabitants the largest city in the Märkisches Kreis and the Sauerland . It belongs to the European Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region and is classified as a medium-sized center .

The first traces of settlement in the urban area are over 1000 years old; the city was founded around 770 years ago. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Iserlohn experienced an economic boom thanks to the metal industry and was the second largest city in Westphalia (after Münster) for decades . Today the economy is characterized by chemical and medical production and services in addition to metal processing.

Iserlohn has gained fame through the Iserlohn Roosters ice hockey club , the Dechenhöhle and the beer from the Iserlohn private brewery . The city is a university location and hosts the Campus Symposium , an international business conference organized by students . Because of the large forest areas in the city, Iserlohn is nicknamed "Forest City".


View over Iserlohn


Iserlohn is located in South Westphalia in the south-eastern edge of the Ruhr area , east of Hagen . The urban area is part of the Sauerland and has large forest areas in the city forest, in the Seilerwald and on the Humpfert in Letmathe .

The urban area is crossed by the Lenne in the west over a length of 7.2 km and bordered by the Ruhr in the north to the Unna district , which has a length of 7.5 km in the urban area. Important streams are the Grüner Bach , which flows into the Lenne, and the Baarbach , which flows into the Ruhr in the north. The Baarbach is 18 km long including the source stream, making it the longest body of water in Iserlohn. The core city area and the areas north of it belong to Lower Sauerland , while the Iserlohner Höhe - outside the city limits - up to 546  m high , which adjoins the core city to the south, is part of the Märkisches Oberland .

The urban area extends over the Ruhr valley with the lowest point of Iserlohn (approx. 106  m above sea level ) in the north to the heights of the Sauerland-Rothaargebirge nature park in the south with a distance of 18.5 km. The maximum extension from west to east is only 10.7 km. The highest point is 493.9  m above sea level. NN the Rüssenberg on the Iserlohner Höhe in the south of the Kesberns district . The city center is at an altitude of 250  m above sea level. NN . Other notable mountains are the Stuckenberg ( 451.4  m ) southeast of the city center, the Hilkenhöhe ( 441.7  m ) in the south of Lössel and the Fröndenberg ( 390.5  m ) south (west) east of the city center, on which the Danzturm stands.

The total area of ​​Iserlohn is 12,551 hectares (ha). Buildings and open spaces account for 2088 ha, traffic areas 849 ha and company premises 57 ha. 74.1% of Iserlohn's area is green. Of this, 211 hectares are sports and green spaces as well as campsites, 4562 hectares are agricultural land and 4526 hectares are forest. In addition, there are 117 hectares of water and 141 hectares of training grounds and other areas. A rough division of the urban area shows a more agricultural character of the northern third, while the southern third is dominated by forests. The middle area is a wide strip of settlement that runs from one city boundary to the other.

Former communities in the city of Iserlohn

City structure

Iserlohn is not officially divided into city districts. During the local reorganization on January 1, 1975, the towns of Iserlohn and Letmathe and several small communities were merged. The current districts can be assigned to the former communities as follows. The (old) Iserlohn includes the city center with outlying areas and the districts of Wermingsen , Nussberg, Gerlingsen , Hombruch, Iserlohner Heide , Dröscheder Feld and Obergrüne . In the northeast is Sümmern with the districts Griesenbrauck and Rombrock. In the north there is Hennen with Rheinen , Drüpplingsen , Kalthof, Leckingsen , Refflingsen and Rheinermark . In the west the former town of Letmathe with the associated districts of Dröschede , Oestrich , Stübbeken , Grürmannsheide , Genna , Lössel , Untergrüne , Pillingsen, Lasbeck and Roden . In the far south of the city lies Kesbern with the villages of Attern, Wixberg, Dahlsen and Hegenscheid.

The city of Iserlohn has set up citizens' offices in the districts of Hennen and Letmathe .

Neighboring communities

The neighboring communities of Iserlohn clockwise from the west: independent city of Hagen , in the Unna Schwerte , Holzwickede and Fröndenberg district , in the Märkische district of Menden , Hemer , Altena and Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde .


Geologically, the Iserlohn area is part of the Slate Mountains on the right bank of the Rhine . The rocks originate mainly from the Middle Devon to Upper Carboniferous (around 390 to 260 million years ago). The mountainous structure of the area is dominated by the Variscan Remscheid-Altenaer Sattel, whose apex runs in the direction of west-south-west-east-north-east through the south of Iserlohn. This area belongs to the plateau of the Märkisches Oberland, which slopes steeply to the north. The Lower Honsel strata , which are around 390 million years old from the Givetium / Middle Devon, come to light here . They are open-minded at Honsel, Emberg and Fröndenberg. In the area of ​​the city center are the limestone and ore-rich Upper Honsel Strata , also from the Middle Devonian. The most striking rock formation is the Bilstein, on which the medieval city was built.

To the north of this is a band of Middle Devonian mass limestone, which extends from Hagen to Balve. As a result of the intensive karstification of the carbonate rock, some extensive cave systems formed. Of the more than 80 known caves in the Iserlohn area, the Dechen cave is the most famous stalactite cave . Other large caves are the 850 m long "Emst Cave" on the southern slope of the Emst, the 750 m long Kreuzhöhle (named after the " Iron Cross " located directly above the cave) and the one near the Dechen Cave, explored up to 800 m Knitterhöhle . Since the rear part is under water, the actual length is still unknown. Also worth mentioning is the Grürmannshöhle in Letmathe, which protrudes 30 m into the rock formation "Pater und Nun". Most of these caves show sinter occurrences.

To the north of the mass limestone deposits lies a range of sandstone and Kulm slate layers (Humpfert, Seiler). This is followed by the Lower Sauerland heaths, in which soils made of mudstone dominate. The area south of the Ruhr is characterized by glacial loess anwehungen and other glacial-term consequences, such as an end moraine that during until Haarstrang reaching Saale-Ice Age came over the Ruhr.


The city is located in a temperate climate zone . The mountain climate is influenced by the Atlantic . July is the warmest month with an average of 16.7 ° C and January is the coldest month with 1.4 ° C. The mean annual temperature is 8.9 ° C. The average rainfall is 973 liters per square meter. It is greatest in June with an average rainfall of 105 liters per square meter.

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Iserlohn
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 3.2 4.6 7.8 12.2 16.9 19.8 21.6 21.4 17.2 12.8 6.9 3.4 O 12.4
Min. Temperature (° C) −0.5 −0.3 1.5 3.9 8.1 10.5 12.7 12.5 9.6 6.7 3.1 0.0 O 5.7
Precipitation ( mm ) 82.3 59.8 79.3 75.8 77.3 105.4 94.8 80.1 74.4 67.9 82.8 93.0 Σ 972.9
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.8 2.5 3.5 5.1 5.8 6.4 6.1 5.9 4.6 3.6 1.7 1.5 O 4th
Rainy days ( d ) 18.7 17.8 19.3 14.2 15.5 15.2 17.0 14.5 15.8 16.8 20.9 19.4 Σ 205.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: 1. Precipitation information: German Weather Service
2. Temperature, hours of sunshine, rainy days: WetterOnline ; Average values ​​1995–2008 from the Lüdenscheid weather station


City view around 1750
(copper engraving by J. H. Giese)

First settlement and city development (up to 13th century)

Human traces in the urban area were dated to the Middle Paleolithic about 42,000 years ago and the following millennia. The finds on the Oestricher Burgberg , in the Martinshöhle , on the Grürmannsheide and in the Grürmannshöhle, including tools and human bones, indicate temporary stays by nomadic tribes. The numerous Iserlohn caves offered protection for people and animals for thousands of years. From the Neolithic Age (from 4500 BC) the Iserlohn area was permanently settled. In addition to the sites mentioned, finds in Dröschede, Sümmern, Hennen and on the Honsel, the Schälk and the Stübbeken can also be assigned to this era. Agricultural tools, axes made of greywackle quartzite and broad wedges are among these finds. From the Bronze Age, a stem Silex dagger, bronze weapons and cups. There are some jewelry finds from the early AD (5th – 7th centuries).

Traces of settlement in the Lägertal indicate permanent settlement in the inner city area from the 6th century AD. The oldest building in the city, the Pankratiuskirche , was built in the late 10th century and probably consecrated in 985. In 1059, a settlement was mentioned in a document from the Liesborn monastery , possibly referring to today's Iserlohn. In 1124 a settlement called Yslo is mentioned in a papal property book. The first unequivocal documented mention of Iserlohn dates back to 1150 as Lon . The name Lon comes from the Middle Low German term lô (ch) (cf. Old High German lôh ), which means forest. The combination with the term îse (r) n = iron soon appeared , which points to the early knowledge of the rich iron ore deposits in the area. The city name can therefore be translated as "Eisenwald". ( Lô (ch) is also part of the name of the northern desert Ortlohn , which arose from Nortlon .)

"Alt Iserlohn" and "Iserlohn" 1681 drawn separately on the map Le Comte de la Marck by the cartographer S. Sanson (map excerpt)

At the turn of the millennium, the Iserlohn area was under the influence of the Archdiocese of Cologne , which had many fiefs in the Sauerland in order to Christianize the people . Secular rulers included the Counts of Werl , who, however, lost territories to the Dukes of Berg in the 11th century , who soon ruled a large contiguous area in the western Sauerland up to the Rhine. In 1160/1161 the Counts of Altena split off from the Dukes of Berg and at the beginning of the 13th century divided into the Counties of Mark and Limburg . The settlement of Lon was since then in the Brandenburg area. From 1180 the Archbishops of Cologne were also sovereigns in the area and owned the northeastern Duchy of Westphalia , which reached as far as Menden .

Iserlohn was therefore close to the borders of the county of Mark to the county of Limburg near Letmathe and the Electoral Cologne Duchy of Westphalia near Menden. Since the Duchy of Westphalia expanded Menden into a fortress, the Brandenburg counts also endeavored to build a strong border fortification in this area, which could also assert itself against the counties of Arnsberg and Limburg. Although the dukes of Westphalia resisted, the Brandenburg counts, who had no right to fortify a town, tried again and again to build a fortress on the Bilstein, a bare limestone rock above the old Iserlohn settlement, and to surround it with walls and moats. The first city wall was built in the 13th century as a wooden / earth wall.

From 1214 Iserlohn was the seat of the deanery of the same name . The town charter was probably granted under Adolf I in 1237, who also made the first coinage around 1240. The confirmation of the town charter by Engelbert I is documented for 1278.

Growth into an industrial metropolis (13th to 19th centuries)

The wooden / earth wall from the 13th century surrounded only a small part of today's city center. Around 1300 the northern and eastern parts of the wall including the north gate were abandoned and a partially double stone wall to the north and east was built. This quadrupled the fortified urban area. Remains of the wall can still be seen today in the area of ​​the Marienkirche. In addition to the mill and church gate, there were now the West Gate, the Unna Gate and the Wermings Gate. A sovereign citadel and Burgmann houses were built near the Marienkirche (“Oberste Stadtkirche”) . In the north was the Jewish quarter.

From the 13th century onwards, the counts continued to expand the city administratively. In documents from 1309 there is talk of a fortified city with its own judge and mayor, in 1326 a city council was mentioned for the first time. Iserlohn was one of the six important cities in the county of Mark in addition to the capital and residence of Hamm as well as Kamen , Lünen , Unna and Schwerte . The Counts of the Mark remained sovereigns until 1609, from 1392 in personal union with the Counts of Cleves . In 1447 Kleve became a duchy (Kleve-Mark), and from 1521 the city belonged to the United Duchies of Jülich-Kleve-Berg , which also included the county of Mark.

After the Jülich-Klevischen succession dispute (1609-1614) , the county of Mark was taken over by the Electorate of Brandenburg and since then has belonged to Brandenburg-Prussia , the later (from 1701) Kingdom of Prussia .

"Mill Gate"
Old town hall square with a view of the Engel pharmacy

With originally around 10 hectares of land, Iserlohn was one of the medieval small towns. It was initially characterized by its fortress character and its relatively poor traffic situation. The separation of the administrative units Alt-Iserlohn around the Pankratius Church and the fortress town and citadel near the Marienkirche (today the highest town church) existed until the beginning of the 19th century.

The development of Iserlohn is closely related to industrial development. In the early days of metalworking in the late Middle Ages, iron ore was mined all around the mountain slopes and melted over wood fires and later in ovens. The surrounding forests provided firewood. From the 14th century, the first water-powered iron hammers were built in the Grüner Tal and Baarbach. Osemund iron of high quality was made. In the inner city area, the zinc mineral calamine was also mined from the 15th to the 19th century .

As in most cities in the Middle Ages and early modern times, several city fires raged in Iserlohn, from which the city only slowly recovered. At least nine major fires have been reported: from 1448, 1510, 1530, 1616, 1635, 1665, 1677, 1685, 1712. One cause of the fires was, in addition to the dense construction of half-timbered houses , the metalworking factories in the city that worked with fire . The businesses gradually moved to the surrounding area, and more merchants, craftsmen and small businesses settled in the city center.

From the 18th century, Iserlohn rose to become one of the most important industrial cities in Prussia . Needles were first produced in 1690, and in the course of the following decades needle and wire manufacture became the most important branches of industry. Products from the bronze and brass industries were also among the city's most important goods. The Iserlohn tobacco boxes were among the specialties . The large metal processing companies were increasingly located on the outskirts, while many merchant houses were built in the city center. The Iserlohn merchants traded with cities throughout Europe and partly beyond.

Around 1800, the Iserlohn area with its wire, needle, brass, bronze and silk industries, together with the neighboring region around Altena and Lüdenscheid, formed one of the world's largest industrial areas. Until well into the 19th century, Iserlohn was the largest industrial city in Westphalia and one of the richest trading cities in Prussia. In the Middle Ages, the production of armor was of great importance, as evidenced by a mail shirt made in Iserlohn in the Tower of London . The Iserlohn needles were a global export hit.

The economy was negatively affected by Prussia's numerous wars, which led to temporary export losses. The French occupation at the beginning of the 19th century and the associated continental blockade also hampered economic and urban growth. From 1808 to 1813 Iserlohn belonged to the Ruhr department in the Grand Duchy of Berg . Then it fell back to Prussia and now came to the province of Westphalia in the administrative district of Arnsberg . Iserlohn became the seat of what was then the Iserlohn district in 1817 . Another economic boom of around 20 years followed.

The economic boom brought social problems with it. As an early industrialized community, Iserlohn was one of the core locations of the early labor movement. One of the first strikes in the metal industry occurred in the city in 1840. After the failure of the revolution of 1848/49 , there were increased protests by the population, and so in May 1849 the rebels were to be kept in check with the help of the Landwehr. These plans by the Prussian government enraged the population, and the Iserlohn uprising broke out with the occupation of the armory .

From the middle of the 19th century, the metal industry stagnated for several reasons. The Iserlohner Metallbetriebe were heavily dependent on hydropower, which the brooks in the city area could hardly raise due to the large number of businesses, so that as a result, some businesses migrated to the Lenne or Ruhr. In the Ruhr area , better steel and better products could also be manufactured using modern methods. In addition, the main railway lines (for example the Ruhr-Sieg line ) were not led directly through Iserlohn, but only two secondary lines were built. In 1860 the Letmathe station was opened on the main Hagen – Siegen line, the Letmathe – Fröndenberg and the Ardey Railway (Iserlohn – Dortmund) were added in 1864 and 1910, respectively.

Despite the economic problems, many medium-sized companies in the metal industry remained in Iserlohn. Even today, some street names in the city center are reminiscent of the great times of ore mining and processing (including Galmeistraße, Bergwerkstraße, Stahlschmiede).

In the 1830s the optical telegraph line Berlin – Koblenz was built, which also touched the Sauerland, and in 1833 a station of the telegraph line was built on the Iserlohner Fröndenberg. Because of the new electrical telegraph , operations were stopped almost 20 years later. In 1909, the Danzturm , today's landmark of the city , was built on the building of the station . A replica of the optical telegraph station is located there today.

During the expansion of the railway line from Iserlohn to Letmathe, the Dechen cave was discovered in 1868 , which is still one of the most important sights today as a show cave.

The city in the 20th and 21st centuries

The population growth as a result of industrialization was reflected in the rapid expansion of the built-up urban area. New residential areas were created around the city, for example in the areas of Bömberg and Läger, which were also funded with public funds. In the 1930s, extensions were added in Wermingsen and in the west of the city. This development went hand in hand with the district freedom from 1907, when the city was detached from the Iserlohn district , but remained the seat of the district until 1974.

In the 1930s, the NSDAP also gained strength in Iserlohn. In the local elections in 1929 the NSDAP achieved 2.4%, in the Reichstag elections on March 5, 1933 40.4% and in the local elections in March 1933 42.5%. On April 27, 1933, the Lord Mayor Richard Gertenbach was "on leave" without giving any reason and the business was temporarily continued by Government Secretary Walter Riedel . Influential local politician of the NSDAP was Willy Kölker .

After an assassination attempt on the leading National Socialist Hans Bernsau in front of the train station on January 16, 1933, smear campaigns against communists broke out. A suspect from Iserlohn was sentenced to death in September 1933. In the attacks against Jewish citizens in 1938 , the synagogue on Mendener Strasse and numerous Jewish shops were destroyed.

From 1934, due to the armament of the Wehrmacht , the construction of three barracks began. Iserlohn became a garrison town .

During the Second World War, the city was largely spared from destruction. In April 1945 remaining Wehrmacht troops withdrew from the Ruhr basin to Iserlohn. On the evening of April 13, the bombing by American troops began, which lasted almost three days but caused little damage. One of the testimonies of this time is the old town air raid shelter , which provided refuge for 2,000 people seeking protection. The Wehrmacht commander Albert Ernst recognized the hopelessness and was ready to surrender within the American ultimatum, as were other actors. The surrender took place at noon on April 16, 1945.

As early as the 1950s, the city was growing rapidly again. The Iserlohner Heide was incorporated by Oestrich in 1956 and designated industrial areas there. New residential areas were created or expanded in Gerlingsen, on Nussberg and on Brandkopf.

The main entrance of the Bernhard-Hülsmann-Kaserne - Air Force Technical College in Iserlohn

After the handover of two barracks of the British Army on the Rhine to the Federal Republic, Iserlohn became a garrison town of the Bundeswehr in 1969 . The paratrooper battalions 271, 273 and 274 were stationed in the Winkelmann barracks , and the "Air Force Specialized Training School" in the Bernhard Hülsmann barracks . The British military hospital was still located in the Argonne Barracks (former Wehrmacht barracks). After 1990 the troops were reduced and all Iserlohn barracks were closed. Today the buildings and facilities of the military hospital are used by the Business and Information Technology School and the boarding school on the Seilersee . A commercial center was set up in the Corunna barracks, the center for gerontology technology in the Bernhard Hülsmann barracks and the "Buchenwäldchen residential park" in the Winkelmann barracks.

In the course of the municipal reorganization in North Rhine-Westphalia ( Sauerland / Paderborn law ), Iserlohn lost its district freedom in 1975 and became a large city in the Märkisches Kreis . The city only kept a few branch offices of the district's facilities (including the road traffic department and health department), and it was also designated as the seat of the district police authority for the Märkische Kreis.

From 1967 the entire city center was renovated and restructured into the 1980s. In addition to the establishment of the pedestrian zone and a bypass road close to the old city center, the new town hall on Schillerplatz was inaugurated in 1974 as a further striking building. Remaining medieval structures outside the city center were removed and for the most part had to give way to traffic areas. At the beginning of the 2000s, it started to revise some cases from the long list of "building sins". Among other things, the pedestrian zone was redesigned. After the further expansion of the railway connection was missed before the war, Iserlohn became a dead end by cutting the connection to Menden. The wooden Alexanderhöhe had to give way to a concrete building. One of the few surviving Art Nouveau hall baths in Germany became a retirement home after it was partially demolished.

With the organization of the German Hiking Day 2001 and the Campus Symposium , which has been held annually since 2005 , Iserlohn attracted national attention.


Since the end of the 19th century, the Iserlohn city area has been expanded again and again. On January 17, 1883 and December 1, 1890 parts of Lössel were added. Parts of Kalle (now Calle ) and Oestrich were incorporated on August 1, 1929, the Kuhlo and western Dröscheder Feld as further Oestrich areas on April 1, 1941. Iserlohner Heide, Gerlingsen and Hombruch, which have been part of the town of Iserlohn since October 1st, 1956, also belonged to Oestrich. On April 1, 1971, the area was enlarged by a forest area north of Hombruch / east of the Refflingser Bach and a piece of land in the "Vorm Heu" area (both from Letmathe).

As a result of the regional reform , the urban area with Hennen and Letmathe , parts of Hemer (Griesenbrauck and Bilveringsen), Kesbern and Sümmern (except Ostsümmern , which came to the city of Menden ) were merged into the new city of Iserlohn on January 1, 1975 .

Population development

Population development of Iserlohn.svgPopulation development in Iserlohn - from 1871 onwards
Population development in Iserlohn according to the table below. Above from 1700 to 2018. Below an excerpt from 1871

With the beginning of industrialization , the population growth in Iserlohn accelerated. In 1820 only 5,000 people lived in the city, by 1900 there were already 27,000. Due to the merger with the city of Letmathe (28,718 inhabitants 1974) and other places, the population increased from 56,000 in 1974 to 97,000 on January 1, 1975.

In 1996, the population peaked at 99,802 as of December 31st. On December 31, 2008, the “ official population number ” for Iserlohn was 95,598 according to an update by the State Office for Information and Technology in North Rhine-Westphalia (only main residences and after comparison with the other state offices). Iserlohn is the largest German city that has never been a big city.

The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status. Until 1820 it is mostly an estimate, then census results (¹) or official updates from the State Statistical Office. From 1871, the information relates to the “local population”, from 1925 to the resident population and since 1987 to the “population at the location of the main residence”. Before 1871, the number of inhabitants was determined according to inconsistent survey procedures.

year Residents
1700 around 1,900
1743 around 4,300
1765 4,001
1798 4,449
1820 5,308
December 1, 1831 ¹ 8,095
December 1, 1840 ¹ 10,311
December 3, 1843 ¹ 10,700
December 3, 1855 ¹ 13,429
December 3, 1858 ¹ 13,535
December 3, 1861 ¹ 14,600
December 3, 1864¹ 14,900
December 3, 1867 ¹ 15,341
December 1, 1871 ¹ 15,763
December 1, 1875 ¹ 16,800
December 1, 1880¹ 18,600
December 1, 1885 ¹ 20.102
December 1, 1890¹ 22,117
December 2, 1895 ¹ 24,722
December 1, 1900 ¹ 27,265
year Residents
December 1, 1905 ¹ 29,590
December 1, 1910¹ 31,274
December 1, 1916 ¹ 25,255
December 5, 1917 ¹ 25,469
October 8, 1919 ¹ 29,263
June 16, 1925 ¹ 30,915
June 16, 1933 ¹ 34,272
May 17, 1939 ¹ 38,457
December 31, 1945 41,414
October 29, 1946 ¹ 42,216
September 13, 1950 ¹ 46.221
September 25, 1956 ¹ 50,912
June 6, 1961 ¹ 55,257
December 31, 1965 58,860
May 27, 1970 ¹ 57,577
June 30, 1974² 56,863
December 31, 1975² 96.174
December 31, 1980² 93,823
December 31, 1985² 89,539
May 25, 1987 ¹ 92.183
year Residents
December 31, 1990² 96.314
December 31, 1995² 99,341
December 31, 2000² 98,790
December 31, 2005² 97.285
December 31, 2006² 96,546
December 31, 2007² 96.112
December 31, 2008² 95,598
December 31, 2009² 95,232
December 31, 2010² 94,966
December 31, 2011² 94,536
December 31, 2012 ² 93,799
December 31, 2013² 93.119
December 31, 2014² 92,899
December 31, 2015² 93,537
December 31, 2016 ² 93.197
December 31, 2017 ² 92,928
December 31, 2018 ² 92,666

¹ census result
² update of the State Office for Information and Technology NRW (


Iserlohn is the seat of the Iserlohn parish of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia . The denomination status of the Protestant parishes of Iserlohn has been united since 1931 . The Catholic parishes are affiliated to the Märkisches Sauerland deanery .

Denomination statistics

As of December 31, 2018, Iserlohn had 29,529 (31.2%) Protestant and 28,031 (29.6%) Catholic residents. 40.2% belonged to another or no religious community. At the end of 2005, Iserlohn had 37,479 Protestant and 34,194 Catholic residents. 29,574 belonged to another or no religious community.


Iserlohn's old parish church with the patron Saint Pankratius ("Farmer's Church") was originally a daughter church of Menden. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the pastors of Iserlohn were often deans of the Attendorn deanery, to which they belonged. The Andreasstift in Cologne was entitled to fill the pastoral position. The parish of Iserlohn had two branches in Oestrich and Altena. Within the city wall, the Supreme City Church was built around 1330, which was first dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damianus, and later to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 16th century it received full parish rights and thus became the main church of the city.

The Reformation reached Iserlohn in 1524, when Conrad Varnhagen spread the Lutheran doctrine and Iserlohn (within the limits at that time) became predominantly Lutheran. In 1745, by order of the Prussian state, the Catholic community of Iserlohn was (re) founded. Initially, services were held in a private house, from 1755 in a small church. In the second half of the 18th century, many Catholics came to work, especially in the needle factories. The church became too small and therefore demolished in 1825. 1831–1873 there was a church at the Lehmkuhle, which was closed due to mining damage. The oldest existing Catholic church in Iserlohn's inner city is the Aloysius Church from 1894. At the time of its construction, Protestant Christians were still in the majority, but the Catholic refugees after the Second World War created an almost balanced relationship between these faiths in the entire city area a. The services of the two major denominations take place in 14 Protestant and 13 Catholic churches.

The New Apostolic Church (NAK) in Iserlohn has had a strong congregation since 1886 . Its founder was the later Apostle Bornemann. From this community, which is today a district community for the elders district of Iserlohn, many communities were founded in the vicinity, but also as far as Hesse. Today there are three municipalities in the urban area.

In the second half of the 20th century, numerous guest workers of different nationalities and faiths came to Iserlohn. Today, in addition to an Italian, a Portuguese and a Greek Orthodox community, there is also a larger Muslim community, which built its first mosque in the 1990s . There are now six mosques and Islamic prayer rooms in the city, including two of the Ditib and one of the Ahmadiyya mosques .

The Seventh-day Adventists , Jehovah's Witnesses and the Christadelphians are also represented in Iserlohn. In Iserlohn there is a Gurdwara of the Sikh religion .


Iserlohn City Council

  1975 1979 1984 1989 1994 1999 2004 2009 2014
Political party % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats
CDU 47.4 25th 49.7 25th 46.3 25th 36.8 20th 40.3 23 54.3 27 45.3 25th 37.0 19th 39.2 20th
SPD 43.4 23 43.9 23 39.3 22nd 39.5 21st 42.3 24 34.3 17th 33.7 18th 31.9 16 32.4 16
Green         8.0 4th 6.5 3 7.8 4th 4.8 2 7.6 4th 9.8 5 6.9 3
FDP 6.1 3 6.2 3 4.6 - 5.7 3 3.3 - 3.6 2 7.5 4th 8.8 4th 4.1 2
REP             8.9 4th 3.0 -          
UWG                     3.0 2 5.9 3 4.9 2 2.2 1
THE LEFT                             5.6 3 7.0 4th
NPD                             1.9 1    
AfD                                 6.1 3
Pirates                                 2.1 1
Others 3.1 - 0.2 - 1.8 - 2.6 - 3.4 -         0.1 -
Town hall of the city of Iserlohn

The party “The Greens” appeared in 1984 and 1989 as “GABI” - Green Alternative Alliance Iserlohn.

Since 1999 the “Independent Voting Community” (UWG) has been represented in the city council. The two parliamentary group members of the 2009 electoral term resigned from the party in February 2011 and formed the “Free Voters Iserlohn” parliamentary group from March 1, 2011 to May 2014. Since June 2014 the UWG has been on the council again under its own name and forms the UWG pirate faction with the Pirate Party .

The AfD council members have left the AfD and have formed the Blue Party faction since October 17, 2017 .

There are basically no fixed alliances between the parties.


From October 21, 2009 to September 30, 2019, Peter Paul Ahrens ( SPD ) was mayor of the city. He was elected on August 30, 2009 with 35.8% of the votes cast. On September 27, 2015, he was re-elected for a further five-year term in the second ballot with 51.24%. On September 30, 2019, he announced his resignation. His predecessors can be read in the article Personalities of the City of Iserlohn .

Results of the last parliamentary elections

The Iserlohn citizens elected the members of the European Parliament, the Bundestag and the Landtag with the following proportions:

Political party State Parliament
(second vote)
May 14, 2017
(second vote)
September 24, 2017
European Parliament
May 26th 2019
CDU 34.8% 33.0% 30.2%
SPD 30.4% 25.4% 18.9%
Green 04.0% 05.1% 18.2%
FDP 11.5% 12.9% 06.7%
The left 04.7% 07.3% 04.2%
PIRATES 01.0% 00.4% 00.8%
AfD 09.9% 12.4% 11.1%
Others 03.7% 03.5% 09.9%
voter turnout 61.3% 71.8% 56.7%

coat of arms

Coat of arms of the city of Iserlohn

Coat of arms, which represents a wall with two red, blue-roofed towers in a yellow field and covered with three red-silver crossbeams, from which St. Pancras in the red cloak, holding a sword in his right hand, grows upbetween the towers.

Description The
origin of the Iserlohn city coat of arms is a depiction on the choir stalls of the Upper City Church. St. Pancras is depicted on the upper part, the towers symbolize the old city fortifications. The chess bar below the towers is a symbol of the former County of Mark , but at the same time, in connection with the towers, is another symbol of protection. The coat of arms was approved in 1913 and transferred from the old to the new town of Iserlohn after the regional reform in 1975. The city districts of Hennen, Kesbern, Letmathe and Sümmern no longer have their own coat of arms since they were incorporated into Iserlohn.

Town twinning

Iserlohn's first town twinning was established with Almelo in the Netherlands (1954), Biel / Bienne in Switzerland (1959) and Hall in Tirol in Austria (1967). In 1975, the old town twinning of the town of Letmathe with Auchel in France (since 1966) and the municipality of Sümmern with Laventie , also in France, (since 1967) were added during the municipal reorganization .

With the opening of the borders to Eastern Europe, new town twinning was established there too. In 1989 this was the city of Nyíregyháza in Hungary, followed by Novocherkassk in Russia (1990) and Chorzów in Poland (2004). A German-German partnership has existed with Glauchau in Saxony since 1991.

Partnership committees ensure a lively exchange between Iserlohn and its partner cities. Examples include student exchanges with Auchel, athletes' meetings in Novocherkassk and a town twinning conference in Iserlohn at the end of 2007. Several host families offer accommodation and assistance to guests from the twin cities when they visit the Waldstadt. In the economic area, Stadtwerke Iserlohn has invested in Stadtwerke Glauchau and is a partner there.

Buildings and sights

Supreme town church


The oldest church and at the same time the oldest preserved building in the city is the Protestant St. Pankratius Church , known as the “peasant church”. It was originally a cruciform, Romanesque pillar basilica made of quarry stone from around 1000. The choir and the windows are late Gothic. The farmer's church was previously used as a baptistery.

Not far from the farmer's church, but above on the rock Bilstein stands the Evangelical Supreme City Church , also known as St. Mary's Church. It is a two-aisled, Gothic hall church from the 13th / 14th centuries. Century. Special art treasures are the Flemish carved altar from around 1400 with 18 figures of apostles and saints and panel paintings from around 1450 with scenes from the life of Mary. The Oberste Stadtkirche is the largest Protestant church in Iserlohn and a landmark of the city.

Another Protestant church in the city center is the Reformed Church . The name Reformed Church recalls the time before the establishment of the Union in the area of ​​the Evangelical Church in Iserlohn in 1931, since there has been no separation between the Lutheran and Reformed denominations. Construction of the Reformed Church in Iserlohn began in 1710. After the town fire in 1712, which also destroyed the shell of this church, it could not be completed until 1718. The Reformed Church in the pedestrian zone in the city center now serves as the “Church in the City” - including a re-entry point and short devotions.

The Catholic parish church of St. Aloysius is also located in the city center . This three-aisled church, built in neo-Romanesque style, was consecrated in 1894 after the foundation stone was laid in 1891. The neo-Gothic altar from 1899 was still in the parish church of St. Peter and Paul zu Hemer before 1985. St. Aloysius is the second largest church in the Märkisches Kreis.

Notable church buildings from the surrounding districts are the Protestant Johanneskirche Hennen, which was built around 1200 in the Romanesque style, with the west tower and church building not being built at the same time, but in two construction phases; also the Catholic parish church of St. Kilian zu Letmathe, which was consecrated in 1917 and is referred to by the population as " Dom ", also "Lennedom", as it immediately catches the eye when looking over Letmathe. It was planned by the Aachen cathedral master builder Joseph Buchkremer and, as the largest church in the Märkisches Kreis and in the Lenne valley, has long been a landmark of the district.

Profane buildings in the city center

"From Scheibler's House"

The cityscape has been severely disturbed in some places since the inner city redevelopment carried out in the 1970s. Only a few remains of the city ​​wall built in the 13th century are left, especially on the south and west sides. The listed foundations of the "Dicken Tower" can be found in the inner courtyard of the "Am Dicken Turm 19" building. Charming streets are still preserved, for example in the alley "Knallenbrink" and at "Suedgraben".

The oldest secular building is the Burgmannshaus, built around 1230 near the Marienkirche (highest town church). In 1609 a Latin school was founded in the building, from which the Märkisches Gymnasium Iserlohn emerged . In the 19th century there was a prison in the building, later a kindergarten. From 1971 the evangelical castle archive and the Varnhagensche library with an extensive inventory of writings from the 15th to 18th centuries moved in. Century a.

The “ House of Home ” on Fritz-Kühn-Platz, which houses the city ​​museum , dates from 1720 . This is a solid building with a mansard roof and a three-axis central projection, on the front side a pretty portal with an outside staircase. Another house from this period, a wall house from around 1730, can be found at Südgraben 28. The small town house or “House of the Little People” has now been completely renovated by the non-profit association “Iserlohn-DenkMal” and can be visited . The building "An der Schlacht 2" has a baroque portal from 1755 and originally belonged to town house I, which was demolished in 1974 as part of the renovation work. Other well-preserved buildings from the 18th century are the "Rampelmannsche Haus", a plastered building with a hipped roof from 1748, as well as the " Von Scheibler Haus " (Theodor-Heuss-Ring 24), a three-storey unplastered quarry stone building above a high base It was built in 1783 as a house by the Iserlohn cloth maker and textile manufacturer Johannes Rupe (1730–1787) by the master builder JH Rafleur. On the front there is a three-axis central projection with a flat triangular gable.

Iserlohn City Library

Several town halls already existed in the city. The Old Town Hall on today's Old Town Hall Square, which is Iserlohn's fourth town hall, was built in 1875/1876. According to old orthography is as advice h labeled house. Its predecessor was the first stone town hall in Iserlohn and started operating around 1738. The exact location is not known, but was probably near the old town hall . There is hardly any information about the first two town halls either. The old town hall is home today after council and administration have moved in 1974 into the new City Hall at Schiller Square, the headquarters of the municipal library Iserlohn .

The new town hall (1974) on Schillerplatz is already the fifth in Iserlohn's history. With nine floors above ground, it is one of the tallest buildings in the city center. Due to the earlier Galmei mining in the area, part of the building has already sunk a few centimeters.

There are also some examples of the architectural styles of the 20th century in the city center. The building of the former municipal bathing establishment is located on the southwestern edge near the city station. It was built in 1908 in Art Nouveau style. On May 5th of the same year the first bathing establishment for Iserlohn was opened here. There was a large swimming pool, and shower, tub, and medicinal baths were also available. At this point, a senior citizens' residential complex was built, including the listed parts of the Art Nouveau building, which was handed over to its purpose in 1987. The tower, the Art Nouveau staircase and the former main portal with the original mosaic have been preserved .

The publishing house of the Iserlohner Kreisanzeiger is named after the founder of the newspaper - Wichelhovenhaus . It is a four-story brick building, raised in steps towards the middle. The building was built in 1927 in the form of New Objectivity. The decor is clearly influenced by Expressionism . Inside there are lead-glazed expressionist windows. Another expressionist brick building is the "Villa Heutelbeck", which was built between 1924 and 1925 by the Hamburg architect Carl Bensel from Iserlohn .

Other important structures

The Danzturm is Iserlohn's landmark and is located on the heights of the Iserlohn city forest. After construction in 1908, the inauguration took place on May 22nd on the 392 meter high Fröndenberg. The tower was named after Ernst Danz , an honorary citizen of Iserlohn , who founded the Sauerland Mountain and Hiking Association and through numerous activities ensured that the forest was reforested.

The Bismarck Tower is located near the city limits of Hemer . Until the municipal reorganization in 1975, the tower was still in the Hemeraner part of the Seilerwald. Since then, like large parts of the forest area in question, it has belonged to Iserlohn.

There are some old mansions in Iserlohn. Probably the most famous is the Letmathe house in the district of the same name, which is now used as a museum and library. It used to belong to the von Brabeck family for a long time . In addition, there were four manor houses in Hennen: the “Haus Gerkendahl”, the “Haus Hennen”, the “Haus Lenninghausen” and the “Haus Ohle”. The houses "Gerkendahl" and "Hennen" no longer exist today.

Also worth seeing are the listed villas, Villa Ebbinghaus-Möllmann , Villa Heutelbeck and the Dr. Klute .

Monuments and memorials

Iron Cross

The Iron Cross was erected in 1816 as one of the first monuments to commemorate the fallen of the Napoleonic Wars and the Wars of Liberation and was inaugurated on October 18, 1816. It has the shape of the Prussian Order of Merit Iron Cross and is made of cheap iron to commemorate the difficult times that lay behind the population. The inscription reads: "With God for King and Fatherland - 1813". The monument stands on the slope above the Green Valley and faces west, towards France.

Chainsmith Teves

One of the oldest chain smithies in Westphalia is located in the Oestrich district . It was probably built in the second half of the 18th century. The forge was first mentioned in the estate documents of the wire manufacturer Caspar Diederich Theile in 1815. After the restoration in 1981, the still fully functional "Teves chain forge" was placed under protection in 1983 as a monument.

In the main cemetery there is a memorial for the victims of the Iserlohn uprising of May 17, 1849 , where the 41 civilian victims were buried. A black marble block was erected with the inscriptions “The Pre-fighters for Democracy” , “1848–1849” and “The Victims of the Iserlohn Revolution” . On the marble block there is a construction made of steel pipes.

At the Poth near the station square there is a memorial for the victims of National Socialism. A life-size bronze sculpture is surrounded by the four branches of the swastika , which stand at an angle and “keep the figure captive”. The memorial was erected by Siegfried Neuenhausen and inaugurated on August 11, 1989.

Also noteworthy is the Iserlohn municipal cemetery , where a number of listed tombs can be seen.

Culture and leisure


The Park Theater was built from 1961 to 1964 through renovation and expansion measures from the so-called “New Hall” building on the “Alexanderhöhe” by the architects Ernst Dossmann and Hans Reime from Iserlohn. The "Old Hall" located directly next to it was renamed "Parkhalle". Lord Mayor Alfred Potthoff opened the Parktheater on April 4, 1964. The opening performance was given by the Deutsches Theater Göttingen with the comedy “ Was ihr wollt ” by William Shakespeare , directed by Heinz Hilpert . There are two venues in the theater: the “Big House” with 803 (769 when using the orchestra pit) and the “Studio stage” with space for 100 spectators. The "Löbbecke-Saal" is a concert and event hall with a sound system and conference technology with 250 seats. Events for up to 250 people take place in the gallery. It can be combined with the foyer. So you can win 200 additional places.

Several amateur theater groups are active in Iserlohn. Mention should be made of the "Acting Ensemble Iserlohn" founded in 1989, which performs a classical or contemporary play in the Parktheater every year. There are also fairytale performances with and for children. The theater association "[pu: r vu]" developed from a theater group at the adult education center in 1993 and has been an independent association since 1997. Performances of this association usually take place on the studio stage of the Parktheater. Both theater associations are members of the Amateur Theater Association of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Federation of German Amateur Theaters .

Other amateur groups include the “Volksbühne Grürmannsheide” founded in 1919, the “Dröschede Theater Association” and the “Volksbühne Höchsten”. The Iserlohn women's cabaret "Hauhechel" has been performing at home with literary, political or comedic programs since 2000.


Iserlohn has two municipal local museums that deal with the general history of the city, these are the Iserlohn City Museum and the City Museum in Letmathe House . Several museums deal with Iserlohn's industrial history in particular, some of which are housed in the old production facilities and represent industrial monuments. Municipal museums of this type are the historic Maste-Barendorf factory complex and the Iserlohn Museum of Crafts and Postal History . The Eduard Balbach Blacksmith Museum and the Bimberg Historic Grain Distillery at Gut Lenninghausen should also be mentioned.

The German Cave Museum in the Untergrüne district of Iserlohn in the immediate vicinity of the Dechen Cave is unique in Germany .

Other museums are the Hemberg Museum in the Hemberg school center in the city of Iserlohn, which is primarily concerned with archeology and paleontology , the collection from urban cleaning and waste disposal, and the East German Museum .


There are several galleries in Iserlohn. The city of Iserlohn runs the municipal gallery in von Scheibler's house and in the Villa Wessel art exhibitions. Furthermore, there are often exhibitions in the gallery of the Parktheater. Art is also regularly exhibited in the customer hall of the main branch of the Sparkasse der Stadt Iserlohn .


Iserlohn is home to the Henkelmann jazz club , one of the oldest private German jazz clubs operated by the "Hot Club Iserlohn" founded in 1952. Well-known jazz groups and singers perform regularly at the Henkelmann.

Since 1992, the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium, with its annual classical guitar festival, has been an integral part of Iserlohn's musical culture. The venues are the Parktheater Iserlohn, the Oberste Stadtkirche and, since 2008, Haus Villigst in Schwerte. Internationally known guitarists such as Eliot Fisk , Alvaro Pierri , Roland Dyens or the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet have been among the participants over the years.

Further musical events are the annual Iserlohn Autumn Days for Music (with international master classes), the Iserlohn Organ Summer , the international songwriter festival Wortklang , jazz at the churches and Rock im Barendorf (several times a year) and the one that has been held annually since 1996 on the Wednesday before Corpus Christi Concert by the Wermings choir Outta Limits .

Regionally and nationally known musicians from Iserlohn are the rapper Caput , the pop singer Sandy Wagner and the bands Pee Wee Bluesgang , Leichenwetter , Halz Maul and spiel , Zoff and Luxuslärm .


One of the most popular destinations for Iserlohners is the Seilersee . It was artificially created at the beginning of the 20th century as a reservoir for a small stream. In the 1970s, the Iserlohn ice rink was built directly on the bank, and since then a motorway bridge of the A 46 has led across the lake to the end, which is still provisional today, the Hemer junction, which is only one kilometer away . Walkers and joggers can completely walk around the lake, and the adjacent Seilerwald is popular with hikers. There is also a soccer field, the municipal indoor swimming pool Seilerseebad (a sports and brine bath with sauna) and the outdoor swimming pool Schleddenhof on the bank . A parking lot north of the soccer field is used annually for the Easter fair. Then, with Seilersee in Flames , the second largest fireworks display in North Rhine-Westphalia always takes place.

Another, albeit much smaller, lake is the Rupenteich near the Danzturm in the Iserlohn city forest. The urban forest in the south of the city has hiking trails several kilometers long. The Drahthandelsweg Altena reminds boards at the time of the wire industry.

Since November 2009 the former railway line between Iserlohn and Hemer has been reopened as a cycle and footpath. The 3.1 kilometer long route is paved throughout and can therefore also be used by inline skaters and wheelchair users. The path leads past old industrial monuments, gardens and through the green meadows on the Duloh and offers an extraordinary view of the Iserlohn old town in the area of ​​the upper mill.

In the west of the city there are some caves in the limestone. The most famous and only accessible stalactite cave is the Dechenhöhle , which some circles call one of the most important show caves in Germany. It was discovered in 1868 during the construction of the Letmathe – Iserlohn railway line and has now been viewed by a total of over twelve million visitors.


Old, still unrenovated Hemberghalle

The most successful sports in Iserlohn include ice hockey , roller hockey , inline hockey , bowling and bike ball , in which Iserlohn teams are each represented in the top German league. The Iserlohn Roosters play in the German Ice Hockey League . The ERG Iserlohn occurs both in the roller hockey league of men and in the top division of the ladies. The men's team won German championships in 1976, 1977, 1986, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2009, they even won the championship and cup double for the first time . The club's athletes are even more successful. The team was founded in 2011 and in the following years without interruption German champions and with the exception of 2013 also German cup winners. The inline hockey club Samurai Iserlohn also plays in the highest German league, as does the bowling club Blau Weiß Iserlohn-Letmathe e. V. , German champion in the scissors section in 1997 and 2001, at that time still as Blau-Weiß Iserlohn . Heiko Cordes and Daniel Endrowait from RC Pfeil 07 represent the city of Iserlohn in the Bundesliga.

The largest Iserlohn sports club is TuS Iserlohn 1846 e. V. with around 3,300 members and thus one of the largest sports clubs in South Westphalia . His basketball department Iserlohn Kangaroos will take part in the season 2018/19 in the 2nd basketball Bundesliga Pro B. The first men's volleyball team plays in the major league.
The SC Hennen also plays in the top league as the top-class female volleyball team in the city of Iserlohn.

In 2012 the Sportfreunde Oestrich-Iserlohn and the soccer players of TuS Iserlohn merged to form FC Iserlohn 46/49 . The first men's team of the new club initially competed in the regional soccer league , and since 2016/17 in the higher-class Westphalian soccer league (association league) . The FCI B-Juniors practice their sport in the Bundesliga West / Southwest. The F.C. Borussia Dröschede plays in the national league Westphalia.

The BSC Iserlohn is dedicated to archery and was German champion in 2006. In the national handball league, Iserlohn is represented by Letmather TV in the 2018/2019 season .

In addition to swimming as a recreational sport , the swimming clubs also offer swimming and water polo . The water polo players of SV Iserlohn 1895 take part in the game with a C and a D youth. The seniors of the neighboring club ISSV are fighting for points in the top division. In addition, the ISSV has reported a B, a C and a D youth team.

The men's team of the TuS 46 Iserlohn club played in the 1950/51 season in the table tennis upper league, the top German division at the time.

Events and leisure

The shooting scene is strong in Iserlohn, and so there are various shooting festivals in almost all parts of the city. The largest rifle festival is that of the "Iserlohner Bürgerschützenverein" (IBSV) on the Alexanderhöhe, which is the largest festival in South Westphalia and essentially lasts a long weekend. During the IBSV shooting festival, there are also several parades through the city center. During the main parade on Sunday, up to 40,000 people regularly line the streets.

At the same time as the IBSV Schützenfest, the three-day music festival "Peace Festival " organized by the Peace Plenum at the Farmer's Church has been attracting people every year since 1991 . Since 2001 the gay and lesbian initiative Märkischer Kreis e. V. held the " Christopher Street Day Märkischer Kreis" on a Saturday in early September , a gay and lesbian street festival in the city center.

Every year there are several fairgrounds such as the Easter fair at Seilersee, the Kilian fair in Letmathe and the Appeltaten fair in Oestrich. Other folk festivals are the Bridge Festival in Letmathe, the Waldstadt Festival and "Iserlohn Culinary" in the city center. The concert series "Rock in Barendorf" offers around six concerts with various artists in Barendorf every year . During the Advent season, several Christmas markets have established themselves in Letmathe, in Barendorf and at the Bauernkirche.

On Whit Monday, it is tradition to hike to the Ballot Fountain at six o'clock in the morning , watch the elves dance and drink spring water, which is said to have healing properties . According to an old legend, whoever drinks this water on that day will live a year longer.

Iserlohn has a multiplex cinema with 1274 seats in seven halls, restaurants and leisure areas. The cinema is structurally connected to the City car park , so that around 600 parking spaces are available.

Culinary specialties

Iserlohn's culinary tradition is shaped by the Sauerland . The city's best-known product was the beer from the Iserlohn private brewery , Iserlohner Pilsener , whose production was discontinued in 2014. Since 2016, a new beer with a similar taste has been sold under the name Danztürmchen , which is brewed in the Vormann brewery in Hagen. Other specialties come from manufacturers of mustard (Thomas mustard) and schnapps (Lenninghausen) .

Economy and Infrastructure

Fountain of harmony
Schillerplatz with the
Karstadt department store


Iserlohn has been shaped by metal processing since the Middle Ages. Armor and later wire were manufactured in the city. Needle manufacture developed into the most important trade with worldwide export. At the beginning of the 19th century, Iserlohn was, together with Altena and Lüdenscheid, one of the most important metalworking commercial centers in Germany. Even today the economy is characterized by iron and metal production and metal processing as well as a predominantly medium-sized company structure.

The most important companies in metal processing are "Kettenwerke Thiele", the largest chain factory in Europe, and Kirchhoff Witte GmbH, a major automotive supplier. In the broadest sense in this area, Aloys F. Dornbracht GmbH & Co. KG (fittings) and WILA Lichttechnik GmbH (lighting systems) should also be mentioned. The manufacture of Bakelite products at Hexion (formerly Momentive, originally Bakelite AG ) is also rich in tradition .

The companies Brause (manufacturer of pens and office supplies) and DURABLE Hunke & Jochheim GmbH & Co. KG (office supplies) are active in the production of office supplies . The Hänsel Textil GmbH produces the only German company interlining fabrics for the apparel industry. From the health sector, the company MEDICE as a drug manufacturer and the "GGT Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontotechnik GmbH" (health technology) are worth mentioning. The waste management industry is also represented in the city by the company Lobbe Holding GmbH & Co. KG.

The Iserlohn private brewery also has a long history . After this subsidiary of the Brau und Brunnen group was about to close, it was taken over by three businessmen from the city in 2003 and continued as a private brewery. The brewery filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2013 and ceased operations on March 31, 2014 after the opening of insolvency proceedings.

The abandonment of the Bundeswehr location has had a negative impact on the retail sector since the late 1990s. Although the number of employees in the tertiary sector is below average, Iserlohn is an important service location in the Märkisches Kreis. In 2006, 29,149 people were employed in Iserlohn subject to social security contributions. 11,210 of these people were employed in the manufacturing sector. There were 1,487 employees in the energy, water and construction sectors, 12,288 in services and 3,982 in retail.

Business associations and initiatives

Iserlohn is the seat of various interest groups and business initiatives. The city is the seat of the Ruhr-Lenne employers' association and the Märkischer Kreis district craft association . In Iserlohn there is a company for economic development , the Iserlohn business initiative, Iserlohn City-Management e. V., the circle of young entrepreneurs Iserlohn e. V. as well as the Wirtschaftsinitiative Nord e. V. In addition, the South Westphalian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hagen has an office in Iserlohn.


Transport network
Overview of the new city station (aerial photo 2008)
Station forecourt until November 2006, demolition took place at the end of 2006

Iserlohn is generally developed by rail or road. The road network is 527 km long. Of this amount, eleven km on freeways ( A 46 with five connection locations), 16 km on main roads ( B 7 , B 233 and B 236 ) and 56 kilometers on several country roads.

Three railway lines run through the city: the Iserlohn-Letmathe – Iserlohn line , the Ardeybahn (RB 53) (Iserlohn– Schwerte - Dortmund ) and the Ruhr-Sieg line ( Hagen - Iserlohn-Letmathe - Siegen ). Today there are six railway stations and stops operated by Deutsche Bahn AG in the city . The Ardey-Bahn is operated by DB Regio NRW , the other routes by Abellio Rail NRW . The former extension of the Iserlohn-Letmathe-Iserlohn line to Hemer was dismantled.

There is no airport, just a few airfields and glider airports in Kesbern (Hegenscheid) , Rheinermark and Sümmern (Rombrock) . The nearest airport is in Dortmund .

Lenne and Ruhr are not navigable in the city area. The next inland port is the port of Dortmund .


There are two daily newspapers in Iserlohn. The oldest and largest newspaper is the Iserlohner Kreisanzeiger und Zeitung . There is also the Westfälische Rundschau , whose local section is completely taken over by the Iserlohner Kreisanzeiger und Zeitung. The advertising paper Stadtspiegel complements the offer.

The local radio station Radio MK broadcasts throughout the Märkischer Kreis and is based in Iserlohn. Iserlohn has assigned broadcasting location 69 (frequency 92.5) and the Letmathe district with broadcasting location 66 (frequency 90.8) from the State Agency for Media .

Public facilities

Courts and authorities

The Iserlohn District Court is responsible for the towns of Iserlohn and Hemer, the Iserlohn Labor Court is responsible for the entire Märkische Kreis.

Iserlohn is the seat of the district police authority for the Märkische Kreis. Other offices of the Märkisches Kreis in Iserlohn are the health department, the immigration office, the veterinary office and the road traffic office with a vehicle registration office. The Iserlohn Employment Agency is responsible for the entire Märkisches Kreis. The district of the State Building Authority Iserlohn of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia extends to South Westphalia . The city is also the seat of a tax office .

The Iserlohn correctional facility is a juvenile prison in the north of the city in the Drüpplingsen district .


There are two hospitals in Iserlohn: The Evangelical Hospital “Bethanien” including a children's clinic and the Catholic St. Elisabeth Hospital, which is church-sponsored. On November 1, 2019, the third hospital, the Marienhospital as a member of Märkische Kliniken GmbH, ceased operations. A nursing school and a children's nursing school are located in the city. The rescue service in the city is ensured by the professional fire brigade .

education and Science

South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences

Iserlohn is the seat of two universities. These are the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences , which has its headquarters in Iserlohn and was called "Märkische Fachhochschule" until December 31, 2001, as well as the state-recognized private university Business and Information Technology School ("BiTS"), which annually organizes the international business conference Campus Symposium .

All types of general education are represented in the secondary sector . In addition to the three municipal high schools, Märkisches Gymnasium , Gymnasium An der Stenner and Gymnasium Letmathe, there is the “Boarding School at Seilersee”, a private advanced high school with boarding school. In addition, there are two integrated comprehensive schools with upper secondary schools , two secondary schools and two secondary schools .

There are 14 primary schools on site for primary education . There are also three special schools and a school for the sick.

The Theodor Reuter Vocational College Iserlohn is dedicated to vocational training as a state vocational school for production engineering and electrical engineering sponsored by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the vocational college of the Märkischer Kreis , the vocational training center of the Kreishandwerkerschaft Märkischer Kreis e. V., the training center for trade e. V., the vocational training center of the DGB , the German Employees Academy and the Friederike Fliedner School (Protestant vocational school for social and health care).

Municipal music school

The city of Iserlohn is responsible for an adult education center , the Iserlohn city library in the old town hall , the city ​​archive and a music school . The Varnhagensche Library is a historical book collection. The German Waste Management Library is a specialist library dealing with waste treatment and disposal . The Floriansdorf of the city of Iserlohn is the first German child fire protection center to dedicate itself to preventive fire protection .

Further educational institutions are the Jugendkunstschule Iserlohn, the Ballet- und Tanzzentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen e. V. as a state-recognized supplementary school and maxQ (a state-recognized school for physiotherapy ).


Ulrich Walter

Important personalities in Iserlohn come from different areas of society. Mention should be made of the teacher and later honorary citizen Ernst Danz , who reforested the city forest and after whom the Iserlohn landmark, the Danz Tower , was named. A controversial honorary citizen is the teacher and writer Fritz Kühn , who was a member of the NSDAP and after whom a place in Iserlohn was named.

Well-known entrepreneurs who were born in Iserlohn were Theodor Müllensiefen , Friedrich Soennecken and Hermann Diedrich Piepenstock . A well-known artist was Wilhelm Wessel . In honor of these people, streets or buildings were named after them. The artist Ernst Dossmann is also known .

The Iserlohn cabaret artist Jochen Busse and the astronaut Ulrich Walter have recently become famous.


The carillon on Unnaer Platz plays the Westphalia song that Emil Rittershaus composed in 1869 in the former "Gasthof zur Post".

Due to the historical background as a fortress city , the name Iserlohn was chosen for a fortress in the Japanese novels Ginga Eiyū Densetsu ( 銀河 英雄 伝 説 ) by Yoshiki Tanaka and the anime series of the same name .


  • Götz Bettge: Iserlohn Lexicon . Hans-Herbert Mönnig Verlag, Iserlohn 1987, ISBN 3-922885-37-3 .
  • Margret Kirchhoff: The pulse of a city. The Supreme City Church of Iserlohn - time images and snapshots . Self-published by Dr. Margret Kirchhoff, 2003.
  • Fritz Kühn: Dear old Iserlohn . Verlag Buchhandlung Alfred Potthoff Iserlohn, Iserlohn 1967.
  • Peter Müller, Günter Stalp: Our good old tram. A trip into the past . Iserlohn 1995, ISBN 3-922885-78-0 .
  • Paul Hermann Schieber, Reinhard Kirste: The farmer's church in Iserlohn . 2nd Edition. Iserlohn 1984, ISBN 3-922885-00-4 .
  • Weidlich-Verlag Frankfurt am Main (without naming a publisher): Iserlohn. Texts by Willi Brasse, Arno Herzig and Ulrich Schenck . Weidlich-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1971, ISBN 3-8035-0444-9 .
  • City of Iserlohn (ed.): Fritz Kühn on memory, contributions to the history of Iserlohn, series of publications from Haus der Heimat No. 12 . Iserlohn 1968.
  • Wilhelm Schulte: Iserlohn - The History of a City, Volume 1 . Ed .: City of Iserlohn supported by the Historical Commission of the Province of Westphalia and the District of Iserlohn. Iserlohn 1937 ( [accessed on March 30, 2020]).
  • Wilhelm Schulte: Iserlohn - The history of a city, Volume 2: Iserlohner Urkundenbuch . Ed .: City of Iserlohn supported by the Historical Commission of the Province of Westphalia and the District of Iserlohn. Iserlohn 1938 ( [accessed on March 30, 2020]).
  • Walter Vollmer: Westphalian city pictures . Gütersloh 1963, section Iserlohn, p. 268 ff .
  • District Court Hagen , March 29, 1949 . In: Justice and Nazi crimes . Collection of German criminal judgments for Nazi homicides 1945–1966, Vol. IV, edited by Adelheid L Rüter-Ehlermann, CF Rüter . University Press, Amsterdam 1970, No. 131, pp. 368-386. End-stage crime. Trial of Otto Perl and August Fricker for murder and crimes against humanity.

Web links

Commons : Iserlohn  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Iserlohn  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
 Wikinews: Iserlohn  - in the news
Wikisource: Iserlohn  - Sources and full texts

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. Brochure from the city of Iserlohn "Figures - Data - Facts 2008"
  3. Emsthöhle dated August 30, 2008
  4. German Weather Service. Retrieved July 30, 2013 .
  5. Average values ​​1995–2008 from the Lüdenscheid weather station. Retrieved July 30, 2013 .
  6. ^ Carl Haase: The emergence of the Westphalian cities. 4th edition, Münster 1984, p. 87.
  7. a b City history of Iserlohn
  8. Götz Bettge: Iserlohn-Lexikon, p. 237.
  9. ^ Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. iserlohn.html. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  10. Ralf Blank: Home Front Westphalia - between the bombing war and the final battle, accessed on October 23, 2011.
  11. ^ Wolf R. Seltmann: The Bubble Burst. Study at the end of the war in Iserlohn on April 16, 1945.
  12. Albert Ernst and his Jagdtiger X1 during the surrender of sPzJgAbt 512 at Iserlohn in the Ruhr pocket on April 16, 1945.
  13. ^ Ministry of Economy and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Energy and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia: Ten Years of Troop Withdrawal and Conversion in North Rhine-Westphalia , Conversion Report Volume IV, Düsseldorf, November 2010, pp. 59, 91/92, 95/96. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  14. Stephanie Reekers: The regional development of the districts and communities of Westphalia 1817-1967 . Aschendorff, Münster Westfalen 1977, ISBN 3-402-05875-8 , p. 251 .
  15. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory 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. 330 .
  16. § 2 Sauerland / Paderborn law
  17. a b State database NRW
  18. a b History of the 2nd company of the Iserlohner Bürgererschützenverein (IBSV)
  19. Deanery Märkisches Sauerland
  20. Giving people space to be themselves , accessed on July 25, 2019
  21. Population data Märkischer Kreis ( Memento from October 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  22. ^ Albert Hömberg: Ecclesiastical and secular regional organization of Westphalia, p. 43.
  23. a b Paul Löer: History of the cath. Parish Iserlohn 1745–1970. Zimmermann-Verlag, Balve 1969.
  24. Homepage of the Iserlohn City Association of the Greens ( Memento of the original from November 30, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  25. Homepage of the UWG Iserlohn
  26. Article on about the name change of the UWG on February 22, 2011
  27. Homepage of the UWG pirates group in Iserlohn
  28. AfD parliamentary group in Iserlohn changes closed to the "blue parliamentary group"
  29. Election of the full-time mayor 2009. (PDF; 222 kB) Retrieved on July 30, 2013 .
  30. [1]
  31. Iserlohner Kreisanzeiger from September 30, 2019
  32. ^ Homepage of the city of Iserlohn: Elections
  33. Citikomm homepage for the 2019 European elections
  34. § 3 Paragraph 1 of the main statute of the city of Iserlohn
  35. Presentation of the Castle Archives and the Varnhagen Library ( Memento of the original from October 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  36. Culture database: Teves chain forge (Oestrich)
  37. Cultural Atlas of Westphalia: Teves chain forge
  38. Iserlohner Kreisanzeiger und Zeitung, article: Jazz music lifestyle in black and white (June 8, 2007)
  39. ^ History of the International Guitar Symposium
  40. DTS magazine , 1955/16, p. 6.
  41. Danztürmchen , Iserlohner Pils and Dunkel , accessed on March 11, 2017.
  42. As of June 30, 2006. State Office for Data Processing and Statistics North Rhine-Westphalia
  43. Closure of Marienhospital Letmathe | Märkische clinics. Retrieved May 11, 2020 .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 8, 2008 .