Lenne (Ruhr)

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History map of the Lenne

History map of the Lenne

Water code EN : 2766
location Germany
River system Rhine
Drain over Ruhr  → Rhine  → North Sea
Lennequelle near Winterberg
in the Rothaargebirge
on the Kahler Asten
51 ° 10 ′ 47 ″  N , 8 ° 29 ′ 4 ″  E
Source height approx.  825  m above sea level NHN
muzzle in Hagen in the Ruhr Coordinates: 51 ° 24 ′ 54 "  N , 7 ° 29 ′ 31"  E 51 ° 24 ′ 54 "  N , 7 ° 29 ′ 31"  E
Mouth height 96.8  m above sea level NHN
Height difference approx. 728.2 m
Bottom slope approx. 5.6 ‰
length 129.1 km
Catchment area 1,352.233 km²
Discharge at the gauge Hagen-Hohenlimburg
A Eo : 1322 km²
Location: 6.9 km above the mouth
NNQ (06/17/1996)
MNQ 1978/2010
MQ 1978/2010
Mq 1978/2010
MHQ 1978/2010
HHQ (02/06/1980)
5.77 m³ / s
8.63 m³ / s
30.1 m³ / s
22.8 l / (s km²)
250 m³ / s
401 m³ / s
Big cities Hagen
Medium-sized cities Schmallenberg , Lennestadt , Plettenberg , Iserlohn
Small towns Winterberg , Werdohl , Altena
Communities Finnentrop , Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde
Residents in the catchment area 424,000
Lenne crossing of the Kriegerweg in Gleierbrück
The Lenne in Iserlohn - Letmathe
Lennebogen near Letmathe, painting by Ursula Magdalena Reinheimer , 1802
Lenne in Hagen - Hohenlimburg
The Lenne estuary in the Ruhr below the Hohensyburg

The Lenne is a 129.1 km long, orographically left and southeastern tributary of the Ruhr in North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany . With an average discharge of 30.1 m³ / s it is the most water-rich and therefore the most important tributary of the Ruhr. The Lenne is dammed in many places to generate electricity.




The Lenne rises within the Hochsauerland in the Rothaar Mountains . The Lenne spring is located near the Winterberg core town, about 315 m west of the summit of the Kahler Asten ( 841.9  m ), the Astenturm observation tower at about 825  m above sea level. NHN . A small metal plaque was placed on site with the following inscription : "LENNEQUELLE - 830  m  above sea level - length of the river 138 km" . The height and length given there contrast with the values ​​given by the Cologne district government : 825  m high and 129.1 km long. You can get to the source on the Kahler Asten educational trail and the Rothaarsteig , which lead through the Hochheide .

Upper course

From its source, the Lenne flows through the Sauerland primarily in a westerly direction. It flows through the villages of Westfeld , Inderlenne and Oberkirchen . Between Westfeld and Oberkirchen the Nesselbach , which rises near Altastenberg, flows into the right, in Inderlenne on the right the Esenbeck and then in Winkhausen on the right the Sorpe . Below Gleidorf , where the Gleierbach joins on the right, the Lenne reaches Schmallenberg . Here the county coming from the east flows to the left . Three kilometers further, the Lenne Fleckenberg flows through , where the Latrop also flows on the left.

Middle course

The nearest major town on the river is to Lennestadt belonging and to the Saalhausen Hills lying Saalhausen what he the Lennestadt districts Langenei and Kickenbach happens. Then the Lenne flows gradually through the Altenhundem district , where the Hundem from the south joins on the left. From Altenhundem the river runs in the middle and later also in the lower reaches in a strongly meandering and with height differences of over 300 m partly deeply buried valley in a north-westerly direction. After passing the districts of Meggen and Maumke , it reaches the district of Grevenbrück . The Elspebach flows here on the right .

Below Grevenbrück, the Lenne reaches the municipality of Finnentrop , where it flows past the northeastern foothills of the Ebbe Mountains. The Bigge , which comes from the south-west and is dammed to the Biggesee near Attendorn, flows here on the left-hand side . Another major tributary in the Finnentrop area is the Fretterbach , which joins Lenhausen on the right. Behind Rönkhausen , from where the Lenne passes the Lenne Mountains , it reaches the urban area of Plettenberg .

Plettenberg itself is traversed by the Else , which in the district of Eiringhausen flows into the Lenne from the south. A little further downstream, the Lenne passes the Ohle district before it leaves Plettenberg in the direction of Werdohl . In Werdohl, the course of the river makes three meanders . Furthermore, the verse coming from the south ends here . Below the district of Ütterlingsen , the river reaches the urban area of Altena , where the stone bridge crosses the river. The Rahmede, which comes from the south, flows here on the left and, in Altena, after flowing around the Schlossberg with Altena Castle, the Nette flows into the Lenne on the right. Other localities on the river that belong to Altena are Mühlendorf , Linscheid , Knerling and Pragpaul . The Opperhusen then passed by the Lenne belongs to Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde , the districts of which the river then flows past Einsal , Obstfeld and Nachrodt .

Lower course

After passing the city limits of Iserlohn in the area of ​​the Letmathe district , the Lenne reaches Lasbeck, which also belongs to Iserlohn . Before reaching Letmathe, the Grüner Bach joins on the right . The Lenne makes an arc here to the south and reaches the urban area of Hagen with the right-hand locality Oege and the left-hand Hohenlimburg , where it runs its course again to the northwest. In Hohenlimburg, an artificial white water system about 300 m long was built into the river bed of the Lenne, which is used as a canoe slalom competition course. A little later, Elsey , which also belongs to Hagen and Hohenlimburg , is reached.


Then the Lenne flows east of the Hagen core city, to flow into the Rhine tributary Ruhr coming from the east at Bathey on the left at a height of 96.8  m . Opposite the mouth is the Hohensyburg .

Bed slope, catchment area and discharge volume

On its 129.1 km long path, the Lenne overcomes a height difference of 727 m, which corresponds to an average bed gradient of 5.6 ‰. It drains a catchment area of 1352.233 km². In its lower reaches, the Lenne has an average discharge volume of 30.1 m³ / s and thus almost doubles the water flow in the Ruhr.


The most important tributary of the Lenne is the 44.6 km long Bigge , which with a 369.133 km² catchment area contributes 27.3% to that of the Lenne. Other important tributaries are Hundem , Else and Verse , whose catchment area is larger than 50 km². Numerous tributaries of the Lenne, from their source to the mouth, are listed below. The length, the position of the mouth and, if available, the size of the respective catchment area are mentioned. Only tributaries with a length of more than 2 km or a catchment area larger than 5 km² are listed.

Surname page Length
( km )
( km² )
Source Muzzle Position
( km )
height ( m above sea  level )
Black sieving right 5.1 6.185 750 498 122.5 2766-112
Nesselbach right 7.4 10.729 723 459 119.3 2766-12
Waldsiepen Left 4.8 6.508 735 432 117.0 2766-132
Hartmecke Left 4.3 5.102 733 429 116.8 2766-134
Sorpe right 10.3 16.607 650 405 114.0 2766-14
Gleierbach right 7.1 10.969 674 389 111.5 2766-16
county Left 6.4 12,398 644 368 108.2 2766-18
Latrop Left 11.0 30.019 694 349 104.4 2766-192
Uentropic Left 5.8 9.506 630 335 101.2 2766-194
Harbecke right 2.3 3,700 530 348 100.4 2766-1932
Milchenbach Left 4.7 8,540 590 322 98.4 2766-196
Gleierbach right 5.0 10.120 486 301 94.0 2766-198
Dogs Left 14.5 128.946 614 269 86.4 2766-2
Elspebach right 12.1 42,477 446 247 79.1 2766-34
Veischedebach Left 16.6 42.829 510 245 78.4 2766-36
Repe Left 11.4 26,367 495 241 77.3 2766-38
Bigge Left 44.6 369.133 427 233 73.6 2766-4
Fretterbach right 16.7 44.772 443 224 68.3 2766-52
Glingebach right 6.6 12.623 477 220 66.1 2766-54
Else Left 12.9 96.178 417 203 56.6 2766-6
Almecke Left 6.4 6.625 489 192 51.0 2766-74
Verses Left 24.5 79.966 539 182 45.4 2766-8
Rahmede Left 11.7 29.854 385 158 30.0 2766-92
Nice right 8.0 14.788 458 158 28.2 2766-94
Brachtenbecke Left 4.4 7,152 442 157 25.3 2766-952
Lasbeck Bach Left 5.5 5.712 432 132 18.2 2766-956
Green brook right 11.6 25,183 457 128 16.1 2766-96
Nahmerbach Left 11.2 25.948 446 117 10.5 2766-98
Holthauser Bach Left 5.3 7.628 345 111 7.8 2766-992
Wannebach right 6.2 8,782 236 107 5.4 2766-996


Recordings of flood events from the years 1682, 1808 to 1998 show that there were frequent floods on the lower reaches of the Lenne. The construction of the Biggetalsperre reduced the risk of flooding. The places Altena, Werdohl and Plettenberg are still threatened by flooding.

Water quality and structure quality and protected areas

Lennetal nature reserve below Schmallenberg

The water quality is given to long distances with critically loaded (grade II-III) in partial areas with very dirty (grade III). Only on the stretch between the source and the confluence of the Latrop is the water quality indicated predominantly as moderately polluted, and in some areas as slightly polluted.

The water structure quality of the Lenne is given in the area from the source to the confluence of the Latrop mainly as moderately to significantly changed (quality classes 3 and 4). In the further course, however, the Lenne is predominantly indicated as being heavily to completely changed (quality classes 5 to 7).

Parts of the Lennelauf are designated as nature reserves (NSG) - for example NSG Oberes Lennetal in Schmallenberg , NSG Oberes Lennetal in Winterberg , NSG Lennetal below Schmallenberg  - and as an FFH area .


Trout and grayling can be found in the Lenne . So far, gray herons , kingfisher , dipper , gray wagtail and mallard have been identified as breeding birds on the Lenne . The cormorant and black stork feed on.

Economy and power plants

White water park in Hohenlimburg

The river Lenne plays an important role in supplying industrial companies located on it with process water . The former coal-fired power station near Werdohl was cooled with water from the Lenne. As a regenerative energy source , the Lenne has been used by around twelve run-of-river power stations since the 1920s . There are three plants around Plettenberg: Bockeloh , Ohle , Siesel . The Lenne also plays an important role in supplying water to the Ruhr area.


Long stretches of roads run along the Lenne. Between Westfeld and Oberkirchen it is the state road  640, which will then be replaced by the federal road 236 . This federal road accompanies the river to Iserlohn-Letmathe, where it is now led to the federal highway 46 . This motorway crosses the Lenne west of Letmathe. A little further downstream it is crossed by the federal highway 45 . The Lenne is accompanied by Kreisstraße  3 up to the mouth . In sight of the estuary, federal motorway 1 still crosses the Lenne.

The Lenne between Hagen and Altenhundem is also accompanied by the Lennetalbahn . This railway line leaves the river valley in Altenhundem and continues to Siegen . In addition, the 140 km long Lenneroute cycle path runs along the Lenne.


The flow area of ​​the Lenne and the Lennegebirge are scenes of action in the novel “Der Femhof” by Josefa Berens-Totenohl . The Zoff group named Lennestrand and Lennesand as desirable places of eternal resting place in their title “Sauerland”.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l Topographical Information Management, Cologne District Government, Department GEObasis NRW ( information )
  2. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  3. a b German Hydrological Yearbook Ruhr / Hagen-Hohenlimburg 2010 (PDF, 14.6 kB)
  4. orifice layer (at / near) the tributaries according to the flowing water Kilometrierung the Lenne;
    According to the water station map in Topographical Information Management, Cologne District Government, Department GEObasis NRW ( information )
  5. Water directory of the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection NRW 2010 (XLS; 4.67 MB) ( Notes )
  6. For a better overview and sorting downstream, a hyphen has been inserted for each river in the water code number (GKZ) after the number "2766", which stands for the Lenne .
  7. State Environment Agency Hagen (2000/2001): High water marks on the Lenne and the tributaries. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 30, 2016 ; Retrieved April 26, 2016 . 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 stua-ha.nrw.de (PDF; 105.1 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.bezreg-arnsberg.nrw.de
  8. Staatliches Umweltamt Hagen (2000/2001): Historical flood events in the Lenne catchment area, part 1. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 30, 2016 ; Retrieved April 26, 2016 . 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 stua-ha.nrw.de (PDF; 115.2 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.bezreg-arnsberg.nrw.de
  9. Staatliches Umweltamt Hagen (2000/2001): Historical flood events in the Lenne catchment area, part 2. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 30, 2016 ; Retrieved April 26, 2016 . 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 stua-ha.nrw.de (PDF; 2.77 MB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.bezreg-arnsberg.nrw.de
  10. a b Initial situation water quality, water structure quality and fish (part 1) ( Memento from October 31, 2008 in the Internet Archive ), (PDF; 253 kB)
  11. Wasserkraftwerke (MK) (hydroelectric power plants in the Märkisches Kreis), on wasser.de


Web links

Commons : Lenne  - collection of images, videos and audio files