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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the local community Osterspai
Map of Germany, position of the municipality Osterspai highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 15 '  N , 7 ° 37'  E

Basic data
State : Rhineland-Palatinate
County : Rhein-Lahn district
Association municipality : Loreley
Height : 65 m above sea level NHN
Area : 13 km 2
Residents: 1273 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 98 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 56340
Area code : 02627
License plate : EMS, DIZ, GOH
Community key : 07 1 41 108
Association administration address: Dolkstrasse 3
56346 St. Goarshausen
Website : www.osterspai.de
Local Mayor : Thomas Maier ( SPD )
Location of the local community Osterspai in the Rhein-Lahn district
Lahnstein Lahnstein Arzbach Bad Ems Becheln Dausenau Fachbach Frücht Kemmenau Miellen Nievern Braubach Dachsenhausen Filsen Kamp-Bornhofen Osterspai Burgschwalbach Flacht Hahnstätten Kaltenholzhausen Lohrheim Mudershausen Netzbach Niederneisen Oberneisen Oberneisen Schiesheim Auel Bornich Dahlheim Dörscheid Dörscheid Kaub Kestert Lierschied Lykershausen Nochern Patersberg Prath Reichenberg (Rheinland-Pfalz) Reitzenhain (Taunus) Sankt Goarshausen Sauerthal Weisel (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Weyer (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Altendiez Aull Balduinstein Birlenbach Charlottenberg Cramberg Diez Dörnberg (Lahn) Eppenrod Geilnau Gückingen Hambach (bei Diez) Heistenbach Hirschberg (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Holzappel Holzheim (Aar) Horhausen (Nassau) Isselbach Langenscheid Laurenburg Scheidt (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Steinsberg (Rheinland-Pfalz) Wasenbach Allendorf (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Berghausen (Einrich) Berndroth Biebrich (bei Katzenelnbogen) Bremberg (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Dörsdorf Ebertshausen Eisighofen Ergeshausen Gutenacker Herold (Rheinland-Pfalz) Katzenelnbogen Klingelbach Kördorf Mittelfischbach Niedertiefenbach Oberfischbach Reckenroth Rettert Roth (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Schönborn (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Attenhausen Dessighofen Dienethal Dornholzhausen (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Geisig Hömberg Lollschied Misselberg Nassau (Lahn) Obernhof Oberwies Pohl (Nassau) Pohl (Nassau) Schweighausen Seelbach (Nassau) Singhofen Sulzbach (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Weinähr Winden (Nassau) Zimmerschied Zimmerschied Berg (Taunus) Bettendorf (Taunus) Bogel Buch (Taunus) Diethardt Ehr Endlichhofen Eschbach (bei Nastätten) Gemmerich Hainau Himmighofen Holzhausen an der Haide Hunzel Kasdorf Kehlbach (Rheinland-Pfalz) Lautert Lipporn Marienfels Miehlen Nastätten Nastätten Niederbachheim Niederwallmenach Oberbachheim Obertiefenbach (Taunus) Oberwallmenach Oelsberg Rettershain Ruppertshofen (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis) Strüth Strüth Weidenbach (Taunus) Welterod Winterwerb Hessen Landkreis Mainz-Bingen Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis Landkreis Mayen-Koblenz Westerwaldkreis Koblenz Landkreis Mayen-Koblenzmap
About this picture

Osterspai (formerly Osterspey ) is a municipality in the Rhein-Lahn district in Rhineland-Palatinate . It belongs to the Loreley community and is part of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site .


Neighboring communities are Braubach and Filsen and on the other side of the Rhine Spay .


A Roman road with access to the Rhine ran over the Rheinhöhe from Lahnstein to Lorch via today's Ellig ( elatio = towards the height). A Roman settlement on the banks of the Rhine at this point has not been proven and there were no Roman roads on the Rhine.

In 1031 Emperor Konrad II gave the Archbishop of Trier, Poppo von Babenberg , the county of Marfels between the Lahn , Rhine, Wisper and Aar ; today's Osterspai belonged to this area. With the Dagobert document , which is a forgery, Trier wanted to prove that the area around Speia belonged to the archbishopric as early as the 7th century. According to more recent findings, however, the term Speia did not refer to Osterspai.

Kurtrier could not exert any influence and Osterspai, which had city rights since 1326, had been an independent imperial territory under the leadership of an imperial knight since that time at the latest . Imperial knights were the lords of Liebenstein over Kamp-Bornhofen until 1637 , around whom the legend of the hostile brothers is entwined.

On July 31, 1596 , Franz-Friedrich von Liebenstein, who was Saarbrücken city governor in the service of the Counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken , died in Osterspai, as is written on his tomb in the collegiate church of Sankt Arnual in Saarbrücken .

In 1637 the Liebensteiners died out and the castle and its possessions passed to the Kurmainzer Chancellor Gerhard von Waldenburg . His descendant Karl Freiherr von Waldenburg had the first land map drawn up for the Osterspai sovereign territory in 1753, which also lists the boundary stones of the district. When he died childless, Georg Ernst Ludwig von Preuschen von und zu Liebenstein , “Princely Oranien-Nassauer secret council and regional president” zu Dillenburg , was enfeoffed in 1783 by the princely house of Nassau with the imperial castle Liebenstein and Osterspai. The descendants of Prussia still live in Osterspai Castle today.

In the course of the Napoleonic reorganization through the Rhine Federation Act , Osterspai was taken over by the Duchy of Nassau in 1806 . The occupation took place on September 18, 1807. The place was assigned to the office Braubach . This ended the patrimonial jurisdiction of the brothers August and Georg Ernst Ludwig von Preuschen von und zu Liebenstein . In a letter dated 22./24. October 1807 to the Ehrenbreitstein government , the brothers recognized Nassau's sovereignty , but claimed patrimonial jurisdiction and police violence for themselves. Only with a letter of March 23rd from the government of the Duchy of Nassau was a final settlement reached. The brothers waived the patrimonial jurisdiction and received a compensation pension of 398 guilders annually.

After the annexation by Prussia , the place was part of the Prussian province of Hessen-Nassau from 1866 until the end of the Second World War and then came to the state of Rhineland-Palatinate . The community belonged to the Braubach community from 1972 to 2012 .

At the beginning of the 19th century there was still no paved Rheinuferstraße. Local history documents that in 1833 the farmer Jakob Klein drove for the first time in a horse-drawn vehicle over a road from Osterspai to Braubach. It was not until 1931 that the Rheinuferstraße was paved in this section.

Osterspai was captured by American troops on March 25, 1945.

Etymology of the place name

A documentation board on the Rhine explains that the name goes back to Dutch boatmen who are said to have shouted on their voyages downstream: We moeten naar Oosten bij . What was meant was that boatmen should head for the right bank of the Rhine in order to escape the left drift of the current between Filsen and Osterspai.

But there must be another explanation, because the name Osterspai already existed at a time when Dutch ships could not yet pass this section of the Rhine. However, there is no evidence that the name is so old that it goes back to the Celtic swa or spa (= mineral spring, in this case perhaps the Dinkholder spring) or perhaps spah (= peek). More recent research is looking for the origin of the place name in Old High German spia (related to Old Dutch spoy , new Dutch spui = water passage / lock). Before current regulation measures were taken in the middle of the 19th century and rocks in the river bed that were disruptive to shipping were removed, the Rhine between Osterspai and the Niederspay and Oberspay on the left bank of the Rhine foamed heavily on these rocks, and a strong suction formed through narrow and deep gullies through which the water "sluiced" through. These places were also called the narrow door . It is possible that this etymology applies to all three Spay locations on the Rhine, of which Osterspai is the eastern one (the only one on the right bank of the Rhine).


Municipal council

The local council in Osterspai consists of 16 council members, who were elected in the local elections on May 26, 2019 in a personalized proportional representation, and the honorary local mayor as chairman.

The distribution of seats in the municipal council:

choice SPD CDU FBL total
2019 7th 5 4th 16 seats
2014 7th 5 4th 16 seats
2009 7th 3 6th 16 seats
2004 5 4th 7th 16 seats
  • FBL = Free Citizens List Osterspai e. V.


The local mayor of Osterspai is Thomas Maier (SPD). In the direct election on May 26, 2019, he was able to prevail against the previous incumbent Gerhard Böhm (CDU) with a share of the vote of 51.84%.

Sports & Freetime

The largest sports club in Osterspai is VfL Osterspai 1920 e. V. with around 560 members. There are currently 12 different sports on offer. The main departments of the club include football , table tennis and tennis. Zumba, parent-child gymnastics, sports badges, women's gymnastics, volleyball, children's gymnastics, everyone, athletics and body fit are also offered.


According to the 2011 census, 72.5% of Easter Speakers belonged to the Roman Catholic creed, while 11% said they were Protestant and 16.5% said they were of another or no creed.

In February 2018 the ten formerly independent parishes St. Martin (Osterspai), St. Margaretha (Filsen), St. Nikolaus ( Kamp-Bornhofen ), St. Jakobus the Elder ( Dahlheim ), St. Georg ( Kestert ), St. Martin ( Wellmich ), St. John the Baptist ( St. Goarshausen ), St. Nikolaus ( Kaub ), St. Peter and Paul ( Nastätten ) and St. Florin ( Strüth ) to the newly founded Roman Catholic parish “Heilige Elisabeth von Schönau ”, based in Kamp-Bornhofen, is part of the Limburg diocese .

The place is also assigned to the Braubach parish of the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau .

In Osterspai there was a small Jewish community from the 17th to the beginning of the 20th century , which was assigned to the community in Oberlahnstein . It had its own prayer room and its own Jewish cemetery . In 1919 the last Jewish resident left the place, and the last burial in the Jewish cemetery took place in 1922.

Culture and sights

Half-timbered ensemble Hauptstrasse 20, 18 and 16
St. Martin Church; above the place Schloss Liebeneck

Sights in Osterspai

Sights include the Catholic parish church of St. Martin and the Osterspai Castle in the center of the village with the chapel formerly dedicated to St. Peter. Today it is called St. James Chapel and houses the figure of St. James of Compostela by Antonio Bernal Redondo from Córdoba (Spain) .

St. Martin (first mentioned in 1076, the lower floors of the tower are still Romanesque ) was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War in 1620 and rebuilt at the end of the 17th century by Johann Philipp Boos von Waldeck . In 1778/79 the nave was renewed and in 1837/38 the church tower was raised by an octagonal superstructure. The sculptures in the furnishings are baroque (18th century), the high altar is early classical .

Half-timbered houses , most of which were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, shape the appearance of the village. Examples:

  • Old rectory (medieval forerunner destroyed in the Thirty Years' War), 1689, with the alliance coat of arms of the church renovator Johann Philipp Boos von Waldeck
  • Hauptstraße 4 ("Haus Bender"), two-zone with a mansard roof (former wine bar)
  • Opposite town hall: corner building with massive basement and profiled cornice, upper floor, gable and dwarf house (1619)
  • No. 16, corner house Hauptstraße / Schnatzenstraße (1579) - also called the “Schnatz” house - is the most striking building in Osterspai. The wealth of shapes in the carving on the eaves side ( St. Andrew's crosses , quarter-circle arches, mask heads) is otherwise unmatched in the town. Together with no. 18 with a mansard roof and a two-storey, gable-crowned bay window, dated 1739, and no. 20, a simple half-timbered building also with a mansard roof, it forms a harmonious ensemble.
  • In the Breitenstrasse, a semi-detached house with two dwelling houses and decorated parapets.

Liebeneck Castle is located at the height above Osterspai .

The area Auf der Schottel - an approx. 2 km long strip between a stone pier connected to Osterspai at low tide and the banks of the Rhine - was placed under nature protection in 1991. It serves numerous species of birds, e.g. B. pochard , little grebe , coot , tufted duck , mute swan , cormorant and black-headed gull , as a resting and breeding site and as a wintering area. In summer the area (also known as the Osterspaier “Ritt” ) is used as a bathing bay. On sunny days, more than 500 people flock to the natural beach to swim on the Rhine. Numerous yachts and boats can also be found there in the high season.

See also: List of cultural monuments in Osterspai

Sights in the area

Economy and Infrastructure


Osterspai is one of the areas on the Middle Rhine where phylloxera almost completely destroyed viticulture at the end of the 19th century. There are only a few local wineries whose growing areas are partly on the left bank of the Rhine in the Bopparder Hamm .

In large parts, Osterspai has switched to fruit growing - apples, pears, cherries, quince, peaches, strawberries. Stalls on Bundesstraße 42 offer the local products.

Nature reserve on the Schottel

Hiking trails

Osterspai with Schottel, seen from the Rheinsteig (Hexenköpfel viewpoint)

The place offers good access to the Rheinhöhenweg , Rheinburgenweg and the Rheinsteig , both to the north (Marksburg, Braubach) and to the south (Kestert, St. Goarshausen). Access is at the train station. There are striking landmarks on the Rheinsteig in the Osterspaier forest

  • a crucifix in front of a water tank from 1943
  • the Hexenbrunnen and the Hexenköpfel, a lookout point with a resting place over Osterspai and the Rhine with Schottel, Bopparder Hamm and Jakobsbergerhof
  • a shrine for Mary and a small chapel on the Rheinberg ( 152  m above sea  level )
  • the Heiligenbachtal with slate rock formations and an old quarry on the Kipplei
  • the Wasenbachtal rest area (crossroads), Gründlingtal, dry stone walls of abandoned vineyards and the Grendling lookout point (Rhine loop to Osterspai) as well
  • the Dinkholder Berg lookout point ( 282  m above sea level , steep ascent, view of the Rhine upwards over Osterspai and Schottel to Bopparder Hamm and downwards over Spay to Stolzenfels Castle , Marksburg, Braubach and Lahnstein). From there, the Dinkholder Bachtal leads downwards past the Sauerborn (an iron and carbonated mineral well - no more drinking water today) to the Dinkholder Mühle (half-timbered building with bay window from 1675) immediately before the right stretch of the Rhine on the Rhine.

The Jakobsweg Rhein-Lahn leads through the village, more precisely the Rhine-Camino , a pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela .


The Osterspai stop is on the right-hand Rhine route and is served by the RB 10 Neuwied - Koblenz - Wiesbaden - Frankfurt (Main) line.


  • Karl Bender: Local history Osterspai. 1st edition. Osterspai 1993, OCLC 180600196 .

Web links

Commons : Osterspai  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. State Statistical Office of Rhineland-Palatinate - population status 2019, districts, communities, association communities ( help on this ).
  2. ^ Harry Münzing: The mediatization of the former imperial directors and imperial knights in the Duchy of Nassau. Diss., 1980, pp. 123-124, 166
  3. ^ The Regional Returning Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: City Council Election 2019 Osterspain. Retrieved November 2, 2019 .
  4. ^ The Regional Returning Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: Municipal elections 2014, city and municipal council elections
  5. ^ The Regional Returning Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: direct elections 2019. see Loreley, Verbandsgemeinde, 13th line of results. Retrieved November 2, 2019 .
  6. ^ Rhein-Lahn-Zeitung: Enforced against incumbent: Challenger is successful the second time. May 28, 2019, accessed November 2, 2019 .
  7. Census 2011 Osterspai. (PDF) Retrieved January 3, 2018 .
  8. www.rhein-zeitung.de: Founding service: Parish "Heilige Elisabeth von Schönau" has its seat in Kamp-Bornhofen , accessed on February 6, 2018.
  9. ^ Jewish history in Osterspai at Alemannia Judaica
  10. "Auf der Schottel" nature reserve. (PDF) Retrieved October 3, 2016 .