Schwalm-Eder district

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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the Schwalm-Eder district Map of Germany, position of the Schwalm-Eder district highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 2 '  N , 9 ° 24'  E

Basic data
Existing period: 1974–
State : Hesse
Administrative region : kassel
Administrative headquarters : Homberg (Efze)
Area : 1,538.51 km 2
Residents: 179,673 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 117 inhabitants per km 2
License plate : HR, FZ, MEG, ZIG
Circle key : 06 6 34
Circle structure: 27 municipalities
Address of the
district administration:
Parkstrasse 6
34576 Homberg (Efze)
Website :
District Administrator : Winfried Becker ( SPD )
Location of the Schwalm-Eder district in Hesse
Kassel Landkreis Kassel Werra-Meißner-Kreis Schwalm-Eder-Kreis Landkreis Waldeck-Frankenberg Landkreis Hersfeld-Rotenburg Landkreis Fulda Vogelsbergkreis Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf Lahn-Dill-Kreis Landkreis Limburg-Weilburg Landkreis Gießen Main-Kinzig-Kreis Wetteraukreis Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis Hochtaunuskreis Wiesbaden Main-Taunus-Kreis Kreis Groß-Gerau Frankfurt am Main Offenbach am Main Landkreis Offenbach Darmstadt Landkreis Darmstadt-Dieburg Kreis Bergstraße Kreis Bergstraße Odenwaldkreis Baden-Württemberg Rheinland-Pfalz Bayern Nordrhein-Westfalen Niedersachsen Thüringenmap
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The Schwalm-Eder-Kreis is a district in the administrative district of Kassel in northern Hesse . The county seat is Homberg (Efze) . In terms of area, it is the second largest district in Hesse after the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg . It was formed in 1974 as part of the regional reform in Hesse from the old districts of Fritzlar-Homberg , Melsungen and Ziegenhain .

The district contains parts of the Knüllgebirge and the Kellerwald and is traversed by the West Hessian depression with its fertile soils. The eponymous rivers Schwalm and Eder flow through it.

The Schwalm-Eder district is located in the historical settlement area of ​​the Chatten . Its northern part was the Gaugrafschaft Maden, the nucleus of the Landgraviate of Hesse , while its southern part was the independent county of Ziegenhain for centuries until 1450 . In the Middle Ages, the region was marked by the disputes between Kurmainz and the Landgraviate of Hesse.



The Schwalm-Eder district is located in the north of Hesse and, with an area of ​​1,538.29 km², is the second largest district in the country after the Waldeck-Frankenberg district . This corresponds to about 7.3 percent of the Hessian state area.

In terms of nature, the district can be roughly divided into three areas. In the center the West Hessian Basin runs in an about ten kilometers wide aisle , which extends from Bad Karlshafen to Vogelsberg . The terrain in the depression is characterized by a hilly landscape consisting of flat thresholds and ridges, only in the river lowlands of Schwalm , Eder and Fulda is it flat. In the northern part there are a number of basalt cones . West of the valley is the West Hessian mountainous region , which is defined by wooded mountain tops. However, only parts of the municipalities of Bad Zwesten, Jesberg and Gilserberg belong to it, because this natural area mostly extends over the Waldeck-Frankenberg district. East of the valley is the East Hessian mountainous region , which comprises almost half of the district area. These include the prominent low mountain range of the Knülls and its foothills, which extend over the area of ​​eight cities and towns in the district.

The highest elevation in the district is 675.3 m above sea level. NN the desert garden in the cellar forest near Jesberg on the border with Waldeck-Frankenberg. The lowest point is at 140 m above sea level. NN in the municipality of Guxhagen in the north of the district.

Neighboring areas

The Schwalm-Eder-Kreis borders in a clockwise direction in the north, starting with the districts of Kassel , Werra-Meißner-Kreis , Hersfeld-Rotenburg , Vogelsbergkreis , Marburg-Biedenkopf and Waldeck-Frankenberg .


The Scharfenstein, a basalt cone near Gudensberg

In the Knüllgebirge to the east, formations of the Middle Buntsandstein that emerged in the older Triassic dominate . It is the same in the western part of the district near Gilserberg. Lower red sandstone , on the other hand, only occurs locally. The weathered soils of both rocks are generally acidic to weakly alkaline and poor in nutrients. Most of these soils are covered by forest.

In the Fritzlar area, more recent occurrences of the Upper Buntsandstein can be found, which is also known as the red formation because of its reddish color . These deposits form fine-grained, clayey - silty soils with different limestone contents and platy-clayey marls with dry site conditions. There are also smaller limestone deposits near Ottrau, Oberaula and Gilserberg.

Basalt cones protrude from the ground in the Gudensberg domed sleeper and in the Knüll . These scattered basalt eruptions are due to volcanic activity in the Tertiary . The weathered soils are richer in nutrients than that of the red sandstone and are more saturated with bases. Because of the altitude, the steep slopes and the high stone content in the bottom of the Knüllgebirge, the land there is mostly not used for agriculture. As a rule, they are forested or form rocks and block fields.

In the West Hessian Basin, two areas can be identified for the Schwalm-Eder district. In the northern part of the district, Mesozoic rocks come to the surface, similar to the basalt breakthroughs in the Knüll Mountains. In the southern Hessengau, on the other hand, there are tertiary sediments with sand, gravel and clay layers, in which abundant brown coal deposits are stored near Borken. The depression is also defined by large loess deposits . They were formed in the Pleistocene by the action of wind and have deposited and redistributed in many places in layers of different thickness. These deposits usually form agriculturally productive soils. The most recent deposits of the Quaternary formation usually consist of sand to clay with different gravel and stone contents. They are stored in the valley floodplains and are still washed ashore and relocated to this day by river and stream dynamics as well as heavy rainfall. The residual soils may fertile alluvial soils and at high water levels Gleye form dry or sandy-gritty substrate locations.

Rivers and bodies of water

The Schwalm flows through the Treysa-Ziegenhain flood retention basin.

The largest rivers in the district are Schwalm , Eder and Fulda . The Schwalm, which gave the Schwalm landscape its name, rises in the Vogelsberg south of the district boundary, flows through it in a south-north direction and flows into the Eder at Rhünda . The Eder has its source in the Rothaargebirge in North Rhine-Westphalia , runs in the north of the district in a west-east direction and flows into the Fulda at Grifte . The Fulda flows through the north-east of the district coming from the Rhön . Almost all of the district's flowing waters belong to the Weser catchment area . The watershed is in the Gilserberg area, from where the Josbach flows into the Rhine via Ohm and Lahn .

Along the Schwalm there are frequent floods, especially when the snow is melting. After a devastating flood in December 1960, the Treysa-Ziegenhain flood retention basin was built between 1967 and 1972 . Planned similar retention basins at Wallenstein and in the Gilsatal failed due to the unfavorable geological conditions and the financing.

The standing water was created artificially. Their pits were previously used to mine gravel, sand, lignite or other raw materials. Most of the lakes in the district are in the Borkener Seenland . There is also the largest lake in the district, Borkener See . Popular bathing lakes are the Stockelache , the Neuenhainer See and the Silbersee ; all three always had excellent water quality in measurements taken in recent years.


city Residents
Borken (Hesse) 12,610
Felsberg 10,669
Fritzlar , cathedral and imperial city 14,733
Gudensberg 9710
Homberg (Efze) , city of the Reformation 14.001
Melsungen 13,689
Neukirchen 6946
Niedenstein 5299
Schwalmstadt , confirmation city 18,019
Schwarzenborn 1159
Spangenberg , Liebenbachstadt 6046
local community Residents
Bad Zwesten 3813
Edermünde 7332
Frielendorf 7253
Gilserberg 2943
Guxhagen 5358
Jesberg 2237
Knüllwald 4289
Grains 3027
Malsfeld 3895
Rotten 3214
Neuental 3005
Upper auditorium 3208
Ottrau 2128
Schrecksbach 3024
Wobble 7303
Willingshausen 4763
Kassel Landkreis Fulda Landkreis Hersfeld-Rotenburg Landkreis Kassel Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf Landkreis Waldeck-Frankenberg Vogelsbergkreis Vogelsbergkreis Werra-Meißner-Kreis Knüllwald Homberg (Efze) Frielendorf Schwarzenborn (Knüll) Neukirchen (Knüll) Oberaula Ottrau Schrecksbach Willingshausen Schwalmstadt Gilserberg Jesberg Neuental Bad Zwesten Borken (Hessen) Morschen Malsfeld Wabern (Hessen) Felsberg (Hessen) Spangenberg Melsungen Körle Guxhagen Edermünde Gudensberg Niedenstein FritzlarMunicipalities in HR.svg
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Nature reserves

With 332 hectares, the Borkener See forms the largest nature reserve in the Schwalm-Eder district.

There are 34 nature reserves in the Schwalm-Eder district . The smallest, at 2.36 hectares, is the Eichelskopf near Homberg / Efze, the most important part of which is a former tuff break area. The Borkener See is 332 hectares by far the largest area of the district. The designation of nature reserves began only after the formation of the district. Most areas serve to protect rivers with their floodplains as well as ponds and lakes. Dry biotopes, on the other hand, take a back seat due to the geological conditions. In the western part of the district there is part of the Kellerwald-Edersee nature park , the southernmost point of which is near Gilserberg and the easternmost point near Bad Zwemmen.

Like many other nature reserves in the Schwalm-Eder district, the emergence of the Borkener See goes back to the discontinued mining in the region. It was created by spring pouring and surface water after the groundwater was no longer pumped out from 1980. The Goldbergsee near Ostheim was also created from a lignite mine and is home to various plant communities as well as breeding and resting places for water birds. The gravel ponds Altenburg in Felsberg, the heron pond near Böddiger , the Eder meadows near Obermöllrich and the sludge ponds near Geismar used to be gravel pits and are now used for bird and plant protection.

Areas that protect endangered vegetation contain wet and fresh meadows as well as reed areas and wooded areas. These include the flax lawn near Dittershausen , the Rohrerlen near Werkel , the floodplain near Malsfeld and the valley of the Ohe and Hümerbach near Großropperhausen . There are old willow and alder stocks, mixed ash forests, oak hornbeams and mixed deciduous beech forests.


Boniface monument in front of the cathedral in Fritzlar

Prehistory and the Middle Ages

Numerous finds from the Stone Age indicate that today's district area was already settled in prehistoric times. The core area of Chatten was located around today's small towns of Felsberg, Fritzlar, Gudensberg and Niedenstein, which is why the region is also called Chattengau . The largest fortress of the Chatti was probably the Altenburg near Niedenstein , which began around 2000 BC. Was settled. Finds of gold coins, bronze objects and glass products indicate that the oppidum was an important regional trading center. The datable finds cease shortly before the turn of the century. It is possible that the complex was abandoned or destroyed in the course of the Roman general Germanicus' campaign of revenge against the Chatti in AD 15. Tacitus reports that the main town of the Chatti, Mattium , was burned down and that the Romans had previously crossed the Eder to the north. It is still unclear where this place was. Some historians therefore assume that Mattium is not a limited location, but a larger area, which consisted of various individual farms and refuges with ramparts. The Altenburg would have been a link in a ring wall chain, which possibly included the plain of Maden, with the Mader Heide , and the Niedenstein district of Metze . The most important religious, political and legal places of the Chatti were in this area.

According to the Vita Sancti Bonifatii of Willibald von Mainz , the Anglo-Saxon missionary and church organizer Bonifatius felled a tree consecrated to the Germanic god Donar (Thor), the Donareiche, near Fritzlar in AD 723 . He had a chapel built from their wood, in the place of which the Fritzlar Cathedral stands today. The monastery connected to the chapel and the royal palace to the west of it, which Charlemagne had built in 775, gave Fritzlar an important position in the Carolingian Empire. In the centuries that followed, there were numerous visits by kings and emperors as well as imperial and church assemblies. In 919, the Saxon Duke Heinrich was elected king in Fritzlar.

The previously royal city of Fritzlar came to the ore monastery of Mainz from around 1066 through several donations from Emperor Heinrich IV . Although the city remained the most important city in Lower Hesse until well into the 13th century, it was gradually replaced by the landgraves' residence cities of Marburg and Kassel. The growing secular influence of the archbishopric in the region ensured constant feuds between Kurmainz and the Landgraves of Hesse for territorial supremacy from the 13th to the 15th century . The Landgrave's victory in the decisive Mainz-Hessian War of 1427 put an end to Mainz's ambitions in Upper and Lower Hesse . Fritzlar was now almost completely enclosed by Hessian territory. The city only became Hessian in 1803 with the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss .

In the southern part of the district, the Counts of Ziegenhain succeeded in the 12th century in building up a geographically closed rule based on Fulda and Hersfeld bailiwick rights . The strategic location between Upper and Lower Hesse and between Mainz and Hesse forced the counts to be skilful in the disputes between the Landgraves and Kurmainz. In the 1370s Gottfried VIII von Ziegenhain was one of the Landgrave's leading opponents in the Star Wars , in the course of which Schwarzenborn and Neukirchen were burned down. With the heirless death of the last Count of Ziegenhain, Johann II. In 1450, his county fell to Hesse.

1469 came after disputes between the landgrave brothers Heinrich III. von Oberhessen and Ludwig II. von Niederhessen to the Hessian fratricidal war , in which Borken and again Schwarzenborn were burned down and Jesberg Castle destroyed. The conflict was settled on a spit in a state parliament the following year .

Reformation and Thirty Years War

Stone column near Riebelsdorf in honor of Veltin Muhly, commander of the Ziegenhain vigilante group

In 1526 the Hessian Landgrave Philip I convened the Homberg Synod in the Homberg town church of St. Mary . The reformer Franz Lambert von Avignon presented his theses, whereupon the Reformation was introduced in the Landgraviate. The monasteries and monasteries were secularized . The Fritzlar monasteries and monasteries were the only ones in today's district that remained because the city belonged to the ore monastery of Mainz .

From 1618 the Thirty Years War raged . Most of the places in what is now the district were affected by the war through troop movements, contributions , billeting , looting and pillage. In 1631, Landgrave Wilhelm V of Hessen-Kassel held a state parliament on Mader Heide, at which the state estates granted him the money he needed for a war effort. In the same year, Tilly's troops marched through the country, looting and destroying Borken on their way and devastating the villages of Lohne and Kirchberg as well as the former Immichenhain monastery , which had recently been occupied by five monks again by the diocese of Fulda .

The events of 1640 in particular were devastating. Croatian riders of the emperor set Gudensberg on fire and destroyed 280 buildings; only the town church, the hospital in front of the town walls and a few houses were spared. Imperial troops incinerated large parts of the city of Treysa and destroyed the Gothic town hall. The responsible field marshal Johann Rudolf von Breda fell a short time later in the battle on Riebelsdorfer Berg , allegedly by a bullet by Velten Muhly , commander of the Ziegenhain Citizens Corps. Numerous villages in the Schwalm region as well as a summer palace of Landgrave Moritz in Guxhagen fell victim to imperial troops this year.

Many places were destroyed and devastated after the end of the war and only slowly recovered or remained deserted . In Fritzlar alone, half of the population died during the war. Neukirchen was still heavily in debt in 1671, while Niedenstein suffered from the effects of the war centuries later.

18th and 19th centuries

In 1761 French troops took the Spangenberg Castle.

After a quiet century, the Seven Years 'War caused similar devastation as the Thirty Years' War in some places. Altenbrunslar and Zwesten were plundered by troops passing through. Gudensberg, where French magazines were and troops occupied Obernburg , was conquered in 1761 by Hessian and British troops under Lord Granby . The castle was destroyed and then used by the residents as a quarry when the city was rebuilt. French troops took the Spangenberg Castle by hand and held the Ziegenhain Fortress , which was destroyed by Hessian artillery in 1761.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Landgraviate of Hessen-Kassel , to which today's district area belonged, did not join the Rhine Confederation and remained neutral. Napoléon then struck Hessen-Kassel in 1807 to the newly formed Kingdom of Westphalia under the reign of his brother Jérôme Bonaparte . In 1809, dissatisfaction with foreign rule led Colonel Wilhelm von Dörnberg to instigate an uprising against the new king. He gathered around 1,000 poorly armed peasants in Homberg with whom he moved to Kassel, the seat of Jérômes government. After a brief skirmish near Baunatal , the uprising was put down. After the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig , the kingdom was dissolved in 1813 and the Electorate of Hesse was formed during the restoration period.

During an administrative reform of the electorate in 1821, the Fritzlar , Homberg , Melsungen and Ziegenhain districts were formed. It was during this time that lignite mining began in the region, which would shape it for more than a hundred years. Mining experienced an initial boom when both state and private engagement became permissible and industrial demand grew at the same time. Private collieries were founded in Frielendorf in 1821 by the von Baumbach family and in 1825 in Wabern by postmaster Thielepape, but private foundations were rare because of the high official obstacles. The northern Hessian lignite had a higher calorific value than most other lignite in Germany, but could hardly be further processed. With the construction of the Main-Weser Railway in the middle of the 19th century and the Kanonenbahn in the 1870s, the region was linked to the major economic centers and new sales markets were opened up. The better traffic conditions allowed an increase in production in the mines and led to a constant modernization of coal mining. From 1868 the area belonged to the Prussian province of Hessen-Nassau and from 1871 it was part of the German Empire . The annexation gave private mining in 1867 with the introduction of the Prussian mining law considerably greater scope for development.

Until 1945

The large Main-Weser power station in Borken (1924)

At the beginning of the 20th century, mining experienced a significant boom. The funding figures grew steadily and experienced a temporary high point before the First World War . In the war years and the revolutionary year of 1919 , however, the funding figures fell because the workforces of the mines were in the field. From 1922 to 1923 the large Main-Weser power station was built in Borken , where the coal from several underground and open-cast mines was consumed. The Borken power plant and the growing potash industry in northern Hesse were the largest buyers of lignite, which meant that lignite mining in northern Hesse experienced a renewed boom during this period, but production figures fell significantly again during the global economic crisis . The following increase in the Third Reich was due to the expansion of the armaments industry in Kassel by the National Socialists. With the beginning of the war, the output decreased again slightly.

In the Weimar Republic , the SPD and DNVP did particularly well in the Reichstag elections in the region. At the election of the Kurhessischer Kommunallandag in November 1929, members of the NSDAP entered the municipal parliaments for the first time. The NSDAP was particularly popular with voters with a small-scale or small-business background who had previously voted nationally or liberally. The DNVP and the peasant-oriented Rural People's Party were ousted by it. In the 1930 Reichstag election , the National Socialists were the second strongest party in the Fritzlar, Homberg and Melsungen districts, and even the strongest party in Ziegenhain with 40.8 percent. In the 1932 Reich presidential election , Adolf Hitler received the most votes in both ballots in Homberg, Melsungen and Ziegenhain, and it was the same in the two Reichstag elections in 1932.

The enthusiasm for National Socialism in the region favored the riots of the November pogroms in 1938 . There were attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions. A. in Borken, Fritzlar, Homberg, Felsberg, Guxhagen and Ziegenhain. The first death of the pogroms occurred in Felsberg. An early concentration camp was set up in June 1933 in the former Breitenau monastery in the Guxhagen district of Breitenau. During the Second World War , the Gestapo Kassel used the site as a labor education camp and concentration assembly camp. At Ziegenhain, a prisoner-of-war camp was set up with the main camp IX A , whose prisoners had to do forced labor in the surrounding area's agriculture and industry. After the destruction of the Edersee dam wall, devastating floods occurred in 1943 in the towns on the Eder. In the last days of the war, the 13th century Eder Bridge in Fritzlar was blown up by German troops, and there were battles between American and German troops at Werkel and Zennern.

Since the Second World War

After the Second World War, the population increased rapidly in most places in the region, because many displaced people from the eastern areas settled. In Fritzlar alone, the population increased by a third due to the refugees. Many of them found work in the lignite industry, which had its highest employment figures in the late 1950s. However, many mines in North Hesse have been closed since the 1960s. Mining was only maintained in Borken.

On January 1, 1974, the Schwalm-Eder district was formed as part of the regional reform in Hesse. Joined the new county

  • all communities of the dissolved Fritzlar-Homberg district (The four villages Mühlbach , Raboldshausen , Saasen and Salzberg from the old Fritzlar-Homberg district had already joined the new community of Neuenstein , which was formed on that day, on December 31, 1971 and thus came to the old district of Hersfeld.)
  • all municipalities of the dissolved district Melsungen, except for the municipality Heinebach that the district Rotenburg came
  • all communities of the dissolved district of Ziegenhain except for the community Mengsberg , which was incorporated into Neustadt (Hesse) in the then district of Marburg , and the community of Breitenbach am Herzberg , which came to the district of Hersfeld-Rotenburg
  • the city of Züschen from the dissolved Waldeck district, which was incorporated into the city of Fritzlar.

The town of Schwalmstadt was formed on December 31, 1970 from the previously independent towns of Treysa and Ziegenhain.

Homberg (Efze) is one of the few district towns that was not a district administrative seat before the formation of the new district (i.e. since the Homberg district was dissolved and it became part of Fritzlar-Homberg in 1932). The reason for choosing Homberg was that the city is almost in the center of the new district, whereas the previous district towns are more on the periphery.

Monument in Stolzenbach

As a result of the Stolzenbach mine disaster on June 1, 1988, the Stolzenbach colliery was the last of the original six lignite underground mining operations in the Borken lignite area to be closed. For economic reasons, the entire Borken mining industry and, in March 1991, the Main-Weser power station were shut down. The opencast mines had already been recultivated since the first shutdowns in the 1960s . Pits around Borken and Frielendorf were turned into quarry ponds and their immediate surroundings were converted into forest and meadow areas. With the change in the landscape, tourism gained increasing importance as an economic sector.

Population development

At the turn of the century 1900 a total of 108,193 people lived in the previous districts of today's district, of which 26,466 in the Fritzlar district, 21,378 in the Homberg district, 27,597 in the Melsungen district and 32,752 in the Ziegenhain district. In 1932 the first two districts were merged into one. After the Second World War, the three districts with a total of 200,000 inhabitants had reached their highest population. The strong growth can be explained by the influx of many displaced persons. However, the decline of mining caused the population to decline to a total of 175,000 in the following years.

During the territorial reform in 1974, when the old districts of Fritzlar-Homberg, Melsungen and Ziegenhain were merged, the population of the newly created district was 182,216. In 1980 the population had fallen to 180,900, but rose again to 183,700 by 1990. In 2008, around 185,300 people lived in the Schwalm-Eder district, of whom 91,600 were male and 93,700 were female. The mean age was around 43 years. The share of the foreign population was 3.6 percent.

By 2010 the population had fallen back to 182,513. A regionalized population projection showed that the population will only be around 158,000 people by 2030 and will therefore decrease by 14.6 percent. Throughout Hesse, the population is expected to decrease by 4.3 percent in the same period. The average age in the district will rise to almost 49 years.


Majorities of votes by local authority in local elections 2011 (red = SPD, black = CDU)

Political culture

The majority of the population in the Schwalm-Eder district is considered to be conservative. Despite this good breeding ground for a conservative party like the CDU , politics has been dominated by the SPD since 1945 . Their political successes can be explained by their historically deep anchoring in all social classes and their high organizational density. There are local SPD associations in almost all places. For over a hundred years, the SPD Schwalm-Eder has been one of the SPD organizations with the largest number of members in the northern Hessian district. The three previous district administrators - August Franke (1974–1984), Jürgen Hasheider (1984–2002) and Frank-Martin Neupärtl (2002–2014) - all belonged to the SPD.

Bundestag, state parliament and local elections

The Schwalm-Eder-Kreis sends Edgar Franke (SPD), a direct candidate to the Bundestag . From January 2014 to October 2017 Franke was chairman of the health committee in the Bundestag. He has been the Federal Government's Victims Commissioner since 2018. The CDU MP Bernd Siebert missed the re-entry into the Bundestag in the 2017 federal election. With Albrecht Glaser (AfD), the constituency continues to send a second MP to Berlin. The district's two state electoral districts were also won by the SPD in the 2013 state elections and the 2018 state elections . The constituency 7 in the north sends Günter Rudolph as a direct candidate, the constituency 8 in the south Regine Müller .

District administrators

District council

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

Diagram showing the election results and the distribution of seats
Development of the voting shares of the parties in the district council
Distribution of seats in the district assembly 2016
28 4th 17th 7th 7th 
A total of 71 seats

71 members of the district council had to be elected for the legislative period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021. Of 146,477 eligible voters, 81,741 voted. The voter turnout remained almost constant compared to 55.9% in 2011 at 55.8% in 2016.

Nominations SPD CDU AfD FWG f GREEN FDP Left l Pirates BB b REP Distribution of seats
2016 Voting share a 38.7 23.8 10.2 10.1 7.3 6.3 2.8 0.8 - -
Seats (of 71) 28 17th 7th 7th 5 4th 2 1 - -
2011 Voting share a 44.1 27.6 - 7.2 12.9 4.8 3.0 - 0.3 -
Seats (of 71) 31 20th - 5 9 4th 2 - - -
2006 Voting share a 47.3 30.5 - 6.0 5.7 5.9 3.0 - 1.6 -
Seats (of 71) 34 22nd - 4th 4th 4th 2 - 1 -
2001 Voting share a 51.9 29.1 - 5.4 5.5 5.5 - - - 2.6
Seats (of 71) 37 20th - 4th 4th 4th - - - 2
1997 Voting share a 50.0 24.8 - 7.3 7.3 4.3 - - - 6.3
Seats (of 71) 37 18th - 5 6th - - - - 5
a percentage of the valid votes cast
f Free voter community Schwalm-Eder
l 2006 as Die Linke.WASG
b Pro Schwalm-Eder citizens' alliance

Right-wing extremism

In the summer of 2008, the right-wing extremist group Free Forces Schwalm-Eder (FKSE) became known nationwide when some members attacked a camp of the left youth group . She had already attracted regional attention beforehand through sticker and leaflet campaigns and attacks on anti-fascist groups. Since then there have been repeated violent attacks. With 25 to 30 members, the FKSE are one of the largest and most stable groups of their kind throughout Hesse and are particularly active in Schwalmstadt, Homberg, Neukirchen and Frielendorf. Although its members are considered to be poorly structured, a potential for right-left confrontations is still recognizable.

In the vicinity of Schwarzenborn, the Holocaust denier Manfred Roeder , who died in 2014, owned a property that he himself calls the Reichshof . It has served as a meeting place for people from the neo-Nazi scene for years.


The Schwalm-Eder-Kreis maintains five partnership relationships that have grown through encounters between schools, youth groups and associations as well as contacts from business and administration. The first partnership was concluded in 1961 between the then Fritzlar-Homberg district and the former Berlin district of Tiergarten . Today the partnership between the Schwalm-Eder district and the Mitte district applies . In 1973 the same Altkreis entered into a partnership with the Finnish city of Kajaani . The Schwalm-Eder district has been in partnership with the Sedgemoor district in the United Kingdom since 1979 . The last partnership to date was concluded in 2000 with the Polish district of Piła (Schneidemühl) ( Powiat Pilski ).

In addition, there is an agreement on cooperation and friendly encounters with the Kyffhäuserkreis in Thuringia . In addition, the district's municipalities have around forty international partnerships with other cities and municipalities.

Coat of arms, flag and banner

Coat of arms of the Schwalm-Eder district
Blazon : "In blue over three humbled silver wavy ribbons, the golden, crowned and reinforced, growing Hessian lion, divided five times by silver and red."
Reasons for the coat of arms: The colorful lion stands for the Landgraviate of Hesse and its successor states. Only the upper half of the lion, actually divided nine times by silver and red, is shown. The wavy bars symbolize the three largest rivers in the district: Fulda, Eder and Schwalm.

The coat of arms was awarded on September 4, 1975.



Like large parts of northern Hesse, the Schwalm-Eder district belongs to the Lower Hesse dialect region. The proportion of dialect speakers is falling, however: A study from 1989 showed that the proportion of dialect speakers has decreased over the years from half to a third to a quarter of those under thirty. According to the study, ties to a regional variant of German are much less pronounced in the entire north of Hesse than in the south. The number of dialect speakers is continuously decreasing, standard German is the dominant language.

In order to maintain the dialect nonetheless, various measures are taken: amateur theater groups perform plays in the Lower Hessian dialect, and in some elementary schools the low-level language is taught. Columns written in dialect appear in the regional editions of the daily newspaper HNA and traditional groups oriented towards the dialect meet to converse in dialect.

Maintenance of tradition

Schwalm costume group at the regional children's costume meeting in Homberg 2007

The Schwalm cultural landscape is one of the most famous traditional costume regions in Hesse. The Schwalm costume was worn as a hallmark of the estate until the 18th century . With the increasing dissolution of the medieval social fabric, clothing lost its class character. In the course of fashion and cultural changes, the traditional costume has largely been pushed out of everyday life to this day; older women in traditional costumes can only be found sporadically. Forms of clothing from the surrounding area such as the Schönsteiner costume of the Gilserberg highlands or the Hubbel costume of the Knüll disappeared from the village appearance as early as 1900. In the 1950s to 1970s, traditional costume and local associations were founded, which today strive to preserve clothing. They show them at folk festivals and on special occasions.

Another part of Schwalm tradition is Schwalm whitework . The sophisticated embroidery technique was used mainly to produce pieces that were intended for dowry . These included bedspreads, parade pillows , decorative towels and slings. Many of the showpieces were only used on special occasions and passed on from generation to generation. The main motifs of Schwalm whitework were hearts, tulips, circles and birds. The art of embroidery has always been mastered by few women in the villages, and even today the tradition is only preserved by a few private individuals.

One of the traditional specialties of the region is the Ahle sausage , which is still made in- house in many places . The North Hessian Ahle Wurscht Association has been campaigning for the preservation of traditional production methods since 2004. Other components of the regional food culture are weckewerk , sour cream cake , known as mat cake called cheesecake , the Thin Lattch (garden salad with sour milk) as well as local fish and game dishes. The Schwalm Bräu beer brand is produced in Schwalmstadt, and the Hessian lion beer in Malsfeld .


The bee museum in the Knüllwald district of Niederbeisheim

Many places have their own local museums. They exhibit traces of prehistoric settlement such as arrowheads and hand axes, ceramics and stone axes. They also offer an insight into old handicraft traditions such as spinning, weaving and forging and show equipment, furniture and everyday objects from the rural culture of past centuries. In the Malsfeld district of Beiseförth, a museum recalls the village's basket-making tradition. The beekeeping trade is presented in the Old Charterhouse Apiary Center in Gensungen and in the Knüllwald Bee Museum . In the former Benedictine monastery in Guxhagen and in Trutzhain there are memorials that remember the victims of the two camps. A memorial near Stolzenbach commemorates the victims of the mine accident.

The Hessian lignite mining museum was opened in Borken in 1992 . It is dedicated to the history of lignite mining in Northern Hesse, especially in the Borken and Frielendorf area. In the cultural center of the old district court, the mining and power plant tradition is presented with the inclusion of regional and social historical, technical and geological aspects. In a visitor tunnel , mining expansion and extraction techniques and equipment are shown. Large machines such as bucket wheel excavators and rail vehicles can be seen on an approximately 30,000 m² outdoor area on the outskirts of the city.

The exhibition rooms of the Fritzlar Cathedral Treasury can be reached via the cloister of the Fritzlar Cathedral. Medieval manuscripts and books, seals and coins are displayed in showcases. In the actual cathedral museum there are paraments , altarpieces and figures of saints from the Romanesque period to the neo-Gothic. To the east of the collegiate hall is the treasury, which houses the most valuable items. There you will find the Emperor Heinrich Cross set with gems , pearls and precious stones , allegedly a gift from Heinrich II. , And an altarpiece from around 1170–1180, the upper part of which is adorned by the so-called Boniface comb.

In the local history museum of the city of Homberg an insight into the city history of the Reformation city of Hesse is given.

The Schwalm Museum , which is located in a former commandant's building in the historic old town of Schwalmstadt-Ziegenhain, offers extensive exhibitions on traditional Schwalm costume, as well as life and work in the Schwalm before 1900.


Bettina von Arnim around 1800

The writer Ernst Koch was born in the Singlis district of Borken in 1808 . His father was a justice of the peace in Oberaula, where Koch spent part of his childhood. His grandfather was the university bailiff on the Singliser estate of the University of Marburg.

The poet Herbort von Fritzlar was born in Fritzlar in 1180. Around 1200 he wrote the Liet von Troye on behalf of the Thuringian Landgrave Hermann I , the oldest German adaptation of the Troy saga popular in the Middle Ages . In contrast to the current descriptions of contemporary poetry, Herbort von Fritzlar did not describe court life in an idealized way, but rather in a realistic manner.

The city of Fritzlar and its cathedral are mentioned in some books: The poet Ricarda Huch described the power of the cathedral in her book In the Old Reich: Life Pictures of German Cities , published in 1927 . Jakob Schaffner made the renovation work on the cathedral at the beginning of the 20th century the subject of his book Der Dechant von Gottesbühren . The hard life of the farmers in the nearby village of Werkel during the First World War is the subject of the book Ein Dorf im Kriege by Horst Bodemer . The most famous mention of Fritzlar can be found in Bettina Brentano's work Goethe's Correspondence with a Child . After the death of her mother in 1793, Brentano and her sisters attended the school of the Ursuline Convent , where they were taught until 1797. Brentano bequeathed Goethe's correspondence with a child to the nuns, but they burned it. Today the school honors the memory of its famous student and has named the library after her.

Hans Staden was born in Homberg around 1525 . With the support of Landgrave Philip I, he wrote the Truthful Historia in 1557 , in which he described his travel experiences as a mercenary, his first acquaintance with the Indians in Brazil and, above all, his imprisonment with the Tupinambá tribe . The dialect poet Heinrich Ruppel , who worked as a teacher at the deaf school from 1912 , also came from Homberg . He wrote fairy tales and stories like Ackermann Orf , the story of a deaf farmer. Wilhelm Schäfer, who was born in Ottrau, was another dialect poet in the region who cooperated with the National Socialists. Schäfer wrote mostly short stories and in 1944 was included in the God-gifted list of the most important writers of the Third Reich.

Art and music

The painting The Last Supper in a Hessian village church by Carl Bantzer, 1892

The Willingshausen painters 'colony founded in 1825 by Gerhardt Wilhelm von Reutern and Ludwig Emil Grimm , which was the oldest artists' colony in Europe, was of particular importance for the art of the region . From 1835, more and more artists came to Willingshausen. Gerhardt Wilhelm von Reutern began studying painting at the Düsseldorf Art Academy , Ludwig Grimm taught at the Kassel Academy . Both lured artist colleagues to the Schwalm. Between 1850 and 1880, the colony gained popularity mainly due to the celebrity of Ludwig Knaus . This task was then taken over by Carl Bantzer , with whose death in 1941 the tradition of the artist colony ended. The painters found their themes and motifs in the landscape and in the village life of the area.

After the Second World War, some artists found again in the Schwalm and founded in 1950 the new group Schwalm , among others Vincent Burek , Günther Heinemann and William Zastrow belonged. Today the Malerstübchen in Gasthaus Haase, where the artists used to meet and which is decorated with some of their works, reminds of the artist colony. A specially founded association looks after the memory, collects originals and organizes exhibitions. Since 1996 two artists have been awarded a three-month artist grant each year, which they spend in Willingshausen.

The long-distance hiking trail X8 ( Barbarossaweg ), which runs through the cities of Fritzlar, Felsberg, Melsungen and Spangenberg as well as through the municipality of Bad Zwesten, was expanded into an art hiking trail in 2001. For this purpose, nature and site-related works of art made from ecological materials were installed along the route as part of the Ars Natura project . The works come mainly from artists from the region, such as the land art artist Hans-Joachim Bauer from the Homberg district of Mardorf. The project is funded by the EU.

The beat band The Petards from Schrecksbach was one of the most popular beat bands in Germany at the end of the 1960s. They also made it into the charts in the neighboring countries of Belgium and France. In 1970 they were among the co-founders of the Burg-Herzberg Festival . In 1972 the group disbanded. The pop singer Matthias Reim grew up in Homberg and went to school. In addition, Christian Durstewitz , who took part in the casting show Our Star for Oslo in 2010 , was born in Fritzlar.


The Fritzlar Cathedral

Since the Homberg Synod in 1526, at which the Hessian Landgrave Philip I enforced the Protestant faith in the Landgraviate of Hesse, the majority of the residents of the Schwalm-Eder district have been Protestant. With over 80 percent Protestant citizens, the district is a Protestant stronghold within Hesse. With the Treysa Conference on August 31, 1945, the Diakoniezentrum Hephata in Schwalmstadt was also the founding site of the Evangelical Church in Germany as an amalgamation of the Lutheran , Reformed and Uniate regional churches .

The three Protestant church districts Fritzlar-Homberg , Melsungen and Ziegenhain joined forces on January 1, 2020 to form the Schwalm-Eder church district, which with around 117,000 parish members is the largest church district in the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck .

In contrast, the proportion of residents of the Catholic faith is low. Only the region around Fritzlar, with Unthanken and Rothhelmshausen, has a large proportion of Catholic citizens. Despite Fritzlar's historical ties to the Archdiocese of Mainz, the 17 Catholic parishes in the district now belong to the Diocese of Fulda . From 1989 there was a Premonstratensian branch in Fritzlar , but it was dissolved after an abuse scandal in 2010. The Quinau pilgrimage in Trutzhain is the only pilgrimage in Northern Hesse and the central event of the Schwalm Catholics; Trutzhain is recognized by canon law as a place of pilgrimage and the Maria Hilf church as a pilgrimage church.

The muqeet mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat mosque community has been located in Wabern since 2007 . It is the only mosque in Germany that was built entirely from adobe. In 2008 there were about 50 believers in the community.

In Homberg (Efze) there are two congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses (in German and Russian). About 140 believers belong to the two communities.


MT Melsungen player before a Bundesliga match in May 2009

Club sports in the district are administered by two sports circles. The Schwalm sports district is responsible for the area of ​​the old district of Ziegenhain, and the Fulda-Eder sports district for the area of ​​the two old districts of Fritzlar-Homberg and Melsungen. This sport group was formed in May 2006 from the formerly independent sport groups Fritzlar-Homberg and Melsungen. The Schwalm sports district has not yet been ready for a merger. A total of 71,417 people are active in 343 sports clubs. By far the most popular sport in terms of the number of active participants is football. This is followed by gymnastics, shooting, tennis and table tennis. There are the following sports and leisure facilities: 81 sports halls, 220 sports fields, 24 outdoor, six natural and ten indoor pools, 50 tennis facilities, six tennis halls, 19 equestrian halls, 79 shooting ranges, three cross-country ski trails and a golf course.

At club level, SC Neukirchen became known nationwide when it played in the then third-class regional football league from 1995 to 1999 . In 1985, 1995 and 1997 the team also won the Hessen Cup . Today the SC Neukirchen plays in the seventh class group league Kassel. The team currently playing the most is 1. FC Schwalmstadt , which will start in the fifth -rate Hessen League in the 2010/11 season . The former professional footballers Tobias Damm ( 1. FSV Mainz 05 ), Hans-Dieter Diehl ( 1. FC Kaiserslautern and KSV Baunatal ), Thomas Freudenstein ( KSV Hessen Kassel ), Gerhard Grau (KSV Baunatal and Hertha ) come from the Schwalm-Eder district BSC ). Sören Gonther ( SC Paderborn ) are currently playing in the 2nd Bundesliga and the Polish national player Marlene Kowalik ( SG Essen-Schönebeck ) in the women's Bundesliga .

Handball is very common in the northern district. The sporting figurehead of the Schwalm-Eder district is the handball club MT Melsungen , which has played in the handball Bundesliga since 2005 . There the MT always ended up in the lower half of the table. The HSG Gensungen / Felsberg is also successful nationwide. She played in the 2nd Bundesliga for a total of 15 years before relegating in 2008. The predecessor club TSV Jahn Gensungen had played in the first division for a year in the 1980s. The SG 09 Kirchhof from the Melsunger district churchyard played from 1977 to 1979 and from 2004 to 2006 a total of four years in the German Handball League Women . Today, like SV Germania Fritzlar, she is active in the southwest relay of the third-rate regional league.

The women of the Homberger TS were successful in table tennis . You played in the 1st Bundesliga from 2004 and won the ETTU Cup in 2006 . In 2007 the team was withdrawn to the second division.

Regular events

The horse market in Fritzlar 2010

During the carnival season, carnival sessions are held in many places, and the only Rose Monday procession in the district takes place in Fritzlar . In May there are maypole festivals in many places , and a may market in Homberg's old town. Since 1694, the Ascension Market has been held annually in Frielendorf on Ascension Day. In addition to some Whitsun markets , the Ziegenhain Salad Fair has traditionally been held on Whitsun since the 18th century .

Most of the festivals take place in summer: In Bad Zwesten, Borken and Oberaula there are light festivals, town and local festivals are held in Borken, Edermünde, Fritzlar, Gudensberg, Homberg / Efze, Melsungen, Neuental, Niedenstein, Schwalmstadt and Spangenberg. The largest are the Fritzlar horse market in July and the Treysa Hutzelkirmes in August.

As part of the Northern Hessian Cultural Summer cultural program , numerous concerts and events take place in places such as in front of the Fritzlar Cathedral, the Kurhaus in Bad Zwesten and in the Church of the Dead in Treysa. In the smaller towns, village communities celebrate baking house or fire brigade festivals. In addition to the larger folk festivals, the roots of the village fair named after the consecration of the church have been preserved in the villages . They take place in festival tents in summer and in halls in autumn and are mostly organized by young people from the villages who come together in so-called fraternities .

In autumn there are autumn markets, such as in Jesberg. During the Advent season there are Christmas markets in several places on different weekends . The annual Hessentag has taken place four times in cities in the district: in 1974 it was held in Fritzlar, 1987 in Melsungen, 1995 in Schwalmstadt and 2008 in the district town of Homberg / Efze.

Economy and Infrastructure


In the Future Atlas 2016 , the Schwalm-Eder district was ranked 219 out of 402 districts, municipal associations and urban districts in Germany and was therefore one of the regions with a “balanced risk-opportunity mix” for the future. Three years later, the ranking improved significantly to 129th out of 401 with the rating "slight chances".

The economy of the Schwalm-Eder district was initially shaped by agriculture and mining. In the course of structural change, the service sector has taken up most of the space. The approximately 7,000 companies in the district are predominantly medium-sized.

Around 73,500 residents were employed in 2010. 3.6 percent of these were employed in the agricultural sector, 27.2 percent in the industrial sector and 69.3 percent in the service sector. The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent (as of August 2012). The proportion of the unemployed population in the Schwalm-Eder district is below the rate in Hesse, which is 5.6 percent. The national average is 7.1 percent.

Distribution of employed persons by sector (as of 2010)


Seven savings banks , Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks have their headquarters in the Schwalm-Eder district. Four of the 50 savings banks in the Sparkassen- und Giroverband Hessen-Thüringen (34 in Hessen, 16 in Thuringia) are located in the Schwalm-Eder district ( Borken , Felsberg , Schwalm-Eder and Schwalmstadt ). In 2011 the savings banks reported total assets of 2,472.796 million euros and employed 593 people in 49 branches. Four cooperative banks are based in the Schwalm-Eder district ( Borken , Chattengau , Schwalm-Eder and Spangenberg-Morschen ), and at the end of 2010 they had total assets of 1,195.391 million euros.


The sugar factory in Wabern

The appearance of the Schwalm-Eder district is still shaped by agriculture, although the number of farms is steadily declining. At the end of the 1980s there were still around 4,800 farms; today there are only around 1,800. The agriculturally used area is 76,522 ha, which makes up about half of the total area of ​​the district. Only in the Wetterau district is the proportion of agricultural land in Hesse larger. The majority of the area, 77.3 percent, is arable land, the rest is permanent grassland. In 2010, around 2,500 people were employed in the agricultural sector in the Schwalm-Eder district, which makes up 3.6 percent of the working population. The district was thus above the state average of 1.4 percent and the national average of 2.1 percent.

Most of the grain is harvested in the Schwalm-Eder district in Hesse: With 259,978 tons of harvested grain, the district was well ahead of the Wetterau district in 2007 with 185,236 tons. Wheat makes up the largest amount with 165,846 tons and is also the largest wheat harvest among the Hessian districts. The 77,718 tons of barley are also the largest amount in Hesse. The other grains harvested are rye and triticale . Sugar beet and silage maize are also characteristic of agriculture in the Schwalm-Eder district. With 165,304 tons of sugar beet, the district had the second largest harvest in Hesse after the Wetterau district in 2007. Silage maize made up 126,056 tons of the harvest, which is only harvested in the neighboring district of Waldeck-Frankenberg. At 6,362 tons, the potato harvest is rather small compared to the southern Hessian districts, where almost 30,000 tons of potatoes are harvested. Hesse's northernmost vineyard is located on the Böddiger Berg near Felsberg . The grape harvest is pressed in the state winery in Eltville am Rhein .

In the Schwalm-Eder district there are 775 farms with cattle and 1,057 with pigs. A total of 33,184 cattle and 171,214 pigs are kept there.

armed forces

The Fritzlar Army Airfield is used by the Rapid Forces Division . The associated combat helicopter regiment 36 is stationed here. There is a military training area at the Knüll barracks in Schwarzenborn . The barracks itself is the location of the Jäger Battalion 1 .

See also the list of Bundeswehr locations in Hesse


In addition to agriculture, the Schwalm-Eder district was characterized by mining for a long time. In the towns of Borken, Felsberg and Homberg and in the communities of Frielendorf and Neuental, lignite was mined from the 19th century. Iron ore was mined in Mardorf bei Homberg and Bad Zwesten. Basalt was also mined in Ostheim until 1967. Lignite was mined in the mines until the 1950s and 1960s, after which mining was mostly stopped for economic reasons, because the region was considered to have been coaled out or further mining was not profitable. After the mining accident in Stolzenbach in June 1988, mining in the Schwalm-Eder district was stopped. In many places, the former opencast mines were consciously recultivated or left to nature.

In the course of the structural change, the industrial landscape of the district has changed. There are companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in Melsungen and Spangenberg. With B. Braun Melsungen AG and Solupharm GmbH, two companies are represented in Melsungen that manufacture medical devices such as needles and glass ampoules. Vola Plast KG in neighboring Spangenberg is also active in the plastics industry, as is Merkel Freudenberg Fluidtechnik GmbH and Horn & Bauer GmbH & Co. KG in Schwalmstadt. The city is the headquarters of the mechanical engineering company Konvekta and the shoe manufacturer Rohde shoes . In the food industry, Südzucker AG operates the sugar factory in Wabern, which 700 farmers from northern Hesse and southern Lower Saxony supply with sugar beet. The food manufacturer Hengstenberg has a location in Fritzlar, where it produces sour and wine vinegar products.


Half-timbered houses on the market square in Homberg (Efze)

Tourism is now an important branch of the economy in the Schwalm-Eder district. With its undulating hilly landscape, the district is suitable as a hiking and cycling region. The Fulda cycle path (R1) and the long -distance cycle paths R4 and R5 cross it. The Schwalm cycle path is a regional route . A popular hiking trail is the Elisabethpfad , which leads across the district on its route between Eisenach and Marburg. With Bad Zwesten there is a health resort that has a healing spring. There are also numerous climatic health resorts such as Frielendorf or Neukirchen. At Silbersee near Frielendorf there is not only a holiday village with the Silbersee Bob, but also an amusement park with a summer toboggan run . The small towns Fritzlar, Homberg, Melsungen, Schwalmstadt and Spangenberg advertise with their distinctive half-timbered architecture in the city center and are part of the German half-timbered street . Winter sports can be practiced in the Knüllgebirge: there are cross-country ski trails near Schwarzenborn and Oberaula-Olberode, and in Neukirchen there is a ski slope with a drag lift . On the edge of the Knüll in the Homberg area is the Knüll Wildlife Park , founded in 1968 , which presents 450 animals of 40 native species in various enclosures on 50 hectares.

Several places are on the German Fairy Tale Route and show characters and places from fairy tales that are said to have their origins in the region. Cities and municipalities from the Schwalm and the Knüllgebirge therefore joined forces to form Little Red Riding Hood and present places where the Brothers Grimm collected their fairy tales. It is named after the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood . According to legend, the brothers were inspired to write the fairy tale when they saw the Schwalm costume, which also includes the red snitch as a headgear, which is considered unlikely.

In 2009 there were over 7,000 beds in 139 accommodation establishments. The majority of the 658,489 overnight stays were made by holidaymakers from Germany. The proportion of foreign vacationers was 6.3 percent. The guests stay in the district for an average of 3.3 days. With an occupancy rate of 24.8 percent, the Schwalm-Eder district has the second worst average guest bed occupancy in the Kassel administrative region after the city of Kassel.


The Pfieffetalbrücke near the Melsung district of Adelshausen

The Schwalm-Eder district is crossed by the longest German autobahn, federal autobahn 7 , in a north-south direction. The A 49 , which connects Kassel with the district, runs in the same direction . The route ends at the Neuental district of Bischhausen . The federal highway 5 runs through the southernmost tip of the district.

Since the late 1970s there has been resistance from the population against the planned connection to the federal autobahn 5 from Giessen via Lemgo and Löhne to Bremen , who have doubts about the use of the autobahn and warn of negative consequences for the environment.

The construction of the A 49 is as good as in every federal and state election topic in the southern district. In October 2010 it was announced that the federal government is providing 60 million euros of the 187 million euros required to begin construction of an almost twelve kilometer long section to Schwalmstadt. The costs for the entire route of 42 kilometers are estimated at EUR 500 million.

Seven federal highways run through the district. The federal highway 3 , the second longest federal highway in Germany, crosses it in a north-south direction as well as the federal highway 254 , which begins at Felsberg. The federal road density is higher in the north of the district than in the south. The B 253 , which runs through the northern district towards Dillenburg , and the B 487 towards Hessisch Lichtenau begin at Melsungen . The B 450 leads from Bad Arolsen to Fritzlar. The B 454 also runs through the southern district .

The Schwalm-Eder district is in the supply area of ​​the North Hessian Transport Association and has two intercity stops, Treysa and Wabern . They are located on the Main-Weser Railway , which connects Kassel with Frankfurt, and also stops at the train stations in Grifte, Wolfershausen, Altenbrunslar, Gensungen, Singlis, Borken, Zimmerrode and Wiera. Further connections are the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Nordbahn between Kassel and Bebra and the last still operated section of the former Ederseebahn between Wabern and Bad Wildungen. The Kellerwaldbahn , the Knüllwaldbahn , parts of the Kanonenbahn and the Grifte-Gudensberger Kleinbahn have been shut down for several years and some have been dismantled. The high-speed line Hanover – Würzburg crosses the district in the northeast, but has no ICE train station there.

On the Mosenberg in Homberg, the glider airfield Der Ring in the Dammwiesen near Ziegenhain and Grifte there are airfields for gliders.


The Theodor Heuss School in Homberg (Efze)

In the Schwalm-Eder district there are twelve special schools , 51 primary schools , six secondary schools , seven support levels , five secondary schools , six grammar schools and nine comprehensive schools , including two integrated . In 2003, out of a total of 24,572 pupils, 1,116 attended a special school, 8,061 a primary school, 745 a secondary school, 880 a support level, 1,159 a secondary school, 4,655 a grammar school and 7,956 a comprehensive school.

A total of 5,100 pupils attended vocational schools in 2003, of which 3,267 were one of the four vocational schools , 720 one of the three vocational schools , 335 one of the five technical schools and 778 one of the three technical colleges in the district.

In the area of ​​early childhood education, there are 106 day-care centers , in which there were 6,709 places in 2007.

There is also a community college and two music schools .


In the region of North Hesse, the Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine is the regional daily newspaper with the highest circulation. In the Schwalm-Eder district it has a monopoly due to the lack of other regional daily newspapers. There are three local editions: The Fritzlar-Homberger Allgemeine has editorial offices in Fritzlar and Homberg, the Melsunger Allgemeine in Melsungen and the Schwälmer Allgemeine in Schwalmstadt.

The Extra Tip media group publishes local newspapers in Northern Hesse twice a week. On weekends this is the Schwalm Bote in the south and the Extra Tip in the rest of the district. Midweek which appear in the circle parts Borken, Fritzlar and Melsungen Home messages , in the space of Homberg Homberger Gazette and in the south of Schwälmer messenger .

In 1976, shooting for the three-part television series The Winter That Was a Summer took place in the Schwalm-Eder district . The film deals with the soldier trade under Landgrave Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel on the occasion of the American War of Independence and was intended as a contribution to the 200th anniversary of American independence. Fritz Umgelter directed it, with Günter Strack , Christian Quadflieg and Sigmar Solbach in the leading roles . The northern Hessian population criticized the fact that the people in the film did not speak the regional dialect, but spoke South Hessian.

License Plate

On January 1, 1974, the newly formed Schwalm-Eder district was assigned the license plate HR . It is still issued today and replaced the previously issued license plates FZ (for the former Fritzlar-Homberg district ), MEG (for the former Melsungen district ) and ZIG (for the former Ziegenhain district ).

Until the 1990s, vehicles from the various sub-circles were given specific letters:

  • Part circle Fritzlar: A, C, E, H, J, K, AA - AE, CA - CZ, EA - EE, HA - HE, JA - JE, KA - KY
  • Homberg sub-district: D, L, AH - AZ, DA - DZ, EH - EZ, HH - HZ, JH - JZ, LA - LZ
  • Partial circle Melsungen: M - T, MA - TZ
  • Partial circle Ziegenhain: U - Z, UA - ZZ

The old license plates FZ, MEG and ZIG have been issued again since March 16, 2015 due to license plate liberalization .


  • Nik Barlo / Richard Wachter (1994): Schwalm-Eder-Kreis: Best Hessen . Melsungen: Kreissparkasse Schwalm-Eder.
  • Dietfrid Krause-Vilmar (1996): The Breitenau concentration camp - long forgotten . In: Renate Knigge-Tesche / Axel Ulrich (ed.): Persecution and resistance in Hesse 1933–1945 . Frankfurt a. M .: Eichborn, pp. 76-85.
  • Wolf-Arno Kropat (1988): Kristallnacht in Hessen . Wiesbaden: Commission for the history of the Jews in Hesse 1988. ISBN 978-3-921434-11-6 .
  • State Office for Monument Preservation Hessen (1986, ed.): The Schwalm-Eder district . Stuttgart: Theiss. Series of guides to archaeological monuments in Germany, Volume 8.
  • State Office for the Preservation of Monuments Hesse (1985, ed.): Monuments in Hesse : Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, Part I. (Monument topography Federal Republic of Germany). Braunschweig / Wiesbaden: Vieweg.
  • Lothar and Sieglinde Nitsche (2003, eds.): Nature reserves in Hessen . Volume 2: City of Kassel, District of Kassel, Schwalm-Eder District. Niedenstein: cognitio Verlag.
  • Theo Schiller (1993, ed.): Political culture in northern Hesse . Marburg u. a .: Stoke.
  • Eberhart Schön (1972): The emergence of National Socialism in Hesse . Meisenheim am Glan: Verlag Anton Hain.
  • Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen (1999): Kulturelle Entdeckungen Nordhessen. Volume 1: Waldeck-Frankenberg district, Schwalm-Eder district . Frankfurt a. M .: HWL + Partner Design.
  • Board of Directors of the Kreissparkasse Schwalm-Eder (1988): The Kreissparkasse Schwalm-Eder and the home of its customers in the past and present . Melsungen: A. Bernecker Verlag.

Web links

Commons : Guided linden trees in the Schwalm-Eder district  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Schwalm-Eder-Kreis  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hessian State Statistical Office: Population status on December 31, 2019 (districts and urban districts as well as municipalities, population figures based on the 2011 census) ( help ).
  2. Internet presence of the Schwalm-Eder-Kreis
  3. a b Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Ed.): West Hessische Senke . 2010 ( HTML [accessed January 2, 2011]). HTML ( Memento from July 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Nitsche, Lothar / Nitsche, Sieglinde (ed.): Nature reserves in Hessen . City of Kassel, district of Kassel and Schwalm-Eder district. tape 2 . cognitio, Niedenstein 2003, p. 21st ff .
  5. Hessian district day: Schwalm-Eder district . Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  6. ^ "Geological overview map of Hesse". Historical atlas of Hessen. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  7. ^ Nitsche, Lothar / Nitsche, Sieglinde (ed.): Nature reserves in Hessen . City of Kassel, district of Kassel and Schwalm-Eder district. tape 2 . cognitio, Niedenstein 2003, p. 12 ff .
  8. ^ Wasserverbund Schwalm (Ed.): Profile . ( HTML [accessed November 16, 2010]). HTML ( Memento of the original from July 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Hessian State Office for Environment and Geology (ed.): Water quality of previous years . 2009 ( HTML [accessed November 16, 2010]). HTML ( Memento of the original from December 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. a b c d Hessian Ministry of the Interior and for Sport: Additional designation to the community name. February 2020, accessed June 28, 2020 .
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  87. No A49 (no year): Why are we rejecting the A 49? ( Memento of the original from July 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . (Accessed October 21, 2010) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
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