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State : North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Arnsberg
Area : 649.7 km²
Residents : 241,318 (Dec. 31, 2010)
Population density : 371 inhabitants per km²
The highest point: 677.7  m above sea level NHN ( belt )
Lowest point: about 215  m above sea level NHN ,
Siegtal near Niederschelden
Structure: Altkreis Siegen
Location of the Siegerland in Germany

The Siegerland is part of the landscape in the South Westphalia region , which roughly coincides with the old district of Siegen .



The historic Siegerland includes the old district of Siegen of today 's Siegen-Wittgenstein district in North Rhine-Westphalia . The so-called upper district of the district of Altenkirchen (Westerwald) , which belongs to Rhineland-Palatinate , is economically closely linked to the Siegerland, but culturally the demarcation between Siegerland and the Westerwald is difficult. Geographically, it belongs to the Siegerland natural area .

Geologically, the Siegerland belongs to the right bank of the Rhine slate mountains , whose most important center is the city of Siegen . Both the region and the city name can be traced back to the Sieg , a tributary of the Rhine that rises in the Rothaargebirge in the urban area of ​​Netphen.

Like the Sauerland , the Siegerland is very densely forested. The mountains in the north of the Siegerland and in the south of Burbach are overall higher than those of the rest of the region. In terms of landscape, however, the area is identical. Mostly small streams run through the valleys, surrounded by meadows and fields. Deciduous forests are mostly to be found as Hauberg , coniferous forests are of economic importance in the timber industry.

The winning countries have their own names for many points in their homeland. The Freie Grund, for example, stretches from Burbach to Neunkirchen , or in the other direction to Wilden . The Heller flows through this valley . The so-called Hellertal , however, extends upstream and downstream over the Freie Grund. Other areas are e.g. B .:

The neighboring regions are the Westerwald in the south, the Sauerland in the north and the Wittgensteiner Land in the northeast and the Wildenburger and Bergisches Land in the west.


The core Siegerland has the shape of a circular spring trough, the highest peaks of which are on the edges.

The Rothaargebirge occupies the east , where three mountains, Riemen , Oberster Henn and Jagdberg, reach a height of over 670  m , two of which are on the outer border and the third represents the foothills of an even higher summit.

In the south, the Westerwald is touched at heights of over 600  m . The north-west bordering landscapes are altogether higher than the Siegerland, but only barely tower above it in the peaks.

The Siegerland is framed by the following mountains - with a height in meters (m) above sea ​​level (NHN):
(Mountains on the border to neighboring regions are marked with an asterisk)

West border
(from north to south, i.e. counterclockwise)

In the Hellerbergland, the elevations Die Höh ( 598  m ) and Die Burg ( 594.5  m ) are also clearly within the historic Siegerland, on the Burbach district .

East border
(from north to south, i.e. clockwise)

Other mountains in the Siegerland are the Kindelsberg ( 617.9  m high; with a lookout tower) and the Martinshardt ( 616.1  m ), both southern foothills of the Hohen Waldes (Rothaar) near Kreuztal , as well as the Schlossberg with the castle ruins, north-west of the Pfaffenhain and Giller Ginsburg ( Siegerländer Rothaar-Vorhöhen , 587.6  m ) and the Eisernhardt ( 482.3  m ) in the south of Siegen .



The Obernautalsperre near Netphen-Brauersdorf

The Obernautalsperre is the larger of the two dams of the Siegen-Wittgenstein water association . It is located east of Netphen and borders the Brauersdorf district of Netphen . The dam was built from 1967 to 1972 and serves to supply drinking water to Siegen and the surrounding area and to protect against floods. It has a volume of 14.8 million m³. The dammed streams are the Obernau and the Nauholzbach. A few kilometers below the dam, the Obernau flows into the Sieg. The towns of Obernau and Nauholz and part of the village of Brauersdorf had to give way to the reservoir or were flooded by the dammed water.

The smaller dam is the Breitenbachtalsperre near Hilchenbach. It also serves as a drinking water supply and for flood protection. It was built between 1953 and 1956 and holds 7.8 million m³ of water.


The source of victory near Walpersdorf

The Siegerland mainly consists of the catchment area of ​​the upper reaches of the Sieg , whose main tributaries here are the Heller , the Ferndorf together with the Littfe , the Asdorf ( called Weibe in Siegerland ) and the Weiß .

Not far from the Siegquelle, the rivers Eder (north) and Lahn (south), which run completely outside, arise , and further south their tributary Dill , of whose catchment area the Siegerland over the Haigerbach has a small share.


The Siegerland is characterized by a lot of precipitation. Since Germany lies in the west wind zone and the winning country on the windward side of the bay of Cologne in the west to Rothaar the east steadily rising Süderbergland country is, it comes there often orographic rainfall with significant rainfall. While in the basin of victory (in the lee of the Biggehochlands), z. For example, in Siegen only about 900 mm per year are expected, the rainfall in the Eder highlands increases to 1250 mm. The duration of sunshine is therefore relatively short. Due to the hilly landscape, inversion weather conditions and cold air lakes occur on calm, clear nights . Sensitively low temperatures can be reached there, such as B. in Netphen .

cities and communes

The region around the city of Siegen is one of the metropolitan areas of the Federal Republic of Germany. The cities of Hilchenbach , Netphen , Kreuztal , Freudenberg , Siegen, as well as the communities of Wilnsdorf , Burbach and Neunkirchen belong to the agglomeration of the historic Siegerland . A total of around 240,000 people live in this area.


Economic history


The longest tunnel in the Siegerland ore district with over 7,500 meters
Siegen - excerpt from the Topographia Hassiae (1655)

The Siegerland, which was first documented under this name (as "Sygernlant") on November 13, 1351, was long characterized by the extraction of iron ore and its further processing. The first traces of mining come from the time of the Celts , witnessed by a furnace in Wilnsdorf - Obersdorf from the Latène period around 500 BC. Over time, mining has also changed here. The construction of the tunnels began around the 10th century , the shaft construction did not follow until the 15th century. Ratzenscheid in Wilnsdorf was one of the oldest officially mentioned Siegerland mines in 1298. However, excavations on the Altenberg, a pass between Littfeld and Müsen, prove that there was well construction in Wilnsdorf well before the mining era. Comprehensive excavation reports and a specially set up exhibition in the German Mining Museum in Bochum provide clear evidence. The Müsen mining area can also be regarded as one of the oldest and most extensive in the Siegerland (“I gave you my iron probably 1000 years”). One of the most famous mines there was the "Stahlberg" with its unique iron ore deposits. From 1489 to 1865 there were various mountain orders in the Siegerland ore district . From the 1850s, steam engines were used, which were necessary for pumping shafts at greater depths . From the 1860s, horse transport was replaced by railways . With the closure of the Georg pits in Willroth and Füssenberg in Biersdorf near Daaden on March 31, 1965, over 2000 years of ore mining in Siegerland ended. Today, apart from isolated, closed tunnel entrances and slag heaps in the woods, there is not much to see. There are only a few exceptions, e.g. B. the remains of the Peterszeche in Buchhellertal between Burbach and Lippe , which was closed in 1907. The mining can still be felt today, mostly in the form of day breaks , which z. B. 2003 on the Steimel in Neunkirchen and 2004 on the Rosterberg in Siegen.

The Siegerland ore district extends from Hilchenbach to Neuwied in the landscapes of Siegerland, Westerwald and partly also the southern Sauerland. It is estimated that almost 175 million tons of iron ore were mined here in almost 5,000 pits. Most and the deepest were in the Siegen area. In addition to iron ore, lead , copper and zinc were not infrequently included, in contrast to z. B. Silver , which was only mined in a few pits. The deepest pit was Eisenzecher Zug in Eiserfeld from 1495 to 1960 with a total depth of 1343.33 meters. The steel production and processing was and is still an integral part of the domestic industry . Mining was the number one employer with tens of thousands of jobs.

Iron and steel production

The iron ore extracted in the mines was often processed into steel and iron in the same place . After it was dismantled, it was driven to the processing plants near the pits with the help of horse-drawn carts and later with small trains. There the ores were broken and ground. Steel production took place in blast furnaces in the so-called "huts". In most places in the Siegerland there was at least one hut. In 1415 there were 25 ironworks in the Siegerland, in 1444 there were 35 smelters (eight of them hammer smelters [HH]), 1463 40 (12 HH) and 1505 44 (16 HH) smelting works. In 1555, the sovereign issued an ordinance that no more new huts should be built. However, the existing ones have been expanded. A large part of the smelters was initially affiliated with van der Zypen & Wissener Eisenhütte AG Cologne-Deutz and taken over into the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (VSt) in 1924 and on May 19, 1934 as part of the reorganization of the VSt as Hüttenwerke Siegerland AG under its long-term director Karl Grosse reorganized and finally merged with Hoesch Stahl AG in 1994 . Because of the many huts, the Siegen-Geisweid-Kreuztal valley got the name Hüttental .

The largest and most important huts were:

In iron and, in many cases, roller foundries , the iron was cast

  • Buschhütten iron foundry from the 15th century
  • Roller foundry Irle in Deuz 1847 – today
  • Roll foundry in Peipers turning shop in Siegen 1882–1927; 1916: Hainerhütte is incorporated
  • Gontermann roller foundry in Kaan-Marienborn until 1927
    • from 1927 Gontermann & Peipers

After casting, the work pieces were reshaped. This was done in three different ways.

  • In hammer mills , wrought iron was manufactured as semi-finished products, initially with water and later with steam power . Iron was worked into steel under steel hammers.
  • Sheets and thin material were rolled in rolling mills , for example in:
    • Steinseifer rolling mill in Eiserfeld, 1865–1925
    • Eichener Walzwerk in Eichen from 1883. In October 1910, 450 employees were recorded there, which is 150 more than three years earlier; 1917 to Charlottenhütte (Niederschelden)
  • Blacksmiths could be found in every place . The blacksmith was the most respected profession in the old Siegerland. There were numerous schools of thought that made everything that was needed out of iron or steel.

Mining , smelting and ironmaking were the main industries until the mid-1960s. The many mines in the area around Siegen, the "Siegerland ore district", were an important branch of the economy. Thousands of jobs had to be replaced by others after the end of mining and many places and communities that had become rich from the ore began an economic decline.

Glue boiling

In the glue boiling plant, hide glue was made from animal waste. This industry was initially a by-product of the regional tanning industry before it developed into an independent branch of industry. After the boom in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, the glue industry in Siegerland began to decline after the Second World War. In 1983 the last Siegerland hide glue factory in Haiger closed.

Railway in Siegerland

In the 1850s, Prussia was interested in connecting the ore deposits in the Siegerland with the Ruhr smelters and the Rhine-Main region with a railway line. The Cologne-Mindener Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft received the concession to build the Cologne-Gießen line . Construction began in 1859. At the border to today's Lahn-Dill district , however, a difficulty was encountered, as the still independent Duchy of Nassau had to give its authority to build through its sovereign territory. Nassau issued this permit in 1860. From Betzdorf there was a junction via the Siegtal to Siegen. This route was first used on December 28, 1860 and officially opened on January 10, 1861. On August 5, 1861, another connection to Siegen was inaugurated. The Ruhr-Sieg route led across the Littfe valley to Ernsdorf (Kreuztal) and on to Siegen. The completion of the railways caused the domestic industry to grow rapidly and the mining of the pits increased by leaps and bounds. The new traffic routes made it possible to ship ore more cheaply and obtain cheaper coke for the smelters' blast furnaces.

The first train enters the Salchendorfer train station

After the rapid increase in ore production, calls for closer connections were loud, as the ore supplies had previously been brought to the train stations by horse and cart. With the Eisern-Siegener Eisenbahn (ESE), the first of four small railways later opened in 1880, connecting the state railway with non-central locations. The railway was mainly built to connect the huts and pits in the south of Siegen, in Eiserfeld and Eisern, but from 1901 also ran in the opposite direction to Kaan-Marienborn. All of the larger pits were connected either directly or by a narrow-gauge railway. The most extensive one led from Eiserfeld into the Kesselborntal to the Eisenzecher Zug mine . In the 1890s, plans were also made to build a railway to connect the pits in Freie Grund . Originally this train was supposed to lead to Wilgersdorf. However, this plan was discarded due to terrain difficulties. The Free Grunder Railway was opened in 1907, led to Unterwilden and was designed for freight and passenger traffic. As with the ESE, all larger pits were connected, either with their own connecting line or, as with Pfannenberger Einigkeit , directly. Numerous connecting railways such as in the Kunstertal near Struthütten (1864), to Gosenbach to the Storch & Schöneberg Mine (1871) or the Müsener Gruben (1884) were built after the construction of railways and small railways and thus replaced the old cable cars or horse-drawn railways. In 1888 the Kreuztal – Cölbe line created a direct connection from Kreuztal via Hilchenbach to Erndtebrück . In 1906 the Kleinbahn Weidenau – Deuz was opened, which was supposed to connect the Oberste Siegtal with Siegen. The railway was built for passenger and freight traffic and connected not only the villages to Werthenbach but also the industry in Dreis-Tiefenbach and Deuz .

At the time of the construction of the railway in 1861, a direct connection from Siegen to Dillenburg was not yet possible, this posed a major operational problem. This connection did not follow until 1915 with the construction of the Niederdielfen and Rudersdorf viaducts and the Rudersdorf tunnel . This also created a direct connection to Dillenburg, saving 30 km from Siegen to Dillenburg. In 1904 the Siegener Kreisbahn was founded. In 1908 she received permission to transport goods. From the 1920s onwards, numerous modernizations were carried out on the railways. A brief heyday of rail traffic began.

In World War II , the railway lines were largely destroyed or damaged. After the war and the reconstruction of the lines, the small railways went downhill. In 1947, the Kreisbahn took over the management of ESE, which was completely dissolved in 1953. The lines were modernized and electrified again, but by the end of the 1950s the slow cessation of freight traffic, also due to the death of mining and the decreasing number of people, painted a bleak picture. Most of the routes were closed by 1979. The Free Grunder Eisenbahn (FGE) also ceased passenger and 1963 freight traffic on the largest section of the route between Salchendorf and Unterwilden. After the pits were closed and the personal operation was no longer worthwhile, the FGE in 1970 completely switched to the circular path. At the Kleinbahn Weidenau-Deuz, freight traffic continued to develop positively towards the end of the 1960s after passenger traffic was discontinued in 1968. In addition to goods, people are still transported on the Kreuztal – Cölbe railway line. Today the Siegen Kreisbahn, which was renamed “Kreisbahn Siegen-Wittgenstein” in 2005, holds almost all the tracks and still serves various companies. At FGE these are the shepherd companies in Salchendorf, at Kleinbahn Weidenau-Deuz the route to Dreis-Tiefenbach is still used. The ESE is almost completely broken down.

Political history

After Henry the Rich died in 1250, his sons divided his land among themselves. Otto I. received the lands to the right of the Lahn and thus also the Siegerland. After Otto's death (1290) and his initial reign in 1301, his three sons divided their land into the tribes of Nassau-Hadamar , Nassau-Dillenburg and Nassau-Siegen . This was the first time that the border between Wilnsdorf and neighboring Haiger was created across the Kalteiche . After the brothers of Heinrich III. died, he reunited the Nassau lands. This association lasted until 1606. The five sons of John VI. divided the country into the five lines Diez, Hadamar, Beilstein, Dillenburg and Siegen. This " small states " reached its climax ten years later with the division of the Siegerland into three parts. Johann the Middle of Nassau-Siegen wanted to put an end to the continuous division of the lands and in 1607 he introduced the right of inheritance for the firstborn. However, his eldest son died in 1617 and his second eldest son, Johann the Younger , had been Catholic since 1613. He received the inheritance claims on the condition not to change anything in the religion of the country. In 1621, John the Middle abolished the sole rights of the firstborn and divided his country into three independent counties.

Since the allocation of the land to Prussia in the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, the core of the Siegerland, which previously belonged to the Principality of Nassau-Siegen, initially belonged to the Koblenz administrative district of the Grand Duchy of Lower Rhine and from 1817 to the Arnsberg administrative district of the Westphalia province . The district of Siegen was created and was divided into the mayor's offices of Burbach , Dresselnorf , Eiserfeld , Ferndorf , Freudenberg , Keppel , Netphen , Neunkirchen , Weidenau and Wilnsdorf . Siegen and Hilchenbach remained unofficial cities until the end. In 1844 it was renamed "Ämter". After the dissolution of the German Confederation in 1866 and the establishment of the North German Confederation , which was expanded to form the German Empire in 1871 , the district remained in the Westphalia province of the Kingdom / Free State of Prussia. This changed in 1946 with its dissolution and the formation of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1966 the offices of Eiserfeld and Weidenau were dissolved and the three cities of Eiserfeld, Siegen and Hüttental were formed with communities from surrounding offices , which together have formed the city of Siegen since 1974. In 1969 all offices were dissolved and seven new cities and municipalities were formed.

In terms of culture and language, the Siegerland is based on its Hessian and Westerwald neighbors. Westphalian influences in architecture can only be found on the border with the Sauerland , which is historically, religiously and linguistically strictly differentiated from the Siegerland.

Economy and Infrastructure

SSI Schäfer is one of the largest companies in Siegerland, here in Neunkirchen

Industry and business

The Siegerland is the location of many traditional companies, mostly active in the steel industry , because this is where the beginnings lie.

Iron and Steel Industry

Mining , smelting and iron production laid the foundations for the domestic industry until the mid-1960s. After the end of mining in 1965, the ironworks were inevitable. New jobs had to be created. This branch of industry has grown thanks to the know-how of the Siegerländer in the field of steel and sheet metal processing . Companies such as Walzen Irle , SMS Siemag , the Schäfer Group (Schäfer Werke, SSI Schäfer, EMW and SSI Schäfer Shop), Thyssenkrupp (Eichen / Ferndorf) and Deutsche Edelstahlwerke Specialty Steel (Geisweid) operate there.


Another focus is on breweries. Well-known brands such as Krombacher (from Kreuztal-Krombach ) or Eichener (from Kreuztal-Eichen ), as well as Irle , Erzquell and Ilsen-Bräu (from Kreuztal-Littfeld) come from the Siegerland.

Other important companies and institutions


The federal highway 54 runs from south to north through the entire Siegerland. The road crosses the communities and cities of Burbach, Wilnsdorf, Siegen and Kreuztal. In several places it is connected to the federal autobahn 45 (Sauerland line) , the Hüttentalstraße (HTS) and in the south to the Siegerland airport. The B 62 also leads across the Siegerland . It runs first coming from the southwest from Rhineland-Palatinate via Mudersbach to Siegen, then further east via Netphen into the Wittgensteiner Land .

Autobahn 45

The Siegtalbrücke is one of the highest bridges on the A 45

The planning of the federal motorway 45 (Sauerland line) began in 1957. At first it was not yet certain whether it should become a motorway at all, because an expansion as a motor road was also discussed. More detailed studies then showed that the expansion only made sense as a motorway . A "waste product" of this planning is the Hüttentalstraße , the Siegen city motorway in the Hüttental . From 1963 construction was carried out between Dortmund and Westhofen and by 1972 the motorway to Gießen was completed. The section in Siegerland was opened in 1967. The connections to the motorway in the area are:

In the area, the A 45 has a total of seven valley bridges and one slope bridge . One of them is the Siegtalbrücke over Eiserfeld with a length of 1,050 m. With a height of almost 96 m, it is the highest bridge on the A 45 and one of the highest motorway bridges in Germany. The “Siegerland West” service station is located between the Freudenberg and Siegen connections and the “Siegerland East” service station is on the opposite side.


The Hüttentalstraße (HTS) is the Siegen city ​​motorway . It was built from 1978 and has been continuously expanded since then. From the junction "Siegen-Dreisbach-Europaplatz" it leads through almost the entire center of Siegen (city center, Sieghütte , Weidenau , Geisweid ) to Kreuztal . It has been accessible to Krombach since June 2006 , and since November of the same year to the “Olpe-Süd” interchange (A 45 / A 4) with a direct transition to the A 4. In the course there are ten exits, two tunnels and four branches. The Ziegenberg tunnel is 330 m long and was built between 1994 and 1998. Many connections to various federal highways and at both ends to the A 45 relieve the traffic network in downtown Siegen . Since April 2010, the HTS has been under construction in a southerly direction via Niederschelden to Niederschelderhütte in Rhineland-Palatinate . The Siegen district of Eiserfeld was connected with a branch to and from Siegen.

Siegerland Airport

Siegerland Airport is geographically in the Westerwald, politically in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district

Siegerland Airport is a commercial airport located between Lützeln and Lippe in the southern area of ​​the municipality of Burbach . There has been a landing site there since the 1930s. It was opened as a commercial airport in 1967 and has been the only airport in the region since then. The airport is at an altitude of 599 m, making it one of the highest commercial airports in Germany . Siegerland Airport is connected to the A 45 via the B 54 .

Local public transport

Local public transport is carried by buses and trains. The VWS and the bus Ruhr-Sieg (BRS) account for the bus in the Siegen-Wittgenstein and partly also in the district of Altenkirchen (Westerwald); In addition, the Martin Becker company also operates a city bus route in Betzdorf. Because of the border are in the winner country two transport associations for public transport . In the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein this is the Verkehrsgemeinschaft Westfalen-Süd (VGWS), in the district of Altenkirchen (Westerwald) the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Mosel (VRM). The VGWS tariff applies to cross-border journeys.

Freight traffic is operated by Deutsche Bahn and Siegen Kreisbahn . Regional rail routes such as the Betzdorf – Haiger (Hellertalbahn) from Betzdorf to Dillenburg , the Daadetalbahn from Betzdorf to Daaden or the Rothaarbahn from Kreuztal to Bad Berleburg create rail-bound passenger transport connections at “village level”.

Water supply

The water supply in Siegerland is guaranteed by the Siegen-Wittgenstein Water Association (WVS). This has a 306-kilometer-long transport pipeline network ready to distribute the drinking water. The diameter of the pipelines varies between 100 and 800 mm. In the roughly sketched area between Freudenberg in the west and Bad Berleburg in the east as well as Hilchenbach in the north and Burbach in the south, supported by 27 pumping stations, 24 elevated tanks with a total capacity of 54,000 m³ serve to maintain the water distribution in the region. One of these elevated tanks is, for example, the “Bürbacher Kopf” in Siegen. One of the pumping stations is the “Pützhorn” groundwater works on Eiserfelder Strasse. The latter was built in 1939 and 1940 and caused building costs of 250,000 Reichsmarks. The water supply system also includes the two dams Obernautalsperre and Breitenbachtalsperre as well as the treatment plant located in Dreis-Tiefenbach.


Siegen has three vocational colleges , one for technology , one for business and administration and one for general trade, housekeeping and social education. All three are located on the lower Fischbacher Berg. Almost every municipality or city in Siegerland has at least one secondary school of its own . Since there are many small towns, the primary schools in the towns have been closed over time and have been relocated to the municipal capitals or to the nearest larger towns. In addition to the school educational institutions, there are several libraries and adult education centers in the Siegerland .

University of Siegen

University on Haardter Berg

The University of Siegen has existed on Haardter Berg since 1972. The university had its beginnings in the Wiesenbauschule founded in 1853 (from 1962 State Engineering School for Construction) and the Siegerland Pedagogical University founded in 1964. On August 1, 1971 the technical schools State Engineering School for Construction, State Engineering School for Mechanical Engineering Siegen, State Higher Business School Siegen, State Engineering School for Mechanical Engineering Gummersbach and the Higher Technical School for Social Pedagogy under construction in Siegen were combined in the "University of Applied Sciences Siegen-Gummersbach". The Siegen Comprehensive University was founded on August 1, 1972; since 2003 it has been called the “University of Siegen”.

It currently has 13,070 students and almost 1,400 employees. It is carried publicly and repeatedly scores high in surveys. In the nationwide ranking of the magazine Der Spiegel des Jahres 1989, the University of Siegen took first place, ten years later, in 1999 it again took first place.




Hauberg is still operated in most of the villages, but no longer traditionally

The Hauberge , where wood is felled for house fires up to the present day , is also characteristic of this area . In earlier times the wood was also used for the production of charcoal . The Siegerländer had certain techniques and tools for this, such as the Knipp (in domestic use, a small knife is also called “Knippchen”) and the spoon . The Hauberg is administered by the Haubergsgenossenschaft and reassigned every year. A Hauberg is divided into many pieces of equal size. Each registered user receives a different piece of forest every year. Beech , birch or oak are often used for this . The user of a Hauberg has the task of cutting down only marked trees and clearing the forest of bushes and scrub. The wood and cut branches of a tree are neatly piled up and stacked. In the Siegerland, the economic "replanting" of a forest through the Hauberg has its origin.

Coal piles

A coal pile near Walpersdorf

Today the wood extracted in the Haubergen is mostly used for heating in heaters and ovens or chimneys and for grilling. In the past, the wood was needed for smelting iron ore and for the production of charcoal . This was done in charcoal piles . A coal kiln is set up by the charcoal burner . First, a vertical shaft is built from pieces of wood that are offset on top of one another. Around 1 meter long logs are stacked. On top of this is a layer of dry hay or straw . Finally, earth is piled up and compacted over it. The charcoal burner ignites the kiln over the shaft. His task now is to “guard” the kiln for the following days or weeks. It must neither burn down nor go out. After complete “fermentation”, wood has become charcoal. This process can still be observed today in Walpersdorf near Netphen .


The “duffels” ( potatoes ) came to Siegerland early on . The first major harvests were made in 1715. In general, agriculture was an important building block in life for the Siegerländer. The cattle stood in the meadows, grain was used for bread and potatoes for the " Riewekooche ". The cattle gave milk and meat, horses were a means of transport and work animals in the fields, in pits and in the Hauberg.

Celebrations and events

Schlossplatz Siegen ( Lower Castle ): Opening game of the 2006 World Cup

The Johannimarkt is a fair in Siegen. It has been held in Siegen every year since the 17th century. The market is held every year in June. Since the construction of the Siegerlandhalle it has been held on its outdoor area.

In Siegtal Pur every year is a over 120 km long stretch of the Sieg Valley from the source of victory in Netphen - Walpersdorf to Siegburg on Car Free Day locked. In 2006 the event attracted over 100,000 visitors to run and cycle.

The Giller KulturPur has been held every year on Whitsun since 1991 . The music and theater festival attracts thousands of visitors to the mountain near Hilchenbach .

The Siegen Summer Festival has been taking place since 1990 in June and July . Drama, cabaret, theater, music and cinema with local and well-known artists are on the program. In 2006 the traditional summer festival was the Siegen World Cup Festival. The Siegen open-air cinema is regularly open every summer. Well-known and unknown films are shown outdoors on a big screen. One of the highlights is the event “Siegen is ready for a movie”. A film or short film by a “local” is then shown .

On the day of the open monument , numerous monuments and historical buildings in the area are opened to visitors to show them old living, handicrafts and some history.

In the numerous villages of the Siegerland many old customs have been preserved to this day, from the Pingstelommel hustle and bustle (related to the Pentecostal or Laubmann customs), the May children and maypole , the carol singers and the bear parades common in some localities .

Art, music and theater

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens was born in Siegen in 1577 and was an important painter. In Flemish painting in particular, he had an influence in almost all directions. Many of his pictures are exhibited in the Upper Castle in Siegen.

In 1955 a committee was founded that has been awarding the Rubens Prize in honor of the painter every five years since 1957 in the “ Rubens City” Siegen .

Busch brothers

Wilhelm Busch , born in Erndtebrück , was a musical instrument maker and had five sons, all of whom except Willi Busch studied music and who gained great importance and fame in Germany and abroad.

Bernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher are influential representatives of product photography. Her artistic and photographic representations of Siegerland residential and industrial architecture, which the couple grouped into typological rows, are exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art , among others .

South Westphalian open-air theater in Freudenberg

In the South Westphalian open-air theater in Freudenberg , two new productions for children and adults are staged each year in front of a forest and rock backdrop. The grandstand is covered. Every year around 50,000 visitors visit the open-air theater. School classes from all over the region in particular go to the performances every year.


The Siegerlandhalle is a multi-purpose hall with several halls in Siegen. It is opened for various occasions. These include B. Exhibitions , concerts and performances or sales markets. It was extensively renovated and enlarged until August 2007. The singer Nena made the first appearance after the renovation .

Apollo theater

The former Apollo cinema and now the Apollo theater in Siegen

After a Cinestar cinema was built in Siegen , the old Apollo cinema was closed. From 2005 to 2007 the 1930s building was converted into the Apollo Theater . It replaces the dilapidated and technically inadequate "Stage of the City of Siegen" with around 500 seats.

Choirs, singing groups and philharmonic orchestra

Almost every place has its own choral societies . These often have a long tradition. Many have been around for over 100 years, there are some church choirs , while bands are more likely to be found in the youth sector.

Language and literature

Siegerland Platt

The Siegerländer Platt ("Sejerlännr Pladd") is the Siegerland dialect. As an eastern branch of Moselle Franconian, it lies on the border with Hessian , Ripuarian in the Rhineland and on the most important and oldest language border in the German-speaking area, the dividing line between the High and Low German dialects ( Benrather line ), as found north of the "Kölschen" Hecks ”- the border to the Sauerland  - can be spoken. The isogloss " das-dat " also runs through the Siegerland .

One of the many peculiarities of the "Sejerlännr Pladds" is the American-style pronunciation of the "R". The pronunciation was originally slightly different from place to place. Today there are fewer and fewer winning countries that speak the dialect. There are regular reading competitions for schoolchildren in which they can put their "paddling swaths" to the test.

"Hennr Rennrod rächds römm on da dr Rhing roff" (" Turn right behind Rennerod and then up the Rhine " - how to get from Siegen to Koblenz ...)

There are also artists who make their music on record, e.g. B. Henner & Frieder (named after the two statues on the Siegplatte in Siegen). Often they also write about Siegerland. " Meaningless in space " is a parody of Star Trek on Siegerländer Platt . In the meantime, the material has also become “cult” across the region, which is also due to the fact that the consequences are now spreading rapidly via the Internet.

Dill dappen

Dilldappen are Siegerland mythical animals, live together in families in caves in Hauberg, all of them speak Sejerlännr Pladd , love Riewekooche about everything and steal the potatoes from the field from the farmer. The dilldappe looks like an upright rhinoceros hamster with a mohawk haircut .

Since 1982 the Siegen author Matthias Kringe has published a dilldappen calendar with comics in Siegerland Platt. In the early years, the translations into High German were on the last page , but for some time there have been drawings (printed on the back) with High German inscribed.



In Siegen there is a regional studio for the West German Broadcasting Corporation for the production of the South Westphalian part of the "Local Time" series, the local news current hour or for the broadcasting of other regional programs or programs.

Radio Siegen

In addition to the WDR Studio, there is a local radio station in North Rhine-Westphalia . Radio Siegen broadcasts the Radio NRW program and its own local contributions with its own studio on Obergraben.

Siegener newspaper

Siegener newspaper

The Siegener Zeitung is the daily newspaper with the highest circulation in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district , it also appears with its own editions in the Olpe and Altenkirchen districts . The local part is different for each district. Two editions are created for the Siegen-Wittgenstein district: "Siegerland" and "Wittgenstein". The "SZ" has been published since 1823.

Westfälische Rundschau / Westfalenpost

The local section for the old district of Siegen and local sports for the entire district of Siegen-Wittgenstein are produced in the local editorial office of the Westfalenpost (at Siegen Hauptbahnhof). First of all, the local editorial office of the Westfalenpost (WP) was closed at the end of May 2009; the local section for both titles was created by the Westfälische Rundschau. In July 2012, the WR editorial team was dissolved and a Westfalenpost editorial team was set up in the same place, which has since been responsible for local reporting for both titles. The local sports section produced in the Siegen WP editorial team appears in WR and WP in Siegerland and Wittgenstein. Both newspapers belong to the WAZ media group based in Essen.

Local cuisine

The cuisine of the Siegerland was and is characterized by potatoes (duffels) and an enormous variety of breads . The most distinctive Siegerland specialty is also a symbiosis of both. The Riewekooche is a potato bread that is related to the potato pancake or potato pancake , which is mainly known in the Rhineland .

The Siegerland is home to the Krombacher brewery in Germany with the highest turnover . The Pils variety is also produced by numerous other, mostly private breweries in the Siegerland. The largest, besides Krombacher, are Eichener , Erzquell and Irle , which are now part of the Krombacher group .

The Siegerländer Krüstchen consists of a slice of rye bread or toast bread , on which a schnitzel is baked with at least one fried egg.

In the past, bread was baked in every village in the Backes . A Schanzenbrot is a sourdough bread made from rye flour. So-called “jumps”, bundled birch, oak or hazelnut branches, a “waste product” from the Haubergen, are used to heat the stove.

A Krebelche is a quark pastry and the local variant of the donut, the dough of which is refined with the addition of mashed potatoes, depending on the location. The pastry gets its name from its very irregular shape, which results from the dough dripping into hot fat .

Culinary specialties


The City Sports Association of Siegen comprises 160 sports clubs with around 37,000 members. In addition, every larger town (approx. 100+ residents) has at least one sports club of its own. This means that there are at least 350 sports clubs in Siegerland. In addition to the classic sport of soccer , numerous other activities such as aviation , athletics , dancing or swimming are offered in gyms, football pitches, soccer fields and sports fields.

The best-known club are the Sportfreunde Siegen , German amateur champions of 1955. After one season (2005/2006) in the second Bundesliga , the football club is in the Regionalliga after two seasons in the Regionalliga Süd and four years in the NRW League (5th division) West (meanwhile 4th division). The club can still look forward to a high number of spectators here. The women’s soccer team at TSV Siegen achieved a national level of recognition, winning a total of six German championship titles and five cup victories, and in 1996 they were taken over by Sportfreunde Siegen.


The "old spot" in Freudenberg is a historic town center with a long history
The office building, built in Neunkirchen in 1754, has been in the Hagen Open-Air Museum since 1974
The Pfannenberg tower on the Pfannenbergkopf between Eiserfeld and Salchendorf
The "Siegerland Museum" is located in the Upper Castle in Siegen
The dilapidated ruins of the Ginsburg have been restored and can be visited
The Nikolaikirche in Siegen with the symbol of the city, the little crown
The Museum of Contemporary Art in the Upper Town
Monte Schlacko ”, the slag dump in Siegen-Geisweid that characterizes the town


In the south of the Siegerland in the areas of the municipality of Neunkirchen (SI) and Herdorf (AK) are the mountains Hohenseelbachskopf ( 517.5  m ) and Mahlscheid ( 509.3  m ) , which were formed around seven million years ago through volcanic activity . The basalt domes of the Mahlscheid were visible for miles until the beginning of the 20th century. The basalt was mined between 1900 and 1925, and a lake, the "silver lake" , developed in the remaining open pit of the mountain. On the summit of the high Hohenseelbachskopf, the basalt peaks are largely still there and look up to 40 m from the ground.

The 1355 km² Rothaargebirge Nature Park existed since 1963, and in 2015 it merged into the 3826 km² Sauerland-Rothaargebirge Nature Park . The Rothaarsteig is a hiking trail in the park that runs through the Siegerland in the area of ​​the villages of Burbach , Wilnsdorf , Netphen and Hilchenbach . The rivers Sieg , Lahn and Eder have their source near Netphen . The Siegquelle near Netphen- Walpersdorf is a popular destination.

(Historical buildings

The Alte Flecken is a historic town center in Freudenberg with old half-timbered houses. It burned down completely in 1666, but was rebuilt on the old foundation walls. The town center shows the old craftsmanship of the half-timbering and gives an impression of life in earlier times. The old office building of Neunkirchen , which has been in the Westphalian Open-Air Museum in Hagen since 1974 , is also built as a half-timbered building . It was built in 1754 under "forced labor" because Count Heuper von Hachenburg wanted it to be built by the entire population of Neunkirchen. Despite bitter resistance, the Neunkirchen lost.

Lookout towers and dams

The Pfannenberg tower on the 499 m high Pfannenberg near Salchendorf is a 20 meter high observation tower that has been a listed building since 1993 . It originally served as a winding tower in the Pfannenberger Einigkeit mine a few kilometers from the tower and was demolished in 1932 after a shaft was closed and rebuilt two years later on the Pfannenberg. The Kindelsberg tower near Kreuztal was built on the Kindelsberg from 1905 to 1907, is 22 m high and is a listed building. On a clear day you can see Bonn from the tower . There is a third observation tower on Gilberg . This was built in 1888.

Around the Obernautalsperre near Netphen there is a 9.6 km long path for hiking and cycling. Since the dam of the drinking water supply is used, no recreational activities in the water are possible. The Breitenbachtalsperre near Hilchenbach offers a 5.3 km long bike path around the dam.

Palaces and castles

The Upper Castle in Siegen on the Siegberg was first mentioned in a document in 1259 and was the family seat of the House of Nassau in the Middle Ages. The Siegerland Museum has been located in the Upper Castle since 1905.

The Lower Castle in Siegen was built at the end of the 17th century in its current form. The evangelical line of the House of Nassau-Siegen resided there. The "Big Tower" with carillon also belongs to the castle . In 1959 the city of Siegen established a memorial for the victims of the war there. The crypt of the Protestant part of the Nassau Princely House is also located in the castle. Today the castle serves as a state authority building , in which the construction and real estate operations of North Rhine-Westphalia , the State Environment Agency Siegen , the Office for Occupational Safety and Health and the Attendorn Prison (Siegen Branch) are located.

In Kreuztal standing Junkernhees castle , originally in 1523 by the Lord and from the Hees, Knights built Adam moated castle . The castle is now a listed building and serves as a hotel and the knight's hall of the building as a restaurant . Art exhibitions are also held in the castle at irregular intervals .

The ruins of the Ginsburg near Hilchenbach are on the Schlossberg ( 587.6  m ). It dates from the 12th century and served the Nassau family as a border fortress. The castle fell into disrepair until it was secured and partially restored in 1961.

The first height Wasserburg was the castle Hainchen in Netphener district Hainchen of 1290. 1864 were demolished the last towers of ruined Castle, first in the 1970s, since the castle under the auspices of the Siegerländer Castle club is started to rebuild. The castle is now used for recreation for disabled and elderly people in need of care.

Churches and pilgrimage

The Nikolaikirche on the market square in the upper town of Siegen is known for its red and white tower with the golden “crown” on top, the symbol of the city of Siegen. Other churches are Marienkirche , built by Jesuits between 1702 and 1729, the Martinikirche , which dates from the 11th century, and the Sankt Michael church .

The Hermitage pilgrimage site is located between Obersdorf ( Wilnsdorf ) and Siegen. It consists of the Gnadenkapelle, a half-timbered extension, the "Eremitenklause" and a new building from 1966. The place of pilgrimage has existed since 1684. A monastery was founded there in 1953, which was housed in the half-timbered house until 1966 and then moved into the new building. Not far away is the historic Rödgen parish church from 1328, which is a double church consisting of a Protestant and a Catholic part.


In the Museum of Technology Freudenberg can technological achievements "admire". A steam engine, a mechanical workshop and numerous old vehicles, including tractors and motorcycles, show the technology from bygone times. The museum building, an old half-timbered hall, was dismantled in the summer of 1997 and broken down into individual parts. From 1998 to 2002 the building was rebuilt and the museum set up. It consists of an elaborate timber frame construction. The museum was opened in June 2002 as part of a classic car meeting.

In the Siegerland Museum in the Upper Castle in Siegen you can find evidence from the region, including an (artificially created) show mine , as well as numerous paintings since 1905 . The focus is on works by Peter Paul Rubens , who was born in Siegen. The top floor is dedicated to 19th century home decor. A kitchen from the Siegerland, a bedroom and numerous pieces of furniture convey an impression of (past) life in the region.

The Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen , which is located near the Lower Castle in the Upper Town, has been exhibiting influential works of contemporary art since it opened in 2001, from painting, photography and video to space and time-related installations. In addition to the annual three to four changing exhibitions, works from the company's own property and the Lambrecht-Schadeberg collection are shown. The private collection presents a concentrated selection of all eleven Rubens Prize winners from the city of Siegen, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Maria Lassnig, Sigmar Polke, Emil Schumacher and Cy Twombly throughout the year.

The Active Museum Südwestfalen has existed since 1996 in the rooms of an air raid shelter built in 1941 on Obergraben in Siegen , which sees itself as a documentation and learning place for regional contemporary history. It houses a permanent exhibition on 200 m², the focus of which is the history of the regional Jewish minority and other persecuted groups, and it regularly organizes special exhibitions on various contemporary and cultural-historical topics. The Active Museum is also a memorial to the victims of National Socialism in the Siegerland-Wittgenstein region.

The smallest Beatles museum in the world is located in Geisweid . It is run by Harold Krämer and is only 27 m² in size. The collection includes more than 17,000 phonograms, souvenirs, film posters, autographs and much more.

Cultural monuments

The Reinhold Forster Erbstollen in Eiserfeld is a show mine that opens regularly to visitors. The world of mining is brought closer to the visitor over a length of 470 m . The tunnel , which was built in 1805, opened up access to a large network of tunnels .

The " Monte Schlacko " is a mountain of cinder in the middle of the Siegen city area. It was created when the slag was poured in from the iron smelting ovens in the valley, the “Hüttental”, and has now become a kind of landmark . There is an old steel structure on the top. On New Year's Eve , the mountain is a popular place, as you have a good view of large parts of Siegen from there.

The charcoal making for the production of charcoal has a long tradition in the Siegerland due to iron smelting . In Walpersdorf in Netphen are the only ones still in operation charcoal pile in Siegerland. Charcoal is made from oak , birch and beech . This is sold on site.

The historic "Holzklauer Schlag" border crossing is located at the Kölschen Heck , the former border between the Principality of Nassau-Orange and the Westphalian Duchy of Kur-Cologne (until shortly after 1800). This border (today the border between the districts of Siegen and Olpe) is a border in three respects: 1.) Former state border, 2.) Religious border (Catholic on the Westphalian side and Evangelical Reformed on the Nassau side) and 3.) Language border (here identical to the Benrath line / border between the Low and Central German language area). While Sejerlänner Platt , a Moselle-Franconian dialect of the Central German-speaking area, is spoken in Oberholzklau (Siegerland) , people in the neighboring village of Hünsborn, north of the border, speak a Westphalian dialect of the Low German-speaking area. The former border crossing was made visible again through the Oberholzklau Heimat- und Beautification Association with the help of Hünsborn's Heimatfreunde. There is another barrier there in the Nassau-Orange national colors (blue / orange), and in the immediate vicinity one of six ravines with about 60 cm deep “tracks” has been exposed. At the border crossing there is still the boundary stone from 1690 with the inscription Nassaw on one side and Collen on the other. There is still a lot to see of the former border fortifications and security systems.

See also

Portal: Siegerland and Wittgenstein  - overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of Siegerland and Wittgenstein


  • Trutzhart Irle: The old Siegerland. Gronenberg Verlag, Gummersbach 1978, ISBN 3-88265-021-4 .
  • Winfried Ranke, Gottfried Korff: Hauberg and iron - agriculture and industry in Siegerland around 1900. Verlag Schirmer / Mosel, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-921375-26-6 .
  • Jakob Heinzerling, Hermann Reuter: Siegerland dictionary. Siegen 1932–1938.
  • Dieter Höltge: Trams and light rail vehicles in Germany. Volume 5: Bergisches and Siegerland. EK-Verlag, Freiburg 1996, ISBN 3-88255-333-2 .
  • Oskar Reichmann: The vocabulary of the Siegerland agriculture and Haubergswirtschaft. a. Text part. b. Cards and Image part. Elwert, Marburg 1966, DNB 457911832 .
  • Jürgen H. Schawacht (arrangement), Hans Rudi Vitt (arrangement): Siegerländer Bibliography. City Director of the City of Siegen, Siegerland Research Center (Ed.). DNB 551155132 .
    • Part 1: Siegen 1972.
    • Part 2: Siegen 1984.

Individual evidence

  1. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  2. Introduction to the Siegerland natural area (climate, geology, soils) (PDF; 1.6 MB), page 2
  3. ^ "Scrolled back ...", Siegener Zeitung of December 4, 2010
  4. ^ Siegerländer Heimatkalender 1990, p. 14, 65th edition, Ed. Siegerländer Heimat- und Geschichtsverein eV, Verlag für Heimatliteratur
  5. ^ Siegerländer Heimatkalender 1990, p. 24, 65th edition, Ed. Siegerländer Heimat- und Geschichtsverein eV, Verlag für Heimatliteratur
  6. ^ Franz Dango: Wilnsdorf - history and landscape. Vorländer Verlag, Siegen 1955
  7. Official website of the Nirosta Service Center
  8. Official website BGH Edelstahl ( Memento of the original from June 22, 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. Home - Lindenschmidt Umweltservice. Retrieved February 26, 2018 .
  10. DATASEC information factory. Retrieved April 16, 2020 .
  11. ^ "Water supply in the city of Siegen", Siegerländer Heimatkalender 1991, p. 57ff, 66th edition, published by Siegerländer Heimat- und Geschichtsverein eV, publishing house for local literature
  12. Information on the website of the Siegen-Wittgenstein Water Association ( memento of the original from December 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Bernd and Hilla Becher: Typologies . Munich 1999
  14. Bernd Becher, 75, Photographer of German Industrial Landscape, Dies. In: New York Times , June 26, 2007.

Web links

Commons : Siegerland  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Siegerland  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations