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

Coordinates: 50 ° 34 '  N , 7 ° 58'  E

Basic data
State : Rhineland-Palatinate
County : Westerwaldkreis
Association municipality : Westerburg
Height : 343 m above sea level NHN
Area : 18.48 km 2
Residents: 5657 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 306 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 56457
Area code : 02663
License plate : WW
Community key : 07 1 43 308
City structure: 3 districts

City administration address :
Neustraße 40
56457 Westerburg
Website : www.stadt-westerburg.de
City Mayor : Janick Pape ( CDU )
Location of the city of Westerburg in the Westerwaldkreis
Westerburg (Westerborg) in an extract from the Nassovia Comitatus, copper engraving, engraved by Salomon Rogiers, published by Blaeu, probably 1641

Westerburg is a town in the Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland-Palatinate . It is the administrative seat of the Verbandsgemeinde Westerburg , to which it belongs. According to state planning, Westerburg is designated as a middle center.


Westerburg is located in the Upper Westerwald in the northeast of Rhineland-Palatinate and is only a few kilometers from the border with Hesse . The center of the city lies in the valley of the Schafbach , which surrounds the Schlossberg with the old upper town and the castle . The Hülsbach flows into the Schafbach near the market square .

City structure

The districts of Gershasen, Wengenroth and Sainscheid , which were incorporated in 1969, belong to the city of Westerburg .


The annual precipitation is 1,097 mm with the top quarter of the detected values in Germany. The driest month is May, with the most rainfall in December. The amount of precipitation varies greatly over the course of the year. WESTERBURG Nieder.svgPrecipitation diagram Westerburg


The first evidence of the settlement of people in Westerburg are urns which refer to cremations around 700 BC. Point out.

The first written mention of the Wengenroth district dates back to November 9, 879, when Count Gebhard im Lahngau donated goods to the St. Severus Abbey in Gemünden .

The first mention of Westerburg itself in a document was in 1209, in which Siegfried III. von Runkel is called "Von Runkel und Westerburg". It is unclear whether Siegfrier only acquired Westerburg at this time through his marriage to a countess from the Leininger family or whether the property had come to the Runkel family earlier as an inheritance from the Konradines . Two of his sons inherited him: Siegfried IV von Runkel, who resided in Westerburg, and Dietrich I. von Runkel, who was based in Runkel. Family disputes began around 1250 and, under Siegfried's grandchildren, led to the final separation of the Westerburg from the Runkel in 1288 at the latest . Dietrich's son Siegfried V. von Runkel ousted his cousin Heinrich from Runkel, and he, a son of Siegfried IV, called himself Heinrich I von Westerburg from then on. A settlement next to the castle is expressly mentioned for the first time in 1270.

On July 7, 1292 Westerburg was raised to town by King Adolf at the same time as Wetzlar . At the same time, Adolf had the same town charter for both cities . In 1303 a jury was approved in the city. Later these lay judges, whose number soon settled at eight, took turns in the office of mayor. By 1304 at the latest there were at least individual fortifications. Later the settlement in the Oberflecken was divided within the wall ring closed before 1400 and the unwalled Unterflecken. In Oberflecken there are 20 Burgmannen houses from documents, but not archaeologically proven. A first town house is mentioned for 1514, a new building for 1560. A prison is guaranteed for 1630 .

In 1448, 1550, 1641 and 1797 there were devastating fires in the city. After the union of the County of Leiningen-Dagsburg with the Lordship of Westerburg in 1467, Reinhard IV von Westerburg, who from 1481 called himself Count Reinhard I. zu Leiningen-Westerburg, moved his seat to the County of Leiningen. It was not until 1557 that Westerburg was again the seat of branch lines of the house of the Leiningen and the Leiningen-Westerburg family branch, which was repeatedly split up. The Westerburg citizens had several privileges, in particular the jury trial at their jury. In addition, over tax privileges and the establishment of stately farms around the city, there were repeated disputes with the respective rulers. The town charter was accompanied by a subdued development of the settlement, which is mainly due to its location away from important trade routes. That is why Westerburg sank into a patch in the course of the early modern period . In 1806 Westerburg became part of the Grand Duchy of Berg . In 1813 the city fell again to Nassau-Orange, but in 1815 to the Duchy of Nassau .

On September 2, 1814, the Unterflecken burned down completely. 51 families with 243 members lost houses, livestock and workshops. Shortly after the fire, building director Friedrich Ludwig Schrumpf submitted a draft for the reconstruction of the lower village with wider and, if possible, right-angled streets and large distances between the houses and the cemetery. This was followed by disputes with the residents who wanted to implement cost-saving reconstruction and less loss of garden and arable land and thus delayed the process. Schrumpf finally had to change his plans and on February 24, 1815 the lottery for the building plots took place. Johann Georg Baldus supervised the work in his function as land surveyor and discovered numerous violations of the building regulations. During the reconstruction, today's Neustraße, Adolfstraße and the market square on the street from Willmenrod were laid out.

On the evening of October 22nd, 1819, the Oberflecken also burned down to a large extent. The circular wall made extinguishing work almost impossible, so that with 77 houses, 25 barns and 58 stables almost the entire building stock burned down. The church, town hall and school have been preserved. After initial considerations about the complete relocation of the Oberflecken, the master builder Eberhard Philipp Wolff and Baldus designed a new city map with two parallel main streets outside the old wall ring towards the northeast and a cross street. In doing so, they relied on suggestions from the Baden-Durlach official Johann Jacob Reinhard , who came from the region, and designed unusual semi-detached houses and double barns for the region with also little-known half-hipped roofs, which should contribute to savings, among other things by dispensing with gable walls. Again there were protests about the over-planning of garden land, which in this case did not work. On November 19, 1819 the land was raffled. In the following months, however, there were disputes because of allegedly incorrectly measured properties, a street that was too steep and several property exchanges. As a result, the two streets, today's Wilhelmstrasse and Langgasse, were only roughly parallel and not straight, but with a kink. The proposed model houses as semi-detached and single houses also only met with limited acceptance. It was similar with the stone construction, which the government propagated because of the fire hazard and the lack of wood . The construction of fire walls was not consistently enforced either, but the abandonment of straw as roofing was.

In 1866 Prussia annexed Nassau and with it Westerburg. From 1866 to 1885 the city belonged to the Rennerod office and to the newly created Oberwesterwaldkreis with its seat in Bad Marienberg . The district reform of 1885 brought Westerburg back a supra-local function, because it became the seat of the district of the same name, which remained in existence until 1932. During the district reform in 1932, the Oberwesterwaldkreis was re-established and its headquarters were in Westerburg. In 1974 the Upper and Lower Westerwaldkreis merged to form the Westerwaldkreis. Westerburg has not been a district town since then .

Ecclesiastically Westerburg was assigned to the St. Severus Gemünden Abbey . The late Romanesque tower of today's Protestant church could come from the first church building in the settlement next to the castle chapel. Another chapel was located in Unterflecken from 1350 at the latest. The Reformation was probably introduced in Westerburg shortly after 1560 . Jews are first mentioned in 1616. In 1760 the Jewish community consisted of 75 people with a rabbi; by 1754 at the latest there was a Jewish school. General school instruction is first recorded for 1557. Later the school was also run as a Latin school at times .

The oldest population survey from 1540 shows 124 taxpayers. 86 households are attested for the year 1607, 39 for 1656. In 1760 there were 1144 inhabitants and 1807: 1245.

Although most of the inhabitants practiced gardening and agriculture to a limited extent in the Middle Ages and the early modern period, they were hardly any arable citizens . Rather, Westerburg had tanners and stocking weavers who also produced for long-distance trade, as well as rare trades such as arrow smiths and crossbows that served the surrounding area. This is also indicated by the numerous junk markets in the city. Several guilds were formed in the comparatively small town : in 1581 the bakers, who merged with the brewers in 1657, in 1532 the wool weavers and cloth makers (dissolved in 1710), in 1574 the tanners and shoemakers, in 1611 the linen weavers, and in 1658 at the latest the tailors and the shopkeepers. There is evidence of a “Westerburger Hall” in Frankfurt am Main for wool weavers in 1605. In addition, several mills, a forest smithy , a lime kiln (mentioned in 1537) and a brickworks (built in 1612) are documented. There is evidence of a fair for 1438 . Around 1594, the Vitimarkt was created as a fair as a fair from the parish fair of the pilgrimage chapel of Our Lady near the city.

By 1518 at the latest there was an infirmary and before 1697 a pharmacist.

In 1942, at the time of National Socialism, 20 Jewish residents of the city were abducted. All but one were murdered. The youngest victim was Rolf Simon Schaumburger, who was only six years old at the time, whose name the secondary school in Westerburg had since November 9, 2007 until it was merged with the Geschwister-Scholl-Realschule to form "Realschule plus Westerburg" in August 2010.

On June 7, 1969, the three previously independent communities Gershasen, Sainscheid and Wengenroth were incorporated.

The oven builders from Gershasen

The once large number of oven builders in what is now the Gershasen district is an economic and historical feature. With the ban on home baking ovens and the regulation of communal baking houses in many territories, the need for specialized craftsmen to build these bakery houses increased in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Gershasen there was a focus on oven builders who, like traveling craftsmen, practiced their profession far beyond the Westerwald. It is possible that the first oven manufacturers came from the region around Wetzlar .

The main reason for the establishment in Gershasen was probably the occurrence of a tuff rock consisting essentially of trachyte in the south-east of the locality and in the adjacent areas of the communities of Sainscheid and Kölbingen . This special tuff is characterized by its low hardness and thus easy machinability when wet, its great resistance to heat and temperature fluctuations, and its thermal insulation properties. Due to its low weight, it is also suitable for the construction of oven vaults.

At the end of the 18th century, three families specializing in baking ovens can be found in the village. In a register of the parish of Willmenrod , to which Gershasen belonged, around 50 oven manufacturers are recorded in the 19th century. In the 1880s, 35 oven manufacturers are documented, with a population of around 250 people. During this time, the community bakeries increasingly fell out of use. However, the services of the oven manufacturers were increasingly being used by bakers. The change from oven technology to constructions made of metal and firebrick and the abandonment of numerous rural bakeries caused the craft in Gershasen to decline significantly in the first half of the 20th century. The last independent oven maker died in 1980.


The current part of town formed a community with Nernhausen at the latest in 1598. Nernhausen is first mentioned in 1466 and was located around 600 meters northeast of Wengenroth. 1794 the village after Wengenroth was laid waste . In 1760 34 residents are guaranteed in Nernhausen.

In 1364 there was a clay pit near Wengenroth. In 1610 there is talk of fencing in Wengenroth and Nernhausen. A Heimberger and a mayor are mentioned for Wengenroth in 1723 and a school in 1812. Shortly after 1800 a mill was built near the former Nernhausen.

In 1590 two houses are mentioned for Wengenroth, in 1617 seven houses and in 1656 two households, in 1728 together with Nernhausen four houses, in 1760 72 inhabitants and 1809 187 inhabitants.


Former syringe house, today the council chamber

City council

City council election 2019 Westerburg
Participation: 54.5% (+ 3.8%)
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
 % p

The city ​​council in Westerburg consists of 22 council members, who were elected in a personalized proportional representation in the local elections on May 26, 2019 , and the honorary city ​​mayor as chairman.

The distribution of seats in the city council:

choice SPD CDU FWG WuB total
2019 4th 10 2 6th 22 seats
2014 4th 9 2 7th 22 seats
2009 4th 11 2 5 22 seats
2004 4th 9 2 7th 22 seats
  • FWG = Free Voters Group Stadt Westerburg e. V.
  • WuB = We independent citizens of Westerburger Land e. V.


Mayor of Westerburg is Janick Pape (CDU). In the direct election on May 26, 2019, he was elected with 55.32% of the vote. Pape is the successor to Ralf Seekatz (CDU), who has held the office since 2007.

coat of arms

Westerburg coat of arms
Blazon : “In silver, a black-grooved, red, five-pinned tower with a two-tiered base, silver window, gold-knobbed blue pointed roof, in front accompanied by a blue label, inside a left-looking, gold-armored and gold-trapped, silver eagle, behind a red label, inside a continuous gold one Cross, angled above with two five (2: 1: 2), below with two four (2: 1: 1) golden crosses. "
Justification of the coat of arms: The tower symbolizes the castle and city fortifications ..., the blue label with the silver eagle comes from the coat of arms of the House of Leiningen , the red label is the family coat of arms of the Westerburg rule .

Town twinning

Sister cities of Westerburg are the British Daventry , the French Le Cateau , and Grünstadt in the Palatinate.


The Westerburger Land lies between the metropolitan areas of the Rhine-Main area and the Cologne - Düsseldorf - Ruhr area .

In order to secure the economy, the municipality and the association for trade, handcraft, industry and trade eV started work on a qualified location - marketing for Westerburg and the Westerburger Land , in which all areas of the economic and political life of the city and the surrounding area.



The Westerburg station is located on the Limburg-Altenkirchen railway on which the trains of the RB 90 Westerwald victory train of the Hessian State Railway , area DreiLänderBahn , after the Rhineland-Palatinate-clock daily every hour from Limburg (Lahn) about Westerburg, Nistertal / Bad Marienberg, Hachenburg, Altenkirchen, Au (Sieg), Wissen (Sieg) and Siegen to Kreuztal.

Until May 31, 1981 Westerburg was on the Westerwaldquerbahn from Herborn to Montabaur, which was then shut down and partially dismantled.

At the Au (Sieg) station there is a connection to the RE 9 trains (Aachen - Düren - Cologne - Siegburg / Bonn - Au (Sieg) - Wissen (Sieg) - Siegen), as well as to the S12 (Au (Sieg) - Cologne lines - Horrem) and S19 (Au (Sieg) - Cologne - Horrem - Düren).

At Limburg (Lahn) train station there is a connection to regional trains in the direction of Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Gießen / Fulda, Montabaur / Siershahn and Koblenz / Mayen.

The distance to the A 3 ( Cologne - Frankfurt am Main ), A 45 ( Dortmund - Gießen ) and A 48 ( Montabaur - Trier ) motorways is around 20 kilometers each.


Westerburg is a school location with all types of schools. The following educational institutions are located here:

  • Konrad-Adenauer-Gymnasium
  • " Realschule plus am Schlossberg Westerburg" (newly formed in August 2010 from the previously independent schools "Geschwister-Scholl-Realschule" and "Rolf-Simon-Schaumburger-Hauptschule")
  • Rainbow School (Elementary School)
  • Free Montessori School Westerwald (elementary school and secondary school plus )
  • Vocational school with an attached business and technology high school
  • Friedrich-Schweizer-Schule (special school for people with learning disabilities)
  • Adolf Reichwein study seminar for teaching at elementary and secondary schools
  • Adult Education Center Westerburg


At sports venues , there is the Westerwald stadium and the school sports stadium, arena type B with lawn large playing field, plastic running track and additional competition to disabled for the Athletics . During the preliminary round of the 2006 World Cup, this was the training facility for the Czech national football team , which resided in a sports hotel on Wiesensee , located in the Westerburg community .

Westerburg also has a heated outdoor pool with a sunbathing area. This is operated by a private association and is open in the summer months (approximately from May to September).


Westerburger Schlossberg with castle and Protestant castle church
The steel girder viaduct of the 1906
Hülsbachtal Bridge in Westerburg in August 2012


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities associated with the city


Web links

Commons : Westerburg  - Collection of Images
Wikisource: Westerburg  - Sources and full texts
Wikivoyage: Westerburg  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. State Statistical Office of Rhineland-Palatinate - population status 2019, districts, communities, association communities ( help on this ).
  2. State Statistical Office Rhineland-Palatinate: My village, my city. Retrieved May 23, 2020 .
  3. State Statistical Office Rhineland-Palatinate (ed.): Official directory of the municipalities and parts of the municipality. Status: January 2019 [ Version 2020 is available. ] . S. 82 (PDF; 3 MB).
  4. Schaumburger, Rolf Simon. In: Former Jewish families in Westerburg. Horst Jung, accessed on May 23, 2020 (private website).
  5. Official municipality directory (= State Statistical Office of Rhineland-Palatinate [Hrsg.]: Statistical volumes . Volume 407 ). Bad Ems February 2016, p. 182 (PDF; 2.8 MB).
  6. ^ The Regional Returning Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: City Council Election 2019 Westerburg. Retrieved November 12, 2019 .
  7. ^ The Regional Returning Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: Municipal elections 2014, city and municipal council elections.
  8. ^ The Regional Returning Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: Direct elections 2019. Accessed on November 12, 2019 (see Hachenburg, Verbandsgemeinde, 23rd line of results).
  9. Westerburg in the Wanderatlas Germany
  10. Information on the Westerburg Costume Museum
  11. Westerwald adventure station