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

Coordinates: 51 ° 20 '  N , 9 ° 51'  E

Basic data
State : Hesse
Administrative region : kassel
County : Werra-Meißner district
Height : 147 m above sea level NHN
Area : 126.69 km 2
Residents: 15,126 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 119 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 37213-37218
Primaries : 05542, 05545
License plate : ESW, WIZ
Community key : 06 6 36 016
City structure: Core city plus
16 districts

City administration address :
Am Markt 1
37213 Witzenhausen
Website : www.witzenhausen.eu
Mayor : Daniel Herz (independent)
Location of the city of Witzenhausen in the Werra-Meißner district
Werra-Meißner-Kreis Hessen Sontra Waldkappel Hessisch Lichtenau Gutsbezirk Kaufunger Wald Großalmerode Berkatal Meißner Neu-Eichenberg Witzenhausen Herleshausen Ringgau Wehretal Weißenborn Eschwege Wanfried Meinhard Bad Sooden-Allendorf Niedersachsen Thüringen Landkreis Hersfeld-Rotenburg Schwalm-Eder-Kreis Landkreis Kasselmap
About this picture

Witzenhausen is a small town in the Werra-Meißner district in North Hesse . The place received city ​​rights in 1225 and was a district town until 1974 .

The city is known nationwide as an important growing area for cherries . The area is considered to be the largest closed cherry growing area in Europe. The cherry has a long tradition in Witzenhausen and so the Kesperkirmes (Kesper = cherry) is celebrated every year in July, at which a cherry queen is chosen.

Witzenhausen is the seat of the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences at the University of Kassel , where, among other things, the course in Organic Agriculture is offered. In addition, there is a teaching institute ( DEULA ) for environment and technology, agriculture, horticulture and gardening / landscaping.



Witzenhausen is located on the northeastern roof of the Kaufunger Forest , on which the Geo-Nature Park Frau-Holle-Land (Werratal.Meißner.Kaufunger Wald) and the Münden Nature Park extend. It is located about 25 km east of Kassel (Hesse), 17 km southeast of Hann. Münden ( Lower Saxony ), 22 km south of Göttingen (Lower Saxony) and 22 km northwest of Eschwege (Hesse). In the urban area the Gelster flows into the Werra . Down the Werra between the city and the district of Ermschwerd, the Wilhelmshäuser Bach also flows into the Werra.

Neighboring communities

In the north Witzenhausen borders the city of Hann. Münden , the communities Rosdorf and Friedland (all three in the Lower Saxony district of Göttingen ), in the east to the communities Neu-Eichenberg (in the Werra-Meißner district), Bornhagen and Lindewerra (both in the Thuringian district of Eichsfeld ), in the south to the cities of Bad Sooden-Allendorf and Großalmerode as well as the community-free area of ​​the manor district of Kaufunger Wald (all three in the Werra-Meißner district). In the west it borders on the Lower Saxony municipality of Staufenberg in the district of Göttingen.

City structure

In addition to the core city , which also includes the district of Bischhausen, Witzenhausen also has a further sixteen districts. On the left side of the Werra are the districts Blickershausen (293 inhabitants), Dohrenbach (657 inhabitants), Ellingerode (344 inhabitants), Ermschwerd (1189 inhabitants), Hubenrode (191 inhabitants), Hundelshausen (1365 inhabitants), Kleinalmerode (925 inhabitants), Roßbach (825 inhabitants), Wendershausen (831 inhabitants) and Ziegenhagen (716 inhabitants).

On the right side of the Werra are the districts of Albshausen (69 inhabitants), Berlepsch-Ellerode-Hübenthal (132 inhabitants), Gertenbach (947 inhabitants), Neuseesen (97 inhabitants), Unterrieden (914 inhabitants) and Werleshausen (503 inhabitants).

View over the Werra to the south of the old town


Witzenhausen - Excerpt from the Topographia Hassiae by Matthäus Merian 1655

Viticulture has been practiced in Witzenhausen for some time since the Middle Ages. In old sources the year 1226 is mentioned, when 2 loads of wine tenths are delivered to the Archbishop of Mainz every year . The vineyard on the sunny slope between Werra and today's railway line was mentioned in 1757 . Today the street name of the B 80 in the urban area Zu den Weinbergen or Unter den Weinbergen still reminds of this . It was not until 2008 that viticulture was attempted again due to climate change .

Witzenhausen was mentioned as the capital of a Hessian office as early as 1361. From 1416, the area around Witzenhausen belonged to the administrative area of ​​the Ludwigstein Castle, which was occupied in that year . A town school officiated in the place. In 1664, the Ludwigstein office was combined with the Witzenhausen municipal school authority, making Witzenhausen the capital of the Witzenhausen office . From 1807 to 1813, the city was capital of the canton Witzenhausen in the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia and from 1821 to 1974 of the Hessian district Witzenhausen .

In 1898 the German Colonial School (Tropical School) was founded in order to provide agricultural training for migrants to the German colonies . The successor institutions are now a subsidiary of the University of Kassel .

In June 1945 the US Army interned the German rocket researchers Wernher von Braun , Walter Dornberger , Helmut Gröttrup and a further 120 specialists from the Peenemünde Army Research Center for almost three months in Witzenhausen, u. a. in the Collmannhaus in Steinstrasse, in the hospital and in private quarters. They were brought together from a camp in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and from the area around Bleicherode shortly before Thuringia was handed over to the Red Army in order to recruit them for missile development in the USA as part of Operation Overcast .


In the course of the regional reform in Hesse on October 1, 1971, the previously independent municipalities of Dohrenbach, Hundelshausen and Wendershausen were incorporated . On December 31, 1971, Unterrieden and the places Neuseesen and Werleshausen, which were changed from Thuringia to Hesse on September 17, 1945 due to the regulations in the Wanfried Agreement, were added. Albshausen, Berlepsch-Ellerode, Blickershausen, Ellingerode, Ermschwerd, Gertenbach, Hubenrode, Kleinalmerode, Roßbach and Ziegenhagen followed on January 1, 1974 by virtue of state law.

Population development

The development of the inhabitants in Witzenhausen.

Population development from 1890 to 2018 (territories in blue and red) and forecast from 2009 to 2030 (green) according to the tables on the right. Contrary to the forecast, the real development from 2012 shows growth
year Residents
1890 3216
1905 3788
1910 4065
1925 4323
year Residents
1933 4922
1939 5404
1961 7940
1970 7573

Current territorial status

year Residents
1961 16,649
1970 16,950
2003 16,111
2007 15,779
2012 14,840
year Residents
2015 14,949
2016 15.092
2017 15.163
2018 15,167

Population forecast

The Bertelsmann Foundation , Guide to Demographic Change , provides data on the development of the population of 2959 municipalities in Germany (published January 2006). For Witzenhausen, the population is predicted to decrease by 14.8 percent (2,270 people) between 2009 and 2030. Forecast of the absolute population development from 2009 to 2030 for Witzenhausen (main residences):

date 2009 2015 2020 2025 2030
Residents 15,370 14,610 14,070 13,570 13,100


City Council

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

Distribution of seats in the 2016 city council
A total of 31 seats
Parties and constituencies %
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany 35.0 11 40.4 15th 42.1 16 44.6 17th
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany 27.3 9 28.5 11 34.3 13 32.7 12
GREEN Alliance 90 / The Greens 15.9 5 20.2 7th 11.9 4th 10.7 4th
FWG Free community of voters 7.8 2 5.2 2 8.0 3 6.3 2
LEFT The left 4.5 1 3.4 1 - - - -
FDP Free Democratic Party 4.7 1 2.4 1 3.7 1 5.7 2
AfW Alternatives for Witzenhausen 4.8 2 - - - - - -
total 100.0 31 100.0 37 100.0 37 100.0 37
Voter turnout in% 51.7 54.0 53.2 57.2


  • 1945–1948: Eduard Platner ( CDU )
  • 1963–1979: Rudolf Harberg (SPD)
  • 1987–2005: Günter Engel ( SPD )
  • 2005-2018: Angela Fischer (CDU)
  • since 2018: Daniel Herz (independent)

Mayor is Daniel Herz (* 1983). In the 2017 election, Herz (independent) won the runoff election on October 8 with 64.9 percent of the votes cast against Angela Fischer (CDU). He took office at the end of March 2018. Herz was supported in the election by the FWG.

Twin cities

Witzenhausen has partnerships with the French Saint-Vallier (since 1975), with the English Filton (since 1978), with the Italian Vignola (since 1995) and with the Ugandan Kayunga (since 2001). The partnership between St.-Vallier and Witzenhausen came about by chance. The surname of the then mayor of Saint-Vallier was Witsenhausen-Adelmann. When he saw the name “Witzenhausen” on a street sign on a trip to Germany in April 1972, he drove there, contacted the mayor of the city of Witzenhausen at the time and the partnership that still exists today was established. Filton, Saint-Vallier and Witzenhausen have had a three-way partnership since 1979. This triad meets each year alternately in the individual countries. The town twinning and the exchange meetings have been organized since 2008 by the association “Town twinning of the city of Witzenhausen e. V. “supervised and organized.

Since 1973 there have been regular student exchanges between Saint-Vallier and the comprehensive school in Witzenhausen. In addition, there was an exchange between the comprehensive school in Witzenhausen and Filton for several years, a student exchange between the high school in 100 Mile House ( Canada , British Columbia ) and the comprehensive school in Witzenhausen, and an exchange between the vocational high school and the Turlock High School ( USA , California ).

Culture and sights


The Witzenhausen Ethnological Museum

The ethnographic collection of the Völkerkundliches Museum Witzenhausen comprises around 2000 ethnographic objects, 1400 of which have been collected by friends and graduates of the former German Colonial School in Witzenhausen and its successor institutions since around 1900. The Völkerkundliches Museum Witzenhausen Foundation, founded in 1976, is supported by the German Institute for Tropical and Sub- Tropical Agriculture (DITSL) together with the city of Witzenhausen. The exhibition constantly shows approx. 1200 ethnographics on 200 m². The main theme is human society in relation to the natural environment. Devices for the extraction, processing and consumption of food as well as clothing, jewelry and weapons from agricultural cultures in West, South and East Africa as well as from Melanesia, Polynesia and South America will be shown. Images and text panels complete the presentation. The representation of the economic forms allows a comparison of the adaptation strategies of the peoples to the respective natural spatial conditions.

Greenhouse for tropical crops

The greenhouse for tropical crops is used by the university for research and teaching, but is also regularly open to visitors.

Town hall on the market square with statue of Jacob Grimms



  • City park with swan pond (former extinguishing water pond)
  • Johannisbergpark

Regular events

  • Cherry blossom walking (Nordic Walking) every year in mid-April (2010 for the tenth time) in Unterrieden
  • Kesperkirmes: Old town festival with the election of the cherry queen, German championship in cherry stone spitting
  • CherryMan ( everyone's triathlon )
  • Bilstein marathon in Kleinalmerode
  • Thanksgiving and local festival (annually on the fourth weekend in August)
  • Witzenhausen was the starting point of the 3rd stage of the Germany Tour 2006 cycling race
  • Christmas Market
  • Basement stairs backyards

Economy and Infrastructure

In Witzenhausen-Unterrieden, Grimm & Triepel produced Kruse chewing tobacco until 2016 . The company was the last still producing manufacturer of chewing tobacco in Germany. DS Smith Paper GmbH is an important employer in Witzenhausen with around 430 employees . The company in Witzenhausen produces corrugated cardboard base paper for the production of packaging and hygiene papers such as toilet paper or kitchen paper. Other important employers are REGE Motorenteile GmbH , the hospital in the core city of Witzenhausen and VG-Orth GmbH & Co. KG, which operates a plastering plant in the Hundelshausen district .

Witzenhausen is the seat of the Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Domestic Animal Breeds, which maintains the preservation of old livestock breeds in farms, with hobbyists, in educational institutions, etc., and develops concepts for this and for the use of products such as meat, wool, and fur advises and supports.

The seat of Dreschflegel eV is also in Witzenhausen . V. , which is dedicated to maintaining the diversity of crops; and Dreschflegel GbR , an association of organic seed manufacturers .

The basic idea of ​​"continued use", which was decisive for the invention of the organic waste bin, has also been consistently expanded. A so-called used goods center was set up in the city area. Furniture, electronic items, books and glassware are repaired here and offered for further use.

The Dohrenbach district is a recognized state health resort.


  • Witzenhauser General (HNA )
  • Marktspiegel, a free advertising paper that also belongs to HNA through the Ippen publishing group
  • Witzenhüsser
  • Extra tip, a free advertising paper that is also part of HNA through the Ippen publishing group. The market mirror is also created in his editorial office.
  • RundFunk Meißner , a free community radio


Witzenhausen Nord train station

, The main roads 27 ( Göttingen - Eschwege ) 80 ( Bad Karl port - Holy City ) and 451 ( Helsa -Witzenhausen) Witzenhausen is connected to the higher-level road network. In Hedemünden , about ten kilometers away, there is a connection to the federal motorway 7 ( Hamburg - Hanover - Göttingen - Kassel - Würzburg ). In the direction of Göttingen, the federal motorway 38, which is close to the city , branches off from the A 7 near Friedland in the direction of Halle (Saale) . In addition, the city is located on the tourist routes Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse and Deutsche Märchenstrasse .

In the urban area of ​​Witzenhausen there are the stations “Witzenhausen Nord” and “Witzenhausen- Gertenbach ” on the Eichenberg - Kassel section of the line from Halle . "Witzenhausen Nord" is located above the city on the northern slope of the Werra Valley. There are trains to Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe , Göttingen , Erfurt and Halle (Saale) . The lines to Erfurt are operated by DB Regio and to Halle by Abellio with regional express trains, which only stop here in Witzenhausen Nord. The connection between Göttingen and Kassel is operated by cantus , both stations are served. "Witzenhausen Süd" was located southeast of the city center and, like the Gelstertalbahn Eichenberg– Großalmerode, has been closed.

The town is developed using the city ​​bus operated by Stadtwerke Witzenhausen GmbH and the regional buses to Helsa and Eschwege .

The Burgberg glider airfield is located about three kilometers northwest of Witzenhausen.

The Werra-Burgen-Steig leads through Witzenhausen .


  • Lindenhofschule Gertenbach (primary school)
  • Gelstertalschule Hundelshausen (primary school)
  • Kesperschule Witzenhausen (primary school)
  • Johannisbergschule Witzenhausen (comprehensive school)
  • Vocational schools in the Werra-Meißner district
  • Witzenhausen media center
  • Image of the Werra-Meißner circle
  • German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture GmbH (DITSL), whose predecessor before the First World War the name of German colonial school for agriculture, trade and industry contributed
  • IBZW Internationales Bildungszentrum Witzenhausen GmbH
  • DEULA Institute for Applied Technology GmbH
  • Society for Sustainable Development (GNE) - advanced training programs in the areas of environment and climate protection, renewable energy, development cooperation and humanitarian aid
  • Adult Education Center (formerly Steintorschule)
  • The Department 11 Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel in Witzenhausen the only university department of Germany, on the subject of organic farming concentrated. He leads the bachelor's degree in "Organic Agriculture" as well as the master's degree:
    • Organic farming
    • Sustainable International Agriculture
    • International Food Business and Consumer Studies
    • Sustainable Food Systems

As part of an EU project launched in 2011, 16 North Korean scientists and lecturers from Pyongyang began a two-year training course on the subject of "food security in organic farming" in Witzenhausen, which was rated as an extremely unusual educational program due to the restrictive management of the isolated country.


Witzenhausen is a stage on the Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen (X5H) long-distance hiking trail .

Telephone prefixes

While the dialing code 05542 is mainly used in Witzenhausen, 05545 is used in Blickershausen, Hubenrode, Ziegenhagen.


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities who have worked or are working in Witzenhausen


Web links

Commons : Witzenhausen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Witzenhausen  - travel guide

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. Bischhausen, Werra-Meißner district. Historical local lexicon for Hessen (as of June 10, 2016). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS). Hessian State Office for Historical Cultural Studies (HLGL), accessed on June 22, 2016 .
  3. Friedrich Hamm. Natural History Chronicle of Northwest Germany , 1976, Landbuch-Verlag, Hanover, p. 31. online
  4. ^ Witzenhausen, Werra-Meißner district. Historical local dictionary for Hessen. (As of February 10, 2016). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  5. ^ Matthias Roeper: 70 years ago: Rocket researcher was interned in Witzenhausen. Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine , June 20, 2015, accessed on January 17, 2020 .
  6. Law on the reorganization of the districts of Eschwege and Witzenhausen (GVBl. II 330-21) of September 28, 1973 . In: The Hessian Minister of the Interior (ed.): Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Hesse . 1973 No. 25 , p. 353 , § 10 ( online at the information system of the Hessian state parliament [PDF; 2,3 MB ]).
  7. a b Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality register for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 410 .
  8. ^ Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. witzenhausen.html # ew399wit. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  9. ^ Bertelsmann Foundation
  10. ^ Result of the municipal election on March 6, 2016. Hessian State Statistical Office, accessed in April 2016 .
  11. ^ Hessian State Statistical Office: Result of the municipal elections on March 27, 2011
  12. ^ Hessian State Statistical Office: Result of the municipal elections on March 26, 2006
  13. ^ Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine from January 15, 2016: New list in Witzenhausen wants to involve citizens
  14. ^ After the runoff election: Daniel Herz becomes mayor of Witzenhausen , hna.de, October 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Page of the town twinning association
  16. sights on Wikitravel Witzenhausen
  17. Official CherryMan Site
  18. GEH website , accessed on July 4, 2020
  19. http://www.dreschflegel-verein.de/verbindungen-ziel/
  20. http://www.dreschflegel-saatgut.de/
  21. Hessian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Regional Development: 81st meeting of the specialist committee for health resorts, recreation areas and healing wells in Hesse on October 13, 2015 . State Gazette for the State of Hesse 7/2016 page 218
  22. ^ Website of the Werra-Burgen-Steig
  23. Small sensation - North Korean scientists begin training in organic farming in Witzenhausen