Altena Castle

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Exterior view of Altena Castle in 2005.
Castle and Lenne in Altena in 2005

Altena Castle (German: Burg Altena) is a Medieval hill castle in the town of Altena in North Rhine-Westphalia. Built on a spur of Klusenberg hill, the castle lies near the Lenne in the Märkischer Kreis.

The castle was erected by the early Counts of Berg in the early 12th century.[1] Eventually, the House of Berg abandoned Altena and moved their residence to Hamm.


Supposedly, the castle was built by the brothers Adolf and Everhard von Berg around the year 1108 after Henry V granted them land in Sauerland. On Wulfseck Mountain they built their castle, which they named Wulfeshagen, later Altena. This is one of the three legends of the establishment of the county of Altena and the building of the castle.

After the acquisition of Mark near the city of Hamm in 1198, the counts of Altena took Mark Castle as their primary residence and called themselves the Counts of the Mark. They occasionally inhabited Altena Castle and from 1392 onward it was used as a residence for the county bailiff (Amtmann).

In 1912, Richard Schirrmann established the world's first youth hostel within the castle, which is still in use today (Jugendherberge Burg Altena).

See also[edit]


  • Ferdinand Schmidt: Burg Altena - Blätter der Erinnerung für Freunde und Besucher unserer Burg, Märkischen Burgverein, 1924
  • Wilhelm Quincke: Führer durch die Burg Altena, 1968
  • Ernst Dossmann: Auf den Spuren der Grafen von der Mark. 3. Auflage. Mönning, Iserlohn 1992, ISBN 3-922885-14-4, S. 164–168.


  1. ^ Burg Altena, Ruhr Guide retrieved 23 November 2010

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°17′56″N 07°40′31″E / 51.29889°N 7.67528°E / 51.29889; 7.67528