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This article is about the city in Germany. For other uses, see Arnsberg (disambiguation).
Blick auf Arnsberger Altstadt.JPG
Coat of arms of Arnsberg
Coat of arms
Arnsberg  is located in Germany
Coordinates: 51°23′N 8°5′E / 51.383°N 8.083°E / 51.383; 8.083Coordinates: 51°23′N 8°5′E / 51.383°N 8.083°E / 51.383; 8.083
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Arnsberg
District Hochsauerland
 • Mayor Hans-Josef Vogel (CDU)
 • Total 193.45 km2 (74.69 sq mi)
Population (2014-12-31)[1]
 • Total 73,436
 • Density 380/km2 (980/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 59755, 59757, 59759, 59821, 59823
Dialling codes 02931 Arnsberg
02932 Neheim-Hüsten
02935 Wennigloh
02937 Oeventrop
Vehicle registration HSK

Arnsberg (German pronunciation: [ˈarnsbɛrk]) is a town in the Hochsauerland district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the location of the Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg's administration and one of the three local administration offices of the Hochsauerlandkreis.


Arnsberg is located in the north-east of the Sauerland in the Ruhr river valley. The river Ruhr makes a sinuosity in the south of the old town of the old city of Arnsberg. The town is nearly completely encircled by forest, and in the north is the natural park "Arnsberger Wald".

The main road to reach Arnsberg is the Federal Motorway 46. It connects Arnsberg to Brilon in the east and (using the Federal Motorway 445) Werl in the west.

The city spans a distance of up to 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the southern to the northern limits.

Jewish cemetery.


Arnsberg was first mentioned in 789 in the Carolingian records (Urbar) as part of the abbey of Werden. Arnsberg was built by the counts of Werl in the 11th century. They built a castle there whose remains can still be visited and are occasionally used for public celebrations. It was destroyed in the Seven Years' War in 1769.

In the 12th century, old Arnsberg became the seat of Westphalian jurisdiction (whose coat of arms is still used today by the Hochsauerlandkreis). Later, the city lost its independence and belonged to the Cologne area when their archbishops reigned the area. In 1816, it came under Prussian rule and was made a local administrative centre.

The current city of Arnsberg was created in 1975 by merging 14 cities and municipalities into one city. Old Arnsberg itself and Neheim-Hüsten are the two urban parts, while the other parts are very rural. Neheim and Hüsten were merged in 1941.

In the Second World War, Arnsberg first suffered widespread destruction and catastrophic loss of lives when RAF Lancasters breached the dam of the Möhnesee reservoir in the night from 16 to 17 May 1943 (Operation Chastise). The nearby Abbey Himmelpforten was completely washed away.

Later, dozens of Arnsberg citizens were killed in several British air raids aimed at destroying the railway viaduct. The targets were finally destroyed on March 19, 1945 using a Grand Slam bomb.

Also see: Möhne Reservoir.


The internationally renowned[citation needed] Kunstverein Arnsberg operates in Arnsberg. Founded in 1987 and devoted to contemporary art, Kunstverein Arnsberg has presented solo exhibitions by artists including George Baselitz, Thomas Ruff, Karin Sander, Dan Perjovschi, Boris Mikhailov, Gregor Schneider, Erwin Wurm, the Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz and the Marcel Duchamp Prize winner Laurent Grasso.


Neighbouring municipalities[edit]

Division of the town[edit]

After the local government reforms of 1975 Arnsberg consists of 15 districts:

  • Neheim (23,448 inhabitants)
  • Arnsberg (19,355 inhabitants)
  • Hüsten (11,304 inhabitants)
  • Oeventrop (6,713 inhabitants)
  • Herdringen (4,118 inhabitants)
  • Bruchhausen (3,337 inhabitants)
  • Müschede (2,870 inhabitants)
  • Voßwinkel (2,523 inhabitants)
  • Niedereimer (2,082 inhabitants)
  • Holzen (2,022 inhabitants)
  • Rumbeck (1,305 inhabitants)
  • Wennigloh (1,004 inhabitants)
  • Bachum (959 inhabitants)
  • Breitenbruch (219 inhabitants)
  • Uentrop (346 inhabitants)


Arnsberg's population is mostly Roman Catholic. Catholic churches include the "Probsteikirche" or the "Heilig-Kreuz Kirche"; a Protestant churches is the "Auferstehungskirche". Minor religious groups include a New Apostolic congregation. Cemeteries are mostly Catholic but there is also a Jewish one.

City arms[edit]

The arms of the city depict a white eagle on a blue field. Earlier it was a white eagle on a red field, used by the counts of Arnsberg and for the first time used by the city in 1278. In the 17th century the red was changed to blue, reflecting the Bavarian blue of the House of Wittelsbach.

International relations[edit]

Arnsberg is twinned with:

Persons of interest[edit]


External links[edit]