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For the virus, see Schmallenberg virus.
Schmallenberg (with Catholic church “Saint Alexander”)
Schmallenberg (with Catholic church “Saint Alexander”)
Coat of arms of Schmallenberg
Coat of arms
Schmallenberg  is located in Germany
Coordinates: 51°08′0″N 08°18′0″E / 51.13333°N 8.30000°E / 51.13333; 8.30000Coordinates: 51°08′0″N 08°18′0″E / 51.13333°N 8.30000°E / 51.13333; 8.30000
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Arnsberg
District Hochsauerland
 • Mayor Bernhard Halbe (CDU)
 • Total 303.00 km2 (116.99 sq mi)
Population (2014-12-31)[1]
 • Total 24,926
 • Density 82/km2 (210/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 57392
Dialling codes 02971, 02972, 02974, 02975, 02977
Vehicle registration HSK
Schmallenberg City

Schmallenberg is a town in the district of Hochsauerland. Relating to its area of 188 square miles (303 square kilometres) it is the largest town belonging to an administrative Kreis (district) in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.[2]


Schmallenberg is located in the middle of the Sauerland at the mountain range Rothaargebirge.

[3] It is situated (displacement)

Neighbouring communities[edit]

Schmallenberg in the North borders to the Municipality of Bestwig and the Town of Meschede, in the East to the Town of Winterberg, in the South to the Town of Bad Berleburg, and in the West to the Municipality of Eslohe (Sauerland) and the Town of Lennestadt.

Division of the town[edit]

Division of Schmallenberg
Schmallenberg (map)

Since the 1975 communal area reforms in the Sauerland and Paderborn the Town of Schmallenberg consists out of 83 quarters. They include the central town of Schmallenberg which was already named “Town of Schmallenberg” without other places before 1975. Furthermore, Bad Fredeburg (“Town of Fredeburg” until 1975), the Freiheit Bödefeld (market rights until 1975) and 80 villages:

  • Schmallenberg (central town)
  • Almert
  • Altenhof
  • Altenilpe
  • Arpe
  • Bad Fredeburg
  • Berghausen
  • Berghof
  • Bödefeld
  • Brabecke
  • Bracht
  • Dorlar
  • Dornheim
  • Ebbinghof
  • Felbecke
  • Fleckenberg
  • Föckinghausen
  • Gellinghausen
  • Gleidorf
  • Grafschaft
  • Grimminghausen
  • Hanxleden
  • Harbecke
  • Hebbecke
  • Heiminghausen
  • Herschede
  • Hiege
  • Hoher Knochen
  • Obersorpe
  • Obringhausen
  • Ohlenbach
  • Osterwald
  • Rehsiepen
  • Rellmecke
  • Rimberg
  • Rotbusch
  • Schanze
  • Selkentrop
  • Sellinghausen
  • Sellmecke
  • Silberg
  • Sögtrop
  • Sonderhof
  • Störmecke
  • Twismecke
  • Vorwald
  • Waidmannsruh
  • Walbecke
  • Werntrop
  • Werpe
  • Westernbödefeld
  • Westfeld
  • Winkhausen
  • Wormbach
  • Wulwesort

The Town of Schmallenberg has a population of 25,574 inhabitants (31 December 2011) with all of its quarters. 6,198 people live in the central town.[4]

Twin Towns[edit]

Town hall

Schmallenberg twin towns are:


First City Seal, 1261

In 1072 a Benedictine monastery of Grafschaft was founded near the Wilzenberg mountain by Saint Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne.

[5] The oldest available documents speaking of a “Town of Schmallenberg” are the archbishop's and the town council’s deeds from 1243. There were several causes which let the place of “Smalenburg” (old German, “narrow castle”) receive town rights.

[6] Before Schmallenberg received the town rights, there had been a castle of Schmallenberg which must have been destroyed around 1240. It was owned by the Archbishop of Cologne Conrad of Hochstadt and the Grafschaft Abbey. The Knight Johann Kolve had the order to protect this castle. At this time, there already must have been some kind of settlement around. The archbishop did not consider the destroyed castle as useful any more. Furthermore, the local settlement was unprotected and in a risky situation because of the castle. That is why the archbishop and the Grafschaft Abbey wanted to fortificate the place, leaving the old castle outside the town wall.

Schmallenberg 1653
Schmallenberg 1898

In 1244 Schmallenberg received town rights and got a mayor and an own council. Johann Kolve, who had recommended this solution, became the commander of the new fortificated town. He got 30 shillings every year on St. Martin’s Day as an indemnity, an own property and a judicial immunity was granted. The new Town of Schmallenberg thanked Kolve for its new protecting wall. He did not have to pay taxes and did not have any civic duties.

There is an evidence from 1273 and 1292 of blacksmiths working in Schmallenberg and there have been knife smiths and hammer works for a long time. The town joined alliances with Medebach, Hallenberg and Winterberg and was a member of the Hanseatic League. It used to be a Colonian minting place in the 13th century. After weapon techniques had changed and to the archbishop, Schmallenberg had lost its fotificated status, the town went through an economical crisis in the 16th century.

In 1812, the wall and its gates were torn down. In the big fire of 1822, 131 of 151 houses burnt down and Schmallenberg was rebuilt in the now characteristic structure (“Prussian ladder system”) with its half-timbered houses and slated roofs.

[7] In 1800, the iron manufacturing was the second biggest in the whole Duchy of Westphalia. When it collapsed because of major competition and high costs, textile industry developed in Schmallenberg. There already were seven firms belonging to textile industry in 1871. Manufacturing different kinds of textile should become the most important business type for the following years.

Panorama Schmallenberg


Industrial park

Since 19th century Schmallenberg traditionally was a “Sauerland center” of the textile industry. The largest company today is the Falke company, from whose activity it draws its nickname of die Strumpfstadt (“the sock town”). Today, 25 per cent of the population work in forest and wood economy or in tourism.[8] In 2002 there were 7,924 jobs based on social insurances.[9]

Major Schmallenberg companies are:

  • FALKE-GROUP (English) (textile industry, 2015: 3,366 employees)
  • Burgbad AG (English) (Hidden champions, bathroom furniture manufacturer with headquarters in Bad Fredeburg, 2011: 740 employees)
  • Feldhaus (German) (construction company, 2014: 650 employees)

Fraunhofer Society[edit]

Fraunhofer Institute

The Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME conducts research in the field of applied life sciences from a molecular level to entire ecosystems. The IME-Institute (English) has around 140 employees working at the locations Schmallenberg and Aachen.


Airfield Rennefeld
Stadthalle and wave pool

Air transport[edit]

Schmallenberg’s aerodrome is the Airfield Rennefeld (German) between the villages of Wormbach and Werpe. ICAO-Code: EDKR (German).

Private transport[edit]

The Federal Highways (Bundesstraßen) B 236 and B 511 run through the town.


The Westfalenpost and the Westfälische Rundschau each have a local edition in Schmallenberg and appear as daily newspapers. The free advertising newspaper Sauerlandkurier is coming out on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Local news can be received from the West German Broadcasting (WDR). There is a regional WDR studio in Siegen which is daily broadcasting news for South Westphalia on WDR 2 radio (on FM 93.8 MHz) and in the Lokalzeit show for South Westphalia on television (WDR Fernsehen). Another local radio cannel is Radio Sauerland from Meschede which can be received at 89.1 MHz in Schmallenberg and on different frequencies in the whole Hochsauerlandkreis.


Hauptschule and Gymnasium

[10] Schmallenberg has eight elementary schools (Grundschulen) and three secondary schools (a Hauptschule, a Realschule and a Gymnasium).

There also is one Special School for children with learning difficulties (Valentin-Schule), one Special School of the Hochsauerlandkreis for emotional and social development, elementary and secondary level one (Martinsschule Dorlar), one Folk High School (Volkshochschule) and a District’s School of Music (Kreismusikschule).


Starting from Schmallenberg, trips to the castle ruin with great views Rappelstein in Nordenau, the Grafschaft Abbey or to the nearby Kneipp spa Bad Fredeburg are always worth a visit. There are some local museums like the Slate Mining and Home Museum in Holthausen, the Cutlery Factory Hesse in Fleckenberg, the Monastery Museum in Grafschaft or the Jurisdiction Museum in Bad Fredeburg.

Annual events in many quarters of Schmallenberg are the Schützenfeste (“marksmen’s festivals”). There are 20 Schützenvereine (“marksmen clubs”) in town.[11] The biggest one is the Schützengesellschaft Schmallenberg 1820. The oldest Schützenverein in the modern Town of Schmallenberg is the St.-Jodokus-Schützenbruderschaft Wormbach. It was founded in 1525.


Winter sport in Schmallenberg

Schmallenberg has a lot of hiking trails adding up to approximately 2,500 kilometres, leading through forests, across mountains and through valleys. The Rothaarsteig, a hiking trail along the Rothaargebirge mountain range from Brilon to Dillenburg, leads through the town area. Recently, the town at the upper course of the river Lenne has developed into one of Westphalia’s winter sport centers. The Nordic Center of North Rhine/Westphalia and the Cross-Country Skiing Center Hochsauerland are both located in Westfeld. 250 kilometres of cross-country ski tracks and 30 ski lifts make any kind of skiing possible.

Notable people[edit]

  • Tom Astor (born February 27, 1943 in Schmallenberg) is a German singer and composer.
  • Franziskus Hennemann (27 October 1882 – 17 January 1951 born in Schmallenberg-Holthausen) was a Titular Bishop in South Africa.


  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 23 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Stadt Schmallenberg: Stadtgeschichte [1] (German)
  3. ^ Distances as seen on and
  4. ^ Stadt Schmallenberg: Bevölkerung [2] (German)
  5. ^ Johannes Bauermann: Die Schmallenberger Stadturkunden. Erschienen in: „Beiträge zur Geschichte der Stadt Schmallenberg 1244 – 1969“ im Selbstverlag der Stadt Schmallenberg (German)
  6. ^ Carl Haase: Schmallenberg im Rahmen der Geschichte der deutschen Stadt. Erschienen in: „Beiträge zur Geschichte der Stadt Schmallenberg 1244 – 1969“ im Selbstverlag der Stadt Schmallenberg (German)
  7. ^ Horst Becker: Beiträge zur Entstehung der Schmallenberger Textilindustrie. Erschienen in: „Beiträge zur Geschichte der Stadt Schmallenberg 1244 – 1969“ im Selbstverlag der Stadt Schmallenberg (German)
  8. ^ Verkehrsverein Schmallenberg: Holz- und Touristikzentrum [3] (German)
  9. ^ Peter Kracht: Sauerland, Siegerland und Wittgensteiner Land, Verlag Aschendorff, Münster, ISBN 3-402-05497-3 (German)
  10. ^ Stadt Schmallenberg: Schulen [4] (German)
  11. ^ Kreisschützenbund Meschede: Stadt Schmallenberg [5] (German)

External links[edit]