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Arnsberg is located in Germany
Location of Arnsberg in Germany

Arnsberg is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Location of Arnsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 51°23′0″N 8°5′0″E / 51.383333, 8.083333
Country Germany
Land North Rhine-Westphalia
Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg
Landkreis Hochsauerland
 • Mayor Hans-Josef Vogel (CDU)
 • Total 193.45 km2 (74.69 sq mi)
Elevation 212 m (696 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total 75,000
 • Density 390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Vehicle registration HSK

Jewish cemetery.

Arnsberg is a town in the Hochsauerland District 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 forrest, and in the north there 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.



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 completely 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 up to the present still used 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 had been merged in 1941.

In the Second World War, Arnsberg first suffered widespread destruction and catastrophic loss of lives when British bombardment 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.


In Arnsberg is operating the internationally renown Kunstverein Arnsberg. Founded in 1987 and devoted to Contemporary Art, Kunstverein Arnsberg has presented solo exhibitions by artists as 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.


  • Trilux

Neighbouring municipalities[]

  • Ense
  • Möhnesee
  • Warstein
  • Meschede
  • Sundern
  • Balve
  • Menden

Division of the town[]

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 crest[]

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[]

Arnsberg is twinned with:

Persons of interest[]

  • Fritz Cremer, artist
  • Andrea Fischer, politician
  • Franz Friedrich Wilhelm von Fürstenberg, politician
  • Hans Bernd Gisevius, diplomat
  • Wilhelm Hasenclever, politician
  • Friedrich Merz, politician
  • Franz Müntefering, politician
  • Franz Stock, priest

External links[]



Deutsch: Arnsberg
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