Arnsberg (German pronunciation: [ˈaʁnsbɛʁk] (About this soundlisten); Westphalian: Arensperg) is a town in the Hochsauerland county, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the location of the Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg administration and one of the three local administration offices of the Hochsauerlandkreis district.

Blick auf Arnsberger Altstadt.JPG
Flag of Arnsberg
Coat of arms of Arnsberg
Location of Arnsberg within Hochsauerlandkreis district
HesseSiegen-WittgensteinHöxter (district)Olpe (district)Paderborn (district)Soest (district)Märkischer KreisOlsbergMeschedeWinterbergMarsbergBestwigEsloheSundernHallenbergMedebachBrilonSchmallenbergArnsbergNorth Rhine-WestphaliaArnsberg in HSK.svg
About this image
Arnsberg is located in Germany
Arnsberg is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
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
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionArnsberg
 • Mayor (2018–23) Ralf Paul Bittner[1] (SPD)
 • Total193.45 km2 (74.69 sq mi)
212 m (696 ft)
 • Total73,487
 • Density380/km2 (980/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
59755, 59757, 59759, 59821, 59823
Dialling codes02931 Arnsberg
02932 Neheim-Hüsten
02935 Wennigloh
02937 Oeventrop
Vehicle registrationHSK



Arnsberg is located in the north-east of the Sauerland in the Ruhr river valley. The river Ruhr meanders around the south of the old town of Arnsberg. The town is nearly completely encircled by forest, and the nature park Arnsberger Wald lies to the north".

Arnsberg is connected by Federal Motorway 46 (Autobahn 46) Brilon in the east and (using the Federal Motorway 445) Werl in the west. It is also connected by several railroad stations, which provide a connection to the major city Dortmund and the Ruhrgebiet. There is also a regional airport, located in the city district of Vosswinkel, which is exclusively used for small private aircraft.

The municipal territory spans a distance of up to 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the southern to the northern limits.[3]

Neighbouring municipalitiesEdit


After the local government reforms of 1975 Arnsberg consists of 15 boroughs (Ortsteile):

  • 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)
Jewish cemetery



Arnsberg was first mentioned in 789 in the Carolingian records (Urbar) as belonging to the abbey of Werden.

Arnsberg was the seat of the Counts of Arnsberg since around 1070 and received city rights in 1238. In 1368 the childless, last Count Gottfried IV handed over the city and county to Kurköln.[4]

They built a castle there whose remains can still be visited and are occasionally used for public celebrations.

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 was subject to the Archbishops of Cologne.

18th/19th CenturyEdit

The castle of Arnsberg was destroyed in the Seven Years' War in 1769.

In 1794 the French attacked Cologne, so parts of the treasure of the Cologne Cathedral were brought to safety to Arnsberg, also the relics of the Biblical Magi. In 1804, the treasure was returned to Cologne, as commemorated by a plaque in the Propsteikirche.

In 1816, Arnsberg came under Prussian rule and was made a local administrative centre.

World War TwoEdit

Neheim and Hüsten were merged in 1941.

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

Later, dozens of Arnsberg's citizens were killed in several British air raids aimed at destroying the railway viaduct. The targets were finally destroyed on 19 March 1945 using a 'Grand Slam' bomb.[5]

Contemporary historyEdit

The current city of Arnsberg was created in 1975 by merging 12 surrounding municipalities (Bachum, Breitenbruch, Herdringen, Holzen, Müschede, Niedereimer, Oeventrop, Rumbeck, Uentrop, Voßwinkel and Wennigloh) into one city.[6]

Old Arnsberg itself and Neheim-Hüsten are the two urban parts, while the other parts are mainly rural areas.



Arnsberg's population is mostly Roman Catholic. Arnsberg belongs to the Archdiocese of Paderborn. Catholic churches include the "Propsteikirche" or the "Heilig-Kreuz Kirche"; the "Auferstehungskirche" is a Protestant church. There is also a New Apostolic congregation.[citation needed]

In recent years Arnsberg's Muslim minority grew considerably.[citation needed] The town has a mosque.

The cemeteries are mostly Catholic but there is also a Jewish cemetery.

Arts and cultureEdit

The Kunstverein Arnsberg operates in Arnsberg. Founded in 1987 and devoted to contemporary art, Kunstverein Arnsberg has presented solo exhibitions by artists including Georg 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.


City armsEdit

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


Mayors of the new town Arnsberg

Years Mayor Party
1975–1984: Gerhard Teriet CDU
1984–1999: Alex Paust SPD
1999–2017: Hans-Josef Vogel CDU
2018–today: Ralf Paul Bittner SPD

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Arnsberg is twinned with:[7]

Notable peopleEdit

Statue Franz von Fürstenberg in Münster

People related to ArnsbergEdit

Buchenwald memorial


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bürgermeisterstichwahl Stadt Arnsberg 18.02.2018, accessed 21 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2020" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  3. ^ "(Stadt-)Geschichtliches". Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  4. ^ "(Stadt-)Geschichtliches". Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  5. ^ Bühner, Werner (1995). Bombs on Arnsberg 1940–1945, chronicle of the air raids in pictures and eyewitness reports.
  6. ^ "(Stadt-)Geschichtliches". Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  7. ^ "Partnerstädte". (in German). Arnsberg. Retrieved 2019-11-23.

External linksEdit