Infobox Ort in Deutschland
Art = Stadt
Wappen = Wappen von Marienberg.png
lat_deg = 50 |lat_min = 39 |lat_sec = 07
lon_deg = 7 |lon_min = 57 |lon_sec = 08
Lageplan = Bad Marienberg im Westerwaldkreis.png
Bundesland = Rheinland-Pfalz
Landkreis = Westerwaldkreis
Verbandsgemeinde = Bad Marienberg (Westerwald)
Höhe = 470
Fläche = 9.96
Einwohner = 5736
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 56470
Vorwahl = 02661
Kfz = WW
Gemeindeschlüssel = 07 1 43 206
Gliederung = 3
Adresse-Verband = Kirburger Straße 4
56470 Bad Marienberg (Westerwald)
Website = [http://www.bad-marienberg.de www.bad-marienberg.de]
Bürgermeister = Ernst Dankwart Neufurth
Partei = SPD
Bad Marienberg (Westerwald) is a town in the
Westerwaldkreisin Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, and also the seat of the like-named "Verbandsgemeinde", a kind of collective municipality found only in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The community lies in the
Westerwaldbetween Limburg and Siegen. From east to west through the town flows the river Nister, which is part of the Sieg drainage basin.
Bad Marienberg’s "
Stadtteile" are Eichenstruth, Langenbach and Zinhain.
In 1048, Bad Marienberg had its first documentary mention. It is likely that this same source gave rise to the name Westerwald, since the area around Bad Marienberg lies directly west of
Herborn. In 1258, Marienberg was described as "Mons sanctae Mariae". In the 18th century, the formerly separate communities of Obermarienberg, still an easily recognizable ring-shaped settlement around the parish church today, and Untermarienberg grew together.
Marienberg was part of the lordly domain in the Westerwald that was formed out of the three "Gerichte" (official regions) of Marienberg, Emmerichenhain and Neukirch, and which Count
Otto I of Nassauwon in 1255 in the Ottonian-Walramian hereditary division. After a further division in 1303, the area passed to Otto’s son Henry III of Nassau-Siegen, making it part of Nassau-Dillenburg. From 1343 to 1561, the overlordship in the Westerwald was then held by the Nassau-Dillenburg-Beilstein branch of the family. After they died out, Count Johann VI of Nassau-Dillenburg (“the Elder”) received the inheritance, thereby uniting these German lands – albeit only for a short time.
After further territorial exchanges within the Nassau dynasty through inheritances, Marienberg ended up, as part of the Beilstein lordly domain, under Prince William IV’s governance. Once again, in 1742-1743, he succeeded in uniting all Ottonian lands within the
Holy Roman Empire. Within the Orange German possessions now ruled from Dillenburg, Marienberg was at the latest by 1783 put under the "Amt" of Beilstein. The parish of Marienberg counted roughly 450 souls in 1580 and included the villages of Bach, Bölsberg, Eichenstruth, Fehl, Großseifen, Illfurth, Langenbach, Marienberg, Hof, Pfuhl, Ritzhausen, Stockhausen, Unnau and Zinhain. The Counties of Sayn-Hachenburgand Sayn-Altenkirchenboth lay only a few kilometres away to the northwest.
Along with the lordly domain of Beilstein, the village fell in 1806 to the Napoleonic Grand Duchy of Berg, in which, in 1808, it was grouped into the "Arrondissement" of Dillenburg within the "Département" of Sieg. In 1815, Marienberg went to the
Duchy of Nassau. The "Amt" of Marienberg, which was newly organized in 1816, comprised 43 villages and 20 estates with 1,805 families and 7,085 persons ["Handbuch der Geographie und Statistik des Herzogthums Nassau", 1823] . At the same time, the "Amt" of Marienberg lay under the jurisdiction of the Dillenburg Criminal Court. In the course of a shortlived administrative reform, Marienberg was annexed in 1849 to the newly founded "Landkreis" (rural district) of Hachenburg, before the old arrangement was brought back into force in 1854.
In 1866 the Duchy of Nassau passed to
Prussiaand became, as the " Regierungsbezirk" of Wiesbaden, part of the province of Hesse-Nassau. With the institution of rural districts after the Prussian model, Marienberg became in 1867 seat of the Oberwesterwaldkreis with the "Ämter" of Hachenburg, Marienberg and Rennerod. The last went to the newly created Westerburg district (which also got the "Amt" of Wallmerod as well as a few places from the "Amt" of Selters from the Unterwesterwaldkreis) in 1885-1886 on the occasion of administrative reform.
Although in 1890 Marienberg had only 707 (mostly Evangelical) inhabitants and was officially said to be a village, it already had a considerable infrastructure at its disposal: the village had a provincial council office ("Landratsamt"), a
court("Landgericht Limburg an der Lahn"), a taxationand land registryoffice, a post and telegraphoffice, a credit unionand an agency for the "Nassauische Landesbank". Moreover, there was a tanneryin the village, and nearby were brown coal and ironstonemines along with claypits.
When the district of Westerburg was united with the old Oberwesterwaldkreis to form the new, bigger Oberwesterwaldkreis in 1932, Marienberg lost its function as an administrative seat to Westerburg. Having had town rights conferred on 1 April 1939, Marienberg then belonged to the French occupation zone and was part of the Upper Presidium of Rhineland-Hesse-Nassau.
Since 1947, the town has been part of the "Bundesland" of Rhineland-Palatinate. On 10 August 1967 the town had the title "Bad" (literally “bath” – the title means that the town is a recognized spa) bestowed upon it, after already having received the title of Kneipp resort in 1961.
In 1972, Bad Marienberg, along with 17 other "Ortsgemeinden" was grouped into a "Verbandsgemeinde", which today is home to just under 20,000 inhabitants (as of 2007).
The council is made up of 23 council members, including the honorary and presiding mayor ("Bürgermeister"), who were elected in a municipal election on 13 June 2004.
Since 2004, the "Stadtbürgermeister" has been Ernst-Dankwart Neufurth (SPD).
The town maintains partnership arrangements with the district seat of
Marienbergin the Ore Mountains("Erzgebirge") and with Pagny-sur-Mosellein France.
Within Bad Marienberg’s town limits is a spa garden with a Kneipp centre and a bandshell where concerts are regularly held in the summer. Adjoining this is a new part of the park with a herb garden and a barefoot course.
Between Bad Marienberg and the outlying centre of Zinhain is the "Basaltpark", a disused
basalt quarrywhich is open to the public and laid out with hikingpaths, information plaques about the geology, and a museum. Right near the "Basaltpark" is found the "Wildpark Bad Marienberg" (wildlife park).
Economy and infrastructure
Right near the town runs "
Bundesstraße" 414 leading from Driedorf-Hohenroth to Altenkirchen. The nearest Autobahninterchange is "Haiger-Burbach" on the A 45 ( Dortmund– Gießen), roughly 22 km away. Bad Marienberg lies on the "Oberwesterwaldbahn" (railway) to Limburg and Au (Sieg). From there, the cities of Cologne, Koblenz, Frankfurt am Mainand Wiesbadenmay be reached directly. The nearest InterCityExpressstop is the railway stationat Montabaur on the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line. The nearest airport is the Siegerland Airport, reachable by the A 45.
Near Bad Marienberg,
T-Systemsruns a transmitterfor VHF and televisionwhich has a 174-m-high freestanding tubular steelmast. Südwestrundfunk(SWR) sends all four of its radio programmes from here. In the summer of 2008, the switchover from analogue TV transmissions to DVB-Tis to be carried out.
Also, the "
Deutscher Wetterdienst" runs a weather stationright near this transmission facility in Bad Marienberg.
In Bad Marienberg is found the main branch of "Europa-Haus" of 128 others that have sprung up. It is sponsored through an endowment and serves as an education and meeting place.
Sons and daughters of the town
* Katja Burkard, moderator (come from
* Frank Göbler, German Slavist
* Gerhard Roth, former Member of the
Anette Rückes, athlete
* [http://www.badmarienberg.de/ Town of Bad Marienberg] de icon
* [http://www.bad-marienberg.de/ Verbandsgemeinde Bad Marienberg] de icon
* [http://www.europa-haus-marienberg.de/hauptindex.htm Europa-Haus Bad Marienberg] de icon
* [http://www.badmarienberg.de/stadt_land_leute/geschichte.php Town’s history] de icon
* [http://cgi-host.uni-marburg.de/~hlgl/atlas/pdf/15a-b.pdf Nassau’s territorial development] (pdf file) de icon
* [http://cgi-host.uni-marburg.de/~hlgl/atlas/id.cgi?ex=inhalt&page=2¤t=29&id=29 Historical atlas of Hesse] (graphic display) de icon
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