Sankt Wendel

Infobox Ort in Deutschland
Art = Stadt
image_photo = Missionshaus St Wendel.jpg
Wappen = Wappen st-wendel.jpg
lat_deg = 49 |lat_min = 28
lon_deg = 7 |lon_min = 10
Lageplan =
Bundesland = Saarland
Landkreis = Sankt Wendel
Höhe = 260-400
Fläche = 11354
Einwohner = 26967
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 66591–66606
Vorwahl = 06851, 06854, 06856, 06858
Kfz = WND
Gemeindeschlüssel = 10 0 46 117
Gliederung = 16
Adresse = Schloßstraße 7
66606 St. Wendel
Website = []
Bürgermeister = Klaus Bouillon
Partei = CDU

St. Wendel is a town in the north eastern part of the Saarland. It is situated on the river Blies 36 km north east of the capital of Saarland, Saarbrücken and is named after Saint Wendelin.


St. Wendel is situated on the river Blies west of the hill "Bosenberg" at an elevation of 938 feet / 286 m. Highest elevation is the hill Bosenberg with 1591 feet / 485 m, the lowest position is the one where the river Blies exits St. Wendel heading for Ottweiler with 853 feet / 260 m.


(each at December 31st)

* 1979 - 28,431
* 1983 - 28,211
* 1998 - 27,324
* 1999 - 27,174
* 2000 - 27,303
* 2001 - 27,296
* 2002 - 27,246
* 2003 - 27,068
* 2004 - 27,106
* 2005 - 27,085
* 2006 - 26,967


The city center of St. Wendel supposedly was the farm of a feudal lord from the Merowinger time (late 6th century) named "Baso"so the city name "Basonevillare" was created, which translates into "farm of Baso". This therm would probably have developed into "Bosenweiler" - had there not been the admiration of Wendelin; compare the names "Bosenweiler", "Bosenberg" and "Bosenbach", in which Baso's name has still survived. Baso's farm was situated on the Bosenberg's western side between the river Todtbach and the river Bosenbach.

In the middle of the 7th century the Bishop of Verdun, Paulus, bought Basonvillare. Besides he inherited the settlement Tholey (then without monastery) from the French nobleman Adalgisil Grimo. That way, the St. Wendel area belonged to Verdun for centuries.

Shortly before that the eremite Wendelin died near Basonvillare. In that time of his life he was worshiped deeply by the people. As an effect of this worship an intense pilgrimage developed during the next centuries, which finally resulted in a renaming of the settlement "Basonvillare" into "St. Wendel" in the 12th century.

The Lord of Blieskastel, whose properties stretched out from the northern part of Lorraine all the way through the mountain chain "Hunsrück" to "Bernkastel" on the river Moselle (today "Bernkastel-Kues"), erected a moat-surrounded castle in the valley of the river "Blies", which was supposed to grant proctection for the blooming pilgrimage site. This type of castle consisted of an artificial hill of earth with a wooden tower on top. It was surrounded by a palisade and a moat. Such an installation was called "Mott", that is why this part of St. Wendel is named the "Mott" today.

A third area was a small church "above the grave of Wendelin", which supposedly was positioned where the "Magdalenenkapelle" ("chapel of Magdalena") is today. Only in the late 9th or early 10th century a church was build on the position of today's basilica, into which the relics of Wendelin were taken during the 11th century and to which people pilgrim on "Wendel's day" in October.

At the same time the "Wendel's market" developed, a central market for the whole area for cattle, clothing and everyday utensils. Noble families and the clergy settled around the church. Castle, farm and church slowly grew together in the 14th century.

Until the middle/end of the 10th century St. Wendel was an important Verdun base. In 1326/28 the prince elector and arch bishop "Balduin of Luxembourg" from Trier bought the castle and the village St. Wendel. He was trying to suppress the influence of Lorraine on the Rhine area.Through the purchase of St. Wendel by Balduin the village soon developed into a middle age city. "Jakomin von Monkler" became first magistrate. As a representative of the prince elector he had a new castle erected. Besides he counseled the arch bishop Balduin to create a new pilgrimage church. He bought the city certificate off from emperor Ludwig IV in 1332, gaining permanent revenues. His successor "Werner von Falkenstein" had a wall erected around the city in 1388. At this time about 500 people were living in St. Wendel.

While the "Fruchtmarkt" (the area around the basilica, translated "fruit market") was a part of the town for the noble and clerical people in the 14th century, it became the central market place in the 15th century. Middle class and laborers settled here in the former noble farms. The Guilds developed, gaining rights in the city administration through their jurors. In 1455 the municipal foundation "Hospitalstiftung" had their building erected, a bit later the town hall was build. In the middle of the 15th century the number of residents had climbed to 700.

In 1591 a huge part of the town was destroyed by a fire. The residents had just started re-building town when requisitions and contributions (payments to the occupational army)) during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) drove the town almost into financial collapse.

During the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1697) all buildings except for a few were burned down in 1677. The city wall was partly destroyed, the prince elector's castle was devastated.

During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714] the city was occupied and despoiled again.Commerce did not recover from that for a long time. Only in 1714 people could begin rebuilding.

Also during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-1738)), the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) and the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) the troops marched through St. Wendel so contributions had to be paid.

Only in the middle of the 18th century the residents could start to relax again. The development in urban building had long been marked by a huge contrast between the high population density of the wall-encircled city center and the low population density outside the wall. Now the wall was gone and the city started to grow. Commerce, especially wool and leather industry, excited again. There were huge companies with over 100 weaving machines. Merchants from Saarbrücken and Strassburg covered their needs of good cloth while the tanneries took their products to the fair in Frankfurt. A wealthy upper class developed as well as many gorgeous residential and commercial buildings. The basilica was provided a three-layered baroque dome. Besides many urban building actions took place, for example building roads, building the area around the castle, moving the cemetery away from the basilica to outside the former city wall).

During the war of the French revolution St. Wendel suffered plundering and requisitions from the troops of both sides. Wool weavers and tanners had to pay "socage", a special kind of tax. The introduction of the "freedom of trade" replaced the old rules of the guilds, putting many masters out of business as prices were not fix anymore so blunderers could work under price.

From 1798, the "canton St. Wendel" belonged to the "Saardepartement". Eventually wealth was returning to the slowly but surely growing town. In the "Kelsweilerstrasse", the upper city gate was broken down and a bridge over the river Blies war erected in today's "Bahnhofstrasse".

In 1814, duke "Ernst I. of Saxonia-Coburg-Saalfeld" received the cantons St. Wendel, Grumbach and Baumholder (together about 20,000 residents) for his earnings during the war of the French revolution. From 1816 he called this area "principality Lichtenberg", which is still resembled today in the borders of the evangelic church community St. Wendel.

The government was successful in terms of economy, but it tried to control jurisdiction. The trust of the "Lichtenberger" in their independent government disappeared. Creating a "Landrat" (senate for the district), the general public hoped to gain rights for jurisdiction, tax politics, etc., but duke Ernst decided arbitrarily in too many cases. General public became more and more dissatisfied, resulting in uprising. During the liberal movements resulting from the "Hambacher Fest" the uprisings escalated in 1832. The revolts of the residents were fought down by the help of Prussian troops from Saarlouis. In 1834 the duke sold the land to the Kingdom of Prussia. St. Wendel became a chief town of the administrative district of Trier. The Prussian state stationed a garrison in St. Wendel.

Economically the St. Wendel area was running badly until the middle of the 19th century, so many people left towards America. Even today, there are towns in Brazil where the local Germany dialect of St. Wendel or even the surrounding villages is still spoken (see weblinks).

In the middle of the 19th century, the city of St. Wendel and the nearby villages "Alsfassen" and "Breiten" slowly grew together. Today's "Bahnhofstrasse", which lead to "Niederweiler" (the area of today's train station), was build as well as the "Brühlstrasse" and the "Kelsweilerstrasse", which also lead to Breiten and Alsfassen. In 1859, St. Wendel, Breiten and Alsfassen were finally united into the new city of "St. Wendel". Other urban building actions: street lights, hospital, evangelic church (1841).

The economic situation of St. Wendel changed in 1860 with the opening of the train connection between Bingen and Saarbrücken, with St. Wendel profiting as a train station and the building of a train maintenance company. The train maintenance company was first situated opposing the station on the "Tholeyerberg", between 1913 and 1915 it was moved to the "Schwarzer Weg" (today "Werkstrasse"). Today the area is used by the Bundeswehr as an army maintenance logistic center.

In 1898 the Divine Word Missionaries built a huge missionary in St. Wendel. Also, as a reaction to the changes in economical and social structures, a major city expansion started, causing the inhabited area to double in size between 1910 and 1937.

During the time of the Third Reich a huge military base was build near the western city border besides the road Bundesstraße B269 to Winterbach.

After the Second World War another big expansion of the city came with the "Wirtschaftswunder". The Saarland stayed independent from Germany as a French protectorate until the re-integration into the Bundesrepublik Deutschland in 1957 which started with a negative economical development as the biggest employer of St. Wendel '('Tobacco company Marschall") had to close down in 1960.

Despite all wars there were still some history buildings left in the city center of St. Wendel until 1960, but under the mayors Franz Gräff (1956-1974) and Jakob Feller (1974-1982) lack of historical interest and economically orientated sanitation destroyed a lot of them. Parts of the medieval town are still to be recognized near the "Wendelsdom" (the basilica).

St. Wendel nowadays has about 27,000 residents due to a district reform in 1974 in which several surrounding villages were united with the city area.

A French garrison stayed in St. Wendel from 1951 to July 1999. Their buildings are used by different companies today, some have been removed. In their place, a golf course and a skatepark have been build, a new public swimming house is still being built.


While the Blies valley (which also contains the chief town St. Wendel) is mostly catholic, the rest of the Blies valley has about as many catholics as Protestants. The valley "Ostertal" is mostly Protestant.In the city center there a two catholic church communities ("St. Wendelin" and " St. Anna") plus the evangelic community.

City divisions / surrounding villages

* 1859: Alsfassen and Breiten
*1974: Niederlinxweiler, Oberlinxweiler, Remmesweiler, Winterbach, Bliesen and Urweiler in the valley Bliestal plus Leitersweiler, Osterbrücken, Hoof, Marth, Niederkirchen, Saal, Bubach, Werschweiler and Dörrenbach in the Ostertal valley.


City council

The communal elections on June 13th, 2004 ended with theses results:
* CDU: 65,5% (28 seats)
* SPD: 27,2% (11 seats)Traditionally the CDU is the strongest power in town. So long it governed in each period with absolute majority.


* Carl Wilhelm Rechlin, 1835-1869
* Carl August Theodor Müller, 1869-1893
* Karl Alfred Friedrich, 1894-1918
* Heinrich Mettlich, 1919-1920
* Dr. Emil Flory, 1921-1935
* Kurt August Eichner, 1. December 1935 - 19. March 1945 (NSDAP)
* Jakob Fuchs, Christian party of the people of the Saarland (CVP), 1946-1956
* Franz Gräff, CDU, 1956-1974
* Jakob Feller, CDU, 1974-1982
* Klaus Bouillon, CDU, since 1983

The direct election of the mayor on April 14th 2002 did not take place as there was no rival candidate for mayor Klaus Bouillon. Therefore, the city council re-elected him mayor for another eight years with 26 positive votes and 12 abstentions on June 7th 2002.

City partnerships

* Rezé-les-Nantes (France), since 1973
* São Vendelino (Brazil), since 2003
* Balbriggan (Ireland), since 2007

Economy and Infrastructure


St. Wendel has good traffic connection in north-south direction. Parallel to the river Blies (resp. in northern direction to the river Nahe the Bundesstraße ("federal road") B41 and the train track 680 from Neunkirchen in the south to Birkenfeld, Idar-Oberstein in the north.Federal road and train track continue to Bad Kreuznach in the north and Saarbrücken in the south. The federal road B41 crosses town free of intersections. The area of St. Wendel has five exits (from north to south): St. Wendel - Niederlinxweiler, St. Wendel - Oberlinxweiler, St. Wendel - City, St. Wendel - Winterbach, St. Wendel - Alsfassen. Between exits Niederlinxweiler and City it has three lanes in both directions.In St. Wendel it intersects the federal road B269 which connects Lebach and Birkenfeld. At the southern border of the city the federal road B420 connects Ottweiler with the bordering regions of Rhineland-Palatinate

The next Highway are about 20 minutes by car away in each direction:

* Autobahn (Highway) 1 Fehmarn - Saarbrücken
* Autobahn (Highway) 8 Luxemburg - Salzburg
* Autobahn (Highway) 62 NonnweilerPirmasens

In St. Wendel all regional express trains and regional trains take a stop. Therefore an hourly connection to the "Rhine-Main-area" and three hourly connections to the capital of the Saarland, Saarbrücken are available.

Since 1915, there was a single track connection through the suburbs "Bliesen"and Oberthal to Tholey. In 1984 passenger traffic was shut down on this track. First the part between Oberthal and Tholey was shut down, later the rest of the track.

Nowadays the whole track from St. Wendel to Tholey has been rebuild into an asphalt-covered cycle track, named "Wendalinus-Radweg".

Local companies

* Industry: Metal, Medical (Fresenius Medical Care), Electronics
* Trade: Company central of supermarket chain "Globus", whose founder Franz Bruch originated from St. Wendel.


St. Wendel has a district court, which belongs to the regional court Saarbrücken

Clubs snd Organizations

* Gymnastics club 1861 St. Wendel e. V.
* Diving club St. Wendel e. V
* Soccer club "SV Blau - Weiß St. Wendel"
* Soccer club "FC 1910 St. Wendel e. V"
* Motor bike club "Nordsaar"


St. Wendel has been organizer of the 2005 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships and will be organizer of this event in 2011 once again.



*"City museum St. Wendel in the Mia Münster House". This museum exhibits the works of an artist from St. Wendel named "Mia Münster" plus various local artists.
*"Missions- und völkerkundliches Museum" of the Divine Word Missionaries
*"Heimatmuseum" in the old town hall
*"Heimatmuseum in Dörrenbach". In this smallest village of St. Wendel "Dörrenbach" there is a museum documenting the everyday culture of the village and the way of living of former farming village residents.

Cultural Projects

*"Street of Sculptures". In 1971 St. Wendel's sculptor "Leo Kornbrust" initiated the nowadays Europe-wide well-known "International Sculpture Symposium St. Wendel", which brought forth numerous huge stone sculptures by different international artists. In 1979 those sculptures were arranged along 25 kilometers of the "Saarland hiking trail" from St. Wendel to "lake Bostal".
*"Wendelswoche (Wendels week)". Since the beginning of the 11th century many believers pilgrim to the grave of Wendelin in the "Wendalinusbasilica" in the beginning of October.
*"Oster- und Weihnachtsmarkt" (Easter and Christmas market.
*"WND JAZZ". Once per year an international Jazz festival takes place whose specialty is a meeting of the local and the international jazz scenes.
*"Internationaler Wettbewerb der Straßenzauberer (International competition of street magicians".



*Wendels chappel (1755)
*"Fruchtmarkt" ("fruit market")
*Mission building of Divine Word Missionaries

Image gallery


Honorary Citizens

*Herwarth von Bittenfeld, *September 4 1796, † September 2 1884 in Bonn, Commanding general of the 8. army corps
*Clemens Freiherr von Schorlemer-Lieser, *September 29 1856, † July 2 1922 in Berlin, royal state minister and minister for agriculture, domains and forest
*Max Müller, *October 15 1862 in St. Wendel, † August 21 1937 in Wadern, retd. mayor of Wadern
*Pater Alois Selzer, SVD, *February 13 1893 in Heiligenwald, † June 24 1968 in Mölding, Prof. for pegagogics und soziology at the theological college of the order in Mölding near Vienna
*Hans-Klaus Schmitt, *December 2 1900 in St. Wendel, † March 11 1982 in St. Wendel, chief of police retd.

Sons and daughters of the town

*August Balthasar, *1914, † 1973, merchant and organisor of international bike races in St. Wendel
*Carl Philipp Cetto, *1806 in St. Wendel, † 1890 politician and businessman
*Helene Demuth, *December 31 1820, † November 20 1890 in London, housekeeper and (with Friedrich Engels) testamentary executor of Karl Marx
*Hans Adolf Halbey (1922-2003), author
*Leo Kornbrust (*1929), sculptor
*Hans Ley (*1954), politician
*Siegmund Nimsgern (*1940), opera singer
*Sebastian Reinert (*1987), soccer player
*Philipp Jakob Riotte, *1776 in St. Wendel, † 1856 in Wien, composer and kapellmeister
*Anton Adolph Schmoll called Eisenwerth (1834-1918), architect
*Hanns Schönecker (1928-2005), architect
*Paul Tholey, (1937-1998), psychologist
*Wendelin, around 600 in St. Wendel, abbot of Tholey und eremit in St. Wendel
*Henner Wittling (*1946), politician

External links

* [ Official Website St. Wendel] (German)
* [ Official Website of Sao Vendolino in Brazil]

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