Dillenburg is a town in Hesse's Gießen region in Germany. The town
was formerly the seat of the old Dillkreis district, which is now part
of the Lahn-Dill-Kreis.
The town lies on the German-Dutch holiday road called the Orange
Route, joining towns, cities and regions associated with the House of
Orange-Nassau, as well as on the
German Timber-Frame Road
German Timber-Frame Road and the
Rothaarsteig hiking trail.
Dillenburg - View on the Wilhelmsturm and the old town
1.2 Neighbouring communities
1.3 Constituent communities
2.4 Population development
3 Coat of arms
4 Culture and sightseeing
4.5 Regular events
5 Economy and infrastructure
5.2 Established businesses
5.4 Public institutions
6.1 Famous natives of Dillenburg
6.2 People who worked in Dillenburg
8 External links
Dillenburg lies on the eastern edge of the
Westerwald range in the
narrow valley of the river Dill, which flows from Hesse-Westphalia
border to Wetzlar, emptying into the Lahn.
Dillenburg downtown area
View of town looking north from Wilhelmsturm
View of the town looking south from Wilhelmsturm tower
Wilhelmsturm, Dillenburg's major landmark
Dillenburg borders in the north on the community of Eschenburg, in the
east on the community of Siegbach, in the south on the town of
Herborn, and the community of Breitscheid, and in the west on the town
Haiger (all in the Lahn-Dill-Kreis).
Dillenburg is divided into the centres of Donsbach, Eibach,
Frohnhausen, Manderbach, Nanzenbach, Niederscheld and Oberscheld.
Donsbach lies approximately 4 km southwest of the
Eibach has some 1,450 inhabitants.
The village, whose livelihood was once based on mining, lies among the
other constituent communities of Nanzenbach, Oberscheld and
Niederscheld. Its healing spring, whose water is heavy with iron,
makes the village a favourite among locals. At Eastertime, it is
With roughly 3,900 inhabitants, Frohnhausen is the largest of the
constituent communities after the main town of Dillenburg.
Manderbach lies on a sunny plateau 3 km north of the main town of
Nanzenbach lies approximately 6 km north of the main town of
Dillenburg. The tallest mountain of Dillenburg, the
Eschenburg at an
elevation of 589 m, is part of the Nanzenbach area.
Niederscheld is a village with about 3000 inhabitants, lying 2 km
from the main town of Dillenburg. The name comes from a small brook
called the Schelde that rises between Oberscheld and Tringenstein and
flows into the Dill at Niederscheld. The village's greatest hallmarks
are the old blast furnace and the Adolfshütte industrial park.
Towards the end of the Second World War, the village suffered
comparatively heavy damage from Allied air raids. Niederscheld had
been appointed a target, because parts for the
V-2 rocket were built
at the Adolfshütte.
Oberscheld is a village with about 2000 inhabitants, it is the
neighbour village from Niederscheld. The
Mining was quite important
for Oberscheld, there was a blast furnace, the blast furnace was
closed in 1969. Oberscheld had a station, the last train ran in
Oberscheld in 1987.
Dillenburg had its first documentary mention in 1254.
the ancestral seat of the Orange branch of the House of Nassau.
Dillenburg Castle was built on top of the peak now called the
Schlossberg in the late 13th or early 14th century. There are no
pictures of this castle, however, as it was wooden, and was destroyed
in the Dernbacher Feud.
From his stately home in exile, William I of Orange-Nassau, who was
born in Dillenburg, organized the Dutch resistance against Spain
(1567–1572), which still occasions regular Dutch royal visits to the
town to this day. The land was administered by the presidents of the
House of Nassau-Dillenburg. One of the last presidents was Georg Ernst
Ludwig Freiherr von Preuschen von und zu Liebenstein (born 1727 in
Diethardt; died 1794 in Bad Ems). In the Seven Years' War, the stately
home was destroyed (1760), and Wilhelmstraße (a street) was built out
of the remains.
In 1797, one of the earliest schools of forestry in Europe, founded a
decade earlier at
Hungen by Georg Ludwig Hartig, was moved to
Dillenburg. It continued in
Dillenburg until 1805, when Hartig lost
his position as Inspector of Forests for the Prince of Orange-Nassau,
when the principality was dissolved by Napoleon.
In 1875, the Wilhelmsturm (tower), views from which can be seen in
this article, was completed on the Schlossberg. It is today the town's
landmark. The "casemates" under the former stately home are among the
biggest defensive works in Europe. They have been partly excavated and
may be toured.
In the 19th century came the
Industrial Revolution with the building
Deutz–Gießen railway and the use of iron ore found on the
Lahn, Dill and Sieg. Many mines, foundries and metalworking operations
came into being in the region. In this time, many railway branchlines
were built from
Dillenburg to, among other places, Gönnern and
Ewersbach. These lines have all been abandoned now. The line to
Gönnern was abandoned in 1987 and torn up. The railway depot, so
useful in the time of steam traction, was shut down in 1983.
In the Second World War,
Dillenburg became a target of Allied attacks
due to its marshalling yard. In later years that yard was closed and
ore mining became ever less profitable and in 1968, the last blast
furnace, in Oberscheld, ceased operations.
Eibach's history began in "Nassau times" in the 13th century. In 1313,
the village had its first documentary mention. In the Second World
War, it was left unscathed. In 2004, the healing spring was renovated,
and a brineworks was built.
Manderbach had its first documentary mention in 1225, making it older
than the main town of
Dillenburg (1254). The two former villages –
nowadays parts of
Dillenburg – Frohnhausen and Manderbach, had much
in common in their early history. Here the two noble families von
Hunsbach and von Selbach both held sway. As in Frohnhausen, there was
also a great fire in Manderbach – albeit 148 years before
Frohnhausen's – which, having been started by a lightning strike,
burnt 38 houses down within an hour and a half on 29 April 1630.
The name Nanzenbach was mentioned for the first time in a document on
8 May 1325. This document mentions "die Nantzenbecher" — "the
inhabitants of Nanzenbach".
(in each case on 31 December)
1998 - 25,053
1999 - 25,124
2000 - 25,092
2001 - 25,017
2002 - 24,923
2003 - 24,681
2004 - 24,533
Coat of arms
The oldest town seals, dating from the 15th to 19th centuries, show
the same composition as Dillenburg's current civic coat of arms. The
arms were conferred officially in 1907 and confirmed in 1934. The lion
inside the gateway is the Lion of Nassau. 
Culture and sightseeing
Dillenburg - "Villa Grün"
Wilhelmsturm (tower) with the Orange-Nassau Museum
"Villa Grün" museum of economic history
The "Casemates", old defensive structures.
Hessisches Landgestüt (≈ Hessian State Stud Farm) with coach museum
in the Orangery. "Living Museum" about the horse.
Dillenburg - Wilhelmsturm
Dillenburg - The Untertor
Wilhelmsturm (tower) built in 1872 - 1875
The "Casemates", old defensive structures.from the 16th century
The Evangelische Town Church from 1491
The Dillturm (tower) from 1597
The old rectory from 1531–1533
The Untertor (Lower Gate) from 1344 (alterations in 1594 and 1737)
In Donsbach is a wildlife park.
The following trails go through or begin in Dillenburg:
Dillenburg to Brilon
The Schlösserweg from
The Dillweg from
Haiger to Wetzlar
The Uplandweg from
Dillenburg to Salzkotten
Jazz-Weekend, in June
Kirschenmarkt (cherry market), in June
Aquarena-Nacht, in July
Hubertus-Markt, in October
Hengstparade des Hessischen Landgestüts (stallion parade)
Maypole Festival in Eibach, at the beginning of May
Rocknacht music festival in Eibach, in summer.
Brineworks and healing spring, Eibach
Economy and infrastructure
The bypass on Federal Highway (Bundesstraße) B277 opened in April
2007. It is a tunnel under the Schlossberg, bypassing the historic Old
Town with its timber-frame houses and it was one of Germany's biggest
tunnel projects. As a result of the bankruptcy of the contractor for
the works, Walter Bau, completion of the project was delayed by more
than a year.
Dillenburg station is on the Dill line, part of the original
Cologne-Gießen Railway. It runs from Gießen to Siegen and connects
Hesse with the
Rhineland and the Ruhr. The Heller Valley
Railway, runs from Betzdorf via Burbach to Dillenburg. The Dillenburg
station was once a major freight terminal for iron mining in the
Outokumpu Nirosta (former Thyssen Krupp Nirosta) in the North of
Weber Kunststofftechnik Dillenburg
Deutsche Post AG
E.ON Mitte (OT Oberscheld)
Funkenerosionstechnik Hartwig Hermann
Isabellenhütte Heusler GmbH & Co. KG
Linde & Wiemann
TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG
Volksbank Dill eG
German Red Cross
German Red Cross Dillkreis chapter
Lahn-Dill Youth Office
Lebenshilfe for the mentally handicapped Kreisvereinigung für den
ehem. Dillkreis e.V. (District association for the former Dill
Lahn-Dill Social Office
Dillenburg - Johann-von-Nassau-Schule
Gewerbliche Schulen (vocational school)
Goldbachschule (Haupt- and Realschule)
Juliane-von-Stolberg-Schule (primary school)
Johann-von-Nassau-Schule (Haupt- and Realschule)
Kaufmännische Schulen (vocational school)
Kindergartens (Evangelical, Catholic, municipal, Arbeiterwohlfahrt
[German workers' welfare])
Lahn-Dill-Akademie (Folk high school)
Otfried-Preußler-Schule für Praktisch Bildbare (special school)
Roteberg-Schule (primary school)
Schelderwald-Schule (primary school and Hauptschule)
Famous natives of Dillenburg
William I of Orange-Nassau around 1579
Otfried Hans Freiherr von Meusebach alias John O. Meusebach
(1812–1897), founder of
Fredericksburg, Texas and Texas Senator
Karl Heinz Gasser, German politician
Maria Kliegel, (born 1952), German cellist
Rolf Krenzer, writer of children's books and composer
Moritz von Nassau, Dutch field marshal, called the Brasilianer
Ernst Casimir van Nassau-Dietz, ancestor of Kings of the Netherlands
John VI of Nassau-Dillenburg, (1536-1606), German aristocrat
Maurice of Nassau (Also known as Maurits van Oranje-Nassau/Moritz von
Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht,
Overijssel, also prince of Orange
Julius Eckhardt Raht, American mining engineer and entrepreneur.
William I of Orange-Nassau, leader in the Dutch war of independence
Prof. Dr. Melanie Tatur, German political scientist and sociologist
Wilhelm Zepper, reformed theologian; court chaplain and professor in
People who worked in Dillenburg
Georg Ludwig Hartig
Georg Ludwig Hartig worked from 1797 to 1805 as Inspector of Forests
for the Prince of Orange-Nassau, in Dillenburg; at the same time led
one of the earliest schools of forestry in Europe, also in Dillenburg
Maximilian Mörlin (1516-1584), Evangelical theologian and reformer
^ "Bevölkerung der hessischen Gemeinden". Hessisches Statistisches
Landesamt (in German). January 2018.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dillenburg.
Dillenburg railway station and railway guide line 445
Dillenburg fire station
Dillenburg at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Towns and municipalities in Lahn-Dill-Kreis