A Short Chronical

2000 BC

First settlements in the Hattingen region during the Neolithic period.

4 AD

The Germanic tribe called Hattuarians inhabits the central areas of the river Ruhr. The name Hattingen stems from a small Hattuarian village above the river-ford at the so called “Nocken” hillside.


The Saxons invade the territory of the Hattuarians.

ca. 800

The Franconians under rule of Charlemagne conquer the Hattingen region. The old Hattuarian stronghold evolves into an imperial Franconian court whose 20 aulic farmyards spread through the whole countryside and are to secure the imperial borders.


Two little streams, the "podrebeci" (Porbecke in Stüter) and "farnthrapa" (Felderbach in Elfringhausen) are mentioned in an official document.


The court Hattingen and its church are gifted to the newly founded Benedictine abbey in Deutz near Cologne by the future emperor Heinrich II in 1005.


Bredenscheid is mentioned the first time in a monastery-register in Werden.


Emperor Heinrich III. gifts 10 “Hufe” (around 120 hectare of land) of the village Holthausen to the nunnery of Essen.


The church in Niederwenigern is first mentioned.

ca. 1150

Baak and Winz are listed in a property register of the monastery in Werden.

ca. 1200

Construction of the Isenburg, one of the biggest castles in western Germany.


Archbishop Engelbert of Cologne is killed by soldiers of Burggrave Friedrich von Isenberg. Shortly after, Friedrich is executed in Cologne and the Isenburg is destroyed.


Count Adolf von der Mark builds a castle on the “Blanken Steyn” to secure his rule over the Isenberg territory.

ca. 1270

The monastery in Werden notes first revenues from Dumberg.


“Welpere” is first mentioned in a feudal register of Steinfurt.


A bridge over the river Ruhr is mentioned.


Count Engelbert von der Mark gives “Freiheitsrechte” (a lower form of the municipal law) to Volberts Haus in Hattingen.


Count Engelbert gives “Freiheitsrechte” to Blankenstein.


The so called “Befestigungsvertrag” (fortification contract) marks the founding of the city Hattingen with municipal law.


Three guilds are established in Hattingen. Especially the drapers gain reputation even in distant regions.


Except for two houses, the city is burned down during the war between the two brothers count Adolf and Gerhard von der Mark.


Hattingen gains privileges to host weekly markets and fairs.


The mayors and the council of Hattingen are given the right to establish their own laws in the city.


Hattingen and Blankenstein join the Hanseatic League.


A city hall is constructed on top of the butchers-hall at the Untermarkt.

Since 1580

The Protestant Reformation gains increasing popularity in the Hattingen region.


Hattingen is fortified by stone walls, defensive towers and five city gates.


Blankenstein gains the privilege to hold three fairs a year.


Due to the “Jülich-Klevischen Erbfolgestreit” (war of the Jülich Succession), Hattingen, Blankenstein and Stiepel are occupied by Spanish troops. Until 1630, the protestant Hattingen is under catholic rule. The Hattingen region sinks into poverty.


Hattingen yields to the Swedish colonel Wilhelm Wendt zum Krassenstein after ten days under excruciating siege.


The Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg orders the complete destruction of the dilapidated castle in Blankenstein.


A great fire wreaks havoc in Blankenstein.


End of the “Jülich-Klevischen Erbfolgestreit”. The Hattingen region is finally given to the Electorate of Brandenburg.


Uprising of the population to evict Prussian military recruiters.


There are 52 active coal-mines in the Blankenstein districts.


During the Seven Years’ War, the Hattingen region is seized by French troops.


Local rebels attack a French military hospital, that was on the move to Langenberg. It is rumored, that the rebels stole an important chest with funds for the war.


The river Ruhr is opened as a navigable waterway. Using small boats called “Aaken” offers new possibilities for Hattingen’s industry, especially coal mining.


The “Rauendahler Kohlenbahn” is the first “Railway” in Germany. Carriages, called “Loren” were pulled by horses on iron rails.


During the Napoleonic Era, the Hattingen region belongs to the French vassal state of the Grand Duchy of Berg.


The region is freed from Napoleon. The offices of mayor of Hattingen and Blankenstein are integrated into the district Bochum, part of the Prussian province Westphalia.


The city Hattingen leaves the offices of mayor of Hattingen-Land.


Start of the Industrial Era in the Hattingen region: Count Henrich zu Stolberg-Wernigerode buys 76 Morgens of land from Bruch Manor in Welper, to build a steel mill. The “Henrichshütte” became the most important working place of the region for over 135 years.


A gas facility at the Wülfingstraße is inaugurated. Streets in Hattingen are now lit by gas-lanterns.


Hattingen receives a connection to the railway network.


The district of Hattingen is created.


Electric lights are installed in the city.


The new city hall is inaugurated.


The region is seized by French and Belgian troops to ensure proper payment of reparations from the war-torn Germany.


The communities of Baak, Dumberg, Niederwenigern and Winz unite to a single community “Winz”, Bredenscheid and Stüter do the same and form the community “Bredenscheid-Stüter”.


Niederbonsfeld also joins the new community Winz.


Creation of the “Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis”. The district of Hattingen is dissolved.


A local election gives way for the seize of power of the National Socialist Party in the region. The Nazis start to prosecute political opponents and jews.


The District Administrator of the Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis allows the community of Blankenstein to be titled as a city. Before then, the term “city Blankenstein” was only titular.


The office of mayor of Sprockhövel is dissolved. The communities of Niedersprockhövel and Obersprockhövel are assigned to the office of mayor Blankenstein.


In the so called „Reichskristallnacht“ (Crystal Night), the Nazis burn down the synagogue at Bahnhofstraße and scavenge jewish homes and businesses.


Baak, a former part of the community Winz is given to Hattingen. As compensation, the so called “Lembeck” is assigned to the community Winz.


At 11:05 am, the first air raid sirens announce that the war has reached Hattingen. Until the war was over, the sirens announced 1292 possible air raids and warned the population 1208 times about enemy bombers scouting the region.


The first group of jews is cooped up in the “Gewehrfabrik”, an old weapon-factory at the bridge Ruhrbrücke. In April and July of 1942, they leave the ghetto to be deported to the concentration camps of Zamość and Theresienstadt. No one survived. 


Nikolaus Groß, a catholic resistance fighter from Niederwenigern, is executed in Berlin-Plötzensee.


Two heavy bombings aimed at the Henrichshütte destroy large parts of Hattingen, Blankenstein and Welper. 174 civilians are killed.


American troops liberate Hattingen entering through the region Holthausen.


The Wehrmacht surrenders, Germany has lost WW2.

Of 5674 homes in Hattingen, 1610 buildings are completely destroyed, 3681 are severely damaged. 137,000 cubic meters of debris is scattered all over the streets.

909 of the 18,063 citizens of Hattingen lost their lives during the war.

515 soldiers of the city Hattingen and 472 of the surrounding communities in the Hattingen region died on the battlefield. 195 soldiers are missed in action.


The Petersberg Agreement saves the Henrichshütte from imminent disassembly.


Start of the relocation of the river Ruhr to gain more space for the Henrichshütte.


Blankenstein, Buchholz, Holthausen and Welper unite in the new city of Blankenstein.


Inauguration of the first part of the pedestrian zone at Heggerstraße, Gelinde and Obermarkt.


Communal reorganisation: a newer, bigger city is created, consisting of the city Hattingen, most parts of Blankenstein and five communities of the former “Hattingen-Land” (Bredenscheid-Stüter, Niederelfringhausen, Oberelfringhausen, Oberstüter, Winz). The new municipal area spreads over 71 qkm with 60,490 inhabitants.


The festival “Altstadtfest” is held at the old city centre of Hattingen for the first time.


The steel-crisis is at its peak. Mönninghoff/Gottwald and the Henrichshütte have to cut 4000 workers off their workforce.


The real-estate business LEG buys the free spaces of the Henrichshütte to use it as a nature and business-park. Modern factories and businesses settle in Hattingen, the city overcomes the demanding structural change.


Hattingen is included in the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Historische Stadtkerne in Nordrhein-Westfalen" (historical city centres in North-Rhine-Westphalia), Blankenstein joins the community in1992.


Hattingen celebrates its 600th city anniversary.


Hattingen is included in the “Westfälischer Hansebund” (new Hanseatic league of Westphalia). This new league wants to revive the medieval Hanseatic traditions. Since 2015, Hattingen is also part of the international Hanseatic League. 


Inauguration of the Industrial-Museum Henrichshütte. This popular museum reminds the visitors of the “Way of Steel” and 150 years of metal work in Hattingen.


The city council decides to build a shopping mall at the Reshop and the Hattingen bus station.


Pope Johannes Paul II. beatifies the catholic resistance fighter from Niederwenigern, Nikolaus Groß at St. Peter’s Square in Rome in front of 60,000 people.


The new bridge over the river Ruhr is opened to traffic.


Hattingen elects its first female city mayor. Dr. Dagmar Goch is able to prevail against Dr. Frank Burbulla in a run-off election.


The Finnish company “Kone” decides to stop the production of escalators in their factory in Hattingen. 300 of 400 factory workers lose their job.


The junior-band “Nurso” from Hattingen attends the Bravo-Supershow in Stuttgart and wins the title of best school-band in Germany.


The hurricane Kyrill reaches Hattingen with a speed of over 120 km/h and wreaks havoc throughout the region.


Consecration of the new synagogue for the jewish community of Bochum-Herne-Hattingen at the Erich-Mendel-Platz in Bochum. Around 30 jews from Hattingen are part of this community.


A recalculation gives an overview of the financial situation of Hattingen. The total assets add up to 393,022,175.22€, from which around 384,6 Mio.€ are set in fixed assets (meaning land and buildings, around 180 km of roads, 190 km of canals and sewage pipes, 3,206 decorative trees, machines and vehicles). The city faces loans for investments and liquidity assurance of around 155.6 Mio.€.


The Reshop-Carré, a 11,500 qm big shopping mall is opened with a city festival. Around 30 shops for clothing, hardware, electronics and telecommunication are settled in this new attraction.


The new firestation at the Wildhagen is completed.


With Kaufland moving into the old Karstadt building, the city finally reclaims its biggest supermarket. 


With the Weiltor-gate finished, a 20 year long art project is completed. To give the city a new look, all five medieval gates have been interpreted by internationally known artists. 

Heggertor = Der Wächter by Jan Koblasa (1996)

Steinhagentor by Voré (2000)

Holschentor = Engel ante Portas by Urs Dickerhof (2010)

Bruchtor = La Porta Aperta by Morandini (2010)

Weiltor by Augusti Roqué (2015)


Because of a massive wave of refugees, Hattingen provides gyms and a newly built refugee camp for hundreds of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.


Dirk Glaser is elected as the first independent mayor of Hattingen.


Inauguration of the “Bürgerzentrum”, the civic centre at the Holschentor.


Hope for Hattingen: For the first time since 1994, the city chamberlain can present balanced total assets.


Groundbreaking ceremony of the new building for the “Stadtwerke”, the municipal utilities.


The police moves into a newly built police station at the Nierenhofer Straße.


The rights of use for canals and sewage pipes are sold to the Ruhrverband for around 110 Mio.€. The city management hopes to pay up the immense debts so that Hattingen is able to become financially independent again. 


First case of Covid-19 in Hattingen. The Pandemic paralyses the city with home office, compulsory masking and official lockdowns. 

© Thomas Weiß, Stadtarchivar                                                                                                                                                     Translation by Benedikt Weiß                                                                                                                                                     Stadtarchiv Hattingen 2021                                                                                                                                                                 Alle Rechte vorbehalten

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