- Brakel, Germany
Infobox German Location
Art = Stadt
Name = Brakel
Wappen = Stadtwappen der Stadt Brakel.png
lat_deg = 51 |lat_min = 43
lon_deg = 9 |lon_min = 11
Bundesland = Nordrhein-Westfalen
Regierungsbezirk = Detmold
Kreis = Höxter
Höhe = 110 - 361
Fläche = 173.74
Einwohner = 17475
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 33034
Vorwahl = 05272, 05648 (Brakel-Gehrden)
Kfz = HX
Gemeindeschlüssel = 05 7 62 016
Gliederung = 15
Adresse = Am Markt
Website = [http://www.brakel.de www.brakel.de]
Bürgermeister = Friedhelm Spieker
Partei = CDU
Brakel is a town in Höxter district in
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Brakel lies at the midpoint of Höxter district between the
Eggegebirgeand the Weserin the "Oberwälder Land" nature area in the old Saxon region of Nethegau.
Brakel consists of the following centres:
Auenhausen (population 130), Frohnhausen (population 309) and Hampenhausen (population 54) are Brakel's highest constituent communities, and are sometimes also known as the "Heggedörfer". Between 1142 and 1147, these three villages had their first documentary mention. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Gehrden Monastery had holdings in these three villages. The Heggedörfer, along with the town of Gehrden, were amalgamated into the greater community of Brakel after the old Warburg district was dissolved.
Beller has a population of 228.
Bellersen lies on the edge of the extensive woods in the Bruch valley. Bellersen is said to be "North Rhine-Westphalia's Model Tourism Village". Bellersen has earned international fame as "Dorf B." in the "Judenbuche" by
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. Bellersen is home to 704 inhabitants.
In 1965, this village celebrated its one thousandth anniversary of existence. The "Schloss Bökendorf" (stately home) was the centre of the "Circle of Romantics" with Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, the
Brothers Grimm, Clemens von Brentano and Josef Görres. It is known today for its open-air stage. Bökendorf has 852 inhabitants.
The village's forerunner, a group of farms, was first mentioned in the ninth century. There are 644 inhabitants in Erkeln.
This titular town was first mentioned in 868. Idyllically set in the Oese Valley on the eastern slopes of the Eggegebirge, Gehrden is said to be a tourism destination. The
BenedictineAbbey founded in 1142 had great influence and several landholdings in the "Warburger Land". Gehrden was amalgamated into the greater community of Brakel after the old Warburg district was dissolved in 1975. Until then, Gehrden had belonged to the "Amt" of Dringenberg-Gehrden. The Romanesque monastery church has Westphalia's greatest peal of bells. In the Klosterpark ("Monastery Park") is Germany's third oldest lindentree, the "Zwölfapostel Linde" (" Twelve ApostlesLinden"), which was planted by the Benedictines shortly after the monastery was founded. There are 961 inhabitants in Gehrden.
Already first mentioned in the year 800, Hembsen lies in the middle of the heavily wooded heights of the Nethegau, and has 1,084 inhabitants.
Istrup has 707 inhabitants.
Rheder has 324 inhabitants and is known for the "Schlossbräuerei Rheder", a
breweryrich in tradition. The very tasty golden pilsener brewed here is very famous and is consumed by the locals at the several "Schützenfeste" in this region. Some say that Rhederpils is one of the best small breweries all over Germany, probably even the world.
Riesel has 610 inhabitants.
Schmechten has 224 inhabitants.
Siddessen has 504 inhabitants.
Population figures are as at
31 December 2003.
Brakel had its first documentary mention in 836 as "villa brechal" in writings by the Benedictine monks. Brakel developed itself into quite an important trading town that belonged to the
Hanseatic League. In the 14th century, this Hanseatic town was at the height of its boom, bearing the same rank as Paderbornand Warburg, bearing witness to which was the town's having its own court and market rights. The general situation worsened in the 15th century. In the outer regions, the Brede Monastery was founded.
Thirty Years' Waralso left traces in Brakel. In 1803, Prussiatook over the town and appointed Brakel a district seat. After a brief period of French rule in Napoleonic times, the district seat had to be yielded permanently to Höxterin 1832.
1 January 1970, the formerly independent communities of Beller, Bellersen, Bökendorf, Erkeln, Hembsen, Hinnenburg, Istrup, Rheder, Riesel and Schmechten merged with the town.
As part of the
5 November 1974state law aimed at municipal reform, Höxter district and the old district of Warburg were amalgamated. The formerly independent communities of Auenhausen, Frohnhausen, Hampenhausen and Siddessen, along with the town of Gehrden were made parts of Brakel.
There was talk at the time of making Brakel the new district seat, its central location being seen as a point in its favour. However, any ambition that Brakel had to become the new district's capital was never realized, as Höxter kept the district seat.
Between 1966 and 1995, Brakel was a garrison town, hosting the 43rd Artillery Battalion from
The town's development strong points today are as follows:
* Bringing industrial concerns to town, especially in woodworking, metalworking, textile-working and plastics;
* Being named a climatic spa, and expanding tourism;
* Offering multifaceted educational opportunities, favoured by Brakel's central location.
Brakel's Hanseatic roots go back to its early history and stretch through the
Middle Ages. From the first written reference to "villa brechal" in 836 (in connection with transferring Saint Vitus's bones from Saint Denis, France, to Corvey) through to the 12th century, when it was the seat of the Lords of Brakel, the town found itself centrally located by virtue of two old commercial roads that crossed here. Moreover, the topography made expansion possible in the Early Middle Ages.
Long-distance traders thereby had a decisive share in Brakel's development, being as they were part of the leading class in many Westphalian towns. The "Hellweglinie", a mediaeval commercial road network that ran through Brakel, was the basis for long-distance trade.
As a principal town of the Hanseatic city of Paderborn, Brakel became a member of the Hanseatic League, putting Brakel in early contact with Hanseatic trade. Particularly in the 13th and 14th centuries, Brakel developed itself by fostering long-distance trade activities as far away as the
Baltic Seacoast. Bearing witness to these Hanseatic activities are Brakel coins showing up in Baltic Sea towns at the time (15th century). [Excerpts from the article "Brakel als Hansestadt" by Ulrich Ernst as an integral part of the Hanseatic town histories of the Wesphalian Hanseatic League (Westfälischer Hansebund)]
25 June 1983, representatives from 20 former Hanseatic towns, in an initiative arising from the towns' common history, founded the Wesphalian Hanseatic League ("Westfälischer Hansebund"), with Brakel as one of the founding members. The number of members has since risen to 40. The League's goals are, among others, to foster Wesphalian Hanseatic towns' self-awareness, to contribute to their self-presentation and to emphasize commonalities among these Hanseatic towns. Already, since 1984, it has become traditional to hold a yearly Westphalian "Hansetag" (Hanseatic assembly). The "Hansetage" are made attractive and informative to visitors with interesting cultural, touristic and sporting events (parades, farmers', craftsmen's and merchants market, theatre, evening events)
Town council's 32 seats are apportioned as follows, in accordance with municipal elections held on
26 September 2004:
*CDU 17 seats
*SPD 7 seats
*Greens 2 seats
*FDP 1 seat
* CWG 5 seatsNote: CWG is a citizens' coalition.
Coat of arms, banner and flag
coat of armsmight heraldically be described thus: In gules two pointed-roofed towers argent joined at the tops by a decorative gable argent, beneath the gable and between the towers an inescutcheon, in which, in vert three pallets argent across which a raised fess gules, therein three orbs Or.
The inescutcheon – the smaller shield within the bigger one – which already appeared on Brakel's coins in 1227, is the arms of the Lords of Brakel, who were the town's overlords until their male line died out in 1268. On the south side of the Town Hall is found an armorial stone, believed to be from the 16th century, that only shows the Lords' arms. Even written records from Paderborn in the 18th century contain only this inner shield as Brakel's coat of arms. From the late 13th century, the town of Brakel used a seal whose composition matches the blazon given above. A seal stamp used beginning in 1316 is still kept in the town archive today. When the coat of arms was newly adopted in 1907, the town chose to have the 1316 seal stamp composition in its arms. The colours seen in the inescutcheon are simply the town's colours, as the old Lords' armorial colours are unknown. In this form, the coat of arms was given Royal approval on
18 March 1908.
banneris striped green and white lengthwise with the coat of arms in the middle of the upper half. Written above the coat of arms is "Stadt", and underneath "Brakel" ("Stadt Brakel" means "Town of Brakel")
flagis striped green and white lengthwise with the coat of arms in the middle, but towards the hoist.
Brakel lies at the crossroads of Federal Highways ("Bundesstraßen") B 64 (
Münster- Paderborn-Brakel- Seesen-Halle- Leipzig) and B 252 ( Blomberg-Brakel- Korbach- Marburg).
The town also lies on the
Paderborn- Holzminden- Braunschweig railwayline, and has a station. The station is served by, among others, hourly trains from the "Egge-Bahn" (Paderborn - Holzminden), run by the "NordWestBahn" belonging to Connex.
* Städtisches Petrus-Legge Gymnasium
Fachhochschulefür Finanzen, Brakel branch
Adolph KolpingBerufsbildungswerk Brakel ("professional education works")
* Gymnasium Brede (free school in Catholic sponsorship)
* Berufskolleg Brede ("professional college")
Jürgen Herrmann, German politician
Claus-Dieter Wollitz, German football player and trainer
Michael Wollitz, German football player
Hermann Goehausen, Professorof Law
Petrus Legge, former Bishop of Meißen
Johann Georg Rudolphi, important Baroquepainter
Johannes Potente, designer for FSB(Franz Josef Schneider door knobs)
The Annentag in Brakel is the biggest church fair in the "
Weserbergland", held every year on the weekend of the first Sunday in August.
Brakel maintains partnership links with the following places:
* [http://www.brakel.de/ Brakel]
* [http://www.bellersen.de/ Bellersen]
* [http://www.boekendorf.de/ Bökendorf]
* [http://www.freilichtbuehne-boekendorf.de Bökendorf outdoor stage]
* [http://www.hembsen.de/ Hembsen]
* [http://www.erkeln.de/ Erkeln]
* [http://www.brakel-gehrden.de Gehrden]
* [http://www.hembsen.de Hembsen]
* [http://www.istrup.de Istrup]
* [http://www.riesel.de Riesel]
* [http://www.lwl.org/kulturatlas/jump.php?ortid=37 Brakel in the "Kulturatlas Westfalen"]
* [http://www.hanse.org Modern-day Hanse]
* [http://www.werbering-brakel.de Brakel trade federation]
* [http://www.plg-brakel.de Städtisches Petrus-Legge Gymnasium]
* [http://18.104.22.168/cgi-bin/fm/custom/pub/visit.cgi?lang=1&ticket=guest&fanr=19&menu_oid=2931&oid=7563 Fachhochschule für Finanzen, Außenstelle Brakel]
* [http://www.akb-brakel.de Fachschule für Sozialpädagogik]
* [http://www.kolping.de/bbw-brakel Adolph Kolping Berufsbildungswerk Brakel]
* [http://www.brede-brakel.de Gymnasium Brede]
* [http://www.berufskolleg-brede.de Berufskolleg Brede]
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