Infobox German Location
Art = Stadt
Name = Balve
image_photo = Balve, 20070915.jpg
imagesize =
image_caption = Downtown Balve, 2007
Wappen = Stadtwappen der Stadt Balve.pnglat_deg = 51 |lat_min = 20 | lat_sec=0
lon_deg = 07 |lon_min = 52 | lon_sec=0
Lageplan =
Bundesland = Nordrhein-Westfalen
Regierungsbezirk = Arnsberg
Kreis = Märkischer Kreis
Höhe = 240 - 546
Fläche = 74.76
Einwohner = 12510
Stand = 2006-12-31
PLZ = 58802
Vorwahl = 02375
Kfz = MK
Gemeindeschlüssel = 05 9 62 008
Gliederung = 7
Straße = Widukindplatz 1
Website = []
Bürgermeister = Hubertus Mühling
Partei = CDU

Balve is a town in the Märkischer Kreis district, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in "Hönnetal", a narrow valley created by the river Hönne, which is near the Sorpesee, formerly part of Balve, and at the north end of the Sauerland, near Dortmund. The town was established in 1975 with several divisions including Balve, Beckum, and Eisborn.


The first disputed reference to Balve was in around 780, when it was mentioned that a Widukind owned a farm called "Ballowa", another name for the town.fact|date=August 2008 The first undisputed reference was in 864, in which a blind girl from Balve was said to be healed at the grave of the Saint Ludger in the crypt of Werden Abbey.fact|date=August 2008

Ballowa is also mentioned in the Thidrekssaga, a chivalric saga written in the mid-13th century in Norway. In the saga, Ballowa is the home of two dwarfs who taught Weyland much about making iron weapons. At the time of writing, Balve belonged to the county of Arnsberg.fact|date=August 2008

In 1358 the town became the property of the Duchy of Westphalia, which belonged to the Archbishops of Cologne. In 1430 it was given the right to be called a city. During the Napoleonic period, it belonged for a short time (1802 - 1815) to Hesse, after which time it became part of the Kingdom of Prussia.fact|date=August 2008

In 1975, during a local government reorganization, the city was enlarged by the addition of the several former independent municipalities from the abolished "Amt Balve", including Asbeck, Beckum, and Eisborn.fact|date=August 2008

Organizations, economy and transportation

Local organizations include a Red Cross chapter, and the "Schützenbruderschaft St. Sebastian Balve", founded in 1947. [ [ DIE ENTSTEHUNG DER SCHÜTZENBRUDERSCHAFT BALVE] ] Primary schools in the town include "Grundschule Balve" and "Grundschule Beckum". Several international companies have roots in the town, including "Balver Zinn", "Chemie Wocklum", and "Kruse Group".fact|date=August 2008

Train stations in Balve include Binolen, Volkringhausen, Sanssouci, Garbeck and Balve, the latter station part of the "Hönnetalbahn" (RB 54) line.fact|date=August 2008


The main religion in Balve is Roman Catholicism. The church Saint Blaise, built in the 12th century and an example of Romanesque architecture, was consecrated to Mary. On February 3 each year a special ceremony is held in the church, called the Blessing of the Throats. The altar servers of Saint Blaise visit other cities every year, for example Georgsmarienhütte in 1982. Bones from Benedict of Nursia and Saint Blaise, and a 400-year-old monument for Hermann von Hatzfeld, are located in the church. Additionally, two Roman Catholic parishes have been present in Balve for several years.fact|date=August 2008

A Lutheran church is located at Hönnetalstrasse near to the "Gemeindezentrum".fact|date=August 2008


Performing arts

The "Männerchor 1860 Balve" is the largest choir in Balve. Other choirs include the "Männerchor Garbeck" and "MC Cäcilia Volkringhausen". The town's bands include "Musikverein Balve" and "Musikverein Garbeck".fact|date=August 2008

Until 2005, the organization "Festpiele Balver Höhle" and the town of Balve have jointly hosted a jazz festival.fact|date=August 2008 Acts at the festival have included performances by Jan Garbarek and by Piirpauke. One of the theatre ensembles in Balve is the "Kolpingtheatergruppe", directed by Christoph Rapp. Another form of entertainment, the Balver Märchenwochen, involves performing fairy tales at Christsmas.


The "Festspiele Balver Höhle" is held at the Balver Höhle, a cave in Balve. The festival is a major focus of the culture in and around the town, featuring music and theatre performances. The only marksmen's festival, "Schützenfest", is also held in a cave, and is organized by "Schützenbruderschaft St. Sebastian".

A large bonfire on Easter Sunday is another tradition in Balve, organized by the "Kolpingsfamilie Balve". On May 1 each year the fire brigade of Balve is invited to the "Feuerwehrfest", and for 20 years a christmas market has organized by "Balver Fachhandel" that features a live nativity scene.


One of the soccer clubs in Balve, SG Balve/Garbeck, won the DFB-Ü 40-Cup in 2007. The town also organizes the Balve Optimum, a competition between horse riders. [ [ DM Dressur Balve: Werth und Rath holen Titel 2008] ]

Participiants in the Balve Optimum have included:;Horse jumping
*Reiner Klimke
*Paul Schockemöhle
*Ludger Beerbaum
*Markus Beerbaum
*Jessica Kürten (2007)
*Hugo Simon (2008)
*Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (2008)
*Eva Bitter (2008);Dressage
*Isabell Werth (2008)
*Matthias Alexander Rath (2008)

Points of interest

There are many caves in the "Hönnetal", including the Balver Höhle at "Helle", a large cave used for cultural events such as concerts, stage acting and the annual marksmen's festival, and the "Reckenhöhle", a cave 1,478 ft in length that has flowstone. Experts have found signs of cannibalism in some of the caves.fact|date=August 2008

Other points of interest include
# The walls of an old Germanic farm, located Garbeck,fact|date=August 2008
# Beckum, where scientists found bones from eight kind of species of dinosaurs from the cretaceous,fact|date=August 2008 and
# The "Luisenhütte", the only surviging 18th-century blast furnace that is still in workable condition, situated close to the 14th-century castle "Schloss Wocklum", the home of Count Dieter von Landsberg-Velen.fact|date=August 2008

Coat of arms

The town's coat of arms references the history of Balve. The eagle is taken from the arms of Arnsberg, and the black-and-white cross from that of Cologne. Both symbols were present in old seals of the city, of which the oldest known example dates from 1462. The coat of arms was officially granted on June 24, 1911, and confirmed on February 6, 1976, after the local government reorganization of 1975.fact|date=August 2008

The bottom part of the coat of arms of the former "Amt Balve" is identical Bolve's town arms. The top half showed St. Peter, wearing a red coat and holding in his left hand a golden key and in his right a golden book. This coat of arms was granted on March 5, 1957, and expired when the Amt was dissolved in 1975.fact|date=August 2008

Famous persons

*Theodor Pröpper (died 1979), composer
*Alfons Mölle (died 2008), teacherfact|date=August 2008
*Werner Ahrens, designerfact|date=August 2008
*Frank Butterweck, ensemble's speaker, Festspiele Balver Höhlefact|date=August 2008
*Henning Hagedorn, composerfact|date=August 2008


External links

* [ Official site] de icon

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