Set among the picturesque mountains and forests of the Sauerland, Schmallenberg's history can be traced back to the founding of the Benedictine monastery of Grafschaft near the Wilzenberg mountain in 1072. Documents from the mid-1200s are the first that mention the town itself. The castle, now merely ruins, was most likely owned by the Archbishop of Cologne and the Grafschaft Abbey that was destroyed around 1240. The settlement received the rights of a town in 1244. The characteristic architecture of the town, known as the Prussian ladder system that features half-timbered houses and slated roofs, can be traced back to the rebuilding of the town after the big fire of 1822.
Location: Central City in the Sauerland
This central city is located near the Rothaargebirge Mountains in the middle of the Sauerland in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. To get to the town by automobile, take the B 236 or the B 511, which run right through town. There are also nearby train stations that connect to the rest of Germany.
Business: The Center of Textile Industry
For several centuries, Schmallenberg has been a hub of the local textile industry, and the textile industry remains a significant economic factor of the city. The largest company is the Falke company, which makes socks, which has given the town the nickname of die Strumpsfstadt, or the sock town. Tourism and forestry also play significant roles in the economy. It is also home to the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology.
Culture: Learn about History while Enjoying Stunning Views
The ruins of the medieval castle provide amazing views of the Rappelstein and surrounding area. Today, the Grafschaft Abbey is the home of a nursing order and the building is a working hospital. You can visit it and enjoy the museum, as well as the lovely views. There are several museums in the area. Every year, the town holds the Schützenfeste, or marksmen's festival. In town, there are 20 marksmen clubs, the oldest which was founded in 1525.
Activities: Over 2500 Kilometers of Hiking Trails
The nearby Kneipp spa in Bad Fredeburg provides a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. There are many scenic forests, mountains, and valleys surrounding town with almost 2500 kilometers of hiking trails. One of the main trails is the Rothaarsteig, which goes along the Rothaargebirge Mountains from Brilon to Dillenbrug. During winter, the mountains provide excellent alpine and cross-country skiing, as well as other winter sports.