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The Sauerland
Sauerland
[ˈzaʊɐlant] is a rural, hilly area spreading across most of the south-eastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, in parts heavily forested and, apart from the major valleys, sparsely inhabited. For these reasons, it has been chosen as the first place in Germany to reintroduce the Wisent
Wisent
(European bison).[citation needed] The Sauerland
Sauerland
is the largest tourist region in North Rhine-Westphalia,[1] in particular for mountain biking & cycling, water sports and scenic recreation. The town and Skiliftkarussell of Winterberg
Winterberg
in the Hochsauerlandkreis
Hochsauerlandkreis
is a major winter sport resort.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History 3 Geography

3.1 Dams and reservoirs (lakes) 3.2 Geology

4 Towns and municipalities

4.1 Hochsauerlandkreis 4.2 Märkischer Kreis 4.3 Olpe 4.4 Soest 4.5 Waldeck-Frankenberg

5 Economy

5.1 Tourism 5.2 Transport

6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Etymology[edit] The name Sauerland
Sauerland
is first mentioned as Suderland in an official document from 1266.[2] After 1400 the letter 'd' started to disappear. Therefore, Sauerland
Sauerland
= southern country is the most convincing meaning, opposed to the theory that Sauer is from the German word sauer meaning sour (poor "sour" soil). Linguistically, "suder-“ is similar to the Old Saxon
Old Saxon
sûðar (southbound). History[edit] Before 1800 the western part of the Sauerland
Sauerland
was part of the County of the Mark based in Altena; the eastern part adhered to the County of Arnsberg, later became known as the Duchy of Westphalia
Duchy of Westphalia
and was owned by the Archbishops and Electorate of Cologne. The Duchy of Limburg covered a very small area in the lower Lenne
Lenne
river valley. After the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
the area became part of Prussia
Prussia
and was integrated into the new province of Westphalia. After World War II
World War II
Westphalia was merged with the new federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Today, the Sauerland
Sauerland
belongs to the districts Märkischer Kreis, Olpe and Hochsauerland. The western part of the Hessian district Waldeck-Frankenberg
Waldeck-Frankenberg
is also attributed to the Sauerland
Sauerland
because of its geomorphological as well as sociocultural similarity and the stark contrast to the rest of the adjoining Hessian landscape. Geography[edit]

Map of the Sauerland
Sauerland
showing district and municipal borders (green) as well as rivers, reservoirs and lakes (blue)

Biggesee
Biggesee
between Olpe and Attendorn

Sorpe Reservoir
Sorpe Reservoir
in the Hochsauerland

To the west the hills continue into the Bergisches Land, to the south into the Siegerland, and to the north-east into the Teutoburg Forest. The major rivers of the Sauerland
Sauerland
are the Ruhr and the Lenne. Several artificial lakes were created on the smaller rivers by building dams to store water for the nearby Ruhr area, the biggest reservoirs being the Möhne and Bigge. Although the highest elevation of the Sauerland is the Langenberg (843 m) near Olsberg, the much more renowned summit, which is well known for the nearby skiing facilities, its weather station and observation tower, is the slightly lower Kahler Asten (842 m) near Winterberg. Both Langenberg and Kahler Asten are peaks in the Rothaargebirge
Rothaargebirge
mountains. Dams and reservoirs (lakes)[edit] The Sauerland
Sauerland
has six reservoir lakes.

Sorpesee Biggesee Hennesee Listertalsperre Diemelsee Möhnesee

Geology[edit] The Sauerland
Sauerland
is part of the Rhine Massif
Rhine Massif
(Rheinisches Schiefergebirge) including 'Bergisches Land', Westerwald, Siegerland, and, separated by the Rhine
Rhine
valley, the Eifel, Hohes Venn and Hunsrück. The Rheinisches Schiefergebirge was subjected to folding and faulting in the Variscan orogeny
Variscan orogeny
in Carboniferous
Carboniferous
times and eroded to a peneplain in the Permian. The tectonic uplift to the present-day low mountain range began approximately 500,000 years ago and is still going on.[3] Most of the Sauerland
Sauerland
rock originates from a Middle and Upper Devonian marginal shallow sea; thus slates, sandstones and greywackes are the most abundant rock types. In some areas limestones from an ancient reef fringe prevail and are karstified. The Sauerland
Sauerland
has several caves, especially in the northern part, the biggest caves being in Attendorn
Attendorn
and Balve. In some areas of the Sauerland
Sauerland
the occurrence of lead-zinc-silver-ores lead to the development of a considerable mining industry, the center of which was the town of Meggen. Mining in this area lasted until the late second half of the 20th century, today there is no active mining in the Sauerland. The sandstones, greywackes and quartzites of the Sauerland
Sauerland
as well as, to a minor extent, the limestones are still exploited in numerous quarries. Towns and municipalities[edit]

Town centre of Balve
Balve
in 2007

Castle and Lenne
Lenne
in Altena
Altena
in 2005

Town centre of Schmallenberg
Schmallenberg
in 2010

The largest town of the Sauerland
Sauerland
is Iserlohn; other larger towns are Lüdenscheid
Lüdenscheid
and Arnsberg. Meschede
Meschede
is the home of an abbey. Another abbey is placed at Bestwig. Hochsauerlandkreis[edit]

Arnsberg Brilon Hallenberg Marsberg Medebach Meschede

Olsberg Schmallenberg Sundern Winterberg Bestwig Eslohe

Märkischer Kreis[edit]

Altena Balve Halver Hemer Herscheid Iserlohn Kierspe Lüdenscheid

Meinerzhagen Menden Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde Neuenrade Plettenberg Schalksmühle Werdohl

Olpe[edit]

Attendorn Drolshagen Lennestadt Olpe

Finnentrop Kirchhundem Wenden

Soest[edit]

Ense Möhnesee

Rüthen Warstein

Waldeck-Frankenberg[edit]

Upland

Economy[edit] Parts of the Sauerland, especially the major valleys in the northwest, represent an old industrial region. The availability of iron ore and the abundance of wood and water allowed iron production long before the Ruhr area
Ruhr area
industrialisation and the mining of its coal took place. Today there are only a few remains of this early heavy industry; wire production is still important in Altena
Altena
and a number of small factories still occupy the old industrial areas. Warsteiner
Warsteiner
is Germany's largest privately owned brewery. Tourism[edit]

The "Emperor Chamber" in the Dechen Cave
Dechen Cave
at Iserlohn

Today the Sauerland
Sauerland
is a popular tourist area, attracting many visitors from the Ruhr Area
Ruhr Area
and relatively close Netherlands. The forests and picturesque small towns are attractive for hikers and outdoor sports. There are more than 30,000 km of tagged hiking trails in Sauerland
Sauerland
region maintained by Sauerland
Sauerland
hiking association (SGV).[4] Some of the towns have the title Bad (Spa) because of their good air quality and stimulating climate. Winter sports are popular in the Sauerland. The bob sleigh track in Winterberg
Winterberg
is widely known in Germany, as well as the ski jumping in Willingen. Sauerland
Sauerland
also has a successful theme park called Fort Fun. Balve
Balve
Cave is one of the biggest prehistorical caves of Europe and is situated in Balve. The largest accessible limestone cave outside the Alps is in Attendorn. Transport[edit] The Sauerland
Sauerland
can be reached by car or train. The drive either via the BAB 4
BAB 4
from Cologne
Cologne
or via the BAB 45
BAB 45
and BAB 46
BAB 46
from Dortmund, takes about one hour; from Kassel
Kassel
or Frankfurt- Rhine-Main
Rhine-Main
(via the Sauerlandlinie) the journey takes about two hours. The closest commercial airport is Dortmund
Dortmund
Airport.

Bundesautobahn 4 Bundesautobahn 44 Bundesautobahn 45
Bundesautobahn 45
(Sauerlandlinie) Bundesautobahn 46

In the region, railways were once the most important means of transportation, but between 1950 and 1990 many smaller branch lines were closed and rail travel is now only present in the major valleys. The most important lines are:

Ruhr-Sieg-Strecke: Hagen – Iserlohn-Letmathe – Werdohl
Werdohl
Finnentrop
Finnentrop
Lennestadt
Lennestadt
– Siegen (2 trains per hour, Abellio Rail NRW) Ruhrtalbahn: Hagen – Arnsberg
Arnsberg
Bestwig
Bestwig
Brilon
Brilon
– Meschede – Warburg (1-2 trains per hour, DB Regio NRW) Volmetalbahn: Hagen – Lüdenscheid-Brügge – Meinerzhagen
Meinerzhagen
– Overath – Köln (one train per hour, DB Regio NRW)

See also[edit]

NRW portal

Arnsberg
Arnsberg
Forest
Forest
Nature Park Sauerländer Heimatbund List of castles in North Rhine-Westphalia List of nature parks in Germany

References[edit]

^ Travel themes, sauerland.com ^ Westfälisches Urkundenbuch VII, Nr. 1243 ^ Walter, Roland et al.: Geologie von Mitteleuropa. 5. Auflage, Schweizerbarth’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1992. ISBN 3-510-65149-9 ^ Hiking Map Sauerland

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sauerland.

www.sauerland.com Official site of Sauerland-Tourismus e.V. (in German) (in English) (in Dutch) Sauerland-Bilder, Photo-archive (in German) History of mining in the Sauerland
Sauerland
(in German)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 241430630 LCCN: sh85117715 GND: 4051800-0

Coordinates: 51°15′00″N 8°00′00″E / 51.2500°N 8.0000°E

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