Historic centre

Coat of arms

Coordinates: 50°17′27″N 9°6′45″E / 50.29083°N 9.11250°E / 50.29083; 9.11250Coordinates: 50°17′27″N 9°6′45″E / 50.29083°N 9.11250°E / 50.29083; 9.11250
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Darmstadt
District Wetteraukreis
  Mayor Erich Spamer (FW)
  Total 122.87 km2 (47.44 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 21,785
  Density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 63654
Dialling codes 06042
Vehicle registration FB, BÜD

Büdingen is a town in the Wetteraukreis, in Hesse, Germany. It is famous for its well-preserved, heavily fortified medieval city wall and half-timbered houses.



Büdingen is in the south of the Wetterau below the Vogelsberg hills at an altitude of approx. 160 meters. The city is situated 15 km northwest of Gelnhausen and about 40 km east from Frankfurt am Main. Historically, the city belongs to Oberhessen.


Büdingen is situated in a wet and swampy valley. The castle and the old town therefore rest on centuries-old oak planks, placed horizontally across vertical beech piles (poles). The water level has to be kept high enough so that no air can reach these foundations.


Since 1972, the city includes the following formerly independent municipalities: Aulendiebach, Büches, Büdingen (core or centre), Calbach, Diebach am Haag, Düdelsheim (the largest municipality), Dudenrod, Eckartshausen, Lorbach, Michelau, Orleshausen, Rinderbügen, Rohrbach, Vonhausen, Wolf, and Wolferborn.

In the same year, the county (Landkreis) of Büdingen was dissolved, and Büdingen and the county of Friedberg formed the Wetteraukreis, with Friedberg becoming the new county capital.


"Jerusalem Gate" (or "lower gate").
Das große Bollwerk.

Around 700 the wooden church of Saint Remigius was built by an unknown lord. At 847 a "Büdingen" was named in a document for the first time, but it is not clear which Büdingen was meant, because there are some other smaller towns with the same name in Germany and Lorraine. An additional level was added to St. Remigius's church in about 1050 and the building has basically remained unchanged since then.

In 1131 the noblemen of Büdingen were mentioned for the first time. They became Burggrafen of Gelnhausen in 1155. The villa (Latin: city) Büdingen was officially mentioned in 1206. The ruling noblemen of Büdingen died out with Gerlach II before 1247.

Their heirs were the noblemen of Hohenlohe-Brauneck, of Isenburg-Kempenich, of Trimberg, of Hohenlohe and of Isenburg. On July 26, 1330, Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV granted the status of a market town to Luther of Büdingen.

With his edict of liberty in 1353, Burggraf Heinrich II granted freedom and some independence to the people of Büdingen. In return the people had to defend the city, so the Marksmen's Society was founded. This society still exists today as one of the oldest rifle associations in Germany.

Since 1442 the masters of Büdingen have been known as Grafen of Isenburg-Büdingen. After a local war, Graf Ludwig II built an enormous new defensive wall with 22 towers around the old stronghold between 1480 and 1510. These walls are still nearly complete and they are one of the most important medieval strongholds in Germany.

In 1521, Martin Luther allegedly passed through. In the same year, the town became Protestant, later to become Calvinist.

In 1576, the Black Death killed many inhabitants, as in 1632.

In 1590, a great fire destroyed many buildings.

Between 1633 and 1634 114 people were victims of witch hunting, although the first prosecutions took place in 1567. During the Thirty Years' War, in 1634, the town was taken by Imperial troops, defeating the Swedish occupants.

In 1578 Emperor Rudolf II rewarded the Counts of Büdingen with the "Jubilate"-market (from the Latin word jubilate: to praise); always an occasion for feasting. In 1806 the County of Ysenburg-Büdingen was annexed to the Principality of Isenburg-Birstein. After the Congress of Vienna, the Principality of Isenburg was divided in 1816 between the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt and the Electorate of Hessen; Büdingen went to Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1840, Graf Ernst Casimir III was promoted by a decree of the grand duchy to the status of hereditary prince.

In 1601 Graf Wolfgang Ernst founded the Latin School, known today as the Wolfgang-Ernst-Gymnasium. In 1712 Graf Ernst Casimir I issued an edict of tolerance permitting religious dissenters to settle in Büdingen. As a result, by 1724 there was a suburb at the Lower Gate (Jerusalem Gate) where Huguenots, Waldensians, sectarians, and other separationists lived.

In 1822, administration and justice were split in the Grand-Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. Büdingen became seat of the Büdingen counties lawcourt, which was followed in 1852 by the installation of the district of Büdingen. In 1839, the laborers' school (later called the trade school) was founded. The Mathildenhospital was built between 1867 and 1868. In 1879, a credit union (today the People's Bank), was founded. Büdingen has been a garrison town since 1936; American troops were stationed there since 1945. The last American troops (1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment) departed Büdingen on August 15, 2007, ending 71 years of town history as a military garrison.

Mail service between Büdingen and Frankfurt am Main began in 1739: one mail coach and two mounted messengers a week. The Gießen–Gelnhausen railway, including Büdingen station was opened between Büdingen and Gelnhausen on 30 November 1870. In 1879 the new Gymnasium was built, including a gym and the principal's residence. Between 1888 and 1895 built a water main and began partial installation of a sewage system. The municipal gas works was established in 1910, and Büdingen received electric light in 1913.


International relations

Twin Towns
City Region / Country External Link
Bruntál Moravian-Silesian Region / Czech Republic www.mubruntal.cz
Herzberg Brandenburg / Germany www.herzberg-elster.de
Gistel West Flanders / Belgium www.gistel.be
Loudéac Brittany / France www.ville-loudeac.fr
Tinley Park Illinois / United States www.tinleypark.org

Sons and daughters of the city

Samuel König

Other personalities associated with the city: '


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