Herborn (Hesse)


Coat of arms

Coordinates: 50°40′57″N 8°18′22″E / 50.68250°N 8.30611°E / 50.68250; 8.30611Coordinates: 50°40′57″N 8°18′22″E / 50.68250°N 8.30611°E / 50.68250; 8.30611
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Gießen
District Lahn-Dill-Kreis
  Mayor Hans Benner (SPD)
  Total 63.82 km2 (24.64 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 20,816
  Density 330/km2 (840/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 35745
Dialling codes 02772, 02777 (Schönbach)
Vehicle registration LDK, DIL
Website www.herborn.de
The town hall (Rathaus) of Herborn, seen in 2003.
A view of Herborn from the east

Herborn is a historic town on the Dill in the Lahn-Dill district of Hesse in Germany. Before World War I, it was granted its own title as Nassauisches Rothenburg. The symbol or mascot of this town is a bear. Scenic attractions include its half-timbered houses; Herborn is located on the German Timber-Frame Road. In 1986, the town hosted the 26th Hessentag state festival. The 56th Hessentag will be held in Herborn in 2016 again.


The town can be located at these coordinates: 50°41′4″N 8°18′15″E / 50.68444°N 8.30417°E / 50.68444; 8.30417. It has an area of 63.82 km² (24.339 mi²), of which 28.0122 km² (10.816 mi²) is forest. It is connected by the A45 motorway (E40/E41) with Siegen, Wetzlar, and Gießen.

Neighbouring communities

Herborn is bordered on the north by the town of Dillenburg, on the northeast by the community of Siegbach, on the east by the community of Mittenaar, on the southeast by the community of Sinn, on the south by the community of Greifenstein, and on the west by the communities of Driedorf and Breitscheid (all in the Lahn-Dill-Kreis).

Constituent communities

Herborn is divided into the communities of Amdorf, Burg, Guntersdorf, Hirschberg, Hörbach, Merkenbach, Schönbach, Seelbach and Uckersdorf as well as the main town of Herborn.


(in each case on 31 December)


Herborn had its first documentary mention in 1048 and was granted the privilege of a city in 1251 by the Counts of Nassau.

In 1584, a Reformed (Calvinistic) institution, the Herborn Academy, was founded by John VI of Nassau-Dillenburg, William the Silent's younger brother, and namesake of today's Gymnasium Johanneum.

In Herborn, as of 1602, the Reformed Church's first translation of the Bible was made by Johannes Piscator. This work has had a decisive effect in shaping church life among followers of the Reformed movement in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. It was printed in Herborn in the akademische Druckerei von Corvinus, known today as the Corvinsche Druckerei or Paul's Hof, after the family Paul who own it.

In 1626, the town lost 214 houses in a fire started by accident in soldiers' quarters. Not long after this, Herborn and the surrounding area were the scene of a number of witch trials.

Towards the end of the Thirty Years' War, the townsfolk were looking after 50 Swedish soldiers, which brought them protection by the Swedish Army, and thereby also a reputation as a "field hospital town" ("Lazarettstadt") that lasted until the end of the Second World War.

After the Congress of Vienna, Herborn ended up in a border area next to Prussia and its economy suffered as a result of import tariffs. Only in 1836 Hesse-Nassau joined the Zollverein (Customs Union), and in 1866 it was completely annexed by Prussia.

In the Second World War, Herborn was mostly spared by the bombers, but its Jewish community was obliterated in 1942, and many of the patients of the psychiatric clinic were deported and murdered.

During much of the Cold War there was a small American military garrison in the community, district Seelbach.

The town became nationally known for a truck disaster that happened on 7 July 1987. After losing control because of faulty brakes, a tanker truck carrying about 34 000 L of fuel ran into a house containing an ice cream parlour and a pizzeria. The escaping fuel flowed into the sewers and exploded, setting several houses on fire. All together, six people lost their lives, and 40 were injured.


Town council

The municipal elections on 26 March 2006 yielded the following results:

CDU 14 seats
SPD 14 seats
FWG 3 seats
FDP 2 seats
Greens 3 seats
WASG 1 seat

Note: FWG is a citizens' coalition.

Town partnerships

Herborn maintains partnerships with the following towns:

Also, Herborn is partner of:

Culture and sightseeing



Town hall

Town hall with arms frieze

This was built in the 16th century and built anew after a fire in the 17th century. Particularly worthy of note is the frieze around the building showing local family coats of arms.

Other buildings


The constituent community of Uckersdorf has a widely known attraction with its bird park. You find more information on the web-site


Natural monuments

The Old Town is not the only attraction in Herborn. The surrounding countryside features the low mountains of the Westerwald range.

Regular events

Holiday roads

Herborn lies on the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße, featuring many places with many half-timbered houses, and on the Solmser Straße, a scenic road leading through many historic and artistically important places in Hesse.



Herborn is served today by two railway stations and four more have been abandoned.

Herborn station was opened in 1862 on the Dill Railway. The current station building dates from 1908 and was designed by the church architect Ludwig Hoffmann. In the past the station was served by two other lines:

The station is served by Regional-Express trains on the SiegenGießenFrankfurt route (Main-Sieg-Express, RE 40) and Stadt-Express services on the Dillenburg-Frankfurt route (Mittelhessen-Express, SE 40, running as stopping trains between Dillenburg and Gießen).

Burg (Dillkr) station was located on the Aar-Salzböde railway (Niederwalgern–Herborn) and had three platform tracks.[2]

Burg (Dillkr) Nord station is the other station still in operation and is also located on the Dill Railway and is classified by Deutsche Bahn (DB) as a category 6 station.[3] It is only served by the Mittelhessen-Express.

The three stations of Burg (Dillkr) West, Uckersdorf and Amdorf were located on the Westerwaldquer Railway (Herborn–Montabaur) and are now closed.


  1. "Bevölkerung der hessischen Gemeinden". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). August 2016.
  2. www.rostendeschienen.de "Bicken – Herborn" Check |url= value (help) (in German). .rostendeschienen.de. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  3. "Stationspreisliste 2016" [Station price list 2016] (PDF) (in German). DB Station&Service. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
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