Of the county to the district Nordhausen Hohnstein

At the 12. December 1999 marked the 300. Anniversary of the day, where the county Hohenstein was ceded to the State of Brandenburg. This date should be memorable occasion, a short historical sketch of the county Hohenstein, the later district Nordhausen, to give, with particular attention being paid to the period after the Thirty Years War to the inclusion of the county Hohenstein at the Brandenburg Electorate.

In the Middle Ages to the present territory of the district of Nordhausen passed the counties Hohenstein, Lohra and Klettenberg. Toward the end of 13. Century the Counts of Velcro Berger extinct, the owner went to the Counts of Hohenstein. The same thing happened to the county Lohra 1330. By inheritance the older line of sex was forty-five years later, the two counties.

The reigning men calling themselves "Count of Hohenstein, Lord and to Lohra Klettenberg ", short county Hohenstein. They had their domicile on two castles of the dominions. They ruled in the district. Seat of government was the town of Hohenstein Bleicherode, with Ellrich also the main commercial center of the county – Nordhausen was a free city. With the death of Ernst VII, the last male of the tribe of the Counts of Hohenstein, went in 1593 their domination over. Means "Erbverbrüderungsvertrag" the Counts of Stolberg and Schwarzburg temporarily reached the county, were but a few days later by the troops of Duke Heinrich Julius of Braunschweig, also Bishop of Halberstadt, sold, because it claimed the area as a fiefdom for himself.

Peace of Westphalia (1648) except the pin Walkenried Office, the county with the cities Ellrich, Bleicherode and Sachsa awarded the Electorate of Brandenburg. The annexation is delayed until mid 1650. At the 19. June stands the county joined with the envoys of the "Great Elector" means a contract, which provided, for the county to set up a special government under an elected director of the stands.

Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg, however, had his Privy Council, Swedish Colonel Count Johann von Sayn-Wittgenstein, the county Hohenstein promised for his services in the peace negotiations and on this already 27. March 1647 overwritten. However, the elector knew nothing about the real nature of the county. The Privy Council had assured him, that the only two county offices and the town was Bleicherode and only "a few 100 Thaler be worth ". Before the conclusion of the peace of Westphalia to the Hohenstein knighthood and stands fared the notification of the investiture of the county to the Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein, However, "the high feudal, Right- and justices Ihro Churfürstl Durchl. Reserved ".

Only later – probably due to its 19. June 1650 in the county at the present Electoral Erbhuldigungseid. Envoy of Blumenthal – experienced the Great Elector the true size of the county, consisting of the gentry and Lohra Klettenberg and the three cities, a patch, two monasteries, forty-five Office- and fourteen noble villages, fourteen outworks fifty-one manors and twenty-six free goods included.

"The electoral envoys during their stays in the county of the country and people had a very different picture won, deluded as their Lord before peace was. Their perceptions of the larger scale and value of the landscape they were presented to the elector and that in concert with the Halberstadt stalls, which asked about, that the county wants to be reunited with Halberstadt. Now regretted the elector of the assignment and began therefore to new negotiations with the Count, which at 8. October 1650 were terminated ", Reichhardt pastor writes in the "Festschrift for 200 Jubilee of the Association of County Hohenstein with the Brandenburg-Prussian State "in 1899. For a payment of 150000 Thaler, the county may at any time be assigned to Friedrich Wilhelm, foresaw a rescript.

However, the Elector was the sum of 150000 Dollars to high. 1651 Graf joined Sayn-Wittgenstein to the Government. He had been on the stands in Ellricher contract 24. October 1651 their privileges and the administration of justice guaranteed by American law

Annual 1657 died of Count Johann von Sayn-Wittgenstein. The Hohenstein stands now hoped, the elector would live up to the county and the Principality of Halberstadt incorporate. Several times the articles were in this regard when Elector representations, had little success. By 18 Children of the deceased were the Count Louis Christian, Gustav, Enfeoffed and Otto Friedrich Wilhelm with new Lohra and Klettenberg.

At the 6. August 1670 Graf joined Christian Ludwig "the government of the county of Hohenstein and it took office Lohra rule and his brother, Count Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein from wohlbedächtig ", was the sole ruler in the county and it is now Count Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein- Hohenstein and called.

The Hohenstein stands were unhappy with the frequent changes of government. There was "a lot of complaints from the estates'. Then shifted the elector a permanent commission after Ellrich, which was responsible for the collection of taxes and contributions. The negotiations with the Elector Count of the voluntary cession of the county increased in severity, especially since the administration of the goods "most frightening negligent" and was the "Finance in a dangerously steep state" came.

Im April 1688 died in the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm. His son and successor, Frederick III. negotiated another eleven years with Count Gustav, tried with all sorts of subtleties and tricks, to keep the county Hohenstein. So he left on 8. March 1699 "Make the government to Ellrich publicly from the pulpit, that his county was transferred by commissionem ". The seat of government was 1691 been moved from Bleicherode after Ellrich.

After this incident was the patience of Frederick III. over. "He ordered the 25. November, the setting of the process and took possession of the 12. December 1699 using force definitively the county Hohenstein… It is of course, that this event from 12. December 1699 throughout Germany with princes and people excited a great sensation ", writes Reichhardt in o.g. Festschrift.

The Elector paid to Count Gustav von Sayn-Wittgenstein- and Hohenstein 100000 Taler and the debt assumed in the amount of almost 300000 Speeches, lying on the county.

Annual 1714 was – as they were then called – Repealed "Prussian state government for the county Hohenstein" in Ellrich and the entire area – without the free imperial city of Nordhausen – Prussian War- and domain chamber in Halberstadt assumed. 1770 decided the Prussian General Directorate in Berlin, establish a domain chamber deputation in Ellrich. This chamber was u.a. of 1770 to 1786 the poet Leopold Friedrich Günther von Goeckingk as secretary and councilor at.

After losing to the Brandenburg-Prussia battles of Jena and Auerstadt years 1806 was one of the circuit, including the Date 1802 belonging to Prussia city Nordhausen 1813 the Kingdom of Westphalia, ruled by Jerome, Napoleon's brother. Was a result of the defeat of Napoleon 1815 the Congress of Vienna in the redivision of Europe, the Prussian county again. The now large Prussia divided the country into provinces and administrative regions in this.

Until the last ally of Napoleon Kingdom of Saxony had a large part of its territory in 1816 submit to Prussia. Prussia united this new area with the existing Prussian territory of Magdeburg and Halle and the Prussian territories in Thuringia than self Thuringian small states. Magdeburg became the capital of the "Province of Saxony" with the administrative districts of Magdeburg, Merseburg and Erfurt. The districts were divided into groups. From the former county of Hohenstein with the Office Benneckenstein and once free of the Empire and the city of Nordhausen Nordhausen Nordhausen was the first time with a county seat.

1837 comprised of five county towns and sixty villages with a total 48463 Population (it Nordhausen 12163). The increasing economic development also brought a sudden increase in the population with itself, the most evident with in Nordhausen 17496 Inhabitants in 1861 noticeable was (the county total 60835)

With effect from 1. April 1882 was the town of Nordhausen, its population to now about 26500 was increased, from the county dissolved and formed its own county. The Nordhausen was allowed, upon request by the Decree of 8. August 1888 in district rename "county Hohenstein". The seat of the district administrator remained 1866 built Kreisständehaus (District building) Houses in the North Grimmelallee 23.

Of the administrative district of the province of Hannover Hildesheim belonging circle Ilfeld with its fifteen villages, u.a. with Niedersachswerfen, Krimderode, Urbach and Buchholz, was founded in 1932 to the circle "county Hohenstein" affiliated. Both the county and the city of Nordhausen belonged to April 1944 the administrative district of the province of Saxony in Erfurt.

With the dissolution of the Prussian state after the 2. World War II in 1945 in the former eastern zone, the country was re-established. At the annual 1918 Thuringia formed from the small independent states of the former City of Weimar, the former Prussian Regierungsbezirk Erfurt came with the circle "county Hohenstein", with effect from 19. October 1945 was changed again in the district of Nordhausen. Nordhausen lost the status of the independent city and county seat was again. Municipalities and Tettenborn Bad Sachsa were in British-occupied zone and came to the district of Osterode. In June 1946 came Kraja by regulation to Nordhausen, In September of the same year came the places Bischofferode, Breitenworbis, Bockelnhagen, Bernterode, Deuna, Großbodungen, Gerterode, Haynrode Holungen Hüpstedt, Hanröden, Jützenbach, Neustadt, Niederorschel (in October), Rüdiger Hagen, Silkerode, Vollborn, White-Lüderode, Wallrode, Ferrule and Zaunröden.

The emergence of two German states had a significant impact on other social, economic and political development of the district Nordhausen, who was nearly forty-five years of boundary circle now. Many places along the inner-German border were cut off from the outside world, reach for ordinary people hardly. Industries emerged during this time in the five-mile-wide exclusion zone. Were cultural and social activities for the general public it, with a few exceptions, not.

The administrative reform in 1952 dissolved the country again, and divided the territory of the GDR into districts. The Nordhausen came to the district of Erfurt. This reform was also formed new groups. For Nordhausen arose again larger territorial changes. Thus came the whole of the Golden Aue, once belonging to the circle Sangerhausen, west of the line Berga-Kelbra (also ab Görsbach – Auleben to grove – Stone bridges – Sundhausen – Bielen) to Nordhausen. Bösenrode, bei Berga, was allocated among Sangerhausen. 22 Localities (almost all, the first 1946 were integrated into the Nordhausen) went to the newly formed district Worbis, Benneckenstein Wernigerode and concern to the circle and the circle Friedrichsrode Sondershausen.

This territorial nature, as 1952 was realized, owns the district Nordhausen, of minor changes, today. Heard from the founding of the country 3. October 1990 the district of Nordhausen with its approximately 102000 The state of Thuringia with a population of Erfurt.

The county covers an area of 711 Square kilometers, limited by the Hainleite and Windleite south, Südharz the north and the headwaters of the helmets in the west and in the east the Old Stolberg, forms the northern part of Thuringia.


Steffen Iffland and Rainer Hellberg


  • District Office Nordhausen, District Nordhausen, 1997
  • Meyer, Karl, "Festschrift for the twentieth meeting of the resin Association for History and Archaeology at Nordhausen on, 25., 26. and 27. July 1887 ", 1887
  • Reichhardt, Rudolf "The county in Hohenstein 16. and 17. Century " – Festschrift for the 200th Jubilee of the Association of County Hohenstein with the Brandenburg-Prussian State, 12. December 1899
  • Duke, Violet, "History of the district Nordhausen" – Yearbook of the district Nordhausen 1990-1993
  • Dr. Silver Borth, Hans "The millennial Nordhausen", Band 2, 1927

Photo Credits:

both photos from the archive R. Hellberg

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