The only Hanseatic town in Hesse
Tradition has it that Korbach was founded in 980 AD. Nucleus of the town was a Carolingian royal court, dating from the late 8th century. The settlement was located at the crossing of two major medieval trading roads leading from Cologne to Leipzig and from Frankfurt to Bremen. In 1188 the fast growing town received the Town Charter (Soester Stadtrecht). After the unification of the Old and the New Towns in 1377, economic improvement continued and trading activities grew: In the 15th century merchants from Korbach could be proven for Deventer (Flanders) and Reval (Estonia). It was during this period at the latest, when Korbach became a member of the Hanseatic League –the only town in today’s Hesse to do so.
Nowadays visitors can tour numerous historic sites as well as enjoying the modern features of the town by following the “Goldspur Korbach” (Golden Path) between Korbach main station and the town centre: The old town hall from 1377 with its original gothic gable, the two gothic churches of St Kilian and St Nikolai and several warehouses built of local limestone are remnants of the hanseatic history. Today Korbach is living this history as a member of the “Westphalian Hanseatic League”. In 2007 the town hosted the „Westfälische Hansetag“ for the second time.
Some parts of the award-winning “Wolfgang-Bonhage-MUSEUM KORBACH” are located in one of the medieval warehouses from the hanseatic period. The museum shows 1000 years of town history, exhibits from the richest gold deposit in Germany ("Korbacher Eisenberg") and numerous relics of the earth’s geological history. Explorers of all ages can enjoy exciting expeditions, such as a visit to the exhibition focusing on the world famous fossil site “Korbacher Spalte”: Go back in time to see our landscape as it was 250 million years ago, when Korbach was located near the equator and the first ancestors of today's mammals walked the earth.
Follow the traces of historic gold-seekers at Germany's major gold deposit: The „Eisenberg“, with the picturesque village of Goldhausen, is a popular destination. Even in medieval times, the area was prospected for gold. Evidence of the mining activities can be found going on up until today: on the surface you can follow the nature trail “Goldspur Eisenberg”, and below ground you can visit the exhibition mine during the summer. Finally, you can catch a marvelous panoramic view from the top of the Georg-Viktor-tower on the summit of the Eisenberg.
Festivals and markets
Celebrating market days and other festivals is an ongoing tradition in Korbach. We start with the Market of St Kilian in June, followed by the “Altstadt & Kulturfest” (cultural festival of the old town) in June/July, when thousands of people revel between the town walls. The Medieval Market is proclaimed in October where you will be served with delicious Korbach beer brewed to a special recipe. Theatre, Korbach concerts and the open air theatre are other cultural attractions for young and old.
Last but not least, the pedestrian area with its street cafes and boutiques provides shopping and amusements for everyone. Hiking trails in the Diemelsee Nature Park take you through unique landscapes and natural highlights you will never forget.
Regular guided tours of the town (April - October): Tuesday 2.30 pm, Saturday 10.30 am (starting at the town hall)