Explore the Hanseatic city Bad Iburg
Hanse place

Benno I., bishop of Osnabrück (1052 - 1068), erected a residential tower in Iburg built on the remnants of a castle from 9/10th century. His successor, bishop Benno II. (1068 – 1088), boosted it to a bishop’s residence and founded top a Benedictine abbey on the mountain-top. Thus a twofold construction of residence and monastery originated.

I. The Town

The Iburg was the most important territorial castle of the Osnabrück bishops from 11th through 17th century. Its favourable situation at the crossing of two routes, the main trading route from the North across the Teutoburg forest pass and Iburg towards the Rhein-Main district and the East-West connection from Paderborn towards Rheine was of advantage not only for defending and strengthening of the southern part of the prince bishopric, but also for the passing merchants. 

In course of time more and more people settled at the castle mountain, servants of castle and monastery, artisans, merchants and so on. A settlement developed that was fortified by the prince bishop in the middle of 13th century and given certain town rights. In 1369 already, castle and civil community  were combined under a council with a joint constitution. Prince bishop Konrad III. (1455 – 1482) put walls round the borough with three gates. During 30Years War Iburg was occupied by Swedish troops in 1633, and castle and monastery were given to Gustav Gustavson. It was only in 1645 that the Benedictines were able to repurchase their monastery. In 1657, the borough was granted a privilege to hold a fair.

In the charter of 1246 May 22, the three bishop towns Osnabrück, Münster and Minden joined in the „Ladberger Bund“ (Ladberg alliance) to jointly attend to their common interests. The alliance referred to the resident long-range merchants as well. As to Osnabrück, the charter refers to accompanying towns (beigeordnete Städte). Certainly, Iburg as residence town of the bishops belonged to them.

Here was the cradle of the family of Iburg(Yborch, Yborg, Yburgh, Iborch, Iborg). The first bearers of the name are mentioned in the charter books of Osnabrück and Iburg. The oldest member of this family, Arnold von Iburg, is documented in 1151. The long-range merchants, settling in the Baltic region, are also numbered among this wide-spread family. One of them as well is Gerhard Yborg who is mentioned in the Lübeck charter book about 1335. Further more there is Hermann Yborg who already in 1363 represented the town of Visby at the Hanseatic diet in Lübeck. Around 1367, he was even mayor of Lübeck. Another Hermann Yborg was member of the Lübeck council between 1384 and 1408.

Before 1554, Iburg was member of the Hanseatic League, as on the Drittelstag in Köln (1554 February 12) Osnabrück mentioned among others the „Beistadt“ Iburg as belonging to the Hanseatic League. There are no hints of Iburg having attended a Hanseatic diet by itself. The borough will have always been represented by the principal town Osnabrück.

The most important trading goods of the prince bishopric were cloths known as „Löwend Linnen“. Since 1402, the linen was inspected in Osnabrück. The Legge seal guaranteed the special quality of the cloth. The increase of the linen production led to another Legge to be opened in Iburg in 1770. In 1778, here nearly the same quantity of linen rolls as in Osnabrück was stamped. Therefore, side Legges were installed in the neighbouring communities Dissen and Laer. In the “French times”, all spinning shops in the district Osnabrück were closed down in 1809. Yet after 1815 (the Wiener Congress) they resurged again. About the middle of 19th century, the decline of linen trade began. First the side Legges were closed and in 1833 the main Legge in Iburg as well.

Thus the borough’s economic development again suffered a hard setback like in 1673 when the bishop’s residence was transferred to Osnabrück and in 1803 when the monastery was dissolved (secularisation). When in 1932 even the district Iburg was dissolved and the administration moved to Osnabrück, the bottom was reached.

After World War I and the end of inflation, there were new economic onsets. Tourist possibilities and activities of health care were remembered. In course of time, Iburg became a summer resort, a health resort, a Kneipp resort and at last it was acknowledged as Kneipp spa in 1967. When Iburg was given the official title of town (1959), more than 3.000 people lived here. Their number increased to about 12.000 till the end of 2005. While reshaping the core of the town, the place at the former trade route was named “Hanseplatz”.

II. The Tradition
The Archive

There is no publicly accessible town archive. Important charters and other written sources are available in the

NLA - Staatsarchiv Osnabrück, Schloßstraße 29, 49074 Osnabrück
Tel. 0541/331620, Fax 0541/33162,
Internet: www.staatsarchiv-osnabrueck.ni...E- mail: Osnabrueck@nla.niedersachsen.de

Literature and Presentation

Pohlmann, Joh. And Dölle, Johannes: Bad Iburg, vom Benediktinerkloster zum Kneippheilbad, Sassenberg 1993
Schnöckelborg, Manfred (Red.): Iburg, Benediktinerabtei und Schloß, Bramsche 1980
Simon, Wilhelm and Vollbrecht, Gerhard: Bad Iburg - Kleiner Stadtführer, Glandorf 2000
Uhrmacher, Erwin: Die Iburg, (Schnell-Kunstführer Nr. 1618), Regensburg 2004
Vollbrecht, Gerhard: Iburg und die Hanse, Glandorf 2001
Vollbrecht, Gerhard: Die Familie von Yborch in der Hansezeit, ( erscheint in Kürze)
von Winterfeld, Luise: Das Westfälische Hansequartier, Münster 1955

The local history museum Averbecks Speicher focussing „From flax to linen“ in the textile section, the Castle Museum with its coin cabinet and the Watch Museum present among others archaelogical, historical and artisans’ exhibits.

In Bad Iburg the 19th Westphalian Hanseatic Days took place from 25th through 26th May 2002.

Pictures of the Hanseatic City of Bad Iburg

Bad Iburg

Tourist-Information Bad Iburg
Am Gografenhof 3 (im Stadthaus)
49186 Bad Iburg