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Alsfeld ( ) is a town in the center of Hessemarker. Large towns nearby are Bad Hersfeldmarker about 33 km to the east, Fuldamarker 36 km to the southeast, Gießenmarker 47 km to the west and Marburg an der Lahnmarker about 36 km to the northwest. Alsfeld is located on the upper part of the Schwalmmarker in the northern Vogelsberg Mountainsmarker and just to the south of the Knüll Mountains at the western edge of the Alsfeld basin. Different interests group Alsfeld with different regions, but it is easy to find the town right in the heart of Germany.

Geography

Neighboring communities

Alsfeld borders on the following towns, listed here clockwise starting in the north: Willingshausenmarker, Schrecksbachmarker, Ottraumarker (all Schwalm-Eder districtmarker), Breitenbachmarker (Hersfeld-Rotenburg districtmarker) and Grebenaumarker, Schwalmtalmarker, Romrodmarker, Kirtorfmarker and Antrifttalmarker (all Vogelsbergkreismarker).

Boroughs

In addition to Alsfeld (proper) the town includes the following boroughs: Altenburg, Angenrod, Berfa, Billertshausen, Eifa, Elbenrod, Eudorf, Fischbach, Hattendorf, Heidelbach, Leusel, Liederbach, Lingelbach, Münch-Leusel, Reibertenrod and Schwabenrod.

History

In the 5th century the Huns under Attila came through the region around Alsfeld as the higher than average occurrence of the Mongolian spot around Alsfeld evidences to this day.

Alsfeld was first mentioned in an official document in 1069. Excavations in the Walpurgiskirche have discovered that a Roman church existed here already in the 9th and 10th centuries. It is therefore estimated that the town was founded in Carolingian times. Between 1180 and 1190 the Counts of Thuringiamarker built a castle along the historic trading route of the Kurze Hessen. That location favored the development of Alsfeld and it was subsequently documented as a town as early as 1222.

Alsfeld town hall


Since 1247 Alsfeld has been part of Hessemarker and in 1254 the town joined the Rheinischer Städtebund. Hermann II built himself a castle here in 1695 and for a time turned the town into his official residence. From 1567 Alsfeld belonged to Hesse-Marburg and from 1604 on to Hesse-Darmstadtmarker. Until 1972 it was the seat of Alsfeld district until the district was merged with neighboring Lauterbach district and the Schottenmarker region into the present-day Vogelsberg districtmarker. At that time, the decision to designate Lauterbachmarker as seat of the new district led to bitterness in Alsfeld that put a damper on the relationship between the two towns for years. This went so far that because of protests in and around Alsfeld the motor vehicle registration office in Alsfeld, for instance, would not issue licence plates with the code "LAT" (for Lauterbach) and instead continued to issue plates sporting the code "ALS" for Alsfeld until 1978 when the licence plate code "VB" was agreed on for the entire district of Vogelsberg.

One of the many legends about how Alsfeld came to its name and location goes as follows: Around 1200 the Margrave of Hessemarker/Thuringiamarker went riding his horse over the Vogelsberg. When he got to the Homberg (a hill near Alsfeld) a very strong wind was blowing. Supposedly at this point the Margrave said: "Als fällt mir der Hut vom Kopp." (trans. I keep losing my hat.) The "Als fällt" in that statement supposedly became the name "Alsfeld" – it has the same pronunciation.

District reform

As a result of the district reform that took effect on July 11, 1972 the villages of Berfa, Hattendorf, Liederbach and Lingelbach were merged into the town of Alsfeld.

Government

Town council and executive

After the municipal elections of June 26, 2006 the town council was made up of 37 councilmen and councilwomen, belonging to political parties as follows:

Party Seats
SPD 16
CDU 15
UWA 3
ALA 2
FDP 1


The town's executive organ has a nine members. The members of the executive belong to political parties as follows:

Party Seats
SPD 4
CDU 3
UWA 1
ALA 1


Mayor

The current mayor, Ralf Becker, was elected on September 9, 2007 with a 54,3% share of the vote.

Coat of arms

The Coat of Arms depicts a red lion with golden claws and crown facing right on blue background. To the right of it is shown a silver sword with a golden grip.

The oldest seal of the town features the Count of Hesse as judge with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. That shield depicted the lion of Hesse. The combination used today has been seen since the late 14th century; since then there have only been some minor variations in color.

People, culture and architecture

Theater and Museums

  • Theater Regional plays in the community center
  • Annual theater productions take place at the local high schools
  • Regionalmuseum Alsfeld located in the former Patrician homes Neurath-Haus (built in 1688) and the Minnigerode-Haus (built in 1687) provides a certain ambiance to speaking events and other occasions and often puts on small and select exhibitions
  • Alsfeld Toy Museum
  • Alsfeld Fairy Tale House: Hours and event calendar are available at the Alsfeld Tourist Center at the marketplace; especially romantic around Christmastime


Buildings

town is known for its Altstadt, or historic center of town, featuring uninterrupted blocks of historic buildings. The Altstadt has a rather typical layout for a medieval town. The marketplace is the center around which, at some distance, the town wall was built in an almost perfect circle (for strategic reasons). The wall has gateways where even older roads lead into town. From the town gates the roads lead mostly straight to the center of town and from there back out. In Alsfeld, the location of the town wall remains imaginable from the small and crammed streets that have not been modified to accommodate regional and long distance travelers and transport. The bends and curves in those small streets follow the original town wall and are quite picturesque throughout the year.

Town Hall was constructed in medieval, Rähmbau style timber framing from 1512 through 1516 and is located next to the market place in the center of the Altstadt. Its ground floor, constructed from solid rock, also used to be used as a market hall.

Near Town Hall is located the Weinhaus, on the corner of which is located the Pranger. In Alsfeld the Pranger is a lockable iron collar that those who violated medieval rules were locked into. The real or presumed violators then had to suffer the verbal and even physical abuse of their fellow citizens without any means to defend themselves. The Pranger is one of the favorite objects to photograph for many Alsfeld visitors. The "Wine House" was built in 1538 by Hans von Frankfurt with a Staffelgiebel (i.e., a gable that ascends to the tip of the roof in a stair fashion rather than a smooth line) to be the town's wine storage and distribution facility. Its original windows were modified in 1840.

Leaning up against the Weinhaus is the oldest timber framed house in Alsfeld. It was built in Ständerbau style beginning in 1350 and then expanded and again modified in 1403 and 1464. Underneath the house are two cellars with barrel vaults that date back to the time when the town was founded.

The Walpurgiskirche is located behind these three buildings. It was built in the second half of the 13th century. The church choir was built in 1393, the tower was rebuilt in 1394 after an earlier collapse. It was not finished until 1543 however and reduced by one floor in 1836. The gothic long house was remodeled into a church nave from 1472 on. The extensive stained glas art in the church was created in 1963 by Charles Crodel.

The late Gothic Beinhaus is located in the immediate vicinity of the Walpurgiskirche. The ossuary was first mentioned in 1368, expanded in 1510 and served as the final resting place of human skeletal remains.

The Dreifaltigkeitskirche was built as an Augustinian monastery church around 1435 with two asymmetric naves. As is customary in churches built for Mendicant orders, the Dreifaltigkeitskirche does not have a steeple. Again, the stained glass windows were fashioned by Charles Crodel in 1962 and 1963.

Only a small piece of the town wall remains together with the Leonhardsturm (Leonard's Tower). The tower was one of the gate towers built as part of the town fortifications in 1386.

Events

  • Regular rock, Pop and traditional concerts held in the Hessenhalle community center
  • Regular alternative concerts held in the former Youth Center
  • Ascension Thursday: academic Marktfrühschoppen (Studentenverbindung festival)
  • Alsfeld Whitsun Fair
  • Alsfeld Town Festival (1. Saturday in August)
  • Marktspiel with a historic market (2nd weekend in September)
  • Alsfeld Christmas Market
  • Vogelsberg Specialties: Various popular activities staged by the citizens of Alsfeld on the first Saturday of each month
  • Farmers and specialty market on the third Saturday of each month


Infrastructure

is situated right off the Alsfeld East and Alsfeld West exits on the Autobahn A 5 The Rimberg rest area near Alsfeld is the second highest rest area (in altitude) along the A 5 and also a popular meeting place for travelers coming from the B 49.

can reach Alsfeld also by train via the Vogelsberg line Gießen - Alsfeld - Fulda. In addition, from April 1, 1916 through 1974 the Gründchen line connected Alsfeld with Niederaulamarker. Passenger traffic on the Gründchen line was discontinued on May 25 and the last freight train left Alsfeld on May 28, 1974. Since then the right-of-way between Alsfeld and Breitenbach has been renaturalized to varying degrees.

Sons and daughters of Alsfeld



Sohaiel Ahmadi - Noted PD Adjuster Toronto,Ontario Canada
  • Disregard Above Listing*


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