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Stadtallendorf is a town in Marburg-Biedenkopf district in Hesse, Germanymarker, which lies about 18 km east of Marburgmarker.

Geography

Location

Under the German system of Naturräume, Stadtallendorf lies in the West Hesse Depression Zone (westhessische Senkenzone) which is divided into basins and ridges. With respect to these, the town lies on the Upper Hesse Ridge which separates the Amöneburgmarker Basin in the west from the Schwalmbecken (another basin) in the east. On this ridge may also be found the Neustädter Sattel ("Neustadt Saddle"), abutted by the town's northeast edge. This upland is part of the divide between the Rhinemarker and Weser watersheds.

Neighbouring communities

Stadtallendorf borders in the north on the town of Rauschenbergmarker (Marburg-Biedenkopf) and the community of Gilserbergmarker (Schwalm-Eder-Kreismarker), in the east on the town of Neustadtmarker, in the southeast on the town of Kirtorfmarker, in the south on the town of Homberg marker (both in the Vogelsbergkreismarker), and in the west on the towns of Amöneburgmarker and Kirchhainmarker (both in Marburg-Biedenkopf).

Constituent communities (Ortsteile)

  • Niederklein
  • Schweinsberg (an der Ohm)
  • Erksdorf – This village of 1,000 inhabitants was amalgamated in the 1970s; the name comes from a long-ago settler named Eric von Erkersdorp.
  • Hatzbach
  • Wolferode


History

Stadtallendorf was given town rights in 1960; it had been known until then as Allendorf.

During the Second World War, Stadtallendorf was a secret munitions centre. The armament firms WASAG AG and DAG produced munitions and explosives. At the time, it was the greatest of all munitions production centres in Europe. Even today, some neighbourhoods in Stadtallendorf are still named after munitions businesses. The munitions centre got through the war without ever being detected by the Allies. (This, however, contradicts the statement by former French political prisoner and nazi slave labourer Agnes Humbert in her book Resistance (Dutch version, p.239, footnote:"After my liberation, I heard that the camp of Allendorf was totally evacuated and destroyed by air-bombardments. A former female guard whom I interrogated, assured me that there were no gas-chambers nor ovens there, but she admitted that the (nazi-)administration was horrible in all respects." note by drs. Carles Wolterman, Amstelveen, Holland)) The 6 square kilometre premises where the wartime arms works were built were said to be one of Germany's biggest contaminated former industrial sites, in parts with high concentrations of chemical contaminants on residential properties. Since 1991, the premises have undergone a far-reaching cleanup; in March 2006, the job was officially declared done. According to information from the Hesse Environment Ministry, the cleanup cost €167,000,000. One hundred and fifty-four tonnes of contaminants were dug out of the ground, 697 tonnes were dug out of a dump, and 3 tonnes of TNT – still capable of exploding – were unearthed.

Politics

Town council

As of the last municipal elections held on 26 March 2006, town council seats are apportioned thus:
CDU 18 seats
SPD 12 seats
REP 3 seats
AGS (citizens' coalition) 2 seats
BB-FDP 2 seats


Coat of arms

Stadtallendorf's civic coat of arms might be described thus: In azure, dexter a bear rampant sinister Or armed gules and langued Or, sinister a lion rampant striped per fess nine times in gules and argent (the Lion of Hesse), langued gules and armed Or, both holding a six-spoked wheel argent (the Wheel of Mainz).

The Hessian lion and the Wheel of Mainz stand for the town's old allegiances. Until secularization, Stadtallendorf belonged to the Archbishopric of Mainz, and thereafter to Hessemarker. The bear is a reference to an old name for the town, Allendorf im Bärenschießen, once used to distinguish the town from other places called Allendorf, and now needless thanks to the town's newer name. The arms have been kept even as other communities have been amalgamated with the old Allendorf as part of Hesse's municipal reforms.

Town partnerships

Stadtallendorf maintains partnerships with the following towns:



Economy

The town is economically successful, as large factories such as Ferrero oHG mbH (confectionery), Fritz Winter GmbH & Co. KG (engine foundry), Hoppe AG (grip manufacturing), and others have chosen to build here. The town's transport connections are by road to the Federal Highways (Bundesstraßen) B 454 and B 62, and by rail to the railway station on the Main-Weser line. An extension to Bundesautobahn 49 is currently being discussed, but there have been ecological questions about the wisdom of such an undertaking: the Herrenwald (masters' woods) is home to the Great Crested Newt, which is on the list of protected species.

In an area of 78.3 km² live about 21,700 inhabitants, 16,900 of those in the main centre, whose population is about 25% foreign.

Population

(in each case as of 31 December)
  • 1998 – 21,587
  • 1999 – 21,.643
  • 2000 – 21,656
  • 2001 – 21,671
  • 2002 – 21,704
  • 2003 – 21,708
  • 2004 – 21,528


Pictures of Stadtallendorf and its outlying centres

Image:Stadtallendorf Mosque1.jpg|The mosqueImage:Stadtallendorf Mosque2.jpg|Side viewImage:Stadtallendorf Ferreo Factory.jpg|The Ferrero WorksImage:Erksdorf_church.jpg|ErksdorfImage:Hatzbach church.jpg|HatzbachImage:Wolferode_church.jpg|Wolferode

References

External links




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