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Balve is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located at the north end of the Sauerland at the Hönne river, at 51° 20' North, 7° 52' East. Population: 12,377 (2001). Area: 74.75 km². It belongs to the district Märkischer Kreis.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Points of interest
3 Coat of arms
4 External link


The first mention of Balve was probably made around 780, when Widukind owned a farm called "Ballowa", while the first official one was in the 9th century. Balve did long to the county of Arnsberg at that time. In 1358 it changed to the cologne dukedom of westphalia. In 1430 Balve was given the right to be called city. During the napoleonic times it belonged shortly to hesse from 1802-1815, to be added to Kingdom of Prussia thereafter.

In 1975 during the communal reorgnization the former independent cities and municipalities Garbeck, Beckum, Langenholthausen, Volkringhausen, Eisborn and Mellen were added to Balve to form the current city.

Points of interest

The St. Blasius church from the 12th century is built in romanic architecture.

The Luisenhütte is the only remaining blast furnace from the beginning of the 18th century which is still in workable condition.

The Balver Höhle is a huge cave which is used for many cultural events like concerts.

In the Hönnetal, a narrow valley created by the river Hönne, the Reckenhöhle is a 450 m long cave.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms shows the historic connections of Balve. The eagle is taken from the arms of Arnsberg, and the black-and-white cross is taken from the Cologne coat of arms.

External link

Official webpage