Station 7

City foundationa fortified city replaces the 'Smale Burg'

Information point:
- Chapel on the Werth

Erection of the Smal Castle
In 1072 Benedictine monks built the Grafschaft monastery at the foot of the Wilzenberg. To protect this abbey, after 1160 a castle - the Smale Burg - was built on the neighbouring narrow ridge by the Archbishop of Cologne as territorial lord (probably where the chapel on the Werth stands today), which the Grafschaft monastery had to protect against the neighbouring county of Arnsberg.

Fortification of the settlement and elevation to a town
A settlement was built along the lines of this castle. The first documented mention of Schmallenberg, or rather the Smalen Burg, dates from 1228. When this castle was destroyed in battles, presumably around 1240, an agreement was reached in 1244 between all parties involved - the Bishop of Cologne (Konrad von Hochstaden), the feudal lord of the castle (Knight Johann Kolve), the Kloster Grafschaft and the inhabitants of the settlement: the Archbishop of Cologne decided to fortify the settlement together with the Kloster Grafschaft. The costs for the fortification were jointly borne by the two parties.
Two documents from the year 1244 show that a settlement already existing at that time was elevated to the status of a town. The now fortified town became a border fortress of the growing territorial state in place of the abandoned castle. The knight moved into the town and lived there together with merchants and craftsmen. Schmallenberg was therefore not founded like earlier towns mainly for economic reasons along an important trade route. Schmallenberg was fortified for defence purposes and raised to the status of a town. Thus the town belonged to the third wave of town foundations after the first wave of fortification of settlements along rivers and central trading places and the second wave of foundation towns, which were built by princes at strategically good locations. The third wave concerned cities that were fortified to round off the territories.
The location on the ridge, which is surrounded on three sides by the river Lenne, made the city, now protected by a wall, practically impregnable. In the open north the city was protected by a rampart ("in loops", consisting of ditches, hedges and undergrowth), in the west, south and east the wall stood with six towers and three gates (Oberes Tor/Weststraße 36 in the north, Niederes Stadttor/Unterm Werth in the south, Wassertor/Wasserpforte in the east). The course of the medieval city wall as well as the location of the former gates is indicated with bronze plaques in some places; marked on the street "Auf der Mauer" with 4 manhole covers. The Narrow House (City Archive) was built before 1822 in half-timbered construction on the remains of a hexagonal tower of the city wall: The shape of the tower is clearly visible from the south.
The city was divided into quarters: The Großes Viertel (Aldenburg) in the NE; in the NW Luttern or Gerstern, in the SW the Kleines (Lütteken) and in the SO Deckers Viertel (or Niggestadt): The latter had received its name from the von Dorlar family, called Deckers, who owned a castle house there.
The already decaying castle remained outside the fortification; presumably at its location the chapel on the Werth, donated by the Cordes after a flood of the river Lenne, was built in 1682.

Hardly changed during 600 years, in
1307 Schmallenberg counted 120 homesteads. Due to the countless feuds in the late Middle Ages, which made the country unsafe, inhabitants of the surrounding villages sought shelter within the town walls and became town citizens. Since they kept their possessions outside the city walls, the city area expanded.
When troops of the Archbishop of Cologne took Fredeburg Castle in 1444 in the course of the Soest Feud, leaving the surrounding area with only one sovereign (the Bishop of Cologne), Schmallenberg lost its function as a border fortification. City walls and gates were not renewed as much as they had been in strategically more important places. In 1787 the "Wassertor" (water gate) in the east of the town was demolished and in 1812 the entire town wall was demolished.
After immigration from the surrounding villages to Schmallenberg was completed at the beginning of the 16th century, the town grew only slightly until 1822. Despite rise and fall, fires and reconstruction, the outer appearance of the town hardly changed, and its population remained below 1,000 until the 19th century. For the first time after the demolition of the city wall in 1812, the city grew beyond the old buildings.

Old cemetery
With the reconstruction after the town fire, the church moved to the centre of the town. This meant that there was no more room for the cemetery traditionally located next to the church, where the dead found their final resting place in the immediate vicinity of the sanctuary. The cemetery was therefore moved in 1825/26 to the south of the new town around the chapel on the Werth and extended several times (1846, 1857, 1901). The old graves remained until the 1950s, when the cemetery was converted into a small park. A few gravestones of meritorious Schmallenberg personalities were preserved.
In 1961, the war memorial for the Schmallenbergers who died in World War I was removed from the church square and parts of it (Stone relief by the artist Eugen Senge-Platten from 1923) were rebuilt in the old cemetery.

Chapel on the Werth
The chapel was donated in 1682 by Joannes Cordes and Maria Falcken after a flood of the river Lenne. The small one-nave, two-bay hall church contains a small baroque altar and is dedicated to Maria and Johannes the Evangelist. The foundation inscription is a chronogram and refers to the date of foundation. The location of the chapel is thought to be the "Smale Burg", the nucleus of the town of Schmallenberg. After the old memorial on the church square was removed in 1932, the memorial to Schmallenberg's fallen in the world wars was moved to the chapel in 1961.

Chapel on the Werth, after 1950

Document 1244, in which the settlement Schmallenberg is raised to town status

Seal of the city of Schmallenberg from 1261

Picture of the town 1686: The three town gates are clearly visible.

Narrow house in the view from south.

Chapel and cemetery on the Werth before 1950

Chapel and cemetery on the Werth before 1950.

View of the town and cemetery on Werth from the southeast around 1896

Cemetery on the Werth before 1950.

Cemetery on the Werth before 1950.

Cemetery on the Werth before 1950.

The cemetery becomes the spa gardens in the 50s