Montabaur (pronounced: /ˈmontabauɐ/) is a town and the district seat of the Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. At the same time, it is also the administrative centre of the Verbandsgemeinde of Montabaur – a kind of collective municipality found only in Rhineland-Palatinate – to which 24 other communities belong. The town is known throughout the country for its strikingly yellow castle and its InterCityExpress railway station on the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line.
Montabaur lies in the Westerwald
, roughly 20 km northeast of Koblenz
. About 13,000 people live in the city, while the district is home to about 40,000.
Montabaur has seven outlying centres. In the north lies Eschelbach, and in the west lie Horressen and Elgendorf. Stretching south along the Gelbach valley are the pilgrimage
centre of Wirzenborn, and, farther along still, Reckenthal, Bladernheim and Ettersdorf.
Montabaur’s neighbours are, clockwise beginning in the north, Dernbach
Montabaur’s Old Town (Altstadt
) distinguishes itself with its neo-Gothic Roter Löwe
(“Red Lion”) town hall, many timber-frame
houses from the 16th and 17th centuries and the great Late Gothic Catholic
. The mediaeval
town wall is preserved in parts, among them the so-called Wolfsturm
The Montabaur Stadthalle (literally “town hall”, but actually an event venue) is intended for various functions such as sessions, conferences, concerts, theatre and events. The historic Wolfsturm is at the townsfolk’s disposal and can be hired for their own ends.
Schloss Montabaur was until 1945 the seat of the district administrator’s office of the old Unterwesterwaldkreis, and then seat of the Montabaur regional government. Today it is owned by the Akademie Deutscher Genossenschaften
(“Academy of German Cooperatives”), which has expanded it for use as a 4-star conference hotel and schooling centre for the Raiffeisenbanken
and credit unions. It stands well in sight on the Schlossberg (321 m above sea level
The town has a history that can be traced back to the year 959, with the Montabaur fort castellum Humbacense
. The Archbishop
, Dietrich von Wied, who came back from a Crusade
in the Holy Land
about 1217, had the humbacense
castle newly built and named it Mons Tabor
for its similarity to Mount Tabor
, said to be the place of the Transfiguration of Jesus
. Out of this grew Montabaur. In 1291, King Rudolf von Habsburg
(1218-1291) granted Montabaur, as well as Welschbillig
, town rights, so that the village became a town with its own coat of arms and a town wall.
Montabaur was until 1968 the administrative seat of one of the five Regierungsbezirke instituted when the Bundesland of Rhineland-Palatinate was formed in 1946.
Until early 2004, Montabaur was furthermore a Bundeswehr station with the Westerwaldkaserne, where the Raketenartilleriebataillon 350 (RakArtBtl 350) and, later, maintenance units were stationed.
The council is composed as follows:
- CDU - 15 seats
- SPD - 5 seats
- FWG - 3 seats
- BfM Bürger für Montabaur - 3 seats
- Wählergruppe Hatzmann - 2 seats
Economy and infrastructure
- United Internet
- United Internet AG, one of largest Internet service providers in Germany, was founded by Ralph Dommermuth, a native resident of Montabaur. The headquarters of the corporation are still based in Montabaur.
- Volkmann & Rossbach Verkehrssicherheitssysteme (transport safety systems)
- Deco Glas
- Ursa Chemie
- Klöckner Pentaplast
- in planning: printing centre for the Mittelrhein-Verlag/Rhein-Zeitung
- Metallwerk Elisenhütte, maker of small-calibre ammunition
Culture and sightseeing
- Schloss Montabaur
- Wolfsturm (Old Town Wall)
- Parts of the Old Town Wall
- Neo-Gothic Town Hall, built between 1866 and 1868
- many well preserved timber-frame houses, among them one formerly occupied by the Baron of Stein
- Historic Werbhaus
- The earliest forerunner of the building nowadays used as a Catholic parish church was a wooden church built in 940. In 959 followed another church building on this spot, this time with a stone foundation. Today’s church was built between the 12th and 14th centuries. The oldest parts of the building display Romanesque style elements, although the church’s overall character is Early Gothic. Peculiarities in the décor are a Doomsday painting above the quire arch and a stone Madonna, both remnants of the original décor, as well as a wooden Madonna from about 1450. The parish church has been lavishly renovated and now shines with a new radiance.
- Brüderkirche (Catholic), “Brethren’s Church”, House of God used by the oder known as the Barmherzige Brüder Montabaur (“Montabaur Merciful Brethren”)
- Pauluskirche (Evangelical)
- Lutherkirche (Evangelical)
- Anna- or Fuhrmannskapelle
- The churchyard’s former funerary chapel was built in 1300 and given timber-frame work on the sides and top in the 17th and 18th centuries, which housed the parish vicars’ dwellings. Today it is part of the house façade southeast of the parish church.
- Marien-Wallfahrtskirche (pilgrimage church) in the outlying centre of Wirzenborn in the Gelbach valley.
- Amateurtheater “Die Oase”
- Stadtbücherei (town library)
- Haus der Jugend (“House of Youth”)
- Katholische öffentliche Bücherei (Catholic public library)
- Stadtarchiv (town archive)
- Stadthalle Haus Mons-Tabor (event venue)
- Akademie für Darstellende Kunst Schauspielwerkstatt e.V. (“Academy for Representative Art” Exhibition Workshop)
- Akademietheater Rheinland-Pfalz
- DPSG scout group “St. Peter in Ketten”
- Kino “Capitol” (cinema)
- Mons-Tabor-Bad (swimming pool)
- Trimm-Dich-Pfad (fitness path)
- The routes are certified by the Deutscher Nordic Walking Nordic Inline Verband (DNV) and range from the shortest route, the 2.36-km fitness path to the longest, the 11.16-km Biebrichskopf-Route. Integrated into the Montabaur Nordic-Walking-Park, too, is the 10-km-long Münz-Sylvesterlauf jogging path.
- Cycling paths run from Montabaur though the Gelbach valley to the Lahn valley.
- Schustermarkt (shoemakers’ market)
- Jazzwochenende Montabaur (“Jazz Weekend”)
- Kneipenfestival (“Pub Festival”)
- Mach1 Festival
- Big municipal primary school of Montabaur (in 2006, 370 pupils, 16 classes) with a preschool kindergarten class, voluntary all-day school Monday-Thursday until 16:00 including lunch, homework supervision, supervised free time and many further educational offerings. Integrated foreign-language work in English and French. Partner school: École Louis Pasteur in Tonnerre, Burgundy.
- Waldschule (primary school and Hauptschule) in outlying centre of Horressen
- Rhineland-Palatinate state musical Gymnasium
- The Peter-Altmeier-Gymnasium Montabaur was until 1999 an Aufbaugymnasium (a Gymnasium for former Realschule students who want to upgrade their secondary education with an Abitur). As of 1991, the first music students came into the fifth class; these first music students did their Abitur in 2000.
- Berufsfortbildungswerk (institution connected with the German Confederation of Trade Unions)
- Bildungswerk Sport – Westerwald branch (sport training)
- Info-Stelle Weiterbildung (further education information)
- Katholische Erwachsenenbildung (Catholic adult education)
- Kreisvolkshochschule (KVHS, district folk high school)
- Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (state teaching and experimental station)
- Volkshochschule der Verbandsgemeinde Montabaur (VHS, folk high school of the Verbandsgemeinde of Montabaur)
- Institut für Schulung und Beruf (ISB, institute for schooling and careers)
Montabaur maintains partnership arrangements with the following towns:
Furthermore, the Verbandsgemeinde of Montabaur has a partnership with an American town:
Sons and daughters of the town
- Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874–1951), graphic artist and illustrator
- Maximilian Sauerborn (1889–1963), jurist, administrative official and politician
- Anton Diel (1898–1959), politician, 1949–1959 Member of the Bundestag
- August Kunst (1898–1980), politician, 1957–1961 Member of the Bundestag
- Heinz König (1927–2002), economist, Rector of the University of Mannheim, founding father of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim
- Frank Decker (1964– ), political scientist, professor of political science at the University of Bonn
People connected with Montabaur
- Johann V of Isenburg (1507–1556), Archbishop and Elector of Trier, lived his last years at Schloss Montabaur where he died
- Ralph Dommermuth (1963– ), founder of United Internet and Internet entrepreneur from Germany
- Joseph Kehrein (1808–1876), honorary citizen of Montabaur, teacher, philologist, historian and director of the Montabaur teachers’ college
- Karl Walter (1862–1929), organist, educator, scientist and authority on organs and bells, died in Montabaur and is buried here