is a climatic spa and municipality
in the Hochtaunuskreis
Schmitten is the highest community in the Taunus
some 24 km
north of Frankfurt am Main
within whose limits is the Großer Feldberg
Schmitten borders in the north on the community of Weilrod
and the town of Usingen
, in the east on the towns of Neu-Anspach
and Bad Homburg
, in the south on the towns of Oberursel
, and in the west on the communities of Glashütten
The greater community has nine centres (until municipal reform in 1972, all independent communities) named Arnoldshain, Brombach, Dorfweil, Hunoldstal, Niederreifenberg, Oberreifenberg, Schmitten, Seelenberg and Treisberg.
Schmitten had its first documentary mention in 1399 as Waldschmidt. The name comes from a nail-making smithy in the woods (Wald is German for "forest"; Schmidt has the same root as Schmiede – smithy) which were attached to Hattstein Castle (mentioned in 1215). The Hattstein Knights ("Hazechenstein") were akin to the Reifenbergers ("Riffinberg"), possibly even the same. These families' origins were either in the Westerwald area north of the Lahn or the Limburg area. In the Walsdorfer Gründungsurkunde ("Walsdorf Founding Document") of 1156, a "Guntramus de Hazechenstein" is named.
The Hattstein Knights, whose castle was destroyed several times, had property in Bad Camberg, Usingen ("Hattsteiner Weiher"), Stockheim, Weilbach, Aschaffenburg, Mainaschaff, Königstein and Frankfurt am Main. The Hattsteiners also participated in the founding of Münzenberg Castle in the Wetterau.
The noble family von Hattstein was throughout the Middle Ages one of Hesse's most influential families. Baron Marquard von Hattstein was Bishop of Speyer (1560-1581).
Together with the Knights of Kronberg, the Hattsteiners and Reiffenbergers declared the so-called "Kronberg Feud" in 1389. When on 13 May a great force from Frankfurt swept to Kronberg Castle, Hanau and Electoral-Palatinate troops rushed to help those being beset, driving the Frankfurt forces off on 14 May in the Battle of Eschborn and taking 620 prisoners, among them the mayor, a few noble council members and all the town's bakers, butchers, locksmiths and shoemakers. Only a ransom payment of 73,000 golden guilders ended the fight with Frankfurt and laid the groundwork for the Frankfurter Landwehr fortifications and Frankfurt's four watchtowers.
The noble family of the Hattstein Knights, which was inseparably bound with Schmitten's history, came to an end with Johann Constantin Philipp von Hattstein's death in 1767.
Saint Lawrence's Church (Laurentiuskirche
) at Arnoldshain was first mentioned early in the 13th century
in the Rotulus omnium iurium
(Directory of all rights). A few expansions to the once eight-sided chapel notwithstanding, the old part is preserved to this day. The Laurentiuskirche
is thereby one of the oldest buildings still in use in the Hochtaunus. In a glass window from 1480 one can still clearly see the Reifenberg family's coat of arms.
Politically Arnoldshain belonged to the Lords of Hattstein, but later partly under Reifenberg (Bassenheim) rule.
Dorfweil had its first documentary mention in 772. Lying 410 m above sea level
in the Weil Valley, the community has many hiking
trails. With an area of 367 ha and 684 inhabitants (as of the end of 2004), Dorfweil is one of Schmitten's smallest constituent communities.
The Taunus's highest mountain attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, especially from the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Region
In Oberreifenberg lifts for skiing and sledding enjoyment are to be found. The main attraction, though, is of course the Taunus's nature and many kilometres of well groomed hiking trails.
The lookout tower on the 663-m-high Pferdskopf ("Horse's Head") near Treisberg affords a fantastic view of the Taunus landscape and is the object of many outings. In the winter, skiers and tobogganers are drawn to the Taunus's most attractive skilifts.
Rising on the Feldberg, the little brook Weil snakes its way through the Hochtaunus Nature Park through to Weilburg. Alongside the Weil runs the Weiltalwanderweg
(Weil Valley Hiking Trail). A Weil Valley visit is popular among families and nature lovers, but also for cyclists
Besides the yearly Weiltal-Marathon, the traditional "Rund um den Henninger-Turm" bicycle race also runs through the Weil Valley.
The Roman Empire
's old border
runs above Niederreifenberg and Oberreifenberg across the crest of the Taunus. Within Schmitten's municipal limits lies the Limeskastell Kleiner Feldberg
, a Roman fort. The preserved foundation walls offer a glimpse into Roman history.
Reifenberg Castle ruins
The castle's keep
and tower are preserved and loom over Oberreifenberg and the Weil Valley.
The municipal elections on 26 March 2006
yielded the following results:
- CDU 10 seats (2001: 9 seats)
- SPD 3 seats (2001: 5 seats)
- Greens 3 seats (2001: 3 seats)
- FDP 4 seats (2001: 4 seats)
- UBB 4 seats (2001: 5 seats)
- FWG 7 seats (2001: 5 seats)
Note: FWG is a citizens' coalition.
Schmitten maintains partnerships with the following places, all in France
The community of Schmitten has two primary schools
at its disposal.
- Jürgen-Schuhmann-Schule in Arnoldshain
- Grundschule Reifenberg in Niederreifenberg
Furthermore, there exists in Arnoldshain an Evangelical Academy called the "Martin Niemöller" Haus.
Sports and leisure
Sons and daughters of the town