Bad Berleburg and Bilstein, NWR, Germany
The town of Berleburg became a city in 1330 and soon after the first seal was made. The seal showed the arms of the Counts of Wittgenstein, who owned the city. Since 1570 the present Arms have been used. The lion is the lion of the Von Sayn family, the pales come from the arms of the Wittgenstein family. The family Sayn-Wittgenstein-Vallender inherited Berleburg in 1339 and made it their capital. The bear is a canting symbol. The prefix Bad was granted in 1971. [Bad Berleburg Civic Arms and explanation used with permission of Ralf Hartemink, from his International Civic Arms web site].
Bad Berleburg is a town of 21,000 people located in the region known as Wittgenstein, which is just to the south of the Sauerland. The Counts of Sayn-Wittgenstein built this Renaissance-style Castle in 1733 (shown above), which is still owned by royalty today. The photgraphs below are of the old portion of town (directly across from the castle) and the Church (taken from the park below the Castle and old town).
The town of Bilstein (shown above, as seen from the castle) is named after the Lords von Bilstein, who held several estates in this area until the early 14th Century, when they were acquired by the Counts of Arnsberg. The castle (shown below), was built in 1225 A.D., and is now operated as a Youth Hostel. Bilstein is located in Kreis Olpe, about 5 miles south of Lennestadt.
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