Situated in the Habichtswald nature park in the valley of the river Warme, which runs between Dörnberg mountain (578 metres) in the east and Bärenberg mountain (601 metres) in the west, lies the well-known health-resort of Zierenberg, which is only 12.5 miles from Kassel. Including its districts of Burghasungen, Escheberg, Hohenborn, Laar, Oberelsungen and Oelshausen, Zierenberg now has about 7000 inhabitants.
Zierenberg has an interesting past. In 1293, Count Heinrich I. of Hessia founded the town as a fortress and administration centre to preserve his reign in the upper valley of Warmetal. In that same year, the inhabitants began to construct the town’s gothic church. The precious mural paintings within date back to the 14th and 15th centuries and are unique to Northern Hessia. The towering steeple, 45 metres high, is regarded as the town’s symbol. The remains of the town wall mark the old town centre. The oldest, post-gothic timberframe-house of Hessia, which was built by Mr Henrich Brant in 1450, houses the townhall as well as the townhall restaurant in the cellar. In the upper floor of the building are council offices.
The buildings which remain after the fire of 1707 have been restored and are still lived in. They have been cleverly restored to their original state - the old timberframe constructions were carefully opened out to show the houses‘ original inscriptions.
Dörnberg mountain, which, except for the Rhön, has the oldest airport for gliders in Hessia, is a very popular nature reserve. Due to its vegetation it belongs to one of the most attractive areas in Central Europe. In this area you can find rare orchids and gentians, colourful butterflies and numerous kinds of birds, which naturally reside there.
You can reach the surrounding mountains and hills and the Warmetal valley by walking along well-marked hiking-trails, which span about 90 miles. In doing so, you will come across many historical sites: the ruins of the Guldenburg, Laar, Malsburg and Schartenburg castles, as well as the remains of the old watch-tower, the Hasungen monastery and the rampart on the Hohen Dörnberg. The area of rubble named “Blaue Steine“ near Schreckenberg mountain, the “Helfensteine“ and “Church of the Brownies“ (Wichtelkirche) rocks on Dörnberg mountain are natural features, but there’s a legend of the Church of the Brownies:
legend of the Church of the Brownies (English)Tourist Information Zierenberg (German)