Place of court - Arnsberg

Amtwgericht Arnsberg

Administrative authority and courts - hardly anything else has had such a long lasting effect on "old" Arnsberg's face.

Even in mediaeval times people already said: "We go to Arnsberg", if two quarrellers were not able to settle their dispute amicably.

Der Oberfreistuhl (Feme) in Alt-Arnsberg
The Oberfreistuhl (vehmic court) in Alt-Arnsberg

Since the 12th century Arnsberg had already been the place of the "Oberfreistuhl", the seat of the Westphalian vehmic court. The old court place, including the stone judge's table, which is situated next to the old town walls, can still be visited. The adjustment of the sword on the stone plate had a literally vital meaning to the defendant. If it was pointing towards him after the judge's conferral, it meant "guilty" and quite often an instant execution.

Amtsgericht in Alt-Arnsberg
Local court in Alt-Arnsberg

Nowadays the verdicts of the Arnsberg judges are a lot more humane. Arnsberg kept its importance as a legal domicile, by being seat of the local court and the district court, administrative court and industrial tribunal.

In 1816 Arnsberg becomes Prussian - and seat of the government. Under lord lieutenant Baron Vincke building activity soon starts, because the Prussian officials, which are moving to Arnsberg, are not satisfied with the, at that time, low living standards they find in Sauerland.

Regierungspräsidium in Alt-Arnsberg
Regional council in Alt-Arnsberg

Next to the closely nestled together timbered houses of the old town grows a new Prussian government quarter "á la Berlin".

Between the old town and the convent "Wedinghausen" today's provost's church, middle-class houses, and evangelic church, a post office, a big hotel as well as a casino in classicistic style are being built shortly around the freshly laid out "new" market. The royal court architect Karl Friedrich von Schinkel has the overall control over the building activities.

Historischer Strafvollzug: preußischer Hinrichtungdblock (Sauerland Museum)
Historical enforcement of sentences: Prussian execution block (Sauerland Museum)

Being characterized by classicism, as well:

the district court at "Brückenplatz", the local court in "Eicholzstr." and the old government's building (today's administrative court) in "Jägerstr.". Next to the mediaeval centre with its timbered houses, the narrow winding alleyways and the picturesque castle ruin, the classicistic square with its clean lines, keeps surprising visitors of the town.

Sauerland meets Prussia - a challenge even today!

Marion Röder
Marion Röder

Marion Röder, judge at the local court in Arnsberg:

"In hardly any town the history is as concrete as in Arnsberg. The historical buildings, particularly the local court in classicistic style, stand for centuries of tradition in dispensation of justice and administration. Here you feel the "breath of history".