Neanderthals, knights and electors: In keeping with the foray through different eras, the architecture of the Sauerland Museum links a historic town palace from around 1605 with a brand-new extension. Part of this "Museum and Cultural Forum South Westphalia" is an exhibition room on industrial history, in which the Ruhr Valley Railway plays a leading role as a connection to the nearby Ruhr area ...

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… The regional boost provided by the new transport route is symbolised by an imposing large-scale model of the "Arnsberg" locomotive. Since 1873, the Ruhr Valley railway both has promoted the exchange of goods and established the niche market success of today's hidden champions from the Hochsauerland region. One of the early railway advocates was the Dortmund-born industrial pioneer Friedrich Wilhelm Brökelmann.

His self-perception is expressed in a historical family portrait. The large-scale painting from 1850 shows the entrepreneur with his wife and six children. In his hand he holds sealed papers that identify him as successful businessman. At that time he is still earning most of his money with milling, but he is also involved – with ups and downs – in his first industrial projects: in neighbouring Hüsten he invests in a puddling and rolling mill, and in Ramsbeck he is involved in zinc and lead mining. In the late 1860s, together with partners, he establishes a factory in Neheim for the production of petroleum burners, resulting a few years later in the company Brökelmann, Jäger & Busse (BJB), which is still active today. It develops into an important manufacturer of components for electric lights and thus consolidates Neheim's reputation as a centre of the metalworking industry and "city of lights".

Apart from his personal business interests, Brökelmann also makes his mark as a co-founder of the Arnsberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce. So there are many reasons why he has been strongly promoting, since 1849, the construction of the Ruhr Valley Railway and the connection to the Ruhr District. On a graphic screen animation, the exhibition outlines in detail which factors determine the economic history of Hochsauerland and how much the new railway line influences and drives the industrial development. In addition, a large screen shows historical products of regional companies covering the lighting industry, brewing and other leading economic sectors of the region.


The "Steel Time Travelers" Luise & Alfred: Sauerland-Museum


In which direction does the Ruhr flow? To the north, to the south - I always thought to the west ...

Full dialog text
Lu: In which direction does the Ruhr flow? To the north, to the south - I always thought to the west.

Al: West! The Arnsbergers have always had the hang of it - the best place for the fine gentlemen officials and for their plaisiers.

Lu: ... yes, even an excellent grammar school for the smart offspring of the gentry. I also went to school here! Did you know that even the Cologne Cathedral treasure was hidden here from Napoleon's troops?

Al: Hear, hear. And with such an important city and factories all around, a railroad line would certainly be worthwhile! Also for the considerable poodle iron works that the steel colleague Cosack has established here.

Lu: Puddle? Well, I feel right at home here. My family owns the first house on the square. Welcome to Landsberger Hof!

Al: You'd have to lay a few rails, then we'd have a direct connection to Essen ... Uh - excuse me? I only understand station. Uihh, what a stately home! I thought only half-timbering was possible here!

Visitor information

Alter Markt 24-30
59821 Arnsberg
Phone. 02931/944444

Opening hours:
Tue: 9 a.m. -6 p.m.
Wed - Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sat: 2 - 6 p.m.
Sun/Holidays: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

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Arnsberg and the Sauerland Museum in pictures



Neanderthals, knights and electors: in keeping with the journey through different eras, the architecture of the Sauerland Museum combines a historic mansion from 1605 with a brand-new extension. Part of this "Museum and Cultural Forum South Westphalia" is an exhibition room on industrial history, featuring the Ruhr Valley Railway as a major link to the nearby Ruhr District …

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Hiking trail "Kurfürstlicher Thiergarten Arnsberg"


You want to climb with me the Tempelberg, the Römerberg and the Kreuzberg in one day? And what's more, here in Arnsberg! With respect, but now the nags go through with you, Luise. You want to carbonize me, don't you? I can imagine a valley of sighs or a devilish little stream. But I like to be taught better and come with you on the stalk ...

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Old town Arnsberg


If you want to go up to the castle ruins, we have to go "through" the church, Al! Do you see the portal in the tower of the town chapel? Or would you rather rest in one of the inns around the fountain at the market and pay homage to the Sauerland art of brewing? Then I'll share a few anecdotes of this small town steeped in history. Cheers!

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