Welcome to Stolbergthe Copper Town
Nature, Technology, Culture, History.
A wonderful and inspiring diversity is characteristic of the old Copper Town, Stolberg situated close to the city of Aachen. For anyone coming to Stolberg it’s a good idea to make sure your curiosity is boundless, because there is such a lot to see and discover: the copper courtyards that tell of the splendour of the pre-industrial era. Town districts set in a scenic landscape, historical centres with the Castle seated high above the historical old town, the inviting friendliness of a town with a big heart – all this and much more will make your visit to Stolberg a real experience.
A melting pot throughout the centuries. Copper masters, trade, international standing
Stolberg was first mentioned in an official document in 1118. However, archaeological finds have shown that people lived here as early as 12,000 years ago. Early historical smelting locations (in particular slag) and settlement remains attest to Stolberg‘s century-old tradition as a metal metropolis.
As “global players” of the pre-industrial era, our copper masters exported their brass ware even to Africa. Product descriptions and trade names such ‘Africa or Lisbon pan’ or ‘Guinea cauldron’ testify to the international dimensions of these old distribution structures and trading networks. And to this day, top quality products start their journey into the wide world in Stolberg; these include copper alloys, glass products, lead ingots, electronic systems, haberdashery, washing detergents, pharmaceuticals and much more. But that is not all Stolberg has to offer – this Copper Town gem has since rightly become an insider tourist tip for naturelovers, culture fans and those who enjoy both.
Tranquil and inspiring: “Old” Stolberg. Churches, Pubs, Copper Courtyards.
The charm and atmosphere of the Old Town: narrow, winding streets, picturesque buildings, romantic corners and courtyards, three churches and the copper courts typical for Stolberg make a visit to the Old Town a real experience and let you forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life. On sunny days the many outdoor cafés and restaurants with their almost Mediterranean flair are the ideal place to take a break and relax.
On a gentle stroll through the town you will come across many traces of our copper masters. Having discovered the almost ideal nature of the Stolberg valley, the first Copper Courtyard was erected in 1575, in the heart of what is today the Historical Old Town just below the Castle. The protestant church Vogelsangkirche and the impressive Finkenbergkirche of the reformation community were built by the copper masters. A visit to the Finkenbergkirche rewards you with a wonderful view of the Castle and the Old Town. The neighbouring copper masters’ graveyard with the emblems and coat of arms testify to the self-esteem and the social status of the copper masters.
Chequered history: Stolberg Castle Landmark. Central point, experience.
It doesn’t matter from which direction you come into the town centre of Stolberg, the Castle is always there as the landmark and the dominant architectural element. The mighty building is poised on a rock way above the confusion of the winding streets and houses of the Old Town.
The Castle Burg Stolberg is with its regular art exhibitions in the Castle Gallery and its splendid Knights’ Hall an integral and popular part of the town’s cultural and social life.
The sophisticated gastronomy offered in the Castle is not simply eating and drinking, it offers a wonderful medieval atmosphere. Many major events like the Town Festival, the Copper Town Christmas Market, the Castle Knights’ Meeting etc. all benefit from the charisma and flair of the Castle and atmospheric castle courtyards. The forbidding manifestation of the Castle and the impressive view over the romantic Old Town make a visit to the Castle an unforgettable experience. From an architectural point of view, the Stolberg Castle is extremely interesting and one could say something of an unmistakable rarity. This construction of a castle built on a hill in the 15th and 16th century has been preserved as a typological singularity hardly to be seen anywhere else in the region.
Yellow violets in a difficult environment. Acclimatized, rare and beautiful.
The people of Stolberg are particularly proud of their calamine violets with their lovely yellow blossoms. And that is no surprise, after all this is the only region worldwide where these violets grow.
On the ore fields around Stolberg the calamine violet and other acclimatized plant species, such as armeria purpurea, form the unique calamine flora. This plant community consists of metallophytes, plants which can tolerate heavy metals and can develop on ore fields where other plant species would only have a stunted growth, if at all. During the blossoming time (May to June) the calamine violets and armeria purpurea fascinate every naturelover with a fantastic abundance of flowers on what looks like a very sparsely vegetated area. Every year many botanists come from all over to experience the calamine flora in Stolberg. Please help us to protect our botanical treasure and preserve it for posterity. Your excursion destination is at the same time also a characteristic habitat for ground-nesting birds, so please act accordingly and do not leave the marked paths. Dogs should be kept on the leash at all times.
Industry culture Down-to-earth. Innovative, cosmopolitan.
As early as the 17th century abundant mineral deposits made Stolberg one of the most important European centres for the production of brass.
From this early time of prosperity many buildings of historical importance, such as the Copper Courtyards are still well preserved. These buildings testify to the success and wealth of the copper masters who lived and worked here. At the peak of industrialisation many other business enterprises set up here and they also went on to conquer the world markets. For instance, the S-spring fastener was invented in Stolberg, which made the press fastener suitable for everyday use. After World War II, penicillin was introduced to Germany from here, chemical products and brand names such as Tabac Original and Dalli started their triumph march, and Stolberg was also the home of the blanks for the euro coins. Up until today the major Stolberg business enterprises in the metal processing, glass and pharmaceutical sectors still play a decisive part in the economic significance of the town.
Following traces, Get a feel for history.
History within reach, discovering exciting historical connections, building bridges between yesterday and today – made possible by the Stolberg museums.
For instance, the Zinkhütter Hof museum offers a wide-ranged, interesting documentation of local industrial history backed up by most interesting exhibits of brass, zinc and needles in the ‘historical workshop’. The Torburg Museum presents everyday culture that has been long forgotten, whether it is in households or craftsmanship, or displaying life at the times of the Romans or the coppers masters, or Stolberg mineral resources. Local natural environmental conditions, mining from early, medieval and pre-industrial times and an attractive conservation area with an extraordinary biodiversity can be found at Schlangenberg and impressively presented in the information centre at Breinigerberg. The sawmill museum in the scenic nature park Nordeifel reminds us of times when in the Stolberg district of “Walddorf Zweifall” up to ten sawmills manufactured planks and beams.
Celebrations in Stolberg. Art, culture, tradition.
There is always something going on in Stolberg. The people of Stolberg have always been doers: traditionally throughout the centuries they have learned how to work with metal and glass, often creating something to make a living, which others would have regarded as nothing. So it is no wonder that the lively cultural scene is rooted in the midst of the population.
Our visitors to Stolberg find such a variety of events and exhibitions, e.g. the Copper Town Christmas Market, Stolberger Musiksommer, the Old- Timer Meeting in Zinkhütter Hof, the long Museum Night or the medieval knights’ camp. The “ART TOUR de Stolberg” with its open galleries, artists’ studios and exhibitions offers a view into the Stolberg art scene. No matter where you are in Stolberg you will always come across sculptures which in their diversity and multitude underline the vivid, lively and active art scene in the Copper Town.
Get out and about. Walking, hiking, water sports.
Stolberg has lots to offer: for the ambitious, active holiday-maker or for the more relaxed culture and nature lovers. The surrounding picture-book countryside has lots to offer for everyone in recreational activities.
No matter what your hobby is – gliding, cycling, riding or hiking – you will certainly get your money’s worth. Climbers will love the boulder walls by Nideggen, divers and water sports enthusiasts can enjoy the Rursee and Blausteinsee. Cart drivers, skiers and free-climbers can pursue their passion all year round, regardless of the weather, in modern indoor halls. But there is much more to explore: the mining museums in Aldenhoven, Alsdorf, Bleialf, Hückelhoven, Mechernich and Rescheid, as well as the iron museum in Jünkerath, the beautiful Jugendstil power station in Heimbach plus the Rote Haus in Monschau all offer the opportunity to find out more about the region and its specialities.
Stolberg for discoverers. Cross-border triangle in the centre of Europe.
You too will surely love the old Imperial City of Aachen with its UNESCO World Heritage cathedral and an urban combination of medieval backdrops, Roman remains, attractive shopping promenades, endless street cafés and student pubs and clubs.
Being so close to the Belgian and Dutch border, it is easy to make a short visitto cities like Liège or Maastricht, or staying on the Germany side, an excursion to the Rhine metropolises Cologne and Dusseldorf. If you prefer things more relaxed, let yourself be caught under the spell and charm of the small old Eifel towns, Monschau, Nideggen and Heimbach or enjoy the fascination of the moor landscape of the “High Fens” or the Monschau hedge region, where old Eifel farms and country houses hide behind huge beech hedges, in the lee of the cold, stormy west wind.