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Attendorn

Attendorn is a German town in the Olpe district in North Rhine-Westphalia. As of 2008 it had a population of 24,801.HistoryThe town’s location was favoured by the good climate in the Attendorn-Elsper Limestone Double Basin, the fruitful soil and favourable transport potential, and was already attracting people in prehistoric times. Heavier settlement, however, can be traced only as far back as the Middle Ages.The town lies at the crossroads of two former long-distance roads, the Heidenstraße and the so-called Königsstraße . Here, in Charlemagne’s time, arose a parish. Under the St.-Johannes-Kirche are found the foundations of an old missionary church. In 1072, Archbishop Anno of Cologne endowed the Grafschaft Abbey and granted it, among other things, rights to an estate in Attendorn. Indeed, the monastery’s endowment document stands as the town’s earliest documentary mention.In 1222, town rights, on the Soest model, were granted the town under Engelbert II of Berg. Schnellenberg Castle, built about 1200, and the acquisition of the Waldenburg in 1248 served to safeguard Cologne’s interests in the region.Attendorn’s heyday was brought about not only by its nine guilds but also, and mainly, by its wool and linen weavers. Furthermore, the town’s political and ecclesiastical status as a bulwark against the County of Mark and as seat of a deanery in the old Archbishopric of Cologne brought it wealth and prosperity. As the Sauerland’s only town, Attendorn joined the Rhenish League of Towns in 1255. Attendorn was only an indirect member of the Hanse, and was thus represented at the Hanseatic League’s great assemblies by the town of Soest.
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