Altena - worth seeing

Burg Altena by Carsten Engel

Altena Castle

The lovely Altena castle is located high up, overlooking the old wire-drawer town. The main attraction is the museum of the County of Mark. It provides an insight with regard to the battles, hunting ceremonies, table delights of the knights and noblemen and life of the crafstmen and peasants.

Adventure Lift

The adventure elevator offers a direct, convenient connection between the city centre and the Altena castle. It is also much more than an energy conserving  alternative for the 20-minute walk. Multi media adventure gates make old sagas alive again and put you in the right mood for a visit to the castle.

Wire Mueseum

Only 3000 meters below the castle is where the fascinating German wire museum is located. It displays the production and processing method of wire, what can be made of wire and it makes us realise that the entire world depends on it.


1st youth hostel

As early as 1912, Altena teacher Richard Schirrman established the first permanent youth hostel worldwide and founded the German Youth Hostel Association. This concept was then adopted around the globe. The Global Youth Hostel Museum in the castle reflects the history of the youth hostel.

Holtzbrinck castle

The citizen's castle in Altena's town centre is meeting point, community centre and venue. It is open from Tuesday to Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to noon and Thursday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m.  It can also be hired by Altenau societies, organisations and citizens.



Lovely old buildings for little money,  picturesque mountain settings and an increasing number of tourists. Ideal conditions for artists and other creative peersons. Altena's small pedestrian zone accommodates 6 ateliers for art and crafts. We look forward to accommodating more of them.

Places of worship

Evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox churches besides a mosque can be found in Altena. Not all of them serve their original purpose and many of them have their own tale to tell. That is why they have earned their own guided tour.

Town Centre

On the foot of the Burg mountain, the town streches along the river Lenne, like a chain of pearls. Altena's town centre and its pedestrian zone are not dominated by retail store chains. They have a surprising number of small shops with service and a wide range of products.


The location of the small house - that dates back to 1682-  on the access-road to the town centre looks somewhat surreal. Being the former accommodation for the sexton (Küster) it is opposite the Lutherian church. Since it was not part of the urban redevelopment in 1972, it survived as residence and monument.

Hidden Places

Gustav Selve

Mr. Selve must have been a respectable man, otherwise his employees would not have erected a memorial in his honour. As a pioneer he took up the cause of employee benefits, housing for the working class and schools. The memorial is located on the corner of the Lüdenscheider-and Rahmedestraße, close to the A2 hiking trail and it offers splendid views of the Lenne valley.        

Find on the map


The saga of Saint Einhard mentions a well on the Klusenberg, that would have the power to make both humans and animals fertile. In the middle of the wood, on the A1 is where you will find a walled-in well, called Steinsbörnchen. The real well, however, is located further up, in the rock and hardly visible.

Find on the map

Monument of Honor

Opposite the castle, alongside the road that leads into the wood, a beautiful little square will draw the attention. Tranquility and devotion defines the alley to the memorial that commemorates war victims and symbolizes gratefulness for peace. According to Peter Prange's book "Unsere wunderbaren Jahre" (Our wonder years")  this place is perfect for lovebirds. He was born in Altena, so he should know.