The Clothmakers’ Town

The old town centre in Lennep with its romantic squares, half-timbered houses with black slates, brilliant green shutters, shining white doors and window frames is a sheer Bergisch idyll. The almost circular ground plan of the mediaeval old town with its listed buildings has scarcely changed at all.

Today it looks idyllic but in former times Lennep was all about hard work. Favoured by its position on the early mediaeval trading route from Cologne via Dortmund to the Baltic Sea, the town developed into a lively merchant centre. It joined the Hanseatic League as early as the 13th century. Its principal claim to fame was its clothmaking industry, promoted by the regional rulers who gave it special privileges in 1571.
Factories powered by hydroelectricity grew up along the Wupper valley. The offices and houses of the factory owners were also nearby. Today a huge number of stopping points in the old town centre tell us of the merchants, inventors, factory owners and workers. You can discover them on the “Clothmakers Detective Trail”.

In the old centre of Lennep stands the former Monastery Church, living proof of what the inventive spirit can make out of a deconsecrated religious building. For many years it served as a factory and weaving shop. Nowadays it’s a cultural centre, whose restaurant offers many culinary specialities.

Remscheid Lennep