Wuppertal and Environs
Wuppertal was formed in 1929 by merging surrounding towns and hamlets.
Dülmen in today's North Rhine-Westphalia, was first mentioned as Dulmenni in 889. The city
began using the present name in the year 1131. The city later belonged to the House of Croÿ.
The "Dulmen pony" was found near the town and ponies have been documented here since
the early 1300, the only native pony breed left in Germany now that the Senner pony of the
Teutoburg Forest is extinct. There is only one wild herd left today, owned by the Duke of
Croy. Dülmen was 90% pulverized and the Duke's castle was destroyed.
Ronsdorf is a district of Wuppertal which was first mentioned in 1494 and was also made a
part of Wuppertal in 1929. It is the seat of various industries which spelled its sorry fate. Only
a few old buildings are left as Ronsdorf was heavily destroyed during bombings on the night of
May 29th 1943.
Oberbarmen is a city district of Wuppertal included in the association of several cities and
towns merged into the city of Wuppertal in 1929. Others were Barmen, first mentioned in
1070, Schwelm. Wupperfeld, Nächstebreck, Wichlinghausen. Heckinghausen and
Rittershausen (the towns ending in -inghausen were towns founded long ago by Saxon settlers
to the Ruhr). Barmen, below
Old Church in Schwelm and the oldest church in Wuppertal destroyed in 1943
719 British aircraft aimed for the Barmen half of the long and narrow town of Wuppertal and their
Pathfinder marking was particularly accurate in this case. A large fire area developed in the narrow
streets of the old town center, igniting a firestorm. Because it was a Saturday night, many of the
town's fire and air-raid officials were not prepared, and the town was not able to control the
numerous fires. Approximately 1,000 acres, about 80 per cent of Barmen's built-up area, was
destroyed by fire. Aside from the factories and industries on the outskirts, nearly 4,000 homes were
completely destroyed.