To the north the Rothaargebirge, to the south the Westerwald - the Siegen-Wittgenstein region is the southernmost region in Westphalia. Many people know it simply as “Siegerland”.
Aside from the rapid departure of Count Heinz von Sayn-Wittgenstein from this year’s celebrity Big Brother container, most people know practically nothing about Siegen-Wittgenstein. Between Burbach in the south and Bad Berleburg in the north, there are places and personalities who are familiar even to our neighbours in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. Only in Germany do they remain almost unknown.
Uprising of the Orange people
Ginsburg castle near Hilchenbach is a fortress with a particular meaning - at least for the Dutch. In April 1568, William I of Orange-Nassau, known as “the silent one”, met at Ginsburg with his officials, officers and loyal Dutch supporters. Here, he discussed with them a possible campaign for liberating the Netherlands from Spanish rule. This would mark the start of the Eighty Years’ War. Four years later, William I of Orange-Nassau collected the troops from his army on Ginsburg heath, and from there, marched to Frisia and released the Netherlands from the grip of the Spanish.
Freedom for the Netherlands and the birth of Belgium
With the exception of a twelve-year ceasefire from 1609 to 1621, the fighting lasted until 1648. Finally, Spain officially recognised the independence of the northern Netherlands in the Peace of Westphalia. However, the southern part of the Netherlands remained under Spanish control. During the 19th century, this became Belgium.
Danish nobility and Olympic bronze
hat is the name of the wife of the deceased Richard Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg? Benedikte Astrid Ingeborg Ingrid of Denmark, of course! Did you know that? The Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, as the younger sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, is also a Danish princess and as an imperial official represents Queen Margrethe II as head of state when she and the Crown Prince are away from the country. She lives in Schloss Berleburg palace in the Siegerland region. This is where her youngest daughter, Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, grew up.
Nathalie, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, still lives in Schloss Berleburg today - where she can be seen riding her horses. Since Nathalie already discovered her love of riding at a very early age, she decided to make a profession of her hobby after taking school leaving exams. In 2008, she won Olympic bronze in dressage in Beijing for the Danish team.