Unswept streets, closed churches, and high immigrants’ concentration – that is what you can come across before reaching the Historic Old Town of Stolberg. And if you had heard about the name of the town as a highly developed industrial city, you probably would give up visiting it at all.
It is known as The Copper Town or The Oldest Brass Town on Earth due to its brass production dating from the Late Middle Ages.
Except with metal-working, it is known also for its glass, chemical, and pharmaceutical industry.
The town was first mentioned in 1118 in connection with the castle built by the local nobility – von/of Stalburg. This is where the name of the town derives from – it could be translated from Middle High German as ‚firm or solid castle’ – and later it became Stolberg.
The present castle building dates from the reconstruction in the 15th century. It is the landmark of Stolberg.
Stolberg Castle with the spire of St. Lucia Church – the oldest church in town and a castle chapel.
The entrance to the church. Along with the two other churches in the old city, it was closed too.
Although Stolberg was a brass production place before AD 1500, in 1600 here settled protestant brass producers from Aachen due to the local religious persecutions, just like the weaver in Monschau. And here, like in Monschau, the town lived at that time through its highest flourishing state with the splendid houses/copper courtyards of the copper masters and the churches that they built.
Of the numerous beautiful buildings, I will show only two:
Hof Stöck/Copper Yard Stöck was built in 1727 by spouses, both representatives of metalworking families.
Today it is a living building.
Kupferhof Grünenthal/Copper Yard Grünenthal was built between 1699 and 1703 and is adorned with two Baroque towers like a castle. After World War II, here was founded a pharmaceutical company named after the former copper yard – Grünenthal. It became quite infamous after the marketing of a product with a very damaging effect on the body and the great scandal that followed during the 60’s. Yet we will not speak here about such unpleasant things.
According to Wikipedia, along with the castle and the churches, after a renovation carried out during the 70’s and 80’s, another 110 buildings were listed as cultural monuments. And you can see the range of these numbers when you walk on the streets, as every other house carries on its façade the monument indicating sign.