HistoryThe town of Baumholder is located in an ancient settlement area in the northern part of the Saar-Nahe-Bergland (Hill Country).
Archaeological findings show that around 50 B.C., Roman soldiers went through today`s town area. First the Celts and then, from around 500 A.D., the Franks settled south of the wooded hills of Winterhauch (today this area lies within the military training area).
In 1156 “Bemundula” (today’s Baumholder) is first named as a possession of the Bishop of Verdun. In the 14th century, Baumholder belonged to the territory of the Counts of Veldenz, and later, in 1444, it became part of the Duchery of Pfalz-Zweibrücken. From 1444 to the French revolution, Baumholder was an administrative seat of Pfalz-Zweibrücken. In the year 1490, the Duke of Zweibrücken granted Baumholder permission to erect a wall around the center of the town. Although Baumholder did not receive full city status, its status was solidified by a series of privileges similar to those of a city.
During Napoleonic times, Baumholder was the center of a canton in the Arrondissement of Birkenfeld. After the Vienna Congress of 1815 Baumholder remained the regional capital of the Saxony-Coburg-Principality of Lichtenberg. In 1834 Baumholder became the seat of a mayor and administration in the Prussian County of St.Wendel. From 1835 on, Baumholder was authorized to call itself a city (Stadt).
Devastating fires ravaged the town in 1880. This is why most of the buildings in the old part of the town, in medieval times surrounded by a city wall, were built after the fire. As a result of World War I, parts of the County of St. Wendel became part of the Saarland, leaving Baumholder as administrative seat of the so-called ‘residual’ county of St. Wendel-Baumholder. With the Great Hamburg Act of 1937, the Prussian County of Birkenfeld was formed out of the former area belonging to the Principality of Oldenburg and the residual county of St.Wendel-Baumholder. A military training area of about 30, 000 acres was established north and east of the town in 1938, forcing the inhabitants of 14 villages (about 4000 people) to lose their homes whereby Baumholder lost the largest part of its surroundings.
The continuous stationing of American military units in Baumholder since 1951 has expanded the town and greatly influenced its development. Today, Baumholder is part and seat of the District Administration of Baumholder (=Verbandsgemeinde) .
Up to the 20th century the people of Baumholder lived mainly from farming. Since the years following World War II, the military training area has been the largest employer in and around Baumholder. Today trade and commerce play an important role in the economic activities of the town.
In der "Geschichtswerkstatt-Baumholder" wird auf vorhandene Medien hingewiesen, Hilfen für Heimat- und Familienforschung angeboten, und Austausch über diese Themen gefördert.