The 1396  fortification treaty made Hattingen a city. In the following years, guilds developed in the small trading town, on the "Kleinen Heelweg"(Hilinciweg) to be precise, and weekly and annual markets were organised. Together with Blankenstein, Hattingen became part of the Hansa in 1554. After plague epidemics and numerous acts of destruction during The Thirty Years War, Hattingen developed into a major textile town. 

1787 the „Rauendahler Kohlebahn“ realises the first railway within Germany. Despite the protests of the inhabitants, Henrich count of Stolberg-Wernigerode founded the Henrichhütte Steelworks on the banks of the Ruhr river in 1854. The steelworks affect the fate of the city of Hattingen and Welper, with the latter still being independent at that time. The quick extension of the steelworks caused a drastic increase in population. The first workers' settlements in Welper are a fact in the second half of the 19th century.

After the 2nd World War many protests prevented the demolition of the steelworks. The HWG built a new settlement in Hattingen for the workmen - the settlement then is the southern part of Hattingen today. Due to overcapacity on the steel market the steelworks are finally closed in 1987. In the months to follow Hattingen has the largest demonstration of people in its entire history. 30,000 people participate in a march for the future of the Ruhr region.

In the years after this event things changed. The former steelworks site now accommodates the Westphalian industrial museum Henrichshütte, a small artists' colony and new companies, including Air Product, besides a miniature golf course, pond, green areas and museum gastronomy "Henrichs" ; all in all it is a site with a high recreational value.

Additional information is available through the
STADTARCHIV HATTINGEN or through the internet  presentation on:

Link tip: Historic tour of the old city centre