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Herbstein (Hesse)

Germany is located in Central Europe and it shares borders with Denmark in the North, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France in the West, Austria and Switzerland in the South and Poland and the Czech Republic in the East. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea represent additional National Borders in the North. The official language of Germany is German and Berlin is the capital.
Herbstein is a small town in the Vogelsbergkreis in Hesse, Germany. The spa town of Herbstein lies on the eastern slope of the Vogelsberg Mountains. Herbstein population in 31Dec 2004 was 5,178 and its population density is 65 square kilometers. Herbstein had its first documentary mention in 1011 in a donation document from the monastery at Fulda. In 1262, Herbstein was granted town rights. Until 1902 the town belonged to the Princely Abbey of Fulda. There followed a short time of changing leadership until the town passed to the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1810. As part of Hesse's municipal reforms, the formerly independent municipalities of Altenschlirf, Lanzenhain, Schlechtenwegen and Steinfurt were amalgamated into the town of Herbstein with effect on 31 December 1971. Rixfeld, Schadges and Stockhausen followed on 1 August 1972.
Herbstein's civic coat of arms in its present form seems to have originated in the 17th century. Before that, the arms were a simple cross from the arms of the Fulda Abbey. The figure in the arms is Saint James the Elder, and the two crossed staffs on the inescutcheon are symbols associated with him, he was beaten to death with clubs. The arms were conferred on Herbstein in 1952. Ever since a thermal spring was bored in 1976, the town has been increasingly gearing its activities towards running a spa. In 1980, a thermal orthopaedic bath opened in Herbstein and in 1994 the Kurmittelhaus, a place offering treatments for various complaints. In 2000 these efforts were at last crowned when the town had the title Heilbad, the Healing Bath. Within Herbstein's bounds lay the geographical centre point of the old West Germany.
Herbstein experiences a sharp social, economic and population growth derivative of the strategic position of the locality and the high level of well-being and quality of life that is enjoyed with respect to other places of Germany.

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