(Photo: Lother Gerlach)

Patrician house Schwalenstöcker

The three-story half-timbered house known as "Haus Schwalenstöcker" is located in the street "Katthagen", in the south-east part of Korbach´s old town. As the year date on the celler door indicates, it was built in 1593 by Conrad Engelhard. Thus it is the oldest habitable half-timbered house in Korbach. Like a miracle, it overcame the enormous fire in 1664. The filigree renaissance style carvings are exceptional. Bearded men are visible in both gable tops. They can be interpreted as guardians to avert evil from the house and its occupants.


After the constructor´s death the Nolden family purchased the house in 1619 for seven gen-erations. In 1829 Daniel Schwalenstöcker from Lengefeld bought the property. It remained possession of the Schwalenstöcker family for five generations. Mayors, "Stadt-" and "Land-kommissare", magistrates and jurists lived in this house during the past centuries. 1953 the City of Korbach bought it. Today it serves as residential house with several apartments.

A fairy tale is still being told about "the white woman":

Once there was a rich and good merchant, whose wife passed away in childbed. Inconsolably, only the existence of his little son kept him alive. Years later he married a beautiful but mean woman, in order to give his son a mother. One day, when the merchant was on a business trip, the woman pushed the boy over the stair-rail, and he lay on the stone floor in his blood. She was a greedy person and she wanted her own son to inherit the house and the fortune of the merchant. When the merchant came home, he blamed his wife. Whatever effort she made, the bloodstain on the floor would not disappear. When her husband surprised her scrubbing the stone slabs, she confessed her guilt. In his anger, the merchant had the mean woman walled in alive in the cellar. Ever since she wanders through the house round midnight in a white robe and scrubs the floor. Probably she would still do that, if not a later owner had removed the stone slabs.
(After a tale of the Schwalenstöcker family)

© Dominic Berger/ M. Möller


Hans Osterhold: Meine Stadt. Korbacher Bauten erzählen Stadtgeschichte, hrsg. vom Magistrat der Kreisstadt Korbach, 3. Aufl., Korbach 2004.

Ein Rundgang durch die alte Stadt, bearb. von Ursula Wolkers, hrsg. vom Wilhelm Bing Verlag und Magistrat der Stadt Korbach mit Förderung der Sparkassenstiftung Waldeck-Frankenberg, Korbach 1999.

Wilhelm Hellwig (Hrsg.): Sagen und Geschichten aus Korbach und Umgebung, 4. Aufl., Korbach 1999.