Over the centuries, Schmallenberg has been ravaged by several major town fires, the last and most devastating of which, on Oct. 31, 1822, destroyed the established townscape forever. More than four-fifths of all existing buildings fell victim to the flames.

However, the catastrophe also became the birth of the new Schmallenberg, as the classicist building ideas of the time were reflected in a characteristic way in the reconstruction plan.

The shape and appearance of the houses blended in harmoniously and still characterize the uniform and well-preserved townscape to which Schmallenberg owes its reputation as one of the most beautiful towns in North Rhine-Westphalia with a listed town center. This offers the visitor, in addition to the historic building stock, romantic alleys, idyllic squares and a lot of history and numerous specialty stores.