Germany: Hessian traditional costumes

The State of Hesse has the largest number of different traditional costumes (24) of all 16 German federal states. . Although I live only 50 km from Hesse, I have only managed to get a few dolls showing the traditional costumes from this state. A wonderful internet site run by the Hessian Traditional Costume Society (Hessischer Trachtenverband) is a goldmine of information, which I have translated to provide the overview and pictures below.

Originally, these costumes were just thought of as clothing by their wearers and were only considered as ‘traditional costumes’ in more recent times. The oldest forms such as the Bergwinkeltracht (Bergwinkel is a region around the town of Schlüchtern in the county of Main-Kinzig-Kreis in East Hesse; see Figure 3) came into fashion after the German Peasants’ War (1524 to 1525), while others developed in the following centuries.  The heyday of traditional costumes was at the beginning of the last century (1990—1930). The effects of industrialisation and modernisation on traditional clothing meant that these styles of dress started to go out of fashion in the 19th century, though wearers of such clothing were still around in the 20th century or even more recently (the last true wearer of the Hüttenberg costume died in August 2011). Usually the men stopped wearing traditional clothes first, followed by the women; their clothing taking on the modern styles worn in the towns. The various forms of traditional costume reflected the wealth of the region, the occupation (farmer or townsperson) or even the religion of the wearer (Protestant or Catholic). In some areas due to intermarriage between people from neighbouring villages, the traditional costumes became more uniform due to adaptions made so that a person marrying into a particular village did not stand out too much.

Amt Biedenkopf
1. Amt Biedenkopf
2. Amt Blankenstein
2. Amt Blankenstein
3. Bergwinkel
3. Bergwinkel
4. Bunstruth
5. Buseck
6. Edertal
7.Grund Breidenbach Obergericht
7. Grund Breidenbach Obergericht
8.Grund Breidenbach Untergericht
8. Grund Breidenbach Untergericht
9. Hersfeld
10. Hüttenberg
11. Ländchen
12. Lauterbach
13.Lower Hessian Spitzbetzel (pointed hat worn by the woman) costume
13. Lower Hessian Spitzbetzel (pointed hat worn by the woman) costume
14.Marburg Protestant costume
14. Marburg Protestant costume
15.Marburg Catholic costume
15. Marburg Catholic costume
16. Odenwald
17. Rauschenberg
18. Rhön
19. Rotenburg
20. Schlitzerland
21. Schönstein
22. Schwälm
23. Schweinsberg
24. Watzenborn



  1. Amt Biedenkopf –
  2. Amt Blankenstein –
  3. Bergwinkel –
  4. Bunstruth –
  5. Buseck –
  6. Edertal –
  7. Grund Breidenbach Obergericht –
  8. Grund Breidenbach Untergericht –
  9. Hersfeld –
  10. Hüttenberg –
  11. Ländchen –
  12. Lauterbach –
  13. Lower Hessian Spitzbetzel (pointed hat) costume –
  14. Marburg Protestant costume –
  15. Marburg Catholic costume –
  16. Odenwald –
  17. Rauschenberg –
  18. Rhön –
  19. Rotenburg –
  20. Schlitzerland –
  21. Schönstein –
  22. Schwälm –
  23. Schweinsberg –
  24. Watzenborn –


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