Part of Town - Schwarzach (formerly separate village near Hengersberg)
Part of Town - Schwanenkirchen (formerly separate village near Hengersberg)
The foundation of Hengersberg dates back to the year 997 by Abbot Gotthard of Niederalteich monastery (born in Reichersdorf village near Hengersberg). He was named Bishop of Hildesheim and later, became the first person from Old Bavaria (the three oldest parts of the modern Free State of Bavaria), who was raised to Sainthood. In a description of his life written by clergyman Wolfher from Hildesheim Cathedral, it says that Abbot Gotthard helped establish the settlement of "Helmgeresberg" with his own hands, by bringing in lumber, stones and earth in a "praiseworthy manner" in order to enlarge the hill on which the community now stands. There he had a big and attractive stronghold built on top of this hill, or "mountain", in which there was a beautifully decorated round chapel in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The new settlement developed so rapidly and successfully that Gotthard was able to ask permission of his friend and patron, King Heinrich II, for the right to hold a market and raise toll. The King granted these rights in a charter dated 7 June 1009. King Heinrich III confirmed these privileges in the year 1049. In 1430, Duke Heinrich "the Rich" granted the citizens of Hengersberg the right to hold annual markets on the Day of St. Magdalena (22 July) and St. Martin (11 November).
Gradually, the community obtained permission to hold six annual market days, which were, at the same time, cattle-markets. It was particularly the cattle-markets, which were of regional importance. Sometimes more than 1,000 cattle and horses were brought together in Hengersberg. Street and other market traders from all over Lower Bavaria as well as from the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate in north-east Bavaria) came to sell their wares on these market days. Unfortunately, the cattle-markets have stopped completely.
The origin of the name Hengersberg, probably goes back to the first settler, a so-called "Helmger" (= man who wears a helmet) who, on behalf of the monastery in Niederalteich, established a farm on top of the hill or "mountain", the Rohrberg (= mountain over the cane break/reeds, i.e. Rohr).
Helmgeresberg is therefore also called Berg des Helmger ("Mountain of Helmger"). Abbot Hermann of Niederalteich (1242-1273), well known for being an accurate chronicler of names, calls it Helmgersberg. The contemporary name of Hengersberg appears for the first time in the charter of Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian, on 03.02.1340. This illustrates the fact that the name as used by the local people had become accepted.
Around the middle of the 11th century, the Counts of Bogen became protectors and bailiffs of the territory belonging to Niederalteich monastery. One of their most important lieges was Knight (Ritter) Altmann of Hengersberg. When the Counts of Bogen died out in 1242 and their property (including their bailiwick) went into the House of Wittelsbach, the market community of Hengersberg fell under Bavarian territorial lordship.
The following centuries brought good times and bad. There was not only an economic upturn for the market community Hengersberg, but also many catastrophes influencing the course of events, such as the suffering caused by the Thirty-Year's War or the siege during the Austrian War of Succession around 1742.
Although the market town always belonged to Niederalteich and up until 1803 remained under the jurisdiction of the monastery, a District Court was established in Hengersberg (first mentioned in 1255). This traditional District Court was dissolved in 1803. In 1838 there was reorganization of the district courts and in execution of the Weimar Constitutional Laws of 1879, the District Court was turned into a County Court. This, however, was completely dissolved on 31.12.1969 during further reformation of the court system.
The market town was given the right to have its own emblem (Coat of Arms) in 1813, after having always used the emblem belonging to each respective Abbot of Niederalteich monastery.
In 1997 Hengersberg celebrated the 1000th anniversary of its initial establishment in 997 with many events and activities and in the year 2009, it celebrates the 1000th anniversary of becoming an official market town.