The area of the Bergisches Land did belong to the earldom Berg for most of the medieval times, which still give the district its name.
In 1816 after the whole Rhineland area did come to Prussia the districts of Waldbröl, Homburg, Gimborn Wipperfürth and Lennep were created on the area now covered by the district. In 1825 the districts Gimborn and Homburg were merged to the district Gummersbach. In 1932 it was merged with the district Waldbröl, and then for the first time called Oberbergischer Kreis. The restructure of the districts in 1969/75 did then create the district in its current size.
Geographically it covers the hills west of the Sauerland and north of the Westerwald, the so called Bergisches Land. In North Rhine-Westphalia it is the district with the most artificial lakes, the biggest one being the Wiehl lake in the southeast.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms is a combination of the heraldic signs of the territories the district belonged. The red-white bar in top comes from the earldom Mark. The lion in the symbol of the earldom Berg, and the Homburg castle (near Nümbrecht) was the seat of the Princes of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.
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