Westphalia (/wɛstˈfeɪliə/; German: Westfalen [vɛstˈfaːlən]; Low German: Westfalen [vεs(t)'fɔːln̩]) is a region in northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of 20,208 km2 (7,802 sq mi) and 7.9 million inhabitants.
The region is almost identical to the Province of Westphalia, which was a part of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1815 to 1918 and the Free State of Prussia from 1918 to 1946. In 1946, Westphalia merged with the Northern Rhineland, another former part of Prussia, to form the newly created state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1947, the state with its two historic parts was joined by a third one: Lippe, a former principality and free state.
Previous to the formation of Westphalia as a province of Prussia and later state part of North Rhine-Westphalia, the term "Westphalia" was applied to different territories of different sizes such as a part of the ancient Duchy of Saxony, the Duchy of Westphalia or the Kingdom of Westphalia. The Westphalian language, a variant of the German language, spreads beyond Westphalia's borders into southwestern Lower Saxony and northwestern Hesse.
State part and historic region of North Rhine-Westphalia
Coat of arms
Location of Westphalia in Germany.
|Coordinates (geographic center of Westphalia): Coordinates: |
|Districts and independent cities|
|Further cities, towns and municipalities||206|
|Founded||April 30, 1815 (Province of Westphalia; other predecessors existed since the Early Middle Ages.)|
August 23, 1946 (as a part of North Rhine-Westphalia)
|• Total||7,802 sq mi (20,210 km2)|
|Highest elevation||2,766 ft (843 m)|
(Dec. 31, 2016)
|• Density||1,000/sq mi (390/km2)|
|Demonym(s)||Persons: the Westphalian (der Westfale [male] / die Westfälin [female]), the Westphalians (die Westfalen)|
Adjective: Westphalian (westfälisch)
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (Central European Time (CET))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time (CEST))|
Eastern Ruhr Metropolitan Area
The term "Westphalia" contrasts with the much less used term "Eastphalia", which roughly covers the southeastern part of the present-day state of Lower Saxony, western Saxony-Anhalt and northern Thuringia.
All districts and independent cities of the governmental districts of Arnsberg and Münster are considered to be a part of Westphalia as a historic region. The District of Lippe as successor of the Free State of Lippe in the Governmental District of Detmold is rather considered to be a separate historic region.
|Westphalia (current)||North Rhine-Westphalia (current)|
|Civil flag||State service flag|
|Province of Westphalia (historical)|
|Lower Saxony (current)|
The traditional symbol of Westphalia is the Westphalian Steed: a white horse on a red field. It is derived from the Saxon Steed in the coat of arms of the medieval Duchy of Saxony which most of today's Westphalia was part of. In official contexts the coat of arms of Westphalia is being used by the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association, which represents these two historic parts of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The coat of arms of North Rhine-Westphalia uses the Westphalian Steed to represent Westphalia as one of its parts alongside the Lippish Rose representing Lippe and the Rhine River representing the Northern Rhineland.
The colors of Westphalia are white and red. The flag of the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association uses these colors with the Westphalian coat of arms in its center.
The flag of the Prussian Province of Westphalia already displayed the colors white and red.
While the Northern Rhineland, Westphalia and Lippe are different historic territories of today's North Rhine-Westphalia, the old border between the former Rhine Province and the Province of Westphalia is also a language border. While in Westphalia and Lippe, people tend to speak West Low German dialects and especially the Westphalian variant of the Low German language, Central German and Low Franconian dialects are being spoken in the Northern Rhineland.
These different regional identities are often being emphasized by different majorities of denomination between Roman Catholics and Lutheran Protestants. The different majorities date back to the days of the territorial fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire (of the German Nation) which existed until 1806. The Münsterland and the region around Paderborn for instance are still mainly Catholic regions because of the former existence of the prince-bishoprics of Münster and Paderborn. The mainly Lutheran Lippe was even able to retain its independence as a small state within Germany in the form of a principality until 1918 and as a free state until 1946. This continues to influence the identity of its people who often distinguish themselves from neighboring regions such as East Westphalia.
In addition to these historic, lingual and religious aspects, there are some regional differences in culture and mentality. That is why many of the citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia rather see themselves either as "Rhinelanders", "Westphalians" or "Lippers" rather than as "North Rhine-Westphalians".
It is one of the regions that were part of all incarnations of the German state since the Early Middle Ages: the Holy Roman Empire, the Confederation of the Rhine, the German Confederation, the North German Confederation, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and National Socialist Germany. After World War II it was a part of the British occupation zone which merged with the American zone to become the Bizone in 1947 and again merged with the French zone to become the Trizone in 1948. The current Federal Republic of Germany was founded on these territories making Westphalia a part of West Germany. It is a part of united Germany since 1990.
Around 1 A.D. there were numerous incursions through Westphalia and perhaps even some permanent Roman or Romanized settlements. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place near Osnabrück, which at this time was a place of settlement of the Westphalians, who were a part of the Germanic tribe of the Saxons. Some of the tribes who fought at this battle came from the area of Westphalia.
Charlemagne is thought to have spent considerable time in Paderborn and nearby parts. His Saxon Wars also partly took place in what is thought of as Westphalia today. Popular legends link his adversary Widukind to places near Detmold, Bielefeld, Lemgo, Osnabrück and other places in Westphalia. Widukind was buried in Enger, which is also a subject of a legend.
Along with Eastphalia, Angria and Nordalbingia, Westphalia (Westfalahi) was originally a district of the Duchy of Saxony. At the time, large portions of its territory in the north lay in what today is Lower Saxony. Following the deposition of the Saxon duke Henry the Lion in 1180 and the subsequent belittlement of the duchy, Westphalia was elevated to a duchy in its own right by Emperor Barbarossa. The Duchy of Westphalia comprised only a small area south of the Lippe River.
As a result of the Protestant Reformation, there was no dominant religion in Westphalia. Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism were on a relatively equal footing. Lutheranism was strong in the eastern and northern parts with numerous free churches. Münster and especially Paderborn were considered to be Catholic. Osnabrück was divided almost equally between Catholicism and Protestantism.
Parts of Westphalia came under Brandenburg-Prussian control during the 17th and 18th centuries, but most of it remained divided by duchies and other areas of feudal power. The Peace of Westphalia of 1648, signed in Münster and Osnabrück, ended the Thirty Years' War. The concept of nation-state sovereignty resulting from the treaty became known as "Westphalian sovereignty".
After the defeat of the Prussian Army by the French at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt, the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 made the easternmost portion of today's Westphalia part of the French client Kingdom of Westphalia until 1813. While this state shared its name with the historical region, it only contained a relatively small part of Westphalia, rather consisting of mostly Hessian and Eastphalian regions.
Following to the Congress of Vienna, Prussia received a large amount of territories in the Westphalian region and created the Province of Westphalia in 1815. After in 1816, the former Duchy of Westphalia and the counties of Wittgenstein and in 1851 the condominium of Lippstadt had joined the province, Westphalia had received its modern territorial shape.
After World War II in 1946, the present state of North Rhine-Westphalia was created by the British military government from the former Prussian Province of Westphalia and the northern half of the former Prussian Rhine Province. The old governmental districts of 1816 stayed in place. When in 1947 the former Free State of Lippe with its capital Detmold joined North Rhine-Westphalia, the "Governmental District of Minden" was enlarged by this territory and renamed "Governmental District of Detmold". In total, North Rhine-Westphalia is subdivided into five governmental districts (Regierungsbezirke). Westphalia today consists of the old governmental districts of Arnsberg and Münster and of Detmold except of the District of Lippe which is a separate historical region and state part of North Rhine-Westphalia. Inhabitants of the region call themselves Westphalians and their home region Westphalia even though there is no administrative division by that name.
Monty Python's Flying Circus – Series 4, Episode 3 – includes a sketch that discusses a questionable map showing a Basingstoke in Westphalia (as opposed to the better-known Basingstoke in south-central England).
Bielefeld (German pronunciation: [ˈbiːləfɛlt] (listen)) is a city in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Region in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With a population of 341,730, it is also the most populous city in the Regierungsbezirk Detmold.
The historical centre of the city is situated north of the Teutoburg Forest line of hills, but modern Bielefeld also incorporates boroughs on the opposite side and on the hills.
Bielefeld is home to a significant number of internationally operating companies, including Dr. Oetker, Gildemeister and Schüco.
It has a university and several Fachhochschulen. Bielefeld is also famous for the Bethel Institution, and for the Bielefeld conspiracy, which satirises conspiracy theories by claiming that Bielefeld does not exist. This concept has been used in the town's marketing and alluded to by Chancellor Angela Merkel.Dortmund
Dortmund (, also UK: , US: , German: [ˈdɔɐ̯tmʊnt] (listen); Low German: Düörpm [ˈdyːœɐ̯pm̩]; Latin: Tremonia) is, with a population of 586,600 (2017), the third-largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne and Düsseldorf, and Germany's eighth-largest city. It is the largest city (by area and population) of the Ruhr, Germany's largest urban area with some 5.1 million (2011) inhabitants, as well as the largest city of Westphalia. On the Emscher and Ruhr rivers (tributaries of the Rhine), it lies in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region and is considered the administrative, commercial, and cultural centre of the eastern Ruhr.
Founded around 882, Dortmund became an Imperial Free City. Throughout the 13th to 14th centuries, it was the "chief city" of the Rhine, Westphalia, the Netherlands Circle of the Hanseatic League.
During the Thirty Years' War, the city was destroyed and decreased in significance until the onset of industrialization. The city then became one of Germany's most important coal, steel and beer centres. Dortmund consequently was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II. The devastating bombing raids of 12 March 1945 destroyed 98% of buildings in the inner city center. These bombing raids, with more than 1,110 aircraft, hold the record to a single target in World War II.The region has adapted since the collapse of its century-long steel and coal industries and shifted to high-technology biomedical technology, micro systems technology, and also services. In 2009, Dortmund was classified as a Node city in the Innovation Cities Index published by 2thinknow and is the most sustainable and digital city in Germany.Dortmund is home to many cultural and educational institutions, including the Technical University of Dortmund and Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, International School of Management and other educational, cultural and administrative facilities with over 49,000 students, many museums, such as Museum Ostwall, Museum of Art and Cultural History, German Football Museum, as well as theatres and music venues like the Konzerthaus or the Opera House of Dortmund. The city is known as Westphalia's "green metropolis". Nearly half the municipal territory consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture and green spaces with spacious parks such as Westfalenpark and Rombergpark. This stands in a stark contrast with nearly a hundred years of extensive coal mining and steel milling in the past.
Dortmund is home to Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund, commonly known as Borussia Dortmund, a successful club in German football.Gelsenkirchen
Gelsenkirchen (UK: , US: , German: [ˌɡɛlzn̩ˈkɪɐ̯çn̩] (listen); Westphalian: Gelsenkiärken) is the 11th largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and its 262,528 (2016) inhabitants make it the 25th largest city of Germany. On the Emscher River (a tributary of the Rhine), it lies at the centre of the Ruhr, the largest urban area of Germany, of which it is the fifth largest city after Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg and Bochum. The Ruhr is located in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, one of Europe's largest urban areas. Gelsenkirchen is the fifth largest city of Westphalia after Dortmund, Bochum, Bielefeld and Münster, and it is one of the southernmost cities in the Low German dialect area. The city is home to the famous football club Schalke 04, which is named after Gelsenkirchen-Schalke. The club's stadium Veltins-Arena, however, is located in Gelsenkirchen-Erle.
Gelsenkirchen was first documented in 1150, but it remained a tiny village until the 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution led to the growth of the entire area. In 1840, when the mining of coal began, 6,000 inhabitants lived in Gelsenkirchen; in 1900 the population had increased to 138,000. In the early 20th century, Gelsenkirchen was the most important coal mining town in Europe. It was called the "city of a thousand fires" for the flames of mine gases flaring at night. In 1928, Gelsenkirchen was merged with the adjoining cities of Buer and Horst. The city bore the name Gelsenkirchen-Buer, until it was renamed Gelsenkirchen in 1930. During the Nazi era Gelsenkirchen remained a centre of coal production and oil refining, and for this reason it was bombed in Allied air raids during World War II. There are no longer colliers in Gelsenkirchen with the city searching for a new image, having been hit for decades with one of the highest unemployment rates in Germany. Today Germany's largest solar power plant is located in the city. In Gelsenkirchen-Scholven there is a coal-fired power station with the tallest chimneys in Germany (302 m).Hamm
Hamm (German pronunciation: [ˈham] (listen), Latin: Hammona) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northeastern part of the Ruhr area. As of 2016 its population was 179,397. The city is situated between the A1 motorway and A2 motorway. Hamm railway station is an important hub for rail transport and renowned for its distinctive station building.Herford
Herford (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛɐ̯fɔɐ̯t]) is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, located in the lowlands between the hill chains of the Wiehen Hills and the Teutoburg Forest. It is the capital of the district of Herford.Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia
Herne (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛʁnə] (listen)) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area directly between the cities of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen.Jérôme Bonaparte
Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Girolamo Buonaparte; 15 November 1784 – 24 June 1860) was the youngest brother of Napoleon I and reigned as Jerome I (formally Hieronymus Napoleon in German), King of Westphalia, between 1807 and 1813. From 1816 onward, he bore the title of Prince of Montfort. After 1848, when his nephew, Louis Napoleon, became President of the French Second Republic, he served in several official roles, including Marshal of France from 1850 onward, and President of the Senate in 1852.Kingdom of Westphalia
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire and was ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte. It was named after Westphalia, but this was a misnomer since the kingdom had little territory in common with that area; rather the kingdom mostly covered territory formerly known as Eastphalia.
Napoleon imposed the first written modern constitution in Germany, a French-style central administration, and agricultural reform. The Kingdom liberated the serfs and gave everyone equal rights and the right to a jury trial. In 1808 the Kingdom passed Germany's first laws granting Jews equal rights, thereby providing a model for reform in the other German states. Westphalia seemed to be progressive in immediately enacting and enforcing the new reforms.
The country was relatively poor but Napoleon demanded heavy taxes and payments and conscripted soldiers. Few of the men who marched into Russia with Napoleon in 1812 ever returned. The Kingdom was bankrupt by 1812. When Napoleon was retreating in the face of Allied advances in 1813, the Kingdom was overrun by the Allies and (in 1815) most of its territories became Prussian ruled. Most of the reforms, however, remained in place.Leverkusen
Leverkusen (, German: [ˈleːvɐˌkuːzn̩] (listen), also [leːɐˈkuːzn̩]) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on the eastern bank of the Rhine. To the South, Leverkusen borders the city of Cologne and to the North is the state capital Düsseldorf.
With about 161,000 inhabitants, Leverkusen is one of the state's smaller cities. The city is known for the pharmaceutical company Bayer and its associated sports club Bayer 04 Leverkusen.List of cities and towns in Germany
This is a complete list of the 2,056 towns and cities in Germany (as of January 1st, 2019). Only independent municipalities that have the right to call themselves Stadt are included. Historically, this title was associated with town privileges but today it is a mere honorific title. The title can be bestowed to a municipality by its respective state government and is generally given to such municipalities that have either had historic town rights or have attained considerable size and importance more recently. In this list, only the town names are given. For more restricted lists with more details, see:
List of cities in Germany by population (only Großstädte, i.e. cities over 100,000 population)
Metropolitan Regions in GermanyNumbers of cities and towns in the German states:
Bavaria: 317 towns and cities
Baden-Württemberg: 313 towns and cities
North Rhine-Westphalia: 272 towns and cities
Hesse: 191 towns and cities
Saxony: 169 towns and cities
Lower Saxony: 159 towns and cities
Rhineland-Palatinate: 129 towns and cities
Thuringia: 121 towns and cities
Brandenburg: 113 towns and cities
Saxony-Anhalt: 104 towns and cities
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: 84 towns and cities, see list
Schleswig-Holstein: 63 towns and cities
Saarland: 17 towns and cities
Bremen: 2 cities
Berlin: 1 city
Hamburg: 1 cityMönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach (German pronunciation: [mœnçn̩ˈɡlatbax] (listen)) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located west of the Rhine, halfway between Düsseldorf and the Dutch border.Münster
Münster (, also US: , German: [ˈmʏnstɐ] (listen); Low German: Mönster; Latin: Monasterium, from the Greek μοναστήριον monastērion, "monastery") is an independent city (Kreisfreie Stadt) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland. Münster was the location of the Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation and the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War in 1648. Today it is known as the bicycle capital of Germany.
Münster gained the status of a Großstadt (major city) with more than 100,000 inhabitants in 1915. As of 2014, there are 300,000 people living in the city, with about 61,500 students, only some of whom are recorded in the official population statistics as having their primary residence in Münster.North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen, pronounced [ˈnɔɐ̯tʁaɪ̯n vɛstˈfaːlən] (listen), commonly shortened to NRW) is a state of Germany.
North Rhine-Westphalia is located in western Germany covering an area of 34,084 square kilometres (13,160 sq mi). With a population of 17.9 million, it is the most populous state in Germany. It is also the most densely populated German state apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg, and the fourth-largest by area. Düsseldorf is the state capital and Cologne is the largest city. North Rhine-Westphalia features four of Germany's 10 largest cities: Düsseldorf, Cologne, Dortmund, and Essen, and the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the largest in Germany and the third-largest on the European continent.
North Rhine-Westphalia was established in 1946 after World War II from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and the northern part of Rhine Province (North Rhine), and the Free State of Lippe by the British military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, and the city of Bonn served as the federal capital until the reunification of Germany in 1990 and as the seat of government until 1999.Paderborn
Paderborn (German pronunciation: [paːdɐˈbɔʁn] (listen); Westphalian: Paterboärn) is a city in eastern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the Paderborn district. The name of the city derives from the river Pader and "born", an old German term for the source of a river. The river Pader originates in more than 200 springs near Paderborn Cathedral, where St. Liborius is buried.Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia (German: Westfälischer Friede) was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster, largely ending the European wars of religion, including the Thirty Years' War. The treaties of Westphalia brought to an end a calamitous period of European history which caused the deaths of approximately eight million people. Scholars have identified Westphalia as the beginning of the modern international system, based on the concept of Westphalian sovereignty, though this interpretation has been seriously challenged.The negotiation process was lengthy and complex. Talks took place in two different cities, as each side wanted to meet on territory under its own control. A total of 109 delegations arrived to represent the belligerent states, but not all delegations were present at the same time. Three treaties were signed to end each of the overlapping wars: the Peace of Münster, the Treaty of Münster, and the Treaty of Osnabrück. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, with the Habsburgs and their Catholic allies on one side, battling the Protestant powers (Sweden, Denmark, Dutch, and Holy Roman principalities) allied with France (Catholic but anti-Habsburg). The treaties also ended the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognising the independence of the Dutch.
The Peace of Westphalia established the precedent of peace established by diplomatic congress. A new system of political order arose in central Europe, based upon peaceful coexistence among sovereign states. Inter-state aggression was to be held in check by a balance of power, and a norm was established against interference in another state's domestic affairs. As European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order.Province of Westphalia
The Province of Westphalia (German: Provinz Westfalen) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.SC Paderborn 07
Sport-Club Paderborn 07 e.V., commonly known as simply SC Paderborn 07 (pronounced [ʔɛs t͡seː paːdɐˈbɔʁn nʊl ziːbm̩]) or SC Paderborn, is a German association football club based in Paderborn, North Rhine-Westphalia. The club has enjoyed its greatest successes since the turn of the millennium, becoming a fixture in the 2. Bundesliga before finally earning promotion to the Bundesliga in the 2013–14 season. They however suffered a hasty fall from grace, being relegated to the 2. Bundesliga after only a season in the top division, and then again to the 3. Liga the season after. The club reached 2nd place in the 2018–19 season and was promoted to the Bundesliga.University of Münster
The University of Münster (German: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, WWU) is a public university located in the city of Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.
With more than 43,000 students and over 120 fields of study in 15 departments, it is Germany's fifth largest university and one of the foremost centers of German intellectual life. The university offers a wide range of subjects across the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Several courses are also taught in English, including PhD programmes as well as postgraduate courses in geoinformatics, geospational technologies or information systems.
Professors and former students have won ten Leibniz Prizes, the most prestigious as well as the best-funded prize in Europe, and one Fields Medal. The WWU has also been successful in the German government's Excellence Initiative.