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Map of Germany showing Dortmund

Dortmund is a city in Germany, located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Population: 587,288 (1 January 2004).

The River Ruhr flows to the south of the city and the Datteln-Hamm Canal to the north. The Dortmund-Ems Canal terminates in the large Dortmund Harbour - almost in the heart of the city centre.

Dortmund is the home of the famous football club BV Borussia Dortmund, who plays home matches at the Westfalenstadion, which opened in 1974 and hosted some World Cup matches. It will be one of the cities to host matches in the 2006 World Cup.

Dortmund 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 the Romberg park.

The Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt) is one of the largest in Germany, and is host to one of the largest "christmas trees" in the world, formed by stacking hundreds of trees into the shape of a pyramid.

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View of the Town of Dortmund in the Sixteenth Century.--From an Engraving on Copper in P. Bertius's "Theatrum Geographicum."


Dortmund Airport is 10 km from the city.

The central station is the third largest long distance traffic junction in Germany.

Dortmund Harbour is the largest canal-harbour in Europe.


The history of Dortmund goes back as far as 880 AD, when the city was first mentioned in official documents as Throtmanni. It was a small village at that time. In 1152 the emperor Barbarossa came to the region and rebuilt the town, which had been destroyed in a fire shortly before. For two years Dortmund was the residence of Barbarossa - a short time, but afterwards it grew to become one of the most powerful towns of the empire. In the 13th century Dortmund joined the Hanseatic League. In 1220, it attained the status of an Imperial Free City, i.e. it was directly subordinated to the emperor. After 1320, the wealthy trading city started to appear in writing as Dorpmunde. The etymology of the name is uncertain.

Dortmund lost its status as an Imperial Free City in 1803. It was incorporated into Prussia after the Napoleonic Wars and became a major center for coal, steel, and beer.

During the rule of the Third Reich, Dortmund was home to the Aplerbeck Hospital that "took care" of mentally and/or physically disabled persons. Located in the heart of the Ruhr region (Ruhrgebiet), Dortmund, along with neighboring cities, was a target of allied bombing raids. During World War II about two-thirds of homes in Dortmund were destroyed.

Today the city is a center for hi-tech industry. It is also one of the greenest cities in Westphalia, with extensive parks and gardens laid out in the reconstruction period after the Second World War.


External links

Template:Germany districts north rhine-westphalia

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