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Position - Münster in Germany
Münster: Prinzipalmarkt
Münster: Prinzipalmarkt

Münster is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. Population: 269.105 (30.06.2003), area 302.83 km². In 2003, Münster hosted the Central European Olympiad in Informatics (CEOI).

The University of Münster, founded in 1780, is the fourth biggest in Germany.



In 793 Charlemagne sent out as missionary the Frisian Liudger (later canonized) to convert the Saxons with whom he had been battling, offering as headquarters his recently demolished Frankish stronghold of Mimigernaford ("ford over the Aa river"), at the crossroads of the road from Cologne and the road to Frisia. Liutger was a product of Utrecht and the York school of Ethelbert, which produced many of the clerics who served in Charlemagne's chancelry. He built his church and cloister on the right bank of the Aa, on the height called the Horsteberg: it was the monastery ("monasterium") from which Münster derives its name. In 805 Liudger travelled to Rome to be ordained a bishop, and soon founded a school. The combination of ford and crossroad, marketplace, episcopal administration center, library and school, established Münster as an important center [1] (http://www.kirchensite.de/index.php?myELEMENT=78003).

In the Middle Ages Münster was a leading member of the Hanseatic League. In 1534 the Anabaptists took power in the Münster Rebellion and founded a democratic proto-socialistic state. The town was recaptured in 1535; the Anabaptists were tortured to death, their dead bodies were exhibited in cages, which hung from St. Lamberti's steeple.

The signing of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 at Münster and Osnabrück guaranteed the future of the prince-bishop and the diocese; the area was to be exclusively Roman Catholic.

In 1780 the University of Münster was founded.

In 1802 Münster was conquered by Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars. It became the capital of the Prussian province of Westphalia.

In World War II Münster was mostly destroyed by Allied air raids, but it was rebuilt after the war in an ancient style. From 1974 onward, the city was the residence of the American artist Moondog, who idolized postwar Germany.

In 2004, Münster won the LivCom-Award for Liveable Communities. See the leaflet (.pdf) (http://www.muenster.de/stadt/umwelt/pdf/livcom2004.pdf) and the 10-min.-long DivX-coded film: the 48mb-version (http://www.muenster.de/stadt/umweltamt/livcom/livcom2004_320.avi) or the 87mb-version (http://www.muenster.de/stadt/umweltamt/livcom/livcom2004.avi) from the official Münster-homepage


  • Prinzipalmarkt, marketplace in the city centre, with the town hall (14th century)
  • Saint Paulus Cathedral, 13th century, with an astronomical clock of 1540
  • Saint Lamberti, church (1375); the cages, which once exhibited the bodies of the Anabaptists, still hang from the steeple
  • Castle, built 1767-87 as residence for the bishop, now the administrative center for the University.

Buildings and Structures

City boroughs

  • Coerde
  • Kinderhaus
  • Sprakel
  • Handorf
  • Gelmer
  • Wolbeck
  • Gremmendorf
  • Angelmodde
  • Hiltrup
  • Amelsbüren
  • Berg Fidel
  • Mecklenbeck
  • Albachten
  • Gievenbeck
  • Roxel
  • Nienberge
  • Häger

City Mottos (running gag)

  • Either it's raining, or the bells are ringing. If both: then it's Sunday.
  • There's a pub opening up.

External links


Template:Germany districts north rhine-westphaliade:Münster (Westfalen) es:Münster eo:Münster it:Münster nl:Münster (stad) nds:Mönster pl:Münster fi:Münster sv:Münster


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