Münster: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Panorama of Münster
Panorama of Münster
Coat of arms of Münster
Münster is located in Germany
Coordinates 51°57′46″N 7°37′43″E / 51.96278°N 7.62861°E / 51.96278; 7.62861
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Münster
District Urban district
Village subdivisions 6
Lord Mayor Markus Lewe (CDU)
Governing parties CDUFDP
Basic statistics
Area 302.89 km2 (116.95 sq mi)
Elevation 60 m  (197 ft)
Population  272,951  (31 December 2007)[1]
 - Density 901 /km2 (2,334 /sq mi)
Founded 793
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate MS
Postal codes 48143–48167
Area codes 0251
 02501 (Hiltrup, Amelsbüren)
 02506 (Wolbeck, Angelmodde)
 02533 (Nienberge)
 02534 (Roxel)
 02536 (Albachten)
Website www.muenster.de

Münster (German pronunciation: [ˈmʏnstɐ]  ( listen)) is an independent 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. It is also capital of the local government region Regierungsbezirk Münster. The city is most well known as the location of the Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation, as the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War in 1648, and as the bicycle capital of Germany.

Münster gained the status of a Großstadt (major city) with more than 100,000 inhabitants in 1915. Currently there are around 270,000 people living in the city, with about 48,500 students, only some of whom are recorded in the official population statistics as having their primary residence in Münster.

Münster's economy is mainly based on service companies and public administration. Münster is also the seat of eight universities and colleges as well as of important courts such as the constitutional court and the higher administrative court for North Rhine-Westphalia.

The city was founded in 793 by Frisian Ludger, who was consecrated as the first bishop of the Münster diocese in 805. His successors held power over the largest clerical territory within the Holy Roman Empire until 1803.



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. Liudger 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 the first bishop of Münster, and soon founded a school (The Gymnasium Paulinum is believed to have been founded as the monastery school in 797). The combination of ford and crossroad, marketplace, episcopal administration center, library and school, established Münster as an important center.[2]

In the Middle Ages Münster was a leading member of the Hanseatic League.

View from the south-west of Münster in 1570 as seen by Remius Hogenberg. On the left is the Überwasserkirche, in the center is St. Pauls Cathedral and to its right St. Lambert's Church, and on the far right is the Ludgerikirche

In 1534 the Anabaptists (specifically the Melchiorites), led by John of Leiden, took power in the Münster Rebellion and founded a democratic proto-socialistic state. They claimed all property, burned all books except the Bible, and called it the "New Jerusalem". John of Leiden believed he would lead the elect from Münster to capture the entire world and purify it of evil with the sword in preparation of Jesus's Second Coming and the beginnings of a New Age. However, the town was recaptured in 1535; the Anabaptists were tortured to death, their corpses were exhibited in cages, which can still be seen hanging on the Tower of St. Lambert's steeple.

The signing of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 at Münster and Osnabrück ended the Thirty Years' War and Eighty Years' War and was one of the foundations upon which modern Europe was built. It also guaranteed the future of the prince-bishop and the diocese; the area was to be exclusively Roman Catholic.

In 1780 the University of Münster (today called "Westphalian Wilhelms-University", WWU) was established, now a major European centre for excellence in education and research with large faculties in the arts, humanities, theology, sciences, business and law. Currently there are about 40,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled. In 1802 Münster was conquered by Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars. It became the capital of the Prussian province of Westphalia. A century later in 1899 the city's harbour started operations when the city was linked to the Dortmund-Ems Canal. With the spread of radio technology, in 1924 the radio and television organisation Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) was set up in Münster's harbour area.

Photo of the Prinzipalmarkt in 1900.

World War II

The Bishop of Münster in the 1940s was Cardinal Clemens August Graf von Galen, one of the most prominent critics of the Nazi government. In retaliation for his success,[citation needed] Münster was heavily garrisoned during World War II and five large complexes of barracks are a still resented feature of the city. Münster was the headquarters (Hauptsitz) for the 6th Military District (Wehrkreis) of the German Wehrmacht, under the command of Infantry General (General der Infanterie) Gerhard Glokke. Originally made up of Westphalia and the Rhineland, after the Battle of France it was expanded to include the Eupen - Malmedy district of Belgium. The headquarters controlled military operations in Münster, Essen, Düsseldorf, Wuppertal, Bielefeld, Coesfeld, Paderborn, Herford, Minden, Detmold, Lingen, Osnabrück, Recklinghausen, Gelsenkirchen, and Cologne. Münster was the home station for the VI and XXIII Infantry Corps (Armeekorps), as well as the XXXIII and LVI Panzerkorps. Münster was also the home of the 6th, 16th and 25th Panzer Division; the 16th Panzergrenadier Division; and the 6th, 26th, 69th, 86th, 106th, 126th, 196th, 199th, 211th, 227th, 253rd, 254th, 264th, 306th, 326th, 329th, 336th, 371st, 385th, and 716th Infantry Divisions (Infanterie-division).

Photo of part of the Prinzipalmarkt area around St. Lambert's church in 1945.

A secondary target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, Münster was bombed on October 25, 1944 by 34 diverted B-24 Liberators during a mission to a nearby primary target, the Scholven/Buer synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen. About 91% of the Old City and 63% of the entire city was destroyed by Allied air raids.[citation needed] In the 1950s the Old City was rebuilt to match its pre-war state, though many of the surrounding buildings were replaced with cheaper modern structures. It was also for several decades a garrison town for the British forces stationed in West Germany.

Postwar period

From 1974 onward, the city was the residence of the American artist Moondog, an eccentric individual who idolized postwar Germany. In 2003, Münster hosted the Central European Olympiad in Informatics. In 2004, Münster won an honorable distinction: the LivCom-Award for the most livable city in the world with a population between 200,000 and 750,000 [3]. For more information about the honour, see the leaflet (.pdf) and the 10-minute DivX coded film: the 48mb-version or the 87mb-version from the official Münster-homepage. In a nutshell, Münster is famous and liked for its bicycle friendliness and for the student character of the city that is due to the influence of its university, the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster.

Prinzipalmarkt, 2005.


Geographical position

Gerard ter Borch: Dutch envoy Adriaan Pauw enters Münster around 1646 for the peace negotiations resulting in the Peace of Westphalia (Stadtmuseum Münster)

Münster is situated on the river Aa, approximately 15 km south of its confluence with the Ems in the Westphalian Bight, a landscape studded with dispersed settlements and farms, the so called "Münsterland". The Wolstonian sediments of the mountain ridge called "Münsterländer Kiessandzug" cross the city from north to south. The highest elevation is the Mühlenberg in the northwest of Münster, 97 metres above sea level. The lowest elevation is at the Ems with 44 m above sea level. The city center is60 m above sea level, measured at the Prinzipalmarkt in front of the historic city hall.

The Dutch city of Enschede is about 65 km northwest of Münster. Other major cities nearby include Osnabrück, about 44 km to the north, Dortmund, about 61 km to the south, and Bielefeld, about 62 km to the east.

Münster is one of the 42 agglomeration areas and one of the biggest cities of Germany in terms of acreage. But this includes substantial sparsely populated, agrarian districts which were formerly separate local government areas but were amalgamated in 1975. Thus nearly half the city's area is agricultural, resulting in a low population density of approximately 900 inhabitants per km².

Bronze model of Münster's city center

Moreover, the built-over area of the city is relatively large, because the buildings are smaller compared with other cities of this size: there is a high ratio of one-family houses and mansions. There are few high-rise buildings and no skyscrapers. Nevertheless the population density reaches about 15,000 inhabitants per km² in the city center.[4] Calculating the population density based on the actual populated area results in approximately 2890 inhabitants per km².[5]

The urban area of Münster of 302.91 km² is distributed into 57,54 km² covered with buildings, 0.99 km² are used for maintenance and 25.73 km² for traffic areas, 156.61 km² for agricultural and recreational purposes, 8.91 km² are covered with waterbodies, 56.69 km² is used by forests and 6,23 km² is used for other purposes.[6] The perimeter has a length of 107 km, the largest extend of the urban area in north south direction is 24.4 km, in east west direction 20.6 km.[7]


A well known saying in Münster is "Entweder es regnet oder es läuten die Glocken. Und wenn beides zusammen fällt, dann ist Sonntag" ("Either it rains or the church bells ring. And if both occur at the same time, it's Sunday."), but in reality the rainfall with approximately 758 mm per year is close to the average rainfall in Germany.[8] The impression of Münster as a rain-laden city depends not on the absolute amount of rainfall but on the above-average number of rainy days with relatively small amounts of rainfall. The average temperature is 9.4 °C with approximately 1500 sun hours per year.[9] In terms of this figure, Münster is in the bottom fifth in comparison with other German cities. The winter in Münster is fairly mild and snow is rare. The temperature during summertime meets the average in Germany.

Climate data for Münster
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3
Average low °C (°F) -2
Precipitation mm (inches) 65
Source: [10] [11] 2010-01-27

Adjacent cities and districts

Münster borders on following cities and municipalities, named clockwise and beginning in the northwest: Altenberge and Greven (District of Steinfurt), Telgte, Everswinkel, Sendenhorst and Drensteinfurt (District of Warendorf), as well as Ascheberg, Senden and Havixbeck (District of Coesfeld).

City boroughs

According to § 1 of the main constitution of Münster, the city is divided into six administrative districts (Stadtbezirke). These are "Mitte" (Middle), "Nord" (North), "Ost" (East), "West", "Süd-Ost" (South-East) and "Hiltrup". Each district is represented by a council of 19 representatives elected at each local election. Heading each council is the district mayor, or Bezirksvorsteher. Further, every district is subdivided into residential quarters (Wohnbereiche). This official term, however, is not used in common speech, as there are no discrete definitions of the individual quarters. The term "Stadtteil" is used instead, mainly referring to the incorporated communities. The districts are also divided into 45 statistical districts.

The following list names each district with its residential and additional quarters according to the constitution. These are the official names, which partly differ from the usage in common speech.[12]

Subdivision of Münster into its administrative districts – the darker parts represent the built-up areas of the city
  • Mitte:
    • Kernbereich (Center)
  • Nord:
  • Ost:
    • Dyckburg, consisting of Mariendorf and Sudmühle
    • Gelmer with Gittrup
    • Handorf with Kasewinkel, Kreuzbach, Laer, Dorbaum and Verth on the left bank of the Ems and Werse
    • Mauritz-Ost and Mondstraße, combined better known as St. Mauritz
  • West:
    • Albachten
    • Gievenbeck
    • Mecklenbeck
    • Nienberge with Häger, Schonebeck and Uhlenbrock
    • Roxel with Altenroxel and Oberort
    • Sentruper Höhe
  • Süd-Ost:
    • Angelmodde with Hofkamp
    • Gremmendorf with Loddenheide
    • Wolbeck
  • Hiltrup:
    • Amelsbüren with Sudhoff, Loevelingloh and Wilbrenning
    • Berg Fidel
    • Hiltrup

The center can be subdivided into the city districts which have evolved historically, whose borders are not always clearly defined. Among these are Aaseestadt, Erphoviertel, Geistviertel, Hansaviertel, Herz-Jesu-Viertel, Kreuzviertel, Kuhviertel, Mauritzviertel, Pluggendorf, Rumphorst, Südviertel, Uppenberg, and the Zentrum Nord.


The Promenade in Münster encircles the center borough of the city and is popular amongst cycling commuters.

Münster is often called the bicycle capital of Germany. Bicycles, with 37.6 percent of all traffic, constitute a plurality of all traffic in Münster [13]. The city maintains an extensive network of bicycle-only pathways and wide sidewalks with designated pedestrian/cycling lanes [14]. It has a station on the Wanne-Eickel–Hamburg railway.


Münster has approximately 270,000 inhabitants, and in addition more than 10,000 have their secondary residence in the city. About 9% are resident aliens. The rate of unemployment was 6.3% in December 2007.[15] Of the approximately 130,000 employees subject to social insurance contribution more than 80% work in the tertiary sector, about 17% work in the secondary sector and 1% work in the primary sector.[16] The average age of Münster's residents was 40.0 years in 2006.[17] The life-expectancy in Münster is 76.3 years for males and 83.1 years for females.

Main sights

  • St. Paul's Cathedral, built in the 13th century in a mixture of late Romanesque and early Gothic styles. It has been completely restored after WWII damage. It includes an astronomical clock of 1540, adorned with hand-painted zodiac symbols, which traces the movement of the planets, and plays a Glockenspiel tune every noon.
  • The Prinzipalmarkt, the marketplace in the city centre with the Gothic town hall (14th century) in which the Peace of Westphalia treaty which put an end to the Thirty Years' War was signed in 1648.
  • St Lambert's Church (1375), with three cages hanging from its tower above the clock face. In 1535 these cages were used to display the corpses of Jan van Leiden and other leaders of the Münster Rebellion, who promoted polygamy and renunciation of all property.
  • The Schloss (palace), built 1767–87 as residence for the prince-bishops by the Baroque architect Johann Conrad Schlaun and Wilhelm Ferdinand Lipper. Now the administrative centre for the University.
  • The Botanischer Garten Münster, a botanical garden founded in 1803.
  • "Münster Arkaden" (2006), new shopping centre between Prinzipalmarkt and the Pablo Picasso Museum of Graphic Art.
  • The fortress "Zwinger", build 1528. Used from the 18th to the 20th century as a prison. During World War II, the Gestapo used the "Zwinger" also for executions.
  • "Krameramtshaus" (1589), an old guild house, which housed the delegation from the Netherlands during the signing of the Peace of Westphalia.
  • Signal-Iduna Building (1961), the first high-rise building in Münster.
  • LVM-Building, high-rise building near the Aasee.
  • LBS-Building, location of Münsters first zoo. Some old structures of the former zoo can be found in the park around the office building. Also the "Tuckesburg", the strange looking house of the zoo-founder, is still intact.
  • "Cavete", the oldest academic pub in Münster
  • Haus Rüschhaus (1743–49), a country estate situated in Nienberge, built by Johann Conrad Schlaun for himself
  • Stadthaus (1773)
  • Erbdrostenhof (1749–53), a Baroque palace, also built by Schlaun
  • Clemenskirche (1745–53), a Baroque church, also built by Schlaun
  • Westphalian State Museum of Art and Cultural History
  • University bible museum
  • City Museum ("Stadtmuseum"), exhibition of a large collection showing the political and cultural history of the city from its beginning up to present, housed by a converted former department store
  • University Mineralogical Museum
  • Westphalian Horse Museum ("Hippomax")
  • Mühlenhof open-air museum, depicting a typical Westphalian village as it looked centuries ago
  • Westphalian Museum for Natural History, state museum and planetarium
  • West Prussian State Museum ("Drostenhof Wolbeck")
  • Museum of Lacquer Art (founded and operated by the company BASF Coatings)
  • Pablo Picasso Museum of Graphic Art, the only museum devoted exclusively to the graphic works of Pablo Picasso

Scientific education and research

Main administration building of WWU.

Twin cities

Münster is twinned with the following places:[18]

See also


  1. ^ Regional statistics for NRW ofLandesamt für Datenverarbeitung und Statistik Nordrhein-Westfalen
  2. ^ "kirchensite.de - Vita des heiligen Liudgers - Die Anfänge des Bistums Münster:". Kirchensite.de. http://www.kirchensite.de/index.php?myELEMENT=78003. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  3. ^ "LivCom website, page for 2004 awards.". http://www.livcomawards.com. http://www.livcomawards.com/previous-winners/2004.htm. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ Stadt Münster – Amt für Stadtentwicklung, Stadtplanung, Verkehrsplanung: Map of population density in the statistical areas, page 2
  5. ^ Regional statistics for NRW of Landesamt für Datenverarbeitung und Statistik Nordrhein-Westfalen
  6. ^ Statistics for 2006 of the city of Münster, Seite 18
  7. ^ Münster from A–Z; Information by Münster Marketing
  8. ^ "Monthly average temperatures, rainfall, and sunshine for Münster, DE.". http://kli.uni-muenster.de. http://kli.uni-muenster.de/de/weather/climate/index.html. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Monthly average temperatures, rainfall, and sunshine for Münster, DE.". http://kli.uni-muenster.de. http://kli.uni-muenster.de/de/weather/climate/index.html. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Monthly High/Lows for Münster, Germany.". http://www.holidaycheck.de. http://www.holidaycheck.de/klima-wetter_Muenster-ebene_oid-id_11030.html. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Monthly average temperatures and rainfall for Münster, DE.". http://kli.uni-muenster.de. http://kli.uni-muenster.de/de/weather/climate/index.html. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ Main constituation of the city of Münster of December 21, 1995 – p. 13f.
  13. ^ Stadt Münster: Bicycling in Münster
  14. ^ Stadt Münster Amt für Stadtenwicklung, Stadtplanung, Verkehrsplanung: (German) Münster office for planning and transportation
  15. ^ Maik-Torsten Schade, Klaus Steinhauer. "Statistics of Bundesagentur für Arbeit". Pub.arbeitsamt.de. http://www.pub.arbeitsamt.de/hst/services/statistik/000000/html/start/karten/aloq_aa_88.html. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  16. ^ Statistics for 2006 of the city of Münster, page 95
  17. ^ Statistics for 2006 of the city of Münster, page 54
  18. ^ http://www.muenster.de/stadt/partnerstaedte/index.html

External links





Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Castle of Münster (today used by the University)
Castle of Münster (today used by the University)

Münster[1] is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the west of Germany.


Münster originated as a monastery founded in 794 by the Frisian missionary Liudger to aid Charlemagne's campaign to gain control over the Saxons. In 805, Münster was made a bishopric and, in 1170, it obtained its town rights. In 1648, a peace treaty was signed at the Rathaus, marking an end to the Thirty Year's War. Today Münster is a city of about 270.000 inhabitants known for its university and as an administration center.

Get in

Münster has good connections to the rest of Germany via the Deutsche Bahn train station Münster Hauptbahnhof.

Düsseldorf Flughafen (Airport) is about 1 hour 20 minutes by train from Münster, whereas Münster-Osnabrück Airport is about 30 minutes drive from the city. The latter has grown significantly in recent years, offering flights throughout Europe including to London (Stansted), Berlin and Amsterdam.

By car Münster can be reached by Autobahn 1 from both the north and the south and Autobahn 43 from the southeast.

Get around

Münster has a huge number of bikes which creates a really special atmosphere. There are about 50,000 students in Münster so traveling by bike and on foot are the key modes of transport. All sidewalks have a red-brick section reserved just for cyclists, and the entire city has a pedestrian/cycle path that surrounds it. The Promenade follows the route of the city's long-gone medieval walls, and it makes for a very nice walk, taking you past the lovely Aasee (a large artificial lake surrounded by a park).

Münster also has an efficient around-the-clock bus system. You can purchase tickets from the bus driver.

Image:Muenster(GER) astronomical clock.jpg
Astronomical Clock in Sant Paul Cathedral

The Peace Hall, located in the old city hall, is famous for the signing of the historic Treaty of Münster, a document which, as a part of the Peace of Westphalia, ended the Thirty Years War and established the Westphalian style of diplomacy between sovereign states.

Münster is also known for its vast number of churches that dot its entire cityscape, including St. Lambert's Church and Klemenskirche. St. Paul's Cathedral (German: St.-Paulus-Dom) is one of the city's most impressive features and is well worth a visit. Also, the City Museum on Salzstrasse can give you a glimpse of how the city has evolved through the years (free entry although displays are only in German).

  • There is an all weather zoo in Münster.
  • Pablo Picasso Museum of Graphic Art, the only museum devoted exclusively to the graphic works of Pablo Picasso [2]
  • There is a nice modern indoor swimming Pool near the town centre. [3]


There is a huge choice of restaurants in Münster. The cuisine of almost every country in the world is represented. For Italian the Mocca Dor is a nice choice. Some recommended German restaurants and bars include Stuhlmacher (by the Town Hall/Rathaus)on Prinzipalmarkt. Or just round the corner the Kiepenkerl has tables outside by the Maypole.


Take advantage from being in Münster by drinking an Altbier at Brauerei und Altbierküche Pinkus Müller. The Pinkus Müller restaurant and bar has its own brewery producing some really tasty beers. Münster has a large student population so there are a range of bars such as Cafe Extrablatt and Markt Cafe (on the market square by the Cathedral).

The Jüdefelder Strasse (located north west of the city center) gathers many bars and pubs such as Gorilla, Die Rote Liebe, Davidswache, Destille and more. Alternatively, you can find a huge amount of bars in the "Hafen" area (south east of the city center, behind the main train station). Prices are usually reasonable (starting at around €2 for a beer and €4/5 for a cocktail).

  • Markt Cafe,Modern Bar and Cafe opposite the Cathedral
  • Stuhlmacher,Traditional Pub next to the Rathaus (town Hall) on Prinzipalmarkt


For conveniently located hotels near the Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) the Ibis Hotel is a good option about 5 minutes walk from the main station. Or directly opposite the station is the Hotel Conti.Another Hotel opposite the station that is a really nice choice with modern rooms is the Hotel Kaiserhof. From the outside it doesn't look much (just a modern office block type building) But inside it is really nicely decorated it the style of a traditional older hotel. There is also a free Sauna for guests.

  • Kaiserhof Hotel, [4]
  • Hotel Conti, [5],
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun


  1. A city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.




Wikipedia has an article on:


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de

German Wikipedia has an article on:
Münster (Kirche)

Wikipedia de

German Wikipedia has an article on:
Münster (Westfalen)

Wikipedia de

Proper noun


  1. Münster (city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)



  1. minster (church)

Simple English

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this name.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address