Why go?Münster's history begins with Charlemagne and the Missionary Liudger who founded the settlement on the Aa River in 793. The cityscape, which was almost totally destroyed in a 1943 air raid but rebuilt as virtually an exact replica, dates from the 13th century. Steeped in history but with a youthful dynamism, Münster stands out for its high quality of life and was honored with the LIVCOM livable community award in 2004.
Münster's long cultural heritage is omnipresent throughout the historical part of the city. The heart of the city and its main eye-catcher is St. Paulus Dom (St. Paul's Cathedral), built over some 40 years on the threshold from Romanesque to Gothic with one of the most lavishly decorated naves in Germany.You will also be delighted by the Prinzipalmarkt (Principal Market). Lined by houses with pointed roofs and arched pathways, it is one of Europe's most beautiful inner-city squares. Do not miss the Lambertikirche (St. Lamprecht's Church) and the Rathaus (Town Hall) with the historic Friedenssaal (Hall of Peace) where the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia brought an end to the Thirty Years' War.
Another big draw are the splendid baroque buildings by Johann Conrad Schlaun, Westphalia's great baroque master builder. His chief work is the Castle (Prince Bishop's Residence) which is now part of the university. The Erbdrostenhof (Erbdrosten Courtyard House) and the St. Clemens-Kirche (St. Clemens' Church), reminiscent of Italian Baroque, are further gems of his creative spirit. Together with the Dominikanerkirche (Dominican Church) they form the "Barockinsel" (Baroque Island) in the city center.