Germany off the beaten track

Typical Münster hospitality is found above all in the Kuhviertel (Cow District). © Ralf Emmerich

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On the track of history

Münster's history begins with the Frisian monk Liudger, dispatched on a mission by order of the Emperor Charlemagne (Charles the Great) to founded a monastery to which Münster today thanks its name. Following the construction of six parish churches and the city wall, the medieval city was extended in the form of a promenade ring, still recognizable today.

Münster attains considerable importance as a member of the Hanseatic League (14th - 16th century). Following the violent introduction of the Reformation, the Anabaptist War raged in Münster. In 1628 the last Protestants were expelled from the city.

The Westphalian Peace is negotiated in Münster and Osnabrück, ending the Thirty Years War in 1648. At the same time, the sovereignty of the Netherlands is recognized with the signing of the Spanish-Netherlands Peace. Münster continues to grow into a large city. The incorporation of communities in the years 1875 and 1903 speeds up this development.

Kaiser Wilhelm awards the university the name of Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (Wesphalian William's University) and pays a visit to Münster.  The city is almost entirely destroyed during Second World War, destruction being more than 90 percent within the Promenade Ring. Rebuilding the city focuses primarily on historical layouts and buildings. By the middle of 1955 the city has already more living accommodation than before the war.

Münster receives the LivCom Award 2004, presented by the United Nations Environment Programm (UNEP), among others, for the best city in the world to live in. The city, with 280,000 citizens, is the upper center for approximately 1.5 million people from the surrounding Münsterland region and one of the five governing headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia. There are 50,000 students, providing a constant influx of of young people from all around the world.

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Discover Münster

See the best of Münster

Inspiration, discoveries, relaxation, family fun: whatever your mood and whoever you´re with, an escape to the beautiful and historic places makes a perfect day out.

Münster: Guided Walking Tour

Walking tours of the Old City start at the historic Town Hall, meander through the arcades of the "Prinzipalmarkt" (Principal Market) to the "Lambertikirche" (St. Lamprecht's Church), and explore the "Barockinsel" (Baroque Island). The highpoint: A guided tour through the "St. Paulus Dom" (St. Paul's Cathedral).

The Tourist Information provides you with detailed information on tours and sights.

Further information

European History

Münster, a Hanseatic city – some cities in Northern Germany merged in the middle of the 13th century to so called city alliances. The “Hanseatic League” was the most powerful.