The Westphalian city is a scientific and service capital for 1.5 million people.
Münster (SMS) Münster – a city full of stories and history – has remained young for more than 1,200 years, with several focuses but still with a clear profile. In the capital of Westphalia, high-tech and down to earth handicrafts, aristocratic estates and bold architecture, a historical city centre and groundbreaking urban development are not contradictions but facets of a lively young city with approximately 50,000 students.
Progress and tradition characterise the academic city with its 288,000 inhabitants. Important control centres from the fields of commerce, administration, research, culture and social life can be found in the scientific and service centre for the region with its more than 1.5 million people. Thanks to careful rebuilding after the Second World War the historical part of the city surrounding Prinzipalmarkt, and the green Promenade – former fortification ring – were able to maintain its inviting ambience.
Often a step ahead
In several competitions and rankings, Münster received an award as a leader when it comes to environment and the climate, received an award as Germany’s online capital and not only traffic experts are aware of the Republic’s cycling metropolis. There are more bicycles than inhabitants here; more than 40 percent of all journeys take place on the so-called “Leeze”. More than 275 kilometres of cycle paths and cyclist-friendly traffic solutions speak a clear language. For example: the cycling station, an underground garage with an all-round service for 3300 bicycles in front of the railway station.
The image of the Westphalian metropolis which covers an area of more than 300 square kilometres – more than 70 percent of it being occupied by green spaces - is characterised by eight higher education establishments. The biggest one is the Westphalian Wilhelms University, the smallest one the Philosophical-Theological College, the youngest one is the Federal College of the Police - it was established in 2008. Next to this the image is characterised by eleven courts (including the NRW Constitutional Court), the 1st German-Dutch Corps, the Westphalia Lippe Agricultural Association and banks and insurance companies which operate throughout NRW and Germany. In the past few years, the greater area of Münster has however also distinguished itself as an important location for trend-setting technologies, including nanotechnology and biotechnology.
Culture and hospitality
Visitors get to know the home of Germany’s greatest female poet, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, as a city with a great recreational value, as the city of the international sculpture projects exhibition which takes place every ten years, as a city of galleries and theatres, conferences and congresses. 31 museums, around 20 cinema auditoriums, the Municipal Theatre with acting, music, dance and children’s theatre in addition to a lively art scene are not only interesting for the citizens of Münster, but also attract a diversified international public. Jostling takes place at the tables and counters in 800 bars and restaurants, 3800 hotel beds wait for tired guests.
City of peace
Tolerance and peace – two keywords which stand for the self-image and history of this city. One is the requirement for the other – this was the experience made by the representative of the European powers in the Thirty Years´ War, until they signed the Peace of Westphalia treaties in Münster and Osnabrück on 24 octobre 1648 after five years of tough struggling. This was the first peace treaty in European history to result from negotiations. During the course of these negotiations, the Spanish-Dutch peace treaty was also signed in Münster in 1648, resulting in The Netherlands becoming a sovereign state.
As was the case in the year 1993, when Münster celebrated its 1200 year anniversary, the city is can always rely on its greatest potential: the committed citizens. Cooperate, get in on the act, organise Münster – in “Germany’s most citizen-friendly city” (the German Focus magazine), the participation of the citizens is definitely not seen as being an annoying duty which is reduced to the legally prescribed minimum.
The people discuss and co-organise. No matter whether children have a wish concerning their playground, inhabitants place demands in “their” suburb, creative people search for a forum or critics for the exchange with the politicians and administration – in Münster, there are numerous possibilities for making contributions. Future workshops, the environmental forum, work groups, the volunteers´ agency, a large self-help network, initiatives; they all contribute their knowledge, their skills, their imagination in order to maintain and increase the quality of life in this city – not only in anniversary years.
Since 1998 the Economic Society of Westphalia and Lippe has awarded the “Prize of the Westphalian Peace” every second year. The prize, with 50,000 Euro the highest endowed peace award, has been handed out in two categories: for a personality in regard to his or her lifework and to a youth group, who became an example for adjustment and peace. At last in 2008 the peace prize was given to the “Community of young maltese” for their project in Libanon and to the former UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Stadt Münster, Presse- und Informationsamt, 48127 Münster
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