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NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen, pronounced ( listen ), commonly shortened to NRW) is the most populous state of Germany
Germany
, with a population of approximately 18 million, and the fourth largest by area. Its capital is Düsseldorf ; the most populous city is Cologne
Cologne
. Four of Germany's ten largest cities— Cologne
Cologne
, Düsseldorf , Dortmund
Dortmund
, and Essen
Essen
—are located within the state, as well as the largest metropolitan area on the European continent, Rhine-Ruhr
Rhine-Ruhr
.

North Rhine- Westphalia was formed in 1946 as a merger of the provinces of North Rhine
North Rhine
and Westphalia , both formerly parts of Prussia
Prussia
, and the Free State of Lippe . It makes up almost a quarter of the population and a quarter of the economy of Germany.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Rhineland
Rhineland
* 1.2 Westphalia

* 1.3 North Rhine- Westphalia

* 1.3.1 Creation of the state

* 2 Geography

* 2.1 Subdivisions * 2.2 Borders

* 3 Demographics

* 3.1 Historical population * 3.2 Religion

* 4 Politics

* 4.1 List of Ministers-President * 4.2 Latest election results

* 5 Culture

* 5.1 Architecture and building monuments

* 5.1.1 Historic monuments * 5.1.2 Modern architecture * 5.1.3 World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites

* 5.2 Cuisine

* 5.2.1 Drinks

* 5.3 Festivals * 5.4 Music

* 6 Economy

* 6.1 Protection for possible nuclear disasters

* 7 Education

* 8 Sports

* 8.1 Football * 8.2 Ice hockey

* 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

HISTORY

Main article: History of North Rhine-Westphalia

RHINELAND

Main article: Rhineland
Rhineland

The first written account of the area was by its conqueror, Julius Caesar , the territories west of the Rhine
Rhine
were occupied by the Eburones
Eburones
and east of the Rhine
Rhine
he reported the Ubii
Ubii
(across from Cologne) and the Sugambri to their north. The Ubii
Ubii
and some other Germanic tribes such as the Cugerni were later settled on the west side of the Rhine
Rhine
in the Roman province of Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior
. Julius Caesar conquered the tribes on the left bank, and Augustus established numerous fortified posts on the Rhine, but the Romans never succeeded in gaining a firm footing on the right bank, where the Sugambri neighboured several other tribes including the Tencteri
Tencteri
and Usipetes
Usipetes
. North of the Sigambri and the Rhine
Rhine
region were the Bructeri .

As the power of the Roman empire declined many of these tribes came to be seen collectively as Ripuarian Franks
Ripuarian Franks
and they pushed forward along both banks of the Rhine, and by the end of the 5th century had conquered all the lands that had formerly been under Roman influence. By the 8th century the Frankish dominion was firmly established in western Germany
Germany
and northern Gaul. But at the same time, to the north, Westphalia was being taken over by Saxons
Saxons
pushing south.

The Merovingian and Carolingian Franks eventually built an empire which controlled first their Ripuarian kin, and then also the Saxons. On the division of the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
at the Treaty of Verdun the part of the province to the east of the river fell to East Francia , while that to the west remained with the kingdom of Lotharingia
Lotharingia
.

By the time of Otto I
Otto I
(d. 973) both banks of the Rhine
Rhine
had become part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
, and the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper Lorraine , on the Moselle
Moselle
, and Lower Lorraine on the Meuse. The Ottonian dynasty had both Saxon and Frankish ancestry. Map of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle in 1799 by John Cary

As the central power of the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
weakened, the Rhineland
Rhineland
split into numerous small independent principalities, each with its separate vicissitudes and special chronicles. The old Lotharingian divisions became obsolete, although the name survives for example in Lorraine in France, and throughout the Middle Ages and even into modern times the nobility of these areas often sought to preserve the idea of a preeminent Duke
Duke
within Lotharingia, something claimed by the Dukes of Limburg , and the Dukes of Brabant . Such struggles as the War of the Limburg Succession therefore continued to create military and political links between what is now Rhineland-Westphalia, and neighbouring Belgium
Belgium
and the Netherlands
Netherlands
.

In spite of its dismembered condition, and the sufferings it underwent at the hands of its French neighbours in various periods of warfare, the Rhenish territory prospered greatly and stood in the foremost rank of German culture and progress. Aachen
Aachen
was the place of coronation of the German emperors, and the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine
Rhine
bulked largely in German history.

Prussia
Prussia
first set foot on the Rhine
Rhine
in 1609 by the occupation of the Duchy of Cleves and about a century later Upper Guelders and Moers also became Prussian. At the peace of Basel in 1795 the whole of the left bank of the Rhine
Rhine
was resigned to France, and in 1806 the Rhenish princes all joined the Confederation of the Rhine
Confederation of the Rhine
.

After the Congress of Vienna, Prussia
Prussia
was awarded with the entire Rhineland
Rhineland
, which included the Grand Duchy of Berg
Grand Duchy of Berg
, the ecclesiastic electorates of Trier and Cologne
Cologne
, the free cities of Aachen
Aachen
and Cologne
Cologne
, and nearly a hundred small lordships and abbeys. The Prussian Rhine province
Rhine province
was formed in 1822 and Prussia
Prussia
had the tact to leave them in undisturbed possession of the liberal institutions they had become accustomed to under the republican rule of the French. In 1920, the districts of Eupen
Eupen
and Malmedy were transferred to Belgium (see German-speaking Community of Belgium
Belgium
).

WESTPHALIA

Main article: Westphalia

Around AD 1 there were numerous incursions through Westphalia and perhaps even some permanent Roman or Romanized settlements. The Battle of Teutoburg Forest
Teutoburg Forest
took place near Osnabrück (as mentioned, it is disputed whether this is in Westphalia) and some of the Germanic tribes who fought at this battle came from the area of Westphalia. Charlemagne
Charlemagne
is thought to have spent considerable time in Paderborn and nearby parts. His Saxon Wars
Saxon Wars
also partly took place in what is thought of as Westphalia today. Popular legends link his adversary Widukind to places near Detmold
Detmold
, Bielefeld
Bielefeld
, Lemgo , Osnabrück and other places in Westphalia. Widukind was buried in Enger
Enger
, which is also a subject of a legend.

Along with Eastphalia and Engern , Westphalia (Westfalahi) was originally a district of the Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Saxony
. In 1180 Westphalia was elevated to the rank of a duchy by Emperor Barbarossa . The Duchy of Westphalia comprised only a small area south of the Lippe River
Lippe River
. Ratification of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 in Münster by Gerard Terborch

Parts of Westphalia came under Brandenburg-Prussian control during the 17th and 18th centuries, but most of it remained divided duchies and other feudal areas of power. The Peace of Westphalia of 1648, signed in Münster and Osnabrück, ended the Thirty Years\' War . The concept of nation-state sovereignty resulting from the treaty became known as " Westphalian sovereignty ".

As a result of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
, there is no dominant religion in Westphalia. Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism
Lutheranism
are on relatively equal footing. Lutheranism
Lutheranism
is strong in the eastern and northern parts with numerous free churches. Münster and especially Paderborn
Paderborn
are thought of as Catholic. Osnabrück is divided almost equally between Catholicism and Protestantism.

After the defeat of the Prussian Army at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt , the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 made the Westphalian territories part of the Kingdom of Westphalia from 1807 to 1813. It was founded by Napoleon and was a French vassal state . This state only shared the name with the historical region; it contained only a relatively small part of Westphalia, consisting instead mostly of Hessian and Eastphalian regions.

After the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
, the Kingdom of Prussia
Prussia
received a large amount of territory in the Westphalian region and created the province of Westphalia in 1815. The northernmost portions of the former kingdom, including the town of Osnabrück , had become part of the states of Hanover and Oldenburg .

NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA

Creation Of The State

The state of North Rhine- Westphalia was established by the British military administration 's "Operation Marriage" on 23 August 1946, by merging the province of Westphalia and the northern parts of the Rhine Province , both being political divisions of the former state of Prussia
Prussia
within the German Reich
German Reich
. On 21 January 1947, the former state of Lippe
Lippe
was merged with North Rhine-Westphalia. The constitution of North Rhine- Westphalia was then ratified through a referendum .

GEOGRAPHY

geographic map of North Rhine- Westphalia Rhine
Rhine
near Bonn
Bonn
Sunset near the Lower Rhine
Rhine
Rhine-Ruhr
Rhine-Ruhr
metropolitan area, the largest conurbation of the European continent (population: 11 million)

North Rhine- Westphalia encompasses the plains of the Lower Rhine region and parts of the Central Uplands
Central Uplands
(die Mittelgebirge ) up to the gorge of Porta Westfalica . The state covers an area of 34,083 km2 (13,160 sq mi) and shares borders with Belgium
Belgium
in the southwest and the Netherlands
Netherlands
in the west and northwest. It has borders with the German states of Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
to the north and northeast, Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
to the south and Hesse
Hesse
to the southeast.

Approximately half of the state is located in the relative low-lying terrain of the Westphalian Lowland and the Rhineland
Rhineland
, both extending broadly into the North German Plain
North German Plain
. A few isolated hill ranges are located within these lowlands, among them the Hohe Mark, the Beckum Hills , the Baumberge and the Stemmer Berge . The terrain rises towards the south and in the east of the state into parts of Germany's Central Uplands
Central Uplands
. These hill ranges are the Weser Uplands - including the Egge Hills , the Wiehen Hills , the Wesergebirge and the Teutoburg Forest
Teutoburg Forest
in the east, the Sauerland
Sauerland
, the Bergisches Land , the Siegerland
Siegerland
and the Siebengebirge
Siebengebirge
in the south, as well as the left-Rhenish Eifel
Eifel
in the southwest of the state. The Rothaargebirge in the border region with Hesse
Hesse
rises to height of about 800 m above sea level. The highest of these mountains are the Langenberg , at 843.2 m above sea level, the Kahler Asten (840.7 m) and the Clemensberg (839.2 m).

The planimetrically-determined centre of North Rhine- Westphalia is located in the south of Dortmund-Aplerbeck in the Aplerbecker Mark (51° 28' N, 7° 33' Ö). Its westernmost point is situated near Selfkant close to the Dutch border, the easternmost near Höxter on the Weser
Weser
. The southernmost point lies near Hellenthal in the Eifel region. The northernmost point is the NRW-Nordpunkt near Rahden
Rahden
in the northeast of the state. The Nordpunkt is located only 100 km to the south of the North Sea coast. The deepest natural dip is arranged in the district Zyfflich in the city of Kranenburg with 9.2 m above sea level in the northwest of the state. Though, the deepest point overground results from mining. The open-pit Hambach reaches at Niederzier a deep of 293 m below sea level. At the same time, this is the deepest man-made dip in Germany.

The most important rivers flowing at least partially through North Rhine- Westphalia include: the Rhine
Rhine
, the Ruhr
Ruhr
, the Ems , the Lippe
Lippe
, and the Weser
Weser
. The Rhine
Rhine
is by far the most important river in North Rhine-Westphalia: it enters the state as Middle Rhine
Rhine
near Bad Honnef, where still being part of the Mittelrhein wine region . It changes into the Lower Rhine
Rhine
near Bad Godesberg and leaves North Rhine- Westphalia near Emmerich at a width of 730 metres. Almost immediately after entering the Netherlands, the Rhine
Rhine
splits into many branches.

The Pader , which flows entirely within the city of Paderborn
Paderborn
, is considered Germany's shortest river.

For many, North Rhine- Westphalia is synonymous with industrial areas and urban agglomerations. However, the largest part of the state is used for agriculture (almost 52%) and forests (25%).

SUBDIVISIONS

See also: List of places in North Rhine- Westphalia

The state consists of five government regions (Regierungsbezirke), divided into 31 districts (Kreise ) and 23 urban districts (kreisfreie Städte). In total, North Rhine- Westphalia has 396 municipalities (1997), including the urban districts, which are municipalities by themselves. The government regions have an assembly elected by the districts and municipalities, while the Landschaftsverband have a directly elected assembly.

The five government regions of North Rhine- Westphalia each belong to one of the two Landschaftsverbände :

LANDSCHAFTSVERBAND RHINELAND LANDSCHAFTSVERBAND WESTFALEN-LIPPE

The regional authorities Rhineland
Rhineland
(green) and Westphalia- Lippe
Lippe
(red)

Government districts (Regierungsbezirke) historical regions Government districts (Regierungsbezirke) historical regions

DüSSELDORF

* Rhineland
Rhineland

* Bergisches Land * Eifel
Eifel
* Aachen
Aachen
* Lower Rhine
Rhine
* Rheinschiene * Cologne/ Bonn
Bonn

ARNSBERG

* Westphalia

* Münsterland * Minden-Ravensberg * Prince-Bishopric Paderborn * Sauerland
Sauerland
* Siegerland
Siegerland
* Tecklenburger Land

* Lippe
Lippe

* Lipper Land, the region of the ancient free state

KöLN

DETMOLD

MüNSTER

RURAL DISTRICTS (KREISE) URBAN DISTRICTS (KREISFREIE STäDTE)

* Aachen
Aachen
Städteregion * Borken * Coesfeld * Düren * Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis
Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis
* Rhein-Erft-Kreis
Rhein-Erft-Kreis
* Euskirchen * Gütersloh * Heinsberg * Herford * Hochsauerlandkreis
Hochsauerlandkreis
* Höxter * Kleve * Lippe
Lippe
* Märkischer Kreis
Märkischer Kreis
* Mettmann * Minden-Lübbecke
Minden-Lübbecke
* Rhein-Kreis Neuss * Oberbergischer Kreis
Oberbergischer Kreis
* Olpe * Paderborn
Paderborn
* Recklinghausen

* Rheinisch- Bergischer Kreis * Rhein-Sieg-Kreis
Rhein-Sieg-Kreis
* Siegen-Wittgenstein * Soest * Steinfurt * Unna * Viersen * Warendorf * Wesel

* Aachen
Aachen
* Bielefeld
Bielefeld
* Bochum
Bochum
* Bonn
Bonn
* Bottrop * Dortmund
Dortmund
* Duisburg
Duisburg
* Düsseldorf * Essen
Essen
* Gelsenkirchen
Gelsenkirchen
* Hagen
Hagen
* Hamm
Hamm
* Herne * Cologne
Cologne
/ Köln * Krefeld
Krefeld
* Leverkusen * Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach
* Mülheim * Münster * Oberhausen
Oberhausen
* Remscheid
Remscheid
* Solingen
Solingen
* Wuppertal
Wuppertal

BORDERS

The state's area covers a maximum distance of 291 km from north to south, and 266 km from east to west. The total length of the state's borders is 1,645 km. The following countries and states have a border with North Rhine-Westphalia:

* Belgium
Belgium
(99 km) * Netherlands
Netherlands
(387 km) * Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
(583 km) * Hesse
Hesse
(269 km) * Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
(307 km)

DEMOGRAPHICS

Cologne
Cologne
(Köln) is the largest city of North Rhine- Westphalia

North Rhine- Westphalia has a population of approximately 17.5 million inhabitants (more than the entire former East Germany
Germany
, and slightly more than the Netherlands
Netherlands
) and is centred around the polycentric Rhine-Ruhr
Rhine-Ruhr
metropolitan region , which includes the industrial Ruhr region and the Rhenish cities of Bonn
Bonn
, Cologne
Cologne
and Düsseldorf . 30 of the 80 largest cities in Germany
Germany
are located within North Rhine-Westphalia. The state's capital is Düsseldorf, the state's largest city is Cologne. The number of births reached 160.478 while 204.373 died in 2015. The TRF reached 1.52 (2015) and was highest in Lippe
Lippe
(1.72) and lowest in Bochum
Bochum
(1.29).

SIGNIFICANT FOREIGN-BORN POPULATIONS

NATIONALITY POPULATION (2014)

Turkey
Turkey
505,531

Poland
Poland
200,213

Italy
Italy
135,921

Greece
Greece
96,671

Romania
Romania
86,764

Syria
Syria
84,261

Netherlands
Netherlands
70,974

Serbia
Serbia
66,707

Kosovo
Kosovo
55,324

Bulgaria
Bulgaria
49,522

Russia
Russia
49,274

Croatia
Croatia
44,645

Spain
Spain
43,989

Iraq
Iraq
41,734

Bosnia 39,594

The following table shows the ten largest cities of North Rhine-Westphalia:

POS. NAME POP. 2012 AREA (KM²) POP. PER KM2 MAP

1 Cologne
Cologne
1,024,373 405.15 2,528

2 Düsseldorf 593,682 217.01 2,736

3 Dortmund
Dortmund
572,087 280.37 2,041

4 Essen
Essen
566,862 210.38 2,733

5 Duisburg
Duisburg
486,816 232.81 2,091

6 Bochum
Bochum
362,213 145.43 2,491

7 Wuppertal
Wuppertal
342,885 168.37 2,037

8 Bielefeld
Bielefeld
328,314 257.83 1,273

9 Bonn
Bonn
309,869 141.22 2,194

10 Münster 296,599 302.91 979

HISTORICAL POPULATION

The following table shows the population of the state since 1930. The values until 1960 are the average of the yearly population, from 1965 the population at year end is used.

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±% P.A.

1930 11,407,000 —

1940 12,059,000 +0.56%

1950 12,926,000 +0.70%

1955 14,442,000 +2.24%

1960 15,694,000 +1.68%

1965 16,619,450 +1.15%

1970 17,033,651 +0.49%

1975 17,129,200 +0.11%

YEAR POP. ±% P.A.

1980 17,057,488 −0.08%

1985 16,674,001 −0.45%

1990 17,349,651 +0.80%

1995 17,893,045 +0.62%

2000 18,009,865 +0.13%

2001 18,052,092 +0.23%

2002 18,076,355 +0.13%

2003 18,079,686 +0.02%

YEAR POP. ±% P.A.

2004 18,075,352 −0.02%

2005 18,058,105 −0.10%

2006 18,028,745 −0.16%

2007 17,996,621 −0.18%

2008 17,933,064 −0.35%

2009 17,872,763 −0.34%

2010 17,845,154 −0.15%

Source:

RELIGION

RELIGION IN NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA, 2011

Religion

Percent

Roman Catholicism   42.24%

EKD Protestantism   28.35%

Islam   2.78%

Other Christianity   1.05%

New religions   1.00%

Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
  0.49%

Indian religions   0.20%

Judaism   0.17%

Unaffiliated   23.76%

According to studies of the Ruhr
Ruhr
University Bochum
Bochum
42.24% of the North Rhine-Westphalian population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church , 28.35% are members of the Evangelical Church in Germany
Germany
, 23.76% are unaffiliated, non-religious or atheists, 2.78% are Muslims , 0.49% are adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
, 1.05% are members of smaller Christian groups (half of them the New Apostolic Church ), 1.0% are adherents of new religions or esoteric groups, 0.2% are adherents of Indian religions , and 0.17% are Jews
Jews
.

North Rhine- Westphalia ranks first in population among German states for both Roman Catholics and Protestants.

POLITICS

Main article: Politics of North Rhine- Westphalia

The politics of North Rhine- Westphalia takes place within a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic. The two main parties, as on the federal level, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union and the centre-left Social Democratic Party . From 1966 to 2005, North Rhine- Westphalia was continuously governed by the Social Democrats or SPD-led governments.

The state's legislative body is the Landtag ("state diet"). It may pass laws within the competency of the state, e.g. cultural matters, the education system, matters of internal security, i.e. the police, building supervision, health supervision and the media; as opposed to matters that are reserved to Federal law.

North Rhine- Westphalia uses the same electoral system as the Federal level in Germany: "Personalized proportional representation ". Every five years the citizens of North Rhine- Westphalia vote in a general election to elect at least 181 members of the Landtag. Only parties who win at least 5% of the votes cast may be represented in parliament.

The Landtag, the parliamentary parties and groups consisting of at least 7 members of parliament have the right to table legal proposals to the Landtag for deliberation. The law that are passed by the Landtag is delivered to the Minister-President, who, together with the ministers involved, is required to sign it and announce it in the Law and Ordinance Gazette.

LIST OF MINISTERS-PRESIDENT

These are the Ministers-president of the Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia:

MINISTERS-PRESIDENT OF NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA

NO. NAME IMAGE BORN-DIED PARTY AFFILIATION START OF TENURE END OF TENURE

1 Rudolf Amelunxen

1888–1969 Centre Party 1946 1947

2 Karl Arnold

1901–1958 CDU 1947 1956

3 Fritz Steinhoff

1897–1969 SPD 1956 1958

4 Franz Meyers

1908–2002 CDU 1958 1966

5 Heinz Kühn

1912–1992 SPD 1966 1978

6 Johannes Rau

1931–2006 SPD 1978 1998

7 Wolfgang Clement

*1940 SPD 1998 2002

8 Peer Steinbrück

*1947 SPD 2002 2005

9 Jürgen Rüttgers

*1951 CDU 2005 2010

10 Hannelore Kraft

*1961 SPD 2010 2017

11 Armin Laschet

*1961 CDU 2017 incumbent

For the current state government, see Cabinet Laschet .

LATEST ELECTION RESULTS

This article needs to be UPDATED. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (June 2017)

Main article: North Rhine- Westphalia state election, 2012

The results of the 2012 North Rhine- Westphalia state election were as follows. Voter turnout was at 59.6%, a slight increase from the previous election in 2010 .

e • d Summary of the 13 May 2012 Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia elections results < 2010 2017 > PARTY POPULAR VOTE SEATS

VOTES % +/– SEATS +/–

Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands - SPD 3,050,160 39.1% 4.6% 99 32

Christian Democratic Union Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands - CDU 2,050,633 26.3% 8.3% 67

Alliance \'90/The Greens Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 884,136 11.3% 0.8% 29 6

Free Democratic Party Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP 669,971 8.6% 1.9% 22 9

Pirate Party Germany
Germany
Piratenpartei Deutschland 608,957 7.8% 6.2% 20 20

Left Die Linke 194,239 2.5% 3.1% 0 11

Other parties 335,730 4.4% 0.9% 0

VALID VOTES 7,794,126 98.6%

Invalid votes 107,796 1.4%

TOTALS AND VOTER TURNOUT 7,901,922 59.6% 0.3% 237 56

ELECTORATE 13,264,231 100.00 —

Source: Die Landeswahlleiterin des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

CULTURE

THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION with: cultural differences between for the two Landschaftsverbände +The Ruhr
Ruhr
Area . Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf and their whole lot of museums/art institutions; Düsseldorf/ Neuss
Neuss
and Fashion. You can help by adding to it . (April 2011)

The flag of North Rhine- Westphalia is green-white-red with the combined coats of arms of the Rhineland
Rhineland
(white line before green background, symbolizing the river Rhine), Westfalen
Westfalen
(the white horse) and Lippe
Lippe
(the red rose).

According to legend the horse in the Westphalian coat of arms is the horse that the Saxon leader Widukind rode after his baptism. Other theories attribute the horse to Henry the Lion
Henry the Lion
. Some connect it with the Germanic rulers Hengist and Horsa .

ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING MONUMENTS

The state is not known for its castles like other regions in Germany. However, North Rhine- Westphalia has a high concentration of museums, cultural centres, concert halls and theatres.

Historic Monuments

*

Medieval architecture in Aachen
Aachen
*

Cölner Hofbräu Früh in Cologne
Cologne
*

Reinoldikirche and Alter Markt in Dortmund
Dortmund
*

Historical City Hall in Münster *

Timber framing in Monschau *

Schloss Nordkirchen

Modern Architecture

*

Art Nouveau Zeche Zollern in Dortmund
Dortmund
*

Neuer Zollhof in Düsseldorf *

Haus Lange and Haus Esters in Krefeld
Krefeld
*

Langen Foundation
Langen Foundation
in Neuss
Neuss
*

Schwebebahn in Wuppertal
Wuppertal
*

MARTa Herford

World Heritage Sites

See also: List of World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
in Europe § Germany
Germany

The state has Aachen
Aachen
Cathedral , the Cologne
Cologne
Cathedral , the Zeche Zollverein in Essen
Essen
and Augustusburg Palace in Brühl which are all World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
.

*

Augustusburg and Falkenlust *

Aachen
Aachen
Cathedral *

Cologne
Cologne
Cathedral *

Zollverein Coal Mine

CUISINE

THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION with: local cuisine for the two Landschaftsverbände +The Ruhr
Ruhr
Area . You can help by adding to it . (April 2011)

See also: List of German dishes

Drinks

* Kölsch is a local beer speciality brewed in Cologne
Cologne
. * Alt is a local beer speciality brewed in Düsseldorf and the Lower Rhine
Rhine
Region . * Dortmunder Export
Dortmunder Export
is a local pale lager beer speciality brewed in Dortmund
Dortmund
.

FESTIVALS

THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION with: Music, Art and Cultural festivals. You can help by adding to it . (April 2011)

North Rhine- Westphalia hosts film festivals in Cologne
Cologne
, Bonn, Dortmund
Dortmund
, Duisburg
Duisburg
, Münster , Oberhausen
Oberhausen
and Lünen .

Other large festivals include Rhenish carnivals , Ruhrtriennale .

Every year GamesCom
GamesCom
is hosted in Cologne
Cologne
. It is the largest video game convention in Europe.

MUSIC

THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION with: Classical and contemporary music. You can help by adding to it . (April 2011)

* The composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
was born in Bonn
Bonn
in 1770. * A regional anthem is the Lied für NRW (Song for NRW). * North Rhine- Westphalia is home to many of Germany's best-known heavy metal , speed metal and thrash metal bands: Accept , Angel Dust , Blind Guardian
Blind Guardian
, Doro (formerly of Warlock ), Grave Digger , Holy Moses , Kreator
Kreator
, Rage , Scanner and Sodom . Also, North Rhine- Westphalia is home to Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk
, originally a Krautrock band for four years, then later a synth-pop band.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of North Rhine- Westphalia NRW.INVEST ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp
headquarters in Essen
Essen

In the 1950s and 1960s, Westphalia was known as Land von Kohle und Stahl or the land of coal and steel. In the post-World War II recovery, the Ruhr
Ruhr
was one of the most important industrial regions in Europe, and contributed to the German Wirtschaftswunder . As of the late 1960s, repeated crises led to contractions of these industrial branches. On the other hand, producing sectors, particularly in mechanical engineering and metal and iron working industry, experienced substantial growth. Despite this structural change and an economic growth which was under national average, the 2007 GDP of 529.4 billion euro (21.8 percent of the total German GDP) made the land the economically most important in Germany, as well as one of the most important economical areas in the world. Of Germany’s top 100 corporations, 37 are based in North Rhine-Westphalia. On a per capita base, however, North Rhine- Westphalia remains one of the weaker among the Western German states. As of June 2014, the unemployment rate is 8.2%, second highest among all western German states.

North Rhine- Westphalia attracts companies from both Germany
Germany
and abroad. In 2009, the state had the most foreign direct investments (FDI ) anywhere in Germany. Around 13,100 foreign companies from the most important investment countries control their German or European operations from bases in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In February 2014 North Rhine- Westphalia was ranked as the European Region of the Future in the 2014/15 list by FDi Magazine .

There have been many changes in the state's economy in recent times. Among the many changes in the economy, employment in the creative industries is up while the mining sector is employing fewer people. Industrial heritage sites are now workplaces for designers, artists and the advertising industry. The Ruhr
Ruhr
region has – since the 1960s – undergone a significant structural change away from coal mining and steel industry. Many rural parts of Eastern Westphalia , Bergisches Land and the Lower Rhine
Rhine
ground their economy on "Hidden Champions " in various sectors .

PROTECTION FOR POSSIBLE NUCLEAR DISASTERS

Although there are no nuclear reactors located inside the state, the reactors in Tihange , Belgium
Belgium
are near the German border. People in the Netherlands
Netherlands
and Germany
Germany
are concerned about their safety given the age of these reactors. Billions of iodine tablets were ordered to protect the population in case of a serious nuclear accident in Tihange. In 2015 the German government extended the availability of iodine tablets: now all pregnant women, nursing mothers, and minors in the state will be eligible. Tablets will also be available for those living less than 100 km from the Tihange reactors and younger than 45 years of age.

EDUCATION

Main article: Education in North Rhine- Westphalia RWTH Aachen
Aachen

RWTH Aachen
Aachen
is one of Germany's leading universities of technology and was chosen by DFG as one of the German Universities of Excellence in 2007 and again in 2012.

North Rhine- Westphalia is home to 14 universities and over 50 partly postgraduate colleges , with a total of over 500,000 students. Largest and oldest university is the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), founded in 1388 AD, since 2012 also one of Germany's eleven Universities of Excellence.

SPORTS

Signal Iduna Park , the stadium of Bundesliga
Bundesliga
club Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund
, is the largest stadium in Germany
Germany

FOOTBALL

North Rhine- Westphalia is home to several professional football clubs including:

Bundesliga
Bundesliga
:

* Bayer 04 Leverkusen , * Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund
, * Borussia Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach
, * 1. FC Köln , * FC Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04
,

2. Bundesliga
Bundesliga
:

* Arminia Bielefeld
Bielefeld
, * VfL Bochum
Bochum
, * Fortuna Düsseldorf ,

Other divisions:

* MSV Duisburg
Duisburg
, * Alemannia Aachen
Aachen
, * Wuppertaler SV , * Rot-Weiß Essen
Essen
, and * SC Paderborn
Paderborn
07 .

Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund
and FC Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04
are the most successful teams in the state, with Dortmund
Dortmund
winning 8 German Titles and Schalke winning 7. Borussia Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach
have won 5 titles, while 1. FC Köln have won it 3 times. Fortuna Düsseldorf and Rot-Weiß Essen
Essen
have each been German Champions once. North Rhine- Westphalia has been a very successful footballing state having a combined total of 25 championships, fewer only than Bavaria
Bavaria
.

North Rhine- Westphalia have hosted several matches in the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cups and hosted matches in the 2011 FIFA Women\'s World Cup . In 1974 the matches were played at Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, Parkstadion in Gelsenkirchen
Gelsenkirchen
and Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, in 2006 they were played at RheinEnergieStadion
RheinEnergieStadion
in Cologne
Cologne
, Arena Auf Schalke in Gelsenkichen and Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund
Dortmund
. Borussia-Park in Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach
, BayArena in Leverkusen and Ruhrstadion in Bochum
Bochum
hosted matches for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

ICE HOCKEY

North Rhine- Westphalia is home to DEL teams Düsseldorfer EG , Kölner Haie
Kölner Haie
( Cologne
Cologne
Sharks), Krefeld
Krefeld
Pinguine ( Krefeld