The Info List - North Rhine-Westphalia

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North Rhine- Westphalia
(German: Nordrhein-Westfalen, pronounced [ˈnɔʁtʁaɪ̯n vɛstˈfaːlən] ( listen), commonly shortened to NRW) is the most populous state of Germany, with a population of approximately 18 million, and the fourth largest by area. Its capital is Düsseldorf; the largest city is Cologne. Four of Germany's ten largest cities (Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, and Essen) are located in this state, as well as the second largest metropolitan area on the European continent, Rhine-Ruhr. North Rhine- Westphalia
was founded in 1946 as a merger of the provinces of North Rhine
North Rhine
and Westphalia, both formerly parts of Prussia, and the Free State of Lippe. It makes up almost a quarter of the population and a quarter of the economy of Germany.[citation needed]


1 History

1.1 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 2012 election results 4.3 Latest election results 4.4 Protection for possible nuclear disasters

5 Culture

5.1 Architecture and building monuments

5.1.1 Historic monuments 5.1.2 Modern architecture 5.1.3 World Heritage Sites

5.2 Cuisine

5.2.1 Drinks

5.3 Festivals 5.4 Music

6 Economy 7 Education 8 Sports

8.1 Football 8.2 Ice hockey

9 See also 10 References 11 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland[edit] Main article: Rhineland The first written account of the area was by its conqueror, Julius Caesar, the territories west of the Rhine
were occupied by the Eburones
and east of the Rhine
he reported the Ubii
(across from Cologne) and the Sugambri
to their north. The Ubii
and some other Germanic tribes
Germanic tribes
such as the Cugerni were later settled on the west side of the Rhine
in the Roman province of 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
and Usipetes. North of the Sigambri and the 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
and northern Gaul. But at the same time, to the north, Westphalia
was being taken over by 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
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.[4] By the time of Otto I
Otto I
(d. 973) both banks of the Rhine
had become part of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper Lorraine, on the Moselle, and Lower Lorraine on the Meuse. The Ottonian dynasty
Ottonian dynasty
had both Saxon and Frankish ancestry.

Map of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle
Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle
in 1799 by John Cary

As the central power of the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
weakened, the 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
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
and the 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
was the place of coronation of the German emperors, and the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine
bulked largely in German history.[4] Prussia
first set foot on the Rhine
in 1609 by the occupation of the Duchy of Cleves
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
was resigned to France, and in 1806 the Rhenish princes all joined the Confederation of the Rhine. After the Congress of Vienna, Prussia
was awarded with the entire Rhineland, which included the Grand Duchy of Berg, the ecclesiastic electorates of Trier and Cologne, the free cities of Aachen
and Cologne, and nearly a hundred small lordships and abbeys. The Prussian Rhine province
Rhine province
was formed in 1822 and 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.[4] In 1920, the districts of Eupen
and Malmedy
were transferred to Belgium (see German-speaking Community of Belgium). Westphalia[edit] 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
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, Bielefeld, Lemgo, Osnabrück
and other places in Westphalia. Widukind
was buried in 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. 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

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, there is no dominant religion in Westphalia. Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism
are on relatively equal footing. Lutheranism
is strong in the eastern and northern parts with numerous free churches. Münster
and especially Paderborn
are thought of as Catholic. Osnabrück
is divided almost equally between Catholicism and Protestantism. After the defeat of the Prussian Army
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, the Kingdom of 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[edit] Creation of the state[edit] 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
within the German Reich.[5][6] On 21 January 1947, the former state of Lippe
was merged with North Rhine-Westphalia.[5] The constitution of North Rhine- Westphalia
was then ratified through a referendum. Geography[edit]

Geographic map of North Rhine-Westphalia

near Bonn

Sunset near the Lower Rhine

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 (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
in the southwest and the 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
to the south and Hesse
to the southeast. Approximately half of the state is located in the relative low-lying terrain of the Westphalian Lowland
Westphalian Lowland
and the Rhineland, both extending broadly into the 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. 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, the Bergisches Land, the Siegerland
and the Siebengebirge
in the south, as well as the left-Rhenish Eifel
in the southwest of the state. The Rothaargebirge
in the border region with 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
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. The southernmost point lies near Hellenthal
in the Eifel region. The northernmost point is the NRW-Nordpunkt near 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, the Ruhr, the Ems, the Lippe, and the Weser. The Rhine
is by far the most important river in North Rhine-Westphalia: it enters the state as Middle Rhine
near Bad Honnef, where still being part of the Mittelrhein wine region. It changes into the Lower 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
splits into many branches. The Pader, which flows entirely within the city of 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%).[7] Subdivisions[edit] 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
(green) and Westphalia- Lippe

Government districts (Regierungsbezirke)

historical regions

Government districts (Regierungsbezirke)

historical regions



Bergisches Land Eifel Aachen Lower Rhine Rheinschiene Cologne/Bonn



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


Lipper Land, the region of the ancient free state




Rural Districts (Kreise) Urban Districts (Kreisfreie Städte)

Städteregion Borken Coesfeld Düren Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis Rhein-Erft-Kreis Euskirchen Gütersloh Heinsberg Herford Hochsauerlandkreis Höxter Kleve Lippe Märkischer Kreis Mettmann Minden-Lübbecke Rhein-Kreis Neuss Oberbergischer Kreis Olpe Paderborn Recklinghausen Rheinisch- Bergischer Kreis Rhein-Sieg-Kreis Siegen-Wittgenstein Soest Steinfurt Unna Viersen Warendorf Wesel

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

Borders[edit] 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:[8]

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


(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, and slightly more than the Netherlands) and is centred around the polycentric Rhine-Ruhr
metropolitan region, which includes the industrial Ruhr region and the Rhenish cities of Bonn, Cologne
and Düsseldorf. 30 of the 80 largest cities in 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
(1.72) and lowest in Bochum

Significant minority populations[9]

Nationality Population (2018)

 Turkey 501,035

 Poland 210,470

 Syria 174,020

 Italy 139,220

 Romania 102,245

 Greece 98,350

 Iraq 72,570

 Netherlands 71,266

 Serbia 65,435

 Bulgaria 60,105

 Kosovo 54,480

 Russia 51,785

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

Pos. Name Pop. 2012 Area (km²) Pop. per km2 map

1 Cologne 1,024,373 405.15 2,528

2 Düsseldorf 593,682 217.01 2,736

3 Dortmund 572,087 280.37 2,041

4 Essen 566,862 210.38 2,733

5 Duisburg 486,816 232.81 2,091

6 Bochum 362,213 145.43 2,491

7 Wuppertal 342,885 168.37 2,037

8 Bielefeld 328,314 257.83 1,273

9 Bonn 309,869 141.22 2,194

10 Münster 296,599 302.91 979

Historical population[edit] 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: [10]


Religion in North Rhine-Westphalia, 2011/2015[11] [12]



Roman Catholicism


EKD Protestantism




Other Christianity


New religions


Eastern Orthodox Church


Indian religions






According to studies of the Ruhr
University Bochum
in 2011[13][14] 42.2% of the North Rhine-Westphalian population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church, 28.4% are members of the Evangelical Church in Germany, 23.8% are unaffiliated, non-religious or atheists, 2.8% are Muslims, 0.49% are adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church, 1.1% 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 0.2% are Jews. North Rhine- Westphalia
ranks first in population among German states for both Roman Catholics and Protestants. Politics[edit] 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").[15] 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.[15] 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.[15] 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.[15] 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.[15] List of Ministers-President[edit] 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. 2012 election results[edit] 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 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 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

Latest election results[edit] Main article: North Rhine- Westphalia
state election, 2017 CDU became the largest party, whereas the ruling SPD and Greens lost votes. The Pirates were ousted from the Landtag, whereas the AfD gained parliamentary representation. FDP got their best result in history. Die Linke narrowly failed to get parliamentary representation. Voter turnout was higher than in the previous election.

e • d Summary of the 14 May 2017 Landtag of North Rhine- Westphalia
elections results < 2012    Next >

Party Popular vote Seats

Votes % +/– Seats +/–

Christian Democratic Union Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands – CDU 2,796,683 33.0 6.7 72 5

Social Democratic Party of Germany Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD 2,649,205 31.2 7.9 69 30

Free Democratic Party Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP 1,065,307 12.6 4.0 28 6

Alternative for Germany Alternative für Deutschland – AfD 626,756 7.4 7.4 16 16

Alliance '90/The Greens Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 539,062 6.4 4.9 14 15

The Left Die Linke 415,936 4.9 2.4 – –

Pirate Party Piratenpartei Deutschland 80,780 1.0 6.8 – 20

Valid votes 8,487,373 99.0%

Invalid votes 89,808 1.0%

Totals and voter turnout 8,577,221 65.2% 5.6% 199 38

Electorate 13,164,887 100.00 —

Source: Die Landeswahlleiterin des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Protection for possible nuclear disasters[edit] Although there are no nuclear reactors located inside the state, the reactors in Tihange, Belgium
are near the German border. People in the Netherlands
and 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.[16] Culture[edit]

This section needs expansion with: cultural differences between for the two Landschaftsverbände+The Ruhr
Area. Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf and their whole lot of museums/art institutions; Düsseldorf/ 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
(white line before green background, symbolizing the river Rhine), Westfalen
(the white horse) and 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. Some connect it with the Germanic rulers Hengist and Horsa.[citation needed] Architecture and building monuments[edit] The state is not known for its castles like other regions in Germany.[17] However, North Rhine- Westphalia
has a high concentration of museums, cultural centres, concert halls and theatres.[17][improper synthesis?] Historic monuments[edit]

Medieval architecture in Aachen

Cölner Hofbräu Früh
Cölner Hofbräu Früh
in Cologne

and Alter Markt in Dortmund

Historical City Hall in Münster

Timber framing in Monschau

Schloss Nordkirchen

Modern architecture[edit]

Art Nouveau Zeche Zollern
Zeche Zollern
in Dortmund

Neuer Zollhof
Neuer Zollhof
in Düsseldorf

Haus Lange and Haus Esters
Haus Lange and Haus Esters
in Krefeld

Langen Foundation
Langen Foundation
in Neuss

Schwebebahn in Wuppertal

MARTa Herford

World Heritage Sites[edit] See also: List of World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
in Europe § Germany The state has Aachen
Cathedral, the Cologne
Cathedral, the Zeche Zollverein in Essen, the Augustusburg Palace in Brühl and the Imperial Abbey of Corvey
Imperial Abbey of Corvey
in Höxter
which are all World Heritage Sites.[17]

Augustusburg and Falkenlust



Zollverein Coal Mine

Imperial Abbey of Corvey


This section needs expansion with: local cuisine for the two Landschaftsverbände+The Ruhr
Area. You can help by adding to it. (April 2011)

See also: List of German dishes Drinks[edit]

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


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, Bonn, Dortmund, Duisburg, Münster, Oberhausen
and Lünen.[17] Other large festivals include Rhenish carnivals, Ruhrtriennale. Every year GamesCom
is hosted in Cologne. It is the largest video game convention in Europe. Music[edit]

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
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, Doro (formerly of Warlock), Grave Digger, Holy Moses, Kreator, Rage, Scanner and Sodom. Also, North Rhine- Westphalia
is home to Kraftwerk, originally a Krautrock band for four years, then later a synth-pop band.

Economy[edit] Main article: Economy of North Rhine-Westphalia

headquarters in 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
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.[18] 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.[19] As of June 2014, the unemployment rate is 8.2%, second highest among all western German states.[20] North Rhine- Westphalia
attracts companies from both Germany
and abroad. In 2009, the state had the most foreign direct investments (FDI) anywhere in Germany.[21] 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[22] in the 2014/15 list by FDi Magazine.[23] 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.[17] Industrial heritage
Industrial heritage
sites are now workplaces for designers, artists and the advertising industry.[17][24] The 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
Bergisches Land
and the Lower Rhine
ground their economy on "Hidden Champions" in various sectors. Education[edit] Main article: Education in North Rhine-Westphalia

RWTH Aachen

RWTH 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.[25] 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[edit]

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

Football[edit] North Rhine- Westphalia
is home to several professional football clubs including: Bundesliga:

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

2. Bundesliga:

Arminia Bielefeld VfL Bochum Fortuna Düsseldorf msv duisburg

Other divisions:

Alemannia Aachen Rot-Weiß Oberhausen Rot-Weiß Essen Fortuna Köln SC Paderborn
07 Sportfreunde Siegen Wuppertaler SV

Borussia Dortmund
and FC Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04
are the most successful teams in the state, with Dortmund
winning 8 German Titles and Schalke winning 7. Borussia Mönchengladbach
have won 5 titles, while 1. FC Köln
1. FC Köln
have won it 3 times. Fortuna Düsseldorf
and Rot-Weiß 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. 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
and Westfalenstadion
in Dortmund, in 2006 they were played at RheinEnergieStadion
in Cologne, Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkichen and Westfalenstadion
in Dortmund. Borussia-Park
in Mönchengladbach, BayArena
in Leverkusen
and Ruhrstadion
in Bochum hosted matches for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. Ice hockey[edit] North Rhine- Westphalia
is home to DEL teams Düsseldorfer EG, Kölner Haie ( Cologne
Sharks), Krefeld
Pinguine ( Krefeld
Penguins) and Iserlohn Roosters. See also[edit]

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Kunststiftung NRW NRW Forum Outline of Germany List of rivers of North Rhine-Westphalia List of lakes in North Rhine-Westphalia


^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 18 July 2016.  ^ http://www.vgrdl.de/VGRdL/tbls/tab.jsp?rev=RV2014&tbl=tab01&lang=de-DE#tab01 ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.  ^ a b c  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). " Rhine
Province". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  ^ a b "History of North Rhine-Westphalia". Government of North Rhine-Westphalia. Retrieved 10 April 2011.  ^ Wagener, Volker (18 November 2009). "North Rhine-Westphalia: an overview". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 26 July 2011.  ^ Tatsachen über Deutschland (2003) Nordrhein-Westfalen, p. 44 ^ Length of borders taken from Statistisches Jahrbuch NRW 2005, 47. Jahrgang, Landesamt für Datenverarbeitung und Statistik Nordrhein-Westfalen, p. 22 ^ [1] 31 December 2014 German Statistical Office. Zensus 2014: Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2014 ^ "Bevölkerung NRW". Landesdatenbank Nordrhein-Westfalen. Landesbetrieb für Information und Technik Nordrhein-Westfalen. Retrieved 26 August 2010. Zahlen sind Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes. Die Zahlen ab 1965 beziehen sich auf die Bevölkerung zum 31. Dezember des jeweiligen Jahres. Bis 1960 Mittlere Jahresbevölkerung. Bis einschließlich 1986 geschätzte Werte. Die Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes basiert ab 1987 auf den Ergebnissen der Volkszählung von 1987. Daten vor 1977 wurden auf den Gebietsstand 1. Juli 1976 umgerechnet  ^ "Religionszugehörigkeit nach Bundesländern in Deutschland – Statista". Statista.  ^ "Membership statistics as of 31 Dec 2015" (PDF).  ^ Markus Hero. "Volkhard Krech: ''Was glauben die Menschen in Nordrhein-Westfalen? Erste Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung über religiöse Pluralität'', Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2006" (PDF). Ruhr-uni-bochum.de. Retrieved 29 October 2012.  ^ Markus Hero. "Lehrstuhl für Religionswissenschaft an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum; Volkhard Krech: ''Religion plural''". Ruhr-uni-bochum.de. Retrieved 29 October 2012.  ^ a b c d e "The Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia". Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia. Retrieved 11 April 2011.  ^ AD.NL (8 August 2016)(dutch)German State fears nuclear disaster ^ a b c d e f "Culture". State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Retrieved 13 April 2011.  ^ Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Mittelstand und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen: Konjunkturindikatoren NRW Archived 13 August 2007 at Archive.is ^ Arbeitskreis Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnungen der Länder: Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnungen der Länder Archived 14 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Statistik der Bundesagentur für Arbeit". statistik.arbeitsagentur.de. Retrieved 16 July 2014.  ^ the Online Editor. "FDI". New European Economy. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2012. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ "London and Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
best investment locations in Europe". FinFacts Ireland. 21 February 2014.  ^ "European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/15". fDiIntelligence.com. London. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.  ^ Staff, Reporter. "Opening times of shops in Germany". www.oeffnungszeiten.com (in German). oeffnungszeiten. Retrieved 23 June 2017.  ^ "innovation.nrw.de: students in NRW by university or college, 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to North Rhine-Westphalia.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for North Rhine-Westphalia.

Official Government Portal The Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia Holidays in NRW Information and resources on the history of Westphalia
on the Web portal "Westphalian History" Guidelines for the integration of the Land Lippe
within the territory of the federal state North-Rhine- Westphalia
of 17 January 1947 North Rhine- Westphalia
images from Cologne
and Duesseldorf to Paderborn
and Muenster Geographic data related to North Rhine- Westphalia
at OpenStreetMap

v t e

States of the Federal Republic of Germany


(since 1952)    Bavaria
(since 1949)    Brandenburg
(since 1990)    Hesse
(since 1949)    Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
(since 1949)    Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
(since 1990)   North Rhine- Westphalia
(since 1949)    Rhineland-Palatinate
(since 1949)    Saarland
(since 1957)    Saxony
(since 1990)    Saxony-Anhalt
(since 1990)    Schleswig-Holstein
(since 1949)    Thuringia
(since 1990)


(since 1990)   Bremen (since 1949)    Hamburg
(since 1949)

Former states

   South Baden
South Baden
(1949–1952)    Württemberg-Baden
(1949–1952)    Württemberg-Hohenzollern

v t e

Urban and rural districts in the state of North Rhine- Westphalia
in Germany

Urban districts

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

Rural districts

Aachen Borken Coesfeld Düren Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis Euskirchen Gütersloh Heinsberg Herford Hochsauerlandkreis Höxter Kleve (Cleves) Lippe Märkischer Kreis Mettmann Minden-Lübbecke Oberbergischer Kreis Olpe Paderborn Recklinghausen Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis Rhein-Erft-Kreis Rhein-Kreis Neuss Rhein-Sieg-Kreis Siegen-Wittgenstein Soest Steinfurt Unna Viersen Warendorf Wesel

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 131339289 LCCN: n79108403 ISNI: 0000 0001 0941 5702 GND: 4042570-8 SUDOC: 026395975 BNF: cb11865122q (data) NDL: 00698131

North Rhine- Westphalia