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Germany, facts and history in brief

Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Münster is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region.
Population: 269.105 (30.06.2003), area 302.83 km².

The University of Münster, founded in 1780, is the fourth biggest in Germany.

In 793 Charlemagne sent out as missionary the Frisian Liudger (later canonized) to convert the Saxons with whom he had been battling, offering as headquarters his recently demolished Frankish stronghold of Mimigernaford ("ford over the Aa river"), at the crossroads of the road from Cologne and the road to Frisia.
Liutger was a product of Utrecht and the York school of Ethelbert, which produced many of the clerics who served in Charlemagne's chancelry.
He built his church and cloister on the right bank of the Aa, on the height called the Horsteberg: it was the monastery ("monasterium") from which Münster derives its name.
In 805 Liudger travelled to Rome to be ordained a bishop, and soon founded a school.
The combination of ford and crossroad, marketplace, episcopal administration center, library and school, established Münster as an important center.

In the Middle Ages Münster was a leading member of the Hanseatic League.
In 1534 the Anabaptists took power in the Münster Rebellion and founded a democratic proto-socialistic state.
The town was recaptured in 1535; the Anabaptists were tortured to death, their dead bodies were exhibited in cages, which still hang from St. Lamberti's steeple.

The signing of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 at Münster and Osnabrück guaranteed the future of the prince-bishop and the diocese; the area was to be exclusively Roman Catholic.

In 1780 the University of Münster was founded.

In 1802 Münster was conquered by Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars.

It became the capital of the Prussian province of Westphalia.

In World War II Münster was mostly destroyed by Allied air raids, but it was rebuilt after the war in an ancient style.

From 1974 onward, the city was the residence of the American artist Moondog, who idolized postwar Germany.

Münster was part of West Germany during the Cold War.

In 2003, Münster hosted the Central European Olympiad in Informatics (CEOI).

In 2004, Münster won the LivCom-Award for Liveable Communities. See the leaflet (.pdf) and the 10-min.-long DivX-coded film: the 48mb-version or the 87mb-version from the official Münster-homepage.


  • Prinzipalmarkt, marketplace in the city centre, with the town hall (14th century)
  • St Paul's Cathedral, 13th century, with an astronomical clock of 1540
  • St Lambert's Church (1375); the cages, which once exhibited the bodies of the Anabaptists, still hang from the steeple
  • Castle, built 1767-87 as residence for the bishop, now the administrative center for the University.
  • Fernmeldeturm
  • Technology Park Muenster
  • University of Münster
External links

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Münster) September 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

Hui Chin and I visited our relations in Singapore and Hungary during 2005.
After some correspondence with the Transrapid (Maglev) office in Lathen, we found out that we could have a test run.
In a mad dash we rushed from Budapest to Lathen.
After admiring and riding on the Transrapid, we slooooowly made our way back to Budapest, taking a few detours to check some interesting places out on the way, like, Münster, Dortmund, Wuppertal, Essen, Möchengladbach, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Koblenz and Dinkelsbühl, just to mention a few.

Hui Chin and I spent some time in Münster while we were travelling around the neighbourhood, like Dortmund, Wüppertal, Essen, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Mönchengladbach and of course Münster.

The city is not half bad. As a matter of fact a bit like bride - something old, something new, something borrowed etc.

I understand after the Allied bombings during WWII, not much of the beautiful old town was left, but was carefully rebuilt much the same as before, for us to admire.

Good thinking, Münster fathers.

You can click on these photos for an enlargement.


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Münster buses

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