Continued from page 1
historic Rathaus (right) dates to the 14th Century.
Münster history and background
Münster is a city of 280,000 in North Rhine-Westphalia, not far
from Germany's border with the Netherlands. The city traces its history back to
793 A.D., when a monastery was founded in the area during the time of Emperor
Charlemagne. Münster was granted the status of a civitas (city) in 805,
and by 1494 it was associated with the Hanseatic League. In the 16th Century, it
was ruled by Anabaptists
but became a Catholic city again during the Counter-Reformation.
Münster's unofficial motto, "the city of the Westphalian
peace," pays homage to its role in ending the
Thirty Years War
in the 17th Century. Together with nearby Osnabrück, Münster hosted the
negotiations that brought that religious and political conflict to an end. You
can visit the Friedensaal, or "Hall of Peace," in the city's old Rathaus
(see photo above) to see where the negotiations took place.
In World War II, 90% of the buildings in the Altstadt were
destroyed by Allied bombing. After the war, the city government decided to
rebuild the city on the medieval town plan. Today's Altstadt, or old town, is an
attractive blend of repaired or restored old buildings and modern structures
that fit into the winding, twisting medieval streetscape. Perhaps most
impressive of all, there's nothing museum-like or Disneyesque about Münster's
town center: It's a lively place where you can visit historic churches, dine in
ancient restaurants, or shop for anything from English books to German baked
goods to Laura Ashley dresses and Armani shirts.
For more information about Münster's history, see the
from Münster Information
(a.k.a. Münster Marketing).
Münster sightseeing and tours
Photo: Presseamt Stadt Münster
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