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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Ahlen
Map of Germany, position of the city of Ahlen highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 46 '  N , 7 ° 53'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Muenster
Circle : Warendorf
Height : 80 m above sea level NHN
Area : 123.13 km 2
Residents: 52,503 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 426 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 59227, 59229
Primaries : 02382, 02388, 02528
License plate : WAF, BE
Community key : 05 5 70 004

City administration address :

West wall 10 59227 Ahlen
Website :
Mayor : Alexander Berger (independent)
Location of the city of Ahlen in the Warendorf district
Niedersachsen Bielefeld Hamm Kreis Coesfeld Kreis Gütersloh Kreis Soest Kreis Steinfurt Kreis Unna Münster Ahlen Beckum Beelen Drensteinfurt Ennigerloh Everswinkel Oelde Ostbevern Sassenberg Sendenhorst Telgte Wadersloh Warendorfmap
About this picture

The city of Ahlen ( pronunciation ? / I ; Low German Aolen ) is located in the Westphalian Münsterland in the north of North Rhine-Westphalia . She is a medium-sized district town and the largest and most economically important city of Warendorf in Münster Region . Audio file / audio sample

It is not to be confused with the city of Aalen in Baden-Württemberg .


Neighboring communities

Ahlen borders on Sendenhorst , Ennigerloh , Beckum , Lippetal , Hamm and Drensteinfurt .

Districts of Ahlen and the old borders of the city of Ahlen to Neu- and Alt-Ahlen


  • City of Ahlen (core town) with the farmers Borbein, Brockhausen, Ester and Oestrich (area of ​​the former municipality of Altahlen ) and the farmers of Halene and Rosendahl (area of ​​the former municipality of Neuahlen )
  • Dolberg with the farming communities Gemmerich, Guissen, Henneberg, Ostdolberg
  • Front helmet with Tönnishäuschen and the farmers Eickel, Bergeickel, Dorfbauerschaft, Isendorf


Early days

The name of the city is mentioned for the first time around 850 in the Vita Liudgeri  II. Its meaning and the representation of the city's coat of arms with a "winged eel" referring to the name have not been clarified. A settlement approach at a crossing over the Werse is assumed to be the origin of the urban settlement , which became the intersection of two important streets and at the same time was the starting point for a third street ( Hamm –Ahlen– Warendorf , Beckum –Ahlen– Herbern , Ahlen– Münster ). The settlement, which grew slowly in the first few centuries, was formed around an episcopal court. In the shelter of this fortified church, craftsmen and traders initially settled in order to trade with the farmers and residents of the official court. Long-distance trade began in the city in the second half of the 12th century, for example the names of Ahlen merchants appeared in the accounts of Lübeck merchants in the 13th century. The construction of a city ​​wall (1271) with five gate towers also fell during this period . Ahlen was a member of the North German Hanseatic League . The removal of the city fortifications began in 1765 and since 1929 the last remains of them have disappeared.

Avenue at Haus Vorhelm
Church of St. Bartholomew in Ahlen
Marienkirche in Ahlen
Chapel of St. Antonius in Tönnishäuschen
Plaque in memory of the founding of the Center Party

The city seems to have developed rapidly in the 13th century. By 1285 the population had grown so much that a "New Parish" (St. Mary) was founded in addition to the "Old Parish" (St. Bartholomäus). This created an old and a new church game . This development allows the conclusion that Ahlen was one of the 18 largest cities in Westphalia at the time. The growth of the city was based primarily on rural immigration, with a high mortality rate , a lower birth rate than in rural areas and a temporarily high surplus of women . As a result of this immigration, an arable class formed in the Neustadt . The flourishing of the city was stopped in the 14th century by the plague that raged across Europe . In the civil register of 1389 only 63 families were recorded. Not until 1454 did a citizen list again contain 212 families, from which a population of around 1300 is calculated. At that time there were four districts in the city, which were named after the neighboring city ​​gates and were roughly the same size. The different districts were responsible for the defense of the gates and parts of the walls and formed beyond Hudegenossenschaften for Hudenutzung the common market . Around 1454, seven aristocratic families and their servants lived in Ahlen in the bishopric Burgmannshöfe .

Beginning of the modern age

At the beginning of the modern era, a decade-long inheritance dispute broke out over the legendary Mechlin estates in and around Ahlen. The von Mechlin family is first mentioned in 1246 with Konrad von Mechelen. Towards the end of the 15th century, another Konrad von Mechlin, the last of those from Mechlin from this line, died; he left the goods to his mother, Gysela von der Sünger, widowed from Mechelen, née. by Gimpte . The latter sold the goods, whose possessions and rights reached from Ahlen via Vorhelm to Hoetmar and Oelde , in 1491 to Lambert von Oer zu Kakesbeck . There was an inheritance dispute between the von Oer and von Ascheberg families , which was only ended after a bloody feud on May 1, 1528 by a settlement between Berndt von Oer and Gottfried von Harmen zu Horne. Lambert von Oer transferred the Mechlin estates to his son Hermann von Oer in 1519. The Oershof, where the town's local museum is located, still bears witness to this family.

During the same period, the city was decimated by three plague epidemics (1505, 1551 and 1592). The leprosy gathered many people there. In 1571 the mayor and the council felt compelled to build a special leprosy hospital . Devastating city fires (1483, 1668 and 1744) prevented the city from flourishing again.

Witch hunts

From 1574 to 1652 documents from around 20 witch trials have been preserved for the city of Ahlen . The witch hunts began in 1574 with the deaths of four women. In 1615, Peter Kleikamp was accused of being a werewolf , tortured and burned alive at the stake. In 1616, Christian zum Loe, charged with witchcraft, went insane in prison and died. The last known trial took place in 1652 against Anna Sadelers. She was tortured, beheaded, and burned at the stake.

Transfer to Prussia in 1815

When the population was first recorded by the Prussian administration in 1803, 1,854 people were registered. At this point the city fortifications were already ineffective and partially removed due to the changed methods of war. In 1803 the city with the Prince Diocese of Münster fell to Prussia for the first time . With the final transition to Prussia in 1815, a new development began for them, which led to rapid population growth. The farming town , in which only 3,535 people lived in 1871, had become a medium-sized industrial town with 44,203 inhabitants by 1964 . Several technical and economic developments contributed to this, which were of particular importance for the city: In the years 1846/1847 the Cöln-Mindener Railway was built by Ahlen. This gave the city a significant location and mobility advantage over other cities in the vicinity . The construction of the railway itself also contributed temporarily to the revitalization of the city due to the large number of immigrant railway workers, especially from southern Westphalia and the Eifel . as a result, however, social conflicts are also documented. After the completion of the railway line, only a few immigrant workers remained in the city, among them a striking number from the Ravensberger Land .

First industrialization

The first industrialization phase began with the Strontianit mining to 1880 and the reasons for the metalworking industry ( tinsmiths and Verzinnerei one of the brothers Kerkmann, 1863). Above all, the strontianite mining, which only flourished for about ten years, gave the Ahlenern an extremely eventful time, the "Strunz" time. The numerous workers (approx. 650) who had been lured to Ahlen by the mining industry returned mostly to their homeland - again many of them to the Eifel - or found work in the flourishing metalworking industry. By recruiting capable skilled workers from the Rhineland , Saxony , Vogtland , Thuringia , the Harz , Bohemia , Silesia , the Upper Palatinate , Franconia and Upper Bavaria , the metalworking industry succeeded in specializing in the manufacture of enamelled tableware and thus a stamping and Build up the enamel industry that ultimately determined the city's reputation. In 1892 there were five plants and in 1968 there were 20 plants. Most of the work in these “Pöttkes factories” was carried out by workers from the immigrant rural population . In addition to the enamel industry as well as machine and established tool factories, shoe factories and wood processing companies. Due to the relationship with the Eifel that arose from various waves of migration, there was a brisk trade in enamel crockery from the Ahlen factories, which was carried by former migrant workers from the Eifel.

In 1904 the "New Parish" received a new church building in neo-Gothic style. The Marienkirche is still the largest church in Ahlen and, with its almost 75 m high west tower, a landmark of the city. The Romanesque south portal as well as the baptismal font and the plague cross from the Maria Rose monastery are historically significant.

Second industrialization

The second industrialization phase began with the development of the coal deposits on the eastern edge of the Ruhr area by the "Bergwerksgesellschaft Westfalen" and was of decisive importance for the development of the city. The land acquisition for the required land was made in 1907.

Old town hall, today adult education center
Statue of a miner
"Pöttkespresse" near the train station, molding press for making pots
Water tower
Ahlen memorial stele in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in the Third Reich

After the colliery railway was completed in 1909, the actual sinking work began for a double shaft system , which was completed in 1913. At the same time, factory settlements such as the protected colliery settlement Neustadt (also called "colony" or "colliery settlement") were built for the immigrant workers. In the years 1912 and 1913 alone, the city recorded an increase in migration of almost 5,000 people. The workforce at the Westfalen colliery consisted of approx. 1200 employees. Their origins were very broad; 36% of them came from West Germany with a focus on Westphalia, 31% from East Germany and 19% from abroad. Only a small part came from northern, central and southern Germany; the province of Poznan was one of the main regions of origin .

The foreigners were mainly Poles , Czechs , Slovenes , Croats , Hungarians , Italians and Dutch . In addition, 410 prisoners of war were used in mining during the First World War . In the following decades the colliery became an economic magnet for the city; various expansions of their business resulted in further immigration. In 1936 and 1937 a third shaft was built in Dolberg . The gain in migration led to the settlement of a total of 8,298 people from all parts of Germany and 21 other countries by 1939. Among them, the strong group of Poles in particular developed a cultural life of their own.

The rapid and profound changes in the population structure influenced the political life of the city. In Ahlen, which was known as "black" until the beginning of the "coal era" and where an important founding meeting of the German Center Party took place in 1870 , the Social Democrats received a third of all votes in the local elections in 1919 . As a result of the fragmentation of the bourgeois parties and after the emergence of the Communist Party, the Center Party - but also the Social Democrats - quickly lost influence. In 1921 Max Reimann , who worked as a miner at the Ahlen colliery and tried out in political work, took over the leadership of the local KPD . Due to the poor social situation of the miners, there were frequent strikes and demonstrations during this period . This was not without consequences for the political balance of power in the city. In 1929, the Communists moved up to first place in the city ​​council with 24.4% of the vote.

National Socialism and World War II

The inscription on the memorial stele on the site of the former Jewish school is intended to bear a striking testimony to the time of National Socialism . This is:

"The National Socialist racial madness led to the night of November 9-10, 1938, which the National Socialists called" Reichskristallnacht "."

That night, the synagogue in Ahlen was desecrated by the National Socialists and set on fire. People were beaten, their homes destroyed, their businesses smashed. The Jew Siegmund Spiegel (62 y.) Was murdered that night on Wilhelmstrasse; he was chased to death by the Nazi thugs. A memorial plaque near the Heimatmuseum at Wilhelmstrasse 14 commemorates this crime. The square in front of the local history museum was named after Siegmund Spiegel.

After the pogrom night in November 1938 , many mayors in Germany reported their city as "Jew-free"; but only a year later, on November 14, 1939, did the negotiator - chaired by First Alderman Heinert - announce at the “meeting of the councilors of the city of Ahlen” under “Point 3: Jewish question”, “that the Jews had now left Ahlen , except for the two Jewish women Ms. U… and Ms. N… ”.

In his publication "The road to Auschwitz began in Ahlen" - Forgotten traces of the Jewish community in a Westphalian city , the author H.-W. Gummersbach says: “The last Jewish woman was arrested in Ahlen in September 1944” and adds: “This letter tells of the ordeal of a Jewish woman from Ahlen who was married to a doctor from Ahlen. She had not left Ahlen following the instructions of the city tour in November 1939, but stayed with her family. Grete U. was finally arrested in September 1944 and was only able to save herself from deportation through an adventurous escape. ” Some people escaped persecution, few survived the Holocaust, most became victims of genocide .

In the war year 1943, Ahlen was transformed into a hospital town; at the end of the war it was occupied with 4,000 wounded in 1,188 beds and 280 emergency beds. The largest hospital was located in the building of the St. Michael monastery, today the city's episcopal high school, which had been converted into a hospital from 1942. With the rise of the air war, many bombed-out people sought protection in undestroyed small towns and rural communities. As part of this aid, Ahlen became a sponsor city for Gelsenkirchen and Aachen . On September 9, 1944, a total of 1,461 evacuees entered the city in large transports. But Ahlen itself suffered losses from the war: almost 300 people died in the city in 45 air raids since June 1940. The worst air raid occurred on March 23, 1944, when around 1,000 bombs were dropped on the site of the colliery and the adjacent housing estate of the colliery workers. 193 people were killed in the attack, 250 others were injured and around 600 lost their homes. Approximately 5% of the city was destroyed by the end of the war, with the area of ​​the miners' colony being the most common target of attacks. 1,200 Ahlen residents died on various war fronts during World War II, 295 died in air raids.

The Oberfeldarzt Paul Rosenbaum handed Ahlen , the first city in Germany to be declared an open city , on March 31, 1945 without a fight to American troops of the 2nd US Armored Division under Brigadier General Sidney Hinds (1900-1991). Previously, members of the Volkssturm who had already dug defensive trenches around Ahlen had been expelled from the city and anti-tank barriers had been pulled down. As a thank you for this courageous commitment, which prevented further destruction, a central square was named after Paul Rosenbaum.

As a result of the Second World War , the colliery's permanent workforce fell by 27%, while the total workforce rose by 36%. The reason for this was the exchange of German miners who were called up for military service for prisoners of war and civilian deportees (see deportation ) who were housed in camps for foreigners on the outskirts. At the end of the war there were 5,971 foreign workers in 26 camps in Ahlen . Until the forced laborers and prisoners were repatriated in autumn 1945, there were numerous acts of revenge against the civilian population. On the other hand, former forced laborers also arranged that a pot manufacturer in the city was no longer used by the occupiers for forced labor, because he had always supplied the forced laborers working in his factory with (strictly forbidden) food specials.

After the Second World War

In the winter of 1946/47 the zone committee of the CDU for the British zone met in the Ahlen monastery of St. Michael (today Episcopal Gymnasium) to discuss the party's programmatic orientation. In connection with this were important personal decisions for the formation of a new political elite in Germany ( Konrad Adenauer - Jakob Kaiser ). It was probably more a coincidence than a conscious connection to political traditions in the city ( center party ) that it was precisely the city of Ahlen, with whose name this program is linked. Nevertheless, the conference building itself cannot be interpreted without alluding to the content of the program.

Episcopal Gymnasium St. Michael

At its meeting in Ahlen from February 1 to 3, 1947, the Zone Committee issued the following programmatic declaration (introduction):

“The capitalist economic system has not done justice to the state and social vital interests of the German people. After the terrible political, economic and social collapse as a result of criminal power politics, only a fundamental reorganization can take place. The content and goal of this social and economic reorganization can no longer be the capitalist striving for profit and power, but only the well-being of our people. Through a public service order the German people to an economic and social constitution obtained which corresponds to the law and the dignity of man, is the spiritual and material development of our people, and the internal and external peace assured. "

On February 3, 1997, the importance of the Ahlen program for today's CDU was honored 50 years apart in a celebration at the place of origin by the CDU General Secretary Peter Hintze as follows (excerpt):

“It is difficult to remember the first days of February 1947 when the men of the CDU zone committee of the British zone traveled to Ahlen. It was a disaster winter, the Rhine was covered with an ice sheet for 40 kilometers. the food supply was in an extremely critical situation. The people froze and starved. In the Ruhr area , the daily food rations sank to 700 to 800 calories [sic.]. St. Michael in Ahlen was chosen as the conference location not least because the conference rooms could be heated here - albeit with great effort - and the conference participants could be catered for. The Sisters of St. Michael used all their organizational skills to give the meeting a foundation. In the material and moral landscape of ruins left by the Nazi dictatorship , women and men set to work to establish a new liberal order that they developed from the Christian understanding of man. In the first program of the CDU in the British zone, the Neheim-Hüsten program of March 1, 1946, this idea is formulated in all clarity: The Christian worldview alone guarantees law , order, human dignity and freedom of the person and thus a true democracy that may not be limited to the form of the state , but should support and permeate the life of the individual as well as that of the people and the peoples. The idea of historical importance of the Ahlen program lies in the formulation of an economic order that beyond capitalism and socialism a third way was looking for. The moral significance of the Ahlen program is the up to the present day valid finding that the dignity of man in the economy reflect needs. The guiding principle of the Ahlen program is therefore of unbroken topicality: The economy has to serve the development of the creative forces of people and the community . "

However, life in the city was determined by other events: from November 5, 1945 to August 15, 1946, Ahlen was a reception and transit camp for what was then the Beckum district. During this time, 70 refugee transports reached the city. By 1950 the city took in around 4,000 expellees in several large batches, especially Silesians and East Prussia. The immigration of refugees became the most important factor for the internal and external structural change alongside the colliery. The existing industrial companies were able to significantly increase their workforce and new companies emerged from the initiative of the refugees, which used existing niches in the economic occupation.

With the improvement of the economic situation at the end of the 1950s, there was also extensive construction work. In the south of the city an extensive "East German Quarter" was created, in which the street names indicate the origin of the residents. The construction activity was shaped by the excavation work on shaft V of the Westphalia colliery (1953–1956), the construction of the Westphalia barracks (1958–1961) and the construction of communal and church buildings (municipal high school, indoor swimming pool, Christ Church, Paulus Church). The German economic miracle also led to an oversupply of jobs in Ahlen. Through the mediation of state institutions and through the company's own initiatives, a total of around 1,000 “ guest workers ” came to Ahlen between 1960 and 1965 . The number of inhabitants rose from 1945 (29,322) to 1964 to 44,203. With the incorporation of the Ahlen office, the population of 50,000 was exceeded in 1969.

The Ahlen football club LR Ahlen, which was created in 1996 from the merger of two small clubs, played in the 2nd Bundesliga from 2000 to 2006 . After relegation, the association was renamed Rot Weiss Ahlen at an extraordinary general meeting on May 31, 2006 - due to the withdrawal of the main sponsor . In 1999 the handball players of the Ahlener SG made it to the 2nd Bundesliga , in the 2005/06 season the handball players took second place in the table and failed in their relegation to the 1st Bundesliga.

Ahlen is known for the Westphalia colliery , which was shut down in 2000.


The municipalities of the Ahlen Office (Altahlen, Dolberg and Neuahlen) were incorporated on July 1, 1969. On January 1, 1975, the Vorhelm (with Tönnishäuschen) was added.

Population development

Population development of Ahlen.svgPopulation development of Ahlen - from 1871
Population development of Ahlen according to the data in the adjacent table; above from 1214 to 2017, below a section from 1871

With almost 55,000 inhabitants, Ahlen is the most populous city in the Warendorf district. 10.5% of the population are foreigners (as of December 31, 2009), whose share of the population in Ahlen is significantly higher than the German average of 8.8%. By far the largest foreign ethnic group are the Turks , and there are also significant numbers of immigrants from the Balkans, the former Eastern Bloc states and Russia . 27.3% have a migration background (as of December 31, 2009). Ahlen is one of the 15 cities in North Rhine-Westphalia with the highest immigration rate. This is mainly due to the recruitment of Turkish workers as workers in the Westphalia mine , many of whom settled permanently in Ahlen and their families followed. 18.1% of the Ahlen population are under 15 years old - a value that also deviates significantly from the national German average of 8.2% and is due to the large number of children in families with a migration background. The unemployment rate is relatively low at 5.4%.

year Residents
1214 1,200
1400 1,300
1803 2,000
1840 2,400
1850 3,000
1871 3,500
1885 4,700
1900 6,500
1905 8,100
1910 10,700
year Residents
1913 15,200
1914 17,835
1933 25,000
1938 26,000
1944 29,200
1961 40,485
1964 44,200
1969 50,864
1970 49,716
1974 51,148
year Residents
1975 54,889
1980 54,000
1985 52,400
1988 52,700
1992 54,696
2010 53,414
2012 51,877
2016 52.905
2017 52,530
2018 53,500


City council

The Ahlen City Council was last elected on May 25, 2014. Turnout: 48.2%.

Political party Share of votes Seats
CDU 36.75% (- 2.96) 16 (- 1)
SPD 34.64% (+ 3.18) 15th (+ 1)
FWG 1 7.21% (- 2.97) 3 (- 1)
FDP 4.38% (- 1.95) 2 (- 1)
GREEN 5.88% (- 0.17) 3 (± 0)
LEFT 4.80% (- 0.21) 2 (± 0)
BMA 2 6.34% (+ 6.34) 3 (+ 3)

1 Free Voters Community Ahlen e. V.   2 Bourgeois middle Ahlen

coat of arms

Blazon : “In red a gold crowned, inwardly curved, seven-fold winged silver eel. Above the coat of arms a three-tower wall crown with a gate. ”The oldest seal shows the pious eel in the city gate, above it Saint Bartholomew . This saint is the patron saint of Ahlen. The seal has appeared since the 13th century: Certificate v. May 21, 1255 - "The city of Ahlen enters into a state of peace with the city of Cologne". Since the 17th century, only the eel has been represented, both in the city coat of arms and in the seal. In its current form, the coat of arms was awarded by the Prussian state on December 5, 1910.

Twin cities

There are city ​​partnerships with the following cities:

Ahlen is a member of the New Hanseatic League .


List of mayors of Ahlens since 1809


  • 1809–1813 Bernard Heinrich Hahues
  • 1813–1817 Bernard Anton von Hatzfeld
  • 1817–1822 Heinrich Anton Nacke
  • 1823–1856 Franz Wächter
  • 1857–1863 Theodor von Cloedt
  • 1863–1869 Wilhelm Diederich
  • 1869–1870 Ludwig Fry
  • 1870–1898 Johann Heinrich Hagemann
  • 1898–1923 Eduard Corneli
  • 1923–1934 Georg Rasche
  • 1934–1937 Franz Hackethal
  • 1938–1945 Otto Jansen
  • 1945–1946 Wilhelm Kiwit

Voluntary 1946–1996

  • 1946–1946 Friedrich Niemeyer
  • 1946–1948 Hermann Dreisilker (Waldmann)
  • 1948–1950 Hugo Stoffers (SPD)
  • 1951–1957 Heinz Lenfert (SPD)
  • 1957–1969 Heinrich Linnemann (SPD)
  • 1969–1984 Herbert Faust (CDU)
  • 1984–1996 Horst Jaunich (SPD)

Full-time since 1996

In the local elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2015 , Alexander Berger (non-party candidate for the CDU and FDP) was elected to succeed Benedikt Ruhmöller in the runoff election with 50.9% of the votes.

City Directors

  • 1945–1945 Wilhelm Buschhoff (mayor appointed by the English occupation in the role of city director)
  • 1946–1951 Wilhelm Kiwit
  • 1951–1963 Hugo Stoffers
  • 1963–1975 Johannes Baldauf
  • 1975–1985 Walter Priesnitz
  • 1985–1995 Gerd Willamowski

economy & Administration and Management


The best-known companies in Ahlen include Franz Kaldewei GmbH & Co. KG , one of the largest bathtub manufacturers in the world, and LR Health & Beauty Systems , a German consumer goods company that was sold to the two investor groups Quadriga Capital and Bregal Capital in 2012. The Winkelmann Group with over 2,300 employees is also one of the well-known companies in the region .

armed forces

The Westfalen barracks are located in the south-west of Ahlen on Hammer Straße . This Bundeswehr property was home to the 19 Panzer Grenadier Brigade from 1959 to 2004 and to the 192 Panzer Grenadier Battalion with its six companies until November 2006 . After its dissolution, the medical regiment 22 was relocated from neighboring Hamm to the Ahlen site. In October 2011 it became known that the medical regiment 22 will be dissolved as part of the Bundeswehr reform. Instead, Recruit Company 3 and Reconnaissance Battalion 7 will be stationed in the Westfalen barracks. This increases the number of posts from 760 to 860.

Other Bundeswehr properties in the area of ​​the city of Ahlen are the former Grasskamp mobilization base (today only equipment storage) and the X-Ray field camp (formerly StOMunNdlg Oestrich), which is used to train soldiers for deployment abroad.


Road traffic

There are motorway connections on the A 2 around 10 km east and south-east of Ahlen and on the A 1 around 20 km west of Ahlen. The federal highway 58 runs in an east-west direction through the city area.

Bicycle traffic

Ahlen is connected to the tourist cycle route 100-Schlösser-Route .

Air traffic

In the north of the city, the local Agrarflug Helilift GmbH & Co. KG operates the Ahlen Nord helicopter landing pad . Dortmund and Münster / Osnabrück airports are 45 and 65 km away, respectively.

Rail transport

Entrance building of the station

The Ahlen (Westphalia) Station is located on the Hamm-Minden railway , a section of the Cologne-Minden railway trunk route . The RE  6Westfalen-ExpressDüsseldorf - Dortmund - Hamm - Bielefeld - Minden (operator: DB Regio NRW ) and the RB  69Ems-Börde-BahnMünster -Hamm-Bielefeld (operator: eurobahn ) stop here every hour. so that there is a half-hourly rhythm in the direction of Hamm and Bielefeld.

Operation of the stop in the Vorhelm district ended at the end of May 1988.

Bus transport

Six city ​​bus routes operate within the city on weekdays . Regional buses and a night bus line that only runs on weekends and before public holidays connect Ahlen with Münster. The inner-city lines only run until around 6.30 p.m. the farmers are only approached until 1:15 p.m.


(Source: Website of the city of Ahlen)

Elementary schools

  • Albert Schweitzer School
  • Augustin-Wibbelt-School in the OT pre-helmet
  • Barbara School
  • Diesterweg School
  • Don Bosco School
  • Lamberti school in the OT Dolberg
  • Mammoth School (former Freiligrath and Ludgeri School)
  • Marienschule
  • Martin School
  • Paul Gerhardt School

Secondary schools

  • GHS Bodelschwinghschule (closed since 2014)
  • Overberg School

secondary school

  • Municipal secondary school Ahlen (until 2017)

High schools

  • St. Michael high school
  • Ahlen municipal high school

comprehensive school

Secondary school

  • Ahlen municipal secondary school

special school

  • Rainbow school; since 2015 in cooperation with the Astrid Lindgren School in Lüdinghausen . The funding focus is on emotional and social development.
  • Johanna Rose School; Special school with a focus on learning. The school was closed in 2016 because the number of students did not comply with the changed regulations.

Vocational schools

  • Vocational college St. Michael Ahlen
  • Specialized schools for curative education care of the St. Vincenz Society
  • Specialist seminar for care for the elderly, non-profit educational center GmbH
  • Nursing school in the St. Franziskus Hospital Ahlen vocational college
  • Europaschule Berufskolleg Ahlen
  • European Academy of Jewelers, Gold- and Silversmiths, FBZ Ahlen



  • St. Franziskus Hospital (basic care)
  • St. Franziskus Children's Clinic (basic care, perinatal focus)
  • St. Rochus Hospital (day clinic and senior day clinic for psychiatry in Ahlen)

Culture and sights


Catholic parish church of St. Bartholomew

The Catholic parish church of St. Bartholomew was founded in the 9th century and is one of the oldest baptismal churches in the Münsterland . The existing building, which was probably built around 1480, is a late Gothic hall church with four bays and a polygonal choir. From the previous Romanesque building were u. a. Remnants of the transept used in the south wall. The west tower with the baroque hood was rebuilt after collapse in 1815-1819. Among the equipment pieces, the 1,512 designated projects tabernacle of Berndt Bunickmann forth. An epitaph adorned with a coat of arms was created in 1724.

Catholic parish church of St. Marien

The Catholic parish church of St. Marien was founded around 1285. In the years 1902–1904, the current neo-Gothic hall was built by master builder Ludwig Becker from Mainz on the site of an older building . An early Gothic portal was used again on the south side. The font, which dates back to the early 16th century and has a rich tracery structure, was also taken over from the previous building . The double Madonna in the halo is likely to come from this time .

Residential buildings

In the city fires of 1668 and 1744, a large part of the older building fabric in the city center was destroyed. Markt 13 , a simple half-timbered building with a mansard roof, dates from the time of the reconstruction . It is likely to have been built in the second half of the 18th century. Another historic building is the listed Haus Pustekrey .


The Bischopinkhof (Freiheit 2), also known as Haus Geisthövel, is one of the former seven Burgmannshöfen , which now serves as a restaurant. It is a two-storey half-timbered building with a hipped roof , plastered on the front , which was probably built in the second half of the 17th century. The farm was originally owned by the knightly family to and from Ahlen and came by marriage to the family of Bischopinck to mind and Pustekrey, Erbmänner to Munster and Burg men Ahlen. On the grounds of Oers Hof (Wilhelmstrasse 12) there is a simple half-timbered hallway with a hall with a basement, the core of which is said to have been built in the 16th century. The headbands formerly on the eaves side were probably removed during the radical renovation in the 19th century. The oldest secular building in the city center is now used as a local museum.

see also: List of architectural monuments in Ahlen


Local museum

The local history museum offers the opportunity to get to know the history of Ahlen and its surroundings. The focus is on agriculture and life on the farms, mining, which has shaped the image of the city for decades, as well as the city's history and archeology .

Art museum

Ahlen Art Museum

The Ahlen Art Museum , which was opened in October 1993, presents the art of the 20th century in regularly changing exhibitions. The spectrum of the exhibitions ranges from classic modern art to modern contemporary art. The city owes the establishment of the museum to a foundation of the Ahlen entrepreneur Theodor F. Leifeld, who died in September 2005.

Museum in the goldsmith's house

The museum in the goldsmith's house , opened in 1984, shows historical instruments for measuring time such as elementary clocks, sundials, fire clocks, water clocks and mechanical clocks from 1585. A second focus is on religious objects from Christianity and other world religions. The exhibits include:

  • Christian art from over a millennium
  • Sacred goldsmithing and objects of popular piety
  • Jewish cult implements from domestic life and the synagogue
  • Buddhist treasures, ritual objects and sculptures
  • Exhibits from the gods of Hinduism
  • Items from the religious life of Muslims (under construction)

The museum in the Ahlen goldsmith's house is one of the few interreligious museums in Europe.

Fritz Winter House

Fritz Winter House

The Fritz-Winter-Haus pays tribute to the Bauhaus student and one of the most important painters of the post-war period. Fritz Winter himself and his niece founded the Fritz Winter House in 1975 in the rooms of his parents' house in Ahlen. The concept of the exhibitions follows the legacy of Winter in the presentation of predominantly non-representational art.


Art Association Ahlen

The "KunstVerein Ahlen (KVA)" has existed since 1988 and sees itself as a forum for contemporary, young art. Activities include three to five exhibitions a year. With various installation projects such as the art track, the KVA has contributed to the artistic examination of public space. The KunstVerein also offers visits to exhibitions and studios as well as talks with artists. In addition, the mediation work of the KunstVerein made further projects possible by artists. The annual editions in the form of graphics, sculptures and drawings, each in a limited edition, offer the opportunity to acquire works of art at a reasonable price to build up or add to your own collection.

Initiative Bürgerzentrum Schuhfabrik e. V.

The association “Initiative Bürgerzentrum Schuhfabrik e. V. ”has been running Ahlen's sociocultural communication center since 1989. The aim is to create a house“ for everyone ”, without age restrictions and without national or religious restrictions. The community center Schuhfabrik is the point of contact for questions relating to the integration of migrants, refugee aid, youth work, social networking and educational work, and the promotion of culture. Initiatives, associations and groups can use rooms in the shoe factory for meetings or events. The shoe factory's gastronomy is also a communication space for many residents of Ahlen. On average, the shoe factory hosts more than 100 events annually, from amateur theater performances to satirical readings to concerts and dance events. The focus is on offering a varied professional program and at the same time promoting the next generation.

movie theater

The cinema in Ahlen

After the old Ahlen cinema was closed in May 2000, the new "CinemAhlen" opened on December 1, 2005. The stage in the largest of the four halls is also suitable for cabaret and theater performances .


Most of the archive of the city of Ahlen is located in the Warendorf district archive . The holdings from the middle of the 18th century and earlier are in the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen, Westphalia department .


The city of Ahlen has two important sports venues: the Wersestadion , a football stadium built shortly after the Second World War and modernized and expanded in 1997, and since 1983 the Sportpark Nord , which has hosted numerous national, national and local championships and competitions in various sports, especially athletics , is.


  • TG-Ahlen 1897 e. V. Badminton


  • DJK Forward Ahlen Baskets
  • ASK Ahlen Baskets


  • BSK 27 Ahlen,



  • DSC Ahlen, darts team in the 2nd division of the NWDV.



  • Canoe Association Ahlen e. V.


  • LG Ahlen


  • Pétanque Club La Différence Ahlen e. V.


  • Cycling friends 67 e. V. Ahlen

Equestrian sport

  • Reit- und Fahrverein Ahlen e. V.


  • Schachverein Ahlen 1954 e. V.


  • Ahlener Sportgemeinschaft, water sports department: successful in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe district; Participation up to NRW championships and German championships.


  • Skiclub Ahlen 1960 e. V.


  • TC BW 23 Ahlen
  • Ahlener TC 75
  • TC Dolberg
  • TuS Westfalia fore helmet

Table tennis

  • DJK Forward Ahlen
  • Ahlener SG
  • SV Eintracht Dolberg
  • Tus Westfalia fore helmet

do gymnastics

  • TV Unity Ahlen 1919 e. V.


  • Ahlener SG
  • DJK Forward Ahlen


sons and daughters of the town

People of contemporary history who were born in Ahlen (including the districts that are now part of Ahlen):

Other personalities who grew up, live or worked in Ahlen

  • In 1880, Carl Geringhoff founded the company Carl Geringhoff GmbH & Co. KG , which operates under its current name .
  • Franz Dahlke , (* 1893 in Niekosken, † 1946 in Ahlen), music teacher, composer, founder of the Franz Dahlke Choir
  • Johnny de Graaf (born March 11, 1894 in Nordenham, † December 2, 1980 in Brockville, Ontario, Canada), death sentence for sailor mutiny towards the end of the First World War, first activist and founder of the KPD in Ahlen, officer in the British Army in World War II
  • Walter Küchenmeister (* 1897 in Waldheim in Saxony, executed in 1943 in Berlin-Plötzensee), resistance fighter against National Socialism
  • Max Reimann (* 1898 in Elbing, † 1977 in Düsseldorf), politician, resistance fighter, KPD chairman, 1948/49 member of the Parliamentary Council
  • Paul Rosenbaum , chief medical officer during the Second World War, handed Ahlen over to the Americans without a fight
  • Fritz Winter (* 1905 in Altenbögge, † 1976 in Herrsching), painter, worked at the beginning of his career at the Westphalia colliery
  • Kurt Gruber , (born May 13, 1912 in Hövel, today Hamm (Westphalia), Bockum-Hövel district, † March 20, 1945 near Schwege, Osnabrück district), resistance fighter against National Socialism
  • Marga Spiegel (* 1912, † 2014 in Münster), Holocaust survivor, described her survival during the Nazi era in her book Savior in the Night , which was filmed in 2009
  • Werner Fischer (* 1930 in Freiburg), artist, art collector, goldsmith, gemologist
  • Dieter Massin (* 1940 in Teschen), sports functionary, author, educator
  • Gerd Willamowski (* 1944 in Grundensee, East Prussia), former City Director of Ahlen, former Association Director of the Ruhr Area Municipal Association
  • Andreas Dombret (* 1960 in Des Moines, USA), board member of the Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Rolf Aldag (* 1968 in Beckum), cyclist
  • Adrian Topol (* 1981 in Zabrze , Poland), entrepreneur and actor

Honorary citizen

(Source: honorary citizen of the city of Ahlen)


Note: Volume 8 of the sources and research on the history of the city of Ahlen , published in 2005, contains the current overview of publications on / about the history of the city of Ahlen .

  • Sources and research on the history of the city of Ahlen - self-published by the city of Ahlen:
    • Volume 1: The documents of the city archive and the Maria Rosa monastery in Ahlen (1966) - Wilhelm Kohl;
    • Volume 2: Ahlen in Westphalia - Settlement and population of an industrial medium-sized town with particular importance of the inner-city structure (1968) - Alois Mayr;
    • Volume 3: Citizens' Book and Protocol Books of the City of Ahlen (1970) - with a contribution by Heinz Stoob - Anna Luise Kohl;
    • Volume 4: Ahlen in Westphalia - geology and mining in the Ahlen area (1975) - with an introduction by Carl Hahne, Bochum - Hans Baron, Ahlen;
    • Volume 5: Documents and registers on the history of the parish churches of the city of Ahlen (1976) - Wilhelm Kohl;
    • Volume 6: The geographical structure of the Ahlen area in the early Middle Ages - Wilfried Schoop / Sectorial Agriculture in Ahlen (Westphalia) - Klaus-Peter Hackenberg (1977);
    • Volume 7: History of seals and coats of arms of the city of Ahlen (1980) - Ludger Schulte;
    • Volume 8: Bibliography on the culture and history of the city of Ahlen (Westphalia) (2005) - Jürgen Rheker, Birgit Schlueter, Sebastian Klaes, Bernard Sanders;
    • Volume 9: Seizure of power and conformity in Ahlen 1930–1934 (1987) - Ludger Grevelhörster;
    • Volume 10: Ahlen 1870-1914; The industrialization of an arable town in the Münsterland (1989) - Wolfgang Muth.
  • The Ahlener Bürgererschützen in the past and present - Bürgererschützenverein Ahlen eV in the anniversary year 2013, Volume 2, with articles by Bernd Schulze Beerhorst, Doris Schulze Beerhorst, Manfred Schmolke, Oliver Rasfeld, Marcel Damberg, Dirk Rösner, Christian Wolff, Jürgen Rheker.
  • 150 years of the Evangelical Church Community of Ahlen. Publication series of the VHS Geschichtswerkstatt, Volume 1. VHS Geschichtswerkstatt (Ed.), Anno-Verlag, Rheinberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-939256-08-3 .
  • Home book of the city of Ahlen (1929) - SGV Heimatverein Ahlen e. V. (The only “complete work” published so far on the history of the city of Ahlen).
  • The winged eel - homeland from Ahlen – Vorhelm – Dolberg , Heimatförderkreis für Westfälische Tradition e. V., previously published volumes 1–38 (1982–2019), since 2012 with volume 31 in Anno-Verlag , Ahlen.
  • Ahlen then and now - city views in the course of the decades , picture book by Christian Wolff and text part: Small history of the city of Ahlen by Jürgen Rheker, Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2008, ISBN 978-3-402-12762-9 , 176 pages.
  • Ahlen - Gestern und heute , illustrated book and texts by Christian Wolff, Anno-Verlag, Ahlen 2016, ISBN 978-3-939256-33-5 .
  • Jens Dünhölter, Dierk Hartleb: Ahlen - Stadtbilder , Stadt-Bild-Verlag Leipzig 2008, ISBN 978-3-937126-52-4 .
  • Dieter Massin , Mechthild Massin: Du mein Ahlen - a lively and lovably lively city on the Werse. Anno-Verlag, Ahlen 2017, ISBN 978-3-939256-73-1
  • Dieter Massin, Mechthild Massin: Ahlen trailblazing - 50 streets, paths and squares: portraits and stories. Anno-Verlag, Rheinberg 2013, ISBN 978-3-939256-17-5 .
  • Mechthild Massin, Frank Krümmer: Ahlen full to the brim - Ahlen children discover their city , Ahha-Verlag, Ahlen 2007, ISBN 978-3-940239-00-6 .
  • Jürgen Rheker: History of the Ahlen town halls - on the occasion of the exhibition "100 years town hall on the market", Ahlen 2006.
  • Jürgen Rheker: The gallery of the mayors in the town hall of Ahlen 1809-1996. Published by City of Ahlen / Westf., 1999, ISBN 3-9806862-0-5 .
  • Christiane von Rackow: Effects of the industrial age using the example of strontianite mining around Ahlen in Westphalia. Ahlen 1987.
  • Uwe Rennspieß: Rise of National Socialism - A comparative local study of the mining towns of Ahlen and Kamen i. W. Klartextverlag, Essen 1993, ISBN 3-88474-088-1 .
  • Michael Huhn: A very special kind - Kolonie und Bergwerk Westfalen: Life and work in Ahlen after 1945. Klartextverlag, Essen 1997, ISBN 3-88474-645-6 .
  • H. Kemper: Traces of the Past - Archeology in Ahlen. Archaeological working group in the Heimat-Förderkreis für Westfälische Tradition e. V. Ahlen, 1992.
  • Hans van Ooyen , Jürgen Betz: Life in front of the Pütt - text and pictures from a workers' settlement. Published by City of Ahlen / Westf., Klartextverlag, Essen 1988, ISBN 3-88474-329-5 .
  • Uwe Rennspieß: Beyond the railway - history of the Ahlen miners' colony and the Westphalia colliery. Klartextverlag, Essen 1989, ISBN 3-88474-340-6 .
  • Glückauf Foundation: Zeche Westfalen - A century of hard coal mining in Ahlen. Klartext Verlag, Essen 2000, ISBN 3-88474-891-2 .
  • City map Ahlen. Grösschen, Dortmund / Altenbeken 1975 (Heinz Stoob, Westfälischer Städteatlas, Volume I; 1st Part, ISBN 3-8087-0202-8 ), ISBN 3-89115-328-7 .

Individual works on the history of "witches and witch persecution"

  • Wilhelm Schulte: Witches and witch persecution , in: Heimatbuch der Stadt Ahlen, Ahlen 1929, p. 77. Reprint of an article from: Beckumer Kreis-Kalender, 1925, p. 26–34.
  • On the history of belief in witches and the witch trials, primarily in the former prince-bishopric of Münster , trial files against Peter Kleikamp from Ahlen, by Bernhard Niehues, Münster 1875, pp. 77-96.
  • History of the witch trials , by Soldan-Heppe, revised and edited by Max Bauer, Vol. 2, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1972 (unchanged reprint of the 3rd edition, Munich 1912), p. 38.
  • Elmar M. Lorey : Henrich the Werewolf - A story from the time of the witch trials with documents and analyzes , Anabas-Verlag, 1998, p. 243 f.

Web links

Commons : Ahlen  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Population of the municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia on December 31, 2019 - update of the population based on the census of May 9, 2011. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), accessed on June 17, 2020 .  ( Help on this )
  2. Names of the victims of the witch trials / witch persecution in Ahlen (PDF; 21 kB), accessed on May 9, 2016.
  3. The bell: pursued as a magician .
  4. ^ Alois Mayr: Ahlen in Westphalia. Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1968, p. 36.
  5. ^ Ahlen 1936 to 1946 ( Memento from January 23, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Martin Bünermann: The communities of the first reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1970, p. 95 .
  7. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 312 .
  8. a b Social Report Values ​​- Politics - Participation of the City of Ahlen  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 4.6 MB)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  9. epd / sip: Statistics: No EU country has more foreigners than Germany. In: . September 8, 2010, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  10. State Returning Officer: Local elections 2014
  11. ^ Election results on the city's website ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  12. Coat of arms of the city of Ahlen on ( Memento from January 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  13. Partner cities Ahlens  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  14. The Mayor's Gallery in Ahlen Town Hall 1809–1996, by Jürgen Rheker.
  15. ^ Münsterland eV: Cycling in Ahlen | Münsterland eV Tourism. Retrieved June 9, 2017 .
  16. ^ Israel Mossad: 120 years Vorhelm Bahnhof. ( Memento from December 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Ahlen-Vorhelm, May 28, 2008
  17. ^ Schools on the website of the city of Ahlen, accessed on December 5, 2017
  18. ^ RS Rose, Gordon D. Scott: Johnny: A Spy's Life. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009, ISBN 0-271-03569-2 , 512 pages on Google Books
  19. List of honorary citizens on the homepage of the city of Ahlen