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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Dortmund Map of Germany, location of the city of Dortmund highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 31 '  N , 7 ° 28'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Arnsberg
Height : 86 m above sea level NHN
Area : 280.71 km 2
Residents: 588,250 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 2096 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 44135-44388
Primaries : 0231, 02304
License plate : DO
Community key : 05 9 13 000
City structure: 12 districts with 62 districts

City administration address :
Friedensplatz 1
44135 Dortmund
Website :
Lord Mayor : Ullrich Sierau ( SPD )
Location of Dortmund in North Rhine-Westphalia and in the administrative district of Arnsberg
Niederlande Belgien Niedersachsen Rheinland-Pfalz Hessen Essen Wuppertal Solingen Remscheid Hagen Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis Bochum Dortmund Herne Gelsenkirchen Bottrop Oberhausen Mülheim an der Ruhr Duisburg Kreis Mettmann Düsseldorf Rhein-Kreis Neuss Kreis Heinsberg Mönchengladbach Krefeld Kreis Viersen Kreis Wesel Kreis Kleve Rhein-Erft-Kreis Kreis Düren Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis Oberbergischer Kreis Kreis Recklinghausen Kreis Borken Kreis Unna Märkischer Kreis Kreis Olpe Hamm Kreis Soest Kreis Coesfeld Kreis Steinfurt Kreis Warendorf Leverkusen Köln Städteregion Aachen Bonn Rhein-Sieg-Kreis Städteregion Aachen Kreis Euskirchen Münster Kreis Siegen-Wittgenstein Hochsauerlandkreis Kreis Paderborn Kreis Gütersloh Kreis Höxter Kreis Lippe Kreis Herford Kreis Minden-Lübbecke Bielefeldmap
About this picture
View of the center of Dortmund.
From left to right: IWO high-rise , city ​​and state library , RWE Tower , Dortberghaus , Sparkasse high-rise . In the foreground the Platz der Deutschen Einheit at the German Football Museum
View from the Florian Tower of Dortmund city center.
View from Kaiserberg to Lake Phoenix , Signal Iduna Park and Florian Tower .

Dortmund  [ ˈdɔʁtmʊnt ] (standard pronunciation; regional : [ˈdɔɐ̯tmʊnt] ; Westphalian Düörpm ) is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia and with 588,250 inhabitants the ninth largest city in Germany , as well as the third largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne and Düsseldorf . Dortmund is part of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with around eleven million inhabitants, the largest city in the Ruhr area in terms of area and population, and is the administrative, commercial and cultural center of the eastern Ruhr area. The city is located on the western edge of the state of Westphalia and is part of the administrative district of Arnsberg . Please click to listen!Play

The once important imperial and Hanseatic city ( Tremonia in Latin ) along the Hellweg , which presumably dates back to the founding of the Carolingian imperial court , is developing today from an industrial metropolis to an important location for services and technology: In the past, Dortmund is mainly known for its steel, coal and beer A center of the insurance industry and retail trade after many years of structural change . With around 53,500 students at six universities, including the Technical University of Dortmund and 19 other scientific institutions, Dortmund is one of the ten largest university cities in Germany and is also an important location for science and high technology. New settlements and business start-ups are therefore preferred in the areas of logistics, information and microsystem technology. The Ruhr metropolis has a diverse cultural scene with numerous museums and galleries such as the Museum Ostwall , the Museum for Art and Cultural History or the German Football Museum . There is also the Dortmund theater with opera house, the award-winning playhouse and the children's and youth theater as well as the concert hall .

Dortmund, with its main train station and airport, is an important transport hub and center of attraction, especially for the surrounding area and Europe ( Benelux countries), and has a connection to important sea ports on the North Sea with the largest canal port in Europe . Dortmund gained national fame through the Borussia Dortmund football club with its home ground, Signal Iduna Park , the former Westfalenstadion. With over 81,000 spectator seats, it is the largest football stadium in Germany. Other attractions and landmarks of the city are the Dortmunder U , the Westenhellweg as one of the most frequented shopping streets in Germany, the Reinoldikirche , the Westfalenhalle , the Florian Tower and the Phoenix Lake . The cityscape and the skyline are also characterized by striking high-rise buildings. In terms of tourism, the city is gaining in importance every year, with over 1.44 million overnight stays in Dortmund in 2019; the growth is thus 6.5 percent.



Dortmund is 86  m above sea level. NHN , 51 ° 30 '51 "  N , 7 ° 27' 50"  O . The district of Dortmund Aplerbecker Mark is, according to the Landesvermessungsamt North Rhine-Westphalia even with the coordinates 51 ° 28 '42 "  N , 7 ° 33' 18"  O in the middle of North Rhine-Westphalia. In Dortmund, as in the whole of Germany, Central European Time applies , the mean local time remains behind this compared to 30 minutes and 7.7 seconds.

Dortmund is located in the southwest of the Westphalian Bay , the southern extension of the North German Plain on the border with the German low mountain range ; to the south rise the foothills of the Sauerland and the Ardey Mountains , to which the Dortmund ridge in the east of the city is still counted as the northernmost elevation . Behind this, as part of the Hellwegbörden , lies the Werl-Unnaer Börde , to the north the Lippetal and the Lipper Heights border in the Münsterland . The west is determined by the Ruhr area , whose eastern, Westphalian part of Dortmund belongs.

The city center of Dortmund lies on the border between northern flat and southern hill country, the so-called Westphalian Hellweg ; Accordingly, the city has a share in the natural areas of the Hellwegbörden and Westenhellweg . Since the upper reaches of the Emscher also flows through Dortmund, it is also part of the Emscherland natural area further north . In the south, below the Hohensyburg, the middle course of the Ruhr forms the city limits, into which the Lenne flows in the Hagen area and forms the Hengsteysee there . The Dortmund -Ems Canal, leading to the north, also begins in the Dortmund city harbor .


View from the Hohensyburg to the Hengsteysee
Emscher in Dortmund

The Dortmund urban area is relatively poor in natural waters. In addition to the Ruhr in the south of Dortmund on the city limits to the cities of Hagen and Herdecke, only the river Emscher , which runs from east to west through the urban area, is one of the larger flowing waters . In addition, there are numerous smaller streams such as the Hörder Bach , Rüpingsbach , Schondelle , Roßbach or Körnebach , which flow into the first-mentioned rivers or belong to the catchment area of ​​the Lippe . Many of the streams were used for sewage disposal, but were gradually restored to their natural state in the course of the Emscher renaturation by the Emscher Cooperative . As a result of the renaturation, the area around the streams has been significantly upgraded. In addition, the Dortmund-Ems Canal (DEK, water code: 70501) is a federal waterway between the Dortmund city ​​port and Papenburg / Ems .

With the Hallerey , the Lanstroper See , the Pleckenbrinksee and the Brunosee in the nature reserve Beerenbruch four lakes are closely linked to the mining history in Dortmund. These waters were created by subsidence . Furthermore, with the Hengsteysee and Phoenix-See two more lakes were artificially created.


The urban area of ​​Dortmund covers 280.707 km². This puts Dortmund in 26th place among the largest municipalities in Germany and ninth among the major cities. In North Rhine-Westphalia, its area is only surpassed by the major cities of Cologne and Münster and the city of Schmallenberg .

The northernmost point of Dortmund is between the Groppenbruch district and Lünen-Brambauer in the area of ​​the former municipality Schwieringhausen ( 51 ° 36 '5 "  N , 7 ° 25' 11" E ), the southernmost 21 km from this opposite the Lenne estuary ( 51 °  ° 25 ′ 1 ″  N , 7 ° 29 ′ 38 ″  E ), the most easterly point of Dortmund is north of the airport in the Wickede district and borders on Unna-Massen ( 51 ° 31 ′ 44 ″  N , 7 ° 38 ′ 20 ″  E ) , the westernmost 23 km away from this in the Holte district on the border with Bochum ( 51 ° 30 ′ 32 ″  N , 7 ° 18 ′ 12 ″  E ). You can roughly imagine these two axes as the diagonals of a square that forms the Dortmund urban area. The highest point in Dortmund is the Klusenberg in the Syburg district at 254.33  m above sea level. NHN , the lowest point is 49.5  m above sea level. NHN in the Derne district.

Neighboring communities

Dortmund borders on the Recklinghausen district for 21 km with the cities of Castrop-Rauxel in the west and Waltrop in the northwest. From north to south-east, Dortmund is surrounded by the Unna district for a total of 76 km with the cities of Lünen in the north, Kamen in the northeast, Unna in the east, the municipality of Holzwickede and the city of Schwerte (both in the southeast). This is followed by the city boundary of just two kilometers to the independent city of Hagen directly in the south. In the south-west of Dortmund, the city joins the Ennepe-Ruhr district with the cities of Herdecke and Witten for 17 km . The independent city of Bochum is located exactly to the west , the city limits here are ten kilometers long. The Dortmund city limits thus cover a total of 126 km.

Political geography

Districts and neighboring municipalities of the city.

Dortmund is historically part of Westphalia and is now in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . The city is independent and lies within the administrative district of Arnsberg . It belongs to both the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association and the Ruhr Regional Association . In addition, she is still a member of another purpose associations such as the transport association Rhein-Ruhr , the Ruhr Association , the Emschergenossenschaft or Lippeverband . Dortmund is a regional center of North Rhine-Westphalia and part of the European metropolitan region of Rhine-Ruhr . It is one of the four major centers of the Ruhr area, alongside Essen , Duisburg and Bochum .

Since January 1, 1975, the city of Dortmund has been divided into twelve districts .

These are the three inner city districts west , north and east as well as the ring surrounding them from the nine further districts Eving , Scharnhorst , Brackel , Aplerbeck , Hörde , Hombruch , Lütgendortmund , Huckarde and Mengede, clockwise (starting in the north) . Each of these city districts elects a district council in the local elections, and these representatives elect a district mayor from among their ranks. There are also district administrative offices in the outskirts.

Below the city districts, the city is further subdivided into 62 statistical districts, which in turn are divided into a total of 170 statistical sub-districts. Outside the inner city districts, these often correspond to the formerly independent localities incorporated into the city of Dortmund. In addition to this official division, there are also the urban districts listed below.


Like all of Germany, Dortmund is located in a moderate climate zone . The city is assigned to the north-west German climatic area and is located on the border between the climatic districts of Münster and Sauerland and thus in the transition area between the Atlantic - maritime and continental climates .

Mild winters and relatively cool summers are characteristic. The mean annual temperature is 9-10 ° C, the long-term average rainfall is 750 mm. The prevailing wind direction is southwest. The precipitation is distributed fairly evenly over the year, in winter continuous rain dominates , in summer shorter but more productive showers . Accordingly, the maximum is reached in July with 80–90 mm, the minimum is 40–50 mm in February. The temperature fluctuations are also rather small at below 20 ° C, the coldest month is January with −6 to 11 ° C, and the warmest is August with 10–35 ° C. In Dortmund, there are climatic characteristics of densely populated areas, for example, heat islands typical of an urban climate are formed.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Dortmund
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 4th 5 9 13 18th 21st 22nd 22nd 19th 15th 9 5 O 13.5
Min. Temperature (° C) −1 −1 2 4th 8th 11 13 13 10 7th 3 1 O 5.9
Precipitation ( mm ) 65 56 53 57 68 78 93 93 67 60 71 77 Σ 838
Rainy days ( d ) 19th 17th 14th 16 14th 14th 17th 16 15th 17th 19th 19th Σ 197
Humidity ( % ) 85 80 77 72 70 73 73 74 79 81 84 85 O 77.7
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Statistical overview

On December 31, 2019, 588,250 people lived in Dortmund. This puts Dortmund in 41st place among the largest cities in the European Union , 8th in Germany and 3rd in North Rhine-Westphalia as the largest city in the Ruhr area behind Cologne and Düsseldorf . Dortmund is part of the European Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region , which with a good 10 million inhabitants is the fifth largest agglomeration in Europe after the agglomerations of Moscow , London , Paris and Istanbul . Within this metropolitan region, Dortmund is part of the Ruhr metropolitan area and flows over into the other cities of the Ruhr area, especially in the west. Around 4.95 million people live in the area of ​​the Regionalverband Ruhr alone, the special purpose association of the Ruhr area. The population density results in a population density of 2,087 inhabitants per km². This puts Dortmund in 39th place among the municipalities with the greatest population density in Germany .

Significantly fewer people per square kilometer live outside the inner city area than in the inner city. In 2013 the values ​​ranged from around 1,460 inhabitants per km² in the statistical sub-district Holthausen ( city ​​district Eving ) to around 39,180 inhabitants per km² in the statistical sub-district Nordmarkt-Südost ( city ​​district Innenstadt-Nord ).

Population structure

Largest population groups
without German
(as of 2018)
nationality Residents (Dec. 31)
TurkeyTurkey Turkey 21,689
SyriaSyria Syria 09,906
PolandPoland Poland 09,806
RomaniaRomania Romania 05.114
SpainSpain Spain 04,248
GreeceGreece Greece 04.185
BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 03,925
ItalyItaly Italy 03,731
MoroccoMorocco Morocco 03,256
IraqIraq Iraq 02,707
CroatiaCroatia Croatia 02,372
UkraineUkraine Ukraine 2,328
North MacedoniaNorth Macedonia North Macedonia 02,199
SerbiaSerbia Serbia 02.156
RussiaRussia Russia 01.932
Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 01,891
PortugalPortugal Portugal 01,831
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 01,605
KosovoKosovo Kosovo 01,480
HungaryHungary Hungary 01,327

In 2018, 50.5% of the population were women and 49.5% men.

Dortmund was a city of immigration as early as the Middle Ages, but with the onset of industrialization, the influx of people increased enormously. Among these immigrants were also many Poles and thus for the first time a large group of non-German-speaking people with a different religion, but who gradually assimilated. Further targeted recruitment of guest workers took place mainly in the 1960s to meet the labor demand in the coal and steel industry. The proportion of foreigners in the city is 18.2% (as of December 31, 2018). This is an average value for large western German cities.

The share of people with a migration background (regardless of citizenship) was 35.6% at the end of 2018.

Similar to the population density, there are clear differences within the urban area.

The districts and districts in the north of Dortmund tend to have the highest proportion of foreigners. As of December 31, 2018, almost a third of all foreigners lived in Dortmund in the city ​​center north . The proportion of foreigners here is 52.2%. A relatively large number of foreigners live in many other outer districts of the north of Dortmund, such as Lindenhorst (31.4%), Eving (29.8%), Scharnhorst-Ost (27.0%) and Derne (24.1%).

The proportion is also relatively high in many districts in the west of Dortmund, such as Westerfilde (26.6%), Nette (22.7%) and Huckarde (20.0%).

The proportion of foreigners in the east and south of Dortmund tends to be lower. However, a relatively large number of foreigners live in Hörde (22.7%).

In Dortmund there are big differences between the different nations, for example the proportion of EU citizens among foreigners on the outskirts is significantly higher. A special group among the foreigners in Dortmund are the foreign students enrolled at the universities: they are mostly only in the city for a short period of time and to a large extent they come from Asia and Africa. A total of around 53,500 students were enrolled at the city's six universities in the 2017/2018 winter semester. 45.1% of the population are married, 39.3% single, 8.1% widowed and 7.4% divorced.

Income and performance structure

On December 31, 2016, 88,696 Dortmund residents received transfer payments according to Book Two of the Social Security Code ( unemployment benefit II , social benefit ), which is 15.1% of the total population.

The unemployment rate in Dortmund was 11.0% at the end of June 2017. There are big differences within the urban area.

In the north of Dortmund there are many districts with a high proportion of social welfare recipients and the unemployed. This applies in particular to all statistical districts of the inner city-north district (unemployment rate of 21.3%), but also to districts outside the inner city, such as Scharnhorst-Ost (18.9%), Eving (14.7%) and Lindenhorst (13.6%). Nevertheless, there are also some districts in the north with low unemployment rates and high average incomes, such as Brechte , Holthausen and the northeastern districts of Husen , Kurl and Grevel .

The social structure in the districts of the west of Dortmund is relatively mixed. In many places the unemployment rates are roughly in line with the Dortmund average or are slightly higher, for example in the larger districts of Huckarde (12.8%), Kirchlinde (12.5%) and Lütgendortmund (11.2%). Deusen and the suburbs of Oespel and Westrich in particular have low unemployment rates and higher income structures . In other parts of the west such as Westerfilde (16.5%), Nette (15.7%) and Marten (14.3%), however, unemployment is well above average.

The east of Dortmund predominantly has districts with low unemployment rates and average or slightly higher income structures. With the exception of Wickede , which is on the outskirts of the city (12.0%), the unemployment rates in the east are always below the Dortmund average. Unemployment is relatively low in some larger city districts such as Aplerbeck (6.4%) and Asseln (6.1%), as well as in smaller city districts such as Sölderholz (3.6%).

In the south of Dortmund there are a particularly large number of districts with low unemployment rates and high income structures. This applies in particular to the southern districts of Brünninghausen , Lücklemberg , Kirchhörde and Bittermark, immediately west of the B 54 , as well as to the southeastern districts of Aplerbecker Mark , Höchsten , Holzen , Wichlinghofen and Syburg, along Wittbräucker Straße . Larger unemployment prevails only in Hörde (14.8%). In contrast, the social structure in Hombruch is relatively average .

The average age of the Dortmund population is around 43 years. The youth quotient , i.e. the ratio of the under 20-year-olds to the working population, is 34.5, the old-age quotient , i.e. the proportion of people aged 60 or over in relation to the working population is 47.0, and the relationship between the working and the inactive population thus about 5: 4. These are values ​​that can also be found for all of Germany.

Population development

Population growth from 1871 to 2018

In 1895, the city of Dortmund exceeded the limit of 100,000 inhabitants, which made it a major city . After the incorporation of the city ​​of Hörde and the districts of Dortmund and Hörde, around 536,000 people lived in the city in 1929. The Second World War depopulated the destroyed Dortmund. In April 1945 there were 340,000 people. Afterwards, many people and refugees evacuated to the rural area settled in Dortmund. The population grew rapidly. In 1965 a high was reached with 657,804 citizens. In the years that followed, the population fell, as in the surrounding cities of the Ruhr area. The 1987 census found a population of 584,089. This trend has now reversed. The population has been rising again for several years, to 588,250 official residents as of December 31, 2019. The State Office for Information and Technology in North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW) is forecasting an increase in the population of Dortmund by 5.1% to 604,100 by 2040 People.


Copper engraving by Matthäus Merians of the city of Dortmund from 1647

City history

Old town house: personification of the trade with the Hanseatic cog and medieval town hall

The first traces of settlement in what is now Dortmund's urban area go back to the Neolithic Age . Dortmund was first mentioned as Throtmanni in 882 . The first mention of Dortmund's market rights dates from 990. According to legend, Reinoldus became the city's patron saint in the 11th century .

Oldest known Dortmund view 1470

In 1152 a court day took place in Dortmund under King Friedrich Barbarossa , who later became emperor. As a result, more craftsmen and traders settled around the royal palace and contributed to the gradual development of Dortmund. As early as 1200, the current size of the city center of 82 hectares was reached and fortified with city walls. In 1232 (or 1231) there was a big fire in the city. Probably triggered by arson, it almost completely destroyed the city. The fire probably raged mainly in the densely populated town center north of Hellweg and destroyed not only the wooden houses of the shopkeepers and craftsmen, but also the stone Reinoldi Church. The city's archive was also lost as a result of the fire, and with it all documents from the time before the city fire. The privileges of Dortmund, which were lost in the city fire, were renewed in 1236 by Friedrich II and the city of Dortmund (Latin [burgus] Tremonia ) was first designated as an imperial city (literally: "civitas nostra Tremoniensis imperalis").

Dortmund around 1610 by Detmar Muhler
Dortmund 1804

In 1293 the city was granted the brewing license and an unprecedented development of the beer industry began within the city. After the big fire in the city, the influence of the citizens of Dortmund also increased. This reached far beyond the urban area and was so strong that around 1252 the Baltic city of Memel was founded with the help of Dortmund merchants and consideration was given to naming the city "New Dortmund". This citizenry or patriciate , which confidently called itself rempublicam Tremoniensem gubernantes (about: ruling lords of the State of Dortmund), consisted of influential families such as the Kleppings, Sudermanns, von Wickedes, Swartes, Muddepennings, vom Berges, Lembergs, Berswordts, Wales and Brakes . The latter all had excellent trade relations throughout Europe and especially with England . The supremacy of the Dortmund merchants even led to England's king, Edward III. in 1339 pledged the English royal crown to a consortium led by merchants from Dortmund.

In 1389 Dortmund survived the great Dortmund feud against the Count of the Mark and the Archbishop of Cologne and their allies. However, the city's economic decline was slowly beginning. This process was continued and intensified by the Thirty Years War and led to the fact that the city sank to an agricultural town and the population fell to 4500 inhabitants by 1793. Dortmund lost its status as a Free Imperial City as a result of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss 1803 and came as an exclave to the Principality of Orange-Nassau . In 1806 the city became the seat of the prefecture of the Ruhr department as part of the Grand Duchy of Berg . After the Prussian victory over Napoleon, Dortmund finally fell to the Prussian province of Westphalia in 1815 . In 1817 Dortmund became the seat of a district within the administrative district of Arnsberg , from which Dortmund retired in 1875 as an immediate city ( urban district ).

Only with the beginning of industrialization at the beginning of the 19th century could the decline be stopped. According to the original cadastre from 1826, around 4,000 people lived in 940 houses and 453 stables and barns within the ramparts. The cityscape was shaped by narrow, unpaved streets and alleys and many half-timbered houses. Only the four large medieval town churches and a few secular stone buildings bear witness to the great cultural heritage of the past. From the middle of the 19th century, the renewed rise of Dortmund and the change to an industrial city began with coal mining and steel processing . Since the opening of the Cöln-Minden Railway in 1847, Dortmund has become an important transport hub in the Ruhr area. Another significant contribution to economic development was made in 1899 when the Dortmund-Ems Canal and with it the port were opened .

View of the Hiltropwall with the synagogue

As early as 1905, with the incorporation of Körne, a wave of incorporations began, which culminated in the 1928 law on the municipal reorganization of the Ruhr area with the incorporation of the town of Hörde (which received town charter in 1340). Since the amalgamations of 1928 and 1929, the area of ​​Dortmund has been to a greater extent on the territory of the former Grafschaft Mark than on that of the former Free Imperial City of Dortmund. By the outbreak of the Second World War , the cityscape had changed from a small agricultural town to a metropolitan look. Within a few years, the city center was radically changed with the construction of new structures such as the Althoff department store in 1904, the Krügerhaus in 1912 or the entire area around the station with the construction of a new main station, post office and the Löwenhof as a trading center or urban development measures such as the breakthrough in Hansastrasse.

Old town hall on the south side of the old market around 1920. After severe war damage, the ruin was torn down in 1955

During the Second World War, the city and its historic churches were more than 90 percent destroyed by a total of 105 air raids and more than 22,242 tons of bombs in the center. The high percentage is due in part to the eight major attacks in which the city of Dortmund was the sole target in the focus of an attack. During the major attack on March 12, 1945 , more than 4,800 tons of bombs hit the city. This attack was the worst bomb attack against a German city. After this last serious attack, the entire social and economic life came to a standstill. According to contemporary reports, consideration was initially given not to rebuilding the city center.

Reconstruction of Dortmund city center in a modern style

The actual reconstruction, however, was determined by the existing infrastructure lines in the ground and the streets above, which were first cleared as transport and connecting routes in everyday post-war life. Thus, the handling of the inner cities was seen as a reconstruction and modification option, instead of a complete new planning. However, public awareness of the post-war period was shaped by the desire not to repeat the urban planning situation as a product of industrialization on the floor plans of the medieval city. The planning goal of the reconstruction years was therefore a new, open and sustainable Dortmund, which should consciously set itself apart from the past and the old historical legacy. Despite fierce resistance from the Dortmund population, many buildings that shape the cityscape, such as the town hall or the synagogue, were demolished or not rebuilt.

Overall, the reconstruction proceeded quickly, with the 500,000th inhabitant being born in 1950. With an unemployment rate of 2.3%, full employment prevailed in 1952 and the excellent economic conditions increasingly attracted immigrants, especially refugees from the eastern regions. Dortmund already had 624,000 inhabitants in 1956. In 1965 the city reached an all-time high with 658,075 inhabitants.

Place name

Dortmund was first mentioned in the Werdener Urbar , which was created between 880 and 884. The Latin entry reads: “ In Throtmanni liber homo Arnold viii den nob solvit. ”(German:“ In Throtmanni , the free man Arnold pays us 8 pfennigs. ”). Thereafter there is a large number of different names that go back to the same phonetic stem. Their respective use in the sources appears arbitrary and accidental.

One year after his stay in Dortmund, King Friedrich Barbarossa issued a document to Archbishop Arnold II von Wied of Cologne in 1152, which contains the Latin name “ in burgo Tremonia ” (German: “in the city of Tremonia”). The term Tremonia is not derived from Throtmanni . It is assumed that when using this term, the good sound and the supposed meaningful content played a role. The name would then consist of the words tres or tria (German: three ) and moenia (German: wall ) and mean something like three-walled city .

Only with the advent of German sources in the 14th century was the old form taken up again in a linguistically developed form. In the Westphalian town of Platt it was then shortened to [dyœɐpm] . [dyœɐpm] is seldom used today, the Latin tremonia is still to be found occasionally.

The word meaning of Dortmund is generally based on a determinative compound. The defining word is probably Germanic * þrut- , * þrūt- meaning throat / throat / throat / throat . The meaning of the basic word is unclear. According to one theory, it is the Old Saxon word -manni , -menni , -minni . According to another theory, it is Germanic * cheerful with the meaning mountain / hill / hill / elevation . In the first theory the meaning would be Kehlbach / Gurgelbach / settlement on the gurgling water , in the second theory as * Throdmend- mountain with a notch / mountain with a notch / hill with a notch / hill with a notch . Both interpretations are a geographical feature that is overbuilt today and can no longer be recognized or - in the second theory - gives an indication of a castle north of the city walls with the Kuckelke river as a cut. The existence of such a castle is controversial.

A folk etymological interpretation is known from late medieval chroniclers , according to which there were two villages, the alde and the new Dorp , both of which were near Burg Munda . There was a dispute between the Saxons and the Romans - or Franks - about this castle. The castle men interpreted the battle cry trucide as truz or trot and scornfully called the attackers Trotmanni ( Trutzmänner ). The name was then transferred to the place.

In the past the city was called Dortmond in Dutch , Tremonia in Spanish , Trémoigne in Old French . These exonyms have fallen out of use and the city is now internationally referred to by its German name.


What is characteristic of today's Dortmund urban area is the pronounced spatial delimitation of individual districts from their neighboring districts by fields, forests or traffic areas. This fact is based on the relatively small-scale incorporation of formerly independent communities. Some larger districts such as the district centers of Hörde , Aplerbeck or Mengede still clearly convey their former independence through the size of their district centers and their shopping streets.

The following communities were incorporated into the city of Dortmund:


Dortmund city churches 1611
Dortmund city churches on a city view from 1611
A = Reinolditurm
B = Marienkirche
G = old Nicolaikirche
M = castle gate
P = Dominican monastery (today provost church)
N = St. Catherine's Monastery
O = St. Peter's Church

Denomination statistics

Of the 602,556 inhabitants of Dortmund currently (as of 2018) 161,826 (26.9%) belong to the Protestant, 153,506 (25.5%) to the Roman Catholic Church, 287,224 (47.7%) have no denomination or have another denomination. Of the 601,780 residents of Dortmund in 2017, 165,430 (27.5%) belonged to the Protestant and 156,041 (25.9%) to the Roman Catholic Church. In 2016, 28.1% were Protestant and 26.3% Roman Catholic. According to the results of the census on May 9, 2011 , 173,790 residents of Dortmund belonged to the Catholic Church. 188,470 inhabitants were Protestant, 3,120 were members of the Protestant Free Church, 9,420 were Orthodox and 2,390 were Jewish. 191,630 inhabitants were assigned to the categories “other” or “not belonging to any public religious community”. According to a calculation from the census figures for people with a migration background, the proportion of Muslims in Dortmund in 2011 was 9.5 percent (around 54,200 people).


Propsteikirche seen from Hansaplatz
View of the Reinoldikirche

Dortmund has belonged to the Archdiocese of Cologne since it was founded and was the seat of an archdeaconate . From 1523 the Reformation gradually gained a foothold. But it was not until 1562 that the Lord's Supper was distributed in both forms. The city was then predominantly Protestant. As a Free Imperial City, Dortmund was also able to regulate religious affairs itself, and so the city received a new church regiment in 1570. The Lutheran creed was predominant . The Reformed Confession was not allowed at all until 1786. In 1625 the council established the Superintendentur Dortmund. From this, after the transition to Prussia, the later church district of Dortmund emerged within the Evangelical Church in Prussia or its Westphalian provincial church. In 1960 the Dortmund church district was divided into four church districts. Until the end of 2013, the church districts Dortmund-Mitte-Nordost (twelve parishes) were formed, in 2002 the church districts Dortmund-Mitte and Dortmund-Nordost, Dortmund-Süd (eight parishes) and Dortmund-West (five parishes) merged with their associated parishes the neighboring parishes of Lünen (four parishes) the "United Church Districts Dortmund - Association of Protestant Parishes and Church Districts in Dortmund and Lünen". On January 1st, 2014 the four church districts united to form the Evangelical Church District Dortmund. With its 28 parishes, 24 in Dortmund, three in Lünen and one in Selm, it is part of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia .

Even after the Reformation was introduced, there were still few Catholics in Dortmund who still belonged to the Archdiocese of Cologne. Initially, they only had the monastery churches for worship services. In 1616, however, the Dominican monastery received parish rights again. After 1803 the Roman Catholic monastery churches were either secularized or even demolished. The church of the abolished Dominican monastery was preserved as a provost church. In 1821 the Catholics were assigned to the diocese or archbishopric of Paderborn . As a result of heavy immigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially from the then Posen Province , the number of Catholics also increased sharply. In 1832 Dortmund became the seat of a Roman Catholic deanery . Even after the founding of the "Ruhrbistum" Essen, Dortmund remained with the Archdiocese of Paderborn.

In addition to the regional evangelical and Roman Catholic parishes in Dortmund, there are various free churches , including several evangelical free church congregations ( Baptists ) (Christ Church Dortmund-Mitte, Feldherrnstraße, bridge congregation Dortmund- Hörde, Resurrection congregation Dortmund- Eving, Evangelical Free Church congregation Dortmund-Asseln , Evangelical Free Church Community Dortmund-Mitte, Saarbrücker Straße ( Brothers Movement ) and Evangelical Free Church Community Dortmund-Huckarde), the Free Evangelical Church Dortmund-Körne and the Evangelical Methodist Church Dortmund-Mitte. The Old Catholic Church is also represented in Dortmund.

Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Apostles

The Greek Orthodox Church , the Serbian Orthodox Church , the Russian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Orthodox Church are represented in Dortmund. In 1961, under the Archimandrite Ánthimos Drakonákis, the decision was made to found a Greek Orthodox congregation in Dortmund (Church of the Holy Apostles in Dortmund, Greek IN Αγίων Αποστόλων Ντόρτμουντ - IN Agíon Apostólon Dortmund ). It is therefore probably the first establishment of a Greek Orthodox community in connection with the recruitment of guest workers. Until then, there had only been communities where Greeks had settled as merchants for over 200 years. The then Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Germany, Polyeuktos (Finfinis) ( Greek Πολύευκτος Φινφίνης ), assigned the newly founded Greek Orthodox communities in Germany to their respective districts. At the end of 1965, he handed over the parish of Dortmund to the newly consecrated presbyter Tilémachos (Margarítis) and thus the pastoral responsibility for the Orthodox Christians of the eastern Ruhr area. Tilemachos held this office until October 2006. He was followed by the archimandrite Dr. Filótheos.

Dortmund is the seat of the secretariat of the Orthodox Bishops' Conference in Germany .

In addition, there are other religious communities that have their roots in Christianity, the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (" Mormons "). The Mormons run a genealogical research center in Dortmund .

The New Apostolic Church has also been represented in Dortmund since 1896 through the establishment of the Dortmund-Nord congregation (merged with the Dortmund-Eving congregation in 2008). The administration of the New Apostolic Church North Rhine-Westphalia has also been in Dortmund for around 60 years . There she employs 34 people in the areas of church management, administrative management, construction, finance and service.
Due to the demographic change in society and the increasing number of inactive church members, some locations have been given up and congregations merged in recent years. In 2012 there were 24 municipalities in the city area, currently (as of 2015) there are 17 municipalities.


The most important non-Christian religious community in Dortmund is Islam . Many mosques and prayer houses (especially in the northern inner city, which is heavily influenced by migrants ) make this clear. There are currently around 30 mosque associations in Dortmund , which have been represented by a joint council of Muslims in Dortmund since September 2007.

The Islamic structures in Dortmund were founded in associations of mostly Turkish-born migrant workers, but also Moroccan ones (like the Al Fath mosque on Schützenstrasse). The Association of Turkish Workers in Dortmund and the surrounding area, founded in 1966, set up the first Islamic place of prayer in 1973 in a former Protestant parish hall in the north of Dortmund. In the mid-1970s there were numerous foundings of associations with a shared religious identity. These communities were often supported by the Office for Religious Affairs ( Turkish : Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı , short: DİB), which had sent Islamic theologians trained in Turkey to German mosque associations since the early 1970s. In November 1976 the first Islamic theologian was welcomed to Dortmund as a teacher and prayer leader.

Between 1979 and 1983 the Dortmund Islamic Community existed as an independent umbrella organization for the Islamic communities in Dortmund. This disbanded in 1983, as the establishment of a so-called Diyanet Foundation was planned by the religious attaché of the Turkish embassy. This foundation was ultimately not realized and the Dortmund communities eventually joined the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Turkish: Diyanet İşleri Türk İslam Birliği , short: DITIB). Ten communities in Dortmund belong to the DITIB today.

In addition to the mosque associations, which are oriented towards the national conditions in Turkey, there are other Islamic communities in Dortmund, for example the Islamic community Millî Görüş and the Alevi community with other spiritual orientations.

When it became clear in the 1990s that the migrant workers would stay in Dortmund permanently, this also had an impact on the mosque associations. The associations, which had been loosely organized up to that point, were organized according to German association law and aimed at non-profit status. The places of prayer, previously often housed in rear buildings, moved to the front buildings. Islam became more visible. The trend towards the construction of representative mosques, as can be observed all over Germany, is also continuing in Dortmund.

In autumn 2007 the representatives of most of the mosque communities formed a “Council of Muslim Communities in Dortmund” with the participation of all important Islamic organizations in Germany .


Dortmund synagogue

The earliest document that indicates the existence of Jews in the former Hanseatic and imperial city of Dortmund is a privilege of Henry IV from 1074; a second documentary mention of Jews comes from the year 1096. Most of the dwellings of the Dortmund Jews, their prayer house and the mikvah were on the western edge of the city center. In connection with the plague pogroms of 1460/1465, the Jews were expelled from Dortmund and only settled again in the surrounding villages and towns in the 16th century. a. in Dorstfeld , Hörde , Schwerte , Unna . Only at the beginning of the 19th century did the city of Dortmund allow Jews to settle within its walls again. Since the middle of the 19th century, the number of Jews living in Dortmund has grown steadily as a result of the industrial development of the Ruhr area.

In the course of this, the Old Synagogue was built in 1895 as a central, representative prayer place . With 1,300 seats, 750 of which were reserved for men on the ground floor and 450 seats for women in the galleries of the domed building, the synagogue was one of the largest Jewish prayer houses in Germany at the time. As one of the few Jewish communities in Germany, the community was expropriated and demolished before the November pogroms of 1938 . In addition to the large synagogue in the city center, there were also Jewish communities in Dortmund-Hörde and Dortmund-Dorstfeld with their own synagogues, which were also destroyed. The subsequent forced emigration under National Socialism and the Holocaust decimated Dortmund's Jewish population drastically.

In the 1990s, the Jewish community grew again considerably due to the influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union. Today the Orthodox religious community has 4200 members. In addition to a synagogue, it also runs a kindergarten. The Jewish part of Dortmund's main cemetery is now actively used again.

Dortmund is the seat of the regional association of the Jewish communities of Westphalia-Lippe .

Other religious communities

There are two Thai-Buddhist community centers in Dortmund : Wat Metta Parami in Hüttenbruchweg and Wat Dhammabharami on Engelbertstraße. In addition to these two communities, which are oriented towards the Theravada branch of Buddhism , there is also a center that represents a form of Vajrayana . This belongs to the Buddhist umbrella organization Diamantweg e. V. at.

For the Hindu community living in Dortmund Tamils is Sri Kamadchi-Ampal Temple in Hamm of great importance.

There is also a Baha'i community.

Interreligious Dialogue

The origins of the Christian-Islamic dialogue in Dortmund can be found in the Working Group for Religion and Worldview of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Auslandsgesellschaft , which was initiated in 1969 . In the 1990s, the first direct contacts between Christian and Islamic communities took place in the Church and Mosque working group. These working groups no longer exist today.

Since 1993, the Dortmund Islamic Seminar, initiated jointly by Christians and Muslims, has been dedicated to interreligious cooperation between Muslims and Christians. The Islamic seminar is sponsored by the Abu-Bakr-Mosque Dortmund, the Mosque Bachstraße of the VIKZ , the (Protestant) church district Dortmund-Lünen , the Catholic Forum Dortmund and the Dortmund DITIB communities.

The Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation Dortmund eV is dedicated to the coexistence of Jews and Christians in Dortmund. V.



Dortmund City Hall
Amtshaus Aplerbeck Seat of one of twelve district representatives in Dortmund

Dortmund is an independent city in the administrative district of Arnsberg in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and acts in free self-administration through its organs . According to the law on local elections in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia , the municipal code for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the main statute of the city of Dortmund, these are the council of the city of Dortmund and the mayor. Every five years, the citizens of Dortmund elect the 82-person honorary council of the city of Dortmund (2012: additional four overhang and compensatory mandates) and the full-time mayor. The council elects two honorary mayors as deputies to the lord mayor. In each of the twelve city districts, a 19-person voluntary district council is elected, who elect a district mayor (until 2008: district head) and one or more deputies from among their number. The mayor is responsible for the day-to-day administration, he chairs the council meetings and represents the city. The Lord Mayor is obliged to carry out the decisions of the council. The council also elects a city director and up to nine other city ​​councilors to act as the mayor's deputy in the city's administration. There are district administrative offices in the nine suburbs.

In addition to the organs of local self-government, four members of the state parliament and two members of the Bundestag are elected by direct mandate; in the European elections, the candidates are only elected via lists.

All major German parties are represented in Dortmund's party landscape. The citizens' list for Dortmund , which forms a parliamentary group with the FDP in the council , appear as a purely communal group . The SPD occupies a dominant position: it has provided the mayor without interruption since 1946 and an absolute majority in the council until 1999, as well as all directly elected members of the state and federal level, and it still achieves election results of around 40%. Herbert Wehner once spoke of Dortmund as the “heart chamber of social democracy” in this context. In the meantime, however, the SPD's lead over the CDU in Dortmund in the federal and state elections is much less pronounced than in other cities in the Ruhr area.

Political history

Election results of the Dortmund City Council 1946–2014
Distribution of seats in the Dortmund City Council 1946–2014

The self-government of the city of Dortmund has a long tradition. A council has been documented and recognized by the king since about 1240, mayors were mentioned for the first time in 1288 and in 1504 the remaining rights to the county of Dortmund, which surrounds the city, were transferred from the counts to the city. In the times of the Free Imperial City, the city of Dortmund was headed by the 18-member, later twelve-member, patrician council, which was composed differently over time. The term of office initially lasted one year, with the members rotating in rotation so that there was an “old council” and a “new council” or “seated council”. Since the end of the 15th century, councilors have been elected for life. Of the six Supreme Councilors, two held the title of "Mayor". The seventh seat was reserved for the ex-count. After 1803, a princely Orange city magistrate took over the official business and in French times there was a mayor who was assisted by a municipal council. When Dortmund became Prussian in 1815, there was a mayor and a local council. With the introduction of the city regulations in 1835, the magistrate and the city council, chaired by the mayor, ran the administration. From 1860 the head of the city bore the title of Lord Mayor .

During the time of National Socialism , the mayor was appointed by the NSDAP . After the Second World War , the military government of the British occupation zone appointed a new Lord Mayor and in 1946 it introduced the local constitution based on the British model. Afterwards there was a city council elected by the people (initially elected according to British majority voting), whose members are known as city councilors. The council initially elected the mayor from among its members as chairman and representative of the city, who was active on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, from 1946 the council also elected a full-time senior city director as head of the city administration. In 1999 the dual leadership in the city administration was given up. Since then there has only been the full-time mayor.

Council and Lord Mayor

Election of the Dortmund City Council in 2014
in percent
Gains and losses
compared to 2012
 % p
-5.5  % p
± 0.0  % p
-1.8  % p
+ 3.3  % p.p.
+ 3.4  % p
-0.2  % p
+ 2.3  % p
+1.0  % p
-2.5  % p
Distribution of seats
A total of 94 seats
Lord Mayor Ullrich Sierau

See also: Results of the local elections in Dortmund , results of the local elections before 1975 , List of Lord Mayors

The last local election took place in Dortmund on May 25, 2014. The SPD received 38.2% of the votes (36 seats), the CDU 27.2% (26 seats), the Greens 15.4% (15 seats), Die Linke 6.8% (6 seats), the AfD 3 , 4% (3 seats), the FDP 2.4% (2 seats), the pirates 2.3% (2 seats), the rights 1.0% (1 seat), the citizens' list for Dortmund 1.0% ( 1 seat), the NPD 0.9% (1 seat) and the Free Citizens' Initiative 0.7% (1 seat). Not represented in the city council are the BIG with 0.3%, the PARTY with 0.1%, the DKP with 0.1%, the Democratic Independent Voters Association with 0.1% and an individual applicant with 0.0%.

In the election for mayor on May 25, 2014, Mayor Ullrich Sierau (SPD), who has been in office since 2009, missed an absolute majority. Therefore, on June 15, 2014, there was a runoff election against Annette Littmann, candidate for the CDU and the citizens' list. In the first ballot, Sierau received 43.7%, Littmann 32.0%. Daniela Schneckenburger (Greens) received 11.2%, Hans-Christian Tödt (Die Linke) 5.8%. 5 other candidates together received 7.5%. In the runoff election, Ullrich Sierau (SPD) prevailed with 51.6% of the votes against Annette Littmann (CDU), who received 48.4% of the votes.

Interrupted by a conflict-ridden coalition with the Greens (2004–2009), the SPD has governed with changing majorities since losing its absolute majority in 1999. The budgets are usually decided jointly by the SPD and CDU, in some cases also by the SPD and the Greens.

The next regular local election will take place at the same time as the mayoral election in 2020. The incumbent Sierau no longer competes here.

Lord Mayor and City Director of the City of Dortmund since 1945
image Name (life data) Political party Taking office Term expires image Name (life data) Political party Taking office Term expires
Lord Mayor (honorary, full-time from 1999) Senior City Directors (full-time, abolished in 1999)
Sin foto.svg Hermann Ostrop

(1888-1963) provisionally

CDU April 13, 1945

(appointed by military government)

Sin foto.svg Wilhelm Hansmann


SPD 1946
Sin foto.svg Hermann Ostrop


CDU February 8, 1946 March 9, 1946


KAS-Scholtissek, Herbert-Bild-5978-1.jpg Herbert Scholtissek (1900-1979) CDU April 16, 1946 October 28, 1946 Sin foto.svg Wilhelm Hansmann


SPD April 16, 1946 (election) December 31, 1954
Fritz Henßler (1886-1953) SPD October 29, 1946 4th December 1953
Federal Archives Image 183-E0218-0045-001, Dortmund, Fritz Kühn, Dietrich Keuning, Ms. Kühn.jpg Dietrich Keuning


SPD 1954 1969
Sin foto.svg Walter Kliemt


SPD 1955 1967
Sin foto.svg Hans-Diether Imhoff


SPD 1967 1982
Sondermann brandt.jpg Heinrich Sondermann


SPD 1969 1973
Sin foto.svg Günter Samtlebe


SPD 1973 1999
Sin foto.svg Harald Heinze

(* 1941)

SPD 1982 1991
Sin foto.svg Hans-Gerhard Koch SPD 1991 1999 (office dissolved)
Langemeyer IMGP6093.jpg Gerhard Langemeyer

(* 1944)

SPD 1999 2009
Sierau.jpg Ullrich Sierau

(* 1956)

SPD 2009 2020

Parties and groups of voters

Allocation of seats in the
Dortmund City Council in 2014
A total of 94 seats

The following parties and voter groups are represented in Dortmund: the SPD (subdistrict chairwoman Nadja Lüders, parliamentary group chairman Norbert Schilff), the CDU (district chairman Steffen Kanitz, parliamentary group chairman Ulrich Monegel), the GREEN (district association spokesman Hilke Schwingeler and Remo Licandro, parliamentary group spokesman Ingrid Reuter) and Ulrich Langhorster , Die Linke (district spokesman Christian Seyda and Christiane Tenbensel, parliamentary group chairman DIE LINKE & PIRATEN Utz Kowalewski), the PIRATES (district chairman Dirk Pullem and Nadja Reigl, deputy parliamentary group chairman DIE LINKE & PIRATEN Nadja Reigl), the AfD (district chairman parliamentary group Peter Bohn ) Garbe), the FDP (county chairman Michael Kauch , Group Chairman FDP / BL Lars Rettstadt), the civil list for Dortmund (first chairman and deputy. Group Chairman FDP / BL Thomas Reinbold) the rights (county CEO currently unknown), the NPD (county chairman Matthias Wächter ), the FBI (chairman Detlef Münch), the BIG (district chairman currently unknown), Die PARTTEI (district association chairman Olaf Schlösser), the DKP (district chairwoman Doris Borowski), the DUW (chairman Ingo Meyer), the Family Party of Germany (district chairman Alexander Dilger) and Pro NRW (district chairman Max Branghofer).

Member of the Bundestag

The Dortmund city area forms two federal electoral districts. The Bundestag constituency 142 (formerly 143) Dortmund I includes the western city districts. In 2017, with 38.8 percent of the first votes cast, the direct mandate went to the SPD MP Marco Bülow , who had already won this constituency in 2013, 2009, 2005 and 2002 and is now non-party. In 2017 Markus Kurth , GRÜNE, and Ulla Jelpke , DIE LINKE, entered the 18th German Bundestag via the state list . The eastern districts form the Bundestag constituency 143 (formerly 144) Dortmund II . Here, the direct mandate in 2017 fell to Sabine Poschmann , SPD, with 38.8 percent .

Member of the state parliament

The following MPs represent the city of Dortmund in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia (17th electoral period):

Dortmund constituency 1: Armin Jahl , employee, SPD

Dortmund constituency 2: Volkan Baran , Diversity Manager, SPD

Dortmund 3 constituency: Nadja Lüders , lawyer, SPD

Dortmund 4 constituency: Anja Butschkau , social worker, SPD

Country list: Thorsten Schick , business graduate and teacher, CDU

Country list: Thomas Nückel , journalist, FDP

List of countries: Verena Schäffer , Parliamentary Director and Historian (BA), GRÜNE

Country list: Josef Hovenjürgen , farmer, CDU


The total debt of the city of Dortmund at the end of 2012 amounted to 3.541 billion euros. This corresponds to an amount of 6197 euros per inhabitant. This puts Dortmund at the bottom of the upper third in the "ranking" for the highest indebtedness of the 103 German independent cities.

Coat of arms and colors

Dortmund coat of arms
Blazon : “The coat of arms shows the right-facing, one-headed, Staufer, imperial city black eagle on a golden background. He is armed and tanned in red. "

The seal shows the same symbol with the inscription "Stadt Dortmund".

Founding of the coat of arms: After Dortmund had developed into a free imperial and Hanseatic city in the 13th century , it included the imperial eagle in the coat of arms and seal as the imperial symbol of the imperial city. The oldest known seal of the city of Dortmund from 1241 showed a tower behind city ​​walls , the depiction of the imperial eagle appears a little later as a symbol of the city in coats of arms. As a seal image, the eagle can initially be found in the secretion seal, the council's small seal. In contrast to the imperial eagle in the imperial coat of arms of the Middle Ages and the early modern period, the Dortmund eagle was originally on a silver background. Today's coloring can be found in Hermann Bote 's shift book as early as 1514 . But the official coat of arms showed the eagle in silver for a long time. It was not until 1946 that the historical Weimar imperial colors with a golden shield were finally adopted. In 1871 two lions were added to hold the coat of arms and a crown on the shield . However, these were removed again in 1888 and 1908.

"The flag of the city contains the colors red and white in vertical stripes."

Flag of the city of Dortmund

In addition to coats of arms and colors, there has been a logo since 1994 that shows the stylized letters DO in a right-open semicircle made up of nine dark blue five-pointed stars. The stars get smaller towards the bottom. The vertical line in D is extended upwards and crossed again briefly. It is supposed to represent the Florian Tower , while two curved lines above the O allude to the large Westfalenhalle . The two letters are in petrol. The representation with stars was considered to be the European logo, in some cases the logo was also found without stars. In spring 2005, however, the urban corporate design was changed back to the traditional colors and symbols. In addition, the city of Dortmund provides citizens or companies who want to show their solidarity with Dortmund a city silhouette with several striking buildings in the color of the former logo.

Town twinning

Town twinning of the city

Dortmund currently officially maintains eight international city ​​partnerships as well as one inner-German city friendship.

Dortmund's oldest town twinning is with Amiens in France. The first steps towards such a partnership developed from the private contacts of a mayor and the deliberations of the international institute as early as 1952. From 1957, there were increased contacts between the cities, and on April 2, 1960 the city council of Dortmund proclaimed it.

The partnership with Leeds in the UK goes back even further . As early as the end of 1949, the British Control Commission for Germany made the proposal to establish relationships between the West Riding of Yorkshire and the administrative district of Arnsberg, as both areas were structurally similar. The actual town twinning goes back to a trip of several mayors from the Ruhr area to this region in 1957, during which a partnership between Leeds and Dortmund was considered. As a result, contacts intensified, and on June 2, 1969, the partnership agreement was finally signed by the city of Dortmund.

Both partnerships were still overshadowed by the Second World War and were shaped by the will not to allow such a catastrophe to happen again. You should also anchor the idea of ​​international understanding and European friendship in the population.

The idea of ​​international understanding was also reflected in the partnership with Buffalo in the US state of New York, but the efforts here came much more strongly from the partner city, which also hoped to strengthen the culture of the German population there. The first efforts on the part of Buffalo took place in 1950, but a more extensive exchange did not take place until the mid-1970s. The official decision was finally made on July 4, 1977.

Exactly one year later, the council took the decision to enter into a town twinning with Rostov-on-Don in what was then the USSR (now Russia). They developed from the city's 1973 Foreign Cultural Days with the Soviet Union. Due to the great geographical distance and the fact that it belonged to different blocks, this city partnership was a specialty from the start. Intensive contacts only came about after the end of the Cold War .

The town twinning with Netanya in Israel, decided on June 12, 1980 by the City Council of Dortmund, goes back to an invitation from 1972 to former Dortmund citizens who had to flee Germany as Jews to visit the city. As a result, Dortmund asked the Israeli city association to enter into a partnership with an Israeli city. Shortly afterwards, the mayor of Netanya announced an interest in such a partnership. Six Dortmund school partnerships have emerged from this.

The partnership with Novi Sad in what was then Yugoslavia (now Serbia) also goes back to the Dortmund International Culture Days . Following the event in 1978, the mayor of Novi Sads announced that the Yugoslav consulate was considering a town twinning with Dortmund. Finally, on March 26, 1981, the Council signed a partnership agreement.

The latest Dortmund city partnership with Xi'an in the People's Republic of China goes back to business contacts between ThyssenKrupp Uhde GmbH and a partnership between the Technical University of Dortmund and the Jiaotong University Xi'an . In February 1986, Dortmund received inquiries from several cities for a partnership, and the decision was made in favor of Xi'an due to the existing contacts and the good transport connections. As a result, contacts intensified and on April 1, 1989, the People's Congress of Xi'an City signed the declaration of partnership. Due to the Tian'anmen massacre , the city of Dortmund did not officially confirm the partnership, so that it only formally existed since June 27, 1991.

On June 2, 2014, the city partnership between Trabzon and Dortmund was sealed. The former Foreigners Advisory Council, now the Integration Council, had already spoken out in favor of the project partnership in 2008 and subsequently - with the participation of numerous actors inside and outside of politics and administration - campaigned intensively for the establishment of an official town twinning.

On July 31, 2020, Mayor Ullrich Sierau and his colleague Emil Boc from the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca signed a letter of intent to enter into a municipal partnership. The focus of the agreement is the exchange of ideas, in particular on the topics of digitization and smart cities, technology and start-up funding, further development as an innovation cluster, sustainability and services of general interest. The project partnership is coordinated by the Office for International Relations and Sustainable Development of the City of Dortmund and the Office for International Affairs and Foreign Investments of the City of Cluj.

In addition to these bilateral relationships, Dortmund is a member of the associations Eurocities , the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and United Cities and Local Governments . Historical relationships with other cities live on in the New Hanseatic League . The city has been a member of the Covenant of Mayors since January 14, 2008 .

After the Second World War, the sponsorship city working group Waldenburger Bergland / Dortmund was formed, which organized the Waldenburg home meeting for the district and the city of Waldenburg in the Westfalenhalle every two years until 2008 and is still active today via the West-East culture portal .

Youth policy

Dortmund is known as a stronghold of school and youth politics. The Dortmund district student council is one of the strongest student organizations in Germany. Since 2005, the student councils have been gaining in importance in the city public and are part of the children's and youth group and the council's children and youth committee.

The "Ring Politische Jugend Dortmund", which distributes the money for Dortmund youth organizations, includes the Jusos, the Junge Union, the Green Youth, the Young Liberals and the Left Youth. The best-known project organized by young people is Rock in the Ruins , with over 15,000 visitors, which is organized annually by Juso AG Hörde and the SPD district of Hörde.

Culture and sights



A total of 105 air strikes with more than 22,242 tons of bombs destroyed 95% of the historic city center within the ramparts. Dortmund had thus completely lost its urban face in the hail of bombs , which in addition to the medieval town churches, the old town hall and a few secular buildings, especially in the period from 1890 to 1930, was decisively shaped. The British military government and Dortmund's building officer Wilhelm Delfs even considered leaving the rubble as a memorial against the war and rebuilding Dortmund at a different location.

The reconstruction, however, was largely determined by the infrastructure lines in the ground and the roads above. Exceptions are the north-south axis along Kleppingstrasse and the east-west line along Kampstrasse in the city center, which were cut through the old town in the spirit of the age of car-friendly urban development . During the reconstruction, however, essentially the course of the streets and historical street names were retained, although the development was in the style of the 1950s. The public awareness and planning of the post-war period was characterized by the desire not to repeat the urban planning situation as a product of industrialization on the floor plans of the medieval city. Thus, large parts of the inner city are characterized by post-war architecture; in between there are individual buildings that have been preserved. Even though, due to the destruction of the war and post-war urban planning, there is no longer a complete historical cityscape, the city still has numerous buildings from many eras, especially outstanding examples of post-war modernism .

In recent years, the cityscape has received impulses through various measures such as the conversion of Kampstrasse as a boulevard or the construction of the Thier gallery as a shopping center.


From an architectural point of view, Dortmund is a city full of contradictions. The perception is strongly influenced by the post-war and postmodern style and gives the impression of a young city. In fact, due to the city's more than 1125 years of history, there is a large number of buildings from different architectural eras. Buildings that are particularly worth seeing are usually described in their own articles.

Structures within the wall ring

City wall and eagle tower as remains of the medieval city fortifications
Krügerpassage in the Krügerhaus on Westenhellweg
Old town house on Friedensplatz

The structures and dimensions of Dortmund's medieval city ​​fortifications can still be seen along Dortmund's east wall . The east wall is the only wall that still shows the old central promenade with chestnut avenue, which was created in the period from 1810 to 1874 when the city wall was razed. Well-known buildings on the east wall are the Schüchtermann monument, the old museum on the east wall , the eagle tower and a section of the historic city wall , which is over 800 years old.

The old town house was built in 1899 in the neo-renaissance style based on a design by city building officer Friedrich Kullrich. Like many buildings in Dortmund, it was badly damaged in the Second World War. Between two windows on the west side there is the Westphalian saying “So fast as düörpm”, in German: “As solid as Dortmund”. The coats of arms of the eight Hanseatic cities of Bremen , Hamburg , Cologne , Lippstadt , Lübeck , Münster , Osnabrück and Soest can be seen on the front . The balcony above the portal is framed by two female allegorical figures, the left of which symbolizes Dortmund's heyday in the Middle Ages. The figure holds the medieval town hall in one hand and the Hanseatic cog in the other. The figure on the right is a symbol of the newly dawning industrial age, because the figure supports itself with its arm on a steam hammer, in its hands it holds a measuring device and a plan.

Adjacent to the old town house there are further buildings with its extension from 1929 on the corner of Olpe / Kleppingstraße, the new town house on Südwall from 1952 and the Berswordt Hall from 2002, which together form the municipal administration complex opposite the Dortmund town hall .

In addition to the new townhouse on Südwall, the former headquarters of the United Electricity Works Westphalia , today the headquarters of DEW 21 , and the building complex for the insurance company for trade, commerce, which is now used as the youth welfare office of the city of Dortmund, are other outstanding large buildings from the 1950s at the Dortmund Neutor .

The Krügerpassage in Dortmund city center is the oldest passage in Dortmund's urban area; it was built in 1912 in the neo-renaissance style by Paul Lutter and Hugo Steinbach . However, like many other important buildings in Dortmund, it fell victim to the Second World War and was not rebuilt until 1953.

The Vehoff house on Ostenhellweg is one of the oldest secular stone buildings in Dortmund city center. It was built in 1607, destroyed by fire in 1905, and the main features of it were rebuilt as a copy of the historic house. The height of the building was adapted to that of the neighboring buildings. After the destruction in the Second World War, a second reconstruction took place with the original height of the historical house from 1607. It is directly adjacent to the Marienkirche in Dortmund and is located at the intersection between Westenhellweg and Ostenhellweg .

Health center Dortmund
City and state library with IWO high-rise, RWE tower and Sparkasse high-rise

Due to the war destruction and post-war urban planning, there are a large number of outstanding examples of post-war modernism within the Dortmund Wallring . Well-known architects such as Harald Deilmann , Will Schwarz and Fido Spröde realized themselves in the city center, outstanding buildings include the Fritz-Henßler-Haus , the Museum am Ostwall and the Dortmund Health Center . The architects' buildings have recently become the focus of interest and are being extensively renovated, as the example of the former WestLB Dortmund shows. The latter was entered in the list of monuments of the city of Dortmund in 2011 as the latest architectural monument due to its time-typical architecture inspired by Pop Art and was professionally renovated.

Furthermore, there are a large number of smaller structures within the Wallring that have been placed under monument protection or are already deeply anchored in the consciousness of the Dortmund population.

The RWE Tower , built according to plans by the Gerber architects' office, is the third tallest structure in downtown Dortmund after the Petrikirche and Reinoldikirche and was inaugurated on August 24, 2005. The 100 meter high, lenticular building with a facade made of anthracite-colored Chinese granite is used by RWE AG . Together with the inner city churches , the adjacent IWO high-rise and the Sparkassen high-rise, it is one of the tallest buildings within the Wallring

The Dortmund City and State Library was opened in 1999 south of Dortmund Central Station. The library building, designed by architect Mario Botta , consists of a rectangular structure made of pink sandstone and a glass rotunda in front.

Konzerthaus, detailed view of the modern etched glass facade

The Dortmund Concert Hall in the Brückstrasse district at the intersection of Brückstrasse and Ludwigstrasse was opened in September 2002 . The concert hall (also called the Philharmonic for Westphalia) is part of the existing row of facades, but at the same time stands out due to its corner position and the incline. The visual connection with the other facades is achieved through a glass passage between the concert hall and the neighboring building. In the evening and at night, the entire facade can be filled with LED elements. Due to the narrow and dense development within the Brückstrasse district, a forecourt had to be dispensed with, but the entrance foyer, the entirely glass ground floor zone, integrates the house quite naturally into the urban space.

The Thier Gallery with its 33,000 square meters is one of the latest major projects within the Wallring. In addition to a modern, large-scale new building, the former administration building of the Thier brewery from the 1950s was reactivated and the former Clemenschen department store from 1902 was reconstructed as a representative building of classicism on Westenhellweg with a new outdoor terrace.

Structures outside the wall ring

In addition to the RWE Tower , IWO high-rise and the Sparkasse high-rise , Dortmund also has other high-rise buildings, because a considerable cluster of medium-sized high-rise buildings has developed in the city in recent years. Together with the medieval churches of St. Reinoldi and St. Petri, the office towers form the Dortmund skyline. The development is based on the Dortmund 2030 urban development concept adopted by the city . Individual locations within the city center are to be accentuated and identified as city gates and thus form a strongly pronounced silhouette - the city ​​crown . More skyscrapers are the in April 1994 opened Harenberg City-Center with 19 above-ground and two underground levels with a height of 70 meters one of the tallest buildings in the city and the Ellipson with a height of 60 meters and 17 floors and the new Volkswohlbund skyscraper with 63 meters on the Hohen Wall. In addition, there are other high-rise buildings on the Rheinlanddamm and Westfalendamm, such as the Florian Tower with 208 meters, the Telekom high-rise with 88 meters and the Westfalentower with 86 meters.

The Landesoberbergamt Dortmund - originally Oberbergamt Dortmund - in the Kaiserstraßenviertel was built in 1910 based on a design by the government architect Behrendt and the Dortmund building councilor Claren. The representative, three-storey building with side wing and slate-covered clock tower was badly damaged during the Second World War, but was largely rebuilt in its original state after the war. The building houses the mining and energy department in North Rhine-Westphalia of the Arnsberg district government .

The Union administration building is the former headquarters of Union, AG for mining, iron and steel industry on Rheinische Strasse in the Unionviertel . The neoclassical brick building from 1921 was planned by the architects Dietrich and Karl Schulze and has similarities with the Mannesmann administration building in Düsseldorf by Peter Behrens from 1911/12. The Union building encloses three atriums inside . The building presents itself as a monumental block to the outside of Rheinische Strasse. At the top of the building there are ten columns in the neo-renaissance style . Above this row of pillars, the inscription "It praises the man for the work and the deed is visible from afar ."

Dortmunder U
Old Port Authority Dortmund

The Dortmunder U , a listed industrial high-rise from 1926, is a striking landmark of the city. The nine-meter-high, illuminated, golden Dortmunder U has been emblazoned on the roof of the building, which was originally used as a brewery, as the Union brewery's corporate logo. After the brewery moved to the periphery, all surrounding buildings have been demolished since 2003. The building was reopened in stages from May 2010 after its renovation in the course of the Ruhr.2010 and is now used as a cultural and creative center. The exhibition rooms of the Ostwall Museum, which has moved here, are located on two of the eight floors .

The old port authority was built in 1899 in the style of the new renaissance based on plans by city building officer Friedrich Kullrich. The two-storey building with a central front tower has a hexagonal floor plan and was inaugurated on August 11, 1899 by Kaiser Wilhelm II . Until 1962 the building was the seat of the Dortmund Harbor AG. Today the port authority houses the waterway police and the port and shipping exhibition with exhibits on the history of the port.

The seminar building of the Dortmund Chamber of Commerce and Industry was designed in 1928–1930 by the Dortmund architects Peter Grund & Karl Pinno and expanded in 1965 according to plans by the Dortmund architect Werner Lehmann. The flat-roofed, sandstone-clad building from the 1930s extends over 100 meters along Märkische Strasse and, together with the chamber building from the 1960s, forms a large forecourt. The latter is clad with polished panels made of Leca concrete and, in its architectural form, is considered a prime example of its construction.

Schulte Witten House

The House Schulte-Witten is a 1880-built mansion near the Dortmund city center in the district Dorstfeld . Archaeological finds show a front building at the same location, which can be dated to the Thirty Years War . Behind the house there is an extensive park area as well as the former farm and pension building . The Schulte-Witten house now belongs to the city of Dortmund and is used as a district library and for so-called ambience weddings.

The water tower of the Dortmund Südbahnhof is a 43 meter high old elevated water tank at the former Dortmund Süd depot . It was built between 1923 and 1927 as a reinforced concrete skeleton structure by the Deutsche Reichsbahn and houses various offices of architects and advertising agencies.

The Hohensyburg casino was completed in 1985 based on plans by the architect Harald Deilmann and took two years to build on the Hohensyburg . Germany's top-selling casino is located above the Hengsteysee and offers a sweeping view over the Ruhr valley near Hagen.

In the Bittermark city forest, the Bittermark memorial commemorates the final phase crimes in Rombergpark and in Bittermark by the Secret State Police .

Important religious buildings

Towers of the Marienkirche (right) and the Reinoldikirche
Petrikirche on Westenhellweg

There are 63 Roman Catholic, 43 Protestant and other church buildings from various architectural epochs in Dortmund's urban area . In addition, Dortmund has the third most Romanesque churches in its urban area after Cologne and Regensburg among German cities.

The construction of the Reinoldikirche began in 1250. The Protestant church is named after St. Reinoldus , the city's patron saint. The originally 112 m high tower of the Reinoldikirche was considered a “miracle of Westphalia” after its completion in 1454. After being damaged by the earthquake, it collapsed in 1661 and was immediately rebuilt. The tower of the Reinoldikirche with a current height of 104 m can be climbed up to the first platform through the bell tower.

Opposite the Reinoldikirche is the Marienkirche . Probably the oldest vault building in Westphalia was built in the second half of the 12th century as a late Romanesque pillar basilica. At the end of the 14th century, a Gothic choir was added and other parts of the building were renewed, such as the window front on the south side. The church originally had two towers. The interior of the church is adorned by an altar of Mary by the Dortmund master Conrad von Soest from 1420 and the older altar by the Bersword master, unknown by name, who depicts the crucifixion.

The Petrikirche was also built on Hellweg. The three-bay construction began in the early 14th century and was completed as a Gothic hall church. Inside St. Petri is the Golden Wonder of Westphalia, a magnificent winged altar from 1521, which is currently being extensively restored.

The Propsteikirche St. Johannes Baptist was the monastery church of the former Dominican monastery of St. Johann founded in 1330 and is the only Roman Catholic church in downtown Dortmund. One of the preserved sights of the monastery is an altarpiece by the Wesel painter Derick Baegert from the 15th century.

Other church buildings in the city center are:

St. Urbanus Church in Huckarde

There are also numerous historically significant sacred buildings in the city districts, including several small Romanesque and Gothic churches, but also examples of modern church construction. Buildings that are particularly worth seeing are described in the articles for the respective districts.

The oldest church in Dortmund is St. Peter zu Syburg . The original church was built in 776 on the Hohensyburg by Charlemagne and in 779 by Pope Leo III. consecrated. The fortified church, which is still preserved today, was built on the ruins of this building in the 11th century. The old church in Wellinghofen dates from the 12th century. It was under the patronage of the von Romberg family . In the church there is a Romanesque font and many treasures of medieval church art. In Kirchhörde there is the evangelical Patroclus Church (Kirchhörde) called Kleinreinoldi, also from the 12th century . The St. Margareta Church in Eichlinghofen, the Margaretenkapelle in Barop, the St. Josef Church in Kirchlinde and the St. Remigius Church in Mengede date from the 13th century .

Other church buildings are:

Castles and Palaces

Hörder Castle on Lake Phoenix
Vinketurm of the Hohensyburg

There are many former aristocratic residences in the Dortmund urban area:

The historically important Hohensyburg lies above the confluence of the Ruhr and Lenne rivers in the Hengsteysee on the back of the Ardey Mountains . Ruins of the Saxon Sigiburg, which were first mentioned in a document in 775, have been preserved to this day. On the Syberg you can also find the historic fortified church of St. Peter zu Syburg, which dates back to 1100, the Vincketurm built in 1857 and a Kaiser Wilhelm monument built from 1893 to 1902. The Hohensyburg casino , which was completed in 1985, is considered the casino with the highest turnover in Germany.

Only the main tower of the Hörder Castle , built on the Emscher in the 12th century, has survived . The castle served as a court seat for a long time. The Hörder Burg is considered the cradle of the Ruhr industry. The Iserlohn factory owner Hermann Diedrich Piepenstock built a puddling and rolling mill here in 1852, which later became the Hermannshütte . After the decline of the coal and steel industry, the Phoenix Lake is now at the foot of the Hörder Castle .

The moated castle Haus Dellwig , built in the 13th century, combines different architectural styles and is located in the hilly moraine landscape in the Dellwiger Bachtal, surrounded by the Dellwiger Wald nature reserve. The Westphalian Industrial Museum Zeche Zollern II / IV is within walking distance.

The Rodenberg moated castle, first mentioned in a document in 1290, is located in the Aplerbeck district of Dortmund . The moated castle built by the knight Diederich von dem Rodenberge today belongs to the city of Dortmund, was completely renovated in 1996 and serves as a seminar building for the adult education center.

The moated castle Haus Bodelschwingh was built in the 13th century by the von Bodelschwingh family and is still owned by the family today.

Brünninghausen Castle , built by the von Romberg family in the 13th century, was largely destroyed in World War II. The gatehouse used as a municipal art gallery and the former castle park are reminiscent of the former moated castle .

The knight's seat Haus Wenge was laid out in the 13th century by Goswin and Johann von der Wenge and is today the only noble house of the 16th century with Gothic shapes in the Dortmund area.

The Adlerturm and the stone tower as an upstream lookout are evidence of the former ramparts and fortifications of the free imperial city of Dortmund .

Other important structures are:

Industrial monuments

Zollern colliery in Bövinghausen

The increasing decay and the threatening demolition of a large number of evidence of the past economic heyday with its profound effects that industrialization had on the coexistence of people were seen by the Dortmund population as an existential attack on their own identity. As one of the first places in the Ruhr area , the struggle for the preservation of the historical legacy of industrialization and its social recognition arose here. The starting point of the entire movement was the machine hall of the Zollern colliery , which, thanks to the initiative of Hans P. Koellmann, was not demolished as planned in 1969, but was the first industrial building in Germany to be listed . In 1981 the Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe integrated the mine into the decentralized Westphalian Industrial Museum. Little by little, the surrounding buildings were restored and made accessible to the public. In addition to the impressive buildings, the outdoor facilities are also part of the museum. The coal loading station, the former colliery station and an accessible headframe are among the attractions.

Blast furnace remains and gasometer from the former Phoenix-West steelworks

The former Hansa coking plant, built in 1928, has been owned by the Foundation for the Preservation of Industrial Monuments and Historical Culture since 1995 . Most parts of the plant have been listed as a historical monument since 1998 and the Hansa coking plant is part of the Route of Industrial Culture . The system can be experienced during guided tours by former employees and trained, expert guides.

The old colony Eving is a listed workers' settlement in the Eving district. The settlement was built between 1898 and 1899 by the United Stein und Hardenberg colliery for foreign workers who were increasingly recruited during this period and originally consisted of 76 houses with 270 apartments.

On the disused, partially listed and largely demolished blast furnace plant Phoenix-West south of the Westfalenpark, two partially preserved blast furnaces, a gasometer, the renovated and unused blower hall, the former spare parts warehouse, which is now used as an event hall, and a few other fragments remind of the industrial history of the district Hear .

The Graf Wittekind visitor mine on Syburger Bergbauweg gives an insight into the beginnings of mining in the southern Ruhr area.

Other buildings of industrial historical significance are:


old market

Like every big city, Dortmund has a large number of public spaces. The history of the origins of the different squares is as different as the design. In addition to the nucleus of the city such as the Old Market , others emerged during industrialization or are the product of current urban design. Most are in the pedestrian area of ​​the historic city center .

The old market forms the historical center of the city. In the Middle Ages, the historic guild and guild houses of the Dortmund Hanse merchants were grouped around the market. The head office of the private brewery Dortmunder Kronen and the Adler pharmacy can be found here to this day . Until 1955, there were also the ruins of the Old Town Hall , which was destroyed in World War II and was considered the oldest stone town hall in Germany, and the ruins of the Städtische Sparkasse, built in 1914, which was used as a library until 1943 after moving to Hansastraße. After the war ended in 1945, only the outer walls of both of the formerly magnificent buildings remained. Today, the gastronomy dominates around the old market, which seats almost the entire square in the summer months. The old market is still often used for city festivals. A special feature is the brass fountain, built in 1901, which is reminiscent of Dortmund's market tradition. As early as the 12th century, this place in the city was used as a trading point for merchants, craftsmen and citizens. The blower fountain was created as a trough for the horses of the market traders. The fountain got its name from its striking figure on its central column, which was created by the Berlin professor Gerhard Janensch. It should represent a traveling musician from the Middle Ages. In 1964 the fountain in its current form was created on the east side of the Old Market, with a modern fountain basin, but the old wind figure.


In the south-west of the Alte Markt there is Hansaplatz , which was called Wickedeplatz until the end of the 19th century. Before this was built at the beginning of the last century together with the construction of Hansestrasse, two streets with dense, small-scale and village-like buildings ran through this area. At the beginning of the 20th century, when the street broke through, this development was demolished and representative new buildings such as the Althoff building - today Karstadt -, the Wandelhalle as Propstei arcades, the Commerzbank and the building of the former Dresdner Bank were built. Today the weekly market takes place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The Friedensplatz is the city's central event location. At Friedensplatz there are important municipal facilities such as the town hall, the old town house built from red sandstone, the Berswordt hall , the new town house and the Dortmund municipal agency. In the middle of the square the Peace Column towers into the sky.

Around the Reinoldikirche are the Willy-Brandt-Platz , the Reinoldikirchplatz and the Platz von Leeds with lots of outdoor dining. The latter is one of a total of five places in downtown Dortmund that are named after a twin city. Other places are Buffalo Square, Amiens Square, Rostov-on-Don Square and Netanya Square.

Outside the city, there are particularly interesting places in the north of the city, such as Borsigplatz , the cradle of the Borussia Dortmund ball game club, Nordmarkt , Fredenbaumplatz and Steinplatz .

Urban district

Borsigplatz in the north of the city
Typical house facades in the Kreuzviertel

Dortmund's inner city was largely destroyed in the Second World War. In the neighboring districts, which were mostly built in the early days of urban perimeter block development, numerous old buildings and a local district culture have been preserved.

The Kreuzviertel in the southwest of the city center was built on by the civil servants' housing association between 1904 and 1908 and is still considered a residential area for the upper middle class today. As the location of the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and close to the university, the Kreuzviertel is very popular with students. In elections, the Greens in the Kreuzviertel achieve the highest percentage of votes in Dortmund. In the district this is noticeable through a diverse scene of cafés and pubs, often with outdoor catering. The density of bars is one of the highest in the entire Ruhr area.

The northern part of the city was built between 1858 and 1913 as a working-class district and is now predominantly inhabited by migrants, who mostly work there or have opened their shops. Located to the north of Dortmund's main train station, Nordstadt is the largest contiguous Wilhelminian-style district in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Münsterstraße in the central North City is a residential and shopping street with the slogan "living Dortmund patch". It has become known through the mix of gastronomy from different countries and has tourist potential. There are around 150 retail, catering and service companies from various countries and cultures, the Münsterstrasse Festival takes place there every year. The Dortmund Central Mosque is also nearby. Schützenstraße in the harbor district has a similar structure with multicultural restaurants. The Borsigplatz , where various festivals take place, is also part of the northern part of the city.

The Kaiserviertel , also known as the Kaiserstraßenviertel due to the commercial street of the same name , is located to the east of Dortmund's former ramparts and is the city's judicial focus. In addition to the district court and regional court , the Italian and South African consulates and the regional mining office are also located here. In the meantime, the highest rental and real estate prices within Dortmund's city center are being achieved here due to many Wilhelminian-style buildings and entrepreneurial villas. The historic Kaiserbrunnen is now the center of the lively quarter with many owner-managed retail stores, freelancers, bars, cafes and restaurants.

The Brückstrasse district is the last part of the city center, the street network of which has been preserved from the pre-war period. As a cinema mile and the location of numerous discos, Brückstrasse had a seedy image. An open drug scene known beyond the city was also active here until the mid-1990s. With the establishment of high-quality cultural institutions ( concert hall , adult education center and orchestra center in North Rhine-Westphalia ) and district management by the city, a contrary development could be initiated here. Today the Brückstrasse presents itself as a modern, highly frequented shopping street with a multicultural background as well as an active night life with bars and trendy pubs.

Parks and green spaces



In 1897 a patriotic zeitgeist gave rise to so-called imperial gardens throughout the Ruhr area, for example in Oberhausen . The Dortmund Kaiserhain was south of Bundesstraße 1 . On this site was built in 1959 for the National Garden Show the Westfalenpark with the German Rosarium and the Florian Tower . Further federal garden shows took place in the 75 hectare park in 1969 and 1991.

About two kilometers south, on the grounds of the castle park of the former Brünninghausen castle , you will find the 65-hectare Rombergpark . It was created as a botanical and English landscape garden and is particularly known for its collection of trees. As a special feature, the park, which has been left close to nature, has a medicinal herb garden and an artificial moor-heather landscape.

The area between Westfalenpark and Rombergpark, formerly the location of the Phoenix-West steelworks , is currently being renatured. This prepares the two large Dortmund parks to grow together.

The Dortmund Zoo is also part of this large urban green area. At the southern end of the Rombergpark is the zoo formerly known as "Tierpark Dortmund". 1,840 animals of 265 species are found on a total area of ​​28 hectares. The main focus of the zoo is the keeping and breeding of South American animal species.

The largest green space in Dortmund is the main cemetery, still used as a cemetery, with 135 hectares . In the historicist style cemetery, there are large, open lawns, sightlines that are interesting in terms of landscape architecture and old trees.

The Ostenfriedhof near the city center has old trees and a large number of historical graves of famous Dortmund citizens.

In Dortmund's northern part of the city, the Fredenbaumpark on the site of the former Westerholt forest and the leisure facility Lunapark on 63 hectares invites you to take long walks and relax. The Fredenbaumpark was opened to the water in 2007 with URBAN II funds. In the northwest, the park was expanded to the Dortmund-Ems Canal and the wheelhouses there.

The Hoeschpark is also in the north of Dortmund. In the green area laid out in 1937 by the Reich Labor Service in the immediate vicinity of the Westfalenhütte and Borsigplatz , there are numerous sports facilities and the Stockheide hot water outdoor pool. After the sale by the Thyssen Group to the city, the park is currently being renovated and refurbished.

The Westpark , laid out in 1811 as Westentotenhof in the western city center, invites you to linger in summer with its beer garden and boules alleys. Just like the nearby Tremoniapark on the site of the former Tremonia colliery , whose large meadow is used as a sunbathing lawn and soccer field. Both green spaces are used in particular by the younger population as a meeting place for relaxation and socializing.

The Wischlingen Revierpark and the Hallerey nature reserve are also to the west of the city.

The Mengede and Lütgendortmund public gardens bear witness to the public garden movement at the end of the 18th century .

The extensive forest areas Bolmke , Stadtwald Bittermark , Schwerter Wald , Niederhofer Wald , Grävingholz , Kurler Busch , Rahmer Wald and the Wannebach Valley are located in the Dortmund periphery on the borders of the Sauerland and Münsterland . These are easily accessible via hiking and cycling trails and make you quickly forget the big city life. The district of Syburg with its castle ruins, the Kaiser Wilhelm monument, the casino, a natural stage and an educational trail on mining history is also an important local recreation area. South of the Hohensyburg, the terrain drops steeply to the Hengsteysee with boating areas and hiking trails.

Sports facilities

Westfalenstadion (currently Signal Iduna Park )
Volkspark with the adjacent Rote Erde stadium

After the first horse races had already taken place at the Hobertsburg am Fredenbaum in 1887, the Dortmund horse racing track with a sand and grass track was opened in Wambel in 1913 . The historic racecourse is the venue for the German St. Leger .

The first sports facility of the Borussia Dortmund (BVB) ball game club was the White Meadow at the Westfalenhütte in the north of Dortmund. In 1924, this first Borussia stadium offered space for 18,000 spectators as the Borussia sports park. In 1937 the sports grounds were expropriated by the National Socialists and the Reich Labor Service began building the Hoeschpark here . Only a plaque in the Stockheide outdoor pool near Hoeschpark reminds of the White Meadow.

The Rote Erde arena, built in 1926 in the bourgeois south of the city, became the new BVB venue. The Rote Erde stadium was part of the Volkspark Dortmund and was based on the urban planning of the building councilor Hans Strobel . At that time, the Dortmund Volkspark also included the Westfalenhalle, the rose terraces and the Volksbad Dortmund, which has been a listed building since 2007, immediately south of the old Reichsstrasse 1 . The Rote Erde stadium experienced its heyday with the success of Borussia in the mid-1960s. With wooden makeshift stands, the audience capacity was increased to 42,000 people. After Borussia Dortmund's move to the Westfalenstadion, the Rote Erde served as a training facility for the BVB professional team until the 1990s. Today the stadium, with a capacity of 25,000 spectators, serves as an athletics stadium and is the venue for national and international competitions. It also serves as a venue for Borussia Dortmund's second team, who play in the West Regional Football League .

For the 1974 World Cup , the Westfalenstadion was rebuilt with a capacity of 54,000 spectators. A pure football stadium in the style of the 1970s made of concrete, and yet it was enthusiastically accepted by the population and fans. Despite the lack of success for Borussia and a time in the Second Bundesliga, visitor records were celebrated. With the success of Borussia Dortmund in the mid-1990s, the successive expansion of the “football temple” began. With a spectator capacity of 81,360 (65,851 for international games), the Westfalenstadion is the largest football stadium in Germany today. A special feature and extremely worth seeing is the south stand. As the largest standing room in Europe, it is home to Borussia fans. In 2006 the stadium was also the venue for the World Cup. Six games including one eighth and one semifinal encounter took place in Dortmund. For safety reasons, the capacity was reduced to 60,285 (all seats) for all six games. After the Olympiastadion Berlin, the stadium was the second largest venue for the World Cup.


The Westfalenhalle was built as a wooden round hall by the building officer Strobel in the 1920s. With a capacity of 15,000 spectators, it was temporarily the largest hall building in Europe. The world championship fight of Max Schmeling in 1927 is legendary. During the Second World War, the hall was misused as a prisoner of war camp, and numerous prisoners were killed when the hall was bombed by the Allies. The hall was rebuilt shortly after the war. In 1952, the new hall, built as a self-supporting roof structure with a capacity of 20,000 spectators, was handed over to its purpose by Federal President Theodor Heuss . Today the hall is part of the Westfalenhallen exhibition center with a total of nine event halls.

The rowing center is located on the Dortmund-Ems Canal, near the Fredenbaumpark. Here, among others, the Germany eight trains .


Opera house on the square of the Old Synagogue
Playhouse on Hiltropwall
Depot in the north of the city

The Dortmund Theater, founded in 1904, offers opera , ballet , drama and a children's and youth theater . After the Second World War, the opera house, the theater and the studio stage were rebuilt on the site of the old synagogue and were considered an important symbol of the rebuilding of the war-torn city. A memorial stone in front of the opera house commemorates the destruction of the synagogue in 1938. The theater for children and young people “Theater Sckellstraße” is located on the street of the same name in the immediate vicinity of the Westfalenpark. In the next few years it is planned to close the location and relocate the children's and youth theater to the city center. The aim is to create a large opera-theater complex with the “Young Stage Westphalia” or the children's and youth theater on Hohen Wall, which unites all stages in one central location.

The Fletch Bizzel ensemble was founded in 1979. The Fletch Bizzel Theater has had its own stage on Alfons-Spielhoff-Platz since 1985 . In addition to the ensemble's own productions, children's and puppet theater productions are regularly shown in the theater. The theater has a gallery and a cultural workshop that serves as a training center in the field of theater, dance and singing. The theater's best-known production is the annual Geierabend series of events in the Zeche Zollern .

The theater in the depot has found its venue in a former tram depot on Immermannstrasse in Dortmund's Nordstadt district . The stage, which sees itself as the center of independent theater art, has for the most part been in-house productions since January 2001, but other independent theater groups without their own venues also find a home here. A theater workshop with courses and workshops for amateurs and amateur actors rounds off the program.

The private theater Olpketal is the home stage of the Dortmund original Bruno Knust , called Günna. Günna, known from radio and television, devotes himself time and again to the topics of the Ruhr area, the inhabitants of this region and football in his productions, which are spiced with a lot of local flavor. He is also the author of regular columns in the Ruhr Nachrichten .

The Hohensyburg natural stage in the middle of the Syburg Forest at the foot of the Hohensyburg has the most scenic venue . Since 1952, various productions for big and small theater fans by amateur actors have been staged here in the summer months. Since 2003 the playing season has been continued in the studio of the natural stage in the winter months.

Floating stage in the Westfalenpark

The “School for the Art of Dance” is the Cordula Nolte dance theater. In a historic gym on Rheinische Strasse, dance theater productions have been taking place on a private studio stage on a regular basis since 1998.

In addition to musical productions and comedies, the Roto-Theater in the heart of Dortmund's northern part of the city also focuses on literary programs.

The Hansa Theater is a theater in the Hörde district of Dortmund. In particular, musical revues, musicals and cabaret are shown here.

The smallest theater in Dortmund with only 45 seats is the nostalgic puppet theater in the Westfalenpark .

Other venues in Dortmund are:


Buildings and facilities

Concert hall in the Brückstrasse district
Interior view of the concert hall
Domicil jazz club

The newly built Konzerthaus Dortmund , which opened in 2002, is considered a beacon project for Dortmund's musical culture. In addition, it has been part of the European umbrella organization of the European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) since 2014 . The concert hall, built in a modern steel-and-glass architecture, has 1,500 seats and is considered an orchestra with excellent acoustics.

The Freizeitzentrum West (FZW), opened in 1968 by the city of Dortmund, is an organizer of innovative youth and pop culture. The club, supported by the Association for Independent Culture (VUK), offers over 250 events a year for various youthful subcultures and musical scenes. In addition to regional greats, international artists from various genres regularly play at the FZW. As one of the first clubs in Germany, the FZW recognized the need for middle-aged people for good music and dance early on and founded Club30. The Electronic Music Festival Juicy Beats has its origins in the club culture of the FZW.

The domicil jazz club has existed since 1969 . Originally located in the basement of a daycare center, in 2005 it found a home in the former studio cinema in the Westfalenhaus on Hansastraße. The jazz club, organized as an association, has organized countless concerts with regional and international performers in its history. The club's website has an extensive archive of events. The WDR and Germany radio regularly use the club to concert recordings. The renowned New York jazz magazine Down Beat counts the domicil among the 100 best jazz clubs in the world.

The NRW youth jazz orchestra was established in 1975 with the aim of promoting young talent as Germany's first youth jazz orchestra. Of the meanwhile more than 500 artists who have collected their first merits in the Youth Jazz Orchestra , a good third have chosen the path of professional musicians.

The jazz band Siggi Gerhard-Swingtett could look back on more than 50 years of history . Siggi Gerhard and Hilbert Homberg found each other in the Hot Club Dortmund , founded in 1948, and founded the formation that existed until 2013, which with its catchy swing had great popularity and appearances in the WDR and at the German Jazz Festival .

The Dortmund Music School is dedicated to training musicians . Founded as a conservatory in 1901, the music school can look back on a long history. Under the direction of director Volker Gerland, the music school today looks after more than 4,000 musicians of all ages over the entire city area with around 200 teachers. As separate departments within the music school, the Glen Buschmann Jazz Academy and the Pop School are dedicated to the fields of jazz and popular music with various forms of training courses.

The International Schubert Competition for Pianists has been held since 1987.

There are also some notable performers in the field of popular music :

At the beginning of the 1980s, the folk rock band Cochise , based in the squatter scene, gained national importance. The band played in front of 350,000 people at the peace demonstration against NATO's double resolution on June 10, 1982 in Bonn. Even the Conditors in the 1980s had some success.

Today, the diverse independent music scene is noticed across Germany by bands and performers such as Cosmo Klein , Sasha , Too Strong , Orange but Green or Axxis .

On July 19, 2008, the largest Love Parade took place on the Rheinlanddamm and the parking lot of the Westfalenhallen with 1.6 million visitors .


Dortmund has a large number of choirs, some of which are members of the Association of German Concert Choirs or the Choir Association of North Rhine-Westphalia . The Dortmund Oratorio Choir was founded in 1899 as the “Lehrers-Gesangverein Dortmund” and gave its first musical lecture at the opening of the Dortmund harbor in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm . Since 1905 there has been a collaboration with the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra. During the National Socialist dictatorship, many members of the choir were excluded due to their Jewish origins and the chaos of war meant the temporary end of the choir. The teachers' choir did not come together again until 1957, and in 1986, due to the lack of teachers who enjoyed singing, became the Dortmund Oratorio Choir. The choir's repertoire includes classical music from Bach to Vivaldi .

Immediately after the Second World War, Emil Rabe launched the Dortmund Chamber Choir in 1946 in the bombed-out Dortmund . On numerous trips abroad, the choir won a number of international awards, for example the "Grand Prize of the Republic of Ireland" in 1954. The Dortmund Chamber Choir has already been awarded the title of Master Choir of the North Rhine-Westphalia Singing Association four times .

The Choir Academy at the Konzerthaus Dortmund is one of the largest singing schools of its kind in Europe . It looks after around 1,300 singers who sing in more than 30 different choir ensembles . In Dortmund it consists of 17 children's choirs and eight performance choirs. There are other locations in Essen and Gelsenkirchen, each with six children's choirs.

Other Dortmund choirs are:


Museum of Art and Cultural History
Eagle tower

The Ostwall Museum, founded in 1947 in the Dortmunder U for modern and contemporary art, collects paintings, sculptures, objects, and photos from the 20th century. It houses the largest collection of works by the painter Alexej von Jawlensky in Germany, as well as the Die Brücke collection from the area around the Blue Rider . In addition, over 1000 works by Marcel Duchamp to Joseph Beuys , from Günther Uecker to Jean Tinguely from the Siegfried Cremer collection were acquired in the early 1990s , which form another focus of the museum ( informal art , ZERO and Fluxus ).

The Museum of Art and Cultural History is now located in an Art Deco building built by Hugo Steinbach in 1924 as a municipal savings bank . The museum's collection provides an insight into the city's cultural history through paintings, sculptures, furniture and handicrafts. In terms of time, the collection includes exhibits from prehistory and early history through to exhibits from the 20th century. The Förderkreis Vermessungstechnisches Museum e. V. maintains a permanent exhibition on the history of surveying and presents rare geodetic instruments. The premises of the museum are regularly used for the presentation of nationally important art and cultural exhibitions.

The Adlerturm Museum houses an exhibition on the city's medieval history. You can see excavation finds and a model of the medieval city. Contemporary representations, historical weapons and utensils illustrate the appearance of Dortmund over the past centuries.

Museum of Natural History at the Fredenbaumpark

The Museum für Naturkunde was founded in 1912 and tries to bring the history of the earth, minerals and the local flora and fauna closer to the public. Geology is a focus of the museum. The highlights of the museum are a mineral cabinet with a rock crystal group, a visitor mine and a 90,000 liter aquarium that shows the world of fish that live in the Möhnesee . In 2012, this aquarium replaced an aquarium with a capacity of around 72,000 liters from 1980, the one with tropical freshwater fish from Central and South America .

The focus of the German Cookbook Museum in Dortmund is the cookbook author Henriette Davidis , who lived in Dortmund from 1856 to 1876. The museum would like to use the exhibits to bring social life and kitchen technology, social differences and table culture of the 19th century to life.

1910 as a means for teacher training and as a teaching tool - Permanent Collection established peering Westphalian School Museum back on a long history. The museum houses one of the most important school history collections in Germany and impresses with an extensive museum educational program.

The LWL-Industriemuseum is headquartered at Zeche Zollern  II / IV, an anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Culture (ERIH). The model mine of Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-AG , completed in 1903, was built in Art Nouveau style and has features of north German brick Gothic. The Art Nouveau portal saved the hall from the threat of demolition in 1969 and made it a pioneering industrial monument preservation building in Germany. Today the Zeche Zollern is home to the museum of the social and cultural history of the Ruhr mining industry .

The coking plant Hansa , which was closed in 1992 , is a large walk-in sculpture that offers fascinating insights into the history of heavy industry in the past century. On a nature and technology adventure trail, visitors can walk through the listed production areas of the coking plant. The preserved machine hall with five Demag gas compressors is outstanding . Hansa is the seat of the Foundation for the Preservation of Industrial Monuments and History.

The Hoesch Museum , reopened in 2005, is located in the former Portierhaus I of the Westfalenhütte . The museum, created through the collaboration of former “Hoeschians”, the Museum of Art and Cultural History and the Westphalian Economic Archive Foundation, shows the importance of Hoesch AG for the city and presents the industrial history of the steel industry from 1871 to the decline at the end of the 20th century.

The DASA - Working World Exhibition is a technical museum founded in 1993 in the Dortmund district of Dorstfeld near the Technical University of Dortmund. The exhibition shows modern and past technology worlds on around 13,000 m² of exhibition space. The technology is not presented as an end in itself, but always a reference to the people working with it.

The Steinwache in Dortmund is a reminder and memorial to the horrors of the Nazi era and houses the permanent exhibition "Resistance and Persecution in Dortmund 1933–1945" of the Dortmund City Archives.

The Dortmund Brewery Museum was reopened in April 2006 . Located in the historic machine house of the former Hansa brewery with an adjoining production hall from the 1960s, the museum gives an overview of the city's brewing history.

The exhibition Port and Shipping in the Old Port Authority provides information about shipping and modern port management using ship and port models.

German Football Museum of the DFB at the main train station

Since December 19, 2008, the 99th birthday of Borussia Dortmund , the Borusseum, a museum dedicated to the history of the club , has been located in the north-east corner of Signal Iduna Park .

The German Football Museum is the official national football museum of the German Football Association (DFB) and was opened on October 23, 2015. The building in the immediate vicinity of the main train station was designed by 'HPP Hentrich-Petschnigg + Partner' from Düsseldorf and is part of Dortmund's art and culture mile. In terms of content, it is a place of remembrance and experience of German football history. The focus is on information about historical football events and the development of sport in all its facets, as well as social and societal issues related to football.

The privately run pharmacy museum is located at Wißstraße 11 on 300 square meters. With well over 10,000 exhibits, it is the largest private collection of pharmaceutical history in Germany.

The Magnet Museum is a private museum owned by the Tridelta company. The exhibition gives an overview of historical and current applications of permanent magnets in electrical engineering. In the museum, the use of permanent magnets in meters, loudspeakers, telephones, switches, relays, clocks, measuring devices, small motors and generators is illuminated.

The local transport museum is located in the Nette district and shows exhibits from the holdings of the Dortmunder Stadtwerke AG and its predecessor companies.

The industrial lacquer museum is located in the Dortmund harbor and would like to bring its visitors closer to industrial lacquer with all its facets.

Entry to the city's museums will be free from January 1, 2019.

Other museums in the city are:

Art in public space

Schüchtermanndenkmal on the east wall

Over 660 different works are distributed in the public space of the city of Dortmund - art from the last 150 years. From sculptures, sculptures, paving stones, paintings, mosaics, industrial relics, sculptures or fountains. In addition to monuments such as the Lion Monument and the Schüchtermanndenkmal , three large fountains, artistically designed underground stations, playgrounds and sculptures such as the “Chip” on Amiens Square have been built in the city center since the mid-1980s through the renovation of Kleppingstrasse and Kampstrasse which, after being set up, has developed into a meeting place for young people in particular.

Stumbling blocks on Cologne-Berliner Strasse

Particularly noteworthy is the Europabrunnen on Kleppingstrasse, which was designed by Joachim Schmettau and made in granite and bronze in 1989. A lively street café scene has now emerged around the Europe Fountain along the entire Kleppingstrasse. Another attraction is the juggler fountain in the center of the city garden. The juggler fountain, designed by Prof. Eberhard Linke for the 1125th anniversary of the city, is around 30 meters long and 12 meters wide and overcomes a difference in height of 4 meters. The water flows in cascades from the spring basin into the lower well basin. The bronze jugglers' figures, which give it its name, stand here and spray the well water in different ways.

The Dortmund Rhinoceros art project is also located within the Wallring and beyond . The rhinoceros with wings ( "Rhinoceros alatus" ) is the heraldic animal of the Dortmund concert hall . Dozens of differently designed variants were set up in an art event in the urban space in cooperation with local artists and youth groups at prominent locations in the city.

Since 2003 stumbling blocks for victims of National Socialism have also been laid in Dortmund by the artist Gunter Demnig . By summer 2014 around 200 stones had been set in numerous parts of the city.


The Künstlerhaus Dortmund has been run by artists in self-organization since 1983 and used as an exhibition space for contemporary and experimental art. It is located in the north of Dortmund in a former factory building of the United Westphalia colliery .

The Dortmunder Kunstverein was founded in 1984 and is based in the adult education center . The exhibition program annually includes four to six presentations of contemporary young art from a wide variety of areas such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography or video art.

The Rombergpark gatehouse of the von Romberg family's former Brünninghausen Palace is also used as a municipal gallery.

Cinema, film and television


There is a multiplex cinema from the Cinestar group at the north exit of Dortmund Central Station . On the former Brückstrasse cinema mile , the last cinema on Brückstrasse was the independent cinema Schauburg . There is also a cinema in the Dortmunder U , which regularly shows a high-quality film program. In the northern city are cinemas Roxy, Camera and sweet sixteen . In the Aplerbeck district there is also the “Filmbühne Zur Postkutsche”, the only remaining suburb cinema in Dortmund.

In 2013, theater and film workers in Dortmund published the Manifest Dogma 20 13 , which calls for a further development of Dogma 95 .

With the WAM Media Academy and the Film & Sound course in the Design Department at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences, Dortmund is also a training center for filmmakers. Also worth mentioning is the Hartware Medienkunstverein , the Filmklub Dortmund ( BDFA member), which has 60 members , the WDR -Landesstudio Dortmund, the learning channel NRWision and the Sat.1 -NRW-Studio. From 1997 to 2012 the film rights distributor ems new media was also active here.

A number of film festivals are held in Dortmund , including the XXS Dortmund Short Film Festival , the International Women's Film Festival Dortmund / Cologne , and the Dortmund Bar Film Festival , which has been taking place since 2010 .

The city is repeatedly the scene of film recordings, both for successful TV series such as Balko or the Dortmund ARD Tatort (since 2012), as well as for feature films (e.g. Fickende Fisch or What does not fit is made to fit , both in 2002) and Documentary films, for example about Lake Phoenix or football in the city of Borussia Dortmund .

Regular events

Juicy Beats 2013 in Westfalenpark Dortmund
Mayday 2009

Many festivals make Dortmund a Mecca for electronic music. While the Juicy Beats music festival attracts more than 30,000 visitors to the Westfalenpark in summer , Mayday in the Westfalenhallen is the largest indoor rave festival in Germany with 20,000 to 25,000 visitors per year . There are also other electronic dance events such as the Syndicate Festival or the German-Russian dance event Glamotion in the Westfalenhallen between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors.

The Hanseatic market in downtown Dortmund is an annual spectacle and brings together numerous traders and players from all over Germany. It takes up the centuries-old tradition of the city market. And it still takes place at a historically significant location, because the Dortmund market was one of the largest markets in the Middle Ages.

The city of Dortmund awards the Nelly Sachs Prize for Literature every two years .

The International Culture Days of the City of Dortmund have been in existence since 1957, and are now the oldest continuous cultural festival in Germany. Every two years a European partner country presents exhibits from its cultural diversity at various events. Around 20 European countries have been guests so far. Today the Dortmund Culture Days are the core of the state-wide event Scene: NRW .

Integrated into the culture days, the jazz scene of the respective partner country is illuminated and presented at the europhonics jazz festival . The music festival, which was initially initiated in 1987 under the title Dortmunder Jazzfrühling, presents contemporary, European jazz every year at different venues in the city.

Rock in the ruins

The women's film festival femme totale has been held every two years since 1987. At the festival with a thematic focus, productions are shown in which women have played a key role in the areas of direction, script, sound or camera. At the film festival there will also be a theme-independent feature film competition for female directors, a young talent award for young picture designers and a sponsorship award for women cameramen. In 2005 the festival merged with the Kölner feminale to form the International Women's Film Festival Dortmund / Cologne , which now takes place alternately in Dortmund and Cologne.

Since 1997 the dance and theater festival off limits has been aimed at the independent dance and theater scene. A symposium will be held parallel to the festival.

The Dortmund literature festival LesArt is held annually . As in other German cities, the city's cultural landscape opens up to a wide audience every year on the Open Monument Day and the Dortmund Museum Night .

The Dortmund Christmas market is visited with more than 300 stalls one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and every year more than two million visitors from the city, the region and from abroad. The attraction of the Dortmund Christmas Market, which takes place in several squares in the city center, is the tallest Christmas tree in the world built as a scaffolding structure on Hansaplatz with a height of 45 meters. The scaffolding, in which a sprinkler system (52 ​​extinguishing nozzles, 3200 liters / minute) is installed for fire fighting, is equipped with 1700 red spruce trees. 44,000 lamps provide the lighting. The tree has a dead weight of 30 tons and is secured with a concrete foundation of 140 tons. Due to the already high weight, a higher tree is not possible, as the maximum static load-bearing capacity of the multi-storey underground car park below Hansaplatz has been reached.

Every year from the end of November to the beginning of January of the following year, the Westfalenpark is illuminated as part of the “Winter Lights” campaign.

Further events are:

Culinary specialties

Traditional Fischer bakery
at the town hall 1848
Dortmund export

There is no way around the Dortmund export , which is often drunk as a stick in the Dortmund kitchen. Despite the decline of what was once the largest brewery location in Europe, the Dortmunder Helle, a bitter, bottom-fermented export beer, continues to enjoy an international reputation. As a down-to-earth drink, served with the Westphalian specialties Pfefferpotthast with pickled cucumbers, Panhas or Möppkenbrot , it is still popular today. Other culinary specialties from the Dortmund area are the classic currywurst and pumpernickel with lard. In addition to the high-profile Dortmund exhibition à la carte, the Dortmund gastronomy celebrates a pepper pot festival on the Alter Markt every year . In Westhofen in the south of Dortmund, the Sup Peiter is celebrated with Westphalian specialties in winter . Once a year there is also a multi-day beer festival around the Dortmunder U , at which, in addition to many regional new beer brands, the well-known Dortmund beer brands Bergmann Bier , Kronen , Union Bier , Brinkhoff's, DAB , Hövels , Ritter Bier , Thier Pils and Present pen.

A pastry specialty is the salt cake , a circular bun seasoned with salt and caraway seeds with a recess in the middle. It is often eaten topped with mince, with the recess receiving chopped onions.


Dortmund is important for sport as the home of well-known sports clubs , as a venue for important competitions , as a location for large sports facilities and as the seat of national sports associations . More than 140,000 people are organized in 564 sports clubs and thus provide important impetus to both popular and competitive sports in the region.

Sports associations

Dortmund is the seat of the German Handball Federation , which currently has around 803,000 members in around 4,500 clubs with around 24,000 teams and is the world's largest umbrella organization for handball. The head office is at Willi-Daume-Haus on Strobelallee .

Dortmund is also home to the Westphalia Olympic Base, the third largest base in Germany. At the Dortmund, Bochum , Warendorf and Winterberg locations , more than 550 athletes are supported in over 20 different sports.

The National Rowing Center in Dortmund has been the training home of the Germany Eight for many years and offers rowers ideal training and environmental conditions. The central importance of the base has increased steadily over the past few years. Due to a significant increase in the number of team athletes, with the help of the city of Dortmund, the federal government and the state, the center was expanded into a modern training facility for competitive rowing.

The German Wrestling Association also has its office in Dortmund.

There are also performance centers for sports shooting , figure skating and ice dancing .

Clubs and sports facilities

Signal Iduna Park South Stand
Interior view of the Helmut-Körnig-Halle
Wladimir Kramnik and Péter Lékó at the Chess Meeting 2006
Gallopprennbahn Dortmund

Dortmund's sporting showpiece is the traditional football -Bundesligist Borussia Dortmund , German football champions 1956, 1957, 1963, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2011 and 2012, DFB Cup winners in 1965, 1989, 2012 and 2017 European champions Cup Winners' Cup in 1966 and Champions League and World Cup winner 1997, who plays in Signal Iduna Park (formerly Westfalenstadion) south of the city center. The club has around 155,000 members and an average of 79,141 spectators. The 2nd team currently plays in the Regionalliga West . BVB's handball women will play in the Bundesliga again for the 2008/09 season. The first team in the table tennis department belongs to the second Bundesliga. The pronounced enthusiasm for football and sports of the people in Dortmund is internationally known.

The Westfalenstadion was the venue for the football world championships in 1974 and 2006 . It offers space for 81,365 spectators, making it the largest football stadium in Germany and the fourth largest in Europe . The Rote Erde stadium and the Helmut-Körnig-Halle athletics center are in the immediate vicinity . The neighboring Westfalenhallen are known as the scene of numerous European and world championships in various sports, such as the 2007 handball world championship . Since 1925, the traditional standing race has been held in the Westfalenhalle on Christmas Day, followed by the annual six-day race until 2008 at the same location in 1926 . The international riding and jumping tournament in Dortmund's Westfalenhalle is one of the most important equestrian events in Germany.

The Helmut-Körnig-Halle and the Rote Erde stadium are the main bases of the Dortmund athletics community. Numerous club teams have come together in the LG Olympia Dortmund ; numerous LGO athletes achieve great success on a national and international level.

Basketball is also very popular. The Dortmund-based club SVD 49 Dortmund currently plays in the regional basketball league and regularly enjoys a sold-out hall at home games in the Brügmannhalle. Especially since the Bundesliga year 1992/93, the club has aroused widespread public interest.

Another traditional club in Dortmund is the ice hockey team of EHC Dortmund . The origins of the association go back to 1937 when EV Westfalen Dortmund was founded. In the period that followed, there were three more successor clubs, all of which had to stop playing for financial reasons. The EHC Dortmund has existed since 1996 and celebrated its tenth anniversary in the summer of 2006. The EHC currently plays in the third highest German ice hockey league , the Oberliga . In 2007 and 2008 the club was able to win the regional league championship. The home arena of the Elche is the Westfalenhallen ice sports center .

The 1st Snooker Club Dortmund played in the 1st Snooker Bundesliga from 2011 to 2015 .

The Sparkassen Chess Meeting Dortmund will be held in the Dortmund Schauspielhaus . Originating from the International Dortmund Chess Days, which have taken place annually since 1973, it is considered the most important and strongest chess tournament in Germany and has international significance. The chess club Hansa Dortmund e. V. played in 2011/2012 in the German Chess League , currently in the West Season of the 2nd German Chess League .

The Dortmund racecourse in the Wambel district, which has existed since 1913, has a 2000 m grass runway and a 1600 m all-weather sand runway. The German St. Leger and the Great Price of the Dortmund Economy are held annually on the racetrack, which is equipped with floodlights and covered grandstands .

There are three golf courses in Dortmund : The one in the Reichsmark from the Dortmunder Golf Club e. V. operated 18-hole course, the 18-hole course Royal Saint Barbara's in Brackel, which was laid out by the former British Army of the Rhine during the occupation, and a 9-hole golf course in the inner field of the Dortmund racecourse (GolfRange Dortmund).

South of the Westfalenpark there is a training route for cyclists called the Dortmund Kidney .

Dortmund offers a wide range of leisure activities and popular sports. Among other things, the city has ten swimming pools, numerous sports halls and facilities, a now relatively well-developed, 300 km long cycle path network, a mountain bike arena (on the site of the former household waste dump in the Deusen district , Deusenberg ), three climbing facilities, a high ropes course and several fun sports facilities (skateboard, BMX and beach volleyball facilities) and of course the many parks and green areas. In total there are almost 600 sports clubs in Dortmund with around 140,000 members. The listed Dortmund Südbad in the city center is the traditional venue for numerous, nationally important swimming events.

The TSC Eintracht Dortmund , the largest association with around 7,000 members , the Stadtsportbund and Sport Welt Dortmund GmbH, as operators of Dortmund's swimming pools, are of particular importance for popular sport .

Wrestling also has a great tradition in Dortmund. Between 1927 and 1957 ASV Heros Dortmund was German team champion ten times and Sportklub Hörde 04 three times. Since 2002 there has been an annual meeting of the world's elite in Greco-Roman wrestling in Dortmund. With the support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Dortmund, the "Grand Prix of the Federal Republic of Germany" is successfully organized in Dortmund's Helmut-Körnig-Halle.

But fringe sports such as American football , poker and baseball also attract attention in Dortmund. In 1980 the Dortmund Giants were one of the first German football clubs. Now the Giants are playing in the third highest German division, the regional league. In 2008 the Dortmund Wanderers baseball team played in the top German division, the 1st Bundesliga. The European Poker Tour was held from 2007 to 2009 in Dortmund's Casino Hohensyburg .

Transport infrastructure

Road traffic

Transport links to the city

The city was rebuilt to be car-friendly after the Second World War. The most striking features are the federal road running south of the city center through the city area B1and the four to six-lane inner city ring along the former city wall. Car traffic is only possible to a very limited extent within this ring.

Dortmund is one of the most important traffic hubs in the Ruhr area and the Westphalia region. The Dortmund motorway ring includes sections of the motorways A1 (Bremen – Cologne), A2(Oberhausen – Berlin) and A45(Dortmund – Aschaffenburg). In traffic, the city is also on the highways A40(Dortmund-Venlo), A42(Dortmund-Kamp-Lintfort), A44(Aachen Dortmund and Dortmund-Kassel) and four national highways ( B1, B54, B235and B236) connected to the German road network. With the Kamener Kreuz , the Westhofener Kreuz and the motorway junctions Dortmund / Unna , Dortmund-West , Dortmund / Witten , Dortmund-Nordwest and Castrop-Rauxel-Ost, there are important German motorway junctions on or near the Dortmund urban area.

Rail transport

Dortmund Central Station

The main station in Dortmund one year to the most important with 41 million passengers railway junction in the German passenger . There are also 23 regional train stations in the city. Measured by the connections in regional traffic, the train stations Dortmund-Hörde , Kurl and Mengede are further important stations, plus 25 stops on the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn .

see also: List of Dortmund train stations

Another important transport facility is also on the city's east route to Hamm located depot as the site of the DB Regio NRW and DB Fernverkehr AG. In addition to the electric locomotives and diesel railcars for regional transport and the wagons for long-distance transport, the ICE 3 is also serviced here. In rail freight transport , however, Dortmund is no longer a rail hub after the two shunting yards, Dortmund Rbf and Dortmunderfeld, have been closed. These trains can be guided past the city center via the Dortmund freight bypass .


Dortmund Airport

The Dortmund airport is located in the east of Dortmund at the border to Holzwickede and Unna. Measured by the number of passengers, the airport is the third largest commercial airport in North Rhine-Westphalia . In Germany it is in 10th place. Low-cost airlines make up a large part of flight operations . In addition, there is a larger proportion of regular tourist traffic, business travel and general aviation . There is also a squadron of the North Rhine-Westphalia police pilots and a DRF air rescue station on the airport grounds . Dortmund Airport can be reached via the B 1 and by public transport via a transfer bus directly from the Holzwickede / Dortmund Airport train station. Since 2004, Dortmund Airport has also been operating the Airport Express, which runs between the central bus station at Dortmund Central Station and the airport. The VRR - tariff does not apply on this route.

The Dusseldorf airport is within an hour by train or car in about.


Canal port with container terminal

In inland shipping, Dortmund is connected to the Rhine and the North Sea via the Dortmund-Ems Canal and has the largest canal port in Europe.

Local transport

Local transport hub Möllerbrücke
Stadtbahn U46 in Saarlandstrasse underground station
Dortmund H-Bahn

Dortmund's local traffic is largely operated by DSW21 in the Rhein-Ruhr transport association. The DSW21 has been assigned the number range “4” within the VRR, so all line numbers begin with a “4” (exceptions are lines beyond the city limits). In the local rail passenger transport (SPNV) Dortmund is accessible by the four S-Bahn lines S 1, S 2, S 4 and S 5 , numerous regional express trains and regional trains .

In local public transport , Dortmund has a network of eight urban underground lines : U 41, U 42, U 43, U 44, U 45, U 46, U 47 and U 49. In April 2008, the last tunnels under the city center were completed . The last two tram lines 403 and 404 were converted after the opening of the east-west tunnel and are now called U 43 and U 44. Various extensions are being considered, but none are being seriously pursued.

In addition, 73 DSW21 bus routes operate in the city . This route network covers 852.1 kilometers and carries 134 million people annually. [As of January 2018]

There is also an automatic H-Bahn between the two university locations and the Eichlinghofen district and the technology park .

Striking the red double-decker express buses, which were VKU the central bus station at Dortmund main station to the bus station in Bergkamen association. Articulated buses now operate there.

Bicycle traffic

Cycling is also promoted in Dortmund by urban planning - an extensive network of cycle paths has been created since the 1980s. On July 10, 2006, an application was submitted to the Ministry of Transport in Düsseldorf for inclusion in the “Working Group on Pedestrian and Bicycle Friendly Cities and Towns in North Rhine-Westphalia” (AGFS). Dortmund was awarded this title on August 8, 2007. In addition, Dortmund is connected to a number of long-distance cycle routes:

In the 2018 ADFC bicycle climate test , Dortmund ranked 13th among 14 cities in Germany with over 500,000 inhabitants. For the test, 1390 cyclists were interviewed in Dortmund. The grade was 4.35, so the city was just ahead of Cologne, which achieved the grade 4.38 and was last. In 2016, Dortmund still scored 4.14 and 8th place. In comparison with the other cities in this category, Dortmund scored particularly well in the points "Position value of cycling" (grade 4.9), "Advertising for cycling" (grade 4 , 7), "Recently promoted bicycles" (grade 4.9), "illegal parking controls on cycle paths" (grade 5.3), "parking facilities" (grade 4.4) and "routing in construction sites" (grade 5.1) bad. The point “bicycle theft” was “positive” compared to other cities in this category, but only with a grade of 4.4, just above the average of 4.54.



In the past, the economic development of Dortmund was accompanied by upheavals, upheavals and changes in the internal structure. The interaction of numerous economic and non-economic factors shifted the dimensions of the individual areas - the primary (landscape and mining), the secondary (industry and manufacturing) and the tertiary sector (services). The relationships between these branches of industry changed as well as to the Dortmund economic area and throughout the Ruhr area . Accompanied by economic and structural improvement measures of the city, the state and the federal government, shifts to the Quaternary sector are taking place and are still taking place . Today Dortmund is a trade and service center as well as a high-tech metropolis in the fields of energy (electricity, gas transport networks), microsystem technology and biomedicine.

In 2016, Dortmund achieved a gross domestic product (GDP) of € 21.553 billion within the city limits, making it 14th in the ranking of German cities by economic output . In the same year, GDP per capita was € 36,781 (North Rhine-Westphalia: € 37,416, Germany € 38,180) and thus slightly below the regional and national average. In 2016, around 313,500 people were employed in the city. The unemployment rate in December 2018 was 9.8% and thus well above the average for North Rhine-Westphalia of 6.4%.

Traditional economic sectors, change and prospects

Future location Phoenix East with Phoenix Lake
Future location Phoenix-West
Thomas pear of the Phoenix East steelworks
Dortmunder U on the former location of the Union brewery

In the course of industrialization , Dortmund quickly developed into a center of heavy industry ( coal and steel industry ). Important Dortmund groups were Hoesch , the Dortmund Union , the Phoenix AG for mining and smelting operations as well as the Dortmund collieries, which from 1969 came under the umbrella of Ruhrkohle AG . In the middle of the 20th century there were more than 15 coal mines in what is now Dortmund's urban area, the last of which ceased operations in 1987.

See also list of former mines in Dortmund .

The last major mining supplier, the Gustav Schade machine factory , was not closed until later.

The economically healthy Hoesch AG was taken over in 1992 by the Essen-based Krupp Stahl AG . In 1997, Krupp-Hoesch and Düsseldorf-based Thyssen Stahl AG merged to form ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG , with drastic consequences for the Dortmund steel mills. The liquid phases of the iron and steel production in Dortmund were shut down in the following years because the new group concentrated its steel division on the geographically more favorable Rhine rail. The resulting job cuts were a heavy burden for Dortmund's economy.

The areas of the former industrial sites now offer development potential for the city:

  • The former site of the Dortmunder Union in the west of the city center is largely already settled with a new logistics and trade structure: it is conveniently located on the railway line through the Emschertal , on the northern city motorway, the feeder to the A 45, A 40 and A 2, and near the Dortmund-Ems Canal .
  • The former Phoenix-Ost steelworks in the southeast in Hörde has become an interesting address for residential and business purposes with a high recreational value after its dismantling, demolition and redesign for the Phoenix-See project .
  • With the MST.factory, the Phoenix-West location is already playing a central role in the competition for further companies from the field of microsystem technology. Dortmund is now the largest German center for microsystem technology and is currently home to 26 companies with around 1,700 employees in this still young future industry as well as the IVAM professional association for microtechnology.
  • Even after the blast furnaces, the sintering plant and the hot wide strip mill have been shut down, production will continue at the Westfalenhütte site in the north-east of Dortmund. Here is a rolling mill with sheet metal finishing and coating with around 1000 employees. There is also a development center for surface finishing of flat steel. The area with a size of about 15 square kilometers (about 3 km by 5 km) offers enormous opportunities for urban development. Several logistics companies have already settled on the area.

The machine in Dortmund and plant has a great tradition. In addition to the chemical plant construction company ThyssenKrupp Uhde GmbH , which today also belongs to Thyssenkrupp AG, the machine and plant manufacturer KHS GmbH , formerly Holstein & Kappert , with its headquarters in Juchostraße, manufacturers of packaging and beverage filling machines. A company that no longer operates in Dortmund is Thyssen Klönne AG . Construction vehicles used to be manufactured in Dortmund by Orenstein & Koppel , which came to Krupp Fördertechnik and its sister companies during the Hoesch-Krupp mergers. The O&K excavator division was taken over by the American Terex group and still manufactures heavy construction machinery in Dortmund, but has since been bought by the American company Caterpillar . The machine tool industry also has a well-known Dortmund past: in Lütgendortmund on the city limits of Bochum, the family business Tönshoff, formerly a world-famous manufacturer of multi-spindle automatic lathes, existed until the 1980s. With the former "Hoesch Maschinenfabrik Deutschland ", Dortmund on Bornstrasse near the Westfalenhütte had a manufacturer of the largest lathes. Maschinenfabrik Rothe Erde is a leading manufacturer of large roller bearings. The boom in wind energy ensures the company has increasing sales figures.

In the meantime, companies in the insurance and finance industries have established themselves in Dortmund, as well as many modern IT and service companies in the area around the university, which provide employment.

Dortmund became known as a beer city beyond its borders for the brewing of export beer . From the numerous Dortmund breweries (including Bergmann , Borussia , Actien (DAB) , Union (DUB) , Kronen , Hansa , Ritter , Stifts , Thier ) that grew into large breweries after the First World War and dominated the German beer market for almost 50 years , there was only one left: Under the roof of the Bielefelder Dr. August Oetker KG, which belongs to the Dortmunder Actien-Brauerei (DAB), today all but one of the Dortmund beer brands are united. The Dortmund Bergmann brewery was founded in 2005 and sells several beer specialties independently.

Structural change

Modern high-rise buildings in the city center

In the period from 1960 to 1994, the number of industrial employees decreased from 127,000 to 37,000 people. New jobs were created mainly in the area of ​​information processing as well as with banks and insurance companies . A forward-looking signal was the foundation of the University of Dortmund at the end of 1968 . The campus university laid the foundation stone for today's science location. The technology center was opened in 1984 as one of the first in Germany to be close to the university . Since 1988, more than 225 companies with over 8500 employees have settled in the adjacent technology park. The Stadtkrone-Ost project on the former barracks site on the B 1 is another positive example of the structural change in Dortmund that began with the coal crisis in 1958 and is still unchanged today. This is also where the head office of the listed Adesso SE , one of the top 25 IT consulting and system integration companies in Germany, is located.

The dortmund-project , a public-private partnership between the city and the Thyssenkrupp Group , which was developed by management consultant McKinsey & Company based on the model of Wolfsburg AG , is intended to close the employment gap created by structural change and develop new key sectors for the city and be strengthened. The brownfields were integrated into the overall concept as new management sectors. Logistics , microsystem technology (MST) and information and communication technology were selected, followed later by the health industry , biomedicine and energy technology . In 2005 the project was integrated into the city's economic development for an unlimited period. Among other things, the number of people in employment should be increased to 325,000 by 2010 before the collapse of the coal and steel industry. In April 2011, the direct and indirect consequences of the project had reached 298,000 gainfully employed persons, which corresponded to 53,000 of the missing 80,000. In 2008 further targets were published up to 2018 [obsolete] : According to them, the unemployment rate should reach the single-digit range and the population should remain stable. In addition, the centrality index should increase from 114 (2008) to 118 ( e.g. through the Thier gallery ). This value was increased to 124 in 2014.

The city was praised in 2004 for its successful structural change. According to the business magazine Capital , Dortmund was the city in the Ruhr area that had the best economic prospects until 2013. In 2004, the Handelsblatt described the city as a “silent star” in its future atlas. In 2006 the city received the Eurocities award in the “Innovation” category for the MST.factory .

In 2014 Dortmund was one of the most important logistics locations in Germany with a unique infrastructure, more than 900 companies active in the logistics sector and nationally and internationally recognized scientific institutions. A total of 26,316 people worked in the logistics area. In 2016, the city was recognized as a digital hub in the field of logistics within the Digital Hub Initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and, alongside Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt, acted as the engine for digitization in Germany.

The importance of Dortmund as a major retail center increased. The Westenhellweg in the heart of the city center is one of the most frequented shopping streets in Germany , along with Kaufingerstraße in Munich , Zeil in Frankfurt am Main and Schildergasse in Cologne . The high rents and the lack of vacancies on Westenhellweg and Ostenhellweg reflected this development. International industry giants such as IKEA , Amazon or Decathlon have established logistics and distribution centers in Dortmund in recent years, especially in the north of Dortmund, at the Westfalenhütte and at the Dortmund harbor. In addition, there are Rhenus, REWE and DHL which operate logistics centers with a European reach in Dortmund for some customers.

Employment Agency Dortmund


The table shows the unemployment rate in Dortmund on June 30th of each year (two-year interval).

year 2000 2003 2005 2007 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2019
Unemployment rate
based on all
civilian labor force
14.0 14.3 18.1 14.0 13.1 12.7 13.0 13.2 12.6 11.0 10.1

Established businesses

Dortmund city center with a view towards the south, with locations of Innogy , Signal Iduna and Westnetz

One of the largest employers in Dortmund is the city itself, along with numerous municipal companies . The Dortmunder Stadtwerke AG (DSW21) employed over 3000 people in its numerous subsidiaries in the business fields of transport, energy, telecommunications, housing and urban development. Together with Stadtwerke Bochum GmbH, Dortmunder Stadtwerke owns Gelsenwasser AG.

The Dortmund Energy and Water Supply GmbH (DEW21) is a joint venture of DSW21 and RWE . DEW21 supplies the residents of the city of Dortmund with natural gas, electricity, heat and water and offers services related to these products for business and private customers. The city also owns shares in RWE, which Dortmund has developed into an important business location. In addition, with Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH as operator of the event center Westfalenhallen and the trade fair there, there is disposal Dortmund GmbH (EDG), a waste management company founded in Dortmund in the 1990s. The main task of the EDG is the cleaning of public areas as well as the garbage disposal and the Dokom21 as a company for telecommunications GmbH.

Dortmund is one of the most important centers of the German insurance industry . In addition to Continentale Krankenversicherung , the parent company of the Continentale Insurance Association, the Signal Iduna Group, a merger of the Hamburg Iduna Group and Dortmund Signal Insurance, has its headquarters in the city. In 2009, both companies were among the 20 largest insurance companies in terms of premium income in Germany . In addition, the AOK Nordwest , the Bundesinnungskrankenkasse Gesundheit , the Volkswohl Bund , the VKH Vorsorgekasse Hoesch Dortmund and the Kirchliche Zusatzversorgungskasse Rheinland-Westfalen have their headquarters here.

Headquarters Volkswohl Bund

In addition, the city is considered the center of the West German energy industry . In addition to Westnetz GmbH as the largest distribution network operator, Amprion GmbH, the second largest German transmission network operator in Germany, has its headquarters in Dortmund. In addition, there are important companies in the gas industry such as Thyssengas , Progas and Transgas Liquid gas transport and logistics and the Westphalia waterworks .

With more than 12,000 employees in over 100 companies, Dortmund is an important location for the communications processing and information technology industry. This is due to the fact that with the TU Dortmund , the University of Applied Sciences and the IT Center Dortmund, one of the oldest and largest training centers with the entire range of information technology is located in the city. With Adesso SE and Materna GmbH, two of the 25 largest German IT consulting and system integration companies are based in the city. With Verizon Deutschland GmbH , the US telecommunications group has its German branch in the Dortmund technology park. A large network of start-up companies has developed in this environment through various subsidies and initiatives by the city of Dortmund as well as the cooperation with educational institutions with the TU Dortmund or the FH Dortmund. In 2014, the Dortmund-based company Baby-Markt was one of the largest and oldest online shops in Germany and employed 300 people. There are also other now well-known startups such as RapidMiner , GreenIT , Cabdo , Urlaubsguru and GastroHero based at Dortmund Airport in Holzwickede.

Dortmund is the headquarters of numerous companies in the real estate industry, in addition to the Ruhr-Lippe housing company , Spar- und Bauverein Dortmund , DOGEWO21 , Julius Ewald Schmitt Grundstücksgesellschaft , LEG Immobilien also has a large company location in the city.

Local credit institutions include Sparkasse Dortmund , Volksbank Dortmund-Nordwest , Dortmunder Volksbank, which merged with Volksbank Hamm in 2013, and the Bank for Church and Diakonie (KD-Bank).

Despite profound structural change, Dortmund is still one of the largest locations in Germany for plant and mechanical engineering . In addition to WILO SE as a manufacturer of pump systems for heating, cooling and air conditioning technology, KHS GmbH, the city's largest industrial employer with over 1,200 employees, and ABP Induction Systems GmbH, important manufacturers of plant and mechanical engineering, have their headquarters in Dortmund . Other companies with headquarters in Dortmund are ThyssenKrupp Rothe Erde , ThyssenKrupp Uhde GmbH , Anker-Schroeder ASDO and Elmos Semiconductor AG. The Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH in Dortmund manufactures minibuses with 8 to 22 seats on the basis of the van Sprinter (220 employees). In addition, Caterpillar Global Mining HMS GmbH owns a production plant for large hydraulic excavators for worldwide use in mining in Dortmund-Dorstfeld.

The Dortmund region is an important logistics location in the center of Europe. The Rhenus AG & Co. KG has the fifth largest German logistics service provider based at Dortmund Airport and has other locations in the city. Over 800 companies in logistics and related industries employ over 26,000 people in the city. In Dortmund there are around 50 distribution centers from well-known companies such as the Ikea central warehouse of Ikea Lager und Service GmbH and Rhenus AG & Co. KG. In addition, companies such as ETL Fiege, Kaufland, Rewe, TEDi or ThyssenKrupp Materials control their flow of goods across Europe from Dortmund.

Other large companies based in Dortmund include Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA, Dortmunder Actien-Brauerei AG, Die Freie Brauer , Captrain Germany , Rewe Dortmund Wholesale eG , Hellweg - Die Profi-Baumärkte GmbH & Co. KG and TEDi GmbH & Co . KG., German Airways and Envio .

Important large companies based in Dortmund are Schirmer Kaffee GmbH, TRD-Reisen Fischer GmbH & Co. KG, Geers Hörakustik AG & Co. KG, Rotkäppchen Peter Jülich GmbH & Co. KG, Nordwest Handel AG, Lieken AG.

retail trade

The 900 meter long Westenhellweg in the city center is the most famous and best-selling shopping street in Dortmund and the entire Ruhr area . Since Jones Lang LaSalle began measuring pedestrian flows in 1999, Westenhellweg has been one of the busiest shopping streets in Germany. The study carried out in 2013 showed 12,950 visitors per hour, which earned the Westenhellweg the title of the most frequented shopping streets in Germany. In addition, in a nationwide rental price comparison for retail space, Westenhellweg is always among the top 10 locations in Germany. Overall, the Westenhellweg is strong through branches of large retail ( Kaufhof , Karstadt , C&A , H&M ), fashion ( Peek & Cloppenburg , Esprit , s.Oliver , Zara ) and retail chains ( Douglas perfumery , Mayersche bookstore ) as well as boutiques, specialist shops and restaurants embossed. In 2011 the new shopping center Thier-Galerie opened on the upper Westenhellweg.

In addition, there are various other shopping streets and districts in Dortmund city center with different retail focuses:

  • Brückstrasse District: The district in the north of the city center is known for its international takeaways and cheap fashion stores.
  • Ostenhellweg : In addition to a few branches of inexpensive to medium-priced retail chains, there are also many owner-managed retail stores.
  • Kleppingstrasse : Kleppingstrasse and its side streets to the east are known nationwide for their high-priced fashion stores, boutiques, designer shops and galleries. Furthermore, a distinctive bourgeois gastronomy scene with a Mediterranean flair has developed in this area.
  • Kaiserviertel : Right to the east of the city wall, a middle-class quarter with a large number of owner-managed retail stores, cafes and restaurants.

The Indupark in the west of Dortmund represents another retail location . As a shopping and commercial center that was built on the site of a former colliery, the Indupark offers space for large-scale shops such as IKEA , Media-Markt or Decathlon .

Retail metrics

In 2014, Dortmund had a comparatively low level of purchasing power with an index of only 93. The purchasing power index has fallen steadily and six years ago it was 100.2 in 2008, above the national average. Compared to surrounding cities such as Bochum, Unna or Witten, Dortmund's purchasing power level is relatively moderate. Particularly in the cities adjoining the urban area to the south, such as Herdecke or Schwerte, a comparatively higher level of purchasing power can be ascertained, whereas the cities adjacent to the north such as Lünen tend to have a lower purchasing power index.

With a centrality index of 124.0 in 2014, Dortmund was well above the national average and the average of the surrounding cities. This makes it clear that Dortmund, despite the comparatively low purchasing power level of its own population, is able to demonstrate a high level of trade centrality due to a significant deduction of purchasing power from the surrounding area.

2003 2004 2005 2014
Sales figure 109.0 107.8 106.6 115.7
Purchasing power index 101.3 101.8 093.0
Centrality index 107.6 109.6 109.1 124

measure up

Exhibition center with Westfalenhalle

The Westfalenhallen exhibition center has nine air-conditioned halls with areas between 1,000 and 10,600 square meters. The Westfalenhallen exhibition center offers a total of 59,000 m² of exhibition space. Around 60 trade fairs with around 800,000 visitors take place here every year.

Important trade fairs in the Westfalenhallen location are:

  • German Comic Con , fan convention (or multigenre convention)
  • YOU , European youth fair
  • Jagd & Hund , Europe's largest hunting fair
  • Creativa , Europe's largest trade fair for creative design
  • Intermodellbau , world's largest trade fair for model making and model sports
  • Inter Tabac, international trade fair for tobacco products and smoking accessories


newspapers and magazines

Lensing Carée as the publishing house of Ruhrnachrichten

Before the Second World War, the General-Anzeiger for Dortmund appeared in Dortmund, the national daily newspaper with the highest circulation in Germany outside of Berlin. After a Hitler caricature by Emil Stumpp , the left-wing liberal newspaper founded by Friedrich Wilhelm Ruhfus in 1890 was discontinued by the National Socialists and from then on appeared as a party organ under the name Westfälische Landeszeitung - Rote Erde .

The journalistic tradition could not be continued after the end of the war. Today, the Westfälische Rundschau (WR), the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) and the Ruhr Nachrichten (RN) appear three local newspapers. However, the WR belongs to the Funke media group , which has discontinued the local section in Dortmund and takes over content from the Ruhr Nachrichten. The street magazine Bodo appears once a month and is offered for sale in town.

Numerous advertising magazines such as the Stadt-Anzeiger and the Nordanzeiger are distributed free of charge in Dortmund. These usually appear weekly. The free event magazines coolibri and Heinz are available monthly in cultural institutions and restaurants.

Visions-Verlag publishes the monthly, nationwide music magazine Visions in Dortmund . In addition, the editorial office of Europe's largest rock and metal magazine, Rock Hard , is located in the Körne district.

At the TU Dortmund, the campus newspaper required reading appears three times per semester .

watch TV

Both Westdeutsche Rundfunk Köln (WDR) and Sat.1 operate state studios in Dortmund. In Dortmund, WDR produces the programs Planet Knowledge , Local Time from Dortmund and The Gifted Day . The local time from Dortmund reports daily with current news about the region. Sat.1 produces the NRW edition from 5:30 p.m. in Dortmund. In addition, some contributions are produced for various programs, for example for the Sat.1 breakfast television in Dortmund.

The nationwide TV learning channel NRWision is also located in Dortmund. Teaching editors, amateur filmmakers and citizen groups from all over North Rhine-Westphalia take part in the program. In its media library, all television programs are specifically bundled according to individual North Rhine-Westphalian cities or media makers from these locations. The learning station is funded by the State Agency for Media North Rhine-Westphalia and developed and operated by the Institute for Journalism at the TU Dortmund .

In addition to London and Paris, Dortmund is the seat of Global Tamil Vision and the headquarters of GTV Germany.


Parts of the radio waves WDR 2 and WDR 4 as well as the traffic news are produced in the WDR Studio Dortmund. The local private radio Radio 91.2 offers regional information as well as the supporting program of Radio NRW . The student radio eldoradio * plays music around the clock, broadcasts verbatim contributions in the morning and in the evening and can be received in Dortmund via antenna, cable and also as web radio.

The German Radio Academy , previously located in Dortmund, relocated its office to Oberhausen in 2005. However, seminars and training events continue to take place at Nollendorfplatz in Eving.

Online offers

The online magazines with the greatest reach are the BVB fanzines and

The online offer NRWision bundles in its media library video and audio productions about Dortmund or TV programs, radio contributions and films that were produced by editorial offices and media makers from Dortmund.


The media company Lensing is the third largest independent newspaper publisher in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Harenberg Verlag published the journal buchreport and the mirror -Bestsellerlisten. The publisher became known to the general public through the series Die Bibliophilen Taschenbücher and especially the Chronik des 20. Century . The Busche Verlagsgesellschaft is a publisher for hotel and gastronomy criticism. The annual Schlemmer Atlas and Schlummer Atlas are particularly well-known . The graphite Publishing laid detective novels.

The record label Century Media is based in Dortmund and has been part of Sony Music Entertainment since 2015. The Aktive Musik Verlagsgesellschaft produces children's cassettes, CDs and children's audio books under the label Igel-Records.

Further publishers based in Dortmund are Borgmann Verlag, IFS-Verlag, Ingrid Lessing Verlag, Verlag Kettler, OCM Verlag, VBE-Verlag, Verkehrsblatt-Verlag and Verlag modern learning.

Public facilities

Court place with district court and public prosecutor's office

Dortmund is the seat of the following institutions or corporations under public law :

As a regionally significant place of jurisdiction, Dortmund has a regional court , a district court , a labor court and a social court .

There are also general consulates of Italy and Greece in Dortmund as well as honorary consulates of Bangladesh , Ghana , South Africa and the Czech Republic .

Education and Research


Mathematics building of the Technical University of Dortmund
Dortmund University of Applied Sciences
  • Technical University of Dortmund : founded in 1968 with a focus on natural sciences, engineering, economics and planning; 1980 expanded to include the departments of the Ruhr University of Education (founded 1929), since then also humanities. Until 2007, the TU Dortmund was called Universität Dortmund. In November 2010 a TU logo was installed on the mathematics tower.
  • Dortmund University of Applied Sciences ; Founded in 1971 through the merger of a former state engineering school, the Werkkunstschule Dortmund , a higher technical school for social work, a higher technical school for social pedagogy and a business school.
  • FOM - University of Economics and Management , Dortmund location: founded in 1993 in Essen. The FOM University has had a university center in Dortmund since 2005. The university buildings are located at Stadtkrone-Ost.
  • North Rhine-Westphalia University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration . The University of Applied Sciences has a total of four departments and nine study locations. The Dortmund study location is assigned to the Gelsenkirchen department.
  • International School of Management : founded in 1990 privately; State recognized since 1994. The training center offers various courses in business administration.
  • Detmold University of Music , Dortmund location: founded in Detmold in 1947 as one of the first music universities in Germany. The Dortmund Municipal Conservatory (founded in 1901) and the part of the Westphalian School for Music in Münster (founded in 1919) for the training of professional musicians were incorporated into it. There is now only the location in Detmold, the Dortmund University was disbanded in 2004, the department in Münster the local university incorporated.
  • Orchesterzentrum NRW : The orchestra center in Brückstrasse is organizationally affiliated with the Folkwang University of the Arts in ( Essen ). Here, students are prepared for work as orchestral musicians as part of the master’s degree in “orchestral playing”.
  • IT-Center Dortmund : The private educational institution founded in 2000, sponsored by the Technical University, University of Applied Sciences, ISM, Dortmund Chamber of Commerce and Industry and networker westfalen e. V. offers a bachelor's degree in information technology .
  • International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef Bonn : The International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef · Bonn (IUBH) is a private, state-recognized university for business and management with several locations, including a. also in Dortmund.

Research institutes

The Dortmund educational landscape is based on a multitude of different types of schools. Dortmund is also a “corporate sponsoring member” of the Max Planck Society .



The city of Dortmund has 160 schools, including 16 grammar schools (14 municipal ones). Particular mention should be made of the Dortmund Stadtgymnasium as the city's oldest grammar school (founded in 1543), the Max Planck grammar school as the second oldest grammar school in Dortmund (founded in 1858) and the only school in Germany with Portuguese as an Abitur subject, and the Leibniz grammar school as one of only approx. 30 schools nationwide with an International Baccalaureate degree.


Well-known native Dortmunders today include the city's footballers such as Michael Zorc , Thorsten Fink , Christian Nerlinger , Marco Reus and Kevin Großkreutz . In addition, well-known actors such as Dietmar Bär , Max Herbrechter and Amelie Plaas-Link , the German directors Peter Thorwarth and Martin Papirowski , the film director and screenwriter Yasemin Şamdereli , the author Ralf Husmann , the journalists Freddie Röckenhaus and Jörg Thadeusz , the artist Edgar Knoop , the musician Phillip Boa , the cabaret artist Bruno Knust or politicians like Steffen Kanitz , Manuel Sarrazin and Marco Bülow .

Other residents of Dortmund who were born in Dortmund and who have already passed away are the publisher, founder of the publishing house “FA Brockhaus” and publisher of Brockhaus Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus , the industrial magnate Leopold Hoesch , the German admiral and resistance fighter Wilhelm Canaris , the actors Dieter Pfaff and Rudolf Platte , and the soccer player Hans Tilkowski , August Lenz or Lothar Emmerich .


Dortmunder U Altes Hafenamt Dortmund Harenberg City-Center Rathaus (Dortmund) RWE Tower Brauerei-Museum Dortmund Ellipson Petrikirche (Dortmund) Wasserturm des Dortmunder Südbahnhofs Adlerturm Dortmund Pauluskirche (Dortmund) Theater Dortmund Sparkassen-Hochhaus Hafen Dortmund Liebfrauenkirche (Dortmund) Hannibal (Nordstadt) Volkswohl Bund Hochhaus IWO-Hochhaus Kläranlage Dortmund-Deusen Propsteikirche St. Johannes Baptist St. Reinoldi (Dortmund) Marienkirche (Dortmund) Dortmunder Actien-BrauereiDortmund City Panorama.jpg
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Dortmund City Panorama. Information is linked in the panorama. Move the mouse over the picture.
Panoramic view from the Dortmund TV tower 2007
Panoramic view of Dortmund's east


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  • Stefan Mühlhofer, Thomas Schilp, Daniel Stracke: Dortmund (German Historical City Atlas, Volume 5). Ardey, Münster 2017, ISBN 978-3-87023-277-1 .
  • Ludger Tewes , Middle Ages in the Ruhr area. Settlement on the Westphalian Hellweg between Essen and Dortmund (13th to 16th centuries) . Verlag Schoeningh, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-79152-4 .
  • Dortmunder Passagen - A City Guide, Stefan Mühlhofer / Wolfgang Sonne / Barbara Welzel, Ed .: JOVIS Verlag Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-86859-572-7

Web links

Commons : Dortmund  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Dortmund  - sources and full texts
 Wikinews: Dortmund  - in the news
Wiktionary: Dortmund  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Portal: Dortmund  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Dortmund
Wikivoyage: Dortmund  - travel guide

Individual evidence

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  2. Eva-Maria Krech u. a. (Ed.): German pronunciation dictionary. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2009.
  3. Stefan Kleiner, Ralf Knöbl (ed.): Duden - The pronunciation dictionary. (Duden Volume 6), 7th edition, Dudenverlag, Berlin 2015.
  4. Hans Heinrich Blotevogel: Metropolitan Areas and Rural Areas - A Community of Solidarity? Lecture on November 24, 2005, Hanover, published in: Lower Saxony Ministry for Rural Areas, Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and the Academy for Spatial Research and State Planning: Guidelines for Lower Saxony State Development Policy 2005, 3rd specialist congress on November 24, 2005 in the Old Town Hall, Hanover , Conference report, p. 14. ( Memento of July 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Hans Heinrich Blotevogel: The importance of the metropolitan regions in Europe ( Memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 736 kB), see in particular the metropolitan functions in cities chart (illustration from the 2005 regional planning report); Lecture at the specialist conference Berlin-Brandenburg in Europe , Berlin, March 2, 2006; Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  6. More than coal and steel: Ruhrpott metropolis Dortmund. May 19, 2016, accessed April 1, 2019 .
  7. a b
  8. a b
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  12. Shopping miles: The most popular shopping streets in Germany. Retrieved June 16, 2020 .
  14. Information from the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy . In its statistical yearbook, the city itself gives the tower bolt on the west side of the Reinoldikirche at 85.42  m as the center point and thus the general reference point . NN , 51 ° 30 '58 "  N , 7 ° 28' 6"  O at.
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  26. Statistical Atlas 2015: Dortmund districts. (PDF; 25.4 MB) City of Dortmund, Statistics Department, 2015, archived from the original on September 14, 2016 ; accessed on March 19, 2018 .
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  29. Population by gender and nationality in the statistical districts on December 31, 2018
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  31. [ people with a migration background.] (Link not available)
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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 10, 2005 .