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Münsterland (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Coordinates 51 ° 58 ′  N , 7 ° 38 ′  E Coordinates: 51 ° 58 ′  N , 7 ° 38 ′  E
Basic data
Country Germany


North Rhine-Westphalia
height 100 m
surface 5129 km²

The Münsterland is a region in northwest Westphalia in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . The center of the Münsterland is the eponymous city and former provincial capital of Westphalia, Münster . It can be narrowed down differently depending on whether it is viewed in a historical, natural, social or political context. The landscape transition to the Teutoburg Forest in the northeast, the course of the Lippe river in the south and the (political) state border with the Netherlands in the (north) west are mostly viewed as external borders.

As a historical region, the Münsterland is in the tradition of the bishopric of Münster , the former secular territory of the Münster bishops . In addition, the districts of Borken , Coesfeld , Steinfurt , Warendorf and the district-free Münster are summarized as the political region of Münsterland , and their cooperation and joint activities often operate under this term. In terms of landscape , the Münsterland belongs to the Westphalian Bay .

The population has a strong regional awareness and is socially oriented more towards the divergent historical boundaries. In addition to the long common history, the predominant Catholic creed and the Low German language in the forms of the Münsterländer Platt and the Westmünsterländer Sandplatt have a binding effect . On the other hand, there is the traditionally evangelical creed in the Tecklenburger Land and his Tecklenburger Platt , which emerged from East Westphalia and which is similar to the Osnabrück dialects.

The mostly rural structure and special cultural landscape features, such as the park-like landscape in many places and the numerous moated castles , represent further regional peculiarities. There is a strong focus on Münster, which has always been the dominant center in cultural, intellectual and economic terms.

To distinguish it from the Set around Muenster country is in Lower Saxony located Oldenburger Münsterland , which was annexed to the Bishopric of Münster and today is part of the diocese of Muenster. In November 2017, the Münster Higher Administrative Court ruled that the "Münsterland" designation of origin for products from the Oldenburg Münsterland was not permitted on the weekly market in Münster.


The Münsterland region in North Rhine-Westphalia

The boundaries of the Münsterland cannot be clearly defined, since historical-cultural or natural aspects or the current administrative division can be used as a basis. In addition to a very large, undoubtedly associated core area, there are transition zones in the north, east and south, which, depending on the context, are either part of the Münsterland or the surrounding regions.


The geology of the Münsterland is to be seen in connection with the geology of the entire Westphalian Bight including the border mountains. It can be traced back around 400 million years to ancient times. At that time, the Münsterland was the sedimentation area of ​​a primeval sea. The Münsterland 1 borehole , which was carried out in 1961/62 near Billerbeck in the Baumberge Mountains , and was the deepest in Europe at the time, encountered the first Devonian layers (approx. 420–359 mya ) at a depth of more than 5500 meters . Above are the layers of the Carboniferous Period (359–299 mya), from which hard coal was extracted in the Ibbenbüren mining area until 2018 , but which are otherwise so deeply hidden in the subsoil of the Münsterland that mining was never an option. There are no deposits in the Münsterland from the subsequent ages of Perm , Triassic and Jurassic , because for around 200 million years it was continental and thus erosion area . During the Cretaceous the area of ​​today's Münsterland sank, the sea broke into the resulting depression to the edge of the Sauerland, and the structure of the Westphalian Bay emerged. During this epoch, thick layers of sediment in the Chalk Sea. Baumberger , Osning and Bentheimer sandstones are relics of the Cretaceous period, as are the Haltern sands , which remained in the southwest of the Münsterland and are of great importance for the drinking water supply of the Ruhr area . Cretaceous sediments can be found everywhere in the Westphalian Bay. One speaks therefore of the Münsterland chalk basin or the Westphalian upper chalk basin . At the end of the Cretaceous Period (139–66 mya), the Münsterland became part of the mainland again and has remained uninterrupted ever since. In the subsequent tertiary (65–2.6 mya) the Baumberge and Beckumer Berge were modeled as a result of the reversal of the relief . Deposits from this period exist in the Münsterland only in the transition area to the Lower Rhine lowlands .

Cretaceous sands of the Haltern layers on the Hünsberg near Coesfeld

Serious impact on the appearance of today's landscape of Münsterland had the cold periods of the Quaternary . Scandinavian ice masses advanced into Central Europe several times. In the Drenthe stage of the Saale glacial period , the glaciers also crossed the Münsterland and covered it with a layer of ice up to 300 meters thick. After they melted, they left a ground moraine , which largely covers the Cretaceous sediments hidden underneath. Erratic blocks carried by the ice remained in the landscape as part of the bed load . In the interglacial periods, the areas with little vegetation provided areas for the wind to attack, and large amounts of sand and loess were transported . The flowing waters in the Münsterland formed their low terraces, which they cut into in the subsequent warm period.

The Münsterland districts

The city of Münster and the districts of Borken , Coesfeld , Steinfurt and Warendorf are sometimes summarized under the term Münsterlandkreise . Together they come to an area of ​​5940 km², which makes up the majority of the administrative district of Münster . Its population is just under 1.63 million (December 2018). The Netherlands borders in the west, the Niederrhein region in the south-west, the Ruhr area in the south, the Hellwegbörden in the south- east, the Ostwestfalen-Lippe region in the east, and Lower Saxony with Osnabrücker Land , Grafschaft Bentheim and Emsland in the north-east and north .

The term Münsterlandkreise existed before the North Rhine-Westphalian regional reform of 1975. In addition to the independent city and the district of Münster , the old districts of Ahaus , Beckum , Borken, Coesfeld, Lüdinghausen , Steinfurt , Tecklenburg , Warendorf and the independent city of Bocholt were subsumed under this term . With the territorial reform, the current administrative structure with the city of Münster and the four districts mentioned above was created.

Münsterland and Münsterlandkreise are therefore not synonymous terms. In the course of regional cooperation and the regional marketing that emerged around 1980 , the term Münsterland is now partially applied to this area formed by the new districts.

Historical limits

The historic Münsterland is to be equated with the Oberstift Münster , the core area of ​​the Hochstift Münster , which existed from the late Middle Ages until 1803 . Its border with Vest Recklinghausen , Grafschaft Mark and the Duchy of Westphalia was formed in the south by the Lippe ; in the northeast the border ran roughly in the middle between the Teutoburg Forest and the Upper Ems . After 1816 it continued to exist as a district border everywhere except in the southwest. It was not until 1929, and especially from 1969, that there were major changes. The areas along the Lippe were partially assigned to the districts bordering to the south, such as Lippborg , while smaller assignments were also made in the east and southwest.

In the north-east, however, the Tecklenburger Land was incorporated into the newly formed Steinfurt district as part of the territorial reform through the Münster / Hamm Act . The former Tecklenburg district already belonged to the so-called Münsterlandkreise, but the connection to Münster was rather low. To this day, the landscape of the Tecklenburger Land is based on the Osnabrück region , is predominantly evangelical in terms of denomination and is spatially oriented towards Osnabrück . Compared to the past, however, there has been a clear rapprochement with the Münsterland, as the regions work together in many areas.

The following areas are historical components of the Münsterland, but do not belong to the circles mentioned in the current administrative structure:

A significant part of the population of these places still feels that they belong to the Münsterland. In contrast, due to its history, the Tecklenburger Land still has a certain special position in the region for the reasons mentioned.

The following areas, on the other hand, are not historical components of the Münsterland, but belong to the mentioned districts of today's administrative structure:

The natural Münsterland

The Münsterland in the natural spatial sense is divided into main units as follows (three-digit ; lower-case units summarize the south-bordering landscapes) :

The natural Münsterland includes the low-lying, northern and central part of the Westphalian Bay and extends to Lower Saxony near Bad Bentheim . The Kernmünsterland forms the central part of the bay; here the rocks of the Upper Cretaceous are hardly superimposed near the surface. The landscape, also known as " Klei münsterland" , is characterized by marly loam soils .

In contrast, the Ostmünsterland on the upper reaches and northeast of the Ems as well as the Westmünsterland, which extends to the German-Dutch border, which frame the heartland to the west, north and east, are very sandy and poor. They are also known as Sandmünsterland .

The three neighboring landscapes to the south, no longer to be regarded as parts of the Münsterland, in turn, especially the Hellwegbörden in the eastern south, are heavily loess and clearly more fertile. Emscherland and Westenhellweg in the east-south of the Westphalian Bay occupy the largest part of the Ruhr area .


The Münsterland is criss-crossed by several hilly landscapes , each of which towers over the surrounding area by up to 100 m. The Baumberge watershed separates the river systems from IJssel / Rhine - Lippe and Ems . It runs through the Kernmünsterland from northwest to southeast. The Baumberge (up to 189  m above sea level ) and the Beckum Mountains near Beckum (up to 173  m above sea level ) lie on it . In the southeast of the Westmünsterland, the Haltern Mountains near Haltern am See in the Haard (up to 154  m above sea level ) extend beyond the Lippe.

A geological specialty is the Muensterland gravel sand stretch, whose ice-age sediments run through the area in a north-south direction. In the north they run z. T. on the IJsselmeer-Ems watershed.


The upper reaches of the Ems flow through the northeast and north of the Münsterland. A large part of the eastern half of the Münsterland also falls within its catchment area, to which the Werse, as the most important tributary, has a large share. The south-west and the extreme south are drained via the Lippe towards the Rhine, and its tributaries, with the significant exception of the Stever , are rather short. In the west and north-west there are the upper reaches of the Issel , Bocholter Aa , Schlinge , Berkel and Vechte (with Dinkel and Steinfurter Aa ), which flow into the IJssel , the arm of the Rhine delta that flows into the Dutch IJsselmeer .

Historical vs. Natural Münsterland

The term Münsterland, which was originally linked to the historical landscape, was adopted for three main natural spatial units, as these essentially cover the area of ​​the cultural regional designation, for example with the Lippe as the southern border. Wherever it deviates from historical boundaries, the natural delimitation is partly in contradiction to regional awareness, which is based in no small part on historical affiliation.

The Westmünsterland natural area encompasses large parts of the west, but not the extreme west of the historic Münsterland, which extends in the west of the Borken district near Bocholt into the Lower Rhine Bay . In contrast, the Ostmünsterland natural area in the east, between Paderborn and Bielefeld , protrudes well beyond the historic Münsterland to East Westphalia-Lippe . To the north, West and East Munsterland do not include large parts of the Tecklenburger Land .

The natural and historical Münsterland reaches its highest point on the Westerberg at 189  m above sea level. NHN in Nottuln in the tree mountains . However, today's Münsterland districts have shares in the Teutoburg Forest in the area of ​​Tecklenburger Land . Here the Westerbecker Berg culminates in the municipality of Lienen at 223  m above sea level. NHN .

Anthropogenic park landscape

The landscape is characterized by intensive agricultural use, which is relatively fragmented. Fields , meadows , pastures , small forests and hedgerows create a varied picture, which is why one speaks of the Münsterland park landscape .

Major cities and traffic arteries

The centrally located minster with its approx. 315,000 inhabitants is the only large city and regional center of the Münsterland. This is followed by Rheine , Bocholt , Ibbenbüren and Ahlen with populations between 50,000 and 100,000. They owe their earlier growth and their current size to industrialization , especially the textile industry . The current district towns of Borken , Coesfeld , Steinfurt and Warendorf , the cities of Dülmen and Gronau and the former district towns of Ahaus , Beckum and Lüdinghausen are also important .

The A 1 , A 31 and A 43 motorways run through the region in a north-south direction and the A 30 and A 2 in an east-west direction. The Dortmund-Ems Canal and the Mittelland Canal can be found on waterways, but the Ems is not yet navigable here . The Münster / Osnabrück Airport (FMO) in Greven is of great regional importance as a travel and business airport .

The Münsterland has a dense network of railway lines , the most important of which is the so-called " taxiway " of the former Cologne-Mindener Railway Company from Wanne-Eickel Hauptbahnhof via Münster to Osnabrück . The main line Cologne - Minden (- Hanover - Berlin) runs to the south-east . Other important routes are the Baumberbahn and the Dortmund – Enschede railway . The Rheine station is connected in a north-south direction to the IC traffic between North dike-Mole and Koblenz and from east to west to the IC traffic between Berlin and Amsterdam. There is a connection from Münster via Lünen to Dortmund via the Münster - Lünen railway line . The Bocholt Railway connects today's terminus in Bocholt with the Oberhausen – Arnhem railway line . Of food are Borken and Coesfeld about Dorsten distance. The “Euregio-Bahn” runs from Münster via Steinfurt to Enschede , the Warendorfer Bahn to Rheda-Wiedenbrück and another connection to Hamm . The formerly existing rail connections from Bocholt to Coesfeld (see Baumbergebahn ) and from Coesfeld to Rheine (see Duisburg – Quakenbrück railway ) have been shut down. Today the Münsterland cycle track runs over the latter route .

Regional traffic in the Münsterland is organized by the Münsterland Transport Association. This transport association is not based on the borders of the Münsterland, but on the borders of the administrative district of Münster . This explains the overlap with neighboring regions. The same applies to the special purpose association SPNV Münsterland , which is responsible for rail traffic.


Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: wetterkontor.de
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Münster
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 3.9 5.1 8.5 12.7 17.5 20.4 21.9 22.0 18.7 14.3 8.3 5.0 O 13.2
Min. Temperature (° C) −0.7 −0.5 1.7 4.1 8.1 11.0 12.6 12.5 10.1 6.9 3.0 0.5 O 5.8
Precipitation ( mm ) 67 48 60 51 63 74 67 65 63 54 70 77 Σ 759
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.5 2.5 3.5 5.1 6.6 6.3 6.3 6.3 4.5 3.6 1.8 1.3 O 4.1
Rainy days ( d ) 19th 16 14th 15th 13 13 16 16 15th 16 18th 18th Σ 189
Humidity ( % ) 85 81 78 73 70 73 74 75 80 83 85 86 O 78.6
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: wetterkontor.de

In the Münsterland there is a warm, temperate rainy climate . The climate is maritime and has relatively even temperature changes and rainfall. The summers are comparatively cool, the winters relatively mild. West winds prevail throughout the year. The amount of precipitation is mainly between 700 and 800 mm per year. For the centrally located minster , it is around 764 mm on average for the years 1981–2010, about the national German average.


Spread of Germanic tribes around 50 AD.

In the area of ​​today's Münsterland there are traces of roaming hunters from around 8000 BC. From 2000 BC BC, archaeological finds prove that the Münsterland was regularly populated, recognizable u. a. at the stone box graves in Beckum. It was essentially the Germanic tribes of the Brukterer , Chamaven and Cherusker who inhabited the region at the turn of the times . During this time, the Romans also had permanent camps on the Lippe , which flows in the south of the Münsterland.

The Münsterland was settled by the Saxon tribe , who immigrated from the northeast, from around 500 AD . During the Saxon Wars of Charlemagne , the missionary Liudger came to Münsterland in 793, died in 809 in Billerbeck , and founded a monastery in the village of Mimigernaford (Latin: monastery); The current city name Münster is derived from the Latin name. Münster became a diocese as early as 805, and in 1170 the city of Münster received city rights. Like other cities in the Münsterland, Münster belonged to the Hanseatic League . The Vreden Abbey , located in the far west of the Münsterland, was also of greater importance at this time .

After the fall of the Saxon Duke Heinrich and the smashing of the Duchy of Saxony, the Münsterland became a separate territory, the Duchy of Münster . The nobility (see  list of Westphalian noble families ) played a major role; Even today, numerous moated castles in the Münsterland testify to its former importance. During the Reformation , the city of Münster experienced the rule of the Anabaptists , a radical reformatory faith movement. During the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), the Münsterland was repeatedly plagued by the marauding armies of the various war opponents. Cities and towns were looted and burned down many times. Part of the Peace of Westphalia , which created the basis for the state order of modern times, was negotiated in Münster. The city was largely spared from the war armies.

Vreden, Collegiate Church of St. Felizitas

The ecclesiastical territory of the Principality of Münster was secularized in 1803 by the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss . In the western Münsterland, the Principality of Salm and the County of Salm-Horstmar were formed in 1802/1803 . Other parts fell to the Grand Duchy of Berg and the Duchy of Arenberg . The eastern part of the Münsterland including the city of Münster came to Prussia as the Hereditary Principality of Münster . In 1810 France annexed part of these areas. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the entire Münsterland fell to Prussia for 130 years. In the so-called Kulturkampf in the last third of the 19th century, the thoroughly Catholic Münsterland defended itself against interventions by the Prussian government, including in the school system.

Industrialization began in Münsterland in 1850 . The textile industry in particular was strong in the region. In the villages, poverty increased steadily because of the rising birth rate. The country could no longer feed its children, and so began a strong emigration, especially to the USA.

In 1834 a farmer in Nienberge near Munster discovered a mineral that was previously unknown there: it was "pure crystallized carbonic acid Strontian". Strontianite was of great importance for industrial sugar production. This find marks the beginning of an eventful regional history around the strontianite. The "Strunz", as the strontianite is called in Low German, triggered a kind of gold rush mood in the Münsterland for several years. From around 1870, near-surface strontianite deposits were mined in the southern Münsterland. In the Beckum, Ahlen, Drensteinfurt, Bockum, Hövel, Ascheberg and Herbern area there was a kind of “gold rush”. However, this ended quickly because of the discovery of the substitute mineral Celestine, which occurs in large deposits in England and Sicily .

After the First World War , the Münsterland also had to struggle with great economic difficulties. Since the population was predominantly Catholic and therefore voted for the Center Party , the National Socialists were only gradually able to gain a foothold. During the Reichspogromnacht almost all synagogues in the Münsterland were destroyed. The Jewish citizens emigrated or were deported, many of them to Riga. One of the most prominent Holocaust survivors was Paul Spiegel , the former president of the Central Committee of Jews. He grew up in Warendorf .

In the Second World War was Munster severely damaged by bombs , the city was destroyed to 91%. Other cities were hit by Allied air raids in March 1945, shortly before the end of the war . Stadtlohn, for example, was also almost completely destroyed.

The population grew considerably due to the influx of refugees and displaced persons from the former German eastern regions . Today the Münsterland is considered to be a prosperous region in which agriculture still plays a major role.

On November 25, 2005, due to an onset of winter that had not been recorded before, massive traffic chaos and the largest power outage in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany occurred in Münsterland . Sometimes more than 50 cm of snow fell, which frozen within a very short time due to the wetness. Over 50 high-voltage pylons buckled because the weight of the ice-encrusted cables was up to eight times the arithmetically permissible weight. As a result, there were power outages in large parts of the Borken and Steinfurt districts , some of which lasted several days and affected around 280,000 people. The city of Ochtrup could not be fully supplied with electricity for six days. Well over 1000 helpers were on duty to get the chaotic conditions under control and to help people. The economic damage caused by the “ Münsterland snow chaos ” was estimated at over 100 million euros.

The Münsterland suffered from the drought and heat in Europe in summer 2018 .


Economic structure

Agricultural and forestry areas on the Westerberg in Billerbeck

The economy in Münsterland is characterized by small and medium-sized businesses. Of the approximately 69,400 companies in the Münsterland, 85.9% are small companies (fewer than ten employees), 13.7% are medium-sized companies (of which 11% have 10 to 49 employees and 2.7% 50 to 249 employees), and only 0.4 % Large companies (250 employees and more).

Agriculture and forestry have traditionally been very important in the Münsterland. Agriculture plays an important role in the districts of Coesfeld, Warendorf and Borken. A total of 1.3% of gross value added in the region comes from the primary sector (NRW: 0.4%). The Münsterland has a share of 31% of the total agricultural gross value added in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In the Münsterland, the proportion of the manufacturing industry, to which the processing of agricultural products belongs, is 28.5 percent of gross value added, higher than the national average. Around 141,000 people are employed in the manufacturing industry in Münsterland.

The vast majority of employees (70.2%) are employed in the service industry. The service sector in the city of Münster is above average: 88.8% of the gross value added was attributable to this sector. The economic sector of education / health plays a particularly large role with a share of 36.5%.

The gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the region was € 36,300 in 2016, while it was € 37,400 in NRW. The people in the Münsterland are therefore slightly less wealthy than the North Rhine-Westphalia as a whole. The GDP of the city of Münster (€ 56,600 per capita) is significantly better than that of the rural districts.

Due to the number of visitors and an annual gross turnover of around 1.75 billion euros (day and overnight tourism), tourism in the Münsterland is increasingly an important economic factor. Tourism is publicly promoted, for example through the designation and maintenance of a cycle path network or offers for riders, hikers and canoeists. The Regionale 2004 , a regional structural funding measure of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, has strengthened tourism in the Ems cities with numerous urban and artistic projects and the further development of tourism. The Regionale 2016 focused in projects on the western Münsterland with a special focus on river landscapes and moated castles. According to the development company Münsterland eV, the Münsterland is one of the most horse-rich regions in Europe with more than 100,000 horses and over 1,000 horse farms. An approx. 1,000 km long riding route has been developed for riders.

Industry sectors

Remnants of the textile industry: old entrance to Paul Bendix's factory in Dülmen

The two most important branches are mechanical engineering and - according to the importance of agriculture - the food industry as buyers and processors. In 2018, both contributed 20% of regional industrial sales. The construction industry is represented in Münsterland with 37,973 employees. 103,503 people are employed in the health and social services sector. The textile industry has a long tradition in the Münsterland. Even today there are an above-average number of companies in the sector in the Borken and Steinfurt districts. From this branch, some companies successfully developed further in the direction of innovative materials.

In August 2018, hard coal was mined for the last time in the Ibbenbüren mine . Since the Westphalia colliery in Ahlen was closed in 2000, coal mining in the region ended.

labour market

In total, there were 619,000 employees subject to social security contributions in the Münsterland in the summer of 2017, around 100,000 more than ten years earlier (+ 19.3%, throughout North Rhine-Westphalia: + 14.5%). The largest increase in employment - with around 28,400 jobs - was in the health and social services. This means an increase of 37.8%. There was also an increase in employment in retail (+12,200 jobs) - especially in the Steinfurt and Borken districts. The number of people employed in professional, scientific and technical services rose from 20,400 to 32,500, an increase of 59.1%.

The unemployment rate in Münsterland has been in the 5 percent range since 2007. In September 2018 the unemployment rate was 4.0%. The Coesfeld district has the lowest unemployment rate in North Rhine-Westphalia at 2.7%, while the Borken district has the third fewest unemployed (3.3%) after Olpe in South Westphalia (3.2%). This development is supported by the medium-sized industrial and commercial structure.

Economic development

The economic development of the Münsterland has been positive since the 1980s:

  • Between 2007 and 2016, the gross domestic product per capita in the Münsterland grew by 19.3% according to the national average (NRW 19.1).
  • Industry in the Münsterland developed positively between 2008 and 2017. Sales increased by 7.1% over the ten years.

Research and Development

The R&D expenditures of the Münsterland companies have been lower than the national average for years. In 2015 they accounted for around 0.65% of total gross value added (NRW: 1.26%). One explanation is the medium-sized industry structure in which R&D activities are often owner-driven and not institutionalized in R&D departments. In contrast to North Rhine-Westphalia, however, a positive trend can be seen in the Münsterland. Companies are increasingly spending money on R&D. In 2005, expenditure was just under € 162 million, in 2015 it was already over € 328 million. This trend is also visible in R&D personnel: in 2005 2.0 out of 1,000 people in employment were employed in R&D, in 2015 it was 3.2 and thus the lowest value of all regions in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Big companies in the region

Large companies in the region include: Agravis Raiffeisen , apetito , BASF Coatings , Bischof + Klein , Brillux , Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese , Ernsting's family , Fiducia & GAD IT , Fiege Group , Finanz Informatik , Haver & Boecker , Hengst , K + K Klaas & Kock , Franz Kaldewei , Kurt Pietsch , LBS Westdeutsche Landesbausparkasse , LMC Caravan , LR Health & Beauty , LVM Insurance , Mondi Gronau, Provinzial NordWest , Schmitz Cargobull , SuperBioMarkt , Takko , Tepper Elevators, VEKA , Westphalia , GEA Westfalia Separator , Westfleisch , Windmöller & Hölscher , Winkelmann Powertrain .

Sandy beach of the bathing lake in Wettringen


The propensity to set up a business is lower in rural Münsterland than in densely populated regions. This is also due to the current labor market situation. Most recently there were 3.9 start-ups per 1,000 residents between the ages of 18 and 64 in Münsterland (NRW: 4.5). Although there is very little start-up in Münsterland, the probability of success is slightly higher than the national average. In 2015, 41.6% of the companies founded in 2010 were still active on the market in the region (NRW: 36.4%).


According to the Broadband Atlas NRW, 92% of all households in the city of Münster have a copper or fiber optic connection of 50 Mbits / s or greater, in the Coesfeld district 84%, in the Borken district 83.6%, in the Warendorf district 78.9% and im Steinfurt district 73.7%.

Research landscape

The science and research landscape in Münsterland is shaped by the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster , the Münster University of Applied Sciences and the Westphalian University . At these three universities alone, over 62,000 people study and teach around 900 professors in the Münsterland. The University of Osnabrück and the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences are also of great importance for the northern Münsterland due to the spatial proximity to Lower Saxony .

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

At the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU Münster) with around 45,000 students, both in the clusters of excellence “Religion and Politics” (2012 to 2025), “Cells in Motion” (2012 to 2018) and “Mathematics (Dynamics - Geometry - Structure) ) "(2019 to 2025) as well as other fields of research. The focus is on the humanities and social sciences, economics and law, mathematics and computer science, and the life sciences.

Münster University of Applied Sciences

The Münster University of Applied Sciences has locations in Münster and Steinfurt with a total of 15,050 students. The focus is on the areas of business, social affairs, health and engineering.

Westphalian University

At the Bocholt and Ahaus locations of the Westphalian University , the focus is on mechanical engineering, economics and information technology. The Westphalian Institute for Bionics, which conducts research in the areas of sensors, intelligent structures and lightweight construction, is part of the university.

Other educational institutions

Furthermore, the Catholic University of North Rhine-Westphalia , the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration North Rhine-Westphalia , the Federal University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration , the Art Academy of Münster and the Philosophical-Theological University of Münster are located in Münster . In addition to the higher education institutions, there are other research centers of the Fraunhofer and Max Planck Societies as well as the Leibniz and Helmholtz Associations . In the districts of the Münsterland there are also the University of Applied Sciences for Finance in Nordkirchen in the Coesfeld district, a location for the Mathias University of Rheine in the Steinfurt district and one each for the Münster University of Applied Sciences and the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in the Warendorf district.

Sights and culture

The Münsterland is architecturally characterized by a large number of churches, monasteries and castles, some of which are still very well preserved. Due to the relatively flat terrain, especially in the northern and western parts, bicycles are a frequent means of transport here. There are numerous well-signposted cycling routes, including the 100 castles route and the R1 European cycle route . The gardens and parks of the Münsterland are integrated into the European Garden Heritage Network .

A cultural peculiarity, especially in and around Münster, is Masematte , a language that was originally used in trade and industry to exclude third parties, and of which many expressions have survived in today's local usage.

Palaces and castles

The moated castle Anholt
The castle of Munster
Vischering Castle
Nordkirchen Palace , the "Westphalian Versailles"

There are many palaces and fortresses in the Münsterland, with the moated castles being typical of the comparatively flat landscape. All important castles, palaces and former aristocratic residences can be explored by bike on the so-called 100 castles route .

The most beautiful and important buildings include:


For historical reasons, Münster and the Münsterland are strongly Catholic. Although many old church buildings were destroyed as a result of the war and replaced by new ones, the region still has a large number of architecturally significant churches to offer.

The most interesting churches in Münster and the Münsterland are:

image church place description
West portal of St. Paulus Cathedral St. Paul Cathedral Muenster The St. Paulus Dom is the most important church building in Münster (Westphalia) and one of the city's landmarks. Since the establishment of the diocese by St. Liudger in 805, the center of the diocese of Münster has been here.
Clemens Church in Munster Clement Church Muenster Baroque domed church based on plans by Johann Conrad Schlaun
Lambertikirche seen from the Prinzipalmarkt St. Lamberti Muenster Late Gothic hall church from 1375. Baskets of the “Anabaptists” are attached to the tower.
St. Mauritz Church St. Mauritz Muenster Church of the most important collegiate monastery in Münster from 1064. Secularized in 1811.
St. Johannes Baptist in Altenberge St. John Baptist Altenberge
List of monuments Legden No. 2 - Parish Church of St. Margareta, Asbeck.jpg
St. Margareta (Asbeck) Asbeck The Asbeck collegiate church clearly shows two different construction phases. The two-bay, single - nave nave of the structure built on a cross-shaped floor plan is the older and dates from the 12th century.
St. Lambertus in Ascheberg St. Lambertus Ashberg
St. Pankratius in Anholt St. Pancras Anholt
St. Ludgerus in Billerbeck St. Ludgerus Billerbeck Neo-Gothic pilgrimage church at the place of death of St. Liudger , 1st Bishop of Münster, built on the Romanesque foundation walls of the previous building.
Johanneskirche in Billerbeck St. John's Church Billerbeck
St. Georg in Bocholt St. George Church Bocholt late Gothic hall construction
St. Remigius St. Remigius Bark Provost church
St. Mary St. Mary Bark - Burlo St. Marien is the church of the Mariengarden Oblate Monastery in Burlo.
Marketplace with Lambertikirche St. Lamberti Coesfeld Particular importance due to the Coesfeld cross .
St. Jakobi Coesfeld St. Jakobi Coesfeld The old church, which was completely destroyed in 1945, was the destination of pilgrims on the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela in the Middle Ages .
St. George in Ameke St. George Drensteinfurt -Ameke
Parish church St. Regina in the center of the village
St. Regina Drensteinfurt Classicist church with a rare coffered ceiling
Holy Cross Church in Dülmen Holy Cross Church Dülmen Church of the Holy Sepulcher of the Blessed Mystic Anna Katharina Emmerick
St. Agatha in Epe St. Agatha Epe
St. Bonifatius in Freckenhorst St. Boniface Freckenhorst Collegiate church of a former free world ladies' monastery, built in the 11th century and added later.
St. Anna in Haltern am See St. Anna Haltern am See Church and chapel, already mentioned in 1378, today a place of pilgrimage
St. Sixtus Church in Haltern am See St. Sixtus Haltern am See The most important piece of equipment from St. Sixtus is the Haltern Cross, a forked cross made of oak with an expressive figure of Christ, which was probably made around 1330/40 and has been the destination of pilgrimages for centuries. The legend tells that it was once found in the Lippe, swimming against the current.
St. Felizitas in Lüdinghausen St. Felizitas Ludinghausen
Marienfeld Monastery Immaculate Conception of Mary Marienfeld The former monastery church of the Marienfeld Cistercian monastery, founded in 1185, is the first brick church in Westphalia. The monastery was one of the richest in Westphalia, which can also be seen in the remaining buildings on the monastery courtyard.
Old church in Mesum Old church Mesum The church, built around 1350, is the oldest surviving structure in the city of Rheine .
St. Anna in Neuenkirchen St. Anna Neuenkirchen The cath. St. Anna Church is the towering landmark of the Neuenkirchen community. The establishment of the parish led to the naming of the place.
St. Martinus in Nottuln St. Martinus Nottuln The parish church and former collegiate church of St. Martinus in Nottuln is, along with St. Lamberti in Münster, the most important and most beautiful late Gothic hall church in Westphalia. It formed the center of the free-worldly noble women's convent Nottuln, which was dissolved in 1811. The church bears the patronage of St. Martin of Tours.
old church St. Dionysius in Welbergen Old church Ochtrup- Welbergen One of the oldest preserved parish churches in the Münsterland. The oldest parts of the parish church of St. Dionysius date from the early 12th century and thus from the Romanesque period.
St. Anthony. St. Anthony Rheine Built from 1899 to 1905 in the style of a Romanesque imperial cathedral. With a height of 102.5 meters, the tower is the highest church tower in the Münsterland.
City church St. Dionysius in Rheine St. Dionysius Rheine The cath. Dionysius Church is also called the city church. It is a late Gothic hall church from around 1400 to 1520.
St. Brictius in Schöppingen St. Brictius Schoeppingen
Peace Church in Selm Friedenskirche Selm Former village church with west tower from the 11th century. In the meantime it had become dilapidated as a youth home and warehouse, the church was restored and in 1965 the grave of an unknown soldier. This is how the name Friedenskirche was consolidated.
Hilgenberg Chapel in Stadtlohn Hilgenberg Chapel City wages
St. Otger in Stadtlohn St. Otger City wages
Big church in Burgsteinfurt Big church Steinfurt Romanesque, originally Catholic, church with a wooden barrel vault and a rood screen. Today the main church of the local Protestant parish.
Nicomedes Borghorst St. Nicomedes Steinfurt
Holy Cross Church in Oelde-Stromberg Holy Cross Oelde- Stromberg
Lady Chapel in Telgte Lady Chapel in Telgte Telgte
Collegiate Church of St. Felizitas in Vreden St. Felizitas Vreden The oldest part of the former collegiate church dates from the 11th century, the actual church building from the 12th century. The church is dedicated to St. Felizitas , whose relics were transferred to Vreden in 839.
St. Francis in Vreden-Zwillbrock St. Francis Vreden twin skirt
St. Christopher St. Christopher Werne

St. Christophorus , formerly St. Johannes Baptist, is a Catholic parish church in Werne an der Lippe, whose choir and nave shape the image of Werner's old town.


There are interesting museums in:

Sculpture Biennale Münsterland and Sculpture.Projects

The series of this sculpture biennial goes back to a joint initiative of the four Münsterland districts of Borken , Coesfeld , Steinfurt and Warendorf and the Münsterland cultural office. The series started in 1999, and in 2005 the Borken district was the location and host of the Sculpture Biennale Münsterland . A collection of the remaining works can be found in the "Münsterland Sculpture Guide".

The works of art exhibited as part of the Biennale were spread across the entire district and some of them remained there permanently. The installation of a wooden helicopter in the Vredener Stadtpark, whose rotor blades are driven by the nearby watermill of the Hamaland Museum , is particularly impressive .

The international sculpture exhibition Sculpture.Projects has been held in the city of Münster every ten years since 1977 .


In Münster there are:

  • the municipal theaters with large (opera, drama) and small houses (chamber play, children's and youth theater)
  • the Wolfgang Borchert Theater (the oldest private stage in the country. The program includes premieres, modern theater, unusual productions)
  • the theater in the pump house (changing productions, top-class dance theater)
  • Freuynde & Gaesdte (independent theater company, partly new translations. The performances often take place in unusual places, such as in a pub, a park, on a tree, etc.)
  • the small stage floor
  • Boulevard Münster (privately run boulevard theater)

In Coesfeld since April 2007, Ernsting Stiftung operates the entrepreneurial couple Ernsting that from her Built Theater Coesfeld.

In Bocholt there is the city theater with various events in the town hall. In addition, the cabaret “Pepperoni” stage offers cabaret and comedy and awards the “Bocholter Pepperoni” cabaret prize of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia .

In Ibbenbüren, the community center, the Schauburg, the Alte Sparkasse, the Blickpunkt parish hall and the Dörenthe cultural store are available for various performances. In addition to program series from the fields of theater, cabaret, cabaret, chamber concerts and children's culture, concerts from the fields of jazz, blues and world music (Kulturspeicher Dörenthe) are also offered.

Open air theaters

The Münsterland has several open-air stages:

Landscapes, nature reserves and natural monuments

The northernmost flamingo colony in the world in the Zwillbrocker Venn

In the rural areas of the Münsterland there are various nature and bird sanctuaries, in which the original character of the landscape is still preserved.

Personalities associated with the Münsterland (selection)

Münsterland e. V.

The Münsterland e. V. based in Greven (Steinfurt district) was founded to promote the image of the Münsterland and the surrounding area. Members are basically the four Münster districts and the city of Münster. All other cities and municipalities that border on the Münsterland can also become members of the association. So is z. B. Bad Bentheim in Lower Saxony , located outside of the Münsterland, is a member of the neighboring city. The official logo of Münsterland e. V. is therefore also used as an advertising medium beyond the Münsterland and does not allow any direct conclusions to be drawn about the region. Most recently, Münsterland e. V. has come under criticism in the Münster city council due to its high administrative costs.

See also


  • Hans-Peter Boer, Andreas Lechthape: Castles and palaces in the Münsterland. 1st edition, Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-402-12766-7 .
  • District government Münster: Regional plan Münsterland , drawn up by the Münster Regional Council (as of July 20, 2017)
  • Christoph Ellermann, Norbert Hensel, Thorsten Scheer (eds.): Architectural Guide Münster, Münsterland since 1980 . Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-88375-916-3 (280 pages).
  • Ulrich Elsbroek: Cross skulls , rain holes, Schlodderkappes - what the Münsterland really is like. Oktober Verlag , Münster 2010, ISBN 978-3-941895-05-8 .
  • Franz Mühlen: Münsterland ( Westphalian art ). 2nd Edition. Munich / Berlin 1972.
  • Burkhard Spinnen: The Münsterland (an essay). In: Thomas Steinfeld (Ed.): German landscapes . S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-10-070404-5 .

Web links

Commons : Münsterland  - Collection of images
Wiktionary: Münsterland  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Münsterland  - travel guide

Individual evidence

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