North Rhine-Westphalia ( [ ˌnɔrtraɪ̯nvɛstˈfaːlən ] , country code NW , common abbreviation NRW ) is a parliamentary republic and a semi- sovereign member state within the Federal Republic of Germany . With around 17.9 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state in Germany . The state capital is Düsseldorf , the most populous city is Cologne . The federal city of Bonn is today the second seat of government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
North Rhine-Westphalia borders Lower Saxony to the north and north-east, Hesse to the south-east, Rhineland-Palatinate to the south, and the Belgian province of Liège to the west, as well as the Dutch provinces of Limburg , Gelderland and Overijssel . With an area of around 34,100 square kilometers, North Rhine-Westphalia is the fourth largest German state. 30 of the 81 major German cities are in its heavily urbanized area. With around ten million inhabitants, the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region in the center of the state is one of the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the world and the central part of the most densely populated region in Europe, the " Blue Banana ".
The northern part of the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation is formed by the heavily urbanized Ruhr area (cf. Ruhrstadt ) with the centers of Dortmund , Essen , Duisburg and Bochum . Its economic rise in the early 19th century was based on industrialization and the mining industry , particularly ore and coal mining . Since the decline in mining from the 1960s onwards, a structural change towards a service and technology economy has been taking place there, which is still ongoing today and is accompanied by projects such as “ RUHR.2010 – European Capital of Culture ”. With a share of around 22 percent in the German gross domestic product , North Rhine-Westphalia is the state with the highest economic output.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia was established in 1946 by the British occupying power from the Prussian province of Westphalia and the northern part of the Prussian Rhine province ( North Rhine ) and expanded in 1947 to include the state of Lippe . It has been part of the Federal Republic of Germany since 1949. Until 1999, Bonn was the sole seat of government in the Federal Republic. As a result of the capital city decision, the federal ministries retained their offices in Bonn, which the Berlin/Bonn Act guarantees important government functions as a federal city . Today, Bonn is the second seat of government in the Federal Republic and is home to numerous federal authorities and non-governmental organizations . As the German headquarters of the United Nations (UN), the federal city of Bonn has a high degree of international integration with a large number of UN organisations .
Culturally , North Rhine-Westphalia is not a uniform area; there are clear differences, especially in traditional customs, between the Rhineland on the one hand and the Westphalia and Lippe on the other hand. The country is home to a large number of important educational and research institutions .
North Rhine-Westphalia is located in western Germany, bordering clockwise on Lower Saxony , Hesse , Rhineland-Palatinate , Belgium and the Netherlands . The country extends from southwest to northeast about 260 kilometers. The north of the country lies in the North German Plain and is roughly divided into the Westphalian Bight , through which the rivers Lippe , Ems and Ruhr flow , and the Lower Rhine Plain on both sides of the Rhine , which is the largest river in the country (and also in Germany). . The lowest point is in the northwest of the country. The remaining areas of the country are part of the German low mountain range regions . The Weserbergland on the upper Weser characterizes the east of the country. The mountains of the Rhenish Slate Mountains occupy the south. The Rhenish Slate Mountains are roughly divided into the Eifel on the left bank of the Rhine in the southwest and Bergisches Land and Sauerland to the east of the Rhine. The Langenberg in the Sauerland belonging Rothaargebirge is at the highest mountain in the country. The geographic center of the state is in Dortmund in the Aplerbecker Mark ; near Selfkant is the westernmost point of North Rhine-Westphalia and at the same time of Germany.
The climate of North Rhine-Westphalia shows balanced temperature and precipitation patterns. The mean annual temperatures are between 5 °C and 10 °C, depending on the altitude. The annual precipitation is between 600 millimeters in the lowlands and 1400 millimeters in the low mountain ranges.
By virtue of occupation law , the occupying power Great Britain founded the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on August 23, 1946 from the northern part of the Prussian Rhine Province ( North Rhine Province ) and the also Prussian Province of Westphalia . The political preparation for this ran under the code word Operation Marriage . After the incorporation of the state of Lippe , which had been independent for centuries , in 1947, today's territorial layout was achieved.
On its territory , North Rhine-Westphalia has become the legal successor to the Free State of Prussia and the State of Lippe. In contrast to some other German states, North Rhine-Westphalia as a whole did not have a strong identity- establishing predecessor state. When the state of North Rhine-Westphalia was founded, the focus was not on the idea of merging homogeneous areas, but on the British government's desire to embed the Ruhr area and its important industrial resources as a whole in one country.
In 1949 North Rhine-Westphalia founded the Federal Republic of Germany together with other states . The greatest challenges in the post-war period were the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country and the establishment of a democratic state. In particular as a result of the decline of the mining industry as a result of the coal and steel crises and the trend towards tertiarisation , the design of the necessary structural change has become a central topic in state politics.
From 1966 to 1976 there was a municipal area reform , which reduced the number of towns, municipalities and districts belonging to a district. The number of governmental districts has been reduced from 6 to 5 districts. The former administrative district of Aachen was merged with the administrative district of Cologne to form the new administrative district of Cologne.
Bonn was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the sole seat of government until 1999. Since then, government functions have been shared between Berlin and Bonn, making Bonn the second seat of government and today the seat of numerous federal authorities.
politics and administration
North Rhine-Westphalia is a Land of the Federal Republic of Germany according to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany and the Constitution for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia . According to its constitution, the country is organized around the principles of a republican , social and democratic constitutional state . The legislature is largely in the hands of the Landtag , which is elected by the electorate for a period of five years . Elements of direct democracy hardly play a role in practice. The CDU and FDP have held the state government since 2017 . The executive , which is tied to parliament, is headed by the Prime Minister – since October 27, 2021 by Hendrik Wüst ( CDU ) ( Wüst Cabinet ). The state administration is subordinate to the state government. The district governments for the districts of Düsseldorf , Cologne , Münster , Detmold and Arnsberg are a middle level of the state administration. The state constitutional jurisdiction lies with the constitutional court for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . Due to its partial sovereignty , North Rhine-Westphalia, as a limited state subject under international law, can conclude international treaties in certain areas . Through the Bundesrat , the state participates in federal legislation and in affairs of the European Union . As a federal city, Bonn is the seat of numerous federal institutions and also the location of various United Nations organizations .
The towns and municipalities of the state have the right to local self-government and take on tasks of the state administration on behalf of the state or by way of organ loan . At the municipal level, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into 30 districts and one city region . The districts and the urban region include 374 district-affiliated (region-affiliated) municipalities and cities . In addition, there are 22 urban districts in North Rhine-Westphalia . The city of Aachen is both independent of a district and part of the Aachen city region. Overall, the country is divided into 396 municipalities. The country has 29 major cities . The two regional associations in North Rhine-Westphalia , as well as other municipal associations such as the Ruhr regional association or the Lippe state association , are of particular importance in the cultural and social area and for other tasks of local government . Below is the breakdown of the country into administrative districts and associated districts and urban districts (district independent cities in italics):
|Districts, urban regions and urban districts||resident||Area
(inhabitants per km²)
|arnsberg||Bochum , Dortmund , Ennepe-Ruhr district , Hagen , Hamm , Herne , Hochsauerland district , Märkischer district , Olpe , Siegen-Wittgenstein , Soest , Unna||3,597,297||8011||449|
|Detmold||Bielefeld , Gütersloh , Herford , Höxter , Lippe , Minden-Lübbecke , Paderborn||2,057,996||6525||315|
|Dusseldorf||Duisburg , Düsseldorf , Essen , Kleve , Krefeld , Mettmann , Mönchengladbach , Mülheim an der Ruhr , Oberhausen , Remscheid , Rhein-Kreis Neuss , Solingen , Viersen , Wesel , Wuppertal||5,173,623||5292||978|
|Cologne||Aachen (city region) , Bonn , Düren , Euskirchen , Heinsberg , Cologne , Leverkusen , Oberbergischer Kreis , Rhein-Erft-Kreis , Rhein-Sieg-Kreis , Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis||4,422,371||7364||601|
|Muenster||Borken , Bottrop , Coesfeld , Gelsenkirchen , Munster , Recklinghausen , Steinfurt , Warendorf||2,614,229||6917||378|
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has 17,925,570 (as of December 31, 2020) inhabitants, making it the most populous German state . At the same time, the area with a population density of 526 inhabitants per square kilometer is by far the most densely populated country among the non-city states. However, the population is distributed quite unequally. The Münsterland , the Tecklenburger Land , the more mountainous regions in the south of the state and parts of Ostwestfalen-Lippe are rather sparsely populated . With around ten million inhabitants, the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region is one of the most densely populated and densely populated regions in Europe. The following table shows the country's population development.
In 2006, the proportion of people over 65 was around 19.7 percent (1950: 8.8 percent). The proportion of under-15s was 14.7 percent in 2006 (1950: 22.6 percent).
In 2006 there were around 8.5 million households in the country. The average household size is therefore 2.12 people. However, only one person lives in 37 percent of these households. In 1950 the average household size was over 3 people. In 1950, the proportion of one-person households was only 16.9 percent. The proportion of single people is even higher than the proportion of single-person households. In 2006, around 39 percent of the population were single. Only around a quarter of North Rhine-Westphalians live in a "classic" couple relationship with children.
In 2006, North Rhine-Westphalia had the third highest fertility rate among the federal states of Germany , with 1.36 children per woman . In 2007, this rose to 1.39. However, there are strong regional differences. Comparatively high values of over 1.5 can be found in the north and east of the country. The district of Lippe took the top spot with 1.61 (2007). Low values can be found in the Ruhr area, e.g. B. Bochum with 1.15 or Dortmund with 1.33. Duisburg has the highest value in the Ruhr area at 1.45. Remscheid is the independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia with the highest fertility rate, 1.56. The state capital of Düsseldorf has very low values at 1.29 and the most populous city of Cologne at 1.26. By 2017, the number of children in North Rhine-Westphalia had risen to 1.60 per woman.
Average life expectancy in 2015/17 was 78.1 years for men and 82.7 years for women. Men thus rank 7th among the German federal states, while women rank 13th. Regionally, in 2013/15 Münster (expectation of the total population: 82.43 years), Bonn (82.23) and Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis (81.81) had the highest, as well as Oberhausen (78.86), Herne (78.62) and Gelsenkirchen (78.49) the lowest life expectancy.
In 2014, the proportion of residents with a migration background (registered residents with non-German citizenship or people born outside Germany who have immigrated since 1950 and their children) was 23.6 percent. The proportion of foreigners (registered residents without German citizenship) in the total population was 10.6 percent on December 31, 2006.
The proportion of citizens with a migration background is 29.3 percent (2018).
According to various forecasts, the population of North Rhine-Westphalia will shrink significantly in the coming decades. The country's statistics agency's population projection predicts a total population of just 16.16 million by 2050. According to forecasts, the proportion of people over 65 in the total population will rise to almost 30 percent by 2050. The German Federal Statistical Office ( DESTATIS ) forecasts a population decline of around one million people every 20 years for NRW. In 2011, the Bertelsmann Foundation published the "Wegweiser Kommune" forecast. By 2030, a population decline of around one million inhabitants is forecast.
Lt. According to the forecast by IT.NRW from 3/2016, the population decline will go hand in hand with the decline in the labor force for the period 2014 to 2040. A decline of around 7.9% or 693,000 labor force is expected (5.2% for men or 248,000 from 4,739,000 to 4,491,000 or for women by 11.1% or 445,000 from 4,013,000 to 3,568,000).
The results of these population forecasts are summarized in the following tables:
|December 31, 2010||17,818,000|
|December 31, 2015||17,596,000|
|December 31, 2020||17,364,000|
|December 31, 2025||17,112,000|
|December 31, 2030||16,832,000|
|December 31, 2035||16,510,000|
|December 31, 2040||16,136,000|
|December 31, 2045||15,702,000|
|December 31, 2050||15,219,000|
|December 31, 2055||14,716,000|
|December 31, 2060||14,230,000|
|December 31, 2009||17,860,460|
|December 31, 2015||17,659,710|
|December 31, 2020||17,445,490|
|December 31, 2025||17.196.820|
|December 31, 2030||16.907.040|
|Source: Bertelsmann Foundation|
|1st of January 2014||17,571,900|
|January 1, 2020||17,702,000|
|January 1, 2025||17,737,300|
|January 1, 2030||17,708,900|
|January 1, 2035||17.602.200|
|January 1, 2040||17.491.100|
|January 1, 2045||17,321,600|
|January 1, 2050||17.091.100|
|January 1, 2055||16,813,700|
|January 1, 2060||16,522,400|
In mid-2019, the State Statistical Office presented a new model calculation. According to this, North Rhine-Westphalia will probably have 18.08 million inhabitants in 2040 and will therefore grow faster than previously assumed. Accordingly, the population will increase by 0.9 percent by 2040. The population is expected to develop very differently from region to region. While the number of inhabitants in the Rhineland with its agglomerations from the Lower Rhine to Bonn is growing noticeably, it is declining in structurally weaker regions such as the Sauerland, Siegerland and large parts of the Ruhr area.
identification and cultural identity
North Rhine-Westphalia is referred to as a "hyphenated state" because it was formed from three historically different parts of the state under the decisive influence of the occupying power Great Britain in 1946 and 1947 and since then no particularly strong identification with the state has emerged. When the state was founded , cultural considerations took a back seat to geopolitical and economic considerations of embedding the Ruhr area as a whole. Economically, the regions of the country were intertwined early on, sometimes closely.
Since 1946, the inhabitants of the three parts of the state of Westphalia , Lippe and Rhineland have certainly developed a certain identification with the state. Especially since the 1980s, a breakthrough towards a clear national identity could be observed. However, this awareness is often secondary to the awareness of belonging to a part of North Rhine-Westphalia. Above all, the historical, cultural and linguistic differences between the Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe have a separating effect. Large parts of Westphalia-Lippe, especially in the north and east, feel culturally and historically connected to the neighboring regions of Lower Saxony . But there are also other distinct regional identities within the other regions of North Rhine-Westphalia, which can often be traced back to the territories formed in the Middle Ages and modern times, their ruling houses and the associated denominational ties. Today's 285 km long Rhenish-Westphalian internal border between the former Prussian provinces within today's state is regarded throughout the Prussian period as an ancient cultural border that can be traced back to the Franconian - Saxon tribal border of the 8th century. The regional awareness of the Lipper, which is remarkably pronounced for such a small area, is mainly fed by its long independence, because culturally the Lipperland can hardly be separated from the rest of Westphalia, especially the neighboring Minden-Ravensberg . The identity of the Rhinelanders also reaches beyond the borders of North Rhine-Westphalia in their imagination and mostly refers to a historical cultural area along the Rhine , which roughly corresponds to the former Rhine province , i.e. also includes parts of today 's Rhineland-Palatinate and peripheral areas of East Belgium (→ Rhineland ). Another characteristic of the Rhinelanders' self-image is their awareness of the ties with and proximity to Western Europe .
While in the 19th century individual territories in what later became North Rhine-Westphalia (such as the Duchy of Kleve , the County of Mark and Minden-Ravensberg ) had been associated with Brandenburg-Prussia for centuries , many residents (particularly in the secularised, former clerical territories such as Kurköln and the Bishoprics of Münster and Paderborn ) as " Muslim Prussia " had a largely distanced relationship with the Prussian state . This was expressed, for example, during the Cologne turmoil , which culminated in the arrest of the Cologne Archbishop Clemens August Droste zu Vischering and which promoted the emergence of political Catholicism in the Rhineland and in Westphalia, as well as in the Cologne-Düsseldorf fraternity festival in the summer of 1843, when Rhenish citizens committed themselves to maintaining their Rhenish law . The rift widened for many as a result of the failure of the March Revolution and the Kulturkampf , the repressive measures against the ties of many Rhinelanders and Westphalians to the Roman Catholic Church and to Ultramontanism . The Rhenish and Westphalian identity development was promoted by the contrasts of the Prussian state, which was centrally controlled in “distant Berlin”. A further major influence was that Prussia not only united the Rhinelanders, who had previously been spread over various dominions, in the Rhine Province, but also promoted the Rhine romanticism that shaped the Rhenish self-image , especially in the Middle Rhine area . The same can be said about the Westphalians, which were also united by Prussia in the 19th century in the province of Westphalia .
In the case of the residents of the state with a foreign migration history , the proportion of which is not small, especially in the urbanized and industrialized regions, the fact that their culture and identity is shaped by the living environment of their different cultures of origin comes into play as an identity-forming factor, for example in the case of so-called Ruhr Poles , emigrants and late emigrants , Turkish people and their descendants. Not small is also the proportion of those residents who have moved here from other federal states or as so-called expellees and have thus “brought along” an identity that was pre-formed in other German or formerly German regions. The characteristic of the mixture and absorption of different people, cultures and traditions in the Rhineland had led the writer Carl Zuckmayer to his metaphor of the Rhine as the “ peoples’ mill of Europe ” in 1946 – i.e. long before the labor migration of the so-called guest workers .
The old contrasts between the parts of the country are only slowly fading away. The two regional associations for Westphalia-Lippe and the Rhineland are responsible for the regional cultivation of culture and thus to a certain extent institutionalize the cultural-spatial separation of the state. With Ostwestfalen-Lippe and in particular the industrial - cultural Ruhr area , however, cross-state and new identity-forming regions have also emerged. As a result of the process of European integration , a European identity has also become more pronounced as a further identity level - above the prevailing self-image of North Rhine-Westphalia as Germans .
Overall, more than 70 years after the founding of North Rhine-Westphalia, it can be stated that the awareness of the state, promoted through publications, events (e.g. through the North Rhine-Westphalia Day ), awards , national emblems and state symbols , museums with state-specific themes, the construction and the presence of representative government buildings and institutions such as B. Westdeutscher Rundfunk , is developing and that the identity of the country's residents is spatially increasingly oriented towards the country's borders. The respective prime ministers and state governments tried to promote and use the North Rhine-Westphalian identity of the state residents in different ways and intensity, for example Franz Meyers (foundation of the art collection North Rhine-Westphalia ), Johannes Rau (election slogan We in NRW , later name of a blog) and Jürgen Rüttgers (slogan We in the West , later foundation of the North Rhine-Westphalia Day). However, one cannot yet speak of a particularly strong general awareness of the country. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to convey the development of the state up to the present to a broad public with a house of the history of North Rhine-Westphalia , which is to be set up in the Mannesmann-Haus on the Rhine promenade in the government district of Düsseldorf by the 75th state anniversary in 2021 and invite you to actively engage with the past, present and future of the country. This should also promote a sense of state and a self-confident national identity.
Tolerance in a nationwide comparison
In the 2015 “ Mitte Study ” the approval of xenophobic statements in individual German federal states was examined. 78.8% of North Rhine-Westphalians rejected xenophobic statements. This was the highest rejection rate for xenophobic statements in a non-city state (national average: 75.7%).
religious and philosophical communities
The largest religious group are the Roman Catholic Christians with around 37.5 percent of the total population in 2018. The second largest group are Protestant residents with 23.8 percent, also for 2018. Evangelical Free Churches make up 1.1 percent and Orthodox 1.5 percent of the population. The largest non-Christian population group with a religious confession are Muslims with about 8 percent of the population, who predominantly belong to the Sunni faith of Islam . There are also Alevis and other groups. Jews make up about 0.1 percent. The state constitution recognizes a special role in society for the churches , especially in the area of education, and guarantees the right to practice one's religion freely .
The proportion of non-denominationals is accordingly around 28 percent.
dialects and languages
The colloquial and official language is German . The dialects and languages in North Rhine-Westphalia vary due to the cultural inconsistency of the state area. In the Rhenish part of the country there are mainly Rhenish regiolects , in Westphalia and Lippe mainly Westphalian regiolects of High German, which have their roots in Westphalian dialects of Low German . The Ruhr German that arose under the influence of immigration is an example of a regiolect. Due to language teaching and immigration, the multilingualism of the residents has increased considerably over the past few decades. The pronunciation is in Low German Noordrhien-Westfalen
North Rhine-Westphalia and the area of today's state has produced numerous important personalities. The composer Ludwig van Beethoven , the painter Peter Paul Rubens and the racing driver Michael Schumacher are probably at the forefront of international fame . Five federal presidents alone were born in what later became North Rhine-Westphalia: Gustav Heinemann , Heinrich Lübke , Johannes Rau , Walter Scheel , Frank-Walter Steinmeier . With Konrad Adenauer and Gerhard Schröder , two Federal Chancellors also come from North Rhine-Westphalia. Other well-known personalities are Otto III. , Friedrich Engels , Joseph Beuys , Heinrich Böll , Annette von Droste-Hülshoff , Heinrich Heine , Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen and Alfred Krupp .
Education and Research
The North Rhine-Westphalian school system provides for attending one of the secondary school types Hauptschule , Realschule , Gymnasium , Gesamtschule or Sekundarschule after a standard four-year period at primary school . The highest school-leaving exam is the general higher education entrance qualification , which is usually taken as a central high school diploma after three years of completing the upper level at a secondary school .
Since 2010 (with the exception of 2015), North Rhine-Westphalia has spent the least amount on education per pupil at general and vocational schools compared to the other federal states.
Universities and research institutions
In the 1950s there were only a few universities in North Rhine-Westphalia, including the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, the University of Cologne and the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn . Since the 1960s, more and more new universities have been founded. More than 768,000 students are enrolled at North Rhine-Westphalian universities in the 2019/2020 winter semester. The universities in Bochum , Duisburg/Essen , Hagen , Cologne and Münster as well as the RWTH Aachen are the universities with the largest number of students in the state and are among the ten largest universities in Germany . Overall, the state (as of 2020), including the universities of applied sciences, has 30 public universities, seven state art and music universities, 26 recognized private and church universities and five universities of applied sciences that are not subject to the official and technical supervision of the state.
In addition to the other institutions of the Helmholtz Association , the Max Planck Society and the Fraunhofer Society , the Jülich Research Center is known as one of the largest research institutions in Europe. The NRW Graduate Schools are research funding institutions within the existing universities.
economy and transport
In the 1950s and 1960s, the land of coal and steel was an apt description of North Rhine-Westphalia both for itself and for others. The mining and industrial area on the Rhine and Ruhr was one of the most important industrial regions in Europe and made a decisive contribution to the reconstruction and the economic miracle not only in the state but in the entire Federal Republic. After the Second World War , his future was initially politically controversial on an international level due to the Ruhr issue . From the end of the 1940s, the Ruhr Statute and the Schuman Plan paved the way towards a European communitization of the coal and steel sector in the form of the European Coal and Steel Community . At the latest since the 1960s, the strong focus of the Ruhr area on the mining industry has had a negative impact as a monostructure . Recurring steel and coal crises caused the coal and steel industry to melt together more and more. On the other hand, companies in the manufacturing sector outside the Ruhr area, especially in mechanical engineering and in the metal and iron processing industry, experienced a significant upswing. The structural change in North Rhine-Westphalia varied greatly from region to region. While parts of the old district still have high unemployment rates, a structural change has taken place from a predominantly industrial society to a knowledge society.
With a gross domestic product (GDP) of 711.419 billion euros in 2019 , North Rhine-Westphalia was the economically strongest state in Germany and one of the most important economic centers in the world. In terms of gross domestic product per inhabitant, North Rhine-Westphalia is in the middle of the western German states . The unemployment rate is 6.9% (January 2022) . This value is higher than the federal German and well above the western German unemployment rate. The North Rhine-Westphalian unemployment rate is the highest of all West German non- city states .
According to surveys by the American business magazine Fortune , four of the hundred top-selling companies in the world are based in North Rhine-Westphalia. According to a survey by Wirtschaftsblatt newspaper in 2009, the ten top-selling companies in North Rhine-Westphalia were E.ON (utilities), Metro (retail), Deutsche Telekom (telecommunications), Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd (retail), Rewe (retail), RWE (utilities ), Deutsche Post AG (logistics and transport), Thyssenkrupp (mechanical and plant engineering), Deutsche BP (utilities) and Bayer AG (pharmaceuticals and chemicals). Across Germany, the country can book the highest foreign direct investments of all German states with around 135 billion euros (around 29 percent of all direct investments in Germany, both as of the end of 2009).
|unemployment rate in %||9.2||8.8||9.2||10.0||10.2||12.0||11.4||9.5||8.5||8.9||8.7||8.1||8.1||8.3||8.2||8.0||7.7||7.4||6.8||6.5|
Along with the central location in the most important European economic area , the high population density, the strong urbanization and the numerous business locations, North Rhine-Westphalia has one of the densest transport networks in the world. In 2015, every third traffic jam report in Germany was in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Cologne Eifeltor station is Germany 's largest container transhipment station for combined rail/road freight traffic . Hagen-Vorhalle station is one of the largest marshalling yards in Germany for freight traffic .
The Port of Duisburg is regarded as a traffic hub for German inland shipping . The most important inland waterway in North Rhine-Westphalia is the Rhine. In addition, the Rhine-Herne Canal (RHK), the Wesel-Datteln Canal (WDK), the Datteln-Hamm Canal (DHK) and the Dortmund-Ems Canal (DEK) play an important role for inland shipping.
The two most important hubs in international air traffic are the airports in Düsseldorf ( third largest German airport in terms of passenger numbers) and Cologne/Bonn (third largest German airport in terms of freight volume). Other airports with regular scheduled and charter flights are Dortmund Airport , Niederrhein Airport , Münster/Osnabrück Airport and Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport .
culture and leisure
art and cultural landscape
The promotion of art and culture in North Rhine-Westphalia is stipulated in the state constitution as a national goal . North Rhine-Westphalia supports a large number of artistic and cultural projects and institutions, almost exclusively in the state, at federal level the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation , the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States , the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe Institute . Due to the sheer number of inhabitants of the country, numerous cultural workers live in the country, according to an estimate around 30,000 artists. The North Rhine-Westphalia Film and Media Foundation plays an important role in the national and international promotion of film and the media . The Kunststiftung NRW does something similar in the field of art and culture.
Characteristic of the art and culture scene in North Rhine-Westphalia is its diversity and polycentrism . The reasons for this include the pronounced regional differences in the state in terms of cultural space, with the most striking cultural border running between Westphalia-Lippe and the Rhineland , and in the state's history , which did not allow the emergence of a metropolis or residential city that was also dominant in cultural terms. Important cultural institutions are therefore spread across the country. Impulses for cultural and artistic developments in today's country rarely came "from above". The working class culture in the Ruhr area is a particularly good example of this. The workers' culture formed one of the roots of the transformation of the Ruhr area from an industrially dominated region to a "cultural metropolis" which - like other industrial regions of North Rhine-Westphalia - continues to see its industrial culture as an important part of its cultural identity . In 2010 the Ruhr area was the European Capital of Culture .
With the Art Cologne , North Rhine-Westphalia is home to the largest art fair in Germany and the oldest in the world. Other well-known art fairs are the Art Düsseldorf , the Great Art Exhibition NRW Düsseldorf and the tour of the Düsseldorf Art Academy . Düsseldorf and Cologne are known as centers of art and art trade as well as locations of important art collections and exhibition halls, including in Düsseldorf the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen , the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf , the Museum Kunstpalast and the NRW-Forum , in Cologne the picture gallery Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud as well as the Museum Ludwig . The Ostwall Museum is located in Dortmund . The Folkwang Museum is located in Essen and the LWL Museum for Art and Culture is in Münster . The Museum Mile in Bonn is home to two of the most important art museums in the country , the Bonn Art Museum and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany . Among the most important theaters in Germany are the Schauspielhaus Bochum and the Schauspiel Köln . The only state theater in North Rhine-Westphalia is the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus . The best-known opera houses are the Cologne Opera , the Dortmund Opera House, the Aalto Theater in Essen and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg. The Dortmund Theater is one of the largest three-section houses in Germany. The Dortmund Concert Hall , the Düsseldorf Tonhalle , the Essen Philharmonic and the Cologne Philharmonic are the best-known concert halls in the country. The best- known art schools are the Düsseldorf Art Academy, the Detmold University of Music and the Folkwang University of the Arts .
The biggest tourist attraction in the country and at the same time in the Federal Republic is the Cologne Cathedral with around six million visitors a year. In addition to the Cologne Cathedral, the Aachen Cathedral and the Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces , since 2001 the Zollverein colliery and coking plant and since 2014 the Corvey Monastery are also among the country's UNESCO World Heritage Sites . In the Westphalian-Lippe part of the country, half-timbered construction is still very common and often architecture that shapes the cityscape. The currently oldest, dated half-timbered houses (including the so-called Eckmännekenhaus from 1471) are in the Hanseatic city of Warburg in southern East Westphalia. The Sauerland and Eifel regions are also architecturally characterized by half-timbered construction, here in particular with the brick covering using slate. The colliery architecture is the most outstanding example of numerous industrial monuments in the cities on the Rhine and Ruhr, whose historic inner city areas were often destroyed in World War II or during industrialization. As a state, North Rhine-Westphalia expresses itself through a large number of state buildings, in particular through the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and the state government buildings in the government district of Düsseldorf. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is probably the world's best-known architect from what is now North Rhine-Westphalia.
The nature in North Rhine-Westphalia is typical of the Central European natural area. Most widespread in North Rhine-Westphalia are species that are adapted to cleared cultural landscapes or wooded low mountain ranges. However, the original, species-rich flora and fauna is threatened more than in almost any other region in Europe due to the high settlement density, the country's large industrial centres, mining, almost all-encompassing agricultural and forestry use and the almost complete transport infrastructure. Overall, structural change in the Ruhr area and environmental protection measures have led to a significant improvement in air and water quality in the Rhine-Ruhr region. North Rhine-Westphalia is about 25 percent forested. The forested low mountain range regions of the state therefore play an important role in nature conservation and local recreation for the inhabitants of the densely populated Rhine-Ruhr region. North Rhine-Westphalia has a share in 14 nature parks . The largest of these parks is the Teutoburg Forest/Eggegebirge Nature Park in Ostwestfalen-Lippe . With the Eifel National Park , the state has had a national park since 2004 .
The country's accommodation facilities had around 20 million guests in 2012, who stayed a total of around 45.4 million times. Most overnight stays in 2012 were recorded in the Teutoburg Forest travel region (6.5 million), followed by the Sauerland and the “Cologne and Rhein-Erft-Kreis” travel region, each with 6.2 million overnight stays. The number of overnight stays by foreign guests was over 9.2 million in 2012. Guests from the Netherlands are the most important group with around 25.2 percent of overnight stays. Tourists from the United Kingdom (7.7 percent), Belgium (6.3 percent), the USA (5.2 percent) and France (4.1 percent) follow at a clear distance.
With regard to the North Rhine-Westphalian cuisine, the division into a Rhenish and Westphalian-Lippe part can be seen again. The cuisines of the Lower Rhine and the Bergisches Land also belong to the Rhenish cuisine . The Westphalian cuisine and the associated Lippe cuisine are part of the North German cuisine in a broader sense. The Westphalian cuisine is above all hearty, an example is Westphalian ham on pumpernickel . Other meat, sausage and bread specialties also play an important role there. Rhenish cuisine is also down-to-earth, but appears a bit more refined compared to Westphalian cuisine. A well-known example of Rhenish cuisine is the Rhenish sauerbraten . In the south-west of the state on the Rhine, wine is grown in the Middle Rhine wine-growing region ( Großlage Petersberg ). Otherwise, North Rhine-Westphalia is a "beer country". In addition to the Pilsner , which is particularly widespread in Westphalia , which pushed back the export beer that had been the dominant beer in the 1970s , there are two types of top-fermented beer, Altbier and Kölsch , which are particularly widespread in the Rhineland.
Sport in North Rhine-Westphalia is primarily characterized by football. The Rhine-Ruhr region has a particularly high density of successful football clubs , which cannot be explained solely by its size and population density. Football has always been part of the tradition of the miners in the mining area . Measured by the number of inhabitants, North Rhine-Westphalia is usually over -represented in the Bundesliga . Clubs in the first Bundesliga are currently Borussia Dortmund , Borussia Mönchengladbach , VfL Bochum , Bayer 04 Leverkusen , Arminia Bielefeld and 1. FC Köln . The largest football stadium in Germany is the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund with over 80,000 seats. In addition to football, many other sports are practiced in North Rhine-Westphalia. Handball, ice hockey and basketball attract a particularly large number of spectators.
In addition to the national holidays of New Year, Good Friday, Easter, Labor Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost, German Unity Day and Christmas, Corpus Christi and All Saints' Day are public holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia.
On June 24, 2015, the state parliament decided that on October 31, 2017, Reformation Day would be celebrated as a holiday.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia awards or endows the following awards:
- Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- State Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Female Artist Award of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Promotional prize of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for young artists
- Graphics prize of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Rhenish-Westphalian State Prize for the Preservation of Monuments
- Sports plaque of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Children's Book Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Straelen Translation Prize of the Art Foundation NRW
- Fire brigade badge of honor of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Civil Protection Medal of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Rescue Medal of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Flag ribbon of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
Well-known prizes awarded by private organizations in North Rhine-Westphalia are:
- Ulrich von Alemann : North Rhine-Westphalia. A country looks ahead. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-17-024191-6 .
- Jürgen Brautmeier and others: (Hrsg.): Heimat North Rhine-Westphalia. Identities and regionality in transition . Klartext Verlag, Essen 2010, ISBN 978-3-8375-0155-1 .
- Georg Cornelissen : Small history of the language of North Rhine-Westphalia . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-7743-0654-7 .
- Winfrid Halder , Michael Serrer (eds.): The long way west. Fled - expelled - arrived at the Rhine and Ruhr . Schoeningh, Paderborn 2008, ISBN 978-3-506-76683-0 .
- Susanne Hilger: Small economic history of North Rhine-Westphalia. Of model boys and problem children . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-7743-0498-7 .
- State Center for Civic Education (ed.): NRW Lexicon. Politics, society, economy, law, culture. 2nd Edition. Leske + Budrich, Leverkusen 2000, ISBN 3-8100-2336-1 .
- Helge Matthiesen (text), Florian Monheim (photos): North Rhine-Westphalia. The pictures. Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2021, ISBN 978-3-7743-0940-1 .
- Sabine Mecking: Local government reform and the will of the people. Development of democracy and reorganization of state and society in North Rhine-Westphalia 1965-2000 (= studies on contemporary history. Volume 85). Oldenbourg, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-486-70314-6 .
- Christoph Nonn : History of North Rhine-Westphalia . CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-58343-8 .
- Christoph Nonn: Small migration history of North Rhine-Westphalia . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2011, ISBN 978-3-7743-0479-6 .
- Christoph Nonn: Environmental History of North Rhine-Westphalia . Greven-Verlag, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-7743-0691-2 .
More content in Wikipedia
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In addition to the pronunciation variant of the Duden (Stefan Kleiner, Ralf Knöbl, Max Mangold: Duden. The pronunciation dictionary . 7th edition. Volume 6 . Duden publisher. Bibliographic Institute, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-411-04067-4 . ) with the transcription [ ˌnɔrtraɪ̯nvɛstˈfaːlən ], there are further variants:
1. [ nˌɔʶtʁ̥aɛ̯n vɛstfˈaːln ] according to Eva-Maria Krech, Eberhard Stock, Ursula Hirschfeld, Lutz Christian Anders: German pronunciation dictionary . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6 . 2. [ nɔɐdʀa͡en vɛstfaːln̩ ] according to adaba: Austrian pronunciation dictionary. Austrian pronunciation database. University of Graz. Forschungsstelle Österreichisches Deutsch, retrieved on April 6, 2010 (the German variant, i.e. not the one commonly used in Austria, is given for “North Rhine-Westphalia”).
- In Great Britain, since the participation in the Allied occupation of the Rhineland after the First World War , the Ruhr area has been understood to mean an area of industrial cities on the Rhine and Ruhr characterized by heavy industry, not the Ruhr area according to the widespread view today.
- Examples are the Bishopric of Münster , which historically extended far into today's Lower Saxony, or the territories of the House of Lippe and its side line of Schaumburg , which lay on both sides of today's state borders.
- In the 17th century, the city of Kleve was one of the three residential cities of the Electorate of Brandenburg , along with Königsberg and Berlin .
- See also a scene from George Hurdalek, Helmut Käutner, Gyula Trebitsch , Carl Zuckmayer : Des Teufels General . Editor: Helmut Käutner . February 23, 1955 ( YouTube [accessed March 5, 2015] Conversation between General Harras and Lieutenant Hartmann (excerpt (duration 2:06 min))). See also Des Teufels General (1955) at the Internet Movie Database
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