Oldenburger Münsterland

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Logo of the Oldenburger Münsterland e. V.

The Oldenburger Münsterland - seldom also called the Oldenburgisches Münsterland - is the area of ​​the Lower Saxony districts of Cloppenburg and Vechta . Unofficially it is also called Südoldenburg ; accordingly its residents call themselves Südoldenburger. The term Oldenburger Münsterländer is rather uncommon.


South-eastern border of the Oldenburger Münsterland on the Dümmer . Border post with current and historical coats of arms

In 1252 the bishopric of Münster acquired the former county of Ravensberg-Vechta . With the conquest of the Mecklenburg office of Cloppenburg in 1400, the common history of today's Oldenburger Münsterland begins in the Niederstift Münster . In 1668 the Bishop of Münster also obtained ecclesiastical sovereignty over the Niederstift. The Protestant Duke of Oldenburg gained state power over the offices of Cloppenburg and Vechta , whose population has remained predominantly Catholic to this day, through the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of February 25, 1803 . During the so-called French period (1811–1813), the Oldenburger Münsterland belonged to the French Hanseatic Département de l'Ems-Supérieur (Department of the Upper Ems). Until 1946, the Oldenburger Münsterland remained part of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg or (since 1919) of the Free State of Oldenburg . During this time it was also called the Münsterland Geest . The Oldenburger Münsterland has belonged to the state of Lower Saxony since 1946 and comprises the area of ​​the districts of Cloppenburg and Vechta.


Gerbert Castus monument at the parish church of St. Vitus in Visbek: Depicted are the abbot Gerbert Castus , the priest Folcard (a colleague of the first Bremen bishop Willehad ) and a companion of the two, Count Emmig
Typical OM landscape on the Krimpenforter Berg: a cross between the road and a harvested maize field ; in the background a cold store building

From Visbek , Abbot Gerbert Castus - the apostle of the Oldenburger Münsterland - led the Christianization of the Saxons a . a. in Lerigau , Hasegau , Venkigau , possibly also in northern Dersagau , i.e. in the Oldenburger Münsterland. By a certificate from 1 September 819 Emperor to Louis the Pious the fiscbechi of Castus mentioned Abbey and the churches under him have granted full duty exemption. However, this document is now regarded as a total forgery from the late 10th century.

Before that, from 780 AD, Charlemagne (* probably April 2, 747 or 748; † January 28, 814 in Aachen) had established nine mission districts to Christianize the subject Saxons , one of which was the Benedictine abbey cellula fiscbechi (Visbek) educated. The first church of the mission district, the so-called original church, was built in Visbek. The first parishes in the Oldenburger Münsterland were founded from the Visbek mission cell. Among them were u. a. in Lerigau probably the parish churches Krapendorf , Altenoythe , Bakum and Emstek , in Hasegau the Gaukirche Löningen , and the Gaukirche Freren in Venkigau . Even Lohne in northern Dersagau should be a Visbeker foundation.

At the time of the Reformation under Bishop Franz von Waldeck, the area was dominated by Lutherans for around 70 years from 1543 to 1613. At that time, the Protestant reformer Hermann Bonnus worked in this region . In the course of the Counter Reformation , led by Bishop Ferdinand of Bavaria , the region was re-Catholicized. In this context, it is of great importance that Christoph Bernhard von Galen , then Bishop of Münster, bought spiritual sovereignty over what is now Oldenburger Münsterland from the Diocese of Osnabrück in 1668. Only then was he able to exert considerable, sustained pressure on his subjects to confessional pressure, from which only the country nobility in the region were protected. Nevertheless, after 1613 there was still a minority of non-aristocratic Protestants in the outskirts of the Oldenburger Münsterland. In the district of Cloppenburg, 346 of 32,663 inhabitants were Protestants in 1846, and of 35,254 in 1996 in the district of Vechta. In the 1920s, received in accordance with the then denomination ratio in the division of Wulf Auer Mark seven Catholics and five Protestants Kolonat . In Goldenstedt, Wulfenau and Cloppenburg, Protestant Christians were given their own houses of worship in the middle of the 19th century. Protestant churches were built across the board after the Second World War because there were a large number of Protestant Christians among the refugees and displaced persons who found a new home in the Oldenburger Münsterland.

The bishop of Münster remained the spiritual , if not secular, head of the Catholics in the Oldenburger Münsterland even after the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803 (secular head was the - evangelical - duke, later Grand Duke of Oldenburg). Since the 1820s, the episcopal official in Vechta has been his permanent representative for the entire area of ​​the Oldenburger Land , which according to the law of the Catholic Church still belongs entirely to the diocese of Münster. As a worldwide unique institution in terms of state church law, the Bischöflich Münstersche official office with regionally defined competence represents the executive power (potestas executiva) of the bishop like a vicariate general. Auxiliary Bishop Wilfried Theising , titular bishop of Minadas, has held the office of official in Vechta since January 2017 .

Calvary at the Church of St. Bonaventura in Mühlen

A visible sign of a lively traditional popular piety in the Oldenburger Münsterland is the multitude of wayside shrines , wayside crosses and crossroads in the open air. There are more than 100 wayside crosses in the area of ​​the city of Lohne alone.


The Oldenburger Münsterland has traditionally been a stronghold of the CDU since its inception . Since 1947 the respective constituency candidates of the CDU have been directly elected in all elections to the Lower Saxony state parliament and since 1949 in all federal elections, and the CDU received an absolute majority of the votes in all elections.

Corresponding majorities already existed before 1933: In all democratic elections to the Oldenburg Landtag and the Reichstag from 1871, the Center Party emerged as the winner in the Oldenburger Münsterland , including in the 1932 state elections, in which the NSDAP held the absolute majority of the seats in the Oldenburg Landtag received. Joachim Kuropka , now professor emeritus for history at the University of Vechta , characterizes the Oldenburger Münsterland as the “blackest corner of Germany”.

At the moment the area of ​​the Oldenburger Münsterland is congruent with that of the Bundestag constituency Cloppenburg - Vechta , while the layout of the Landtag constituencies overlaps with the area of ​​neighboring districts. In elections to the Lower Saxony state parliament, the town of Wildeshausen and the community of Großenkneten in the district of Oldenburg belong to the constituency of Cloppenburg-Nord , and the town of Damme and the community of Neuenkirchen-Vörden in the district of Vechta were assigned to the constituency of Bersenbrück . The constituencies of Cloppenburg and Vechta are located entirely in the Oldenburger Münsterland area .


Johann Gottfried Hoche , Protestant preacher and travel writer from Halberstadt, traveled from Hunteburg via Damme, Holdorf, Quakenbrück, Essen, Molbergen and Ellerbrock near Friesoythe to Saterland in 1798 and published his travel impressions in Bremen in 1800. It says:

“The whole line of land from Quackenbrück via Vechta, Kloppenburg, Frisoyta to the Soeste, from there over the Ems and back up to the Hase is not only one of the worst in Westphalia, but in all of Germany. You think you are in the steppes of Siberia when you wade through the Haiden ... Everything is barren and quiet, not a bird sings its morning song and delights the wanderer's ears. Not a tree, not a bush offers him shade ... Sometimes you walk on unsteady ground, sometimes you struggle to get your foot out of the sand, then you walk through a half-starved grain, in a field that has stolen the Haiden and approaches a small village where this picture finds even brighter colors. The creation seems to be here still unfinished. "

However, these impressions were largely not true; because the Cloppenburg doctor Joseph König corrected the description of Hoches shortly afterwards:

“Take the chart of the former Nieder (stift) Münster and look at the route our author noted on it and hear and read what he says here, (and indeed) says as firmly as if he had weeks and moons all over the country Traveled through and through. Strange: He has not seen a tree, and we find not one but several individual farmers who own for 2, 3 and 10 thousand Reichstaler in oak alone. He also says of half-starved grain ... (But) where does it come from that we only have deficiencies when there is really bad growth and that we can also carry out grain at all times? "
Industrial company at the Lohne / Dinklage motorway exit

The Oldenburg Münsterland is centrally located in North-West Germany in the metropolitan area of North West and is defined by the Federal Highway 1 with the metropolitan regions Rhein-Ruhr and Hamburg connected. Thanks to this favorable long-distance traffic connection, the Oldenburger Münsterland was able to develop into an up-and-coming region in Lower Saxony in the 1990s.

The unemployment rate in the Oldenburger Münsterland was 4.5% in 2014, around 2 percentage points below the national average, and the home ownership rate of over 80% is one of the highest in Germany.

In 2020, the Institute for the German Economy examined the economic strength and economic dynamics of all 401 rural districts and cities in Germany. In terms of economic power, the district of Vechta is in 90th place, the district of Cloppenburg in 187th. Both districts are certified by the IW to have relatively low economic development dynamics: Here, the district of Vechta occupies place 314, the district of Cloppenburg place 349. In districts with a relative If economic dynamism is low, there is a risk of "resting too long on the successes of the past and missing the decisive course for a future-oriented development."


Stables at Hemmelte

The Oldenburger Münsterland is still above all agriculturally embossed region and has the largest concentration of processing plants of poultry , pork and beef farms ( factory farming ) in the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition to the processing, the regional fruit and vegetable production with cultivation areas of over 4500 hectares is an important economic factor.

Many industries have settled in the “atmosphere of arable farming and cattle breeding”: agricultural machinery manufacturers, manufacturers of stable and feeding systems, vegetable processors, plastics and packaging companies. As a result (and not only through agriculture and the agricultural industry itself) the Oldenburger Münsterland has become one of the boom regions in Germany.



North bank of the Thülsfeld dam
Meadow landscape in the nature reserve Bäken der Endeler and Holzhauser Heide
Wehlburg court
complex in the museum village of Cloppenburg

The Oldenburger Münsterland offers many opportunities for tourists. It is divided into five vacation and recreation areas. Here are the densely wooded Dammer Mountains with the Dümmer water sports center , the Thülsfelder Talsperre archipelago area rich in fish and birds , the extensive moorland areas in the northern district of Vechta with the humid lowlands of the Aue and Twillbäke streams and their watermills in the Bäken der Endeler and Holzhauser Heide nature reserve in the municipality Visbek , as well as the river landscape of the Hasetal . In the far north of the Oldenburger Münsterland lies the Barßel - Saterland water territory . The 306-kilometer pit stop route is a long - distance cycle path through the aforementioned recreation areas. By the Oldenburger Münsterland leading holiday routes Route of Megalithic Culture , Lower Saxony Asparagus Route , Lower Saxon Mill Road , German Fehnroute and Industrial Heritage Trail in the northwest .

The museum village of Cloppenburg , one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Germany, is of great importance for the region . The rural culture of the north-west, which was shaped by the Saxons and Frisians , is shown here. The museum village wants to research the rural monuments of the state of Lower Saxony and document them realistically in authoritative examples. Although it is not the aim of the institution to attract as many visitors as possible, the museum village of Cloppenburg recorded the highest number of visitors (250,000) of all museums in Lower Saxony in 2009.


Both districts have a public district music school as well as numerous urban or regional private music schools. Furthermore, the music of the Oldenburger Münsterland is very much influenced by brass music, so that there are traditional brass bands in every community and larger villages . The churches in the region are responsible for numerous choirs as well as some Protestant trombone choirs . In addition, the brass quintet BrassEvolution brings together young, talented brass players from the entire Oldenburger Münsterland.


Summarized fertility rates in Germany by district and urban district.

Between 1989 and 2009 the population increased by 20%, in some municipalities even by 50%. In 2015 more than 300,000 people lived in the Oldenburger Münsterland.

The districts of Cloppenburg and Vechta had a relatively low average age of the population in 2017 (40.6 years in the district of Cloppenburg, 40.5 years in the district of Vechta). In the district of Cloppenburg, the low average age is primarily due to a Germany-wide unsurpassed birth rate of 2.01 children per inhabitant.


The names of the two largest newspapers, the Oldenburgische Volkszeitung (Vechta) and the Münsterländische Tageszeitung (Cloppenburg), refer to the name Oldenburger Münsterland . Both newspapers merged to form the OM media group in 2020.


Image researchers have found that the region's self-designation as the Oldenburger Münsterland is often perceived as "old-fashioned". Also, "because of its name [...] the Oldenburger Münsterland is mainly associated with the namesake, but not OM-related cities of Oldenburg and Münster ."

See also

Portal: Oldenburger Münsterland  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of Oldenburger Münsterland


  • Hermann Lübbing: South Oldenburg conditions around 1850 from a Protestant perspective . In: Oldenburger Jahrbuch of the Oldenburger Landesverein for history, nature and local history . Vol. 55, 1955. pp. 47-62 ( online )
  • Theodor Kohlmann: On the history of the craft in the Oldenburger Münsterland . 1st part in: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1969 . Vechta 1968, pp. 34-46 ( online ); Part 2 in: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1970 . Vechta 1969, p. 11– ( online )
  • Otto Gruber: The coats of arms of the South Oldenburg nobility . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1971 . Vechta 1970, pp. 11–32 ( online )
  • Josef Sommer: bondage and serfdom in southern Oldenburg . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1972 . Vechta 1971, pp. 114-120
  • Josef Sommer: Farmer liberation in South Oldenburg . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1973 . Vechta 1972, pp. 207-218
  • Max Schlüter: The state forests in the Oldenburger Münsterland . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1973 . Vechta 1972, pp. 51-69
  • Heinz-Joachim Schulze: From Niederstift Münster to Oldenburger Münsterland. The becoming of a historical landscape . In: Oldenburger Jahrbuch , Vol. 80 (1980) pp. 77-97 ( online )
  • Heinrich Hachmöller: The recatholization of the Oldenburger Münsterland (1613-1624) . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1986 . Vechta 1985, pp. 77-110
  • Alwin Hanschmidt : 'Oldenburger Münsterland' - On the history of a name . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1989 . Vechta 1988, pp. 5-20
  • Alwin Hanschmidt: Once again 'Oldenburger Münsterland' . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 1990 . Vechta 1989, pp. 203-213
  • Bernhard Brockmann : Visbek Abbey. 1175 years of Visbek. 819 - 1994. , Visbek 1994
  • Bernhard Brockmann: The Christianization of the Oldenburger Münsterland , Plaggenborg 1996, ISBN 978-3-92935-851-3
  • Bernhard Brockmann, Hein Schillmöller: Visbek bride and Visbek groom: stones with history and stories; the megalithic graves at Engelmannsbäke , Plaggenborg Vechta 1996, ISBN 978-3-929358-51-3
  • Bernhard Brockmann, Hans-Joachim Behr, Nikolaus Kokenge: The Gogericht on the Desum - haubtt and ubergericht - of the Oldenburger Münsterland. , On behalf of the interest group "Altes Gogericht auf dem Desum eV" published, Oldenburg 2000
  • Bernhard Brockmann: Pioneers of modern agriculture from the Oldenburger Münsterland , Schmücker Löningen 2004, ISBN 978-3-9808698-2-9
  • Bernhard Brockmann: Murder and manslaughter before the Gogericht on the Desum in the 16th century: the trial of Arndt Bullingk for manslaughter in 1553 compared with similar proceedings before the Gogericht Damme and Sutholte near Goldenstedt , Geest-Verlag Vechta-Langförden 2006, ISBN 978-3-937844-18-3
  • Bernhard Brockmann: The worldwide unique Simultaneum mixtum in Goldenstedt .: Evangelical and Catholic together from 1650 to 1850. , Geest-Verlag Vechta-Langförden 2007, ISBN 978-3-86685-099-6
  • Bernhard Brockmann, Winfried Rötepohl-Bahlmann: The Goldenstedter school fight 1938. Memory of courageous citizens in a dark time. , Geest-Verlag Vechta-Langförden 2008, ISBN 978-3-86685-121-4
  • Michael Hirschfeld: The Niederstift Münster in travel reports of the Enlightenment period . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 2015 . Vechta 2014, pp. 88–112
  • Rudi Hockmann: Results and conclusions from the image study Oldenburger Münsterland . In: Yearbook for the Oldenburger Münsterland 2016 (Ed .: Heimatbund für das Oldenburger Münsterland). Vechta 2015, pp. 188–205, ISBN 978-3-941073-19-7
  • Maria Blömer, Bernhard Grieshop, Alfred Kuhlmann, Wilhelm Thien, Kerstin Ummen: Low German dictionary for the Oldenburger Münsterland. Scientific support: Wilfried Kürschner . Cloppenburg: Heimatbund for the Oldenburger Münsterland 2020, ISBN 978-3-941073-29-6

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andreas Janda: History of the Grafschaft Ravensberg from its beginnings in 10/11. Century until the extinction of the male line in 1346
  2. ^ Hermann Stieglitz (arrangement): Handbook of the Diocese of Osnabrück . Dombücherstube, Osnabrück, 2nd, completely reworked. 1991 edition, ISBN 3-925164-10-3 , p. 39.
  3. Franz Josef Scheeben: Oldenburg has belonged to the diocese of Münster for 350 years - why "Bomben-Bernd" bought the spiritual power in southern Oldenburg . kirche-und-leben.de. September 14, 2018
  4. VideoLexikon: Modernization and population growth in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. Introduction ( Memento from July 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints: Article "Folkard"
  6. Landesbibliothek Oldenburg: Bio-Handbuch UZ p. 790 p. (pdf p. 29 p .; 11.0 MB)
  7. Michael Bönte: Abbot Gerbert Castus - A missionary from the second row. Church site ((former) online newspaper of the Münster diocese). October 29, 2004 ( Memento of May 3, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved from the web archive on October 3, 2017.
  8. ^ Theo Kölzer: The documents of Ludwig the Pious for Halberstadt (BM2 535) and Visbek (BM2 702) - a serious misunderstanding. In: Archiv für Diplomatik 58, 2012, pp. 103–123, here: pp. 119–121.
  9. Germania Sacra - Monasteries and Abbey of the Old Kingdom . Retrieved Feb 25, 2020.
  10. Episcopal Münstersches Officialat Vechta . Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  11. ^ Tim Unger: Reformation and Counter-Reformation in the Oldenburger Münsterland. Lecture in Vechta on October 31, 2016 . Evangelical Church District Oldenburger Münsterland
  12. ^ Tim Unger: Reformation and Counter-Reformation in the Oldenburger Münsterland . Lecture given on October 31, 2016. P. 10
  13. ^ Hubert Gelhaus: The political-social milieu in Südoldenburg from 1803 to 1936. Dissertation. 1999, p. 35 ( online )
  14. ^ Hermann Brengelmann: The settlement of the Wulfenauer Mark . In: Evangelisch ins Oldenburger Münsterland (Ed .: Evangelical Lutheran Church District Oldenburger Münsterland). Cloppenburg 2016, p. 152
  15. ^ Frank Kröger: Evang. Churches. Link "Inauguration 1852" . altdinklage.com
  16. ^ Oldenburg official district . Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  17. The Bishop of Münster: Overview of wayside shrines and wayside crosses. Oldenburg region . kirchensite.de
  18. ^ Parish of St. Gertrud Lohne (ed.): Wegzeichen - Glaubenszeichen. In the parish of St. Gertrud Lohne . Rewards. 2011 ( online. Pdf ( Memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ))
  19. ^ Rudolf Willenborg: The limits of the milieu. Comparative analyzes of the stability and endangerment of Catholic milieus in the final phase of the Weimar Republic and in the Nazi era . October 24, 2009
  20. Quoted from: Heimatbund für das Oldenburger Münsterland (HOM): The Oldenburger Münsterland in the 19th century . P. 2
  21. Federal Employment Agency - Unemployment in the Oldenburger Münsterland statistics
  22. Vanessa Hünnemeyer / Hanno Kampermann: Rural Regions in Germany - Results of the IW Regional Ranking 2020 . Quarterly journal on empirical economic research, vol. 47. IW Trends 2/2020
  23. ^ Normann Berg: Economic Study: There is a lack of dynamism on site . om-online.de. June 11, 2020
  24. The Oldenburger Münsterland - Food Industry - Agribusiness-Cluster Accessed June 24, 2015
  25. ^ Kerstin Bund: Agriculture: Field, forest and growth . The time . July 9, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2017
  26. Oldenburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK): Oldenburger Münsterland location . 2016
  27. ↑ The Oldenburger Münsterland holiday region. In: Verbund Oldenburger Münsterland e. V. Archived from the original on January 28, 2007 ; Retrieved February 10, 2007 .
  28. ^ Heinrich Kaiser: 250,000 guests in the museum . Oldenburgische Volkszeitung, December 30, 2009, p. 14
  29. Verbund Oldenburger Münsterland e. V .: OM location brochure . 2018, p. 15
  30. Renée Willenbring: Russians on the flat country. A parallel society of ethnic repatriates has formed in Cloppenburg . Deutschlandfunk culture. May 12, 2009
  31. Rebecca Piron: Where are the Germans youngest? . Kommunal.de. 4th March 2019
  32. This is where most of the children in Germany are born . haz.de. September 24, 2917
  33. MT and OV merge to form the OM media group. May 11, 2020, accessed June 18, 2020 .
  34. Torsten H. Kirstges: Project report: Awareness, image and brand study for the Oldenburger Münsterland . Wilhelmshaven 2014, pp. 9 and 20
  35. Torsten H. Kirstges: Project report: Awareness, image and brand study for the Oldenburger Münsterland . Wilhelmshaven 2014, pp. 14 and 65