Osnabrück country

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Location of the Osnabrück state in Lower Saxony
Logo Tourismusverband Osnabrücker Land eV

The Osnabrücker Land ( Ostwestfälisch Ossenbrüggske Laand ) is a region in the southwest of Lower Saxony that protrudes into North Rhine-Westphalia . The center is the independent city of Osnabrück . In terms of nature , the core landscape is in the Osnabrück hill country , but the cultural area extends northwards over the Wiehengebirge to the Bersenbrücker Land , while in the south it extends over the Teutoburg Forest to the north of the Ostmünsterland . It mainly covers the catchment area of the upper reaches of the Hase . The Osnabrück region is part of the Westphalian cultural area and was also politically Westphalian until the Congress of Vienna . After the Second World War, efforts were made to integrate the Osnabrück region into a newly founded federal state of Westphalia. However, this failed due to resistance from Hanover and the victorious powers. A Low German dialect is originally spoken in the Osnabrück region, which belongs to East Westphalian in the south of the region and in the city of Osnabrück . In the Osnabrücker Nordland the dialect is to be assigned to the North Lower Saxon. Commonly, the region is identified with the district and the city of Osnabrück, which largely corresponds to the imperial-free prince-bishopric of the Old Kingdom . In the area of ​​the Osnabrücker Land there is the landscape association Osnabrücker Land , which takes care of cultural matters.

Geographical location

The district of Osnabrück corresponds roughly to the size of the Osnabrück region

The northern part of the Osnabrück Land essentially borders on Lower Saxony areas, namely in the west on the Emsland ( district Emsland ), in the north on the Oldenburger Land , in particular on the Oldenburger Münsterland (the districts Cloppenburg and Vechta ), and in the east on the Dümmer Region (the district of Diepholz and the Westphalian district of Minden-Lübbecke ).

The southern part of the Osnabrück region borders on North Rhine-Westphalia in the east and south-east on the Detmold administrative district (Minden-Lübbecke, Herford and Gütersloh districts ) and on the Münster administrative district ( Warendorf and Steinfurt districts ) in the southwest and west . The landscape of the Osnabrück region merges seamlessly with the Ravensberger Land , Münsterland and Tecklenburger Land landscapes .

No natural areas are separated from each other by the district or state border. The Wiehengebirge and the Teutoburg Forest rather form a bar running across the Osnabrücker Land, to the north and south of which there are plains .

Natural structure

The Osnabrück region is located in western Lower Saxony . It extends from the Westphalian Bay in the south over the Teutoburg Forest, the Osnabrücker Bergland and the Wiehengebirge for around 75 km to the Osnabrück Nordland with the Gehn , the Ankumer Höhe and the Geest landscape Artland .

Hasewehr in Osnabrück

In the south it reaches into the eastern Münsterland with the communities or parts of the communities Bad Iburg , Bad Laer , Glandorf , Hilter , Dissen and Bad Rothenfelde . In this there are Pleistocene loess and sand areas that roof towards the Ems . The streams that flow over the Glane to the Ems have deposited material from the northern Teutoburg Forest. With this material, the area in front of the Teutoburg Forest was increased noticeably. This is clearly visible, for example, when approaching Bad Iburg from Glandorf and recognizing a small ascent before the first chain of the Teutoburg Forest. Another river system of the Ems is the Hase / Else . The Hase divides into Melle and flows with its eastern part as Else to the Weser , with the northwest part as Hase through the Osnabrücker Land to the Ems.

To the north follows the Teutoburg Forest with the southern ridge of limestone from the Upper Chalk and the northern sandstone ridge from the Lower Cretaceous with the Dörenberg as the highest elevation (331 m) in the district. Further north is the Osnabrück mountain and hill country , which extends south and north of the wide Hasetalung. In this hill country, the Piesberg , the Hüggel with the Silberberg, the Holter Heights and the Meller Mountains stand out as larger elevations. These heights run - like the southern Teutoburg Forest and the northern Wiehengebirge - from northwest to southeast. This large-scale structure of the relief is the result of the movement of the earth's crust at the end of the Middle Ages. In the course of the Alpidic mountain formation in the Upper Cretaceous at the end of the Mesozoic and the Tertiary at the beginning of the New Age , the layers in the Teutoburg Forest overturned and the Wiehengebirge were tilted. The intermediate land broke into clods, some of which were lifted up.

Along the Piesberg-Pyrmont axis, the Schafberg near Ibbenbüren (outside the district area) and the Piesberg were raised so high that coal-bearing rock layers from the carbon came near the surface of the earth. While coal mining on the Piesberg was only granted for a short time due to the low thickness of the coal seams and due to water retention problems, carbon-rich anthracite coal is still mined in neighboring Schafberg.

In the hillside, rocks of the ancient world come to the surface, but they come from the Permian and Carboniferous and are therefore partly younger than the carbon rocks on the Piesberg. The formation of the Bruchschollengebirge in the Osnabrück area with the emergence of the Teutoburg Forest, Wiehengebirge and Osnabrück hill country led to the fact that layers of earth from the late ancient times to the modern era can be found very close together, so that experts speak of one of the "Osnabrück geological square miles" in of the deposits of the last 300 million years are exposed. In this land between the ridges of the Teutoburg Forest and the Wiehengebirge, ground moraine remains from the Saale glaciation are often preserved and there are loess coverings in many places. Such deposits can also be found south of the Teutoburg Forest and north of the Wiehengebirge.

The north of Osnabrück with the communities from the former districts of Bersenbrück and Wittlage is connected to the mountainous and hilly regions . In the north of Osnabrück there is the Plantlünner sand plain, in the north the Bersenbrücker Land with the Artland and in the northeast the Rahdener-Diepenhauer Geest. The natural area here is essentially shaped by the processes of the Saale freezing as well as by periglacial and postglacial processes. The large terminal moraine, which the Dammer Mountains in the east and the Bippen and Ankumer Mountains in the west still trace today, was piled up during the Saale period. To the north of this terminal moraine wall in the Artland area, the former terminal moraine has been severely eroded by the hare and the streams flowing towards it. When the area was still covered by ice, the water flowed in exactly the opposite direction to today's drainage direction: It flowed from the ice to the south, collected in a river landscape north of the Wiehengebirge, and then towards the west towards the sea. In this glacial valley, extensive moors developed, which for a long time gave rise to large regions that were impenetrable for humans, such as. B. the Great Moor north of Kalkrieser Berg or the Vinter Moor in the municipality of Neuenkirchen.

In the Osnabrück region, around 30 sub-areas of the natural or largely human-shaped natural landscape are protected. The largest nature reserve is the " Suddenmoor / Anten " in the municipality of Berge with 635 hectares. Larger protected areas are also the " Venner Moor " (220 hectares, Ostercappeln municipality), the " Hahlener Moor " (230 hectares, Berge municipality), the " Dievenmoor " (220 hectares, Bohmte municipality), " Freeden " (220 hectares, city Bad Iburg) and " Harderburg " (30 ha, town of Georgsmarienhütte).

The Boden adventure park in Osnabrück, a two hectare landscape park, gives a direct insight into the soil of the Osnabrück region. Seven different landscapes, each with a two-meter-deep, roofed ground cut, lie next to each other and thus allow a direct comparison. A model quarry illustrates the geological structure of the Osnabrück region. The visitor learns how and when rocks are formed and where they can be found in the landscape. The project is supported by the Osnabrück District Nature Conservation Foundation.

District municipalities

The Osnabrück region is divided into the following municipalities:


The history of the Osnabrück region is part of Westphalian history until 1802 , when the Osnabrück bishopric (also known as the Prince Diocese of Osnabrück) was imperial territory of the Old Empire and belonged to the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire . Until the dissolution of the principal dioceses, the Osnabrück region pushed itself as a bolt between the Niederstift and the Hochstift Münster , i. H. today's landscapes Münsterland and Oldenburger Münsterland.

Settlement development

Scheventorf Castle, built in 1552

The rural settlement in the Osnabrück region goes back to the time before 800 AD in almost all settlement areas. Based on place names, it can be assumed that a large part of the settlement areas were already occupied before 800. The oldest farms - referred to as full heirs in the Osnabrück region - were loosely grouped around the good arable land, which was always slightly higher up. This old farmland was the Esch , a name that can still be found today on maps as a place name, but also as a street name in the settlements. Mostly through the division of a full-heir farm, so-called half-heirs were created in early times. In the period that followed, arable farming improved. The three-field economy was introduced, in which the arable land was alternately occupied by different crops (initially also with an inserted fallow period). This increased the yield. The Plagge fertilization , in which from the forest pasture Erdplaggen was taken first as litter in the stables and then to the fertilization on the Esch, increased crop yields. This made it possible to set up small farmsteads for later sons with a small share of the esch. The so-called Erbkötterhöfe emerged.

After the Christianization of the Saxons by the Franks from around 800 AD, churches were also built in many rural areas. The churchyard settlements developed around these churches from the 13th century onwards, which have a different form of settlement than the Eschdörfer. The churches were the center of a parish and surrounded by a cemetery. At the edge of this cemetery stone works and granaries were initially built by the larger landowners of the parish. They served as warehouses, but also as places of refuge in times of war. In order to provide better protection, the church, along with the cemetery and storehouses, was surrounded by a wall over the years. These settlements secured in this way are also known as fortified churches .

The granaries and stone works were gradually converted into permanent houses, the residents of which were often day laborers, craftsmen and tradespeople who lived in poor conditions, as the cramped spatial conditions in the settlement barely made it possible to earn a living from an agricultural activity. In many places in the Osnabrück district you can still see the grounds of these church yards. Remnants of the old walls are very rarely visible. More often, however, there are still a number of the old small houses around the church yards, and sometimes even an access gate to the church yard has been preserved, as in Buer . The church yards are now and were also located next to the through streets, as in Dissen or Gehrde. In Bad Laer, too, the churchyard with the surrounding houses of the former churchyard settlement is not the central square of the village, whereas the marketplaces in the cities used to be the center of traffic and trade.

Half-timbered buildings were typical of the buildings in the Osnabrück region . The oldest existing half-timbered construction is considered to be a connecting structure to Scheventorf Castle, which was built in 1552 in the area of ​​today's town of Bad Iburg .

Population development

In less than 200 years, the number of inhabitants in what is now the district of Osnabrück has more than quadrupled from around 122,000 in 1821 to around 520,000 in 2006. However, this increase in population was not continuous. While the population initially increased slightly at the beginning of the 19th century, it initially decreased again at the beginning of the second half of that century. This was the time when, due to economic difficulties, a large number of people were looking for a new future in the new world, primarily in the USA .

With the arrival of industrialization in the Osnabrück region, the number of inhabitants rose slowly and steadily until 1939. Then the number skyrocketed: after the Second World War , around 247,000 inhabitants were counted in 1946, and by 1951 there were even 258,000 people. who lived in the Osnabrück region. A large number of displaced persons and refugees from the eastern German territories , but also people who had lost their homes in the cities due to the bombing , now lived in the communities of what is now the district of Osnabrück. Some of these people left the Osnabrück district relatively quickly when new living space and new jobs were created in the cities at the beginning of the 1950s. But a larger number stayed in the communities and found a new home there, so that initially with around 238,000 inhabitants, around 50 percent more people lived in the district than before the war. Then the number of inhabitants increased continuously until today.

However, the individual municipalities were not affected in the same way by this population growth. The community of Wallenhorst and the city of Georgsmarienhütte have grown the most . In both municipalities, the population has increased more than tenfold. The number of residents has also risen sharply in Hasbergen, Hagen and the town of Quakenbrück. In contrast, the municipalities of Badbergen and Menslage have fewer inhabitants today than in 1821.

The increase in the number of inhabitants in the suburbs of Osnabrück is due not least to the neighborhood of the large city of Osnabrück. In the second half of the 20th century, for example, the number of inhabitants in those communities grew significantly, when the neighboring communities increasingly assumed the function of residential communities for those employed in Osnabrück.

In Georgsmarienhütte, however, the development was somewhat different. Heavy industry created jobs here as early as the middle of the 19th century, triggering the immigration of people to this community. The number of inhabitants had already more than quadrupled in 1939 compared to 1821. Hagen also benefited from the plant in Georgsmarienhütte at an early stage, so that here, too, in the first half of the 20th century, the population had increased more than in other municipalities in today's district.

The changes in the number of inhabitants have meant that the suburbs of Osnabrück are among those with the highest population densities . Only the city of Quakenbrück has an even higher population density. As a border fortress of the prince-bishopric, this city on the northern border of the district was an urban settlement with merchants and craftsmen from an early age. On this basis, industry could develop in the late phase of industrialization at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. It is not surprising that in Quakenbrück, with its agrarian environment, food production is of great importance. This economic orientation brought Quakenbrück a strong population increase in the first half of the 20th century and thus led to a high population density in this urban settlement.

However, it must be remembered that z. For example, an equally high population density in the cores of the cities of Melle or Bramsche is not clear because these municipalities incorporated their rural surrounding communities during the territorial reform in 1972, whereas Quakenbrück, as a unitary municipality , is only connected to its surrounding communities as a single municipality .

Economy and Infrastructure


Traffic history

All traffic lines mainly trace old traffic routes. Osnabrück was at the intersection of north-south and west-east traffic early on. These traffic routes used the crossing over the Hase . However, there have been relocations of routes. While the traffic route ran from Osnabrück to Bremen via Bramsche, Ankum, Quakenbrück and then on via Cloppenburg and Delmenhorst in the Middle Ages to modern times, road traffic shifted to today's federal highway 51 in the 19th century .

The relocation became possible when the more direct route to Bremen allowed a faster connection in the course of the drainage of the moors . The straight course of today's road over long stretches indicates that it is a relatively young traffic route. The old traffic route, which is largely traced northwards by the B68 , has also undergone a small-scale shift to the east in the Ankum – Bersenbrück area. The old connection ran from Bramsche over the old church and Gogerichtsort Ankum to Quakenbrück. Only the political shift in importance to Bersenbrück led to a reallocation of the traffic route. The traffic route from Osnabrück to the east also used to run north of the Wiehengebirge . However, traffic was the Wiehengebirge in the course of Hare south on a route through the newly built railway in the 19th century Else - sink controlled. This route was followed by the motorway in the second half of the 20th century, so that road traffic was also shifted to this southern route.

Traffic to the south also shifted. The very straight course shows that the road from Glandorf to Bad Iburg was expanded in Napoleonic times . Before that, the traffic chose the route via Glane and then to Bad Iburg. In the second half of the 20th century, a large part of the national road traffic shifted further west after the opening of Autobahn 1 .

In 1903 the narrow-gauge "Kleinbahn Piesberg-Rheine" was opened in Osnabrück-Eversburg station. The railway, which was converted to standard gauge in 1935 and known as the Tecklenburger Nordbahn , still operates goods traffic and museum trips on the Osnabrück – Westerkappeln – Mettingen – Rheine line.

Road traffic

By Osnabrücker Land lost significant traffic lines: the north-south highway A1 from Saarbrücken via Cologne to Bremen , Hamburg and Luebeck with connections to the Vogelfluglinie , the east-west motorway A 30 from Amsterdam to Bad Oeynhausen with connections to the A 2 to Berlin and on to Warsaw , the A 33 starting in Osnabrück via Bielefeld and Paderborn with a connection to the A 44 as a connection between the Netherlands and central Germany, the south-north federal highway B 51 from Cologne to Bremen and the west-east Federal road B 65 to Hanover and the B 68 from Osnabrück via Bramsche to Cloppenburg . While these traffic routes all cross in the Osnabrück area, the west-east federal highway B 214 cuts through the northern district of Lingen on its way to Braunschweig. The B 218 runs only in the Osnabrücker Land between Fürstenau and Bohmte with a connection to the B 65 to Hanover. The international airport Münster / Osnabrück can be reached via the A1.

Rail transport

Important supraregional railway lines are the south-north route Cologne – Bremen – Hamburg and the west-east route from the Netherlands via Rheine to Hanover and Berlin. This railway network is supplemented by the Wilhelmshaven – Osnabrück and Delmenhorst – Osnabrück lines via Bramsche and Osnabrück – Bielefeld (“Haller Willem”) - which are now operated by the NordWestBahn .


The district is connected to the German waterway network via the Mittelland Canal with canal ports in Bramsche, Bohmte and Bad Essen and the Osnabrück branch canal .

Bicycle traffic

The Osnabrück region is criss-crossed by a number of national long- distance cycle paths , for example the “Bridge Cycle Path” Osnabrück-Bremen and the BahnRadRoute Teuto-Senne from Osnabrück to Paderborn. The Hase-Ems-Tour , which offers the possibility of following the course of the Hase from its source in the Wellingholzhausen district of Mell to its confluence with the Ems in Meppen , is particularly well-known nationwide.

Economic structure

The economic structure of the district of Osnabrück is characterized by a broad branch structure, where small and medium-sized companies predominate. The leading position is taken by the manufacturing industry with companies from different sectors. So found z. B. Food industry in both the northern and southern districts. In the joint municipality of Artland , two meat and sausage production companies as well as a company for baking ingredients, desserts and baking mixes have their production facilities, whose products are marketed throughout Germany and beyond Europe and even overseas. Meat and sausage products as well as margarine and delicatessen salads from Europe's largest salad factory also come from Dissen and Hilter in the southern district.

This food production is based on a high-yield agriculture in the district of Osnabrück. One of the most modern European slaughterhouses is located in the district of Osnabrück. The largest ornamental fish feed factory in the world is located in the district in the city of Melle.

Other sectors also determine the structure of the commercial economy in the Osnabrück region. Metal processing such as the Georgsmarienhütte steelworks and wood processing are of great importance. Other industries include suppliers to the automotive industry , manufacturers of stainless steel products, cardboard and wallpaper, furniture, amber jewelry and tower clocks. The majority of jobs in the Osnabrück district are, however, in the service sector.

The number of employees in the retail, hospitality and transport sectors and in the rest of the service sector is around 66,600, well ahead of the manufacturing sector with around 42,000 employees. Tourism is of great importance in the therapeutic baths of Bad Iburg and Bad Rothenfelde , while the commercial economy dominates in Dissen and Hilter.


The tourism has for the Osnabrück region a high regional economic importance. The basis is initially the existing natural conditions, in particular the brine springs used in the spas and the varied landscape with the heights in the Teutoburg Forest , Wiehengebirge but also in the Osnabrück hill country and in the Ankum mountains. There is an extensive network of trails for hikers, which is used by the residents of the city and district of Osnabrück as well as tourists from the nearby Netherlands and the Ruhr area.

The excursion parking lots available everywhere are often overcrowded by the cars of the excursionists on sunny weekends, for example at the Charlottensee in Bad Iburg. There are locations that, depending on the season, are increasingly or consistently well visited. The parking lots on Freeden in Bad Iburg are particularly busy in April, when the lark's spur blooms on the limestone of this ridge .

In addition to the circular hiking trails, there are regional and national long-distance hiking trails such as the Hermannsweg on the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest or the Wittekindsweg at the height of the Wiehengebirge. Cyclists will also find a large number of marked cycle routes in the Osnabrück region. A total of more than 2,000 km of cycle paths are available. The routes in the areas south of the Teutoburg Forest and north of the Wiehengebirge are particularly popular because there are only minor differences in altitude to be mastered. The remaining moor areas north of the Wiehengebirge represent an additional attraction.

The Osnabrück region also has a share in the Nördlicher Teutoburger Wald-Wiehengebirge nature park, which has been operating under the name Natur- und Geopark TERRA.vita since 2002 . The management has been in the Osnabrück district since 1996. This nature park extends over an area of ​​1,220 km² from Porta Westfalica on the Weser via Osnabrück to the Hahnenmoor in Artland and from Bielefeld to the water triangle Mittelland Canal / Dortmund-Ems Canal in Hörstel . It can be said that the Hahnenmoor or, for example, the Ankumer Höhe has nothing to do with the Wiehengebirge or the Teutoburg Forest. As mentioned above, they are terminal moraines from the Saale Ice Age. Since 2004 the nature park TERRA.vita has been included in the “Global Network of Geoparks ” of UNESCO . In the Osnabrück region, the nature park opens up rock layers from the Carboniferous in the ancient times to the Quaternary in the modern earth era. The museum on Schölerberg in Osnabrück acts as a corresponding museum . The 17 so-called TERRA.trails that have recently been designated in the nature park are cycle paths of different lengths and different levels of difficulty. As a special tourist offer, they offer insights into the geological diversity of the most varied of soil monuments in the Osnabrück region.

In more recent times, the excavations in Kalkriese with the " Varus Battle " Museum ( Museum and Park Kalkriese ), which has now been set up, have made the Osnabrück region nationally and internationally known. In addition to this place of European history, there are seven megalithic systems and a large number of architectural monuments as witnesses of a cultural region that represent tourist attractions: the Artlander farmhouses in the northern district, the 16 castles and palaces, of which the former prince-bishop's castle Iburg is certainly the one most important is, as well as the 17 preserved water and windmills all over the Osnabrück region.

In 2010 the 4th Lower Saxony State Horticultural Show took place in Bad Essen . In the same year the city of Quakenbrück celebrated its 775th anniversary.

Overnight tourism is of great importance as an economic factor in the Osnabrück region. In addition to the city of Osnabrück, the health resorts of Bad Essen, Bad Iburg , Bad Laer and Bad Rothenfelde have primarily benefited from this tourism .


  • Werner Dobelmann : History and development of the Osnabrücker Nordland (Der Altkreis Bersenbrück ; 3; Heimat yesterday and today. Communications of the Kreisheimatbund Bersenbrück; 22), Quakenbrück 1979
  • Andreas Vonderach : Castles and mansions in the Osnabrück region . Isensee, Oldenburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-89995-837-9 .


Web links

Shield of the Osnabrück region Portal: Osnabrücker Land  - The Wikipedia portal for access to further articles

Individual references and text excerpts

  • Stonjek, Diether: District of Osnabrück. In: de Lange, Norbert and Stonjek, Diether (ed.): Osnabrück and the Osnabrück region. Bramsche 2004, (pp. 51–66) (series of publications Kulturregion Osnabrück; published by the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e.V. , Volume 22).
  1. Report: History Osnabruecker Land
  2. Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz (ed.): Guide to prehistoric and early historical monuments - Das Osnabrücker Land I , vol. 42. 1979, p. 12ff

Coordinates: 52 ° 16 ′ 39.1 ″  N , 8 ° 2 ′ 38 ″  E