East Westphalia

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Location of East Westphalia
Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region: Detmold administrative district
Surface: 5273.62 km²
Residents: 2,025,000 (2012)
Population density : 384 inhabitants per km²
The highest point: at the Totenkopf , near Bad Wünnenberg , at 498  m above sea level. NN
Deepest point: Weser Valley near Petershagen at 27  m above sea level. NN
Structure: 54 municipalities , 53 of them in 5 districts
License plate : BI , GT , HF , HX , MI , PB
East Westphalia in the Detmold administrative region and North Rhine-Westphalia

Ostwestfalen  [ ˈɔstvɛst'faːln ] ( Low German : Austwestfaolen ) is a region in North Rhine-Westphalia . It concerns the eastern part of Westphalia and goes back to the old Prussian administrative district of Minden (1815 to 1947), which administered East Westphalia as a central authority and thus a bracket for several historical areas, namely the principality of Minden , the county of Ravensberg and the bishopric of Paderborn as well as the office of Reckenberg , the county of Rietberg and the rule of Rheda formed. East Westphalia now makes up around 80 percent of the area of ​​the Detmold administrative district or the Ostwestfalen-Lippe region , which in addition to East Westphalia also includes the former state of Lippe . Please click to listen!Play


Topography of East Westphalia

Natural spatial and political structure

East Westphalia is located in the northeast and east of Westphalia at the transition from the low mountain ranges to the North German Plain . The area extends on the one hand with the Mindener Land and the Ravensberger Hügelland into the North German Plain, on the other hand in the east on the Warburger Börde . The Paderborn plateau is central, parts of the Ems sand plain lie in the extreme south .

Details: In the north-east of the Wiehengebirge there is the Mindener Land with the cities of Minden and Lübbecke in the Minden-Lübbecke district , bounded in the eastern part by the Weser . This flows here through the Porta Westfalica into the North German Plain. To the south-west of the Porta, south of the Wiehengebirge on fertile loess soil, the Ravensberg hill country joins with the city of Herford ( Herford district ) as the center. The rivers Else , Westfälische Aa and Werre flow in the Ravensberg hill country . To the west of this, the Teutoburg Forest seals off the Protestant area of ​​the Mindener and Ravensberger Land from the Roman Catholic areas in the south. The city of Bielefeld is an economic focus and the most populous city in East Westphalia on this denominational and natural border . West of the Teutoburg Forest is the Gütersloh district and Paderborn district to the south . Both districts are located in the eastern part of the Westphalian Bay , which also includes the Paderborn plateau bounded by the Eggegebirge in the east . In the south, the Paderborn plateau merges with the Sintfeld into the Sauerland , which, however, is essentially no longer part of East Westphalia. Both districts also have a share in the Ems sand plain , which also includes the Senne near Paderborn, in which u. a. the Ems rises. The Pader and Lippe also arise in the Paderborn district . In the southeast, the district of Höxter lies almost entirely in the Warburger Börde . Parts of the Höxter district are already located in the Upper Weser Valley and the Oberwälder Land through which the Nethe flows .

The highest point is a flank of the Totenkopf near Bad Wünnenberg with a height of 498  m above sea level. NHN in the south of East Westphalia. The lowest point is the Weser valley near Petershagen at 27  m above sea level. NN in the far north of East Westphalia.

Adjacent areas

East Westphalia is enclosed in the northwest, north, north and south-east by the Lower Saxony districts of Osnabrück , Diepholz , Nienburg / Weser , Schaumburg , Holzminden and Northeim . In the south, East Westphalia borders the Hessian districts of Kassel and Waldeck-Frankenberg (both administrative districts of Kassel ). In the west and east, the region borders on the North Rhine-Westphalian districts of Soest , Hochsauerlandkreis (both administrative regions Arnsberg ), Lippe ( administrative regions Detmold ) and Warendorf ( administrative regions Münster ).


Historically, the area formed the heart of the former Saxon Duchy of Engern and, after Henry the Lion was ousted in 1180, it was able to maintain its independence from the church territories in the south and the regaining strength of the Guelphs in the north for a long time in several independent areas. First, in 1614, the County of Ravensberg fell to the Electorate of Brandenburg by succession and formed the starting point for further Brandenburg-Prussian acquisitions; in the Peace of Westphalia the area was expanded to include the Minden monastery ; 1652 Brandenburg annexed the previously free imperial city Herford and acquired in 1803 when Reichsdeputationshauptschluss the Bishopric of Paderborn , the same year the Abbey of Herford and 1815 the territories rule Rheda , County of Rietberg and the Office Reckenberg summarized in the county Wiedenbrück . Only the county or what is now the principality of Lippe was able to maintain its independence. Between 1811 and 1813 this area was divided between the Kingdom of Westphalia in the south-east and the French Empire in the north-west, roughly on the Bielefeld-Herford-Minden line (Aa-Werre border).

It was not until 1816 that these areas were merged and the Prussian administrative district of Minden was formed into the newly created province of Westphalia . After the dissolution of the administrative district of Minden in 1947, East Westphalia became part of the administrative district of Detmold and the Ostwestfalen-Lippe region. Smaller Lippe and Westphalian exclaves (for example Lügde ) as well as the areas that historically belonged to the Münster administrative district and thus mostly included in the Münsterland (for example Harsewinkel ) are now mostly included in East Westphalia after border corrections after 1947, if they were in the Detmold administrative district but not in the Lippe district lie. Conversely, the Westphalian exclaves in the Lipperland are now mostly considered an area belonging to the Lippe region.

Concept history

The area of ​​today's East Westphalia-Lippe around 1000 in the Duchy of Saxony

Around 1000 the area was not Westphalian , but belonged to the area of ​​the Saxon Duchy of Engern , which lay between Westphalia and Ostfalen . At the latest since the founding of the administrative district of Minden and its incorporation into the province of Westphalia in 1816, the area has been considered Westphalian , but the area was essentially already part of the cultural-geographical region of Westphalia or the Reichskreis Westfälischer Kreis . The term Ostwestfalen for a uniform territory developed around 1816. Since then, at the latest since the end of the 19th century in writing, Ostwestfalen refers to the region that corresponded to the area of ​​the administrative district of Minden. After the dissolution of the administrative district of Minden, Ostwestfalen mostly referred to the area of ​​the administrative district of Detmold , including the former state of Lippe or the district of Lippe .

Ostwestfalen is often a synonym for the term Ostwestfalen-Lippe . Just as mistakenly, the apparent contrast between the pair of terms East and West is resolved by designating the area as Ostfalen . Ostfalen , however, refers to an area in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt .

See also: Conceptual history of Westphalia

Culture and economy

Main article: Ostwestfalen-Lippe

Since East Westphalia represents around 80 percent of the area of ​​East Westphalia-Lippe, further aspects such as culture and economy are dealt with in the article Ostwestfalen-Lippe .

Coordinates: 52 ° 1 ′  N , 8 ° 31 ′  E