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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Rheine
Map of Germany, position of the city of Rheine highlighted

Coordinates: 52 ° 17 '  N , 7 ° 26'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Muenster
Circle : Steinfurt
Height : 35 m above sea level NHN
Area : 145 km 2
Residents: 76,218 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 526 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 48429, 48431, 48432
Primaries : 05971, 05975, 05459
License plate : ST, BF, TE
Community key : 05 5 66 076

City administration address :
Klosterstrasse 14
48431 Rheine
Website : www.rheine.de
Mayor : Peter Lüttmann (independent)
Location of the city of Rheine in the Steinfurt district
Nordrhein-Westfalen Kreis Borken Kreis Coesfeld Münster Kreis Warendorf Niedersachsen Greven Saerbeck Lienen Lengerich Laer Altenberge Horstmar Nordwalde Ladbergen Metelen Hörstel Westerkappeln Ibbenbüren Steinfurt Wettringen Neuenkirchen Mettingen Lotte Hopsten Ochtrup Rheine Recke Tecklenburg Emsdettenmap
About this picture

Rheine is a large Westphalian city on the Ems and with around 80,000 residents the largest city in the Steinfurt district and the second largest city in the Münsterland after Münster . The local citizens call themselves Rheinenser .



The town with the most inhabitants in the Steinfurt district lies on the northern border of the Westphalian lowland bay and is divided by the Ems .

About 40 km south-east of Rheine is Münster , 45 km east of Osnabrück and 40 km west of Enschede . The city is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and borders Lower Saxony in the north .

Panoramic view of the city from the forest hill towards the north.

Neighboring communities

In the north, Rheine borders the Lower Saxony communities of Salzbergen and Spelle in Emsland ; in the east to Hörstel in Tecklenburger Land , as well as in the south to Emsdetten and in the west to the community of Neuenkirchen, also in the Münsterland .

Natural geography in the area of ​​the city of Rheine

View from the eastern (right) bank of the Ems to the Emswehr and the city center. The building on the top right is the town church, St. Dionysius.

The river Ems flows through the city from south to north towards the North Sea . In the Rheine area the Elter Mühlenbach, the Frischhofsbach , the Freshness or Wambach , the Hemelter Bach , the Krafelds Bächsken and the Randelbach flow into the Ems .

The Stadtberg, which continues west of the Ems (Rheine to the left of the Ems) as Thieberg , runs transversely to the direction of the Ems . Both mountain ranges consist of shell limestone that was deposited around 70 million years ago in the Cretaceous period . The river breaks through these marginal heights at a tectonic weak point, in which, however, it has not dug itself deep. At this point the Ems only has a shoal with solid rock, which has probably always been used as a ford . Just a few hundred meters north and south of the ford, the floodplain area of the Ems was 500 meters wide before it was built. At the ford the floodplain narrows to only 50 meters. Steep embankments that are more than five meters high rise on both sides of the ford.

In the south of the city is the forest hill, at 90  m above sea level. NN the highest point in the city. In the lowlands between Stadtberg, Thieberg and Waldhügel and in the floodplain, the so-called gley soils were created by high groundwater levels , for which an original vegetation with willow and alder is typical. On the Stadtberg, Thieberg and Waldhügel, brown limestone soils dominated , on which beech forests thrived. The rest of the space is essentially determined by gray-brown and black-gray Plaggenesch over soils made of drifting sand and sandy river deposits; Here a mixed oak and beech forest is typical of the original vegetation. A special feature is the extensive, now overgrown dune fields east of the Ems, which were piled up by the then and now prevailing westerly wind from sand deposits from the Saale Ice Age.


In the Rheine region, the mean annual temperature is around nine degrees. The average annual rainfall is between 700 and 900 millimeters, with a summer maximum rainfall and a second, winter maximum.

On the whole, there is a maritime transitional climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean , which today is characterized by cool summers and mild winters.


Map of the city of Rheine from 1842 before its growth in the course of industrialization, scale 1: 25000

In addition to the historically grown core city or old town (today's inner city), the city is divided into 18 further districts. Since the middle of the 19th century, the city grew rapidly in the course of industrialization and not least through the connection to the railway network and incorporated farmers from far outside the city limits, such as Dutum, Wadelheim or Bentlage, or took possession of what had previously been agricultural used areas such as Südesch, Hörstkamp or Dorenkamp.

Today's districts do not form independent administrative units, but are administered centrally from the town hall. The council and the city administration are supported by eleven district advisory boards, some of which are made up of representatives from several districts.


Politically, the city is divided into 22 electoral districts:

  • Baarentelgen / Schotthock-Nord
  • Altenrheine
  • Schotthock-West
  • Schotthock-East
  • Stadtberg
  • Rheine-East
  • Eschendorf
  • Eschendorf-West / Inner City-East
  • Rodde / Canal Harbor / Eschendorf-Ost
  • Südesch / Gellendorf-North
  • Elte / Gellendorf-South
  • Mesum-South
  • Mesum north
  • Hauenhorst-Ost / Mesum-West
  • Hauenhorst-West / Catenhorn / Darbrook
  • City center west / Hörstkamp
  • Dorenkamp-South
  • Dorenkamp
  • Dutum
  • Schleupe / Thieberg
  • Wadelheim / Bentlage-West
  • Wietesch / Bentlage-Ost


Prehistory and early history of the Rheine settlement area

Memorial plaque on the former Emsfurt

Archaeological finds ( large stone grave from Rheine -Schotthock) show that the area around Rheine has been around since the Middle Neolithic , around 3200 BC. BC, was settled. Further settlements (600 to 500 BC) are documented by excavations in the Altenrheine district, which is located on today's Stadtberg, to the right of the Ems. During excavations in Altenrheine, a barrow made of boulder blocks was documented, and an approximately 3500 year old imprint of a corpse was recovered (on display in the Falkenhof Museum). To the left of the Ems, in the area of ​​today's city center, traces of settlement from the funnel cup culture and the pre-Roman Iron Age were discovered during excavations in summer 2018 .

The region around Rheine may have played a certain role during the Roman Germanicus campaigns (14-16 AD). It could have served as the starting point of a campaign against the allied Germanic tribes under Arminius in the early summer of AD 15 and may have been used as a Roman milestone on other occasions. Two prehistoric long-distance routes crossed in Rheine. These were the Hellweg in front of the Sandforde and the Friesische Straße . The Hellweg led from the IJsselstädten ( Zwolle , Deventer , Arnheim ) in today's Netherlands via Rheine to Bremen and into the East Westphalian region around Minden and to Paderborn. The Friesische Straße leading through Rheine is one of the seven long-distance trade routes for the trade of the Frisians with the inland, which were officially confirmed by Charlemagne . It led from the Frisian Emden on the North Sea via the Westphalian Minster further south. The historian Joseph Prinz mentions the Friesische Strasse in particular as the main reason for the emergence of the cities of Münster and Rheine.

Early Middle Ages

As far as we know today, Saxon tribes have been populating the Rheine region east of the Ems since the 5th century at the latest . They are likely to have driven out or subjugated the Germanic tribes that had previously settled here and integrated them into their tribal associations. Evidence of this early Saxon settlement are place names ending in -dorf (also in Low German -dorp or -trup), such as the toponyms Austrup (today Schotthock ), Eschendorf and Gellendorf in the case of the Rheine region . The name of the Altenrheine district also supports this assumption.

The left bank of the Ems, in the immediate vicinity of today's core city, remained uninhabited until the 8th century according to current knowledge. It was mainly characterized by swampy terrain and heavy, sometimes stony soils and could not be managed successfully with the arable farming techniques of the time. The hook plow, which was used by the Saxons well into the 8th century, was unsuitable for this type of soil. The place names ending in -heim to the west of the river Ems, such as Dutum (Duttenheim in the 12th century) and Wadelheim , indicate the Frankish colonization at the end of the 8th and beginning of the 9th century. It was only with the introduction of the more modern bed plow under the Frankish rulers in the 9th century that the left bank of the Ems could gradually be reclaimed. The actual founding of the city also started from here.

The Saxon Wars:

Typical armament of a Frankish prince of the Merovingian period : Spatha , Sax , Franziska , Spangenhelm and shield hump ( Germanisches Nationalmuseum , Nuremberg)

Presumably, departments of Saxon warriors had already used the Emsfurt, which is conveniently located for their raids into the western Münsterland to the IJssel area , as an easy crossing since the beginning of the 8th century . In the course of these rather unorganized attacks, which could hardly be described as military campaigns, they gradually began to drive out the Frankish population of these areas. The Franconian historian Einhard reports from this time about murder, robbery and arson "from both sides", as he clearly emphasizes. Einhard also says:

This embittered the Franks so much that they no longer just wanted to reward like with like, but wanted to openly wage war against the Saxons. So the war was started and waged with great bitterness for 33 years.

In the course of these Saxon wars from 772 to 805, Charlemagne was able to record considerable military successes in the beginning, but especially the Westphalian Saxons, who also settled in the Rheine region, repeatedly rose up against the militarily and organizationally superior Franks under the leadership of their Duke Widukind . Avoiding open field battles, Widukind even used guerrilla tactics to inflict severe defeats on the Frankish army. Pure Frankish revenge campaigns in the Saxon tribal areas and a simple submission and Christianization of the Saxons was not enough to pacify the tribes; A permanent Frankish occupation, colonization and proselytizing of the Saxon areas became necessary .

In Rheine in particular, as part of this occupation policy, it was therefore strategically urgent to defend the Emsfurt against rebellious Saxon tribes.

800 - Villa Reni - the nucleus of the city of Rheine

The Falkenhof, the nucleus of the city of Rheine, was first mentioned in 838 in a deed of donation from Ludwig the Pious. Outwardly, the Falkenhof looks like a baroque complex today; in fact, however, the Falkenhof grew into its current form over the centuries. The shape typical of Franconian royal estates has been preserved for the entire courtyard.

In the course of the Saxon Wars of the Frankish King Charlemagne, a fortified royal estate was built to the left of the Ems on a hill above the ford to secure the Emsfurt against the Saxons , the Villa Reni . It probably also served as a supply base for Franconian warriors who passed through.

At the same time, a church was built near this courtyard, which was consecrated to St. Dionysius. When the church was founded, the Franconian influence is clearly recognizable. In the 3rd century, St. Dionysius worked as a missionary in Gaul, the heart of the Merovingian and later Carolingian empires . The exact year Villa Reni was founded is unknown. All knowledge about the history of the manor up to its first documentary mention in the year 838 is based, in the absence of other evidence, on archaeological excavations and on the conclusions drawn from them. Historians assume, however, that there is a great temporal proximity to the founding of the monastery in Mimigernaford (Münster) towards the end of the 8th and beginning of the 9th century, as the missionary work of the Saxons by Bishop Liudger and the Saxon Wars of Charlemagne are closely related in terms of space and time . In terms of its economic structure, a villa , the name used to describe a medieval manor, is roughly comparable to that of a small village.

Nothing has been preserved from the first buildings of Villa Reni . The manor as such still exists in the same place to this day. In the course of its history, the estate changed hands several times and was given the name Falkenhof, which still exists today, after the then owner of Valke in 1437 .

The early medieval manor Villa Reni is seen today as the nucleus of the city of Rheine, whose name can be traced back directly to the manor Reni (later also Rene ). Below the Falkenhof, the Ems flows with rapid currents through a narrow point only about 50 meters wide, which marks a tectonic weak point of Thieberg and Stadtberg. The water is shallow at this point and the bed of the river is formed by solid rock. The ford was therefore also suitable for crossing with heavy wagons. It is assumed that a ferry made the crossing possible even at high water levels very early on. However, there is no evidence for this.

A Saxon or even older predecessor settlement on the site of Villa Reni has not been archaeologically proven.

838 - First documentary mention

Ludwig the Pious: His deed of donation from the year 838 contains the oldest documentary mention of the Villa Reni, the nucleus of the later city of Rheine.

The first documentary mention of the Franconian manor Villa Reni can be found in the deed of donation of Emperor Ludwig the Pious , dated June 7, 838 , in which, in addition to other royal goods, he also assigned the Reni manor, including the church, all servants and those liable for income, to the Herford Benedictine monastery . The corresponding passage in the Latin document reads in the translation (excerpt):

“That is why we [Ludwig] want all the believers of God's holy Church and our people, namely those living now and in the future, to know that we liked a monastery named Herifurth, which is known to be worshiped in the Duchy of Saxony The holy Theotokos, Mary, the eternal virgin, and which, as we know, the venerable abbess Tetta is currently in charge of transferring certain goods that are part of our property and those belonging to us in the above-mentioned duchy of Saxony to increase our earnings to a greater extent the maidservants of Christ, who in the course of time spend their lives there, the necessary maintenance is provided and the needs of the monastery are taken care of. This is in the Gau , which is called " Bursibant ", on the estate with the name Reni, the church just built there with its tithes and all possessions and people belonging to it legally and legally (...) Given on June 7th in the by Christ's grace 25th years of the reign of the exalted Lord Louis the Pious, in the first year of indiction. Negotiated at Nimjegen in the Royal Palatinate. In God's name happiness and salvation! Amen."

838 to 1327 - becoming a town

In the deed of donation of Ludwig the Pious from 838, the donations from Wettringen and Schöppingen are mentioned in addition to Villa Reni . The Villa Reni receives a preferred mention in the document, from which an outstanding importance of the place for the wider area can be concluded. According to the historian Karl Bosl , the special note “with their tithes and all their possessions and their own” in the donation (see above) suggests a population that was also made up of unfree craftsmen and transporters and that was no longer tied to the clod . So there was already a small settlement.

Mention of the place Rheine in documents from the years 853 (here called Hreni ), 995 and 1002 (here called Hreini ) essentially confirm the status of the place and the possessions of the Herford monastery. A document dated from 1022 to 1032 suggests a strong increase in the population in the 11th century, when land was given away for the construction of another church in the north of the village. Rheine is first referred to as pagus Rene in documents from 1126 and 1156 . The term pagus denotes a coherent district with fixed village structures. This means that the development of the Rhine from an estate ( villa ) to a village can be considered completed.

In the 13th and 14th centuries, Rheine came more and more into the focus of episcopal-Münster territorial policy. Already since Liudger, the Frisian road leading via Rheine to Emden was of primary interest for the bishops of Münster , which was not only an important trade route, but also connected the upper and lower monasteries of the diocese. Rheine was on the one hand owned by the Herford Monastery, on the other hand the interests of the Counts of Bentheim, Lingen, Steinfurt and Tecklenburg overlapped north of the Rheine area and in the settlement itself. Around the year 1300, the Count of Bentheim with the Devesburg in today's district of Bentlage and the lords of Steinfurt with the Schwanenburg in today's district of Elte also established fortified military outposts near the up-and-coming village of Rene. Both castle complexes are no longer preserved. The Schwanenburg was finally conquered by Bischöflich-Münster troops in 1343 and completely razed .

The last remnants of the first city wall of Rheine, at the same time the wall of the so-called church castle, can be found in front of the west portal of the city church of St. Dionysius. The place was fortified at the latest in the year it became a town, 1327.

For reasons of power politics, it was therefore essential for the bishops of Münster to take possession of the place Rene and to fortify it. In order to achieve this goal, the bishops first supported the expansion of the Rhine into an urban center, thereby securing their power and influence.

This policy came to a head under Bishop Ludwig II of Hesse (in office from 1310 to 1357). In 1314, Bishop Ludwig II designated the town of Rheine in a document as “oppidum Rene” , that is to say as the “city” of Rheine. If the term “oppidum” was always used for a fortified place during this period, the first city ​​fortifications may have existed as early as 1314 . These are considered certain for the year 1327.

In 1323 at the latest, Bishop Ludwig had first dared to try to fortify Rheine and finally place it under his control. His plan failed when he was defeated in a feud with Count Engelbert von der Mark and was taken prisoner. The peace treaty concluded with Count Engelbert dictated that the fortification of the Rhine that had begun be lifted. Count Engelbert presumably followed his relative and ally, Count Otto von Tecklenburg , with this demand . Bishop Ludwig's plan was directed against his county to create the town of Rheine as a fortified base. It is not certain whether the fastening that was started was actually dragged again. Only four years later, when the city became a town, already existing fortifications are occupied.

1327 - City rights granted

Four years later, Bishop Ludwig made another attempt to incorporate Rheine into his sphere of influence. On August 15, 1327 he granted Rheine city ​​rights and at the same time waived half of the court's income in the deed so that the city could be further fortified with these funds.

The content of the certificate, written in Latin, reads in the abridged translation:

“We Ludwig, by God's grace, Bishop of the Church of Münster, announce to everyone [...]: After previous consultation and supported by the wish that the fortified place in Rene, which was newly created and established by us, for the benefit of the Church and our country We give and transfer to this place and to our citizens half of our secular judgment there and of the proceeds from the offenses of those who are criminals in court through this document of our own free will, may take a successful further development, furthermore all freedom, favor and justice that our residents of Münster in their city of Münster [...] have already claimed and learned to appreciate. [...] Given and negotiated [...] in the year of the Lord 1327 on the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary "

This document clearly violated the law, as Bishop Ludwig II had something that did not belong to him. He ignored the possession claims of the Herford Abbey to Rheine, which had been confirmed again and again since 838, and incorporated the place into the diocese of Münster. He even certified his breach of the law in such a way that he stated against his better judgment that the place Rene had been created and re-established by him.

The timing for this illegal act was chosen wisely, because this time Bishop Ludwig did not have to fear resistance. Count Engelbert von der Mark had only recently been able to break away from an excommunication that the Pope had imposed on him because of the capture of Ludwig. He will therefore have shied away from another argument with the bishop. Count Otto von Tecklenburg was at the end of his life and was already busy with the order of his estate and was no longer interested in a conflict with the bishop, especially since Count Otto left no direct heirs. Only Abbess Liudgardis of Herford Abbey complains and cites the bishop's actions as a clear violation of the law. But Ludwig had nothing to fear from her. His plan to subjugate Rheine was successful.

Influence of the Münster bishopric on the new city

With the granting of city rights in 1327, the influence of the surrounding counties, which were struggling with Bishop Ludwig II for power and influence in Rheine and the entire region, was significantly reduced. The new “city” now has the right to its own jurisdiction. Before becoming a city, the city was subject to the bailiff of Herford Monastery according to the deed of donation from Ludwig the Pious from 838 . As a rule, the Counts of Tecklenburg exercised Vogtsjurisdiction on two court days a year.

In addition to the Vogtgericht, a so-called Gogericht was responsible for jurisdiction in the entire Gau beyond the city of Rheine. The Gogericht in Rheine has always been a fiefdom of the noble "von Rene family". In 1345, Bishop Ludwig II succeeded in buying half of the Gogericht with all rights and income from the Rene family; In 1351 he acquired the second half. This enabled Bishop Ludwig II to consolidate his rule in Rheine considerably.

Bishop Ludwig II pursued a policy similar to that in Rheine in his entire diocese: In addition to Rheine, he also granted city rights to the towns of Dülmen , Billerbeck , Werne and others, thus removing these towns from the influence of the nobility, who were competing with him for power and influence, and thus cementing them the secular power of his prince-bishopric for nearly five centuries until its forced dissolution in 1802. Rheine remained an episcopal monastery town for just as long.

First upswing in the years after the city was founded

At the latest for the year 1355 the "Amt Rheine" is occupied, which collects taxes on behalf of its episcopal sovereign, carries out administrative tasks and assumes and maintains the rights of the bishop on behalf of the bishop. In the period that followed, Rheine developed into a real urban center: an elected council was formed, mayors presided over the city and guilds were founded; The tailors' guild was one of the first to be mentioned in a document in 1366.

A positive influence on the development of the city that should not be underestimated has the first wooden bridge over the river Ems, which was probably also built during the time the city was founded; first mentioned in a document in 1362. Commercial traffic was no longer dependent on the Emsfurt, which was certainly not year-round and whose passage also led past the city on a path. Carters or merchants who were passing through now had to pay road tolls to the city, as the bridge and trade route ran through the middle of the city.

The new construction of the St. Dionysius City Church around 1400, which replaced its older predecessor, also testifies to the economic upturn that the city experienced in the first decades after it was granted city rights.

The construction of the city church

The town church as seen from the historic market square

Work on the late Gothic hall church began around 1400, lasted around 120 years and was completed in 1520 at the latest with the completion of the tower.

The long construction time can be explained on the one hand by structural difficulties: The new church building was only allowed to replace the old church gradually in several construction phases. This was necessary because the congregation had to continue to have a “functioning” house of worship during the entire construction period. A second problem for the town, which at that time had barely 2000 inhabitants, was the high cost of building a church. It would never have been possible to raise the sum for a complete new building in one go; For this reason too, the building had to be divided into several self-contained construction phases over many decades.

Founding of the Bentlage monastery

Bentlage Monastery in a photo from 1894

In the 11th century, the place where the monastery was later founded is mentioned under the name of Buntlagi, when the land was donated to the maintenance of an own church of the Saxon aristocratic family of Billung . One of the St. A chapel with a small cemetery, consecrated to Gertrud, was built.

In 1437, the bishopric of Münster transferred the chapel and the land belonging to it to the Order of the Holy Cross with permission to found a monastery. At the same time, the Kreuzherren (also Kreuzbrüder ) received the right to extract salt on their property and the fishing rights in the Ems.

The early years of the monastery were marked by financial difficulties, which were only overcome in the second half of the 15th century, at the latest in 1463 with the construction of the monastery complex. From this point on, the monastery experienced its first heyday when more than 50 canons live here at times . The decline begins at the beginning of the 16th century. From the year 1631 it is reported that only seven Cross Lords now live in the monastery.

On September 21, 1647, Swedish troops pillaged the monastery. The reconstruction lasted until 1662. A renewed upswing of the monastery began until around a dozen Cross Lords lived in the monastery again in the second half of the 17th century . In the second half of the 18th century, however, a renewed decline began that could no longer be stopped. The monastery is finally forcibly dissolved in the course of secularization in 1803.

The Münster collegiate feud

With the death of Münster's bishop Heinrich II von Moers in 1450, there was a dispute over his successor, the so-called collegiate feud . Two competing candidates competed against each other. The city of Munster, Count Johann I von Hoya and the majority of the clergy in the diocese spoke out in favor of the candidate Erich I von Hoya . On the other side stood Walram von Moers , who was proposed by his brother Dietrich II , Archbishop of Cologne , and who was able to win the office through a decision by the Pope. What at first glance looks like a dispute between two candidates was behind the scenes a battle between Cologne and Kleve for supremacy in Westphalia.

Rheine, too, like Münster and other cities in the diocese, sided with Erich I von Hoya, who in turn claimed the diocese for himself and openly appeared as an opposing bishop. In return for the support, Erich von Hoya promised the city of Rheine not to affect its privileges and rights.

War for the episcopate

In the middle of 1451, Count Johann von Hoya and Duke Johann I von Kleve allied and declared war on the new Bishop Walram von Moers and the Archbishop of Cologne in order to give their opposing Bishop Erich von Hoya formal rule in the diocese. In military terms, Count Johann and Duke Johann are increasingly gaining the upper hand; a decisive victory could not be achieved despite victorious battles and conquered cities. The collegiate feud affects the whole of North Westphalia seriously.

The city of Rheine is pillaged

The conflict finally resolved itself when Walram von Moers died on October 3, 1456. Although there was again a candidate against Erich von Hoya, this time the Pope did not appoint either of them to be bishop, but instead gave the office to a third candidate who was not involved in the feud. A peace treaty officially ended the war on October 23, 1457.

Rheine is now taking revenge on the fact that she supported Erich von Hoya at the time. His opponents and thus also the enemies of the city of Rheine included the Counts and Lords of Bentheim and Steinfurt . Despite the peace treaty concluded a few days earlier, the Steinfurters attacked the city on October 29, 1457, pillaged it, kidnapped the two mayors and a number of other citizens and kept Rheine occupied until May 1458. In return for the withdrawal and the release of the hostages, the city had to undertake to pay the Steinfurters a ransom of 2,000 guilders by Christmas 1458. Rheine was only able to raise this sum with great effort, especially since the citizens had already lost 7,000 guilders to the plundering Steinfurters in the previous year.

The attack, the occupation, the taking of its citizens hostage and finally the extortion of the ransom were perceived by the city as deep shame and humiliation and subsequently had a lasting impact on the (bad) relationship between Rheine and the Counts of Bentheim-Steinfurt .

The Thiebauerschaft

The Thietor in the city wall extended by the Thie on a drawing from the 19th century

With the construction of the Falkenhof and the construction of the first city church a few hundred meters upstream, two separate settlement centers formed very early in the city's history. The buildings erected around the church and the later market square were later to become the center of the city of Rheine. Directly at the Falkenhof, however, a second, village settlement was built, which is first mentioned in 1362 as "ty" . The term Thie , in different spellings, is a field name that is often encountered in Westphalia, which has already been handed down from Saxon times for the village or court square, but can also denote jointly cultivated fields, meadows and forests.

Incorporation of the Thies:

After completion of the first city fortifications in 1327, the Thie was outside the city walls, was itself unpaved and, in contrast to the city of Rheine, remained through and through agriculture. There were probably several reasons that gave the reason for incorporating the Thie into the city of Rheine. One of the most important was that the city fortifications of Rheines were severely weakened by the Thie builders, which is impressively demonstrated by the successful attack by the Steinfurters in October 1457: The attack had taken place over the Thie and it became apparent that the buildings were immediately in front of the city wall had given the attackers protection from early detection and excellent cover against the defenders on the city wall as they approached.

At the earliest in 1463, at the latest in 1490, the Thie was within the extended city fortifications, as evidenced by a document from the latter year. However, the Thie was able to maintain a certain independence and tradition within the city up to our days.

The Anabaptists in Rheine

The Reformation movement of the Anabaptists first formed in Switzerland at the beginning of the 16th century. In just a few years it spread quickly as one of the most important branches of the Reformation across Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Westphalia. In particular, the Anabaptist Empire of Munster played a historically significant special role. In Rheine, the house of a woman Reinking was the contact point for the Anabaptists. This was the sister of Gerd Reinking, an Anabaptist , who around 1530 belonged to the "court" of Jan van Leidens , "King" of the Anabaptist empire of Münster.

Attack on Münster by the troops of Prince-Bishop Franz von Waldeck on Pentecost 1534

When the Münster Anabaptists were besieged by Prince-Bishop Franz von Waldeck from 1534 onwards , they sent messengers in all directions to ask other Anabaptist communities for help in relieving the city of Münster. In Rheine the messengers were received and entertained by the same woman Reinking, so that it seems plausible to assume at least the existence of a small Anabaptist community in Rheine.

The Anabaptists in Rheine would probably not have been great in number or influence, as the invitation of Prince-Bishop Franz von Waldeck to a state parliament in Rheine shows; just here was advised in 1533, what options the stands should take the pen to combat the Baptist.

Johann Korytzer, gographer of Rheine, took part in the siege of the Münster Anabaptists as commander in chief of the second siege troop in front of the Ludgeritor of Münster. Because of a wound there that cost him an eye, he could no longer take part in the storming of the city of Munster.

After the violent end and the execution of almost all of Münster's Anabaptists after the city of Münster was taken on June 24, 1535, the news about Anabaptists in Rheine also fell silent. Only in 1537 are Anabaptists mentioned again in the Rheine- Bevergern office , who were arrested and interrogated, but no longer executed.

The Reformation in Rheine

Franz von Waldeck

After the victory over the Anabaptists, Franz von Waldeck had signed a support and protection alliance with the city of Münster and the other cities of the diocese, including Rheine, in 1542. At the regional parliament in the following year he submitted to the stands, including the cities included, the pen along the lines of the proposal, Lutheran embossed Augsburg Confession to reform.

Franz von Waldeck, however, met with fierce resistance from the Münster cathedral chapter. For other imperial political reasons, too, until his death in 1553, Waldeck had to be content with protecting and supporting those who had voluntarily converted to evangelical doctrine, but he was unable to carry out any actual Reformation in his diocese, which therefore did not take place in Rheine. The city initially remained nominally Catholic. During Waldeck's lifetime, and especially in the years after his death, more and more citizens in Rheine turned to Protestantism. Around 1579, the majority of the aristocrats in the prince-bishopric also seem to have changed to the Augsburg denomination, while the Münster monastery remained Catholic.

Protestantism grows stronger

As early as 1571, the Münster bishop Johann von Hoya ordered a detailed church visit, which also included Rheine in 1573. Above all, she named two abuses in the city: the penetration of Protestant teachings and the “moral corruption” among the clergy. In Rheine, the lamented conditions were expressed above all in the person of Pastor Arnold tom Drecke. He lived openly in cohabitation , had several children and tried to secure the Rheine parish as an inheritance for his son Hermann tom Drecke. The pastor, very popular and respected in Rheine, was strongly supported in this project by the city council and the abbess of Herford Abbey. In 1595 Hermann tom Drecke finally got his father's pastoral position.

Beginning of the Counter Reformation in Rheine

Neither Johann von Hoya nor his successors had the political strength to successfully counteract these "non-Catholic" conditions. It was only Prince Bishop Ernst of Bavaria who tried to re-establish Catholic teaching in his diocese in the course of the Counter-Reformation .

Ernst von Bayern could not ignore the condition of the parish in Rheine. In 1603 he accused Hermann tom Drecke of spreading Lutheran teachings, violating celibacy and, above all, uncanonical acquisition of his pastoral office. Tom Drecke was formally removed from his office, but was able to stay in office until 1605 because of his strong support in the citizenship against the resistance of the bishop. Only a death sentence now imposed on him forced him to flee the city from armed men sent on behalf of the bishop. His successor was Pastor Johann Schmeddes, a reliable Catholic clergyman who, however, had a difficult position in the city from the start. On his arrival he found the rectory empty "except for the walls"; some citizens of the city even threatened the new priest with death.

At that time the Protestant teachings were evidently deeply anchored in the city of Rheine and also in the rest of the diocese. Bishop Ernst von Bayern had installed a reliable Catholic clergyman again in Rheine, but against the will of the citizens and the council, Ernst von Bayern had hardly any means of removing the prevailing Protestantism in the city. The bishop found a similar situation throughout his diocese.

Ernst von Bayern therefore renewed the old, over 70-year-old measures against the Anabaptists. Without further ado, he declared all Protestants to be Anabaptists and ordered that they should leave the city of Rheine (and other cities in the diocese) on April 1, 1611. The order was ignored in the city, however, and the bishop died in 1612 without having made any significant progress in the Counter Reformation in Rheine.

Even his successor in the episcopate, Ferdinand of Bavaria , was unable to master the "large number of heretics" in Rheine , as an episcopal document said on April 6, 1613. Although the new bishop set up a number of drastic measures, from expulsion from the country to confiscation, against the followers of the evangelical doctrine, the Catholic pastor complained to the bishop that "only common workers and craftsmen" obeyed the measures. The city's ruling class continued to resist.

One of the two mayors no longer attended the services, which was subject to the heaviest punishment. The second mayor attended the service but refused to take communion. The entire council of the city “does not want to change” (and return to the Catholic faith), complained the pastor, who also had to put up with constant harassment of the city's leadership.

Expulsion of the Protestants

It was not until the beginning of the warlike, confessional conflicts in the Thirty Years' War that the Counter Reformation could be pushed through in Rheine in 1623. The city council had previously opposed a further billeting of Catholic imperial troops . After a short siege by Count von Tilly , the city fell, the entire Protestant ruling class was driven out and replaced by Catholic officials.

The Emswehr and the Ems shipping in Rheine

The Emswehr in Rheine; in the background the baroque mill, successor to the mill first mentioned in the 14th century. Today the mill works as a hydroelectric power station

The Ems , especially in the Rheine area, was used as a waterway by the Romans around 2000 years ago for their conquests into the northern unoccupied Germania . However, this waterway could only be used not only by boats but also by larger ships when the water levels were high . Up until the 16th century, no significant efforts were made to make the Ems navigable throughout and to use or maintain it as a traffic route.

The fact that the Ems in the Rheine area was also developed in terms of transport technology is probably thanks to the Rheine watermill, first mentioned in a document in 1362, belonging to the Duchy of Münster . On the one hand, this flour mill was a reliable source of income for the Duchy of Münster, but on the other hand, it suffered from the imponderables of the natural, unregulated nature of the river. Floods regularly destroyed the wooden Mühlendamm, which dammed the river in the area of ​​the former Emsfurt and made the mill possible in the first place. If the mill dam was destroyed, presumably annually, this caused income losses lasting several months, as the mill could not be operated without the dam.

In addition, there was the economic oppression of the subservient farmers who were obliged to repair the regularly destroyed Mühlendamm and who could not do their field work during this time. Year after year, the cost of the building material to be procured to repair the dam - mainly wood - that had to be felled, stored, processed and transported to the dam was also recorded. which was also associated with considerable costs.

On the far left of the picture in the stone river bed, the attempts at blasting to deepen the river bed of the 18th century can be seen on the basis of the strip of deeper water: on the right in the picture the Ems Lateral Canal, built as an alternative, which made navigability at least as far as Greven possible.

To remedy these conditions, the Münster bishop Franz von Waldeck had a three meter high and 33.5 meter long stone dam built diagonally through the Ems, which was adjacent to a lock suitable for shipping on the right bank. By 1576 at the latest, thanks to the new lock in Rheine and, last but not least, the maintenance of the shipping lane, it was possible to navigate the Ems from Emden to Greven with Emspünten . The Emswehr with its lock has been preserved in its basic conception and execution to this day and is one of the oldest evidence of the making of the Ems navigable.

In 1685, in the interests of trade, further considerations were made to make the Ems navigable upstream via Greven to Münster, also for larger vehicles. One problem here was the shallows of the Emsfurt near Rheine, which prevented ships with a greater draft from entering because of the shallow water. In 1686 and 1687, attempts were therefore made to deepen the rocky river bed in Rheine by means of blasting. These attempts, which are still visible in the river bed when the water is low, failed so thoroughly that it was not until 1724 that the Elector Clemens August I of Bavaria took up the idea of ​​connecting Münster to a waterway. Instead of pursuing the old idea of ​​further expanding the Ems, however, he ordered the construction of the Max-Clemens Canal , later named after him, which was not supposed to connect the prince-bishopric to Emden via the Ems, but to the Zuidersee via the Dutch waterway network - a project that, however, could not be completed successfully either.

Rheine in the turmoil of the Eighty Years War

City view of Rheine, around the year 1600; Detail from a map of the Münster monastery

The Eighty Years' War , also known as the Spanish-Dutch War, lasted from 1568 to 1648. The diocese of Münster and with it the city of Rheine finally got between the fronts of the warring parties when on July 24, 1581 the provinces of the Union of Utrecht gained independence from the Spanish Declared king. Now the Spanish and Dutch troops no longer marched through the country and plundered to supply their troops, but also carried out their acts of war for decades in the neighboring Münsterland.

The weak German Reich had nothing to oppose politically or militarily to the violation of its territories by enemy troops on both sides , so that the Principality of Munster was left to its own devices in the ultimately unsuccessful national defense. Contemporary accounts report continuous raids by the Dutch and Spaniards not only in the Rheine region, but also far beyond - in some cases as far as the Paderborn area.

In 1589 arson was reported in Bentlage and Landersum near Neuenkirchen. In October of the same year, a troop of 400 Spanish soldiers tried to take the city of Rheine by surprise. The enemies were discovered in time, however, and the attack failed. Angry at their failure, the soldiers shot four citizens of the city, burned two houses in front of the gates and stole all the belongings and cattle of the citizens living outside the city walls.

Spanish occupation of the city of Rheine

Again and again the Spaniards tried to take Rheine in the years to come, but failed repeatedly because of the fortifications of the city. In 1598, the Spanish troops launched a major offensive against the Dutch troops and in this course took most of the cities of the Münster monastery in November and December of the same year. Rheine also fell and was held by the Spaniards until Easter 1599. From this time the chronicles tell of pillage, robbery, extortion and continuous attacks on the citizens not only in the city itself, but also in the villages and farmers in the surrounding area. Even the Dutch did not stand still during this time and carried out their own raids in the defenseless Münster monastery.

The Hispanic warriors lived no differently from rogues, thieves and traitors, ” reports the contemporary Münster chronicler Melchior Röchell from this time and continues: “In sum, this pen, as long as it existed, suffered no greater damage than this one; although it suffered great damage in Bishop Walrav's time (note: during the Munster collegiate feud) and later in the War of the Admirers, the same cannot be compared and not as many poor people were made as in the present time. "

Peace treaty

Only when a twelve-year armistice was concluded between the Spaniards and the Dutch in 1609 did Rheine and Münster Abbey take a deep breath. However, this time of peace only lasted too short: the Thirty Years' War began as early as 1618 and once again brought hardship and misery to the city.

Rheine during the Thirty Years War

The citizens of the city were granted only a few years of peace after the provisional and initially only twelve-year peace agreement of 1609 between the Spaniards and Dutch in the Eighty Years War , when the Thirty Years War broke out in 1618 and , as a result, the future fate of the city significantly for centuries certain.

The city between the fronts

On the one hand, this war was about the Habsburg-French antagonism and the struggle for supremacy in Europe. Last but not least, this war was also a religious war that was bitterly waged within the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation between the Catholic League and the Protestant Union .

For the city of Rheine, at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War, the tricky situation arose that the city, as Münster's collegiate city, was formally under the sovereignty of the Catholic duchy of Münster, but Protestantism was firmly anchored in the citizenship of the city itself . On January 18, 1618, the year the war began, the Rheiner pastor Schmeddes , who was loyal to Catholicism , complained in one of his secret reports to the prince-bishop that there were no longer any vicars in his parish, i.e. those who held church aid offices and that there were no longer any members of the council Mayor is only a Catholic.

Years before the outbreak of war, Rheine had already stood in the area of ​​tension between the denominational differences between Catholic-Prince-Bishopric sovereignty and the Protestant-influenced city management - until now the prince-bishopric had lacked the power to take action against the city and establish a Catholic city-tour loyal to the prince-bishopric .

That changed when the prince-bishopric was exposed to the first really threatening situation of the Thirty Years' War in 1623.

First military threat to the Münsterland

Portrait of Johann Jakobs von Bronckhorst-Batenburg, called Graf von Anholt, from the first volume of Matthäus Merian's Theatrum Europaeum

On October 25, 1622, Ernst von Mansfeld , Army Commander of the Protestant Union, crossed the Rhine with his mercenaries , advanced rapidly to the Grafschaft Bentheim , robbing and pillaging, and until mid-1623 settled in Münster's Niederstift , from where he covered the entire Münsterland including Rheine, militarily threatened.

The Münster bishop, Elector Ferdinand , then asked Johann Jakob von Bronckhorst-Batenburg , known as Count von Anholt, one of Count Tilly's sub-commanders from the Catholic League, for military assistance.

Following the request for help, the Count of Anholt set his troops on the march in the direction of Münsterland. At the same time, Elector Ferdinand issued an order to the cities of the monastery to billet and supply the soldiers of Anholt. In his letter, Ferdinand also recalled the disaster to be expected if Mansfeld's troops roamed the country unhindered, murdering and pillaging. But all cities of the monastery, with the exception of Werne and Telgte, refused - despite the threat of severe penalties - to billet the Anholt troops.

Rheine refuses to obey

The gallows tree - depiction of atrocities according to Jacques Callot

Rheine, too, had refused any billeting. One reason was certainly that for the citizens of the city one mercenary band appeared like the other and - whether allied or hostile - also behaved that way. Whether Catholic or Protestant: As reported by contemporary sources, no mercenary was inferior to the other in terms of indiscipline, lust for murder and robbery. The citizens of the city still freshly remembered the occupation by Spanish mercenaries in 1598, which had caused severe damage to the city and its residents to life, limb and property.

Second, an order had only recently been issued to the cities to strengthen their fortifications on their own and at their own expense, and to put themselves in readiness for defense. An order that had also been obeyed in Rheine. Hence the citizens probably felt quite safe within their walls. And last but not least, the citizens of Rheine, who were inclined to Protestantism, were reluctant to accept troops of the Catholic League within their walls.

Nevertheless, the joint decision of the council, guilds and mayors to refuse the order to billet Anholt's troops was a great risk, as it meant refusing to obey their sovereign. In retrospect, the citizens are likely to have overestimated their own power and underestimated the strength and effectiveness of the Anholtian troops.

The fortress Rheine falls

In addition to the order of the bishop, an imperial decree had also been issued, dictating that the towns of the monastery should billet Anholt's troops. But even this decree did not change the citizens of Rheine, so that Count von Anholt finally took military action against the city of Rheine and the other cities of the monastery.

The siege of the city of Rheine began on February 20, 1623. Eight cannons fired a total of 145 bullets at the city during the night while the siege troops advanced to the moat. A contemporary source praises the bravery of the citizens in defending their city. "The magistrate himself defiantly came out with upper rifles ", it says there, but the resistance of the citizens was in vain. At three o'clock in the afternoon, the city surrendered to the besiegers and asked for mercy.

Immediate consequences of defeat

The defeat cost Rheine dearly: instead of 200, 600 soldiers were quartered in the city. The supply of the troops cost the city treasury the sum of 400 thalers a week (depending on the source and region, the weekly wage of a construction worker in the 17th century was around 1 thaler). The citizens suffered from hunger and on top of that, the plague and dysentery broke out in the city.

In the same year, Count Tilly's army stopped in Rheine and the surrounding area from August 13th to 19th, 1623. "The whole land was drained, all grain consumed, all cattle slaughtered," reports a source. The devastation was so great "that not a fence post was left intact".

Withdrawal of urban privileges and eviction of Protestants

The harshest punishment for the city was yet to come. An episcopal commission interrogated mayors, councilors and members of the guilds and came to the conclusion that the city as a whole had been guilty of disobedience. The councilors and mayors have been placed under house arrest and forbidden to continue running the city. In October 1623 a new, purely Catholic, council was set up in the city, subject to the instructions of the Prince-Bishop. Finally, the bishop withdrew all privileges, income, rights and excise duties from the city and imposed an additional fine of 25,000 thalers on the citizens, which, however, was reduced to 5000 thalers in 1625, since it could not be raised even with the best will.

All Protestant residents of Rheine, and this particularly affected the wealthy ruling class of the city, were given a period by the prince-bishop during which they had time to either renounce Lutheran teachings or to leave the city. On May 25, 1625, 27 Protestant families, unwilling to bow to the pressure, moved out of the city. Among them the “wealthiest and most respected families,” as a chronicle describes, from whose midst several councilors and mayors had recruited in the past.

The city lost almost its entire ruling class in one fell swoop and suffered from this loss until the beginning of the 19th century.

In March 1632, when the new Catholic council had demonstrated its docility under the sovereignty of the prince-bishop, the city regained many of its previous privileges. However, the city's magistrate was under the supervision of the bishop, who expressly reserved the right to veto all important decisions.

The Hessian occupation of the city

Wilhelm V of Hessen-Kassel

After its conquest by Catholic troops in 1623, the city of Rheine was only marginally affected by the fighting of the Thirty Years War in the years to come. The city became a theater of war again in the first months of 1633, when the Protestant troops of Landgrave Wilhelm von Hessen-Kassel marched into Westphalia and occupied a large part of the Münster monastery.

On August 29, 1633, Wilhelm von Hessen-Kassel began the siege of the city of Rheine with heavy fire from large-caliber cannons. On the third day of the siege, the mayor and city council asked for handover negotiations. On September 4th, around 250 recruited defending soldiers marched out of the city of Rheine with military honors and the conditions dictated to the city of Rheine are described as "honorable and mild". In addition, the city did not have to bear the burden of the occupation alone; The surrounding area was also used to support the Hessians.

The Hessian troops, twelve companies strong in their greatest strength according to Hessian war files from this time , seem to have been extremely disciplined, as is reported, and the city did not suffer as much from the occupation as it did from the Spaniards in the Eighty Years War or the Occupation by the Catholic troops in 1623. Nonetheless, even during this period of occupation, especially towards the end of the period, there were reports of great financial burdens on the city and attacks by the occupiers on the citizens. The city put the cost of the occupation and the stolen property for the period from September 4, 1633 to the liberation on January 25, 1635 at 69,796 thalers.

Liberation of the city by episcopal troops

At the end of 1634, the Hessian occupation troops had the opportunity to further expand and consolidate their sphere of influence in the Münsterland and in the Münster monastery. At the beginning of January 1635, a large part of the Rhine occupation troops moved out of the city with the aim of Coesfeld, Borken, Vreden and other places. This weakening of the fortress Rheine was not hidden from the episcopal troops, especially since informants from the city of Rheine kept them constantly up to date on the conditions there.

According to contemporary reports, the Hessian defenders who remained in the city failed to show vigilance and discipline.

Troops hastily mobilized in the Münster monastery marched and appeared in front of the city early in the morning on January 25th. In fact, they found the trenches frozen and the walls unguarded, so that the episcopal troops could overcome the fortifications with ladders and enter the city unnoticed. It is reported that the Hessian officers who remained in the city were so drunk from a wedding party the previous evening that they could hardly be woken. Of the surprised defenders, 150 were stabbed and 300 captured, according to contemporary chronicles.

On the same day the prisoners and the booty they had made rich were transferred to Münster and 1,500 soldiers were left behind in Rheine to defend the city.

The further war years

The liberation of Rhine from the Hessian troops in 1635 did not improve the situation of the city or its citizens. In the following years the Protestant, Swedish-Hessian troops in Westphalia and in the area of ​​the Münster monastery fought with the imperial Catholic troops with varying degrees of success.

During all these years the city had to endure and maintain the imperial occupation, which in turn came at great expense. The chronicles also tell of clashes between the citizens and the occupation soldiers from this period.

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen describes a chapter from life in Rheine under the occupation of this time in his novel Der adventurliche Simplicissimus (published 1668/69) in the third book, 8th to 10th chapter.

In 1637 the plague flared up again violently among the occupiers and citizens of the city. Even when the first peace negotiations began in the cities of Münster and Osnabrück in 1641, nothing changed for the citizens and the city, as all acts of war continued unabated.

The destruction of the city in 1647 and the end of the war

Count Wilhelm von Lamboy

In September 1647 the imperial general Guillaume de Lamboy withdrew from East Friesland, where he had wrested several bases from Hessian troops, when he learned that Swedish-Hessian troops had marched from Paderborn towards East Friesland under their general Königsmarck .

In Rheine, Lamboy set up defensive positions against the advance of enemy troops on the Thieberg on September 15, 1647 and set up his headquarters in the Bentlage monastery .

On September 20, 1647, the allied Swedish-Hessian troops under their General Königsmarck appeared in front of the city of Rheine and immediately began their attack. On the night of September 20th to 21st, Königsmarck had glowing balls thrown into the city. The following fire destroyed 339 houses in the city, according to a council report.

On September 21, Königsmarck attacked the headquarters of the imperial troops in Bentlage Monastery. The monastery was set on fire and a large part of the buildings destroyed.

Königsmarck set up a position on the forest hill in Rheine, still known today as the Hessenschanze, and fought repeated battles with Lamboy on the Thieberg opposite. On October 19, Königsmarck had the city bombarded with glowing bullets again, causing a further 26 houses to catch fire and now almost the entire city was in ruins.

The Beilmann house on the market square in the Rhine bears witness to the town fire in 1647.

The Beilmannsche Haus on the market square in Rheine still bears witness to the destruction of the city. On the gable end there are seven walled cannon balls and the following inscription:

“Anno 1647, September 21st, these glowing bullets were shot in from Feient and several hundred houses burned down miserably. - Oh God, keep this house and give happiness inside, so go in and out. Soli Deo Gloria "
A leaflet announces the peace treaty in Munster, which ends the Thirty Years War.

On October 30th, Königsmarck withdrew to Meppen without conquering the city. Lamboy resigned on November 3rd. Instead of his troops, other units were billeted to defend the city, which remained billeted as an occupation two years after the end of the Thirty Years War on October 24, 1648 and the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia .

The consequences of the war

A Rhine council protocol from 1655 puts the city's expenditure on the maintenance of the city's various enemy and allied garrisons during the Thirty Years' War, including the destruction of the city in 1647, at 645,625 thalers, seven shillings and two pfennigs. The minutes of the Council expressly state that this sum does not take into account the damage to life and limb of the citizens, extortion, looting and other destruction.

Shortly after its complete destruction, the city had asked the German Empire and the Prince Diocese of Munster for help in rebuilding it; but this did not materialize. The city's magistrate therefore sent petitioners to the neighboring towns and cities, and even to Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, to ask for a “Christian contribution” for the reconstruction. Donations also seem to have flowed; Nevertheless, the city remained largely on its own and needed almost a century to recover somewhat from the destruction and misery of the Thirty Years' War.

The further history of the city in demolition

1659 established in the city since 1635 founded the Franciscan (OFM) , the school Dionysianum in the former monastery, now the Old Town Hall.

In 1759 a fire destroyed the Falkenhof and 70 other buildings.

In 1803, Rheine became the capital and residence of the principality of Rheina-Wolbeck, which was newly formed in the course of secularization . The principality consisted of the city of Rheine and the places Mesum, Emsdetten, Nordwalde, Altenberge, Neuenkirchen, Salzbergen, Schepsdorf and Emsbüren. However, it was dissolved again in 1806 when it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Berg . From 1811 to 1813 Rheine was as part of the French Empire the department lip assigned.

In 1815, due to the agreements made at the Congress of Vienna , the region and with it Rheine became part of the Kingdom of Prussia , which assigned it to the new province of Westphalia . In the following year, districts were formed in Prussia and Rheine has belonged to the Steinfurt district ever since .

In 1844, with the construction of the first mechanically operated textile factory in Münsterland, industrialization began in Rheine. The textile industry subsequently became the most important economic factor, and Rheine an important center of the textile industry.

In 1850 the villages Altenrheine, Elte, Mesum and Rheine on the left of the Ems were incorporated into the Rheine office.

In 1855 the railroad connected Rheine and Osnabrück ( Hannoversche Westbahn ) for the first time ; In 1856 the line to Emden ( Rheine – Norddeich Mole railway line ) was opened.

In 1871 Rheine was also part of the newly founded German Empire.

On August 11, 1899, the Dortmund-Ems Canal was completed after seven years of construction.

1900 until today

High water marks at the Emsmühle

In 1919 the only marshalling yard in the Münsterland was opened in Rheine . It was shut down in 1993 and later canceled.

On April 1, 1927, around 10,000 residents of the Rheine office (Bentlage, Wadelheim, Dutum, etc.) were incorporated into the city, the number of inhabitants increased to 29,598, which tripled the area of ​​the city.

During the Third Reich , from 1939 onwards, Jewish citizens were admitted to two Jewish houses and later deported. There is evidence that a Jew from Rheine was shot on November 25, 1941 in Fort IX of Kovno . Most of the victims were deported to the Riga ghetto or one of the Jungfernhof and Salaspils camps in December 1941 . The last seven Jews still living in Rheine were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto in early October 1942 . 59 Rhenish Jews were victims of the Shoah , only twelve survived.

The Allied war opponents bombed the city repeatedly, the railway lines and the Dortmund-Ems Canal were tactical targets. The major attacks of October 5, 1944 and March 21, 1945 hit the city area particularly hard, with more than 200 dead and injured each time. The conquest of Rhine took place on April 2, 1945 after partly violent fighting by units of the 157th British Infantry Brigade (5th Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regiment, 7th Battalion of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Regiment). Altogether, 20 to 30 percent of the Rheine was destroyed.

After the war ended in 1945, Rheine was in the British occupation zone and in 1946 was politically assigned to the newly founded state of North Rhine-Westphalia , which in 1949 formed the Federal Republic of Germany with the other western zone states.

On February 10, 1946, Rheine was hit by the highest Emsh flood to date. Large parts of the city were flooded. On April 26, 1978, the explosion of a dud from the Second World War caused severe damage in downtown Rhine; two people died, sixteen were injured.

On August 15, 2002, the city celebrated the 675th anniversary of the granting of city rights.

Municipal reform

In the course of the municipal reform , which came into force on January 1, 1975, the four previously independent municipalities of Elte, Mesum, Rheine on the left of the Ems and Rheine on the right of the Ems merged with the city of Rheine. Elte entered a 1 hectare uninhabited area on Hörstel, Mesum a 1.40 km 2 area with at that time 28 inhabitants in Emsdetten and a 10 hectare area with eleven inhabitants at that time in Neuenkirchen, Rheine left the Ems an 89 hectare uninhabited area on Emsdetten and a 1.00 km 2 area with then 55 inhabitants at Neuenkirchen and Rheine on the right of the Ems a 3.00 km 2 area with then 212 inhabitants at Hörstel.

Population development

Population development in Rheine from 1840 to 2018 according to the table below

In the Middle Ages and early modern times, Rheine only had a few hundred inhabitants. It was not until the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century that the city began to grow more rapidly. In 1840 only 2,380 people lived in the place, in 1925 there were already 18,000. The incorporation of 1927 brought a (statistical) population increase of about 10,000 inhabitants.

After the Second World War, the large waves of refugees from the German eastern regions also reached Rheine. As a result of the municipal reform, the population grew from 50,558 in 1974 to 71,900 on January 1, 1975. Due to immigration from all over the world, from the former GDR and from the areas of the former Soviet Union, the population increased, especially after 1990 the official population for Rheine is already 76,374 (only main residences and after comparison with the other state offices). Rheine had thus reached a temporary high point in the population increase. There was no noticeable decline in immigration, so that in January 2020 the population reached 80,000 for the first time.

The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status. These are census results (¹) or official updates from the State Statistical Office. From 1871, the information relates to the “local population”, from 1925 to the resident population and since 1987 to the “population at the location of the main residence”. Before 1871, the number of inhabitants was determined according to inconsistent survey procedures.

year Residents
December 1, 1840 ¹ 2,380
December 3, 1855 ¹ 2,890
December 1, 1871 ¹ 3,885
December 1, 1885 ¹ 5,684
December 1, 1890¹ 7,400
December 1, 1900 ¹ 10,371
December 1, 1905 ¹ 12,801
December 1, 1910¹ 14,415
December 1, 1916 ¹ 13,078
December 5, 1917 ¹ 13,426
October 8, 1919 ¹ 15,726
June 16, 1925 ¹ 17,837
year Residents
June 16, 1933 ¹ 31,673
May 17, 1939 ¹ 35,081
December 31, 1945 32,330
October 29, 1946 ¹ 32,823
September 13, 1950 ¹ 40,363
September 25, 1956 ¹ 43,035
June 6, 1961 ¹ 44,322
December 31, 1965 48.710
May 27, 1970 ¹ 50,321
June 30, 1974 50,917
December 31, 1975 71,539
December 31, 1980 71,432
year Residents
December 31, 1985 70,662
May 25, 1987 ¹ 69,348
December 31, 1990 70,452
December 31, 1995 74,587
December 31, 2000 75,886
June 30, 2005 76,374
December 31, 2007 76,546
December 31, 2008 76,472
December 31, 2012 73.285
December 31, 2016 75,338
December 31, 2017 76,018
December 31, 2018 76.107
year Residents
January 31, 2020 80,000

¹ census result


Population growth

The marketing logo of the city of Rheine

The statistics show a continuous increase in population over the entire history of the city up to the mid-1980s. From 1985 onwards, the population fell from the then high of 71,000 to around 69,000. After reunification, the city recorded a strong increase in the course of immigration from the new federal states and the immigration of German-born, formerly Russian citizens from around 1990. As of 2008 there were around 76,000 citizens.

In the past 25 years, the average number of births was around 800, above the number of around 650 deaths (as of 2005). The population growth has been 6 to 6.5 percent since the early 1980s and is thus slightly above the NRW state average. There are different, controversial forecasts for future developments, which, depending on the scenario, predict a decrease to 73,000 or an increase to 77,000 by 2020.

Average age

Citizens between the ages of 35 and 40 are currently the most populous group in the city. Since this numerically strong population group is in the "family active" age, their children between the ages of five and 25 are still relatively well represented in the city.

The low population aged 25 to 35 is due to the pill kink . Likewise, the 55 to 65 year olds are underrepresented due to the effects of the Second World War.

The average age of all citizens is around 40 years and thus below the North Rhine-Westphalian average of around 41 years.

People per household

For Rheine, the average number of 2.5 people living together in one household is worth mentioning. This number is not only well above the North Rhine-Westphalian average of 2.2 people per household, but is also above the values ​​for cities of comparable structure and size.


Local election 2014
Turnout: 46.4% (2009: 53.0%)
AfR *
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p
+ 0.4  % p
-4.5  % p
-0.9  % p
-4.2  % p
+ 4.2  % p
+5.0  % p
AfR *

City council

The result of the local elections on May 25, 2014 is shown in the following table; the result of the election in 2009 is also shown for comparison.

Party / list Seats 2014 Share of votes in 2014 Seats 2009 Share of votes in 2009
CDU 21st 45.9% 20th 45.5%
SPD 13 30.0% 15th 34.5%
Green 4th 09.8% 5 10.7%
FDP 2 05.1% 4th 09.3%
left 2 04.2% - -
AfR * 2 05.0% - -

* Alternative for Rheine, today UWG Rheine


Coat of arms and seal

The city coat of arms, which has been in effect since 1954

Blazon : a red bar in gold, which is covered with three six-pointed golden stars placed on a tip.

Coat of arms history

The colors and the metal were originally gold-red-silver, then in the 17th century they were converted to the color and metals silver-red-gold and finally in 1954 to the color and metal gold-red-gold. As a crest used a golden star between open, of gold and red diagonally split flight .

The model of the city coat of arms is the pin shield of the Principality of Münster, extended by the three golden stars . The blazon underlines the claim of territorial rule over the city by the prince-bishopric. The three stars added to the coat of arms of the diocese are symbols for St. Dionysius as patron of the first church and thus patron saint of the city as well as his two close confidants Rusticus and Eleutherius.

The great city seal

The "Great City Seal" from 1370

The oldest surviving so-called "Great City Seal" from 1370 shows the Apostle Paul, who rests his left hand on the coat of arms of the Principality of Münster . On the left of the seal is the coat of arms of the city with the original tinging gold above, red bar with stars, silver below.

The Great Seal was only used for relevant notifications. For the “normal” official business, a smaller secret seal was used, which showed the Rhine coat of arms.

Town twinning

The town twinning is carried out on behalf of the City of Rheine by the “Association for the Promotion of Town Twinning of the City of Rheine e. V. “supervised.

Culture and tourism

Language and dialect

Rheine is located in the Low German cultural area. The historical language of its residents is the Münsterländer Platt (Mönsterlänner Platt) , a Westphalian dialect of Lower Saxony , commonly known as flat or Low German ( flat- düütsch) . Up until the Second World War, this was the language that most children learned first at home and only gradually became the official language of High German . For the inhabitants of the then heavily agricultural region, “High German” was almost like a foreign language that they found difficult to pronounce and had to learn with great difficulty at school.

After the Second World War and the arrival of many refugees from the east as well as people who only communicated in High German, the language of the locals was under even greater pressure. In the meantime, Standard German has become the colloquial language spoken by the majority in the city and its surroundings; Although the local dialect is still spoken by the local older generation ( se küert up platt ), it is hardly passed on to the following generations as a mother tongue and is therefore very much threatened with extinction.

“Dat mönsterlänsk Platt is a westfäölskt dialect of Nedderdüütsch and Neddersässisch, which would be better in Mönsterland. Et giw twee forms, dat mönsterlänskt sölw and dat westmönsterläsk Platt. Sunnerhetes are diphthongs. B. uo, üö, uë un ao. Dat ao is aower egentliks een sölwstaoende Buukstaow, we tüschen dat aa un dat oo lig, so dat is, what int Austfreeske wul åå is. Bes ton tweden Wiäldkrieg what dat mönsterläsk Platt de Spraok, we de most Kinner to Huus toeerst have learned, men danao wuord dat all meer dat Haugdüütsk.
In Rheni doa wet aals tosammen küert un see säch to de uutwartigen lüe: “Kiek bie us äs wier in, how do we have to iatten en to drink like küent chuet and doabie spoaß un use important un boys, jauh, de küent still up flat küern. ""

- Up flat German

Buildings and museums

Several historically significant buildings enrich the Rhine cityscape. Some of the buildings are now used as museums.

In the north of the city is the Bentlager Wald recreational area , which embeds several sights in a cultural landscape with the Bentlage monastery , the Gottesgabe saltworks , a dancing linden tree and the Rheine Nature Zoo. In the run-up to Regionale 2004 , a program called Bentlager Dreiklang was developed for the recreation area to make the sights accessible to visitors. Three tours are offered, the cultural route , the salt route and the nature route , which take place under professional guidance.

Bentlage Monastery / Castle

Bentlage Monastery / Castle

The Bentlage monastery was founded in 1437 by brothers of the Order of the Cross and completed in 1645. Because of its changing use over the centuries, the property is now called Bentlage Monastery / Castle. The monastery is on the cultural route of Bentlager triad be visited with a guide.

In 1803, in the course of secularization, the monastery became the property of the newly founded principality of Rheina-Wolbeck . However, this only existed for three years, so that the monastery passed to the noble Looz-Corswarem family as early as 1806 . This expanded the monastery into their castle residence, which is reflected today in the double name.

The city of Rheine acquired the property in Bentlager Wald in 1978. Reconstruction work began in 1990 and was completed in 2000.

Today the monastery serves as a museum, among other things. In the east wing, everyday items and luxury items belonging to the former residents of the monastery are on display. The showpiece of the exhibition are two late medieval reliquary shrines , which are unique in their state of preservation in German-speaking countries.

In the "Westphalian Gallery" on the top floor of the east wing, the development of modernism in Westphalia since 1900 can be traced. Works by expressionists such as Wilhelm Morgner , Peter August Böckstiegel or Carlo Mense , along with representatives of the Bauhaus, invite the viewer to linger. Changing exhibits from the period after 1945 relate to the present.

The monastery also houses the office of the European Fairy Tale Society founded there in 1956 . According to § 1 of its statutes, this has the task of "supporting fairy tale research and maintaining and disseminating the fairy tale material of all peoples in order to contribute to the encounter and understanding between people."   The company maintains a special library in the north wing of the monastery Fairy tale theme.

The Bentlage Monastery is operated by a non-profit municipal subsidiary, the Bentlage Monastery gGmbH. The focus is on dealing with contemporary visual arts. Renowned international artists present their work in around twelve exhibitions each year. An extensive cultural program from the fields of classical music, literature and science round off the program. Every year around 50,000 visitors use the numerous cultural offers.

Saline divine gift

Saline divine gift

Salt has been extracted in Bentlage since 1022, but the first documented mention of the Gottesgabe saltworks dates from 1439. The saltworks is a technical monument and is located in the immediate vicinity of the Bentlage monastery. It can be visited with a guide on the salt route of the Bentlager Dreiklang .

Between 1437 and 1577 the saltworks was operated by the crucians. By contract of August 5, 1577, the salt production plant was transferred to the von Velen family as a fief. However, this initially did not succeed in making profits with the saltworks. In 1590, the saltworks was destroyed for the first time by royal Spanish troops who were advancing to Westphalia from the Netherlands.

Between 1603 and 1614, the salt works under the leadership of Alexander von Velen then experienced a period of economic boom, financed by five wealthy citizens of the Rhine. It was also Alexander von Velen who gave the saltworks the name of God's gift after he had come across new salt springs of high volatility . After 1614, however, another economic decline followed, which was triggered by a lack of fuel and other raw materials.

During the Thirty Years' War the salt works was again badly damaged. Swedish troops under the command of General Königsmarck burned down the monastery in 1647 and also raided the salt works. In the following period this was continued by the von Velen family, but because of the damage and lack of money, no profits could be made. This led to the withdrawal of the fief in 1735 by the then Prince-Bishop of Münster, Clemens August .

Instead, the prince-bishop himself re-established the salt production, which on December 23, 1743 led to the establishment of the Münsterschen Salinen-Societät . Among other things, this owned the rights of disposal over all brine springs in Bentlage. Under the guidance of the prince-bishop's master builder Johann Conrad Schlaun and the salt expert and baron Joachim Friedrich von Beust , the saltworks was fundamentally modernized in the following years. The graduation tower was expanded to a total length of almost 300 meters, making the saline Gottesgabe the oldest structure of its kind in Westphalia.

Salt production was profitable throughout the 18th century. In 1753, the Societät distributed a dividend of 50 Reichstalers per share for the first time. In 1890, in addition to salt extraction, bathing and spa operations were started. The bathing operation was maintained until 1975. Salt production was stopped in 1952.

The saltworks park was redesigned as part of the Regionale 2004 and is part of the European Garden Heritage Network . Near the Saline is the in 2005 as Josef Winckler Museum newly opened birthplace Josef Winckler . The exhibition shows objects from the life of the writer and provides information about his work.

Falkenhof (city museum)


Perhaps the most important building for Rheine is the Falkenhof , the so-called nucleus of the city. The building and soil monument from the 9th century now houses the city museum. The exhibition is divided into the three areas of city history, the graphic cabinet and the Kasimir Hagen collection.

In addition to finds from prehistory and early history, the area of ​​city history primarily shows exhibits from the city's often warlike past. Armaments and weapons, from around the time of the Thirty Years War, document the military history of the Rhine. In addition, this part of the presentation is dedicated to local artists, including nationally known names such as Carlo Mense and Joseph Krautwald .

The Kasimir Hagen collection, named after the Cologne art collector Kasimir Hagen, contains paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as sculptures from the 15th to 19th centuries. In 1964, the city was given the first pieces of this collection before further exhibits were transferred here from Bonn in 1987 .

The graphic cabinet also goes back to the foundation activities of Kasimir Hagen. The collection, which comprises more than a thousand objects, includes works by well-known artists such as Albrecht Dürer , Francisco de Goya , Pablo Picasso and Max Liebermann .


St. Dionysius on the left, St. Antonius on the right

Numerous churches shape the face of the city. The oldest of them is the Catholic Church of St. Dionysius , which is located in the historic city center and was built in parallel with the Falkenhof. The Catholic Church of St. Antonius (to the right of the Ems), built in the neo-Romanesque style from 1899 to 1905, towers over all other buildings in the city with the highest church tower in the Münsterland (102.5 m) and is visible from afar.


Monument to the fallen in Hünenborg, Rheine

There are other sights throughout the city. Examples include the Old Cemetery, laid out between 1806 and 1835, the Dionysianum high school , which embodies a composition of classic and modern architecture, and numerous buildings by August Reinking , which were primarily built in the inner city area. The Hünenborg was built on the Thieberg in the 1920s, a monumental memorial to those who fell in the First World War. A granary from 1936, located directly on the Ems, shows a large depiction of a sower at work.

sport and freetime

The most famous football club in the city of Rheine is FC Eintracht Rheine , which is currently based in the Oberliga Westfalen . The highest class he has ever played in is the NRW League . The women's football club FFC Heike Rheine , which was spun off from Eintracht Rheine, played in the Bundesliga for a total of 16 years. In 2016, however, the association disbanded. In addition, the underwater rugby team of SV Rheine plays in the 1st Bundesliga West and is therefore the only team in Rheine that is currently competing in the highest possible division.

Rheine Nature Zoo

NaturZoo Rheine, entrance area

A popular leisure destination is the Rheine Nature Zoo , located in the immediate vicinity of the Gottesgabe saltworks and the Bentlage monastery. It was founded in 1936 under the name Heimattiergarten Bentlage and opened in 1937. The NaturZoo can on the natural route of Bentlager triad be visited with a guide.

The zoo was home to about 1000 animals of one hundred different species in 2006. In addition to native, free-flying white storks , these include, above all, various species of monkeys.

In 1974 the first accessible monkey forest in Germany was opened in Rheine. Today the colony of Barbary macaques living in the forest comprises 20 to 30 animals. NaturZoo also maintains the world's largest breeding program for blood breast baboons , an endangered species.

The name NaturZoo is intended to indicate that the zoo is not a “conventional” animal park. The zoo endeavors to sharpen visitors' understanding of nature and its relationships through nature trails and training courses. Efforts are also made to operate the systems in an ecologically compatible manner. Some of the wastewater is filtered from plants and thus cleaned.

Furthermore, the zoo tries to enable the animals to live a species-appropriate life. For this purpose, several enclosures were renewed and expanded in the run-up to Regionale 2004. The NaturZoo Rheine is nevertheless exposed to similar criticism as other zoos.

Cycling and walking

Railway cycle path "RadBahn Münsterland" from Rheine to Coesfeld

The Emsauenweg is a worthwhile destination for cycling enthusiasts . The 115 km long cycle path has been running since 2004 from Warendorf through the Münsterland to Rheine. In 2005 the path was chosen as the cycle route of the year in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Emsauenweg is part of the Emsradweg , which leads from Paderborn to Emden . Since 2007 the Emsauenweg can be combined with the Werseradweg to form a circular route. The cycle path touches the train stations Warendorf, Telgte, Greven, Emsdetten and Rheine and allows you to adapt the route to your own ability. Along the route, information on the four subject areas of landscape history, cultural history, natural landscape and Regional 2004 projects is provided.

Further cycling and hiking trails are the 100-Schlösser-Route , a total of over 2000 km long cycling path through the Münsterland, which leads past the Bentlage Abbey and the Falkenhof; the Dortmund-Ems Canal Route, 350 km long, which connects the Ruhr area with the North Sea coast ; the Hase-Ems-Tour leads along the Hase for around 265 km through Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia to the confluence with the Ems in Meppen and then along the Ems to Rheine; the EmsRadweg begins at the Ems source in the village of Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock on the edge of the Teutoburg Forest and follows the Ems over a distance of 375 km; the Aa-Vechte-Tour, a cycle path between Aa and Vechte ; the Ems-Heide-Weide-Tour and the Hermannsweg , a 156 km long hiking trail that starts in Rheine and leads over the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest along the Hermann monument.

On the former railway line to Rheine-Coesfeld was Bahntrassenradweg " cycle track Münsterland " created. Railway buildings have been preserved along the route. In Station St. Arnold you can take a trolley.


Many sports clubs are based in Rheine. In football, the upper division FC Eintracht Rheine is currently the most successful club. The members of TV Jahn Rheine 1885 e. V. practice many different sports on the 6000 m² largest sports park in Münsterland. In addition there is the Amisia Rheine 1926 e. V. The Ems use three canoe clubs (KC Rheine, PuR Emsstern Rheine and WSV Rheine) and a rowing club (RHTC Rheine) for training and competition. The "Gut Winterbrock" golf club in Mesum has existed since 1996 with an 18-hole championship course and a public 9-hole course.

The city maintains, among other things, the multi-purpose stadium Jahnstadion , home of the Rheine Raptors football club. The largest stadium in Rheine is the Obi-Arena , which is operated by FC Eintracht Rheine. There are also two indoor pools , an outdoor pool and an ice rink , the latter is privately owned. Since the summer of 2008, the RHTC Rheine hockey department has had an artificial turf pitch directly on the Ems. There are also numerous smaller systems.

Regular events

The city of Rheine has a wide range of annually recurring events of various styles.

  • Rose Monday parade
  • Honky Tonk (pub festival)
  • Children's cooking festival (motto: meaningfully full your stomach)
  • Children's flea market (largest children's flea market in Germany)
  • EmsFestival (concerts on a floating stage on the Ems)
  • Rheiner Organ Summer (concert series in several churches in the city)
  • Channel triathlon (second weekend in August; triathlon for professionals and amateurs)
  • Wine and Brew Festival (August)
  • Street Party (September)
  • Elephant races (September; Canadian races for amateur and company teams)
  • Canoe regatta (September)
  • Rheiner Herbstkirmes (third weekend in October; fair, spread over two squares and downtown)
  • Benefit concerts by the Christmas Allstars (December 22nd and 23rd; largest Christmas show in the region)
  • Christmas market on the historic market square
  • Exhibition of the nativity scene in St. Anthony's Basilica (December 24th to January 25th)

Economy and Infrastructure


In 2011, 25,233 employees subject to social insurance were registered in Rheine. Agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for 0.2% of this, the manufacturing sector for 21.6%, trade, hospitality, transport and storage for 28.9% and other services for 49.9%. The unemployment rate was in January 2013. According to Employment Agency Rheine at the main site at 5.8%. That corresponded to 3573 people without a job.

The site of the former marshalling yard has been renovated since 2010. The “Rheine R” industrial estate is being built on the site, which is around two kilometers from the center and has its own track, but also houses office space for service providers. Well-known private companies in Rheine are Apetito AG (a manufacturer of frozen products), KTR Kupplstechnik GmbH , the mechanical engineering company Windhoff Bahn- und Anlagentechnik and the Hardy-Schmitz-Group . Furthermore, the head office of VR-Bank Kreis Steinfurt eG is based in the municipality. Besides the city, the largest state employer in 2011 was the Bundeswehr (around 1,600 employees, mainly army pilots). On October 26, 2011, the Federal Ministry of Defense announced that it wanted to reduce the Rheine site to around 120 posts. The transport helicopter regiment 15 and the motor vehicle training center Rheine have been dissolved. This further reduces the importance of the Bundeswehr as an employer for the city in favor of private companies.

In 2011, Rheine and Greven were named “Logistics Location of the Year in North Rhine-Westphalia”. The reason for the award was the high density of jobs in the logistics sector as well as the good transport connections: the industrial area Güterverkehrszentrum Rheine is located in the north of the city with a connection to the A 30, and Rheine has good connections to the rail network and several waterways. Münster / Osnabrück Airport is also not far away.

The city encourages the development of new and sustainable technologies, especially by SMEs . In 1992 the Transfer Center for Adapted Technologies (TaT) was opened. This serves the development and practical implementation of adapted technologies, in 2013 around two dozen companies were based on the site. The TaT is also an exhibition area - numerous buildings were constructed using innovative techniques. A wind turbine, low-energy houses, a rotating solar house and other application examples can be found on site . The TaT partly supplies itself with energy. It maintains a seminar center for advanced training.

Rheine is a member municipality of the Euregio , which supports cross-border projects in the German-Dutch border area.

The Münsterländische Volkszeitung is the local resident in 2013 . The Münstersche Zeitung has not appeared in the city since December 31, 2012. The “Rheiner Anzeiger”, the “Rheiner Report” and the “Wir in Rheine” are published as weekly newspapers. The monthly publication is “plan b - Stadtmagazine”. Since 2011, the internet television broadcaster "ein.tv "has been reporting daily on what's going on in the city. The WDR maintains a correspondent's office that broadcasts a (radio) program for the Steinfurt district and prepares the daily television program “Local Time Münsterland”. The regional radio RST has its editorial office and broadcasting center in Rheine.

In September 2016, the Lingen-based investor Hermann Klaas opened the "Emsgalerie" shopping center in downtown Rhein with a sales area of ​​around 17,000 m² and around 50 different tenants.


Universal schools

Rheine has sixteen primary schools (Annetteschule, Bodelschwinghschule, Canisius primary school, Diesterwegschule, Edith Stein primary school, Johannesschule (Mesum), Franziskusschule (Mesum), Gertrudenschule, Johannesschule, Kardinal-von-Galen-Grundschule, Konradschule, Ludgerusschule, Marienschule ( Hauenhorst), Michaelschule Rheine, Südesch-Grundschule and Paul-Gerhardt-Grundschule), three secondary schools each (Don Bosco secondary school, Elisabeth school and Overberg school) and secondary schools (Elsa Brändström secondary school, Fürstenberg secondary school, evening secondary school Rheine), a comprehensive school ( Euregio-Gesamtschule Rheine) as well as three regular grammar schools ( grammar school Dionysianum , Emsland grammar school and Kopernikus grammar school ) and an evening grammar school (evening grammar school Münster, Rheine location). The municipal high schools and the Euregio comprehensive school run cooperative courses in the upper level. Here the students come together at a school by means of shuttle buses to expand the range of courses. This takes place primarily in the advanced courses. In recent years, considerable investments have been made in new building projects at the schools. The secondary schools in particular have been or are being equipped with canteens . The school offer is completed by a number of special schools for pupils with special needs (Christophorusschule, Grüterschule and Peter-Pan-Schule / formerly Wilhelm-Busch-Schule). The city of Rheine donates the Josef Winckler Prize to the best pupil in secondary schools .

Vocational schools

Professional qualifications can also be obtained at several vocational colleges: Rheine commercial schools, vocational college with business high school in the Steinfurt district, Josef Pieper school / Episcopal vocational college, Rheine vocational college in the Steinfurt district and Middendorf private commercial school.


In Rheine there is a location for the Praxis-Hochschule , a state-recognized , privately owned technical college . The university offers courses in the field of social and health care. The Fernuniversität Hagen has a study center in Rheine.

Other educational institutions

In Rheine there is a center for practical school teacher training in which university graduates are prepared for the profession of teacher.

The Volkshochschule Rheine offers teaching, information and advisory events for general and professional development. In addition, the municipal music school , which has merged with the VHS, offers instrumental lessons in the classical and pop / jazz areas and, with 2500 students, is the largest educational institution in the city. The specialty of the music school is the cooperation with many elementary and secondary schools in the area, e.g. B. (in the form of class music and the elementary school project JeKits ).

health care

The Rheine Clinic has 594 beds in 16 main departments and one occupancy department. Around 27,000 inpatients are treated annually in the Mathias Hospital and Jakobi Hospital. The two clinics are part of the Mathias Foundation , a group of clinics in the Münsterland region. The LWL-Klinikum Lengerich has a branch in Rheine.


Due to the intersection of the Hellweg in front of the Sandforde and the Friesische Straße in the area of ​​the city, Rheine has long been considered an important traffic junction. This was further developed over time, particularly clearly in the 19th century, through the connection of Rheines to the railway network and the construction of various canals in or near the city area.

Road traffic

Rheine is on the federal highway 30 , which connects the A 31 with the A 1 . There are three connection points in the city . Osnabrück and the Netherlands are each about half an hour away by car.

The immediate vicinity is accessed by federal highways 70 (Wesel — Rheine — Emden) and 481 (Rheine — Münster).

Rail transport

railway station

The Rheine station was found during the construction of the Hanoverian Western Railway built. It is also located on the Münster – Rheine railway as well as the partially to completely closed Rheine – Ochtrup and Duisburg – Quakenbrück lines .

It is used in long-distance passenger rail transport

  • from IC line 35 Norddeich Mole – Münster (Westf) –Köln – Koblenz
  • from IC line 77 Amsterdam – Osnabrück – Hanover – Berlin Ostbahnhof

in local rail transport

  • from RE 7 Rhein-Münsterland-Express : Rheine – Münster (Westf) –Hamm (Westf) –Hagen – Wuppertal – Cologne – Neuss – Krefeld
  • from RE 15 Emsland-Express : Münster (Westf) –Rheine – Lingen – Leer – Emden
  • From the RE 60 Ems-Leine-Express : Rheine – Osnabrück – Hanover – Braunschweig
  • from the RB 61 Wiehengebirgs-Bahn : Hengelo – Bad Bentheim – Rheine – Osnabrück – Herford – Bielefeld
  • from the RB 65 Ems-Bahn : Rheine – Münster (Westf)
  • from the RB 68 Emsauen-Bahn : Münster (Westf) –Rheine


There is also the Rheine-Mesum station on the route to Münster, which is mainly served by the RB 65 . There was also a train station in the Rhine district of Rodde on the Rheine – Osnabrück railway line.

The Westphalian tariff (including Verkehrsgemeinschaft Münsterland ) and the NRW tariff apply to all local public transport . In regional trains direction Niedersachsen and up to Hengelo (Netherlands) applicable Lower tariff .

The Rheine freight center with a transshipment facility for combined cargo traffic was built especially for freight traffic . This has a portal crane with a load capacity of 37.5 t, a driving and loading lane each 300 m long, storage areas with energy supply and special storage areas for the transport of dangerous goods and special transports. The loading time per unit is five to ten minutes. The facility is surrounded by a 75 hectare industrial park and is located directly on the A 30.

As a traffic junction, Rheine had its own depot . It became famous in the 1970s, as the last steam locomotives in West Germany were located there until the steam locomotive farewell in 1977 .

Bus transport

In the local road transport , the city is accessed via a city ​​bus system with twelve lines (C1 to C12, star-shaped clockwise). All lines start at the bus meeting point near the train station. There are continuous connections to all parts of the city by linking two line branches. Several regional bus routes to the neighboring cities and communities operate in Rheine.

air traffic

Rheine is around 25 km from Münster / Osnabrück International Airport (EDDG), which can be reached via the B 481 . In Rheine-ash village is located airfield EDXe with a 800-meter-long runway, which is the home of the Aviation Club Eschdorf. In addition, the Army Airfield (ETHE) in the northwestern Rheine-Bentlage was home to the 15th Medium Transport Helicopter Regiment . The Rheine Aero Club is based on this airfield.


The city can be reached by water for transport ships via the Dortmund-Ems Canal ; a junction to the Mittelland Canal is about ten kilometers out of town. The Ems in Rheine is only suitable for light passenger navigation.


A local court ( LG district Münster , OLG district Hamm ) and a labor court have their seat in Rheine . In Bentlage there is a penal institution run by the Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe.

Personalities who were born in Rheine

Politicians and MPs:

  • Carl Timmerman (1828–1904), entrepreneur and member of the Reichstag (center)
  • Wilhelm Möllers (1898–1970), politician (KPD), member of the appointed state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Rembert van Delden (1917–1999), politician (CDU), member of the Bundestag
  • Josef Rudnick (1917–2009), entrepreneur and politician (CDU)
  • Gottfried Köster (1928–2007), educator and politician (CDU), member of the Bundestag
  • Josef Wilp (* 1938), politician (CDU), member of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Elisabeth Veldhues (* 1949), politician (SPD), member of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Gerda Hövel (* 1954), politician (CDU), member of the state parliament in Lower Saxony
  • Wolfgang Koch (* 1956), politician, mayor of the city of Bünde
  • Hildegard Müller (* 1967), politician (CDU), former Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery


  • Anton Führer : History of the City of Rheine. From the oldest times to the present. Edited by Heinrich Büld. 2nd Edition. Eckers, Rheine 1974.
  • Thomas Gießmann, Lothar Kurz: Chronicle of the city of Rheine from the first traces of settlement until today. Altmeppen, Rheine 2002, ISBN 3-9808255-1-5 .
  • Hermann Kaiser: craft and small town. The example of Rheine. 1978 ( full text as PDF ).

Web links

Commons : Rheine  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Population of the municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia on December 31, 2019 - update of the population based on the census of May 9, 2011. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), accessed on June 17, 2020 .  ( Help on this )
  2. https://www.mv-online.de/lokales/rheine/rheine-hat-jetzt-80000-einwohner-304471.html
  3. [1] , accessed on January 1, 2019
  4. ^ Alfred Gottwaldt, Diana Schulle: The "deportations of Jews" from the German Reich 1941–1945: a commented chronology. Marix, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-86539-059-5 , p. 106.
  5. Rheine - The Victims (accessed January 2020)
  6. Jewish communities - Rheine (accessed January 2020)
  7. ^ Rheine Tourist Office: Bombing raids 1944 , accessed on September 20, 2013
  8. MV-Online: Fateful Day for Rheine ( Memento from April 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on September 20, 2013
  9. http://archiv.nationalatlas.de/wp-content/art_pdf/Band5_88-91_archiv.pdf
  10. Film about the bomb explosion in Rheine Westfälische Nachrichten, accessed on September 13, 2019
  11. ↑ The 1978 catastrophe in the film Westfälische Nachrichten, accessed on September 13, 2019
  12. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 317 .
  13. Martin Bünermann, Heinz Köstering: The communities and districts after the municipal territorial reform in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1975, ISBN 3-555-30092-X , p. 90 and 92 .
  14. https://www.mv-online.de/lokales/rheine/rheine-hat-jetzt-80000-einwohner-304471.html
  15. ^ Result of municipal elections Rheine 2014
  16. ^ Result of municipal elections Rheine 2014
  17. ^ Statutes of the European Fairy Tale Society V. of September 26, 2002 ( Memento of March 29, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  18. ^ FFC Heike Rheine gives up: Heimspiel - sports portal for amateur football in the Münsterland. Retrieved February 20, 2017 .
  19. Municipal profile Rheine, city p. 15 ( Memento from November 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 220 kB)
  20. Labor market report, Rheine Employment Agency, January 2013, p. 18  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) (PDF; 1.2 MB)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.arbeitsagentur.de
  21. Information on the Rheine R industrial park ( Memento from February 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  22. Message on the website of the logistics cluster NRW
  23. List of companies based in the TaT.
  24. EUREGIO website.
  25. Video: Emsgalerie shopping arcade opened in Rheine. Retrieved March 28, 2020 .
  26. MV 06.07.2016 Josef Winckler Prize of the City of Rheine: Awarded. Retrieved November 24, 2019 .
  27. ^ Commercial schools in Rheine
  28. https://www.mathias-spital.com/fachkliniken/