Munster, Germany

Münster (map) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It covers an area of 302.89 sq km (116.95 sq mi) and has a population of 280,000 (2011 estimate). The city is the regional administrative center for Münsterland and the cultural center for the Westphalia region. It observes the Central European Time (UTC+1) and in summer the Central European Summer Time (UTC+2).

More on Münster

Münster was established some time in the 8th century when Charlesmagne sent Saint Ludger to Münsterland to evangelize. This led to the creation of a Catholic school and eventually the founding of the Catholic cathedral in 850.

During the Middle Ages, Münster was a member of the Hanseatic League. In 1534, it was the site of the Münster Rebellion, which saw a group of Protestant reformists, called Anabaptists under the leadership of John of Leiden, seizing control of the town and creating a proto-socialist state. In the process, they nationalized all properties, burned all books except the Bible, and laid plans to capture the entire world.

In 1535 Münster was recaptured by besiegers and the following year the leaders of the Anabaptist were tortured and executed. Their corpses were they exhibited in cages, which are still hung from the steeple of St. Lambert’s Church, though the bones have long been removed.

Being one of the industrial towns of the Ruhr area, Münster received heavy bombing during the Second World War. Its Old Town was rebuilt in the 1950’s with some attempt at re-creating the pre-war appearance.

Today Münster is a modern industrial city noted as being particularly cyclist-friendly. The presence of the University of Münster also gives it a student character.

Visiting Münster, Germany

The Münster-Osnabrück Airport (FMO) is the fourth largest international commercial airport in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is served by Air Berlin from

London Stansted. The airport is just 30 minutes from downtown Münster.

If coming by road, take the Autobahn 1 which passed through Münster from north to south or the A43 which reaches the city from the southwest.

Places of Interest in Münster

  1. Dom St. Paulus
    The St. Paul’s Cathedral is the jewel among the historic buildings in Münster.

  2. Drostenhof
    Located in Wolbeck to the southeast of Münster, this is an exquisite Renaissance mansion from the mid-16th century.

  3. Erbdrostenhof
    Charming 18th century mansion with Late-Baroque façade.

  4. Lambertikirche
    The St. Lambert’s Church, first built in 1375, is most famous for the hanging cages that held the bodies of the Anabaptists leaders.

  5. Mühlenhof
    A charming open-air museum by the lovely Lake Aasee exhibiting farm houses and mills in their 17th and 18th century designs.

  6. Museum für Lackkunst
    Museum showcasing lacquerware from all around the world.

  7. Münster Rathaus
    The town hall is a piece of Gothic architecture, destroyed during the Second World War but splendidly rebuilt to the original appearance.

  8. Residenzschloss
    This grand residence is the palace of the Prince-Bishop Maximilian Friedrich. Today it is the main builting of the University of Münster.

  9. Überwasserkirche
    Literally the church above water, this 14th century church, officially known as Liebfrauenkirche (Churh of Our Lady), is an interesting historic building housing a number of important paintings.

  10. Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte
    This is the Westphalian regional museum for fine arts and cultural history. Its treasures include artwork that was rescued from World War II destruction.

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