Population 18.0 million
North Rhine-Westphalia, usually
shortened to NRW, is the westernmost, the most populous, and the
economically most powerful state of Germany. The state was formed in
1946, by merger of two historic and rather distinct territories of
the Free State of Prussia: the Rhine Province and the Province of
Westphalia. The former Free State of Lippe was joined in 1947.
North Rhine-Westphalia is situated "deep in the West" of Germany and
includes the plains of the Lower Rhine region and parts of the
Central Uplands (Mittelgebirge) up to the gorge of Porta Westfalica.
The state comprises a land area of 34,083 km² (13,158 square miles)
and shares borders with Belgium in the southwest and the Netherlands
in the west and northwest. It has borders with the German states of
Lower Saxony to the north and northeast, Rhineland-Palatinate to the
south and Hesse to the southeast.
North Rhine Westphalia has a population of approximately 18 million
inhabitants, and is centred around the polycentric Rhine-Ruhr
metropolitan region, which includes the formerly industrial Ruhr
region and the Rhenish cities of Bonn, Cologne (Köln) and
Düsseldorf. 30 of the 80 largest cities in Germany are located
within North Rhine-Westphalia. The state's capital is Düsseldorf,
the state's largest city is Cologne.
the most urbanised federal state in Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia
possesses the country's highest density of cultural, educational and
research institutions, the densest transport infrastructure and the
highest number of multinational cooperation. North Rhine-Westphalia
contributes about 22% to Germany's gross domestic product and
accounts for about 28% of the country's foreign direct investments.
Around 11,500 foreign companies from the most important investment
countries control their German or European operations from bases in
North Rhine-Westphalia. This means that almost a quarter of the
foreign companies in Germany are domiciled in North
Rhine-Westphalia. These include many international global players
such as 3M, BP, Ericsson, Ford, LG Electronics, QVC, Sony, Renault,
Toyota, and Vodafone. The companies employ a total of over 582,000
people. Their activities range from pure production to sophisticated
The cosmopolitan cities of the Rhineland have always been centres of
culture, trade and commerce. The Ruhr region, formerly known as the
"land of coal and steel" (Land von Kohle und Stahl), has - since the
1960s - undergone a significant structural change away from coal
mining and steel industry. Many rural parts of Eastern Westphalia,
Bergisches Land and the Lower Rhine ground their economy on "Hidden
Champions" in various sectors.
of North Rhine-Westphalia was established by the British military
administration on 23 August 1946. Originally, it consisted of
Westphalia and the northern parts of the Rhine Province, both
formerly part of Prussia. In 1947, the former state of Lippe was
merged with North Rhine-Westphalia, hence leading to the present
borders of the state. The constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia was
then ratified through a plebiscite.
The most important rivers flowing at least partially through North
Rhine-Westphalia include: the Rhine, the Ruhr, the Ems, the Lippe,
and the Weser. The Rhine is the by far most important river in North
Rhine-Westphalia: it enters the state as Middle Rhine near Bad
Honnef, where still being part of the Mittelrhein wine region. It
changes into the Lower Rhine near Bad Godesberg and leaves North
Rhine-Westphalia near Emmerich at a width of 730 metres. Almost
immediately after entering the Netherlands, the Rhine splits into
The Pader, which flows entirely within the city of Paderborn, is
considered Germany's shortest river.
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city (after Berlin,
Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the German
Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr
Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with
more than ten million inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in
Germany, having been founded by the Ubii in the year 38 BC. The name
is derived from that of the Roman settlement, Colonia Claudia Ara
Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine River.
INFORMATION AND A MY SLIDESHOW OF KÖLN
(Cologne) CLICK HERE
is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia
and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.
Modern Düsseldorf is an important international business and
financial centre and also renowned for its fashion and trade fairs.
Culturally, as a city by the River Rhine, Düsseldorf is a stronghold
for Rhenish carnival celebrations. Every year in July more than 4.5
million people visit the city's Largest Fair on the Rhine funfair.
Even though only the seventh most populous city in Germany by
population within city limits, Düsseldorf is one of the country's
five global cities. The Mercer's 2009 Quality of Living survey of
cities with the highest quality of life ranked Düsseldorf sixth
worldwide and first in Germany.
After Frankfurt and Munich, Düsseldorf International Airport is
Germany's third largest commercial airport, with 18.6 million
passengers annually. The airport offers 180 destinations on 4
continents, and is served by 70 airlines. The airport buildings were
partly destroyed by a devastating fire caused by welding works in
1996, killing 17 people. It was completely rebuilt and the Skytrain
The city is a major hub in the Deutsche Bahn (DB) railway network.
More than 1,000 trains stop in Düsseldorf every day. The central
railway station at Konrad-Adenauer-Platz is located in Düsseldorf's
is located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr
area. Its population of 587,830 (in June 2005) makes it the 8th
largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union.
The Ruhr river flows south of the city, and the small river Emscher
flows through the municipal area. The Dortmund-Ems Canal also
terminates in the Dortmund Port, which is the largest European canal
port, and links Dortmund to the North Sea.
Dortmund is known as Westphalia's "green metropolis." Nearly half
the municipal territory consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture
and green spaces with spacious parks such as Westfalenpark and the
Rombergpark. This contrasts with nearly a hundred years of extensive
coal mining and steel milling within the city limits.
Dortmund Airport is a medium-sized, but quickly growing airport 13
km (8 miles) east of the city centre at the city limit to
Holzwickede. The closest intercontinental airport is Düsseldorf
The central train station (Dortmund Hauptbahnhof) is the third
largest long distance traffic junction in Germany.
Dortmund Harbor (Hafen) is the largest canal harbour in Europe;
almost as large as the harbor on the Rhine River at Duisburg, the
world's largest inland port.
located in the centre of the Ruhr area, one of the largest urban
areas in Europe (see also: megalopolis), comprising 11 independent
cities and 4 districts with some 5.3 million inhabitants. The city
limits of Essen itself are 87 km (54 mi) long and border 10 cities,
5 of them independent and 5 kreisangehörig (i.e., belonging to a
district), with a total population of approximately 1.4 million.
The city extends over 21 km (13 mi) from north to south and 17 km
(11 mi) from west to east, mainly north of the River Ruhr, which
forms the Lake Baldeney reservoir in the boroughs of Fischlaken,
Kupferdreh, Heisingen and Werden. The lake, a popular recreational
area, dates from 1931–1933, when some thousands of unemployed coal
miners dredged it with primitive tools . Generally, large areas
south of the River Ruhr (including the suburbs of Schuir and Kettwig)
are quite green and are often quoted as examples of rural structures
in the otherwise relatively densely populated central Ruhr area.
The lowest point can be found in the northern borough of Karnap at
26.5 m (86.9 ft), the highest point in the borough of Heidhausen
(202.5 m/664 ft). The average elevation is 116 m (381 ft).
is a German city in the western part of the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet)
in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is an independent metropolitan borough
within Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf. With the world's biggest inland
harbor and its proximity to Düsseldorf International Airport,
Duisburg has become an important venue for commerce and steel
Today's city is a result of numerous incorporations of surrounding
towns and smaller cities. It is the fifteenth-largest city in
Germany and the fifth-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia with
495,668 residents as of 31 December 2007. The city is renowned for
its steel industry. The last remaining coal mine closed down in the
Summer of 2009, but Duisburg has never been a coal-mining center to
the same extent as other places in the Ruhr. All blast furnaces in
the Ruhr are now located in Duisburg. 49% of all hot metal and 34.4%
of all pig-iron in Germany is produced here (as of 2000). It also
has a large brewery, the König Brauerei, which makes the König
Pilsener brand. The University of Duisburg-Essen, with 33,000
students, ranks among the 10 largest German universities.
A major logistical center in the Ruhr and location of chemical,
steel and iron industries, Duisburg was a primary target of Allied
bombers. As such, it is considered by some historians to be the
single most heavily bombed German city by the Allies during World
War II, with industrial areas and residential blocks targeted by
Allied incendiary bombs.
On the night of 12–13 June 1941, British bombers dropped a total of
445 tons of bombs in and around Duisburg. As part of the Battle of
the Ruhr, another British raid of 577 bombers destroyed the old city
between 12–13 May 1943 with 1,599 tons of bombs. During the bombing
raids, 96,000 people were made homeless with countless lives lost.
In 1944 the city was again badly damaged as a total of 2,000 tons of
bombs were dropped on 22 May. On 14 October, the tonnage was doubled
to 2,018 tons when Halifax, Lancaster, and Mosquito bombers appeared
over Duisburg as part of Operation Hurricane. This daylight raid was
followed by a night attack; over 24 hours about 9,000 tons of HE and
incendiaries had been dropped on Duisburg. Numerous similar attacks
followed until the end of 1944.
A total of 299 bombing raids had almost completely destroyed the
historic cityscape. 80% of all residential buildings had been
destroyed or partly damaged. Almost the whole of the city had to be
rebuilt, and most historic landmarks had been lost.
This city holds a close place for my wife as her father was born in
Homberg am Rhein and it was annexed to Duisberg several years ago.
On a recent trip to Germany we took the time to locate her father's
birth house which was about a 1/2 block from the Rhein river.
The home was just as a photo from her father baby book except for
some modifications to the rear for a car port.