Münster (Low Saxon: Mönster, Dutch: Munster) is a kreisfreie town in the northern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Münster. Münster has 316,403 inhabitants (31 December 2020) on an area of 303.28 km². The city is home to Wilhelms-University, one of the oldest universities in Germany.
The name Münster comes from the Latin monasterium (monastery) and refers to the foundation of the diocese of Münster by Charlemagne in 793. The first bishop was Liudger. During the Middle Ages, Münster was a thriving Hanseatic city.
In 1127, 1197 and 1383 large city fires raged in Münster.
In the year 1382 Münster was struck by the plague that killed thousands of citizens. In 1383 a large part of the city went up in flames in the worst city fire since 1197. The Grosse Prozession is still held every year in Münster in memory of these two years of fate. In 1534 Anabaptists chased away the then bishop Frans van Waldeck. When they took power, word spread that Münster was the New Jerusalem. The city's new leader, Jan Matthijs, only allowed baptized born-again people to settle in Münster; those who were not were expelled. The expelled bishop assembled a new army with support from both Protestants and Catholics and laid siege to the city. In Münster itself, the movement radicalized. Jan van Leiden eventually became the leader and instituted community of property and polygamy. A year later (1535) the city fell, and the bishop's troops cruelly kept house. Jan van Leiden was executed. The cage in which his corpse was exhibited still hangs on the Lambertuskerk.
The Peace of Münster and Osnabrück in 1648 made Münster an independent diocese: the area therefore remained Roman Catholic. Another important part of the Peace of Münster was the ending of the Eighty Years' War and the recognition of the independence of the Netherlands by Spain. In 1672 Münster under the leadership of Bishop Bernhard von Galen invaded the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. In Groningen, the victory over the bishop of Münster (nicknamed "Bommen Berend") is still commemorated every year, with the Gronings Ontzet.
In 1802, Münster was conquered by the Prussians and made the capital of Westphalia. During World War II, the city was largely destroyed by Allied bombing raids, but after the war, Münster was rebuilt in the old style.
On April 7, 2018, a van was attacked on a terrace in the old town. Five people were killed and about thirty injured. There was some uncertainty about the perpetrator for some time, but later it turned out that he committed suicide.
The city is officially divided into six Stadtbezirke, city districts. These each have a district council of 19 members elected by direct suffrage. The six city districts are again subdivided into smaller districts, neighborhoods or, in the outlying area, villages, according to the map above and the list below:
Kernbereich (city center)
Talk to Sandrup, a village 10 km north of the city center, close to Greven
Gelmer, with the hamlet of Bauerschaft Gittrup and the Ortsteile Mariendorf and Sudmühle
Handorf, with Kasewinkel, Kreuzbach, Laer, Dorbaum and Verth to the left of the Ems, and Werse
Mauritz-Ost and Mondstraße, known in its entirety as St. Mauritz
Albachten (west of the Autobahn A1)
Nienberge with Häger, Schonebeck and Uhlenbrock
Roxel with Altenroxel and Oberort (west of the Autobahn A1)
Angel modde with Hofkamp
Grekendorf, a village that was largely created after WWII around British barracks, with more than 11,000 inhabitants in 2017, with the large industrial estate Loddenheide
Wolbeck, which is already 10 km south