View over Porta Westfalica to the Weser hills
|• Mayor||Stephan Böhme (SPD)|
|• Total||105 km2 (41 sq mi)|
|Elevation||46 - 303 m (−948 ft)|
|• Density||340/km2 (870/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Dialling codes||0571, 05706, 05722, 05731, 05751|
The name "Porta Westfalica" is Latin and means "gate to Westphalia". Coming from the north, the gorge is the entry to the region of Westphalia. Despite the Latin name the term was not coined in Roman times, but by scholars of the 19th century.
The town Porta Westfalica was established in 1973 by merging fifteen villages surrounding the gorge. The centre of the modern town is the former village of Hausberge, which was first mentioned in 1096.
From March 18, 1944 until April 1, 1945 a concentration camp was established in the Barkhausen quarter. From February 1, 1945 until April 1, 1945 a camp was used in the Hausberge quarter. In the Lerbeck quarter also was a concentration camp in use from October 1, 1944 until April 1, 1945. In the Neesen quarter was a location for the forced labour for some of the inmates. All of these camps were subcamps of the Neuengamme concentration camp.
Porta Westfalica is situated on the right bank of the Weser (except for the Barkhausen quarter), near the Porta Westfalica gorge, where the river runs through the passage between the mountain chains of the Wiehen Hills in the west and the Weser Uplands in the east. The gorge appears like a gate to the region Westphalia, which lies to the south of it. It is overlooked by the Jakobsberg and Wittekindsberg hills.
Division of the town
The town of Porta Westfalica consists of 15 districts:
- Hansestadt Demmin (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany)
- Waterloo, Illinois (USA)
- Berlin-Kreuzberg (Berlin, Germany)
Buildings and structures
- Jakobsberg Telecommunication Tower, a TV tower with an observation deck.
- Monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I, above the gorge, near the village Barkhausen
- Wittekindsburg, remains of an Iron Age "oppidum" (3rd - 1st century BC) and Saxon-Frankish fort (8th/9th century AD), in the Wiehen Hills near Barkhausen
- "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 31 July 2013.
- The camp is listed as No. 77 Barkhausen official German list.
- The camp is listed as No. 585 Hausberge a.d. Porta in the official German list.
- The camp is listed as No. 843 Lerbeck/Westfalen in the official German list.
- The location is listed as No. 1024 Neesen, Kreis Minden, in the official German list.
- Official German list of concentration camps Verzeichnis der Konzentrationslager und ihrer Außenkommandos (German)
- Official site (German)