Soest (district)

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Kreis Soest
North rhine w so.png
Country  Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Adm. region Arnsberg
Capital Soest
 • Total 1,327.47 km2 (512.54 sq mi)
Population (31 December 2012)[1]
 • Total 296,029
 • Density 220/km2 (580/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Vehicle registration SO

Soest (German: [ˈzoːst] ( )) is a Kreis (district) in the middle of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Warendorf, Gütersloh, Paderborn, Hochsauerland, Märkischer Kreis, Unna and the district-free city Hamm.


In medieval times Soest was the biggest city of Westphalia; however, after it liberated itself from the bishops of Cologne in the Soester Fehde in 1449 it slowly lost importance, only to gain it again when in 1816 the new Prussian government created the district. In 1975 the district was merged with the neighboring district of Lippstadt and parts of the former district of Arnsberg.


Geographically it covers the northern part of the Sauerland hills and the lower land north of it, the 'Hellweg'. The rather flat land and very fertile loess soil have made it an agricultural area from ancient times. The main rivers through the district are the Ruhr, the Lippe and the Möhne, which is dammed to form the Möhne Reservoir. The highest elevation is in the area of Warstein with 580m, while the lowest is the Lippe valley with 65m.

Coat of arms[edit]

Coat of arms The coat of arms show two symbols from the bishops of Cologne, who possessed Soest until 1449. In left half is the key of Saint Peter, the patron of Cologne; in the right is the black cross of Cologne. After the district was merged with Lippstadt the rose, symbol of the Lippe area, was added on top of the cross. This new version of the coat of arms was granted in 1976.

Towns and municipalities[edit]

Towns Municipalities
  1. Erwitte
  2. Geseke
  3. Lippstadt
  4. Rüthen
  5. Soest
  6. Warstein
  7. Werl
  1. Anröchte
  2. Bad Sassendorf
  3. Ense
  4. Lippetal
  5. Möhnesee
  6. Welver
  7. Wickede


External links[edit]

Media related to Kreis Soest at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°35′N 8°15′E / 51.58°N 8.25°E / 51.58; 8.25