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For other uses, see Dortmund (disambiguation).
Dortmund Panorama.jpg
NRW, Dortmund, Friedensplatz - Altes Stadthaus 04.jpg Dortmund Oper Kaufmann.jpg
Konzerthaus Dortmud Detail.jpg Dortmunder U mit Animation.jpg
Signal Iduna Park new sign.jpg
From top: Skyline including the Reinoldikirche,
Town Hall, Theater Dortmund,
Concert Hall, Dortmund U-Tower,
Westfalenstadion (Borussia Dortmund)
Dortmund skyline
Flag of Dortmund
Coat of arms of Dortmund
Coat of arms
Dortmund  is located in Germany
Coordinates: 51°31′N 7°28′E / 51.517°N 7.467°E / 51.517; 7.467Coordinates: 51°31′N 7°28′E / 51.517°N 7.467°E / 51.517; 7.467
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Arnsberg
District Urban
Founded 882
 • Lord Mayor Ullrich Sierau (SPD)
 • Total 280.4 km2 (108.3 sq mi)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 575,944
 • Density 2,100/km2 (5,300/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 44001-44388
Dialling codes 0231, 02304
Vehicle registration DO

Dortmund ([ˈdɔɐ̯tmʊnt]; Low German: Düörpm [ˈdyːœɐ̯pm̩]; Latin: Tremonia) is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is in the middle part of the state and is considered to be the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of the region. Its population of 575,944 (2013) makes it the 8th largest city in Germany. In addition Dortmund is the largest city by area and population in the Ruhr Area, an urban area with some 5.1 million (2011) inhabitants which is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany.

Founded around 882,[2] Dortmund became an Imperial Free City. Throughout the 13th to 14th centuries, it was the "chief city" of the Rhine, Westphalia, the Netherlands Circle of the Hanseatic League. After the Thirty Years' War the city was destroyed and decreased in significance until the onset of industrialization. The city then became one of Germany's most important coal, steel and beer centers. After the structural change, Dortmund became a leader in logistics, information, communication, microsystems technology and was classified as a Node city in the Innovation Cities Index published by 2thinknow and is Winner of the German Sustainability Award.[3] [3]

Dortmund is home to many cultural and educational institutions, including the Technical University of Dortmund and Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, International School of Management and other educational, cultural and administrative facilities with over 49,000 students, many museums, Museum Ostwall, Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, German Football Museum and theaters like the Konzerthaus, the opera house of Dortmund. The city 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 is home of Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund, commonly known as Borussia Dortmund, one of the most successful clubs in German football history.[4][5]


Kupferstich Matthäus Merians der Stadt Dortmund von 1647

The first time Dortmund was mentioned in official documents was around 882[2] as Throtmanni.[6] After it was destroyed by a fire, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) had the town rebuilt in 1152 and resided there (among other places) for two years. It became an Imperial Free City. Throughout the 13th to 14th centuries, it was the "chief city" of the Rhine, Westphalia, the Netherlands Circle of the Hanseatic League.

City hall: Statue of the hanseatic league

After 1320, the city appeared in writing as "Dorpmunde". The 1661 earthquake collapsed the Reinoldikirche. It was part of Grand Duchy of Berg between 1806 and 1813 before passing to Prussian rule. Within the Prussian Province of Westphalia, Dortmund was a district seat within Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg until 1875, after which it was an urban district within the region. During the industrialisation of Prussia, Dortmund became a major centre for coal and steel.

In 1920, Dortmund was one of the centres for resistance to the Kapp Putsch - a right military coup launched against the Social Democratic-led government. Radical workers formed a Red Army who fought the freikorps units involved in the coup.

Under Nazi Germany, the Old synagogue was destroyed in 1938. Also, the Aplerbeck Hospital in Dortmund transferred mentally and/or physically disabled patients for euthanasia at the Hadamar mental hospital as part of the Action T4 (an additional 229 children were killed in the "Children's Specialist Department", which was transferred from Marburg in 1941). Dortmund bombing targets of the Oil Campaign of World War II included Hoesch-Westfalenhütte AG, the "Hoesch-Benzin GmbH" synthetic oil plant, and the Zeche Hansa;[7] and bombing destroyed about 66% of the Dortmund homes[8] and about 98% of the inner city area. The code word Dortmund was radioed to initiate the 1941 Operation Barbarossa campaign against the Soviet Union.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Dortmund in April 1945. The US 95th Infantry Division, attacked the city on 12 April 1945 against a spirited German defense. The division, assisted by close air support, advanced through the ruins in urban combat and completed its capture on 13 April 1945.[9]

Post-war, buildings such as the Reinoldikirche and Marienkirche (churches) were restored/rebuilt, and extensive parks and gardens were laid out. The LWL-Industriemuseum began in 1969,[10] and the city subsequently became a centre for hi-tech industry.

On 3 November 2013, more than 20,000 people were evacuated after a 4,000-pound bomb left over from World War II was found. German authorities safely defused the huge bomb without incident. The bomb was found after analyzing old aerial photographs while searching for unexploded bombs dropped by Allied aircraft over Germany's industrial Ruhr region.[11]



Historically speaking, Dortmund is a part of Westphalia. Today it is a part of the European Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, which is situated in the Bundesland North Rhine-Westphalia. Even if the region is named after the river Ruhr the main river in Dortmund is the Emscher. Dortmund is an independent city within the boundaries of the district government of Arnsberg.

City districts[edit]

Municipalities and neighbouring communities

Dortmund comprises sixtytwo boroughs which in turn are grouped into twelve suburban districts (called Stadtbezirke) often named after the most important boroughs. Dortmund consists of twelve municipalities, three of which cover the area of the inner city (Innenstadt-West, Innenstadt-Nord, Innenstadt-Ost) and nine districts in the surrounding area (Eving, Scharnhorst, Brackel, Aplerbeck, Hörde, Hombruch, Lütgendortmund, Huckarde, Mengede). Each Stadtbezirk is assigned a Roman numeral and has a local body of nineteen members with limited authority. Most of the boroughs were originally independent municipalities but were gradually annexed from 1905 to 1975. This long-lasting process of annexation has led to a strong identification of the population with "their" boroughs or districts and to a rare peculiarity: The borough of Hörde, located in the south of Dortmund, and which was not annexed until 1928, has its own city coat of arms.


Dortmund is situated in the temperate climate zone. Winters are comparatively mild, summers rather cool. The average annual temperature lies at approximately 9 to 10 °C (48 to 50 °F), the total average annual amount of precipitation lies at approximately 800 mm (31 in). Precipitation evenly falls throughout the year; steady rain (with some snow), prevails in the wintertime, isolated showers dominate the summer season. Dortmund features characteristics of densely populated areas as for example the occurrence of urban heat islands is typical.

Climate data for Dortmund
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4
Average low °C (°F) −1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 65
Average rainy days 19 17 14 16 14 14 17 16 15 17 19 19 197
Source: Wetter Kontor [12]


Largest groups of foreign residents[13]
Nationality Population (2014)
 Turkey 22,919
 Poland 8,821
 Romania 4,109
 Greece 3,951
 Italy 3,228
 Morocco 3,106
 Ukraine 2,657
 Bulgaria 2,471
 Spain 2,422
 Russia 1,898
Population Development since 1400

Dortmund's population grew rapidly in times of 19th century industrialisation when coal mining and steel processing started. For the first time in 1904 more than 100,000 people lived in Dortmund. Not taking war years into account population figures had constantly risen to 657,804 in 1965. Subsequently, population figures have fallen to approximately 580,000 in 2011; projections forecast a further decline to 550,000 inhabitants by 2030.[14] Contrary to those projections population figures have been slightly rising in the previous years which is due to net migration gains. Younger people (18 to 25-year old) in particular come to settle in Dortmund mainly because of its universities or other education-related activities.[15]

Data of the EU-wide 2011 census revealed massive inaccuracies with regard to German population figures. Consequently, respective figures have been corrected, which resulted in a statistical "loss" of 9,000 inhabitants in Dortmund.[16] As of 2012, Dortmund had a population of 571,403 of whom about 177,000 (~30%) were of non-German origin.[15] Number of minorities (1st and 2nd generation) in Dortmund by nationaliy per 31 December 2014[17]


Dortmund city hall at Freedom Square)

Dortmund is one of nineteen independent district-free cities (kreisfreie Städte) in North Rhine-Westphalia, which means that it does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity, in this case it is not part of a Landkreis'

Dortmund is called the Herzkammer der SPD (heart ventricle social-democratic) and are dominated by them. Since World War II, the SPD has been the biggest party on the town council (German: Stadtrat) - except from 1999 to 2004. Since the 2012 local election, there have been 8 parties and electors' groups on the town council (86 seats; 2009: 96 seats): Since May 2010, the lord mayor of Dortmund has been Ullrich Sierau (SPD). He works with changing majorities in the local council. Actual composition of the local council:

SPD CDU GRÜNE FDP/Bürgerliste DIE LINKE. Non-inscrit Total
2012 38 23 15 4 3 3 86

International relations[edit]

Dortmund have a large number of international relations and partnerships.twinned with:[18]


Wilo headquarters in Dortmund

Dortmund has historically been an industrial area.

Companies that are headquartered in Dortmund include Signal Iduna, Thyssenkrupp Uhde Gmbh and Wilo. Dortmund is now home to a number of medium-sized information technology companies,[21] many linked to the local university TechnologieZentrumDortmund program.[22] The city works closely with research institutes, private universities, and companies to collaborate on the commercialisation of science initiatives.[23]

In 2009, Dortmund was classified as a Node city in the Innovation Cities Index published by 2thinknow.[3]


Dortmund central train station

Dortmund also serves as a major European and German crossroads for the Autobahnsystem. The Ruhrschnellweg follows old Hanseatic trade routes to connect the city with the other metropolises of the Ruhr Area. Connections to more distant parts of Germany are maintained by Autobahn routes A1 and A2, which traverse the north and east city limits and meet at the Kamener Kreuz interchange northeast of Dortmund. In combination with the Autobahn A45 to the west these form the Dortmund Beltway (Dortmunder Autobahnring).

The central train station (Dortmund Hauptbahnhof) is the third largest long distance traffic junction in Germany.

Dortmund Airport is a medium-sized, but fast growing airport 13 km (8.1 mi) east of the city centre at the city limit to Holzwickede.[24] The closest intercontinental airport is Düsseldorf International Airport.

Dortmund Harbour (Hafen) is the largest canal harbour in Europe and the 11th fluvial harbour in Germany.

For public transportation, the city has an extensive Stadtbahn and bus system. In April 2008, the newly constructed east-west underground light rail line was opened, completing the underground service in the city centre and replacing the last trams on the surface.[25]

The H-Bahn at Dortmund University of Technology is a hanging monorail built specifically to shuttle passengers between the university's two campuses,[26] which are now also flanked by research laboratories and other high-tech corporations and startups. A nearly identical monorail system transfers passengers at Düsseldorf Airport.[27]

Main sights[edit]

Dortmund with RWE-Tower and churches of Reinoldi, Petri and Marien on the right

Dortmund's city centre offers a picture full of contrasts. Historic buildings like Altes Stadthaus or the Krügerpassage rub shoulders with post-war architecture like Gesundheitshaus and concrete constructions with Romanesque churches like the Reinoldikirche and the Marienkirche. The inner city of Dortmund was completely destroyed during World War II. The reconstruction of the city followed the style of the 1950s, while respecting the old layout and naming of the streets. The downtown of Dortmund still retains the outline of the medieval city. A ring road marks the former city wall, and the Westen-/Ostenhellweg, part of a medieval salt trading route, is still the major (pedestrian) street bisecting the city centre.

Thus, the city today is characterized by simple and modest post-war buildings, with a few interspersed pre-war buildings which were reconstructed due to their historical importance. Some buildings of the "Wiederaufbauzeit" (era of reconstruction), for example the opera house are nowadays regarded as classics of modern architecture.[citation needed]

Shopping Streets[edit]

The "Westenhellweg", is a popular shopping destination and with nearly 13,000 visitors per hour it was Germany's most frequented shopping street in 2013.[28] Some of the most reputed shops, department stores, and labels have their stores here. It is a pedestrian-only area and is bordered by the Reinoldikirche in the east and U-Tower in the west. The Westenhellweg has among one the highest rents for retail and office space in North Rhine-Westphalia.


85 percent of the shops are retail chains such as H&M, Saturn, Esprit, Zara or NewYorker. In 2009 a new shopping mall named Thier-Galerie opened there with nearly 100 stores and chains like Hollister. Three more shopping malls occupy the Thier-Galerie, Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt, as well as large fashion retail clothing stores from Peek & Cloppenburg and C&A. During the month before Christmas, the extended pedestrian-only zone is host to Dortmund Christmas Market, one of the largest and oldest Christmas markets in Germany. With more than three and a half million visitors of 300 stalls around a gigantic Christmas tree creation that stands 45 metres tall is the Dortmund Christmas Market one of the most visited and popular market in the world.[29]

In close proximity to the Dortmund concert hall lies the "Brückstraßenviertel" quarter - a hub especially for young people. The "Rue de Pommes Frites", which is what the Dortmund citizens have called the Brückstraße for a long time, has turned into a modern, young shopping promenade. Here under 25s can find nearly anything - from a flashy hairstyle via crazy clothes to trendy accessories. If you need to gather some breath after all the shopping, browsing and buying, you can find a cosy space in one of the roughly 130 cafés, restaurants and pubs.

The "Boulevard Kampstraße." For a long time the Kampstraße had a shadowy existence as parallel street to the Westenhellweg and Ostenhellweg - but it has now become a grand boulevard. Additionally, the specialist stores on offer here guarantee an attractive shopping experience. Right next to the Kampstraße is the Kleppingstraße, an expensive shopping street with prestigious shops.

Altes Stadthaus


St.Reinoldi and St.Marien
  • Reinoldikirche, a Protestant church (built in 1233-1450)
  • Petrikirche, a Protestant church (start of construction 1322). It is famous for the huge carved altar (known as "Golden Miracle of Dortmund"), from 1521. It consists of 633 gilt carved oak figures depicting 30 scenes about Easter.
  • Marienkirche, a Protestant church originally built in 1170-1200 but rebuilt after World War II. The altar is from 1420.
  • Propsteikirche St. Johannes Baptist, Monastery of the Dominican Order in the city center (built in 1331-1353)
  • St. Peter, Syburg, the oldest church building in the city limits
  • Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, a Protestant church (start of construction 1911)
  • St.-Margareta Chapel, a Protestant chapel built in 1348


  • Haus Bodelschwingh (13th century), a moated castle
  • Haus Dellwig (13th century), a moated castle partly rebuilt in the 17th century. The façade and the steep tower, and two half-timbered buildings, are original.
  • Haus Rodenberg (13th century), a moated castle
  • Altes Stadthaus, built in 1899 by Friedrich Kullrich
  • Wasserschloss Bodelschwingh
  • Romberg Park Gatehouse (17th century), once a gatehouse to a moated castle. Now it houses an art gallery.
  • Husen Castle, the tower house of a former castle, in the borough of Syburg.

Industrial buildings[edit]

Cultural buildings[edit]

Konzerthaus Dortmund

Other important buildings[edit]

  • Florianturm, (television tower Florian)
  • Westfalenstadion: Football ground of Borussia Dortmund, licensed until 2016 under the name Signal Iduna Park
  • Close to Westfalenstadion are the Westfalenhallen, a large convention centre, the site of several major conventions, trade fairs, ice-skating competitions, concerts and other major events since the 1950s.
  • RWE Tower (100 metre-high skyscraper)


University of Applied Sciences - City Campus

The city is the site of several universities, colleges and academies, which attract about 45,000 students.[17] Among them there are:

  • Technische Universität Dortmund: Technical university founded in 1968. Departments for natural sciences, engineering, economics and humanities.
  • Fachhochschule Dortmund: University of Applied Sciences founded in 1971.
  • FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management, Standort Dortmund: Academy for management, founded in 1993.
  • Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung Nordrhein-Westfalen: Academy for public administration.
  • International School of Management: Private academy focussing on management and economics, founded in 1990.
  • IT-Center Dortmund: Private college founded in 2000.


Dortmund U-Tower (Dortmund U-Tower)

The city has a long tradition of music and theatre. The orchestra was founded in 1887 and is now called Dortmunder Philharmoniker. The first opera house was built in 1904, destroyed in World War II and opened again in 1966 as Opernhaus Dortmund. It is operated by Theater Dortmund together with other locations, including (since 2002) the Konzerthaus Dortmund. The Dortmund U-Tower, which was once a brewery, is now centre of creative industries and the Museum am Ostwall. The city is namesake for the Dortmunder style beer and is home to the Dortmunder Actien Brauerei.


Signal Iduna Park, the home stadium of Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, is the biggest stadium in Germany

Dortmund is home to the sports club Borussia Dortmund, one of the most successful clubs in German football history. Borussia Dortmund are former Bundesliga champions most recently in 2011–2012. Borussia Dortmund was winner of the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup in 1997, as well as the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1966. This made it the first European Cup Winner in Germany. 'Die Borussen' are eight-time German Champions and have won three German Cups. Borussia Dortmund play at Westfalenstadion, currently known as Signal Iduna Park. It was built for the 1974 FIFA World Cup and also hosted some matches of 2006 FIFA World Cup. It is Germany's largest football stadium with a maximum capacity of 81,359 spectators.[30]

Borussia Dortmund also has a women's handball team playing in the first Bundesliga, while Borussia's table tennis team and the SVD 49 Dortmund basketball team play in their respective second national divisions.

Dortmund is the Olympic centre for Westphalia.

The Sparkassen Chess-Meeting has been hosted in Dortmund since 1982.

Besides Dortmund owns an all-weather racecourse called "Galopprennbahn Dortmund".


  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 4 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Wikimedia Commons: First documentary reference to Dortmund-Bövinghausen from 882, contribution-list of the Werden Abbey (near Essen), North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  3. ^ a b c "2thinknow Innovation Cities Global 256 Index". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  4. ^ "Fußball Deutsche Meister seit 1903 Tabelle Liste Statistik Übersicht deutsche Fußballmeister Fussballmeister DFB". Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Alle Sieger des Landesmeister-Cups und der Champions League". 20 May 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Rudolf Kötzschke (Hrsg.): Die Urbare der Abtei Werden a. d. Ruhr (= Publikationen der Gesellschaft für rheinische Geschichtskunde XX: Rheinische Urbare). Bd. 2: A. Die Urbare vom 9.-13. Jahrhundert. Hrsg. von Rudolf Kötzschke, Bonn 1908, Nachdruck Düsseldorf 1978, Bd. 3: B. Lagerbücher, Hebe- und Zinsregister vom 14. bis ins 17. Jahrhundert, Bonn 1908, Nachdruck Düsseldorf 1978, Bd. 4,I: Einleitung und Register. I. Namenregister. Hrsg. von Fritz Körholz, Düsseldorf 1978, Bd. 4,II: Einleitung, Kapitel IV: Die Wirtschaftsverfassung und Verwaltung der Großgrundherrschaft Werden. Sachregister. Hrsg. von Rudolf Kötzschke, Bonn 1958
  7. ^ "Historisches Centrum Hagen : Chronik 1945" (in German). Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  8. ^ A. Schildt, Die Sozialgeschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland bis 1989/90, Munich: Oldenbourg, 2007
  9. ^ Stanton, Shelby, World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939–1946 (Revised Edition, 2006), Stackpole Books, p. 171.
  10. ^ "LWL Industrial Museum". Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  11. ^ "4,000-pound, World War II bomb forces mass evacuation in Germany". CBS News. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Klima Deutschland, Dortmund - Klimadiagramm, Klimatabelle - WetterKontor". Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  13. ^ "Statistisches Jahrbuch 2013". Stadt Dortmund. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  14. ^ "Kommunale Daten: Demographischer Wandel. Bevölkerungsprognosen" (in German). 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  15. ^ a b "Dortmund 2012: Mehr Einwohner, mehr Studierende, mehr Übernachtungen - Nachrichtenportal - Leben in Dortmund - Stadtportal". 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  16. ^ Dortmund hat weniger Einwohner als angenommen |
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h "List of Twin Towns in the Ruhr District" (PDF). © 2009 Retrieved 2009-10-28. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Leeds - Dortmund partnership". Archived from the original on December 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  20. ^ "Netanya - Twin Cities". Netanya Municipality. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  21. ^ "The new Dortmund - space for change". Stadt Dortmund - City of Dortmund Economic Development Agency. 
  22. ^ "The new Dortmund - space for change". Stadt Dortmund - City of Dortmund Economic Development Agency. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  23. ^ "The new Dortmund - space for change". Stadt Dortmund - City of Dortmund Economic Development Agency. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  24. ^ "Arriving by car - Dortmund Airport". Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  25. ^ "Neuer U-Bahn-Tunnel: keine Straßenbahn mehr in Dortmunder City". Oliver Volmerich. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  26. ^ "H-Bahn - Route map". Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  27. ^ "H-Bahn - Sky-Train Düsseldorf". Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Weihnachtsmärkte: Köln ist Publikumsmagnet : Topnews". Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  30. ^ "Fakten & Kurioses". Signal Induna Park official website. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 

External links[edit]