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Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia

Coordinates: 51°33′N 07°13′E / 51.550°N 7.217°E / 51.550; 7.217
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View towards the center of Herne
View towards the center of Herne
Flag of Herne
Coat of arms of Herne
Location of Herne
Herne is located in Germany
Herne is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 51°33′N 07°13′E / 51.550°N 7.217°E / 51.550; 7.217
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionArnsberg
DistrictUrban district
Subdivisions4 districts
 • Lord mayor (2020–25) Frank Dudda[1] (SPD)
 • Total51.41 km2 (19.85 sq mi)
65 m (213 ft)
 • Total157,896
 • Density3,100/km2 (8,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes02323, 02325
Vehicle registrationHER, WAN

Herne (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛʁnə] ) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area directly between the cities of Bochum, and Gelsenkirchen.



Herne (ancient Haranni) was a tiny village until the 19th century. When the mining of coal (and possibly ore) and the production of coke (the fuel processed from the harvested coal) and steel began, the villages of the Ruhr area had an influx of people, mostly from the east of Germany.

Herne is located on the direct axis between Bochum to the south and Recklinghausen to the north, with Münster in the north, Gelsenkirchen to the west, and Castrop-Rauxel and Dortmund to the east. The physical border between Herne and Recklinghausen is the bridge at the Bochumer Strasse across the Rhine–Herne Canal. A little further north of the canal flows the Emscher river, with the former abundance of wild horses that were caught in the Emscher Valley (Emschertal), then sold and/or traded at the yearly horse market at Crange, which later developed into the "Cranger Kirmes".[3] After World War II, Herne was known as "Die Goldene Stadt" ("The Golden City") because of the comparatively limited damage suffered during World War II.[citation needed]

Present-day Herne includes the former settlements of Haranni, originating at the south end of the Bahnhofstrasse and just across the Evangelische Hauptkirche Herne (main Lutheran Church—seems to be called "Kreuzkirche" now) and the crossing of Sodingerstrasse, running to the east at that point, then turning into Wiescherstrasse; formerly independent settlements or villages like Baukau, Börnig, Crange, Horsthausen, Pöppinghausen, Sodingen, and others became the present Herne. These farms bearing these names were probably or possibly found in the 11th and 12th centuries. In 1860, the first of a number of coal mines started operating. In the following thirty years, the population increased twenty-fold. In 1975, Wanne-Eickel, by then a city with over 70,000 inhabitants, was incorporated into Herne, which had a population larger than "Wanne-Eickel" at that point in time.

World War II


Herne was targeted by the Royal Air Force on 4 June 1940, early in World War II, and air raids became daily and nightly occurrences. On one occasion, three high-explosive torpedo-bombs were dropped, severely damaging a number of houses in the Vincke-Strasse (only some of the outer shell had remained) and resulting in the deaths of all the inhabitants.[citation needed] Phosphorus bombs were dropped in several locations and caused fires that lasted for days. The canal was the major mode of transportation for coal and coke from the many coal mines in the area to the factories for iron ore to be processed into steel (Blau-Stahl), and coal was transported along the inter-connecting waterways in all other directions to be used for industrial as well as domestic use. In particular, the bridge across Rhine–Herne Canal, closest to the easternmost double-chambered lock and the wharf on the north shore, was hit and taken out.

The Krupp Treibstoffwerke oil refinery near the local Shamrock, ¾ of the coal mine, was bombed during the oil campaign of World War II.[4]





The current Mayor of Herne is Frank Dudda of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2020. The most recent mayoral election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows:

Candidate Party Votes %
Frank Dudda Social Democratic Party 30,758 63.4
Timon Radicke Christian Democratic Union 8,685 17.9
Pascal Krüger Alliance 90/The Greens 5,014 10.3
Daniel Kleibömer The Left 2,026 4.2
Thomas Bloch Free Democratic Party 2,025 4.2
Valid votes 48,508 98.0
Invalid votes 980 2.0
Total 49,488 100.0
Electorate/voter turnout 119,462 41.4
Source: State Returning Officer

City council

Results of the 2020 city council election

The Herne city council governs the city alongside the Mayor. The most recent city council election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows:

Party Votes % +/- Seats +/-
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 21,560 44.1 Decrease 0.6 28 Decrease 1
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 9,775 20.0 Decrease 5.9 12 Decrease 3
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 7,723 15.8 Increase 6.5 10 Increase 4
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 4,127 8.4 Increase 4.3 5 Increase 3
The Left (Die Linke) 1,980 4.1 Decrease 2.2 3 Decrease 1
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 1,615 3.3 Increase 0.5 2 ±0
Pirate Party Germany (Piraten) 767 1.6 Decrease 1.1 1 Decrease 1
Independent Citizens Herne (UB Herne) 804 1.6 Steady 0.0 1 ±0
Voters' Association Wanne-Herne (WWH) 443 0.9 New 0 New
Independents 49 0.1 0
Valid votes 48,843 98.6
Invalid votes 694 1.4
Total 49, 537 100.0 62 Increase 2
Electorate/voter turnout 119,462 41.5 Decrease 0.7
Source: State Returning Officer

The largest communities of migrants:

 Turkey 10,130
 Poland 2,139
 Romania 1,865
 Syria 1,140
 Greece 1,066
 Italy 792

Notable places


A fair called Cranger Kirmes is held in the city's Crange district every first week of August. This is the second largest-carnival in Germany, with an average of around 4.5 million visitors. Its origins can be traced back to the 15th century, when farmers started trading horses on Saint Lawrence's Day. The horse show and horse equipment sales were arranged at the same place where horses were traded years ago for tradition.

Notable people


Famous Hernians or Wanne-Eickelians include:

Notable business

  • Heitkamp BauHolding, founded 1892, specialized construction work in different construction business areas



Herne is home to several football clubs, including SC Westfalia Herne, DSC Wanne-Eickel and SV Sodingen. Herne-West is a mockery name of the football club Schalke 04, most commonly used by the fans of Borussia Dortmund.

Sister cities


Herne is twinned with:[5]


  1. ^ Wahlergebnisse in NRW Kommunalwahlen 2020, Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, accessed 19 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2023 – Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes auf Basis des Zensus vom 9. Mai 2011" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 20 June 2024.
  3. ^ "Zahlen, Daten, Fakten" (in German). Stadt Herne. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  4. ^ "1937 Establishment of Krupp Treibstoffwerk GmbH". thyssenkrupp. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften". herne.de (in German). Herne. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Rat der Stadt Herne votiert für Partnerstadt mit Luzhou". inherne.net (in German). inHerne. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2021.

Media related to Herne at Wikimedia Commons