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Mülheim an der Ruhr
View of Mülheim's centre
View of Mülheim's centre
Flag of Mülheim an der Ruhr
Coat of arms of Mülheim an der Ruhr
Coat of arms
Mülheim an der Ruhr  is located in Germany
Mülheim an der Ruhr
Mülheim an der Ruhr
Coordinates: 51°26′N 06°53′E / 51.433°N 6.883°E / 51.433; 6.883Coordinates: 51°26′N 06°53′E / 51.433°N 6.883°E / 51.433; 6.883
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Düsseldorf
District Urban districts of Germany
 • Lord Mayor Ulrich Scholten (SPD)
 • Total 91.26 km2 (35.24 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
 • Total 169,278
 • Density 1,900/km2 (4,800/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 45468–45481
Dialling codes 0208
Vehicle registration MH
Website www.muelheim-ruhr.de

Mülheim an der Ruhr (German pronunciation: [ˈmyːlhaɪm an deːɐ̯ ʁʊːɐ̯]), also described as "City on the River", is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It is located in the Ruhr Area between Duisburg, Essen, Oberhausen and Ratingen. It is home to many companies, especially in the food industry, such as the Aldi Süd Company, the Harke Group and the Tengelmann Group.

Mülheim received its town charter in 1808, and 100 years later the population exceeded 100,000, making Mülheim officially a city. At the time of the city's 200th anniversary with approximately 170,000 residents, it was counted among the smaller cities of Germany.

Mülheim was the first city in the Ruhr Area to become completely free of coal mines, when its last coal mine "Rosenblumendelle" was closed. The former leather and coal city had successfully made a complete transformation to a diversified economic centre. With more than 50% covered by greenery and forest, the city is regarded as an attractive place to live between Düsseldorf and the rest of the Ruhr. It is the home of two Max Planck Institutes and, since 2009, the technical college Ruhr West. It has a station on the important railway between Dortmund and Duisburg and is served by Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn lines S1 and S3.


Geographical location[edit]

Mülheim an der Ruhr lies at the junction of the hill country of the Lower Bergisches Land, the western Hellweg and the plane of the middle Lower Rhine region.

The bridge Mintarder Ruhrtalbrücke in Mülheim, crosses the Ruhr connecting Düsseldorf and Essen

The Ruhr leaves the foothills of the Rhenish Massif and enters the Lower Rhine Plain at Mulheim. The Ruhr flows through the city from south-east to north-west for a distance of 14 km (9 miles) dividing it into two districts: Broich on its left (western) bank and Kirchenhügel (Church Hill) on its right (east) bank. The central city lies on both banks of the river, about 12 kilometres (7 miles) east of where the Ruhr discharges into the Rhine. Life in Mulheim is intermediate between the more urban, downstream, Düsseldorf and the more rural life of the upstream Ruhr. [2] Mülheim is the only city in the Ruhr region whose centre lies along the Ruhr.


The city lies on the border region, known as the Marl border, of three regions – the Mittelgebirge of the Bergisches Land, the Lower Rhine Plain and the Westphalian Lowland. The areas lying northeast of the Ruhr, with their rich loess-containing soils, belong to the natural region known as West Hellweg.[citation needed]

The northern foothills of the Rhenish Massif are characterised by the distinctive rock formation of the bare mountain slopes through which run coal-bearing layers which formed during the carboniferous period. Here the Ruhr cuts more than 50 meters deep into this Mittelgebirge. This natural erosion partly uncovered these mineable black coal deposits, which enabled their exploration and extraction using adits. However, the coal-rich layers became ever deeper as one progressed northward, which required setting up mines to extract the black coal. In contrast, the broad bayou (dead arm of a river) of Styrum borough is characteristic of the features of the Lower Rhine Plain.[3]


The town Mülheim was first mentioned in a document of the Werden Abbey in 1093. Later it belonged to the Duchy of Berg and became a free city in 1808. After the Congress of Vienna Mülheim was Prussian and from 1822 was a part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Mülheim became the centre of the Ruhr Uprising in 1920.

Middle Ages[edit]

In 1093, the city as “Mulinhem” was first mentioned in the written record. The document in which the name appeared had to do with a donation to the Werden Abbey. In later documents, the name was given as “Molenheim” and “Molnheim,” but the interpretation of the name Mülheim as “home of the mills” indicates that the special characteristic of mills in their settlement was important to the residents in the Middle Ages. Whether this was because of their variety or the particular significance of a single mill is no longer known.

The history of the city of Mülheim is closely connected with two historic centers of settlement, the Schloss Broich on the left side of the Ruhr River, and the Kirchenhügel Church Hill) on its right side. The Schloss Broich was built in the last quarter of the 9th Century (probably in the winter of 883/884) as a fortification to defend against Viking raids at the historic Ruhr ford of the old Hellweg. It became the seat of the Lords of Broich, and successors. The Kirchenhügel on the right side of the Ruhr early became the center of local economic and religious settlement.

By 1200, the Cistercian convent of Saarn was founded in the south of present-day Mülheim's urban area, but of the founders and the first women in the convent, very little is known. Some decades later, in a second start-up phase, Archbishop Engelbert I of Cologne in his political activities as archbishop, Count of Berg, and at the same time regent and tutor of the minor King Henry VII, became aware of the Saarn convent. Engelbert probably saw to the inclusion of the nuns of Saarn in the Cistercian Order, to the introduction of strict enclosure, and also to the extensive privileges of the convent granted by the Pope and the Empire. In the following years, the convent received numerous donations from Mülheim and the neighboring region, as well as from the Lords of Broich. King Henry was - probably at the instigation of Engelbert - honored by the nuns in their “Memorienbuch” as “fundator” (founder).[citation needed]

Early Modern Times[edit]

During the 16th Century, the rulers of Broich, with the help of the Dukes of Berg, eluded claims of overlordship by Electoral Cologne. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, however, the Duchy of Berg succeeded in making its claim of sovereign rights over Broich the law.

During the Spanish-Dutch Eighty Years' War, which also impacted the Lower Rhine and Westphalia, Spanish troops besieged Schloss Broich in 1598, which finally surrendered and was occupied. A few days later, the Spaniards killed Count Wirich of Daun-Falkenstein, the main leader of the Protestants in the Lower Rhine area, at the stately Broich mill.

When the male line of the Counts of Daun-Falkenstein was extinguished in about 1682 with the death of Wilhelm Wirich, the fief passed to the Counts of Leiningen, who managed their Broich lordship through a bailiff.

The Beginning of Industrialization[edit]

The industrialization of Mülheim began in around 1780 with the expansion of the Ruhr River as a navigable waterway. While ship traffic had been possible since the 14th Century on the lower course of the river between Duisburg and Mülheim and in 1716 the first Rhine harbor had been built in Ruhrort, where the Ruhr River empties into the Rhine, the upper Ruhr River only became navigable in 1780 with the completion of the first lock above the center of Mülheim.

With this, the coal trade experienced a massive upturn. Barges could now be towed via towpaths from Hattingen to Duisburg harbor. With the Humboldt mine and the Sellerbeck colliery, there emerged around the same time the first coal mines with economical coal production in the vicinity of Mülheim.

The first factory in Mülheim was founded by Johann Caspar Troost in 1791, and was later upgraded by Troost'schen Textilfabrik's spinning mill in Luisental. In the heyday of the textile industry in the middle of the 19th century, this factory was the largest employer in Mülheim with more than 1200 employees.

In connection with the formation of the Confederation of the Rhine and the establishment of the Grand Duchy of Berg 1806, the lordships of Broich and Styrum were temporarily combined as the Amt Broich-Styrum, to which Mülheim also belonged. Only two years later, on 18 February 1808, Mülheim was declared by the French-inspired government of the Grand Duchy of Berg a municipality and became, according to the French model, the lowest governmental administrative unit. Administratively, the city was included in the newly created Rhine Department.

In 1811, the mechanic Johann Dinnendahl opened a mechanical workshop, and, in 1820, together with his brother, Franz Dinnendahl, he founded an iron smelter for the production of molded machine parts. Later, the Friedrich Wilhelms-Hütte emerged from this.

Following the decisions of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Grand Duchy of Berg was incorporated into the Prussian state. Mülheim was, after 1816, included in the newly formed Kreis Essen, which in turn was in the Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf. On 27 September 1823, Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf was incorporated into Prussia's Rhine Province, and Kreis Essen was merged with Kreis Dinslaken to form the new Kreis Duisburg.

The economic upturn in 1837 enabled the commissioning of a horse-way from the port to the Sellerbeck mine in Dümpten, and 1839 saw the completion of a private equity road from Mülheim's port to Essen-Borbeck.[citation needed]

Between 1842 and 1844, the first iron suspension bridge in Germany, the Kettenbrücke, was built at the Ruhr ford between Broich and Mülheim's city center. Friedrich Wilhelms-Hütte was heavily involved in the construction of this bridge. The bridge had to be replaced by a concrete one in 1909, because increasing traffic was responsible for dangerous vibrations in the structure.[citation needed]

High Points of Industrialization[edit]

Between 1850 and 1890, Mülheim was transformed from a shipping hub to an industrial center. In 1861, the first briquette-making facility in the Ruhr area was built at the Wiesche coal mine. Many of the small coal pits in the Mülheim region amalgamated in order to increase production through engineering improvements. In the early 1850s, there was support for five large pits, but soon coal production in Mülheim was no longer in need of expansion, and in the course of the northward migration of mining, neighboring cities began to overtake Mülheim with respect to company size and funding. The connection of the city to the Bergisch-Märkischen Railway Company's rail network in 1862 and the establishment of the Ruhr Valley Railway (1872-1876) led to a decline of Ruhr River shipping and, in 1890, drove the last of the Ruhr River cargo ships to be used as coal barges.[citation needed]

In this time of economic restructuring, August Thyssen acquired the Heckhoffshof in Mülheim-Styrum in 1871 and founded Thyssen & Co., which was to become the basis of one of the largest German coal and steel companies.[citation needed]

Triggered by the growth of industrialization in the Ruhr, administrative reforms occurred. After the cities of Essen and Duisburg each became a Stadtkreis, in 1873, Mülheim was made the seat of a newly created Landkreis Mülheim an der Ruhr. This Landkreis was divided in 1887, the western part going to Landkreis Ruhrort. In 1904, only 17 years later, Mülheim was, in accordance with a new Rhenish provincial order, made into a Stadtkreis after its population exceeded 40,000 inhabitants.[citation needed]

On the Way to a City[edit]

During the period from 1904 to 1928, Paul Lembke, was Mayor of Mülheim. In 1908 its population exceeded the 100,000-inhabitant mark and was classified as a big city (Großstadt).[citation needed]

During this period, Mülheim shook off her small-town character and was transformed into a modern city by significant improvements in the infrastructure and the economy, as well as significant cultural changes. These included the expansion of the school system, the establishment of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Coal Research (1912), the opening of the town hall (1926), the construction of three Ruhr River bridges, and the expansion of the shipping channel with port facilities (1927). Last, but not least, was the creation of generous recreational areas as a lasting gift to the Mülheim urban area.

National Socialism[edit]

In the last free parliamentary elections on 6 November 1932, the Nazi Party received 28.3% of the vote in Mülheim.[citation needed]

At the end of February 1933, 200 SS, SA, and Stahlhelm members officially became auxiliary policemen of the city, and they arrested many political opponents. In the first local elections after seizing power, the Nazi Party took 45.1% of votes. In the first council decision, Hitler and Hindenburg were awarded honorary citizenship of the city.[citation needed]

On 30 September 1938, the expropriation of the Jewish community in Mülheim began. With a council decision, the synagogue at Viktoriaplatz was forcibly sold for only 56,000 Reichsmarks to the Stadtsparkasse. A few weeks later during Kristallnacht on 10 November, the Jewish house of worship burned down. The fire department acted only to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring structures.

On 24 December 1944, the last serious attack occurred as a result of Germany's Ardennes offensive, which received air support from the Essen-Mülheim Airport. That airport was attacked by 338 British bombers. A total of 74 inhabitants of the city lost their lives, of which 50 were killed by a direct hit on the bunker on Windmühlenstraße.[citation needed]

After the War[edit]

When the war ended, only 88,000 people lived in Mülheim, but by the end of 1945, the number had risen to 125,441, swelled by returning soldiers and refugees. Reconstruction began at first under the expectation of reparations related to the iron and steel industry, in particular. In 1950, the Mannesmann tube works were Western Europe's largest pipe producer again. The number of employees at the plant increased from 6,000 (1950) to over 10,500 (1961), and there was a similar increase for the total number of the employed, which grew from 49,000 to 82,000.[citation needed]

In 1964, the city's long and difficult structural change started. Due to a steel and coal crisis, the last the blast furnaces of the Friedrich Wilhelms-Hütte ceased operation in that year. Mülheim thus became the first city in the Ruhr area with no steel production. Two years later (1966) coal production at the Rosenblumendelle stopped. This meant that Mülheim was the first mining-free Ruhr city. The restructuring process led in 1973 to the opening of the RheinRuhrZentrum on the site of the former Humboldt colliery. Since then, what was at one time Germany's largest indoor shopping center has been a symbol of Mülheim's return to its past tradition as a trading center. In 1974, the City-Center (now called the FORUM City Mülheim) was completed as an inner-city shopping center and Schloßstraße was remodeled as a pedestrian way.[citation needed]


The U18 metro line connects the city with Essen.[4]


Map of Mülheim's boroughs and districts

[citation needed]

# Borough District Area [km²] Population Density [km²]
1 Altstadt I Rechtsruhr-Süd 3,20 19.741 6.169
2 Altstadt II Rechtsruhr-Süd 5,79 24.718 4.269
3 Styrum Rechtsruhr-Nord 4,44 15.605 3.515
4 Dümpten Rechtsruhr-Nord 5,51 19.031 3.454
5 Heißen Rechtsruhr-Süd 8,88 21.537 2.425
6 Menden-Holthausen Rechtsruhr-Süd 17,30 13.778 796
7 Saarn Linksruhr 26,92 23.878 887
8 Broich Linksruhr 8,78 13.941 1.588
9 Speldorf Linksruhr 10,46 18.183 1.738

International relations[edit]

Mülheim is twinned with:[citation needed]

Notable bands[edit]

Notable clubs[edit]

Notable companies[edit]

Notable people[edit]


Panorama of Mülheim – view towards the south

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 18 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Mülheim an der Ruhr official website – The new Mülheim". Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of France.svg (in English, German and French) © 1998–2010 MST Mülheimer Stadtmarketing und Tourismus GmbH. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  3. ^ "Mülheim an der Ruhr official website – Eine kurze Geschichte zur Geologie und zur Geographie des Stadtgebietes". Flag of Germany.svg (in only German) © 1998–2010 MST Mülheimer Stadtmarketing und Tourismus GmbH. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  4. ^ "Mülheim an der Ruhr". Urban Rail. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Miasta Partnerskie Opola" (in Polish). Urzad Miasta Opola. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 

External links[edit]