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Coordinates: 51°35′6″N 7°9′43″E / 51.58500°N 7.16194°E / 51.58500; 7.16194
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City hall
City hall
Flag of Recklinghausen
Coat of arms of Recklinghausen
Location of Recklinghausen within Recklinghausen district
Recklinghausen (district)North Rhine-WestphaliaDortmundBochumHerneGelsenkirchenEssenWesel (district)BottropUnna (district)Coesfeld (district)Borken (district)GladbeckRecklinghausenDattelnOer-ErkenschwickCastrop-RauxelMarlHertenWaltropHaltern am SeeDorsten
Recklinghausen is located in Germany
Recklinghausen is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 51°35′6″N 7°9′43″E / 51.58500°N 7.16194°E / 51.58500; 7.16194
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionMünster
 • Mayor (2020–25) Christoph Tesche[1] (CDU)
 • Total66.4 km2 (25.6 sq mi)
85 m (279 ft)
 • Total111,734
 • Density1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes02361
Vehicle registrationRE
Websitewww.recklinghausen.de (in German)

Recklinghausen (German pronunciation: [ˌʁɛklɪŋˈhaʊzn̩] ; Westphalian: Riäkelhusen) is the northernmost city in the Ruhr-Area and the capital of the Recklinghausen district. It borders the rural Münsterland and is characterized by large fields and farms in the north and industry in the south. Recklinghausen is the 60th-largest city in Germany and the 22nd-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia.


First mentioned in 1017 as Ricoldinchuson, in 1150 the city was the center of the surrounding Vest Recklinghausen. In 1236, Recklinghausen received town privileges. There is record of Jews in the city as early as 1305.[3] As part of the County of Vest, ownership of Recklinghausen changed several times in the 15th and 16th century, and in 1576, the entire county was pawned to the Elector of Cologne. In 1582–83, again in 1586, and again in 1587, the city was plundered by partisan armies during the Cologne War, a feud over religious parity in Electorate of Cologne and electoral influence in the Holy Roman Empire.

Seventeenth-century Recklinghausen

Recklinghausen was also the site of more than 100 witchcraft trials (1514–1710).[citation needed] The trial activity reached a climax twice: In the time period of 1580/81 and again in 1588/89. The last person to be convicted of witchcraft was Anna Spickermann; after spending 16 months in prison, she was sentenced to death by sword and burned afterward.

c. 1600, the administration of the Vest Recklinghausen was divided into two parts, with the eastern part administered by Recklinghausen. The town of Recklinghausen including the parish of Recklinghausen and the parishes Ahsen, Datteln, Flaesheim, Hamm-Bossendorf, Henrichenburg, Herten, Horneburg, Oer, Suderwich, Waltrop and Westerholt. In 1803-1811 became the capital of a sovereign Principality of the Dukes of Arenberg who retain the title. c. 1815, the Vest was made a Bürgermeisterei, with the town becoming the seat. In 1819, Herten joined the Recklinghausen Bürgermeisterei, and Erkenschwick followed in 1821.

During World War II, in December 1939, the Stalag XX-B prisoner-of-war camp was founded in the city, however, it was relocated after a few days,[4] and from 1941 to 1943, a forced labour camp was operated in the city.[5] As a target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, oil production at Recklinghausen/Forstezung was bombed by the RAF on 15 January 1945; and South Recklinghausen (Recklinghausen Süd) was captured by the US 137th Infantry on 1 April 1945.[6]

Main sights[edit]

Icon museum of Recklinghausen
Official logo of Recklinghausen

Recklinghausen is home to a museum of icons, which includes more than 1,000 Orthodox works from Russia, Greece and the Balkan countries, as well as early Coptic Christian art from Egypt. The icon museum – the largest outside the Orthodox world – was founded in 1956 and reopened after renovation in February 2006 for its 50th anniversary.

The Ruhrfestspielhaus (Ruhr Festival Theatre), whose remodeling in 2001 won the German Architecture Award is home of "Die Liegende Nr 5", a famous sculpture by Henry Moore. At the Lohtor in front of a memorial for the victims of World War I, there is a large sculpture made of more than 30,000 bricks by Per Kirkeby.

Annual events[edit]

Recklinghausen hosts the annual Ruhrfestspiele (Ruhr Festival), a cultural festival with an international reputation. Every year there is a cultural programme with many national and international theatrical productions starting on 1 May. In 2008 the programme included the play Speed the Plow starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum as one of the major productions. The main theatrical stage is the Ruhrfestspielhaus but other theatres in and around Recklinghausen participate.


The two major motorways crossing the area of the city are the A2 and the A43. The city is connected to the larger waterways by the Rhein-Herne-Kanal. Recklinghausen has two railway stations. The Central Station (Recklinghausen Hauptbahnhof), which is served by Intercity and EuroCity services, and the South Station (Recklinghausen Südbahnhof).

There are two Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn lines - S 2 to Dortmund via Herne - Castrop-Rauxel and S 9 to Hagen via Gladbeck - Bottrop - Essen - Velbert - Wuppertal.



The current mayor of Recklinghausen is Christoph Tesche of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The most recent mayoral election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows:

Candidate Party Votes %
Christoph Tesche Christian Democratic Union 26,556 60.8
Andreas Becker Social Democratic Party 7,286 16.7
Thorben Terwort Alliance 90/The Greens 4,031 9.2
Sascha Menkhaus Alternative for Germany 2,264 5.2
Erich Burmeister The Left 1,493 3.4
Claudia Ludwig Independent Citizens Party 1,213 2.8
Irina Oberpichler Die PARTEI 864 2.0
Valid votes 43,707 99.0
Invalid votes 435 1.0
Total 44,142 100.0
Electorate/voter turnout 92,107 47.9
Source: City of Recklinghausen Archived 2020-10-08 at the Wayback Machine

City council[edit]

Results of the 2020 city council election.

The Recklinghausen 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 +/-
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 16,078 37.0 Increase 0.6 21 Increase 2
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 10,924 25.2 Decrease 12.8 14 Decrease 6
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 7,757 17.9 Increase 8.3 10 Increase 5
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 2,861 6.6 New 4 New
The Left (Die Linke) 1,867 4.3 Decrease 1.7 2 Decrease 1
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 1,561 3.6 Increase 0.4 2 ±0
Independent Citizens' Party (UBP) 1,477 3.4 Decrease 3.4 2 Decrease 1
Die PARTEI 614 1.4 New 1 New
Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP) 199 0.5 New 0 New
Party of Holistic Democracy (PHD) 103 0.2 New 0 New
Valid votes 43,441 98.4
Invalid votes 687 1.6
Total 44,128 100.0 56 Increase 4
Electorate/voter turnout 92,107 47.9 Decrease 0.4
Source: City of Recklinghausen Archived 2021-09-23 at the Wayback Machine

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Recklinghausen is twinned with:[7]

Notable people[edit]

Mayors since 1809[edit]

Hauptamtliche Bürgermeister



  1. ^ Wahlergebnisse in NRW Kommunalwahlen 2020, Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, accessed 29 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2022 – Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes auf Basis des Zensus vom 9. Mai 2011" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  3. ^ "The Jewish Community of Recklinghausen". Beit Hatfutsot Open Databases Project. The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot.
  4. ^ Daniluk, Jan (2012). "Wykorzystanie siły roboczej jeńców wojennych w XX Okręgu Wojskowym w latach II wojny światowej (zarys problemu)". Łambinowicki rocznik muzealny (in Polish). 35. Opole: 21.
  5. ^ "Arbeitserziehungslager Recklinghausen". Bundesarchiv.de (in German). Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  6. ^ "The Central Europe Campaign, Page 3 - The 35th Infantry Division in World War Two". www.35thinfdivassoc.com. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften". recklinghausen.de (in German). Recklinghausen. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  8. ^ "Bürgermeister - Stadt Recklinghausen". www.recklinghausen.de. Retrieved 28 December 2017.

External links[edit]