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Coordinates: 52°17′N 7°26′E / 52.283°N 7.433°E / 52.283; 7.433
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Flag of Rheine
Coat of arms of Rheine
Location of Rheine within Steinfurt district
North Rhine-WestphaliaBorken (district)Coesfeld (district)MünsterWarendorf (district)Lower SaxonyGrevenSaerbeckLienenLengerichLaerAltenbergeHorstmarNordwaldeLadbergenMetelenHörstelWesterkappelnIbbenbürenSteinfurtWettringenNeuenkirchenMettingenLotteHopstenOchtrupRheineReckeTecklenburgEmsdetten
Rheine is located in Germany
Rheine is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 52°17′N 7°26′E / 52.283°N 7.433°E / 52.283; 7.433
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionMünster
 • Mayor (2020–25) Peter Lüttmann[1] (CDU)
 • Total145 km2 (56 sq mi)
35 m (115 ft)
 • Total77,893
 • Density540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes05971, 05975, 05459
Vehicle registrationST, BF, TE

Rheine (German: [ˈʁaɪnə] ) is a city in the district of Steinfurt in Westphalia, Germany. It is the largest city in the district and the location of Rheine Air Base.


Sankt Antonius Basilika

Rheine is on the river Ems, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Münster, 45 kilometres (28 mi) west of Osnabrück and 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of Hengelo (Netherlands).


Catholic church in Hauenhorst

Although the region around the city has been populated since prehistoric times, Rheine was first mentioned in a document signed by Louis the Pious in 838. On 15 August 1327, it received its town charter from Louis II, Bishop of Münster.

The settlement was near to the crossing of two old merchant roads and a ford over the river Ems. Frankish soldiers initially secured this strategic point with a barrack yard. Later a church and more buildings were added to this outpost.

At the end of the Thirty Years' War the city was burned down almost completely. Swedish and Hessian troops besieged imperial soldiers who had entrenched themselves in Rheine. On 20/21 September and 19 October 1647 glowing cannonballs set fire to the city and 365 houses were destroyed. In 1803 the city became the capital of the Sovereign Principality of Rheina-Wolbeck (556 square kilometers) of the House of Looz-Corswarem, later annexed by the Grand Duchy of Berg and the Kingdom of Prussia.

During the industrialization the textile industry prospered. It remained an important economic factor until the second half of the 20th century. Today engineering industries and services form the largest part of economy in Rheine.

On 1 April 1927 about 10,000 inhabitants of the Office Rheine (Bentlage, Wadelheim, Dutum, etc.) were incorporated into the city, the population increased to 29,598, the city area was thus tripled.

In Nazi Germany, Jewish citizens were also deported from Rheine. The allied war opponents bombarded the city repeatedly, especially the railway line and the Dortmund-Ems Canal, which represented tactical goals. The large-scale attacks on 5 October met in 1944, and 21 March 1945, each with more than 200 dead and Injured the city area. The conquest of Rheine took place on 2 April 1945 after some fierce fighting by units of the 157th British Infantry Brigade (5th Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regiment, 7th Battalion of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Regiment).

Rheine was after the war in 1945 in the British occupation zone and 1946 was politically assigned to the newly founded Land of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1949 it joined with the other Lander in the Western Zone to form the Federal Republic of Germany.

On 10 February 1946 Rheine was affected by the highest ever Emshochwasser. Large parts of the city were flooded.

On 15 August 2002 the city celebrated the 675th anniversary of the granting of municipal law.

Division of the city[edit]

There is no standard division of the city, different divisions are used for different purposes. The districts do not form administrative units. A detailed breakdown includes 21 districts.

  • Altenrheine
  • Baarentelgen
  • Bentlage
  • Catenhorn
  • Dorenkamp
  • Dutum
  • Elte
  • Eschendorf
  • Gellendorf
  • Hauenhorst
  • Hörstkamp
  • Innenstadt (city centre)
  • Kanalhafen
  • Mesum
  • Rodde
  • Schleupe
  • Schotthock
  • Stadtberg
  • Südesch
  • Wadelheim
  • Wietesch

The city of Rheine has eleven district advisory councils. For statistical purposes, there is a division into 18 statistical districts. The city is divided into 22 electoral districts.

Eschendorf, Dorenkamp, and Schotthock are the biggest districts by population, and Catenhorn is the smallest.


Peter Lüttmann of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has been the mayor of Rheine since 2015. The most recent mayoral election was held on 13 September 2020. Lüttmann was the sole candidate and was re-elected with 90.6% of votes in favour and 9.4% against, on a turnout of 48.5%.[3]

List of mayors[edit]

  • 1946–1948: Georg Pelster (1897–1963) (CDU)
  • 1948–1954: Albert Biermann (CDU)
  • 1954–1960: Balduin Echelmeyer (CDU)
  • 1960–1961: Franz Rudolf Kümpers (CDU)
  • 1961–1975: Albert Biermann (1903–1994) (CDU)
  • 1975–1994: Ludger Meier (CDU)
  • 1994–1999: Günter Thum (SPD)
  • 1999–2004: Wilhelm Niemann (1949–2012) (CDU)
  • 2004–2015: Angelika Kordfelder (born 1955) (SPD)
  • since 2015: Peter Lüttmann

City council[edit]

The Rheine 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) 13,885 47.2 Increase 1.3 23 Increase 2
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 6,444 21.9 Decrease 8.1 10 Decrease 3
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 4,196 14.3 Increase 4.5 7 Increase 3
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 1,663 5.7 Increase 0.6 3 Increase 1
Independent Voters' Association Rheine (UWG) 1,380 4.7 Decrease 0.3 2 ±0
The Left (Die Linke) 993 3.4 Decrease 0.8 2 ±0
Citizens for Rheine (BfR) 873 3.0 New 1 New
Valid votes 29,434 98.3
Invalid votes 498 1.7
Total 29,932 100.0 48 Increase 4
Electorate/voter turnout 61,695 48.5 Increase 2.1
Source: City of Rheine


Rheine is the western terminus of the Münster-Rheine railway.

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Rheine is twinned with:[4]

Notable people[edit]

Moritz Julius Dobschütz


  1. ^ Wahlergebnisse in NRW Kommunalwahlen 2020, Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, accessed 30 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. ^ "Mayoral election" (in German). City of Rheine. 13 September 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Die Partnerstädte". rheine.de (in German). Rheine. Retrieved 2021-03-15.

External links[edit]