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Munster Travel Guide, Germany

Münster Travel Guide: General Information

Münster, popularly known as Germany’s bicycle capital, is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia situated along the River Aa. The city is a blend of the medieval and modern, surrounded by a beautiful countryside filled with settlements and farmyards or the so called "Münster Land". Even though Münster may not be as popular a tourist destination as Bremen or Hamburg, it still attracts tourists from around Germany and the Netherlands. With a population of just under 300,000, Münster gained the status of a Großstadt or ‘major city’. The city has a large student population and is the seat of eight universities and a number of institutes dedicated to science and technology. Münster is the cultural center of the Westphalia region and capital of the government administrative region or Regierungsbezirk, which includes the cities of Bottrop and Gelsenkirchen. The constitutional court and high court of North Rhine-Westphalia is also located in the city. Founded in 793 by Frisian Ludger, Münster was the center of the Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation period. The Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War in 1648 was also recorded here.

Here is a short Münster travel guide that will let you know the city better.

Münster Travel Guide: Key Facts

Area: 302.89 km2 (116.95 sq mi)

Population: 272, 971 (as per December 2007 census)

Monetary Unit: Euro

Official Language: German

International Dialing code: +49 (0)251

Münster Travel Guide: Architectural Heritage

Münster has a rich architectural heritage influenced by the baroque movement. Many of the city’s constructions are still portray baroque architecture. A perfect example is the Erbdrostenhof on the Salzstrasse, a pedestrian zone constructed by Johann Conrad Schlaun between 1753 and 1757. This is regarded as a masterpiece of baroque architecture. A few other masterpieces by the baroque architect are the palace or Münster Schloss, the Clemenskirche, and the Rüschhaus. Even former US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger was overwhelmed at the city’s historical heritage.

Although urban development started back in the 18th century, the city has proudly retained its rich historical and cultural heritage. After Münster was reduced to rubble during World War II, the city was carefully reconstructed based on its historical model. The old Die Stadtbücherei Münster (Münster Public Library) is one of Germany’s leading libraries that attracts over a million visitors each year. Then the imposing Domplatz (cathedral square) and the Hindenburgplatz in front of the historical palace are sites you must not miss. To witness early Gothic and late Romanesque architecture, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral that was restored to its original glory after it was damaged during World War II. The cathedral has an astronomical clock, adorned with hand-painted zodiac symbols. You can hear a Glockenspiel tune at midday.

Münster Travel Guide: Economy and Infrastructure

The service industry forms a major part of Münster's economy. With a rich historical heritage, the city attracts a number of tourists to its historical sites. It is an important center for trade in the Westphalian region. Cross-border cooperation with the Netherlands has given an impetus for further economic development. The city is also a member of several European city networks such as EUROCITIES and ICLEI. Like the cities of Hamburg and Bremen, Münster has entered into many global city partnerships over the years. Citizens participate actively in urban development but at the same time take care of their historical and cultural past.

Münster Travel Guide: Culture

Here the Münster travel guide takes you close to the cultural richness of the town.

Münster has a versatile culture with a mix of theatre, music, literature, and visual arts. The numerous sculptures around the city have attracted artists from around the world. The Skulptur Projekte is one of the most important contemporary exhibitions held in the country. The Academy of Arts produces many artists whose works are displayed across numerous galleries and studios around the city or at the Exhibition Hall for Contemporary Art Münster. The Pablo Picasso Graphic Museum and the LWL State Museum of Art and Cultural History is evidence of the city’s domestic and international blend of ancient and modern art.

Münster’s theatre circle is a buzz with a variety of stage, music, dance, and children’s theatre especially at the Städtische Bühnen. The city has a strong following of classical music with the Municipal Symphonic Orchestra in the forefront. Apart from Variety Shows and Broadway, Experimental theatre has a large following in the city. The International JazzFestival Münster draws some of the world’s most renowned jazz musicians from across the globe that includes Chic Corea, John McLaughlin, and Don Cherry.

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Munster is one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit. This rank is based on our travelers' reviews. Please also take the time to rank Munster or write a Munster destination review or travel tip to share your opinion.Munster is one of the "must visit" tourist destinations in the world. This rank is based on what other travelers shared about their experiences in Munster.
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