With approximately 270,000 inhabitants and 48,000 students, Münster is the largest city in the Münsterland. The Münsterland is a rural region in the western part of Germany, famous for its castles and its distinguished history. As an academic and cultural city, Münster offers a wide variety of museums, theatres and events. The unique historic city centre, Lake Aa and many parks and tree-lined avenues have made Münster very popular as a leisure centre. Consequently, Münster’s Aaseepark was recently awarded the title of "Europe’s Most Beautiful Park 2009”.
Moreover, Houses, churches and squares in the restored old town tell tales from different centuries but at the same time, modern and audacious architecture is artfully integrated within the city. Münster’s port has developed from a goods transshipment centre to a creative quay with cultural highlights like the port festival. Furthermore, Münster is also well known for its numerous traditional and modern gastronomic delights as well as its exciting nightlife.
Taken together, it was no surprise that Münster was awarded the title of "Most Liveable City in the World” by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2004.
In 793, Charlemagne sent out the Frisian Liudger as a missionary to convert the Saxons. Liudger built his church and cloister on the right bank of the Aa, it was the monastery ("monasterium”) from which Münster derives its name. In the Middle Ages, Münster became a leading member of the Hanseatic League. The Baptists founded their empire in Münster, which ultimately turned into a reign of terror and perished in 1535.
The signing of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 at Münster and Osnabrück ended the Thirty Years’ War and Eighty Years’ War and was one of the foundations upon which the modern Europe was built. The peace treaties resulted from a large diplomatic congress, thereby initiating a new system in central Europe. The treaties’ regulations became integral to the constitutional law of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1780, the University of Münster was established. Today, the University of Münster is a major European centre for excellence in education and research with large faculties in the arts, humanities, theology, sciences, business and of course psychology. Furthermore, the numerous faculties and departments of the University of Münster are an integral part of the beautiful cityscape of Münster. As a result, the city of Münster was recently awarded the title of "Germany’s City of Science” for the year 2013.
Münster is likewise famous for its renowned personalities. The Bishop of Münster in the 1940s,Cardinal Clemens August Graf von Galen, for instance, was one of the most prominent critics of the Nazi government. In retaliation for his success, Münster was heavily garrisoned during the Second World War. After the bomb terror of the World War, the citizens of Münster rebuilt their historical old town almost true to detail.
Since 1977, the "state of the art” of art is on display at the International Sculpture Projects, coining Münster’s international renown as a city of art. Every ten years, the "sculpture projects muenster” are held, constantly enriching Münster with many pieces of art within the public space.