Around 1 A.D. there were numerous incursions through Westphalen and perhaps even some permanent Roman or Romanized settlements.
The Battle of Teutoburg Forest took place near Osnabrück and some of the tribes who fought at this battle came from the area of Westphalen.
Charlemagne is thought to have spent considerable time in Paderborn and nearby parts.
His Saxon Wars also partly took place in what is thought of as Westphalen today.
Popular legends link his adversary Widukind to places near Detmold, Bielefeld, Lemgo, Osnabrück and other places in Westphalen.
Widukind was buried in Enger, which is also a subject of a legend.
Along with Eastphalia and Engern, Westfalahi was originally a district of the Duchy of Saxony. In 1180 Westphalen was elevated to the rank of a duchy by Emperor Barbarossa.
The Duchy of Westphalia comprised only a small area south of the Lippe River.
Parts of Westphalen came under Brandenburg-Prussian control during the 17th and 18th centuries, but most of it remained divided duchies and other feudal areas of power.

The Peace of Westphalia of 1648 (see left), signed in Münster and Osnabrück, ended the Thirty Years’ War.

The concept of nation-state sovereignty resulting from the treaty became known as “Westphalian sovereignty”.
As a result of the Protestant Reformation, there is no dominant religion in Westphalen.
Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism are on relatively equal footing.
Lutheranism is strong in the eastern and northern parts with numerous free churches.
Münster and especially Paderborn are thought of as Catholic.
Osnabrück is divided almost equally between Catholicism and Protestantism.
After the defeat of the Prussian Army at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 made the Westphalian territories part of the Kingdom of Westphalia, ruled by Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte (see right), from 1807–13. 
It was founded by Napoleon and was a French vassal state.
This state only shared the name with the historical region; it contained only a relatively small part of Westphalen, consisting instead mostly of Hessian and Eastphalian regions.
After the Congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Prussia (see left) received a large amount of territory in the Westphalian region and created the province of Westphalen in 1815.
The northernmost portions of the former kingdom, including the town of Osnabrück, had become part of the states of Hanover and Oldenburg.
Münster is one of the five Regierungsbezirke of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, located in the north of the state, and named after the city of Münster.
It includes the area which in medieval times was known as the Dreingau.
Regierungsbezirk Münster covers mostly the rural lands of the Münsterland which is famous for its castles, e.g. Castle Nordkirchen and Castle Ahaus.
The region offers more the 100 castles, all linked up by the bike path 100 Schlösser Route.
The history of the Regierungsbezirk dates back to 1815, when it was one of the original 25 Regierungsbezirke created as a subdivision of the provinces of Prussia.

The city of Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region.
It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland.
The city is best known as the location of the Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation, as the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years’ War in 1648.
Münster gained the status of a Großstadt with more than 100,000 inhabitants in 1915.
Currently there are around 270,000 people living in the city, with about 48,500 students, only some of whom are recorded in the official population statistics as having their primary residence in Münster.
In the Middle Ages Münster was a leading member of the Hanseatic League.
In 1534, the Anabaptists led by John of Leiden, took power in the Münster Rebellion and founded a democratic proto-socialistic state.
They claimed all property, burned all books except the Bible, and called it the “New Jerusalem”.
John of Leiden believed he would lead the elect from Münster to capture the entire world and purify it of evil with the sword in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ and the beginning of the Millenium, however, the town was recaptured in 1535; the Anabaptists were tortured to death, their corpses were exhibited in cages, which can still be seen hanging on the Tower of St. Lambert’s steeple.
Part of the signing of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 was held in Münster.
This ended the Thirty Years’ War.
It also guaranteed the future of the prince-bishop and the diocese; the area was to be exclusively Roman Catholic.

Palace of the Prince-Bishops of Münster

The last outstanding palace of the German baroque period is created according to plans by Johann Conrad Schlaun.
In 1780 the University of Münster (today called “Westphalian Wilhelms-University”) was established, now a major European centre for excellence in education and research with large faculties in the arts, humanities, theology, sciences, business and law.
Currently there are about 40,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled.

In 1802 Münster was conquered by Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars.

It became the capital of the Prussian province of Westphalia.
A century later in 1899 the city’s harbour started operations when the city was linked to the Dortmund-Ems Canal.
In the Second World war about 91% of the Old City and 63% of the entire city was destroyed by Allied air raids (see left).
In the 1950s the Old City was rebuilt to match its pre-war state, though many of the surrounding buildings were replaced with cheaper modern structures.
It was also for several decades a garrison town for the British forces stationed in West Germany.

One of the most significant citizens of  was Annette von Droste-Hülshoff
Anna Elizabeth von Droste-Hülshoff, known Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (January 10, 1797 – May 25, 1848), was a 19th century German author, and one of the most important German poets.
She was born at the family castle called Burg Hülshoff (now a part of Havixbeck) inside the Prince-Bishopric of Münster into an aristocratic, Catholic family of Westphalia.
She was educated by private tutors and began to write as a child.
Her earliest poems are derivative and conventional but in 1820 her work began to show marked originality when she embarked on a cycle of religious poems, ‘Das geistliche Jahr’ (The Spiritual Year).
In the history of German poetry she is an isolated and independent figure.
She shares with the Romantic writers an awareness of the power of man’s imagination and a keen sense of his exposed and precarious position in a world of danger and mystery, but her poetry has none of the vagueness of emotional mood and the sweetness of sound that characterize theirs.
Nor did she intend that it should. Indifferent to contemporary taste, she pursued her own ideals in her own way. ‘Ich mag und will jetzt nicht berühmt werden,’ she once wrote, ‘aber nach hundert Jahre möcht ich gelesen werden.’
And indeed she was ahead of her time.
Her keen sensory perception and her precise recording of phenomena make her appear as a herald of the new realistic literature of the latter part of the century.
With her unusual combination of imaginative vision with close accurate observation and depiction of reality, she thus stands at the point of transition between Romanticism and Realism and does not belong wholly to either.

Im Grase

Süße Ruh’, süßer Taumel im Gras,
Von des Krautes Arome umhaucht,
Tiefe Flut, tief tief trunkne Flut,
Wenn die Wolk’ am Azure verraucht,
Wenn aufs müde, schwimmende Haupt
Süßes Lachen gaukelt herab,
Liebe Stimme säuselt und träuft
Wie die Lindenblüt’ auf ein Grab.
Wenn im Busen die Toten dann,
Jede Leiche sich streckt und regt,
Leise, leise den Odem zieht,
Die geschloßne Wimper bewegt,
Tote Lieb’, tote Lust, tote Zeit,
All die Schätze, im Schutt verwühlt,
Sich berühren mit schüchternem Klang
Gleich den Glöckchen, vom Winde umspielt.
Stunden, flüchtger ihr als der Kuß
Eines Strahls auf den trauernden See,
Als des ziehenden Vogels Lied,
Das mir nieder perlt aus der Höh,
Als des schillernden Käfers Blitz,
Wenn den Sonnenpfad er durcheilt,
Als der heiße Druck einer Hand,
Die zum letzten Male verweilt.
Dennoch, Himmel, immer mir nur
Dieses Eine mir: für das Lied
Jedes freien Vogels im Blau
Eine Seele, die mit ihm zieht,
Nur für jeden kärglichen Strahl
Meinen farbig schillernden Saum,
Jeder warmen Hand meinen Druck,
Und für jedes Glück meinen Traum.

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff

Sweet repose, sweet tumbling in the grass.
Umhaucht of the herb aromas,
Flood depth, deep, deep intoxicating tide
If the smoky cloud on Azure
When tired again shimmering main
Sweet smile flutters down
Love drips and voice whispers
As the lime blossoms
As the Lindenblüt on a grave.
When in the bosom of the dead, then,
Each body stretches and stimulates
Quietly, quietly takes the breath.
The closed eyelid moves
Dead lovers, dead like, dead time,
All the treasures tousled in the rubble,
Touch with a shy tone
Like the bell, the wind plays around
Hours, her volatile than the kiss
A beam on the grieving Lake
As the drawing bird song,
That trickles down to me from the heights.
As a flash of iridescent beetle,
When the sun path, he hurries through,
When the pressure of a hot hand
The dwelling for the last time.
Nevertheless, the sky, I always just
This one myself, for the song
Each bird in the free blue
A soul that goes with them,
For each beam meager
My iridescent hem.
Each warm hand in mine pressure
And for every happiness my dream.
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff

Münster – Arial View

Prinzipalmarkt – Münster

The Prinzipalmarkt is the historic principal marketplace of Münster, Germany.
It is shaped by historic buildings with picturesque pediments attached to one another.
It extends from St. Lambert’s Church (Lambertikirche) in the north to the Town House Tower (Stadthausturm) in the south and is home to luxurious shops and cafés.
The centre of the eastern side, opposite the south-eastern entrance to Domplatz, (Cathedral Square) is dominated by the Historical City Hall of Münster.
Having been largely destroyed during World War II, the Prinzipalmarkt was reconstructed from 1947 to 1958, most buildings true to the original.

Lambertikirche – Münster

St Lambert’s Church was built in 1375, with three cages hanging from its tower above the clock face.
In 1535 these cages were used to display the corpses of Jan van Leiden and other leaders of the Münster Rebellion, who promoted polygamy and renunciation of all property.

St. Paulus Dom – Münster

St.-Paulus-Dom (Münster Cathedral) is a cathedral in the German city of Münster.
It is the city’s main church and one of its most important historical monuments, as well as the centre of the Diocese of Münster since that diocese’s foundation in 805.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, built in the 13th century in a mixture of late Romanesque and early Gothic styles.
It has been completely restored after World War II damage.
It includes an astronomical clock of 1540, adorned with hand-painted zodiac symbols, which traces the movement of the planets, and plays a Glockenspiel tune every noon.
St. Paulus Dom – Münster

St. Paulus Dom – Münster

Städtische Bühnen Münster
The house of the Städtische Bühnen Münster was the first new theatre building in post-war Germany.
For its design, the Deilmann/von Hausen/Rave/Ruhnau team of architects had incorporated the garden front of the old Romberger Hof into the new building.
On completion in 1956, the complex created from various interleaved structures was celebrated by the professional world as being a “liberating clap of thunder” for theatre architecture.

Städtische Bühnen Münster

Städtische Bühnen Münster