The state of North Rhine Westphalia
Our beautiful city of Cologne is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . We are located in the west of Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) and this federal state is therefore part of a parliamentary republic. The state capital of NRW (North Rhine Westphalia) is Düsseldorf and our beautiful city of Cologne is the city with the most inhabitants in North Rhine Westphalia.
The location of NRW
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia borders on Liège (Belgian province), Limburg, Overijssel and Gelderland (Dutch province), Hesse borders in the southeast, Rhineland Palatinate in the south and in the north or in the northeast then on Lower Saxony.
Residents and area
Around 18 million people currently live on approx. 34,100 m² of space . The trend is rising rapidly, as cities like Cologne and Düsseldorf are growing rapidly and rapidly. More and more people are drawn to these imposing big cities. This makes NRW the most populous country in the Federal Republic. In terms of area, however, it only occupies fourth place. Almost half of the existing major cities are in a very strong, urban area. This means that they are areas that have been transformed into urban agglomerations by people due to urbanization (strong expansion of infrastructure, typical urban architecture and also changes in the social behavior of residents).
The Rhine Ruhr region
The Rhine-Ruhr region is located in the center of North Rhine-Westphalia and sees itself as a "metropolitan region" . Approx. 10 million people live in it and therefore it is one of the largest metropolitan areas (in the top 30) in the whole world.
The well-known Ruhr area
For many people, the term "Ruhr area" is familiar. This northern part of the Rhine Ruhr region is an absolute urban area, which is given its typical character by the cities of Bochum, Duisburg, Essen or Dortmund.
Ore and coal mining led to a rapid economic rise of the entire region in the early 19th century. In addition, there were clearly positive effects from the mining industry and industrialization. This time can certainly be understood as the blooming and wedding of the Ruhr area.
In the 1960s there was a significant change as mining continued to decline. Since then, the area has changed from a mining area to a collection of technology and service industries. This was supported by some subsidized projects, such as the major project "RUHR 2010 - European Capital of Culture".
The economic region in North Rhine-Westphalia can still be characterized by many old key industries, but has changed to a (content-wise) balanced business location. The state of North Rhine Westphalia even achieves the highest economic performance in all of Germany! We contribute 22 percent to Germany's gross domestic product!
Originated by the British occupying powers
In 1946, the British occupying powers formed the state of North Rhine-Westphalia from the Prussian Rhine province (North Rhine) and the Prussian province of Westphalia. This was then expanded in 1947 when the occupiers added to the Lippe region. It then belonged to the Federal Republic of Germany since 1949.
The old seat of government
The city of Bonn was honored to have been the official seat of government of the Federal Republic of Germany until 1999. Then it was relocated to Berlin. For many federal ministries, however, the “Berlin / Bonn Law” kept the official seat at the old government seat. The federal city of Bonn still has various government functions, which have just been guaranteed the above-mentioned law. As a negative point, however, we want to mention the numerous movements (air traffic) between Bonn and Berlin, which of course become necessary due to this separation. They are a burden on the state treasury and the environment!
The cultural landscape in NRW
Due to the large area and the merging of several provinces, there are clear differences in the area of culture and customs in North Rhine-Westphalia. Especially the parts of Westphalia and Lippe and of course the Rhineland show great differences in tradition and customs. We from Cologne love the carnival, which you cannot experience in Dortmund in this form!
Education and research
There are many schools, universities and research institutions in NRW. Exactly there are: five administrative colleges, a strong 28 private and church universities, seven state music and art schools, 16 public universities of applied sciences and even 14 public universities! With so much education, research is of course not far and that's why there is: the "German Aerospace Center", the so-called "NRW graduate schools and the Research Center in Jülich near Aachen.
The geography of North Rhine Westphalia
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is in the west of Germany. Other neighboring states include: Rhineland Palatinate, Hesse and Lower Saxony. Adjacent nation states are: the Netherlands and Belgium. From the northeast to the southwest, the extent of North Rhine-Westphalia is approximately 260 kilometers. The northern part of NRW lies in the so-called North German Plain. These include the "Lower Rhine Lowlands" (on both sides of our beloved Rhine, which is the largest river in North Rhine-Westphalia and also in Germany) and the so-called "Westphalian Bay" through which the rivers Ruhr, Ems and Lippe flow.
As the lowest point of NRW a point in the northwest is noted and this is approx. 9.2 meters above sea level. Higher points are naturally found in the mountain regions. These include, for example: the Rothaar Mountains in the Sauerland, the Weser Uplands, the Rhenish Slate Mountains and the Bergisches Land. In the Sauerland is the Langenberg, which with its 843.2 meters above sea level is the highest mountain and therefore highest point in North Rhine Westphalia .
The Aplerbecker Mark (located in Dortmund) is the geographic center of the state. As a special point we mention Selfkant because it is not only the westernmost point of NRW, but also of all of Germany!
Due to the different altitude, there are slight differences in temperature and rainfall. (For example the Cologne Bay) So there are annual temperatures with an average that ranges between 5 degrees and 10 degrees (depending on the altitude) and at which there is a range of around 600 millimeters in the lowland plain and up to 1400 millimeters in the low mountain ranges mentioned above.
The history of NRW
As already mentioned above, the occupying power in the form of Great Britain applied the occupation law and founded our beautiful federal state exactly on 23.08.1946 . It was an amalgamation of the Prussian Rhine province of North Rhine and the province of Westphalia, which was also Prussian. This association or action was called "Operation Marriage" at the political level. In the following year 1947 the Land Lippe was incorporated into NRW.
Officially, North Rhine-Westphalia with its territory has directly taken over from the then Free State of Prussia and the State of Lippe. When the present state of North Rhine-Westphalia was founded as a state by the British government, there was no particular identification with a predecessor state. The merging of these previously so different areas led more to a mixture of cultural and intellectual property. The integration of the Ruhr region, with its valuable resources, was particularly important and important for the British government.
The foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany
It was only in 1949 that the rest of the federal states and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia founded what is now the Federal Republic of Germany.
In the post-war period, of course, strength and energy first went into the reconstruction of Germany, which was in ruins after the war. Other problems and tasks were then coal and steel crises and the need to develop from an industrial society into a service society.
The areas were administered by government districts that were responsible for the independent cities. The number of these government districts was reduced from 6 districts to 5 districts because the Aachen administrative district was simply merged with the Cologne district. These area reforms took place between 1966 and 1976.
From 1949 to 1990, the city of Bonn was even the capital of Germany . Until 1999 it was also the seat of government in our Federal Republic of Germany.
The administration and politics
The constitution of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Basic Law of Germany specify the terminology State of the Federal Republic of Germany for NRW. The aforementioned constitution regulates and organizes life in NRW as a democratic, social and republican constitutional state. Ultimately, the legislation only applies to the elected state parliament, which is always elected by the electorate for a period of five years. With this chosen form, there is no direct possibility for citizens or the electorate to influence the laws or political decisions. There is therefore clearly no direct democracy, since the voters deliberately should not or cannot make any decisions.
The state government and thus the political decisions have been responsible for the FDP and the CDU since 2017. You represent the state government.
The executives of the country (public prosecutor, police, city administrations, etc.) are responsible and directed by the responsible prime minister. Armin Laschet from the CDU has been responsible for North Rhine-Westphalia since 2017. The state administration is also disciplinarily assigned to the state government.
The district governments in NRW
All government districts in our state (Arnsberg, Detmold, Münster, Cologne and Düsseldorf) belong to the state administration. The constitutional court for our state NRW manages the state constitutional jurisdiction.
Since North Rhine-Westphalia is even a (limited) state subject to international law, it can conclude its own international law contracts in selected and special areas.
Possibilities to influence federal legislation
The state can even influence federal legislation. This is possible through the Federal Council. Also in decisions of the EU (European Union). Bonn was always important as a political city. That is probably the reason why the city of Bonn is also the seat of various United Nations organizations.
Municipalities and cities in NRW exercise the right of local self-government. This means that they carry out tasks for the state administration that they have received on direct behalf or that have been handed over by the so-called organ lending.
The municipal level of North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into a city region and 30 districts. These circles then contain 374 cities and towns belonging to the district. There are also 22 cities in North Rhine-Westphalia which are circle-free. The following example: the city of Aachen is both part of the urban region of Aachen, just as it is also considered to be a district.
There are around 29 defined cities and 396 municipalities in the state. A large part of the work and responsibility in the field of culture, as well as in the social area of local government, is performed by the Regionalverband Ruhr, the Landesverband Lippe and the two landscape associations in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Government districts and the associated cities and regions
The administrative district of Arnsberg includes the cities: Unna, Soest, Siegen-Wittgenstein, Olpe, Märkischer Kreis, Hochsauerland Kreis, Herne, Hamm, Hagen, Ennepe Ruhr Kreis, Dortmund and Bochum. Almost 3.6 million people live in this district on an area of 8011 square kilometers.
The administrative district of Detmold includes: Paderborn, Minden-Lübbecke, Lippe, Höxter, Herford, Gütersloh and Bielefeld. A little over 2 million people live on an area of 6525 square kilometers.
In the administrative district of Düsseldorf are the regions, cities etc.: Wuppertal, Wesel, Viersen, Solingen, Neuss, the Rhein Kreis, Remscheid, Oberhausen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Mönchengladbach, Mettmann, Krefeld, Kleve, Essen, Düsseldorf and Duisburg. Almost 5.2 million people live there on exactly 5292 square meters.
In our favorite government district Cologne you can find the cities, districts or regions: Rheinisch Bergischer Kreis, Rhein Sieg Kreis, Rhein Erft Kreis, the Oberbergische Kreis, Leverkusen, Cologne, Heinsberg, Euskirchen, Düren, the city of Bonn and Aachen (both as City as well as a city region). Nearly 4.5 million people live in the 7364 square meters of the Cologne region.
The administrative district of Münster consists of: Warendorf, Steinfurt, Recklinghausen, Münster, Gelsenkirchen, Coesfeld, Bottrop and Borken. More than 2.6 million people live here on 6917 square kilometers.
The population and demographics
What are the most populous cities in North Rhine Westphalia? The City of Cologne leads this list . More than a million people live in Cologne. Since the last numbers are from 2018, around 1.1 million people are likely to already live here. The influx is enormous and the number is constantly increasing! In second place is the state capital Düsseldorf with around 620,000 inhabitants (number from 2018). This city is also attracting more and more people and probably around 630,000 citizens currently live there. The city of Dortmund followed with around 590,000 inhabitants, the city of Essen with around 590,000 and then followed by Duisburg with around 500,000 inhabitants. In the Ruhr area, however, the number of inhabitants is declining slightly because the influx does not compensate for the move away and the death rate.
Around 18 million people lived in North Rhine-Westphalia at the end of 2018! We are the state with the most inhabitants in all of Germany! The distribution of the inhabitants is not even, but rather very oriented towards the big cities. These bundle the people (for example, an incredible 10 million people live in the Rhine Ruhr Metropolitan Region!) And far fewer people live in large (sometimes rural) areas, such as the Münsterland.
The number of residents has increased almost constantly between 1930 and 2018. There was only a slight decline or stagnation between 2006 and 2017. In 1930 we started with just over 11 million inhabitants and the number rose steadily to over 18 million in 2006. After that, there was stagnation or a slight decline, which in 2018 has again approached the brand of almost 18 million inhabitants.
The scientists found in 2006 that the proportion of old people (over 65 years old) was almost 20 percent. In contrast, the young people (under 15 years) are only about 15 percent at the same time.
The households in NRW
The number of households was also determined in 2006. This was just over 8.5 million households . On average, a household (statistically) consisted of 2.12 people. Terrifyingly, however, 37 percent of the people lived in single households, which means alone. In 1950, the size of the household was still determined with more than 3 people, which should be due to the typical family structure. It was normal to start a family and then maybe have two children. Logically, the proportion of single households was significantly lower, namely at just under 17 percent.
There was a finding in 2006 that a woman had exactly 1.36 children, which meant the third position in terms of fertility rate in Germany (compared to the other federal states). Of course, there are still clear differences within North Rhine-Westphalia, which is due to the mentality and urbanization. However, we do not want to go into these differences further here.
Life expectancy in these households in the years and in the period 2015 to 2017 was 78.1 years for men and 82.7 years for women. Münster has the highest life expectancy in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is 82.43 years there!
Migration and population groups in NRW
There are many different nationalities in North Rhine-Westphalia. We list the largest groups of foreigners in the right order: Turks with over 500,000 people, followed by Poles with 210,000, 174,000 Syrians, 140,000 Italians, 98,000 Greeks, 72,000 Iraqis, 71,000 Dutch, 65,000 people from Serbia, 60,000 Bulgarians, 55,000 people from Kosovo and around 52,000 people from Russia.
Outlook on population size
Many scientists predict a shrinking population for the state of North Rhine Westphalia. In 2050 this should only be around 16 million. Added to this is the general condition that the proportion of people over 65 will rise to around 30 percent.
The culture and identification of the people
As we have already learned in the upper part of history, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia was "put together" by the decision of the occupying power Great Britain. From three very different parts of the country. Different in culture and mentality. The British were not interested in bringing together certain population groups or suitable cultures at all, but rather to completely embed the Ruhr area with its natural resources. So it was a purely geopolitical consideration that stood in the foreground.
The regions of Lippe, Westphalia and the Rhineland have developed a certain identification as citizens of a federal state over the years. However, the differences and affiliations can still be clearly seen when customs, language and mentality play a role. Think especially of the carnival or other customs. The old sphere of influence of old rulers and the confessional ties that may be connected with it also decides.
The Rhenish-Westphalian internal border (around 285 kilometers long) that runs between the old Prussian provinces can still be recognized as an old cultural border. Tribal borders can thus be traced back to the 8th century. The pronounced regional awareness of the so-called Lipper should also be emphasized, which can be explained by the long independence. The so-called Rhineland mentality, which is associated with joy and cheerfulness, is very classic and also known throughout Germany. The Rhinelander as such is, of course, particularly associated with Cologne, but develops his sphere of activity along the entire Rhine. Because the then Rhine province included, for example, sections of Rhineland-Palatinate or even parts or peripheral areas of East Belgium!
In this Prussian state, however, many territories only added themselves reluctantly. The County of Mark, the Minden-Ravenberg area or the Duchy of Kleve felt that they belonged to this Prussian alliance only to a limited extent. The spiritual territories such as the Prince-Bishop of Münster or Paderborn or Kurköln also had a major intellectual problem with it. These forced "must-Prussians" did not feel they belonged to the Prussian state. This was particularly evident in the history of the “Cologne Confusion”, where the then Archbishop of Cologne, Clemens August Droste zu Vischering, was arrested! The situation was so intense that the Cologne and the Düsseldorf team got together as part of a “Cologne Düsseldorf Brotherhood Festival”. And that must mean something! In 1843 they fought together for Rhineland law.
The Rhinelanders then felt more and more together because the Prussians brought the individual territories together to form the so-called Rhine Province. In addition, of course, the location on the Rhine and the existing Rhine romanticism promoted the enhanced development and formation of a common identity.
Other population groups
Especially in the highly industrialized areas of North Rhine-Westphalia, there was a large influx of foreign people . Due to the amount of work, this was "imported" and received as a guest worker. So many Turks, Ruhr Poles or other late repatriates came to our state to work there. There was also an influx of displaced Germans from other federal states, who developed a completely new mix of culture and identity with the guest workers . You lived and worked together and created a wonderful new world. The writer Carl Zuckmayer already recognized the situation and its effects in 1946 when he metaphorically referred to the Rhine as the “mill of Europe”.
Due to the regional cultivation of culture and also due to the separation of the two landscape associations, a common identity within the state only very slowly emerges. Overall, however, the Ruhr area and the Ostwestfalen Lippe region are developing a cross-regional identity beyond the old borders. In addition, the organization of large joint events, the use of state symbols and national emblems, but also the awarding of joint awards leads to a strong awareness of the country. There are also representative state buildings and also the influence of institutions such as the WDR (West German radio), which bring people together more and more. After more than 60 years in NRW, a common identity is developing.
The influence of the Prime Minister
Each prime minister tried in his own way to change and influence the identity and citizens of NRW. For example, Franz Meyers created the North Rhine-Westphalia Art Collection and Messrs Johannes Rau or Jürgen Rüttgers tried to reach the residents with a slogan ("We in NRW" or "We in the West"). So far, all actions have not triggered a particularly strong affiliation or feeling. You probably live in NRW, but the Rhinelander doesn't necessarily feel the same as a resident in Dortmund.
Are we tolerant and open-minded in NRW?
In 2015, a study called "Mitte Study" was carried out. In this context, the approval or rejection of xenophobic statements was examined. It was found that almost 80 percent of the residents in NRW rejected a statement that was xenophobic. This is only logical since we in North Rhine-Westphalia always enjoyed living and working with friendly and committed foreigners. With this result, we were in first place in the national comparison and even significantly above the national average of 75.7 percent.
The religious communities
The Christian religious communities have the largest share in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Roman Catholic Christians account for the largest part with around 37.5 percent , followed by the Protestant citizens, who come to around 23.8 percent. There are also around 1.1 percent Protestant Free Churches and around 1.5 percent Orthodox. The Muslims are one of the largest non-Christian population groups with approximately 8 percent. They mostly belong to the Sunni religious movement of Islam. The Jews have a rather smaller share of the religious groups with approx. 0.1 percent. There are around 28 percent of non-believers in our state. The churches (regardless of their religion) are given an important social task by the state constitution and therefore they are expressly given the right to freely practice their religion.
Existing languages and dialects
Of course, we also speak German with us. However, there are a large number of other languages and dialects within the country's borders, which are available due to the merging of the provinces and regions. You can still clearly see the cultural differences. So-called Franconian dialects are mainly found in Rhenish regions and the Westphalian regiolects are naturally found in Lippe or Westphalia. The origins in the Westphalian dialects also come from Low German.
Of course, the migration at the time also had an impact on the local language. For example, the so-called Ruhr German originated in the Ruhr area.
Important people from NRW
We are proud that many important people and personalities were born in North Rhine-Westphalia or have spent a large part of their lives there. I would therefore particularly like to emphasize: Ludwig van Beethoven, Alfred Krupp, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, Heinrich Heine, Annette von Droste Hülshoff, Heinrich Böll, Joseph Beuys, Friedrich Engels, Otto III. or Michael Schumacher and Peter Paul Rubens. Politics is also full of important people who have their roots in North Rhine Westphalia! These include: Gerhard Schröder, Konrad Adenauer, Frank Walter Steinmeier, Walter Scheel, Johannes Rau, Heinrich Lübke or Gustav Heinemann.
Research and education
Education comes before research and that's why we want to briefly point out the school career in NRW. The North Rhine-Westphalian school system requires a standard period of four years in primary school. Only then are the children able to attend a so-called secondary school. These types of school include: secondary school, comprehensive school, junior high school, secondary school or high school. The highest degree that can be achieved on a school type in our federal state is the “general higher education entrance qualification”, which can be achieved by completing the upper secondary school level. The students then receive or take the central high school diploma.
Once you have obtained the general university entrance qualification, you can study at one of the universities.
At the beginning (in the 50s) there were very few universities with us. For example, there was the University of Cologne , the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Bonn or the Westphalian Wilhelms University in the city of Münster. But many universities were founded in the 1960s. Nowadays we have almost a million students (in 2015 there were more than 700,000!). The “hot spots” of the world of study include the universities in: Aachen, Münster, Cologne, Hagen, Duisburg / Essen and in Bochum. In a nationwide comparison, these locations even rank among the ten largest university locations in Germany! In NRW, however, we not only have numerous educational institutions, but also an increasing number of research institutions and other institutions such as: the NRW Graduate Schools, the Research Center Jülich (one of the largest within Europe!), The Frauenhofer Gesellschaft and the associated institutions, the Max Planck Society and associated institutions and the Helmholtz Association.
Transport and the economy
The European economic area is important for the world economy and of course the state of North Rhine-Westphalia because of its very central location in it, very important! We see ourselves because of the numerous economically seen metropolitan areas and also because of the high population density as an important hub for all important economic processes in Europe. The high concentration of companies and also of the population naturally led to the very necessary expansion of the transport network. How high the load and movement in our region can be seen from the fact that, for example, almost every third traffic jam report in the Federal Republic of Germany concerned the state of North Rhine-Westphalia!
Traffic is not only routed through the streets, but also through a very large rail network . The largest container transshipment station in Germany is also in NRW (it is the Cologne Eifeltor station) and we also have the largest marshalling yard in all of Germany in freight transport (it is the Hagen-Vorhalle station)!
In addition to road and rail traffic, the waterway in NRW is also of great importance. The port of Duisburg is an important point of contact for German inland navigation and the Rhine is of course the most important inland waterway in our state. Not to be left unmentioned, we have various canals such as: the Dortmund-Ems Canal, the Datteln-Hamm Canal, the Wesel-Datteln Canal or the Rhein Herne Canal.
Now that we have examined everything on land and water, let's take a look at the air! Because here too we have a lot to offer in North Rhine Westphalia. Even internationally important and relevant are the airports Cologne / Bonn (the third largest German airport in terms of freight volume) and Düsseldorf Airport (in terms of passenger numbers of the third largest German airport). There are also many other beautiful airports such as: the airport in Paderborn / Lippstadt, in Münster / Osnabrück, on the Lower Rhine or in Dortmund.
As already described above in the text, the Ruhr area in particular and thus a large part of our country defined itself as coal and steel country. In the years 1950 to 1968, a large part of the population probably described this themselves and was also confirmed by outsiders. A real self-image had emerged. This economic area, which was shaped by the mining industry and defined itself in the areas around the Rhine and Ruhr, was one of the most important regions for industry in Europe! With its economic performance, the Rhine-Ruhr region contributed a large and decisive part to the well-known economic miracle of Germany after the Second World War.
This absolute specialization and monostructure of the entire region also made it particularly vulnerable to crises affecting this economic sector. The mining industry naturally suffered immensely (and therefore the whole Ruhr area) when there were coal or steel crises. This then led to problems, particularly in the 1960s, and to a transformation and change in the mining industry. Companies that specialized in production, namely mechanical engineering, experienced a great boom during this time. The metal and iron processing industries (think of the blade city of Solingen, for example) also developed well.
Due to the ongoing changes in society and the economic requirements, the Ruhr area in particular had to change significantly. So a structural change was absolutely necessary and the area developed from the sole coal supplier or steel producer to a knowledge society or a service sector.
Although there were strong structural problems and the necessary changes, North Rhine-Westphalia was again able to develop into a top performer in a nationwide comparison of the gross domestic product. For example, in 2014 NRW was the strongest federal state of all of Germany with a gross domestic product of 624.7 billion euros! It was even found to be one of the most important business locations in the world in international comparison. The people in North Rhine-Westphalia contributed a full 21.5 percent (2014) to Germany's total economic output! We can be proud of that. We achieve this despite a relatively high unemployment rate of 6.4 percent (as of 11/2019).
The largest and top-selling companies in North Rhine-Westphalia include: Bayer AG (chemicals and pharmaceuticals), Deutsche BP, mechanical and plant engineering ThyssenKrupp, Deutsche Post AG, RWE (suppliers), REWE Group (retail), the Aldi Nord und Süd company name, Deutsche Telekom, Metro Goup, and the utility E.ON.
In Germany-wide comparison, we are in first place with an investment of approx. 135 billion euros (foreign direct investments)!
Culture and leisure
Both subject areas are particularly important to us in NRW and therefore they are even anchored in the state constitution and set as a state goal! This is an important statement. This is also the reason why there are so many institutions and cultural or artistic projects that are funded by the federal state. These include, for example: the Goethe Institute, the art and exhibition hall of the FRG, the well-known cultural foundation of the federal states, the foundation for Prussian cultural property (even at federal level) or the art foundation NRW and the film and media foundation for North Rhine-Westphalia. We see ourselves as an artistic region and are proud of over 30,000 artists who live here with us!
This cultural and artistic scene is very different and "colorful" due to the strong cultural difference within NRW. That is what makes them so interesting and important. On the one hand, the Ruhr area with its industrial culture has a strong influence, on the other hand, the area in the Rhineland with its numerous art events. The largest art fair in Germany, for example, takes place in Cologne and is known worldwide as " Art Cologne "! In addition to the city of Cologne (also with the "Cologne fine art", for example), the city of Düsseldorf is particularly known for its attractiveness in the field of art. Let us think of the "Art Düsseldorf", the "Kunstausstellung NRW Düsseldorf" or the "Kunstakademie Düsseldorf". In general, the Düsseldorf and Cologne locations are important locations for art collections or the art trade.
You can find, for example: the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, the Gemäldegalerie of the Wallraff Richartz Museum & Fondation Corboud, the NRW Forum or the Museum Ludwig im Rheinland. The art and exhibition hall of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kunstmuseum Bonn can be found in the city of Bonn. But also in Münster it is worth mentioning the LWL Museum for Art and Culture.
In addition to the painterly art, the art of acting in the Rhineland is particularly important, so it is not surprising that large and important theater stages of Germany can be found here. We speak here, for example, of the “Schauspiel Köln” or the State Theater of North Rhine-Westphalia, which can be found in the form of the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. We also want to perform the "Deutsche Oper am Rhein", the Tonhalle Düsseldorf or the famous "Kölner Philharmonie".
The most famous tourist attraction in North Rhine-Westphalia is certainly our beloved Cologne Cathedral . It attracts more than six million visitors to the city every year and ensures full coffers in the area of gastronomy and the hotel and restaurant industry. The Cologne Cathedral was officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also other buildings in North Rhine-Westphalia: Corvey Abbey, Aachen Cathedral, the Zollverein Coal Mine and Coking Plant, Augustusburg Castle or Falkenlust Castle. The colliery is of course an important industrial monument for the cities on the Rhine and Ruhr. In addition to the historic buildings, the state also has numerous, striking, state buildings. These are, for example: the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, the government district of Düsseldorf with its state government or the government buildings in Bonn. As a well-known architect, Mr. Ludwig Mies von der Rohe may be mentioned here.
Nature and its types
Since the federal state is located in the central European natural area, the appearances and impressions in nature are of course typical of this. Species that are often found in wooded low mountain landscapes are particularly worth mentioning here. Unfortunately, the high density of settlements and increasing industrialization has meant that the existing and very diverse flora and fauna is being pushed back more and more and is threatened. The high use of land by strong agriculture and forestry contributes its own negative contribution. For this reason, a large number of environmental protection measures were launched, which could improve the water and air quality. This also included the protection and preservation of the forest regions in North Rhine-Westphalia. These are important not only for the conservation of nature in general, but also for the local recreation of the people. Around 25 percent of NRW are forested and play an important role for the fauna and flora. For example, NRW has an incredible share of fourteen nature parks in Germany! These parks include, for example, the Teuteburger Wald / Eggengebirge nature park (this is the largest of all) or the Eifel National Park, which has been an official national park since 2004.
The so important tourism
In the calendar year 2012 we had an incredible 20 million guests in NRW, who made an overnight stay about 45.4 million times. The Teutoburg Forest and the associated travel area had the largest share (with 6.5 million overnight stays). This is followed by the travel area "Cologne / Rhine Erft district" and the Sauerland with 6.2 million overnight stays. Of the approximately 9.2 million foreign guests, our most important are our Dutch neighbors, at around 25.2 percent. The following places then come: Great Britain (with almost 8 percent), Belgium (with 6.3 percent), the USA (with 5.2 percent) and the French (with about 4.1 percent).
The culinary diversity
Of course, the division of culture and customs can also be found in the kitchen due to the strong regional differences. Especially in the difference between North Rhine-Westphalian cuisine and Westphalian-Lippe cuisine. The Lower Rhine and the Bergisches Land also belong to the so-called Rhenish cuisine. What are the striking differences here? Well, the Lippische and the Westphalian cuisine are above all a very hearty cuisine that is reminiscent of northern German cuisine. Examples include: a pumpernickel with a Westphalian ham. In addition, many other bread, meat and sausage specialties play a very important role. What is the difference to the Rhenish cuisine? Well, Rhenish cuisine is finally down-to-earth, but differs from Westphalian cuisine in its sophistication. The most well-known example of Rhenish cuisine is the so-called "Rhenish Sauerbraten", which is prepared with a lot of love and sophistication. Its meat is particularly tender and easily digestible. In addition, our country still offers many wine regions and numerous beers. You can very well call it a beer country because it produces a lot of beers. The Pils, the Altbier or of course the popular Kölsch, which is brewed here in Cologne, is mentioned here as an example.
Sport is very important
Football is certainly the most popular sport in North Rhine-Westphalia. He celebrated great successes and therefore explains the high number of clubs and stadiums. The people in the Ruhr area, with their miners, were almost traditionally a football fan!
You can also recognize love and success in football by the large number of football clubs from North Rhine Westphalia in the first Bundesliga.
Well-known clubs are for example: 1. FC Köln (first Bundesliga champion), SC Paderborn, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Fortuna Dusseldorf, FC Schalke 04 , Borussia Mönchengladbach or of course Borussia Dortmund. The largest football stadium in Germany can also be found there in Dortmund: it is the Westphalia Stadium, which offers an incredible 80,000 seats and thus guarantees an incredible football feeling. In addition to the main sport of soccer, the sports: basketball, ice hockey or handball are very popular and successful.
The holidays in NRW
In addition to the public holidays that apply throughout Germany (Christmas, German Unity Day, Pentecost, Ascension Day, Labor Day, Easter, Good Friday and New Year) there are two other public holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia: All Saints' Day and Corpus Christi.
What awards are being given?
The federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia honors special achievements and also awards them The following awards are possible: Flag of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the State Rescue Medal, the Civil Protection Medal, the Straelen Translation Prize of the Art Foundation in NRW, the Children's Book Prize of NRW, the Sports Plaque of the State, the Rhenish Westphalian State Prize for Monument Conservation, the Graphics Prize, the Promotional Award for Young Artists in NRW, the State Prize and the Order of Merit. In addition to these official prizes and awards given by the state, there are also prizes that are awarded by purely private (and also very well-known) organizations. These are also based in NRW and are, for example: the Charlemagne Prize or the "International Peace of Westphalia Prize".
Your trip to NRW
If you want to take a look at the state, you should definitely stop in the beautiful city of Cologne on the Rhine. There we have three central apartments that we would be happy to provide you with. Just send us an email and you will receive a free, non-binding offer! Welcome to the Apartments cologne !