About Dortmund

History of Dortmund


Dortmund "Alter Markt" - 1872

Dortmund a city of European importance

The history of Dortmund goes back over 1,100 years. The city experienced two significant periods during which she was of European importance. Nearly 600,000 people live in the vibrant metropolis of over 1100 - year history. The Hanseatic city offers attractive living space with a variety of residential, cultural and recreational opportunities.

Dortmund is located in the center of Europe, is an important junction and has an excellent infrastructure - and is still a green city: almost half of the city is covered by green and parks. The city experienced two significant periods during which she was of European importance: once in the 14th Century as a suburb of the Westphalian Hanseatic cities at the height of the Hanseatic League and the second time the 19th and 20th Century. As a center of industrialization in the Ruhr during the early days and then up to the steel crisis an important location of the mining industry.

City of coal, iron and beer

As a city of coal, iron and beer Dortmund had occurred in 1875 in the period of industrialization. Influenced by various economic ups and downs, the city had in the late 19th Century again lost some locational advantages of the mid-century against the competition on the Rhine, Westphalia and the Ruhr. In the years of prosperity, especially in the period from 1893 to 1913, Dortmund was hit by tumultuous growth. This era of urban planning was formative.


Dortmund "Alter Markt" - 1909
Picture (Licence/photographer/designer): Stadtarchiv Dortmund

1895 with over 110 000 inhabitants at the threshold of a major city, to 1898/99 renovated under the direction of the City Commissioner of City Planning Frederick Kullrich who had already planned the Old Port Authority, the oldest stone town hall in Germany and remodeled, and fulfills the Old Town House.

Before World War II, the Ruhr region had become one of the largest industrial conurbations in Europe and Dortmund had become one of the most important locations of the industrial economy of the German Reich. Coal production in 1913 reached 12.2 million tons in the collieries of Dortmund, 3.4 million tons of coke - scales that were subsequently not exceeded significantly.

Iron Industry

The level of production of the iron industry just before World War II describes a quote: “In the north of the city, the iron and steel plant Hoesch whose production was enough to meet with their proceeds the entire rye Import Germany, in the south the Hörder Verein, its production of finished products at the same time every day filled about 10 long trains of 50 cars and in the west the Dortmunder Union brewery, whose annual production ranged from rails for producing a railroad route from the North Cape to Constantinople.”

Between 1870 and 1913, the beer output had increased from 140 000 to 1.7 million hectoliters - Dortmund was one of the largest beer producers in the world. Cultural life experienced a huge boom. In addition to the municipal theater ensured many smaller theaters and cabarets that Dortmund was the center of attraction of the surrounding area.


Dortmund "Alter Markt" - 2012
Picture (Licence/photographer/designer): GPM

The new Dortmund

The vision of the new Dortmund includes a comprehensive, future-oriented transformation. At the end of the process is a city that provides demand-driven employment and training opportunities. A new Dortmund, which is committed to education, skills, to improve quality of life and ensures the commitment to democracy, equality, justice and efficiency of municipal administration.