At present, Westphalia, which means western plain, is the contemporary Bundesland or state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The state of Nordrhein-Westfalen was formed in 1945 largely from the Prussian provinces of the Rhine and Westphalia. Until the Napoleonic conquest, the area was divided among numerous small powers. After the Congress Of Vienna ended the Napoleonic Wars, the region was granted to Prussia.
Nordrhein-Westfalen is the most industrialized and populous state in the western part of Germany, and it is situated between the Weser and the Low Countries. This German state consists of the lower Rhineland, which includes the Ruhr region, which is the most industrialized area in the world and is named the Kohlenpott or the coal pot. The state of Nordrhein-Westfalen also encompasses the northern edge of the Rhenish mountains and the plain around Münster. The eastern part of the state is a vast forest region.
The main industries in Nordrhein-Westfalen are mining, mechanical engineering, textiles, glass, chemicals and tourism. The city of Duesseldorf is the present capital of Nordrhein-Westfalen, combining the northern part of the former "Rheinprovinz" and Westphalia. The city of Bochum has coal mines, heavy and chemical industries, and a space exploration institute. Dortmund is Westphalia's largest city, a former Imperial City or Reichsstadt, and was a member of the Hanseatic League, a trading and commercial organization of the Middle Ages designed to foster trade among the European states. Nordrhein-Westfalen also is the site of Bonn and Cologne, the latter of which is famous for its museum of original settlement by the Romans and its beautiful historic cathedral.
- ^ Swyrich, Archive materials
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