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Dortmund is a city in Germany, located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Population: 587,288 (1 January 2004).

The River Ruhr flows to the south of the city and the Datteln-Hamm Canal to the north. The Dortmund-Ems Canal terminates in the large Dortmund Harbour - almost in the heart of the city centre.

Dortmund is the home of the famous football club BV Borussia Dortmund, who plays home matches at the Westfalenstadion , which opened in 1974 and hosted some World Cup matches. It will be one of the cities to host matches in the 2006 World Cup.

Dortmund is known as Westphalia's "green metropolis". Nearly half the municipal territory consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture and green spaces with spacious parks such as Westfalenpark and the Romberg park.The christmas market (weihnachtsmarkt) is one of the largest in Germany, and is host to one of the largest christmas trees in the world (well - not really - it is a pyramid of 1,700 trees made to look like a big one).



Dortmund Airport is 10 km from the city.


The history of Dortmund goes back as far as 880 AD, when the city was first mentioned in official documents as Throtmanni. It was a small village at that time. In 1152 the emperor Barbarossa came to Dortmund and rebuilt the town, which had been destroyed in a fire shortly before. For two years Dortmund was the residence of Barbarossa - a short time, but afterwards it grew to become one of the most powerful towns of the empire. In the 13th century Dortmund joined the Hanseatic League. It attained the status of an Imperial Free City, i.e. it was directly subordinated to the emperor.

During the rule of the Third Reich, Dortmund was home to the Aplerbeck Hospital that "took care" of mentally and/or physically disabled persons. During World War II about two-thirds of homes in Dortmund were destroyed.


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Last updated: 10-24-2005 09:14:53
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