Bielefeld as seen from Sparrenberg Castle
Bielefeld as seen from Sparrenberg Castle
Coat of arms of Bielefeld
Coat of arms
Districts of Bielefeld: Bielefeld-Mitte (downtown), Brackwede, Dornberg, Gadderbaum, Heepen, Jöllenbeck, Schildesche, Senne, Sennestadt and Stieghorst
Hauptsatzung der Stadt Bielefeld Anlage 1.png
Bielefeld is located in Germany
Bielefeld is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 52°01′16″N 08°32′05″E / 52°01′16″N 08°32′05″E / 52.02111; 8.53472(2018-12-31)[1]
 • City333,786
 • Density1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0521, 05202-05209
Welcome to Bielefeld!

Bielefeld (German pronunciation: [ˈbiːləfɛlt] (About this soundlisten)) is a city in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Region in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With a population of 341,730,[2] it is also the most populous city in the Regierungsbezirk Detmold.

The historical centre of the city is situated north of the Teutoburg Forest line of hills, but modern Bielefeld also incorporates boroughs on the opposite side and on the hills.

Bielefeld is home to a significant number of internationally operating companies, including Dr. Oetker, Gildemeister and Schüco.It has a university and several Fachhochschulen. Bielefeld is also famous for the Bethel Institution, and for the Bielefeld conspiracy, which satirises conspiracy theories by claiming that Bielefeld does not exist. This concept has been used in the town's marketing and alluded to by Chancellor Angela Merkel.


Old Town Hall in Bielefeld
Bielefeld City
Historical Affiliations

Founded in 1214 by Count Hermann IV of Ravensberg to guard a pass crossing the Teutoburg Forest, Bielefeld was the "city of linen" as a minor member of the Hanseatic League, known for bleachfields into the 19th Century.[3] Bielefeld was part of the Kingdom of Westphalia when it was created in 1807.[4] In 1815 it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia following the defeat of France and the Congress of Vienna.[5]

After the Cologne-Minden railway opened in 1849, the Bozi brothers constructed the first large mechanised spinning mill in 1851. The Ravensberg Spinning Mill was built from 1854 to 1857, and metal works began to open in the 1860s.

Founded in 1867 as a Bielefeld sewing machine repair company, AG Dürkoppwerke employed 1,665 people in 1892; it used Waffenamt code "WaA547" from 1938 to 1939 as the Dürkopp-Werke, and merged with other Bielefeld companies to form Dürkopp Adler AG in 1990.

Between 1904 and 1930, Bielefeld grew, opening a rebuilt railway station, a municipal theatre, and finally, the Rudolf-Oetker-Halle [de] concert hall, renowned for its excellent acoustics.[6] The Dürkopp car was produced 1898–1927. After printing emergency money (German: Notgeld) in 1923 during the inflation in the Weimar Republic, Bielefeld was one of several towns that printed very attractive and highly collectable banknotes with designs on silk, linen and velvet. These pieces were issued by the Bielefeld Stadtsparkasse (town's savings bank) and were sent all around the world in the early 1920s. These pieces are known as Stoffgeld – that is, money made from fabric.[7]

The town's synagogue was burned in 1938. In 1944, B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed Bielefeld on September 20 (the gas works)[8] and October 7,[9] and the RAF bombed on December 4/5.[10] In 1945, B-17s bombed the nearby Paderborn marshalling yard, the "Schildesche Railway Viaduct" was bombed on January 17, 1945.[9] On March 14 the Grand Slam bomb was used for the very first time against the viaduct. American troops entered the city in April 1945.

Due to the presence of a number of barracks built during the 1930s and its location next to the main East-West Autobahn in northern Germany, after World War II Bielefeld became a headquarters town for the fighting command of the British Army of the Rhine – BAOR (the administrative and strategic headquarters were at Rheindahlen near the Dutch border). Until the 1980s there was a large British presence in the barracks housing the headquarters of the British First Corps and support units, as well as schools, NAAFI shops, officers' and sergeants' messes and several estates of married quarters. The British presence was heavily scaled back after the reunification of Germany and most of the infrastructure has disappeared.

In 1973 the first villages on the south side of the Teutoburg Forest were incorporated.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Bielefeld
Alemannisch: Bielefeld
العربية: بيلفلد
asturianu: Bielefeld
azərbaycanca: Bilefeld
تۆرکجه: بیله‌فلد
Bân-lâm-gú: Bielefeld
башҡортса: Билефельд
беларуская: Білефельд
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Білефэльд
български: Билефелд
Boarisch: Bielefeld
català: Bielefeld
Чӑвашла: Билефелд
čeština: Bielefeld
Cymraeg: Bielefeld
dansk: Bielefeld
Deutsch: Bielefeld
eesti: Bielefeld
Ελληνικά: Μπίλεφελντ
español: Bielefeld
Esperanto: Bielefeld
euskara: Bielefeld
فارسی: بیله‌فلد
français: Bielefeld
Frysk: Bielefeld
Gaelg: Bielefeld
galego: Bielefeld
한국어: 빌레펠트
հայերեն: Բիլեֆելդ
hornjoserbsce: Bielefeld
hrvatski: Bielefeld
Bahasa Indonesia: Bielefeld
interlingua: Bielefeld
Interlingue: Bielefeld
íslenska: Bielefeld
italiano: Bielefeld
עברית: בילפלד
ქართული: ბილეფილდი
қазақша: Билефельд
Kiswahili: Bielefeld
kurdî: Bielefeld
Кыргызча: Билефельд
Latina: Bilivelda
latviešu: Bīlefelde
lietuvių: Bylefeldas
Limburgs: Bielefeld
magyar: Bielefeld
македонски: Билефелд
монгол: Билефельд
Nederlands: Bielefeld
Nedersaksies: Byleveld
Nordfriisk: Bielefeld
norsk: Bielefeld
norsk nynorsk: Bielefeld
occitan: Bielefeld
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Bielefeld
پنجابی: بیلفیلڈ
Plattdüütsch: Builefeld
polski: Bielefeld
português: Bielefeld
Ripoarisch: Bielefeld
română: Bielefeld
Runa Simi: Bielefeld
русский: Билефельд
Scots: Bielefeld
Seeltersk: Bielefeld
shqip: Bielefeld
Simple English: Bielefeld
slovenčina: Bielefeld
ślůnski: Bielefeld
српски / srpski: Билефелд
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Bielefeld
suomi: Bielefeld
svenska: Bielefeld
татарча/tatarça: Билефелд
Türkçe: Bielefeld
українська: Білефельд
Tiếng Việt: Bielefeld
Volapük: Bielefeld
Winaray: Bielefeld