Main Births etc
Town Hall
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Detmold
District Herford
Founded 789
First mentioned
Subdivisions 12
 • Mayor Bruno Wollbrink (SPD)
 • Total 78.95 km2 (30.48 sq mi)
Elevation 56−240 m (−731.4 ft)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 • Total 64,088
 • Density 810/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 32049, 32051, 32052
Dialling codes 05221
Vehicle registration HF

Herford (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛɐ̯fɔɐ̯t]) is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, located in the lowlands between the hill chains of the Wiehen Hills and the Teutoburg Forest. It is the capital of the district of Herford.


Geographic location[]

The former Hanseatic town of Herford is situated in the chain of hills south of the Wiehen Hills (Ravensberg Hills). The highest place is the Dornberg (240 m) in the Schwarzenmoor district; the lowest point (56 m) is located in the Werretal in the Falkendiek district. The River Aa joins the river Werre in the centre of the town. The Stuckenberg is located east of the town.

Neighbouring towns[]

  • West: Enger, Hiddenhausen
  • North: Löhne
  • North-East: Vlotho
  • South-East: Bad Salzuflen (Lippe district)
  • South-West: Bielefeld.


  • Altstädter Feldmark
  • Neustädter Feldmark
  • Radewiger Feldmark
  • Diebrock¹
  • Eickum¹
  • Elverdissen¹
  • Falkendiek¹
  • Herringhausen¹
  • Laar¹
  • Schwarzenmoor¹
  • Stedefreund¹


The town was founded in 789 by Charlemagne in order to guard a ford crossing the narrow Werre river. A century later, Matilda, daughter of Theudebert, duke of Saxony, grew up in the abbey of Herford; she was a descendant of the Saxon leader Widukind. In Herford she met Henry the Fowler, who later became king of Germany.

In late medieval times Herford was a member of the Hanseatic League. It was a Free Imperial City, i.e. it was directly subordinated to the emperor. This status was lost after the Peace of Westphalia (1648), when Herford was annexed by Brandenburg-Prussia. It was administered within the Province of Westphalia following the Napoleonic Wars, and made part of the new state North Rhine-Westphalia after World War II.

Herford Minster

Saint John´s Church


Saint Jacob´s Church

Saint Mary´s Church




Culture and sights[]


  • The Herford Minster (Münsterkirche) is a late Romanesque hall church, built about 1220-1250 for the Fürstabtei Herford (Herford monastery). It is one of the earliest hall churches in Germany
  • St. Jacob's (Jakobikirche/Radewiger Kirche) is a late Gothic hall church (1330)
  • St. John's (St. Johannis/Neustädter Kirche) is a late Gothic hall church (1340)
  • St. Mary's (St. Marien auf dem Berge) is also a late Gothic hall church. It was completed about 1325/50 and part of a monastery
  • Town hall, built 1913-16 by Paul Kanold in Neo-Baroque forms
  • Neustädter Rathaus (former town hall), built 1600, aesthetic pediment 1930 removed, 1988/89 reconstructed
  • Remensnider-Haus, Brüderstraße 26, a late Gothic half-timbered building from 1521
  • Kantorhaus, Elisabethstraße 2, a half-timbered building, about 1484/1494
  • Holland 21, half-timbered building, 1554
  • Holland 39, half-timbered building, 1559
  • Bürgermeisterhaus, Höckerstraße 4, a late Gothic stone building from 1538 with a stepped gable similar to houses in Münster and Bielefeld
  • Frühherrenstraße 11, a Renaissance building, 1591
  • Wulfert-Haus, Neuer Markt 2 with a brick-built Renaissance gable, 1560


The MARTa Herford, a museum for contemporary art and design, housed in a building designed by Frank Gehry, has been open to the public since May 2005. Its exhibits change regularly. The current artistic director is Roland Nachtigäller.

The Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus in Herford explores the history of the city, and the Memorial and Meeting Place Cell Block, in the basement of the city hall, documents the persecution and the obliteration of minorities. Plans to construct a museum of city history next to the city hall and the Minster church have been postponed.

Music and theatre[]

Herford is the seat of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (Northwest German Philharmonic) which performs regularly in the Stadtpark Schützenhof as well as many neighbouring cities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Eugene Tzigane is the principal conductor designate (2010–present). The current director is Andreas Kuntze.

The Stadttheater (Municipal theatre) provides seats for 706 viewers and it is served by visiting theatre companies.

Events at regular intervals[]

  • Easter Fair around Easter (Oster-Kirmes)
  • Jazz Festival May - Performances of different jazz artists in a couple of bars
  • Organ Summer
  • Visions Fair June
  • Summer Stage Summer (Sommerbühne) - Concerts at the square between city hall and market hall
  • Hoekerfest August - Municipal festival with plenty of events in the city centre
  • City Fair October - In the city centre
  • Herbstzeitlos (Autumnally timeless) Autumn - Exhibition at the former depot site
  • Wine Festival Autumn - At Gänsemarkt
  • Christmas Lights December - Municipal Christmas fair (Weihnachtsmarkt)


Herford is the location of the headquarters of the 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division and Signal Regiment part of British Forces Germany. Currently there are 870 soldiers serving at three camps (Wentworth Barracks, Hammersmith Barracks, and Harewood Barracks). Herford has a British military postal address of BFPO 15. Including civilian staff and families, 2200 British people live in Herford.

The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) studio for Germany was located in Wentworth Barracks until 2009 when it moved to Hohne.

International relations[]

Twin towns – Sister cities[]

Herford is twinned with:

City-friendships include:

Born in Herford[]

  • late 13th century, Heinrich von Herford
  • 1610, Otto Tachenius, surgeon and apothecary
  • 1662, Daniel Pöppelmann, Rococo and Baroque architect, builder of the Dresdener Zwinger
  • 1668, Anna Nargrethe Niemayer, wife of Lewin Rojan
  • 1686, Christian Klausing, organ-builder
  • 1705, Gerhard Friedrich Müller, Siberia-explorer
  • 1836, Frederick August Otto Schwarz, founder of FAO Schwarz toystore
  • 1842, Nikolaus Dürkopp
  • 1846, Friedrich Adolf Richter
  • 1868, Friedrich Bockelmann
  • 1875, Carl Severing, Politician(SPD)
  • 1882, Otto Weddigen, submarine-commander in World War I
  • 1883, Hermann Höpker-Aschoff, politician (DDP, FDP)
  • 1886, Heinrich Höcker, Politician (SPD)
  • 1892, Karl Steinhoff
  • 1892, Reinhard Maack
  • 1897, Friederike Nadig
  • 1897, Erich Gutenberg
  • 1909, Heinz Röttger
  • 1930, Hans-Heinz Emons, academic, Minister for Education and Youth in the last East German government
  • 1947, Elke Wülfing
  • 1947, Dr. Wilhelm Leber
  • 1954, Marian Gold
  • 1955, Christian Bogner
  • 1960, Karl-Heinz Wiesemann
  • 1960, Ralph Herforth, actor
  • 1961, Wiglaf Droste
  • 1961, Jörg Rüpke, academic, scholar of comparative religion and classical philology
  • 1965, Thomas Helmer
  • 1971, Martin Heckmanns
  • 1971, Sandra Mayr-Morhoff
  • 1972, Eva Haßmann
  • 1982, Philipp Heithölter


External links[]


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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Herford. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.