Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Münster
District Steinfurt
First mentioned
 • Mayor Angelika Kordfelder (SPD)
 • Total 145 km2 (56 sq mi)
Elevation 35 m (115 ft)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 • Total 76,530
 • Density 530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 48429-48432
Dialling codes 05971, 05975, 05459
Vehicle registration ST, BF, TE

Rheine is a town in the district of Steinfurt in Westphalia, Germany. It is the largest town in the district and the location of Rheine Air Base.


Rheine is on the river Ems, approx. 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Münster, approx. 45 kilometres (28 mi) west of Osnabrück and 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of Hengelo (Netherlands).

Division of the town[]

Rheine consists of 15 districts:

  • Altenrheine
  • Bentlage
  • Catenhorn
  • Dorenkamp
  • Dutum
  • Elte
  • Eschendorf (Kiebitzheide)
  • Gellendorf
  • Hauenhorst
  • Rheine (city centre)
  • Mesum
  • Rodde
  • Schleupe
  • Schotthock
  • Wadelheim

Rheine, church: Basilika katholische Pfarrkirche Sankt Antonius

Hauenhorst, church: katholische Pfarrkirche Sankt Mariä Heimsuchung


Rheine is the western terminus of the Münster-Rheine railway.

  • Rheine railway station
  • Rheine-Mesum

Neighbouring municipalities[]

  • Salzbergen
  • Spelle
  • Hörstel
  • Emsdetten
  • Neuenkirchen


Although the region around the city has been populated since prehistoric times, Rheine was first mentioned in a document signed by Louis the Pious in 838. On 15 August 1327 it received its town charter from Louis II, Bishop of Münster.

The settlement was near to the crossing of two old merchant roads and a ford over the river Ems. Frankish soldiers initially secured this strategic point by a barrack yard. Later a church and more buildings were added to this outpost.

At the end of the Thirty Years' War the city was burned down almost completely. Swedish and Hessian troops besieged imperial soldiers who had entrenched themselves in Rheine. On 20/21 September and 19 October 1647 glowing cannonballs set fire to the city and 365 houses were destroyed.

During the industrialization the textile industry prospered. It remained an important economic factor until the second half of the 20th century. Today engineering industries and services form the largest part of economy in Rheine.

On April 1, 1927 about 10,000 inhabitants of the Office Rheine (Bentlage, Wadelheim, Dutum, etc.) were incorporated into the city, the population increased to 29,598, the city area was thus tripled.

During the Third Reich, Jewish citizens were also deported from Rheine. The allied war opponents bombarded the city repeatedly, especially the railway line and the Dortmund-Ems Canal, which represented tactical goals. The large-scale attacks on 5 October met in 1944, and 21 March 1945, each with more than 200 dead and Injured the city area. The conquest of Rheine took place on April 2, 1945 after some fierce fighting by units of the 157th British Infantry Brigade (5th Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regiment, 7th Battalion of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Regiment).

Rheine was after the war in 1945 in the British occupation zone and 1946 was politically assigned to the newly founded country North Rhine-Westphalia, which formed in 1949 with the other Western -Zonal countries, the Federal Republic of Germany.

On February 10, 1946 Rheine was affected by the highest ever Emshochwasser. Large parts of the city were flooded.

On August 15, 2002, the city celebrated the 675th anniversary of the granting of municipal law.


  • 1946–1948: Georg Pelster (1897-1963) (CDU)
  • 1948–1954: Albert Biermann (CDU)
  • 1954–1960: Balduin Echelmeyer (CDU)
  • 1960–1961: Franz Rudolf Kümpers (CDU)
  • 1961–1975: Albert Biermann (1903-1994) (CDU)
  • 1975–1994: Ludger Meier (CDU)
  • 1994–1999: Günter Thum (SPD)
  • 1999–2004: Wilhelm Niemann (1949-2012) (CDU)
  • 2004–2015: Angelika Kordfelder (born 1955) (SPD)
  • since 2015: Peter Lüttmann

Twin towns - sister cities[]

Rheine is twinned with:[2]

  • Netherlands Borne, Netherlands, since 1983
  • Germany Bernburg, Germany, since 1990
  • Portugal Leiria, Portugal, since 1996
  • Lithuania Trakai, Lithuania, since 1996


Moritz Julius Dobschütz

  • Moritz Dobschütz (1831 – 1913), German-American merchant
  • Josef Winckler (1881 – 1966), German author
  • Carlo Mense (1886 – 1965), German painter
  • Gustav Niemann (1899 – 1982), German mechanical engineering scholar
  • Josef Pieper (1904 – 1997), German philosopher
  • Peter Funke (* 1950), German historian
  • Oliver Krüger (* 1973), German professor of religious studies
  • Jonas Reckermann (* 1979), German beach volleyball player

In popular culture[]

In Harry Turtledove's alternate history novel trilogy The Hot War, Rheine is the site of a 1951 battle between NATO and Soviet armies during World War III.


External links[]

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Template:Cities and towns in Steinfurt (district)