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|Bundesland: Nordrhein-Westfalen||North Rhine-Westphalia|
Minden is situated at an elevation of 42 m on the river Weser in the very northeast of North Rhine-Westphalia. The city is the administrative seat of the district Minden-Lübbecke. The municipality has a population of about 82,400 (2009). Minden is also well-known for the Mitteland Canal crossing the river Weser by two aquaeducts.
Findings of settlements in various areas of the town lead to the assumption that Minden has been settled since the 3rd Century. The first written mention of Minden is in the so called Imperial Annals (Reichsannalen) of AD 798. Charlemagne founded a Bishopric in Minden around the year 800. The rights to hold a market, to mint coins and collect duties were given in 977. The Bishop appointed a count as executive and administrator of the town until the beginning of the 13th Century. The Minden citizens and their Council managed to gain independence from the rule of the bishop around the year 1230 and received the freedom of the city. During the Middle Ages Minden was a member of the Hanseatic League. The self-confidence of the citizens of Minden was demonstrated by the construction of a town hall, which was constructed next to the Cathedral zone. This led bishop Gottfried von Waldeck to relocate his official residence in 1306/07 from Minden to Petershagen. The introduction of the Protestant Reformation to Minden in 1529 created much conflict in the town. Imperial troops occupied Minden from 1625 to 1634, during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). The Protestant Swedish troops laid siege to Minden and captured it in 1634. Queen Christina of Sweden granted full sovereignty in internal and external affairs to Minden. The Peace of Westphalia awarded Minden to Brandenburg-Prussia. The Battle of Minden was fought in front of the gates of Minden during the Seven Years' War (1765–1763). The allies of the Kingdom of Great Britain, under the leadership of Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel defeated the French and their allies in a decisive battle. The region remained Prussian and the adjacent Kingdom of Hannover remained in the possession of the English king. French troops occupied the town in 1806. The town then became part of the Kingdom of Westphalia and later an actual part of France until 1810. After the defeat of Napoleon in the Battle of Leipzig, the French troops abandoned Minden and it returned to Prussia. Although Minden did not suffer severe damages during the early stages of World War II, bombings on the Mittelland Canal in 1944 and an air raid on 28 March 1945 almost completely destroyed the historic town centre. On January 1, 1973, the communities of Aminghausen, Bölhorst, Dankersen, Dützen, Haddenhausen, Hahlen, Häverstädt, Kutenhausen, Leteln, Meißen, Päpinghausen, Stemmer, Todtenhausen as well as parts of Barkhausen, Hartum and Holzhausen II were incorporated into the municipality of Minden; at the same time the formed districts Minden and Lübbecke were merged into the new district Minden-Lübbecke. [Text adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minden]
The church Sankt Marien [background centre]
goes back to the monastery of Our Lady which was founded at the end of the 10th century. The construction of the church
began around 1022. The church was consecrated between 1036 and 1056 and at that time did not yet include a tower.
The time of construction of the three-sided cloister is unknown. The Romanesque vaulting of the church was constructed in the 12th century.
The tower was begun in ca.1255. The sacristy was added in the 14th century and the one-naved church was remodelled into a three-naved hall church
with Gothic side naves. After the secularisation of 1811 the church became a parish church while the monastery was used for military purposes until
1945 when the complex was repurchased by the parish.
[Text adapted from http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/St.-Marien-Kirche_(Minden)]