|Bundesland: Niedersachsen||Lower Saxony|
Osnabrück is situated at an elevation of 63 m on the river Hase in southern Lower Saxony, close to the border to North Rhine-Westfalia, some 110 km northnortheast of Dortmund, 50 km northeast of Münster, and some 130 km due west of Hannover. Osnabrück has a population of about 164,100 (2010), making it the third-largest in Lower Saxony. Historically, culturally as well as linguistically, Osnabrück belongs to the region of Westphalia. Osnabrück also is the only German city that is situated within a nature reserve area, the Natur- und Geopark TERRA.vita.
Osnabrück developed as a marketplace next to the bishop's see founded by Charlemagne, king of the Franks, in 780. Some time before 803, the city became seat of the
Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück. In 889 the town was given merchant, customs, and coinage privileges by German King Arnulf of Carinthia. It is first mentioned as a "city" in records
in 1147. Shortly after in 1157, Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa granted the city fortification privileges. Osnabrück became a member of the Hanseatic League in the 12th century, as well
as a member of the Westphalian Federation of Cities. The main period of witch hunting in Osnabrück was between 1561 and 1639, a time of social unrest and tensions because of the
Protestant Reformation and the European wars of religion; in total, 276 women and 2 men were executed after a witch trial for wizardry.
Between 1643 and 1648 negotiations in Münster and Osnabrück led to the Peace of Westphalia.
The French Revolutionary Wars brought Prussian troops into the city in 1795, followed by the French in 1803.
Control of Osnabrück passed to the Electorate of Hannover in 1803 during the German Mediatisation and then briefly to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1806. It was part of the Kingdom of
Westphalia from 1807 to 1810, after which it passed to the First French Empire. After the Napoleonic Wars, it became part of the Kingdom of Hannover in 1815.
The town's first railway was built in 1855, connecting it with Löhne. Further rail connections were built in the following decades, connecting Osnabrück with Emden
in 1856, Cologne in 1871 and Hamburg in 1874.
In 1866 Osnabrück was annexed by Prussia after the Austro-Prussian War and administered within the Province of Hannover.
The city suffered heavy bombing during World War II, but was rebuilt after it ended in 1945.
After the war, when West Germany realigned its states, the city became part of the new state of Lower Saxony in 1946.
The Late Romanesque cathedral Sankt Peter [bottom left] is the cathedral church of the Catholic diocese of Osnabrück.
The first church in this place was already founded in 785, fifteen years after the foundation of the bishopric. Today's church was begun when a arge fire had destroyed the previous
church around 1100. The oldest part of the church are the Romanesque tower above the intersection of nave and aisles, the northern façade and the
Romanesque and Gothic western façade. The oldest parts of the interior decorations are the baptismal font of 1220 and the triumphal crucifix of 1230.
The original roob screen was demolished in 1664, but 12 statues from it were saved and today are exhibited in the museum of the diocese. The church was remodeled several times
during the ensuing centuries, especially during the Baroque period (interior) and during major restoration works in 1882–1910 (exterior). During World War II
the Baroque roofs and other parts of the church were destroyed by incendiary bombs. After the war, the church was restored.
The Haarmannsbrunnen [bottom left], on glass no. 2923 named Neuer Brunnen (new fountain),
was created in 1909 as a memorial to miners of Osnabrück. It is thus one of the oldest workmen's memorials in Germany (it is sometimes refered to as the oldest one, but
the Eisengießerbrunnen (iron fouldry men fountain) in Dortmund already was created in 1906).
The current name was chosen for the memorial donator, industrialist August Haarmann. The metal statue was removed during World War II for being melted down. However,
it actually survived. It was discovered in 1949 in a smeltery in Brilon and was brought back to its original location. The fountain was restored in 1980.