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Scope for new ideas

Modern city in the Teutoburg Forest

Bielefeld, the centre for science, is the economic and cultural capital of the East Westphalia economic area.

The city of Bielefeld is one of the twenty biggest cities in Germany, with a population of 325,000. This lively university city on the edge of the Teutoburg Forest is the region's cultural and intellectual hub. East Westphalia-Lippe is Germany’s fifth-biggest economic area and the region is home to two million people.

From merchant town to creative centre for science

Bielefeld was founded in 1214 as a merchant town and its historic landmark is Sparrenburg Castle, built about 1240, not far from the old town. Commerce still shapes the city's economic life today, with strong mid-sized and international players like Dr. Oetker, Seidensticker, Alcina, Carolinen and Gildemeister, Goldbeck or Schüco exemplifying the dynamism of this business location. Bielefeld has traditionally also been home to some leading social institutions. von Bodelschwinghsche Stiftungen Bethel and Evangelisches Johanniswerk, both based in the city, are among the biggest social welfare organisations in Europe.

The founding of Kunsthalle Bielefeld in 1968 and the Reformuniversität in 1969, followed in quick succession by Bielefeld's six universities of applied sciences, were the main drivers of the town's development into a sophisticated, creative city.

Scope for creativity
Today, some 30,000 students and members of academic staff shape the intellectual, cultural and economic life of this East Westphalian city. A down-to-earth attitude and a trading tradition combine with the innovative ideas and creativity of the 'lateral thinkers' at the universities and those on the city's lively arts scene.

By 2025, Campus Bielefeld will give the city a science quarter with everything close at hand and, at the same time, one of the most modern university sites in Germany. Science is thus the key activity for the future and the driver of the city's sociocultural and economic development.

Bielefeld is different. And we’re proud of that. The city has always had room for lateral thinkers and those who refuse to fit in the usual mould – and now we're adding even more space. The centre for science continues to develop and so does the city itself. Studying and teaching, living and working: in Bielefeld the emphasis is on being boldly innovative, rather than doing things the way they've always been done. Excellent and successful. We are still different – and we’re getting better at it!

Pit Clausen
Mayor of Bielefeld

Welcome to the young, creative university city of Bielefeld!

Elegant Jahnplatz is the beating heart of the city.
The old town, with its many boutiques and cafés, is also the setting for numerous arts events.
View from the Sparrenburg on the green city of Bielefeld.
Exceptional productions by Bielefeld Theatre (picture), 13 museums and numerous galleries, major events venues and an extremely creative independent arts, theatre and club scene provide an impressive variety of events.
Campus Bielefeld, the project for the future – the new science quarter with big sociocultural and economic significance for Bielefeld