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Bochum ( ) is a city in North Rhine-Westphaliamarker, western Germanymarker. It is located in the Ruhr area and surrounded by the cities of Essenmarker, Gelsenkirchenmarker, Herne, Castrop-Rauxelmarker, Dortmundmarker, Wittenmarker and Hattingenmarker.


View of Bochum in 1840.
Bombed out church, 1943
Bochum 2007
The foundations of Bochum were started in the 9th century when Charlemagne set up a royal court at the junction of two important trade routes and it was first officially mentioned in 1041 by the name Cofbuokheim in a document of the archbishops of Cologne. Originally it may have meant "Brookhome" or "Bacheim" later it seems to have gained the notorious reputation of "Bookhorn" or "Horn" "Book". In 1321 Count Engelbert II von der Marck granted Bochum a town charter, but the town remained insignificant until the 19th century, when coal mining and steel industry emerged in the Ruhr area, leading to the growth of the entire region. The population of Bochum increased from about 4,500 in 1850 to 100,000 in 1904 and Bochum acquires city status. The increase based on immigration, mainly from East-Europe, and on incorporation of surrounding towns and villages.

As a strategic bombing target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, nearly the whole inner circle of the city was destroyed and many thousands of citizens were killed. After the war the new state North Rhine-Westphalia was established on the area the regions of Rhinelands and Westphalia and Bochum as a part of the state.

All the coal mines went out of business between 1960 and 1980. Other industries, such as car making, compensated for the loss of jobs. The Opel Astra is assembled by General Motors at their plant here; however, by 2009, the Opel factory was in serious financial trouble. In 1965 the Ruhr University was opened, the first university in the Ruhr area and the first to be founded in Germany since World War II. Since the seventies Bochum's industry is running through a structural transformation: from heavy industry to service sector.

In the course of a comprehensive community reform in 1975, Wattenscheidmarker, a formerly independent city, was integrated into the urban area of Bochum. An exerted local referendum against the integration failed. In 2007 the new synagoge of the Jewish community of Bochum, Herne und Hattingen was opened. In 2008 Nokia planned on closing down its production plant. The plans met heavy opposition and 20,000 people showed up for the protests. But they couldn't prevent the closing down at least.



City Hall
  • The City Hall was opened in 1931. The planes were made by the architekt Prof. Karl Roth. The layout is strictly symmetric, the facade is plain. The hall divides the atrium in two parts, where fountains made by travertine and bronze are situated - left hand the fountain of beauty, right hand the fountain of happiness. Thea were designed by Professor Vogel from Berlin.
  • Brewing House Rietkötter, probably the oldest residential building in Bochum, dates from 1756. It is a witness of times were Bochum was an agricultural small town. Today it houses a restaurant.
  • Warehouse Kortum dates from 1913, build as a bruch of the warehouse-group Alsberg from Cologne. Its facade still shows the charme of the beginning of the 20th century. As a result of the decentralization process in the nineties the warehouse was closed down and the building was unused for years. Today it houses an electronic warehouse.
  • Lueg-House/Union cinema, opened in 1924, was the first house in a municipal style in Bochum. It was ordered by the Lueg-company and realised by the architect Emil Pohle as a brickstone-house according to the office buildings of the Hanseatic League.
  • Restaurant Mutter Wittig is a baroque-style house downtown opend in 1870.
  • The sharpe of the savings bank is a town's landmark. The architect Wilhelm Kreis used an acute-angled ground for the building which was opened in 1928.
  • The Schlegel-Tower is the only relict of the once important brewery Schlegel. It was closed down in 1980.
  • The Jahrhunderthalle (Hall of the Century), a former machinery hall of the steel production plant Bochumer Verein, was reconstructed to a concert- and event-hall with a remarkable industrial ambiance.
  • Miners settlement Dahlhauser Heide is an example of social service in the beginning of 20th century. It has the charme of a rural small town.
  • Blankenstein Castle, situated in the urban area of Hattingenmarker, was built in the 13th century by Count Adolf I of Mark. It is property of Bochum and connected to Bochum's history because Adolf II of Mark granted citisenship to Bochum here in 1321. Today only the gate and one tower remain.
  • Moated Castle Kemnade, situated of the left bank of river Ruhr, houses a restaurant a some collections.

Religious architecture

Propsteikirche St. Peter and Paul
  • Propsteikirche St. Peter und Paul, the most ancient church of the city, built in 785-800 by Charlemagne. It was rebuilt in the 11th century but after a fire in 1517 had to be reconstructed, starting from 1547, in late-Gothic style. The 68 m-high bell tower is one of the landmarks of Bochum. The interior includes an 1175 baptismal font, the relic shrine of St. Perpetua and her slave Felicitas, and a high altar with a 1352 Crucifix.
  • Pauluskirche, the main Protestant church of the city. It was built in the 1650s with donations from across Northern Europe.
  • The Christuskirche, opened in 1879 in a neo-Gothic style, was among the most beautiful churches in Europe. In 1931 the room in the steeple was extended to a cenotaph for the killed of wwI. During an air attack in 1943 the church was nearly destroyed, only the steeple was left. After the war the ruin was integrated in the reconstruction planes and the steeple became a memorial dedicated to peace and understanding among the nations and it will be main part of the Platz des Europäischen Versprechens (Square of the European Promise), which is under construction in front of the steeple.
  • Neo-Gothic Marienkirche (1868-1872). (Slated for demolition as of 2008.)
  • Church of St. Vincent (c. 1000). Originally an example of Ottonian architecture, it was rebuilt in Romanesque style, and was later turned into a Gothic edifice. In 1905 a neo-Gothic section was added. It houses a precious Baroque altar (1699) and a 16th-century organ.
  • Monastery in Bochum-Stiepel, founded in 1988, belongs to the Cistercian fraternity.
  • The new synagoge, opened in 2007, consists of a white cube which is in contrast to the round sharpe of the planetarium next hand. The facade shows overall a variation of the Solomon's Seal achieved by relocated brickstones. The interior has a gold-colored baldachin giving an impression of grandness and ceremony.

Parks and Gardens

  • The Botanischer Garten der Ruhr-Universität Bochummarker in opposite of the Ruhr-University offers plants from all over the world, a greenhouse and a cactus-house
    • Chinese garden (part of the Botanic Garden), the only one in south Chinese style in Germany.
  • Municipal Park
  • Municipal Zoo
  • West-Park
  • Lake Kemnade
  • Lake Ümmingen
  • Weitmarer Holz - municipal forest
  • Geological Garden

Society and Culture

Leisure and Entertainment

  • Musical Starlight Express (opening show in 1988)
  • Municipal Theatre
  • about 20 smaller Theatres and Stages

Annual Events

  • Jumble Sale in front of the city hall every third Saturday per month
  • April/May: Marksmen Festival
  • Steam-Festival (every second year)
  • June: Rubissimo, summer festival of the Ruhr-University
  • June: Kemnade International
  • June: Extraschicht - the Night of Industrial Heritage (many locations oll over the Ruhr Area)
  • June/July: VfL for Fun
  • July: Bochum Total (Rock Music Festival) - starts on first weekend after summer schoolout
  • July/August: Bochum kulinarisch
  • August: Bochumer Musiksommer, Bochum's Summer of Music
  • September: Open Flair - artistic Road Show
  • October: October Market
  • October/November: Bochumer Bachtage - Music of the Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
  • October/November: Ruhrgebiets-Antiquariatstag - Days of Second Hand Books
  • November: Children- and Teenager Theatre
  • December: Christmas Market


  • The German Mining Museum is among the leading of its kind worldwide. Whatever you want to know about mining, here you can experience it. Address: Am Bergbaumuseum 28

  • Railway Museum and Station Dahlhausen in the borough of Dahlhausenmarker. Dr.-C.-Otto-Straße 191

  • Zeiss Planetary

  • At the city's borderline to Herne-(Röhlinghausen) is located the former mine Zeche Hannover with the Malakow-Tower and the engine hall. Here you will find the steam-powered winding-engine, which will be operated at events.

  • Zeche Knirps (Mine small Boy) located on the ground of Mine Hannover. It gives children the opportunity to experience the processes in a mine.

  • Museum of local history Helf's Farm, Address: In den Höfen 37

  • Farmhouse Museum located on the ground of Moated Castle Kemnade

  • Museum of historic medical tools in the Malokos-Tower of former Mine Julius-Philipp from 1875. Address: Malakowturm, Markstraße 258a, 44799 Bochum

  • Schoolmuseum, Cruismannstraße 2, 44807 Bochum

  • Telefonmuseum, Karl-Lange-Str. 17

Art Galleries

  • Art Museum, focus of the collection is middle- and east-European Avantgarde, German Expressionism, Surrealism, Informal and Cobra. Address: Kortumstraße 147
  • Art collection of the Ruhr-University, modern art meets classic art. Focus of the collection is the portrait-ensemble of Greek and Roman emperors made by marble and bronze and the collection of antique Greek vases of the 9th to 4th century B.C. Address: Universitätsstraße 150
  • Schlieker-House, in the former apartment and studio of the painter Hans-Jürgen Schlieker parts of his lifework are presented in form of changing exhibitions. Schlieker (1924-2004) is among the few important German informal painters. Opening Hours: Wed. & Sun. 15:00 - 18:00 Uhr. Address: Paracelsusweg 16, 44801 Bochum
  • Situation Kunst (Situation Art), Buildings in Park of "Haus Weitmar" in Bochum with a permanent exhibition important Arts of presence. Arts of Gianni Colombo, Dan Flavin, Gotthard Graupner, Norbert Kricke, Lee Ufan, François Morellet, Maria Nordman, David Rabinowitch, Arnulf Rainer, Dirk Reinartz, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Jan J. Schoonhoven and additionally the Afrika- and Asia-Room. Opening hours: Wed 14:00-18:00, Fri 14:00-18:00, Sat 12:00-18:00, Sun 12:00-18:00. Address: Nevelstr. 29c, 44795 Bochum. Fon: +49-234-2988901, Fax: +49-234-2988902
  • Musical-Instruments Collection Hans and Hede Grumbt, considerable collection of music instruments and the collection of clarintes of Johan van Kalker. Address: An der Kemnade 10, 45527 Hattingen, Tel: 02324 30268
  • Ostasiatika-Collection Ehrich, shown are esthetic made Japanese belt-buckles, exposes of the seven Japanese fortune-lords and a lot of additional objects. Address: An der Kemnade 10, 45527 Hattingen, Tel: 02324 30268

Art in public space

  • Left side of main station the is the sculpute called "Terminal" by Richard Serra. It consists of four steel-plates with a height of 12 meters. In spite of their weight the visitor becomes a vision of lightness in a different way on every side.
  • Crossing Kortumstrasse/Huestrasse is situated the sculpture "Ohne Titel" (without title) of Ulrich Rückriem. (currently removed due to construction works)
  • Memorial of the herdsman at Massenberg-Boulevard: shown is the historical person "Fritz Kortebusch", the last herdsman of the town. In 1870 he guided the cattle of the citizens the last time to the "Vöde", a grassland outside the town limits, which is today the municipal park.
  • Engelbert-fountain at Kortumstrasse, in memoriam of earl Engelbert II, who granted town privileges to Bochum in 1321-1324.
  • Josiade-fountain at Husemann-Suare. Shown is a scene of the examination of Hieronymus Jobs, the main character of the "Jobsiade", a comical poem of the poet Carl Armold Kortum.
  • "The envolvement of the City", sculpture of Professor Karl Henning Seemann at Schützenbahn street
  • Collection of sculptures inside the municipal park.
  • The bell in front of the city hall reminds of the improvement of steel-casting in Bochum. The bell was built in 1867 for the world-exhibition in Paris.
  • So called stumbling stones, little brass plates in the pavement with the names of Jewish citizens arrested and murdered during the period of national-socialistic dictatorship.
  • Cenotaph for the victims of the mine disaster at "Vereinigte Präsident" in 1936. The sculpture was created by Wilhelm Wulff. In spite of the strict gideline for artworks during the national-socialistic dictatorship only parts of the sculpture follow those guidelines. Also the legend avoids typical national-socialistic terms.



  • Car Production Plant 'Opel'
  • Bochum has its own brewery, Moritz Fiege which produces pilsner, a low-alcohol pilsner and hell-style beers.



Bochum is connected to the Autobahn network by the A 40, A 43 and A 44 autobahns.


Bochum has a central stationmarker situated on the line from Duisburgmarker to Dortmundmarker, connecting the city to the long-distance network of Deutsche Bahn as well as to the S-Bahn network of Rhine-Ruhr.

Bus, Tram, Underground

Local service is carried out by the BOGESTRA, a joint venture between the cities of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen. There is a single underground Stadtbahn line connecting the University of Bochum to Hernemarker, and several tram lines connecting to Gelsenkirchen and Wittenmarker. Public transport in the city is carried out according to the fare system of the VRR transport association.


Next international airport is Düsseldorf-International


Tertiary educational institutions

Secondary educational institutions

  • TFH Georg Agricola
  • Evangelische FH Rheinland-Westfalen-Lippe
  • Schauspielschule Bochum
  • Fachhochschule des Bundes der Sozialversicherung, Abteilung Knappschaft-Bahn-See


There are 61 primary schools, 9 Hauptschule("general schools") and 14 special schools.

11 grammar schools ("Gymnasium"):

5 comprehensive schools ("Gesamtschule"):
  • Erich Kästner-Gesamtschule Schule
  • Heinrich-Böll-Gesamtschule
  • Maria Sibylla Merian-Gesamtschule
  • Willy-Brandt-Gesamtschule
  • Matthias-Claudius-Schulen

8 Realschule:
  • Anne-Frank-Schule
  • Annette-von-Droste-Hülshoff-Schule
  • Franz-Dinnendahl-Schule
  • Hans-Böckler-Schule
  • Helene-Lange-Schule
  • Hugo-Schultz-Schule
  • Pestalozzi-Schule
  • Realschule Höntrop
  • Freie-Schule Bochum (with primary grade)

Furthermore, there are two Waldorf schools (private schools):
  • Rudolf Steiner Schule Bochum
  • Widar Schule Wattenscheid

Twin towns — Sister cities

Bochum's twin towns are:

People affiliated with Bochum

See also


External links

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