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Herne ( ) is a city in North Rhine-Westphaliamarker, Germanymarker. It is located in the Ruhr area directly between the cities of Bochummarker and Gelsenkirchenmarker.


Like most other cities in the region Herne was a tiny village until the 19th century. When the mining of coal and the production of steel began, the villages of the Ruhr area became cities.

Present-day Herne includes the former settlements of Herne, Wanne and Eickel. Farms bearing these names were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries. In 1860 the first coal mine started operation. In the following thirty years the population increased twenty-fold. For the first time Herne was called a city. The same process took place in Wanne and Eickel, which merged in 1926 to form the new city of Wanne-Eickel. In 1975 Wanne-Eickel, by then a city with over 70,000 inhabitants, was incorporated into Herne.

World War II
Herne was targeted by the RAF on 4 June 1940, early in World War II. Three high-explosive bombs were dropped and one house was damaged.

In Wanne-Eickel, the Krupp Treibstoffwerke oil refinery near the local Shamrock 3/4 coal mine was bombed during the Oil Campaign of World War II.

Notable places

A fair called Cranger Kirmesmarker is held in the city's Crange district every August. This is the second largest fair in Germany with an average of around 4,500,000 visitors. Its origins can be traced back to the 15th century, when farmers started trading horses on Saint Lawrence’s Day. That is why the official opening always takes place on the first Friday in August. The horse market tradition is kept up, by arranging a horse show and horse equipment sales at the same place where horses were traded years ago.Today there are about 500 stalls every year covering 111,000 square metres, meaning that it takes a 5 kilometre walk to see the whole fairground. Among other things you can buy sugared almonds and all kinds of other food, visit beer gardens, win prizes in shooting galleries or tombolas, or enjoy traditional and new rides like roundabouts, ghost trains and all sorts of high-tech delights. One of the main attractions is the 50-metre high big wheel that is the largest movable one in the world.

Notable persons

Famous Hernians or Wanne-Eickelians include Jürgen von Manger, Kurt Edelhagen, Jürgen Marcus, Heinz Rühmann, Tana Schanzara, Dr. Claudia Dollins (Geier), Yıldıray Baştürk, Jan Zweyer, Peavy Wagner and Leonie Saint. The composer Ralf Linke lives in Herne.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Herne, Germany is twinned with:


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