Germany Travel > Country > Federal States > North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia — Famous For Its Nature Reserves

North Rhine-Westfalia is one of 16 Federal States (Bundesland) of Germany.

It is surrounded by Belgium and The Netherlands in the west, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) in the north, the state Hesse (Hessen) in the East, and the wine country Palatine in the south.

The boundaries of these states have changed a number of times. As of now, the State of North Rhine Westfalia, which actual German name is Nordrhein-Westfalen, includes the former Prussian province of Westphalia, the northern portion of the Prussian Rheinprovinz, and the principality of Lippe - Detmold.

North Rhine-Westphalia is famous for its nature reserves. The state, which is half pasture land and one third forest, has 14 of them including the Rothaargebirge, Sauerland and Siegerland forests which form Germany's single largest wooded area.

The Petersberg in Siebengebirge — North Rhine-Westphalia [Photo: Magnus Manske]
Petersberg, Siebengebirge

The Siebengebirge — or Seven Hills — is the country's oldest conservation reserve. Its 321m peak, the Drachenfels, is popular with climbers but you can also get to the top by rack railway.

They may also choose to scale it on the back of a donkey.

Near the point where the German, Belgian and Dutch borders meet is the city of Aachen, known for its hot springs which were used even in Roman times. There are some 30 springs in and around the city from which water with a temperature of 74°C (164°F) bubbles up!

Nordrhein-Westfalen is Germany's most populous state. It has cities such as Bonn on the river Rhine... Cologne, which is famous for its many Romanesque churches, relics and a gothic cathedral (Dom) in the heart of the city... Dusseldorf, the capital, and many others.

The Rhine flows through Dusseldorf and connects it to other cities.

Both Cologne and Dusseldorf are cultural treasure houses. Cologne has a Roman Germanic museum which showcases the city's 2,000-year-old history. The city has nine municipal and many private museums, 120 private galleries, an opera house and many theaters.

Dusseldorf has outstanding collections of paintings, including the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the state art collection which includes displays of modern art.

In GDP ranking, North Rhine-Westphalia is in 14th position in the world, even above the continent of Australia, which is in 16th place.

Of all the 16 German federal states, North Rhine-Westfalia has the highest GDP ahead of Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Hessen.

In addition, this state boasts seven international airports with over 330 direct flights throughout the world.

Special Tip!Are you concerned whether people of this state speak English or not? Although a lot of business is going on here, I'd approach younger people in order to chat in English. Many of the older adults kind of "forgot" this language since they've been out of school.

You plan to visit this state. Would you do me a favor, please? Once you've been there, would you please go ahead and tell me your own, unique North Rhine-Westphalia discoveries? That I would be grateful for.

Thanks much in advance! smile



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Germany Travel > Country > Federal States > North Rhine-Westphalia