[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Ahlen Overview

Ahlen is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is part of the District of Warendorf (Warendorf vacation rentals | Warendorf travel guide) and is economically the most important town in the district. Ahlen is part of the larger Münster (Münster vacation rentals | Münster travel guide) region, and of the historical Münsterland area. The nearby villages of Dolberg, Vorhelm and Tönnishäuschen are part of Ahlen as well. The largest neighboring town is the city of Hamm (Hamm vacation rentals | Hamm travel guide) to the southeast.

Surrounding Ahlen are the towns of Sendenhorst, Ennigerloh (Ennigerloh vacation rentals | Ennigerloh travel guide), Beckum (Beckum vacation rentals | Beckum travel guide), Lippetal, Heessen (District of the city of Hamm) and Drensteinfurt (Drensteinfurt vacation rentals | Drensteinfurt travel guide). Ahlen (downtown) with the farming communities of Borbein, Brockhausen, Ester, Halene, Oestrich and Rosendahl (Rosendahl vacation rentals | Rosendahl travel guide) (area of the former town parts of Alt- and Neuahlen) all make up the core of the town.

Things to See in Ahlen

St. Bartholomäus Catholic Church

St. Marien Catholic Church

Burgmannshöfe

Heimatmuseum

Kunstmuseum

Fritz Winter-Haus

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Ahlen

The name of the town was first mentioned around the year 850 in the Vita Liudgeri II. The reasoning behind the name Ahlen, which literally means "eels", and the flying eel in the coat of arms are unexplained. The origin of the settlement is possibly due to a crossing over the river Werse, which was also the crossing of two important roads (Hamm–Ahlen–Warendorf and Beckum–Ahlen–Herbern) and the origin of a third road (Ahlen–Münster). In its early centuries, the slow-growing settlement was built around an episcopal court. Within the safe haven of this church fortification, the first settlers were craftsmen and merchants who traded with the local farmers and peasants of the court. Long-distance trading started in the second half of the 12th century - proof being the names of Ahlen merchants found on invoices from merchants in Lübeck (Lübeck vacation rentals | Lübeck travel guide). Ahlen was also part of the north German Hanse. During this time a town wall with five towers was built (circa 1271). The removal of the town wall had begun in 1765 and the last remnant had vanished by 1929.

It seems that the town grew very fast in the 13th century. In approximately the year 1285, the population was so high that a new church (St. Marien) was founded next to the old one (St. Bartholomäus). This development leads to the conclusion that Ahlen was one of the 18 largest towns in Westphalia at the time. However, the growth of the town stopped in the 14th century due the Black Death. In the citizen book of 1389 only 63 families were left. In 1454 a citizen list again contained 212 families. Based on this number of families a calculated population estimate of 1300 citizens would be realistic. At this point the town had four quarters which were named after their respective town gates; all four quarters were about the same size. Each town quarter was responsible for the defense of its part of the town wall and gate. In 1454, seven noble families and their attendants lived in the episcopal court. During the 16th century, there were three plague epidemics in 1505, 1551 and 1592 - leprosy also killed many people. In the year 1571, the mayor and the council decided to build a special hospital for leprosy. Disastrous fires in 1483, 1668 and 1744 were responsible for halting further growth of the town.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Ahlen is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is part of the District of Warendorf and is economically the most important town in the district. Ahlen is part of the larger Münster region, and of the historical Münsterland area. The nearby villages of Dolberg, Vorhelm and Tönnishäuschen are part of Ahlen as well. The largest neighboring town is the city of Hamm to the southeast.

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