June 8, 2015

1637 GERMANY (North Rhine-Westphalia) - Bielefeld

1637 Bielefeld: 1. Overview; 2. Bielefeld Convention Center;
3. Bunnemann Square; 4. Old Town Church Square;
5. Old Market Square; 6. Saint Bartholomew Church;
7. The City Theatre.

Located in the north-east of North-Rhine Westphalia, Bielefeld is a city with a population of 327,000. Its historical centre is situated north of the Teutoburg Forest line of hills, but modern Bielefeld also incorporates boroughs on the opposite side and on the hills. Founded in 1214 by Count Hermann IV of Ravensberg to guard a pass crossing the Teutoburg Forest, Bielefeld was the "city of linen" as a minor member of the Hanseatic League. The Industrial Revolution led to the construction of the mechanised spinning mills. In the early 1920s the Town's Savings Bank (Stadtsparkasse) issued money made of linen, silk and velvet, known as stoffgeld.

The Bielefeld Convention Center (Stadthalle Bielefeld) is a multifunctional conference and event center, opened in 1990. Designed by the architects of Gerkan, Marg and Partners, it is a striking white steamer structure in the city center, opposite the railway station, characterized by large glass facades, directing the eyes to the inner light-flooded foyers and galleries. Bunnemann Square (Bunnemannplatz) is located in city's center, and was named after Gerhard Bunnemann (1842-1925), a mayor and honorary citizen of Bielefeld, who erected many new buildings, including the Town Hall and the Municipal Theater.

Old Town Church Square (Altstädter Kirchplatz) is placed in front of the oldest city church, Old Town Nicolai Church (Altstädter Nicolaikirche), built in 1236 in Gothic style and enlarged at the beginning of the 14th century. In the park next to the church stands Linen Weaver Statue (Leineweber-Denkmal), created by the sculptor Hans Perathoner in 1909. With his pipe, gnarled stick and tool bag, the linen weaver is a symbol of the area’s industriousness and after Sparrenburg Castle Bielefeld’s best known landmark. Old Market Square (Alter Markt) lies in the heart of the old town, and is surrounded by imposing historic facades and ornate gables. The impressive Patrician houses are well worth seeing, a main attraction being the Crüwell House with its late Gothic stepped gable dating from 1530.

Saint Bartholomew Church (Bartholomäuskirche) was first documented in 1216. An exact date of the completion isn't known, but it is assumed that the tower in the west came from the 15th century, and the eastern part was built in 1660. Since 1533 it was used by Protestants. During the 19th century it was decided a new building in neo-Gothic style, which was completed in 1892. In 1990, the church burned down to the outer walls, but the new construction has preserved its external appearance. The City Theatre (Stadttheater) is part of the same architectural ensemble as the Old City Hall, also built in 1904. It has a notable Jugendstil façade, is Bielefeld's largest theatre and home of the Bielefeld Opera.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Bielefeld - Wikipedia
Bielefeld - Official website

Sender: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Bielefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia / Germany), on 20.12.2011

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