Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bielefeld, Germany

The recent International Postcrossing meetup in Bielefeld, Germany sounded like SO much fun! I've been to a couple of meetups before (an international one in London, and a mini meetup in Helsinki) and they were great, but this one sounds even more amazing. Postcrossers really are a lovely bunch of people for organising events like this! A few of my friends attended this meetup so I was lucky enough to receive a few cards from there. This one is from Astrid, my lovely friend from the Netherlands.

Bielefeld is the largest city of the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Region in north east Germany 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.

After the Cologne-Minden railway opened in 1849, the Bozi brothers constructed the first large mechanised spinning mill in 1851. The Ravensberg Spinning Mill was built from 1854 to 1857, and metal works began to open in the 1860s.

Between 1904 and 1930, Bielefeld grew, opening a railway station, a municipal theatre, and finally, the Rudolf-Oetker-Halle concert hall, famous for its excellent acoustics. The Dürkopp car was produced 1898-1927. After printing emergency money in 1923 during the inflation in the Weimar Republic, Bielefeld was one of several towns that printed very attractive and highly collectable banknotes with designs on silk, linen and velvet. These pieces were issued by the Bielefeld Stadtsparkasse (town saving's bank) and were sent all around the world in the early 1920's. These pieces are known as 'stoffgeld' - that is, money made from material.

Sparrenburg Castle is the most famous landmark in Bielefeld. It was built between 1240 and 1250 by Count Ludwig von Ravensberg. The 37m high tower and the catacombs of the castle are open to the public.

The Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus) was built in 1904 and still serves the same function. Its facade features elements of various architectural styles, including Gothic and Renaissance. Though the mayor still holds office in the Old City Hall, most of the city's administration is housed in the adjacent New City Hall (Neues Rathaus).

Bielefeld has a population of 323,084 (in December 2009).

A very well-known German stamp...

1 comment:

Deirdre said...

Great card! I've read so much about it and seen loads of great pictures from postcrossing friends. I hope to participate in an international meeting one day.