State part and historic region of North Rhine-Westphalia
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal Porta Westfalica.jpg
Wewelsburg2010 b.jpg
Schloss Nordkirchen Germany NRW.jpg
Freudenberg - historischer Stadtkern "Alter Flecken".jpg
Prinzipalmarkt in Münster (1st row),
Emperor William Monument at the Porta Westfalica and Wewelsburg castle (2nd row),
Nordkirchen Castle and skyline of Dortmund (3rd row),
town center of Freudenberg (4th row)
Flag of Westphalia
Coat of arms of Westphalia
Coat of arms
Anthem: Westfalenlied
Location of Westphalia in Germany.
Location of Westphalia in Germany.
Westphalia in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia borders on the Northern Rhineland in the west and Lippe in the northeast.
Westphalia in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia borders on the Northern Rhineland in the west and Lippe in the northeast.
Coordinates (geographic center of Westphalia): 51°36′30″N 7°56′00″E / 51.608333°N 7.933333°E / 51.608333; 7.933333Coordinates: 51°36′30″N 7°56′00″E / 51.608333°N 7.933333°E / 51.608333; 7.933333[1]
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Governmental districts
Districts and independent cities
Further cities, towns and municipalities206
FoundedApril 30, 1815 (Province of Westphalia; other predecessors existed since the Early Middle Ages.)[2][3]
August 23, 1946 (as a part of North Rhine-Westphalia)[4]
 • Total7,803 sq mi (20,210 km2)
Highest elevation
2,766 ft (843 m)
 (Dec. 31, 2018)[5]
 • Total7,913,035
 • Density1,000/sq mi (390/km2)
Demonym(s)Persons: the Westphalian (der Westfale [male] / die Westfälin [female]), the Westphalians (die Westfalen)
Adjective: Westphalian (westfälisch)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (Central European Time (CET))
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time (CEST))

Westphalia (/wɛstˈfliə/; German: Westfalen [vɛstˈfaːlən]; Low German: Westfalen [vεs(t)'fɔːln]) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of 20,210 km2 (7,803 sq mi) and 7.9 million inhabitants.

The territory of the region is almost identical with the historic Province of Westphalia, which was a part of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1815 to 1918[6] and the Free State of Prussia from 1918 to 1946. In 1946, Westphalia merged with the Northern Rhineland, another former part of Prussia, to form the newly created state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1947, the state with its two historic parts was joined by a third one: Lippe, a former principality and free state.[7]

All of the seventeen districts and nine independent cities of Westphalia and Lippe's only district are members of the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association (Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe).[8]

Previous to the formation of Westphalia as a province of Prussia and later state part of North Rhine-Westphalia, the term "Westphalia" was applied to different territories of different sizes such as a part of the ancient Duchy of Saxony, the Duchy of Westphalia or the Kingdom of Westphalia.[7][6] The Westphalian language, a variant of the German language, spreads beyond Westphalia's borders into southwestern Lower Saxony and northwestern Hesse.[9]


The Sauerland mountainous landscape


Being a part of the North German Plain, most of Westphalia's north is flat. In the south the German Central Uplands emerge. Westphalia is divided into the following landscapes.[8]

Flat to hilly (498 m (1,634 ft) and under): East Westphalia, Münsterland, eastern Ruhr Metropolitan Area, Tecklenburg Land, Westphalian Hellweg

Hilly to mountainous (up to 843 m (2,766 ft)): Westphalian part of the Sauerland, Siegerland, Wittgenstein

Largest cities

Eastern Ruhr Metropolitan Area

East Westphalia