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Ems river at Rheine
Ems river at Rheine
Coat of arms of Rheine
Coordinates 52°17′0″N 7°26′0″E / 52.28333°N 7.43333°E / 52.28333; 7.43333
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Münster
District Steinfurt
Mayor Angelika Kordfelder (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 145.08 km2 (56.02 sq mi)
Elevation 27 - 90 m
Population 76,438  (31 December 2006)
 - Density 527 /km2 (1,365 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate ST
Postal codes 48429, 48431, 48432
Area codes 05971, 05975, 05459

Rheine is a city in the district of Steinfurt, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the biggest city in the district.


Rheine is on the river Ems, about 40 kilometers north of Münster, about 45 kilometers west of Osnabrück and 45 kilometers east of Enschede (Netherlands).

Division of the town

Rheine consists of 15 districts:

  • Altenrheine
  • Bentlage
  • Catenhorn
  • Dorenkamp
  • Dutum
  • Elte
  • Eschendorf (Kiebitzheide)
  • Gellendorf
  • Hauenhorst
  • Rheine (city center)
  • Mesum
  • Rodde
  • Schleupe
  • Schotthock
  • Wadelheim

Neighbouring municipalities


Although a lot of people have lived in the area around the city since prehistorical times, Rheine was first mentioned in a document signed by Louis the Pious only in 838. On 15 August 1327 it got its town charter from Louis II, Bishop of Münster.

The settlement was founded by reason of two old merchant roads crossing nearby, as well as a ford crossing the river Ems. Frankish soldiers secured this strategic point by a barrack yard at first. Later a church and more buildings were added to this outpost.

In the end of Thirty Years' War the city burned down almost completely. Swedish and Hessian troops besieged imperial soldiers who entrenched themselves in Rheine. On 20th/21st September and 19th October 1647 glowing cannonballs set fire to the city, 365 houses got razed.

During the industrialisation textile industry prospered. It continued to be an important economical factor until the second half of the 20th century. Today engineering industries and services form the largest part of economy in Rheine.

Twin towns

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