Last updated
Baukem (Westphalian)
Bochum 080814 023 30.jpg
Schauspielhaus Bochum, Nachtaufnahme.JPG
Kammerspiele Bochum.JPG
Bochum Skyline, German Mining Museum, Zeiss Planetarium Bochum, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum Kammerspiele
Flag of Bochum.svg
Stadtwappen der kreisfreien Stadt Bochum.svg
Location of Bochum
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North Rhine-Westphalia location map 01.svg
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Coordinates: 51°28′55″N07°12′57″E / 51.48194°N 7.21583°E / 51.48194; 7.21583 Coordinates: 51°28′55″N07°12′57″E / 51.48194°N 7.21583°E / 51.48194; 7.21583
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Arnsberg
District Urban district
   Lord mayor (202025) Thomas Eiskirch [1] (SPD)
  Total145.4 km2 (56.1 sq mi)
 (2020-12-31) [2]
  Density2,500/km2 (6,500/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 0234, 02327
Vehicle registration BO, WAT

Bochum ( /ˈbxʊm/ BOHKH-uum, also US: /-əm/ -əm, [3] [4] [5] [6] German: [ˈboːxʊm] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Westphalian : Baukem) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia. With a population of 364,920 (2016), is the sixth largest city (after Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg) of the most populous German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the 16th largest city of Germany. On the Ruhr Heights (Ruhrhöhen) hill chain, between the rivers Ruhr to the south and Emscher to the north (tributaries of the Rhine), it is the second largest city of Westphalia after Dortmund, and the fourth largest city of the Ruhr after Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg. It lies at the centre of the Ruhr, Germany's largest urban area, in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, and belongs to the region of Arnsberg. Bochum is the sixth largest and one of the southernmost cities in the Low German dialect area. There are nine institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), one of the ten largest universities in Germany, and the Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Bochum).



Geographical position

The city lies on the low rolling hills of Bochum land ridge (Bochumer Landrücken), part of the Ruhrhöhen (highest elevations) between the Ruhr and Emscher rivers at the border of the southern and northern Ruhr coal region. The highest point of the city is at Kemnader Straße (Kemnader Street) in Stiepel at 196 metres (643 ft) above sea level; the lowest point is 43 metres (141 ft) at the Blumenkamp in Hordel.

The terrain of Bochum is characterised by rolling hills that rarely have more than three per cent graduation. Steeper graduation can be found at the Harpener Hellweg near the Berghofer Holz nature reserve (3.4%), at Westenfelder Straße in the borough of Wattenscheid (3.47%), or at Kemnader Straße, which begins at the banks of the Ruhr in Stiepel (71 m, 233 ft), and rises to its highest point in the centre of Stiepel (196 m, 643 ft, a 5.1% increase).

The city extends north to south 13.0 km (8.1 mi) and 17.1 km (10.6 mi) east to west. The perimeter of the city limits is 67.2 km (41.8 mi).

It is surrounded by the cities of (in clockwise direction) Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten, Hattingen, Essen and Gelsenkirchen.


There is sedimentary rock of carbon and chalk. The geological strata can be visited in the former quarry of Klosterbusch and at the Geological Gardens.


The urban area is divided into the river Ruhr catchment in the south and the Emscher catchment in the north. The Ruhr's tributaries are the Oelbach (where as well a waste water treatment plant is established [7] ), Gerther Mühlenbach, Harpener Bach, Langendreer Bach, Lottenbach, Hörsterholzer Bach and the Knöselbach. The Ruhr in combination with upstream reservoirs is also used for drinking water abstraction. The Emscher's tributaries are Hüller Bach with Dorneburger Mühlenbach, Hofsteder Bach, Marbach, Ahbach, Kabeisemannsbach and Goldhammer Bach. The industrial developments in the region since the 19th century were leading to a kind of division of labour between the two river catchments, pumping drinking water from the Ruhr into the municipal supply system and discharging waste water mainly into the Emscher system. Today approximately 10% of the waste water in the Emscher catchment is discharged via the Hüller Bach. [8] and treated in the centralized waste water treatment plant of the Emschergenossenschaft in Bottrop. The ecological restoration of the Emscher tributaries initiated by the Emschergenossenschaft started with the Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher Park in 1989.


The south of the city has woods, the best known of which are the Weitmarer Holz  [ de ]. These are generally mixed forests of oak and beech. The occurrence of holly gives evidence of Bochum's temperate climate. 844 species of plants can be found within the city limts [9]


Bochum features an Oceanic climate (Köppen-Geiger classification Cfb) characterized by cool winters and short warm summers. Extreme temperatures are uncommon. However, temperatures rising above 30 °C (86 °F) are to be expected on multiple days in summer and the climate station closest to the City did record a peak temperature of 40 °C [10] (104 °F) on July 25, 2019.

On the other extreme, freezing temperatures are common between mid-November and late March. In some years, however, frosts may occur as late as early May. Temperatures below −10 °C are, especially in recent years, only seen on rare occasions. The city lies within the warmer extent of the 8a USDA plant hardiness zone [11] (−12.2 to −9.4 °C or 10 to 15 °F). Some winters may pass without a frost below −5 °C [12] (data from the nearest active climate station). These comparably mild conditions in Winter permit the planting of plants that would either not be reliably hardy or not able to bloom throughout Germany like Trachycarpus palms, Summer lilac, Paulownia tomentosa and Rosemary.

However, winters can be unpredictable with strong fluctuations in temperatures: In mid-February 2021, the city was affected by a severe cold spell bringing temperatures down to –15 degrees Celsius (5 °F) accompanied by heavy snowfall which hindered traffic [13] for multiple days. A week later, a temperature of 17 °C (63 °F) was recorded, [14] an increase of 32°K.

The total precipitation of 815mm [10] is distributed relatively even throughout most the year but has a peak in winter and two minima in late spring and July, respectively. [10] June shows a second peak in precipitation due to the return of the westerlies which leads to more thunderstorms being generated along frontal boundaries of atlantic low-pressure systems. In recent years, the city was affected by summer and spring droughts. Thunderstorms are not uncommon in the warm season and can generate intense downpours and sporadically hail.

The city experiences little sunshine in winter with a minimum of 1,3h per day in December and a lot more in early summer and late spring with May featuring 7,5h per day. The total amount of sunshine per year is 1689h. [10]

Due to the cities northern latitude of 51°N, seasonal daylength variation is significant. The longest day of the year, June 21, features 16 h 38 min. of daylight while the shortest day of the year which is December 21 is only 7 h and 50 min. long.

Climate data for Essen (Bredeney), elevation: 161 m, 2016-2021 normals (source 1), all-time records (source 1+2)
Record high °C (°F)13.5
Average high °C (°F)5.2
Daily mean °C (°F)3.1
Average low °C (°F)0.9
Record low °C (°F)−17.1
Average precipitation mm (inches)91.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 42861321952342172211851779167421,689
Source 1: [15]
Source 2: NOAA [16]


Sections and Districts in Bochum Bochum - Stadtbezirke-polished.png
Sections and Districts in Bochum

Bochum is divided into six administrative districts with a total of 362,213 inhabitants living in an urban area of 145.4 km2 (56.1 sq mi).



The current Mayor of Bochum is Thomas Eiskirch of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), who was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2020.

The most recent mayoral election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows:

CandidatePartyVotes %
Thomas Eiskirch Social Democratic Party 85,39761.8
Christian Haardt Christian Democratic Union 28,12520.3
Amid Rabieh The Left 8,3356.0
Jens LückingUWG: Free Citizens3,9372.8
Felix Haltt Free Democratic Party 3,4412.5
Nils-Frederick Brandt Die PARTEI 3,3572.4
Ariane Meise National Democratic Party 2,5461.8
Volker SteudeThe Citymakers2,3511.7
Günter GleisingSocial List Bochum7900.6
Valid votes138,27999.0
Invalid votes1,4381.0
Electorate/voter turnout287,21648.6
Source: State Returning Officer

City council

Results of the 2020 city council election. 2020 Bochum City Council election.svg
Results of the 2020 city council election.

The Bochum city council governs the city alongside the Mayor. The most recent city council election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows:

PartyVotes %+/-Seats+/-
Social Democratic Party (SPD)46,62633.7Decrease2.svg 4.929Decrease2.svg 3
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne)30,65822.2Increase2.svg 9.319Increase2.svg 8
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)28,79920.8Decrease2.svg 4.918Decrease2.svg 4
The Left (Die Linke)8,4346.1Decrease2.svg 0.15±0
Alternative for Germany (AfD)7,7745.6Increase2.svg 2.15Increase2.svg 2
UWG: Free Citizens (UWG)4,6733.4Increase2.svg 0.93Increase2.svg 1
Free Democratic Party (FDP)4,5173.3Increase2.svg 0.43Increase2.svg 1
Die PARTEI (PARTEI)3,2232.3New2New
The Citymakers (Die Stadtgestalter)2,3871.7Increase2.svg 0.62Increase2.svg 1
Social List Bochum (SLB)8140.6Decrease2.svg 0.20Decrease2.svg 1
National Democratic Party (NPD)4290.3Decrease2.svg 0.60Decrease2.svg 1
Valid votes138,33499.0
Invalid votes1,4471.0
Total139,781100.086Increase2.svg 2
Electorate/voter turnout287,20348.7Increase2.svg 0.2
Source: State Returning Officer


View of Bochum in 1840. Bochum Ansicht 1840.jpg
View of Bochum in 1840.
Stamp cancelled at BOCHUM 1 in 1889 1889 Reich 10Pfg Bochum Mi41.jpg
Stamp cancelled at BOCHUM 1 in 1889

Bochum dates from the 9th century, when Charlemagne set up a royal court at the junction of two important trade routes. It was first officially mentioned in 1041 as Cofbuokheim in a document of the archbishops of Cologne. In 1321, Count Engelbert II von der Marck granted Bochum a town charter, but the town remained insignificant until the 19th century, when the coal mining and steel industries emerged in the Ruhr area, leading to the growth of the entire region. In the early 19th century it was part of the Grand Duchy of Berg, a client state of France, then it passed to Prussia following the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, and in 1871 it became part of the German Empire. The population of Bochum increased from about 4,500 in 1850 to 100,000 in 1904. Bochum acquired city status, incorporating neighbouring towns and villages. Additional population gains came from immigration, primarily from Poland. Bochum was the main center of the Polish community of the Ruhr, being the seat of various Polish organizations and enterprises. [17] The Poles were subjected to anti-Polish policies aimed at Germanisation, and the Central Office for Monitoring the Polish Movement in the Rhine-Westphalian Industrial District (Zentralstelle fur Uberwachung der Polenbewegung im Rheinisch-Westfalischen Industriebezirke) was established by the German authorities in Bochum in 1909. [18]

The Nazi era and World War II

On 28 October 1938, 250 Polish or stateless Jews were expelled from Bochum to Poland. [19] On 9 November 1938, Kristallnacht, the Bochum synagogue was set on fire and there was rioting against Jewish citizens. The first Jews from Bochum were deported to Nazi concentration camps [ citation needed ] and many Jewish institutions and homes were destroyed. Some 500 Jewish citizens are known by name to have been killed in the Holocaust, including 19 who were younger than 16 years old. Joseph Klirsfeld was Bochum's rabbi at this time. He and his wife fled to Palestine. In December 1938, the Jewish elementary school teacher Else Hirsch began organising groups of children and adolescents to be sent to the Netherlands and England, sending ten groups in all. Many Jewish children and those from other persecuted groups were taken in by Dutch families and thereby saved from abduction or deportation and death. [20]

Bombed St. Mary Church, 1943 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2008-0032, Bochum, Zerstorte St. Marien Kirche.jpg
Bombed St. Mary Church, 1943

On 15 July 1939, the Gestapo entered the headquarters of the Union of Poles in Germany in Bochum, searched it and interrogated its chief Michał Wesołowski, however, it did not obtain the desired lists of Polish activists, which had been previously hidden by Poles. [21] Increased Nazi terror and persecutions of Poles followed, and in response, many Poles from the region came to Bochum for organizational and information meetings. [21] During the German invasion of Poland, which started World War II in September 1939, the Nazis carried out mass arrests of local Polish activists, who were then sent to concentration camps. Local Polish premises and seats of organizations were looted and expropriated by Nazi Germany. [17]

During the war, Germany operated a prison in the city with three forced labour subcamps within present-day city limits, [22] an additional detention center, [23] a camp for Romani people in the present-day Wattenscheid district, [24] and three subcamps of the Buchenwald concentration camp. [25] A report from July 1943 listed 100 forced labour camps in Bochum. [26]

Because the Ruhr region was an area of high residential density and a centre for the manufacture of weapons, it was a major target in the war. Women with young children, school children and the homeless fled or were evacuated to safer areas, leaving cities largely deserted to the arms industry, coal mines and steel plants and those unable to leave.

Historical population
source: [27]

During the Holocaust, in 1942–1943, local Jews were deported to German-occupied Czechoslovakia, Latvia and Poland. [19]

Bochum was first bombed heavily in May and June 1943. [28] On 13 May 1943, the city hall was hit, destroying the top floor, and leaving the next two floors in flames. On 4 November 1944, in an attack involving 700 British bombers, the steel plant, Bochumer Verein, was hit. One of the largest steel plants in Germany, [29] more than 10,000 high-explosive and 130,000 incendiary bombs were stored there, setting off a conflagration that destroyed the surrounding neighbourhoods. [30] [31] An aerial photo shows the devastation. [32]

The town centre of Bochum was a strategic target during the Oil Campaign. In 150 air raids on Bochum, over 1,300 bombs were dropped on Bochum and Gelsenkirchen. By the end of the war, 38% of Bochum had been destroyed. 70,000 citizens were homeless and at least 4,095 dead. [31] [33] Of Bochum's more than 90,000 homes, only 25,000 remained for the 170,000 citizens who survived the war, many by fleeing to other areas. Most of the remaining buildings were damaged, many with only one usable room. Only 1,000 houses in Bochum remained undamaged after the war. Only two of 122 schools remained unscathed; others were totally destroyed. Hunger was rampant. A resident of neighbouring Essen was quoted on 23 April 1945 as saying, "Today, I used up my last potato... it will be a difficult time till the new [autumn] potatoes are ready to be picked – if they're not stolen." [34] [35]

The US army ground advance into Germany reached Bochum in April 1945. Encountering desultory resistance, the US 79th Infantry Division captured the city on 10 April 1945. [36]

After the war, Bochum was occupied by the British, who established two camps to house people displaced by the war. The majority of them were former Polish Zwangsarbeiter, forced labourers, many of them from the Bochumer Verein. [37]

Allied bombing destroyed 83% of the built up area of Bochum during World War II. [38] More than sixty years after the war, bombs continue to be found in the region, usually by construction workers. One found in October 2008 in Bochum town centre led to the evacuation of 400 and involved hundreds of emergency workers. [39] A month earlier, a buried bomb exploded in neighbouring Hattingen, injuring 17 people. [40]

Largest groups of foreign residents [41]
NationalityPopulation (31.12.2018)
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 8,852
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 8,075
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 3,779
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 2,021
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1,902
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 1,600
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 1,413
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 1,260
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 1,209
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 1,010
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 987
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 983
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 961
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 850
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia 850
Flag of the Taliban.svg  Afghanistan 748
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 719
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 699

Post-war period

After the war, Bochum was part of West Germany and the newly established state of North Rhine-Westphalia, consisting of the Rhineland and Westphalia.

In the postwar period, Bochum began developing as a cultural centre of the Ruhr area. In 1965, the Ruhr University was opened, the first modern university in the Ruhr area and the first to be founded in Germany since World War II. Since the seventies, Bochum's industry has moved from heavy industry to the service sector. Between 1960 and 1980, the coal mines all closed. Other industries, such as automotive, compensated for the loss of jobs. The Opel Astra was assembled at the Opel Bochum plant; however, by 2009, the factory was in serious financial difficulties [42] and in December 2012, Opel announced that it would stop vehicle production at the Bochum plant in 2016. [43]

In the course of a comprehensive community reform in 1975, Wattenscheid, a formerly independent city, was integrated into the city of Bochum. A local referendum against the integration failed. In 2007, the new synagogue of the Jewish community of Bochum, Herne und Hattingen was opened. In 2008, Nokia closed down its production plant, causing the loss of thousands of jobs, both at the plant and at local suppliers. 20,000 people showed up to protest against the closing. [44] [45] Within months, the Canadian high-tech company, Research in Motion, announced plans to open a research facility, its first outside Canada, adding several hundred jobs. [46] [47] [48]

Places of interest


City Hall Bochum 070608 095 00.jpg
City Hall
Altes Brauhaus Altes Brauhaus Bochum.JPG
Altes Brauhaus

Religious architecture

Church founded by Charlemagne Bochum Probsteikirche.jpg
Church founded by Charlemagne
Stamp from 2008 commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Stiepel village church Dorfkirche Bochum-Stiepel Briefmarke 2008.jpg
Stamp from 2008 commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Stiepel village church
Bochum-Mitte, das Bermuda3eck Bochum-Mitte, Bermuda3eck poging1 foto7 2016-08-14 09.14.jpg
Bochum-Mitte, das Bermuda3eck
  • Propsteikirche St. Peter und Paul is the oldest church in Bochum, built between 785 and 800 by Charlemagne. It was rebuilt in the 11th century, but was severely damaged by fire in 1517. In 1547, it was again rebuilt, this time in the late Gothic style. The 68-metre (223 ft) high bell tower is one of the landmarks of Bochum. The interior includes a baptismal font from 1175, the reliquary shrine of St. Perpetua and her slave Felicitas, and a high altar with a crucifix from 1352.
  • Pauluskirche is the main Protestant church of the city. After the Reformation, both Catholics and Lutherans shared the Propsteikirche, often contentiously. In 1655, the Lutherans began to build their own church with the help of donations from the Dutch Republic, Sweden, Courland and Denmark. The church was heavily damaged in a bombing raid on 12 June 1943 and was later rebuilt after the war. Next to the church is a monument to peace. A statue of an old woman searching for a loved one, it is also a memorial to the 4 November 1944 bombing raid on Bochum. Hans Ehrenberg served as minister here, until he was arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen by the Nazis. [62]
  • The Christuskirche, built in the neo-Gothic style, opened in 1879 and was among the most beautiful churches in Europe. In 1931, the room in the steeple was extended to a cenotaph for those killed in World War I. During an air raid in 1943, the church was destroyed, except for the steeple. After the war, the ruins were integrated into a new, modern structure and the steeple became a memorial dedicated to peace and understanding among nations.
  • The neo-Gothic Marienkirche, built between 1868 and 1872, was heavily damaged in World War II (see photo above), but was rebuilt after the war. It is now closed and scheduled for demolition. The stained glass windows have been removed and it has fallen victim to vandalism.
  • Stiepeler Dorfkirche is over 1000 years old and was commemorated by a stamp in 2008. A small church consisting of one room was built by Countess Imma von Stiepel. Between 1130 and 1170, the old church was replaced by a Romanesque basilica. Today, the steeple and transept remain. Between 1150 and 1200, the interior walls and ceiling were decorated with a number of Romanesque paintings.
  • The new synagogue, which opened in 2007, consists of a white cube and stands in contrast to the round shape of the planetarium next door. The façade shows overall a variation on the Solomon's Seal achieved by relocated brickstones. The interior is graced with a gold-coloured canopy.

Parks and gardens

Chinese garden at the Ruhr University Botanical Gardens Bochum ChinGarten 060418 008.jpg
Chinese garden at the Ruhr University Botanical Gardens

Bochum has a municipal zoo, a large municipal park and a number of other gardens and parks. The Ruhr University Botanical Gardens has thousands of plants from all over the world. [63] Among others there is a tropical garden, a cactus garden, and a Chinese garden designed in the southern Chinese style, the only one of its kind in Germany.

The Geological Garden was the first of its kind in Germany. The nearly 4-acre (16,000 m2) park is the site of an old coal mine, the Zeche Friederika, which operated from 1750 to 1907. In 1962, the property came under environmental protection and a decade later was turned into a geological garden. [64]

Other scenic areas include the West Park, Lake Kemnade, Lake Ümmingen and the municipal forest, Weitmarer Holz. [65]

Society and culture

Leisure and entertainment

Bochum is a cultural centre of the Ruhr region. There is a municipal theatre, the Schauspielhaus Bochum, and about 20 smaller theatres and stages. The musical Starlight Express , which opened in 1988, is the longest-running musical in Germany. [66]


The Bermudadreieck (Bermuda Triangle), in the city center of Bochum, functions as the town's nightlife hub. Around sixty different bars and restaurants are located there, serving multicultural cuisine such as Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Spanish and German gastronomic specialties. Close to the Bermudadreieck is the Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr, opened in 2016.

Annual events

  • Jumble Sale – on the third Saturday of the month, in front of city hall
  • April/May: Maiabendfest – local festival, hundreds of years old
  • May: Steam Festival (every other year [even or odd?])
  • June events:
Rubissimo, Ruhr University's summer festival
Kemnade International
Extraschicht – Night of Industrial Heritage (many locations all over the Ruhr area)
  • June/July: VfL for Fun – summer festival for Bochum's football (soccer) team, VfL Bochum 1848
  • July: Bochum Total (Rock Music Festival) – starts on the first weekend after school lets out
  • July or August: Bochum kulinarisch – culinary treats from various cuisines, held the last weekend of summer vacation
  • August: Bochumer Musiksommer, Bochum's Summer of Music
  • September: Open Flair – international cabaret and street theatre
  • October: Oktobermarkt – October Market
  • October/November: Bochumer Bachtage – music of composer Johann Sebastian Bach
  • October/November: Ruhrgebiets-Antiquariatstag – used and antique book sale
  • November: Children's and Teenagers' Theatre
  • December: Weihnachtsmarkt – Christmas Market – month-long open air market spread over the heart of downtown Bochum, includes performance stages


Bergbaumuseum Bochum Bergbaumuseum Bochum Blaue Stunde 2014.jpg
Bergbaumuseum Bochum

Art galleries

Museum of Art Villa Marckhoff.jpg
Museum of Art

Public art

"Terminal" by sculptor Richard Serra Bochum 070217 035 00.jpg
"Terminal" by sculptor Richard Serra
Stolperstein for Else Hirsch on pavement in Bochum Else Hirsch stolperstein on sidewalk in Bochum.jpg
Stolperstein for Else Hirsch on pavement in Bochum


Located companies

The German headquarters of the United Cinemas International Multiplex GmbH has its seat in Bochum UCI Kinowelt Logo im SVG-Format.svg
The German headquarters of the United Cinemas International Multiplex GmbH has its seat in Bochum
Vonovia headquarters in Bochum Vonovia-8665-HD.jpg
Vonovia headquarters in Bochum
GEA Group's former headquarters in Bochum Hofstede GEA Group Dorstener Strasse Verwaltung.jpg
GEA Group's former headquarters in Bochum Hofstede
GLS Bank, main administration GLS Bank.jpg
GLS Bank, main administration



Bochum is connected to the Autobahn network by the A 40, A 43 and A 44 autobahns. In addition, Bochum has a ring road, built to expressway standards, consisting of four segments; the Donezk, Oviedo, Nordhausen and Sheffield-Ring roads. It serves as a three-quarter loop around central Bochum and begins and ends at Autobahn A40. Ruhr University Bochum is also served by an expressway running from the Nordhausen-Ring to Autobahn A43. Until 2012, a new interchange (Dreieck Bochum-West) between the Donezk-Ring and Autobahn A40 is being constructed within tight parameters due to the existence of a nearby factory.

Apart from the autobahns and expressways, there is also a small ring road around the centre of Bochum, where most roads radiating out of Bochum begin. Most main roads in Bochum are multi-lane roads with traffic lights. Bochum is also served by the Bundesstraße 51 and Bundesstraße 226. B51 runs to Herne and Hattingen, and B226 runs to Gelsenkirchen and Witten.


Bochum Hauptbahnhof, the city's main railway station Bochum - Kurt-Schumacher-Platz - Hbf 01 ies.jpg
Bochum Hauptbahnhof, the city's main railway station

Bochum has a central station situated on the line from Duisburg to Dortmund, connecting the city to the long-distance network of Deutsche Bahn as well as to the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn network.

Bus, tram, underground

Local service is supplied mainly by BOGESTRA, a joint venture handling transportation between the cities of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen. The Bochum Stadtbahn is a single underground line connecting the University of Bochum to Herne, and the Bochum/Gelsenkirchen tramway network is made up of several lines, partially underground, connecting to Gelsenkirchen, Hattingen and Witten. Public transport in the city is priced according to the fare system of the VRR transport association.


As one of the few Ruhr area cities, Bochum is not directly connected with the German waterway net; the closest link is in the more northern located Herne at the Rhine-Herne Canal. In the south the border of Bochum is marked by the Ruhr. Up to the first half of the 19th century it was one of the most-travelled rivers in Europe and was mainly used for coal departure. Aside from cruise ships, it is no longer used for commercial navigation.


The closest airports are Essen/Mülheim Airport (27 km), Dortmund Airport (31 km) and Düsseldorf Airport (47 km). To reach the airport in Düsseldorf, there are ICE, InterCity, RE and S railway lines. Other reachable airports are the Cologne Bonn Airport, the Weeze Airport, the Münster Osnabrück International Airport and the Paderborn Lippstadt Airport.


Aerial view of the Ruhr University Bochum Ruhr-Universitat Bochum Luftaufnahme 2014.jpg
Aerial view of the Ruhr University Bochum
Main building of the Georg Agricola University of Applied Sciences THGA Hauptgebaude 2016.jpg
Main building of the Georg Agricola University of Applied Sciences

Higher education

Elementary and secondary schools

There are 61 primary schools, 9 Hauptschulen ("general schools") and 14 special schools.

In addition, there are 11 preparatory (British: grammar) schools ("Gymnasien"), 5 comprehensive schools ("Gesamtschulen"), 8 Realschulen and 2 private Waldorf schools.

"Gymnasien" – preparatory schools (British: grammar school):

"Gesamtschulen" – comprehensive schools:

Realschulen – high schools:

Waldorf schools:

Twin towns – sister cities

Bochum is twinned with: [74]

There is a major road in Bochum named Sheffield-Ring after its sister city Sheffield, England. There is also a long section of dual carriageway on the south-western edge of Sheffield, between the suburbs of Meadowhead and Gleadless, named Bochum Parkway.

Notable people

Manfred Eigen, 1996 Eigen,Manfred 1996 Gottingen.jpg
Manfred Eigen, 1996
Commemorative plaque for Else Hirsch, 1889-1943 Else Hirsch stolperstein in Bochum.jpg
Commemorative plaque for Else Hirsch, 1889–1943
Norbert Lammert, 2014 Lammert, Norbert-0829.jpg
Norbert Lammert, 2014
Andrey Osterman 1740-1741 Ostermann.jpg
Andrey Osterman 1740–1741
Leon Goretzka, 2019 2019-06-11 Fussball, Manner, Landerspiel, Deutschland-Estland StP 2074 LR10 by Stepro (cropped).jpg
Leon Goretzka, 2019


See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ruhr (river)</span> River in Germany

The Ruhr is a river in western Germany, a right tributary (east-side) of the Rhine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ruhr</span> Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Ruhr, also referred to as the Ruhr area, sometimes Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With a population density of 2,800/km2 and a population of over 5 million (2017), it is the largest urban area in Germany. It consists of several large cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr to the south, Rhine to the west, and Lippe to the north. In the southwest it borders the Bergisches Land. It is considered part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region of more than 10 million people, which is the third largest in Europe, behind only London and Paris.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gelsenkirchen</span> City in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Gelsenkirchen is the 25th most populous city of Germany and the 11th most populous in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with 262,528 (2016) inhabitants. On the Emscher River, it lies at the centre of the Ruhr, the largest urban area of Germany, of which it is the fifth largest city after Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg and Bochum. The Ruhr is located in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, one of Europe's largest urban areas. Gelsenkirchen is the fifth largest city of Westphalia after Dortmund, Bochum, Bielefeld and Münster, and it is one of the southernmost cities in the Low German dialect area. The city is home to the football club Schalke 04, which is named after Gelsenkirchen-Schalke. The club's current stadium Veltins-Arena, however, is located in Gelsenkirchen-Erle.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia</span> City in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Herne is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area directly between the cities of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hattingen</span> Town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Hattingen is a town in the northern part of the Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bochum-Innenstadt</span>

Innenstadt is a part of the city of Bochum in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany including Gleisdreieck. It is located in the Ruhr area, the most populous German agglomeration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">BOGESTRA</span>

The Bochum-Gelsenkirchener Straßenbahnen AG, abbreviated BOGESTRA, is a public transport operator in the Ruhr area, most notably in the cities of Bochum, Gelsenkirchen and Herne. As of 2012, the company operated, in whole or in part, 9 rail lines, and 65 bus lines. In 2012, BOGESTRA transported a total of 144.9 million passengers. The company is a member of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) public transport association.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rhine–Herne Canal</span> Transportation canal in Germany

The Rhine–Herne Canal is a 45.6-kilometre-long (28.3 mi) transportation canal in the Ruhr area of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, with five canal locks. The canal was built over a period of eight years and connects the harbour in Duisburg on the Rhine with the Dortmund-Ems Canal near Henrichenburg, following the valley of the Emscher. It was widened in the 1980s. The Rhein-Herne canal ship was designed specifically for this canal; normally of about 1300–1350 ton capacity, it has a maximum draft of 2.50 metres (8.2 ft), a length of approximately 80 metres (260 ft), and maximum beam of 9.50 metres (31.2 ft).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ruhrpolen</span> Northwest Slavic peoples who migrated to western Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries

Ruhrpolen is a German umbrella term for the Polish migrants and their descendants who lived in the Ruhr area in western Germany since the 19th century. The Poles migrated to the rapidly industrializing region from Polish-speaking areas of the German Empire.

The Wanne-Herner Eisenbahn und Hafen GmbH is a railway and canal port operating company based around the Rhine-Herne Canal in the Ruhr area of Germany

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Witten/Dortmund–Oberhausen/Duisburg railway</span> Railway in Germany

The Witten/Dortmund, Oberhausen/Duisburg railway is one of the most important railways in Germany. It is the main axis of long distance and regional rail transport on the east–west axis of the Ruhr and is served by Intercity-Express, InterCity, Regional-Express, Regionalbahn and S-Bahn trains.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heitkamp BauHolding</span>

The Heitkamp BauHolding GmbH with headquarters in Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia, is a Gmbh — equivalent to a limited liability company in the US or limited liability partnership in the UK — involved in specialized construction work in various construction sectors. It is a holding company with 1,200 total employees across all of its locations and generates US$365.77 million in sales. There are 6 companies in the Heitkamp BauHolding GmbH group of companies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Ruhr</span> Aspect of history

The actual boundaries of the Ruhr vary slightly depending on the source, but a good working definition is to define the Lippe and Ruhr as its northern and southern boundaries respectively, the Rhine as its western boundary, and the town of Hamm as the eastern limit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Essen-Steele station</span> Railway station in Essen, Germany

Essen-Steele is located in the district of Essen-Steele in the German city of Essen in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is on the Witten/Dortmund–Oberhausen/Duisburg line and is classified by Deutsche Bahn as a category 4 station. It is served by the RE 14 (Emscher-Münsterland-Express) Borken (Westf) / Coesfeld (Westf), RE 49 (Wupper-Lippe-Express) and Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn lines S1, S3 and S9.

The Gelsenkirchen Essen railway is a double-track, electrified main line railway in the central Ruhr area of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It runs from Essen Hauptbahnhof via Essen-Kray Nord to Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Osterath–Dortmund Süd railway</span>

The Osterath–Dortmund-Süd railway is a historically significant line in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Parts of it are closed, much of it is now used for freight only, but several sections are still used for Regional-Express, Regionalbahn or Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn services.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rhine-Ruhr Stadtbahn</span>

The Rhine-Ruhr Stadtbahn is an umbrella system of all of the Stadtbahn lines included in the integrated public transport network of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR), which covers the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area in western Germany. It does not include the Cologne and Bonn Stadtbahn systems, which are integrated in the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (VRS).

The Bochum–Essen/Oberhausen railway was built by the Bergisch-Märkische Railway Company to the north of its main line through the central Ruhr to tap traffic from mines and factories in the northern Ruhr region, which is now in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bochum–Gelsenkirchen railway</span>

The Bochum–Gelsenkirchen railway, also known as the Glückauf-Bahn, is a passenger railway from Bochum Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) to Gelsenkirchen Central Station in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is served by Regionalbahn passenger service RB 46). It is also used by freight traffic from Bochum freight yard at the former Bochum Süd station and Bochum-Präsident to Gelsenkirchen-Schalke Nord. The line was built in sections between 1867 and 1876 of the Bergisch-Märkische Railway Company. The curve connecting to Bochum Central Station was opened in 1979.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trams in Bochum/Gelsenkirchen</span> Tramway network in Germany

The Bochum/Gelsenkirchen tramway network is a network of tramways focused on Bochum and Gelsenkirchen, two cities in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.


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