Witten and the region
Witten was first mentioned in records in 1214. Located in the middle of the Ruhr valley in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, it is the largest town in the Ennepe Ruhr district, and a university town since 1982. Here is the birthplace of Ruhr mining. Traces of the mining industry – from first records of coal mining in the 16th century to stainless steel production of international renown - are still much in evidence and have been integrated into a wide range of attractive recreational options. The line of the Rhenish Railway Company, e.g., was converted to a bicycle trail with a connection to the popular Ruhr valley bike trail which crosses the entire Ruhr area from the Sauerland to Duisburg. Another attraction is the Mutten valley with the Nachtigall colliery where visitors make trips into the past. The Nachtigall colliery is one of the highlights on the Industrial Heritage Trail, an exciting theme trail that illustrates the industrial history of the Ruhr region.
Green spaces, forest, lakes and streams cover more than 60 % of Witten’s urban area. Witten offers a host of recreational activities and sports facilities. The Ruhr river and Lake Kemnade are ideal for exercise or just lazing around. Among Witten’s numerous sports clubs are the wrestling club KSV Witten and PV Triathlon.
One of the many cultural highlights is the annual Witten festival for contemporary chamber music. Witten is a household name in the folk scene as well: The Witten Folk Festival goes back to the 1970s when famous national and international folk stars met here. Three outstanding locations for cultural events and entertainment – like concerts, theatre and dance performances, recitals – are the Saalbau, the Werkstadt (a former industrial complex) and the historical Haus Witten.
The so-called Ruhrpott (Ruhr region) is a highly exciting environment for studies at one of its numerous universities. Although Witten/Herdecke University is a dwarf among neighbour institutions in Bochum, Dortmund and Duisburg-Essen, and Witten just a village compared to the large cities of the area, it combines the opportunity of extraordinary studies with lots of attractice events and entertainment. The region has a lively student culture and student life with cafes and bars, theatre and music events, and leisure activities. Recently it was chosen as the setting for the new Dortmund team of detectives in the popular “Tatort” TV series.
Within 15 minutes you are in Bochum or Dortmund, it is 45 minutes to Düsseldorf and only one hour to Cologne, the major metropolitan centre with its world-famous cathedral and the renowned Museum Ludwig for Modern Art. Even Berlin and Hamburg are less than four hours away.
And last but not least: For enthusiasts of German football the region is paradise. The clubs of Dortmund, Bochum and Gelsenkirchen promise highly emotional and thrilling matches.
- More about Witten’s city marketing, tourism and events.
- See Witten’s official website for information.
A night out:
- The best address for a night out in the region is Bermudadreieck, Bochum City: parties, cinemas, bars, restaurants – easy to reach, excellent public transport.
- Right in the centre of Witten: a small and cozy cinema.
- Restaurant Orlando, Bochum: café and restaurant, intimate atmosphere, popular with students, art lovers and culture buffs.
- Ratskeller Witten: traditional restaurant, in the Town Hall basement.
- Ruhrpark is Bochum’s major shopping centre (since 1964).
- Stadtgalerie Witten is Witten’s main shopping mall.
- Thier-Galerie: the latest shopping attraction in Dortmund opened in 2011.
- Dortmunder Museum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte: see the website for detailed information on the comprehensive collection.
- The website Kulturinfo Ruhr is useful to look up other cultural locations and events in the region.
- Kulturforum der Stadt Witten offers information on Witten’s music school, public library, Haus Witten, Saalbau, etc.
- More about local cultural events: Wittener Kulturgemeinde.
- LWL-Industriemuseum: this museum presents the industrial history of mining. A major highlight is the Nachtigal colliery as part of the Industrial Heritage Trail.
- Schauspielhaus Bochum: a theatre with a hundred years of tradition and many famous artistic directors.
- Theater Dortmund: one of Germany’s major theatres.
- WerkStadt in Witten: popular location for events, concerts, parties, recitals.
- More on the Witten festival of contemporary chamber music.
- Wittener Folk Club: history and current events.
- Kemnader Stausee: the website has information on recreational activities, sports etc. on and around this artificial lake, including the Heveney outdoor pool facilities.
- Muttental in Witten: history, current events, hiking trails in the valley.
- Hohenstein in Witten: popular recreational area with hiking trails, playground, petting zoo, restaurant, great river view.
- Schwesternpark in Witten: a beautiful old park not far away from the university.
- Activ-Club Drexelius: fitness, sauna and badminton in the immediate vicinity of the university.
- Falkenhof Bochum-Witten invites equestrians.
- FSV Witten is for football fans.
- KSV Witten 07 offers wrestling, martial arts, fitness, dragon boats, and other sports.
- Ruhrtal Radweg: bike trail, total length 230 km.
- Sport-Union Annen: one of the major sport clubs in the Ennepe Ruhr district.
- Turngemeinde Witten offers a variety of sports.
- Partnerschaftsverein Triathlon Witten: for triathlon fans (biking, swimming, track).
- Tennisclub Hohenstein: tennis club with a tradition of 80 years.
- Radweg Rheinischer Esel: bike trail, converted from a historical railway line.
- More information on university sports, accommodation, discounts for stundents etc.: Hochschulwerk Witten e.V.