Image: Edgard Hörz
Sixty years ago the fusion between parts of the Rhineland and Westphalia happened under the codeword Operation Marriage when, on 23 August 1946, the British Military Administration established the state. And considering the diversity of rural Westphalia and industrial Northern Rhineland, the fusion was rather more a marriage of convenience than of love.
But following this enforced start, things steadily looked up in NRW. During the early years of the economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder, NRW boomed just like the rest of Germany and heavy industry in the Ruhr Area became the major economic factor. But in the last three decades NRW faced enormous structural change and a more sustainable mix of industry and service replaced heavy industry.
Today, North Rhine-Westphalia is home to more than 18 Million people. It is the most populous and economically strongest state in Germany. Its central position, great infrastructure and the people's high educational and qualification background make NRW the number one state in Germany. Economic size, investment and export are superior to every other German state. Many companies that operate in Germany are based in NRW, especially trading companies from the USA, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Japan.
NRW scores not only with its good economy; it is also a well-known location for high-tech enterprises, education and research institutions. 58 universities, 63 technology and incorporation centres, 30 technology transfer centres, thirteen Fraunhofer Institutes and eleven Max-Planck-Institutes are just a part of this network.
Tired of facts? Then discover its cultural qualities; no other part of Germany offers such diversity. Try the museums, exhibitions, theatre or the opera when enjoying spare time indoors. Outdoors, fourteen National parks, the Eiffel hill and mountain range and more than 200 lakes, are waiting to be discovered.
Link: NRW History...