Town Hall
Town Hall
Flag of Herford
Coat of arms of Herford
Location of Herford within Herford district
Lippe (district)Lower SaxonyGütersloh (district)Minden-LübbeckeMinden-LübbeckeBielefeldNorth Rhine-WestphaliaEngerLöhneBündeKirchlengernHerfordSpengeHiddenhausenRödinghausenVlotho
Herford is located in Germany
Herford is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 52°8′N 8°41′E / 52.133°N 8.683°E / 52.133; 8.683
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionDetmold
 • Mayor (2020–25) Tim Kähler[1] (SPD)
 • Total78.95 km2 (30.48 sq mi)
Highest elevation
240 m (790 ft)
Lowest elevation
56 m (184 ft)
 • Total67,459
 • Density850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
32049, 32051, 32052
Dialling codes05221
Vehicle registrationHF

Herford (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛɐ̯ˌfɔɐ̯t] ; Low German: Hiarwede) is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, located in the lowlands between the hill chains of the Wiehen Hills and the Teutoburg Forest. It is the capital of the district of Herford.


Geographic location

The former Hanseatic town of Herford is situated in the chain of hills south of the Wiehen Hills (Ravensberg Hills). The highest place is the Dornberg (240 m) in the Schwarzenmoor district; the lowest point (56 m) is located in the Werretal in the Falkendiek district. The River Aa joins the river Werre in the centre of the town. The Stuckenberg is located east of the town.


The Herforder EV (Ice Dragons) ice hockey club plays in the Regionaliga, and have enjoyed regular success. They draw an average of 800 fans.

Neighbouring towns



The town was founded in 789 by Charlemagne in order to guard a ford in the narrow Werre river. A century later, Matilda, daughter of Dietrich of Ringelheim, a count of Saxony, grew up in the abbey of Herford; she was a descendant of the Saxon leader Widukind. In Herford she met Henry the Fowler, who later became king of Germany.

In late medieval times Herford was a member of the Hanseatic League. It was a Free Imperial City, i.e. it was directly subordinated to the emperor. This status was lost after the Peace of Westphalia (1648), when Herford was annexed by Brandenburg-Prussia. It was administered within the Province of Westphalia following the Napoleonic Wars, and made part of the new state North Rhine-Westphalia after World War II.

Herford Minster
Saint John's Church
Saint James' Church
Saint Mary's Church

Culture and sights



The MARTa Herford, a museum for contemporary art and design, housed in a building designed by Frank Gehry, has been open to the public since May 2005. Its exhibits change regularly. The current artistic director is Roland Nachtigäller.

The Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus in Herford explores the history of the city, and the Memorial and Meeting Place Cell Block, in the basement of the city hall, documents the persecution and the obliteration of minorities. Plans to construct a museum of city history next to the city hall and the Minster church have been postponed.

Music and theatre

Herford is the seat of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (Northwest German Philharmonic) which performs regularly in the Stadtpark Schützenhof as well as many neighbouring cities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Eugene Tzigane is the principal conductor designate (2010–present). The current director is Andreas Kuntze.

The Stadttheater (Municipal theatre) provides seats for 706 viewers and it is served by visiting theatre companies.

Events at regular intervals


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2023)


Herford was the location of the headquarters of the 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division at Westfalen Garrison, part of British Forces Germany, until the division moved to the United Kingdom in 2015.[3]

The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) studio for Germany was located in Wentworth Barracks until 2009 when it moved to Hohne.

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany

Herford is twinned with:[4]

Friendly cities

Herford also has friendly relations with:[5]

Notable people


  1. ^ Wahlergebnisse in NRW Kommunalwahlen 2020, Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, accessed 21 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2022 – Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes auf Basis des Zensus vom 9. Mai 2011" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  3. ^ "Soldiers start Germany farewell". Belfasttelegraph. PA. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Internationale Kontakte: Städtepartnerschaften". herford.de (in German). Herford. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  5. ^ "Internationale Kontakte: Städtefreundschaften". herford.de (in German). Herford. Retrieved 2021-02-14.