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Patterbuorn / Paterboärn (Westphalian)
Paderborn Cathedral
Flag of Paderborn
Coat of arms of Paderborn
Location of the city of Paderborn within the district
North Rhine-WestphaliaHesseHochsauerlandkreisSoest (district)Gütersloh (district)Höxter (district)Lippe (district)Bad LippspringePaderbornHövelhofLichtenauBad WünnenbergAltenbekenSalzkottenBürenBorchenDelbrück
Paderborn is located in Germany
Paderborn is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 51°43′05″N 8°45′15″E / 51.71806°N 8.75417°E / 51.71806; 8.75417
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionDetmold
 • Mayor (2020–25) Michael Dreier[1] (CDU)
 • Total179.38 km2 (69.26 sq mi)
Highest elevation
347 m (1,138 ft)
Lowest elevation
94 m (308 ft)
 • Total154,755
 • Density860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes05251, 05252, 05254, 05293
Vehicle registrationPB

Paderborn (German pronunciation: [paːdɐˈbɔʁn] ; Westphalian: Patterbuorn, also Paterboärn)[3] is a city in eastern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the Paderborn district. The name of the city derives from the river Pader and Born, an old German term for the source of a river. The river Pader originates in more than 200 springs near Paderborn Cathedral, where St. Liborius is buried.

Paderborn ranks 55th on the List of cities in Germany by population.


Paderborn was founded as a bishopric by Charlemagne in 795, although its official history began in 777 when Charlemagne built a castle near the Paderborn springs.[4] In 799 Pope Leo III fled his enemies in Rome and reached Paderborn, where he met Charlemagne, and stayed there for three months. It was during this time that it was decided that Charlemagne would be crowned emperor. Charlemagne reinstated Leo in Rome in 800 and was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by Leo in return. In 836, St. Liborius became the patron saint of Paderborn after his bones were moved there from Le Mans by Bishop Badurad.[5] St. Liborius is commemorated in Paderborn every year in July with the Liborifest. The bishop of Paderborn, Meinwerk, became a Prince of the Empire in 1100. The bishop had several large buildings built, and the area became a place for the emperors to stay.[4]

Paderborn in 1647.

The city was taken by Prussia in 1802, then by the French vassal state Kingdom of Westphalia from 1807 to 1813 and then returned to Prussia.

Native Friedrich Sertürner, a pharmacist's apprentice in Paderborn, was the first to isolate morphine from opium in 1804.

In 1914 the Paderborn military camp was turned into a prisoner of war camp named Sennelager.

In 1930, the See of Paderborn was promoted to archdiocese.

During World War II, Paderborn was bombed by Allied aircraft in 1944 and 1945, resulting in 85% destruction, including many of the historic buildings. It was seized by the US 3rd Armored Division after a pitched battle 31 March – 1 April 1945, in which tanks and flamethrowers were used during combined mechanized-infantry assaults against the city's southwestern, southern and southeastern approaches.[6]

After the city was reconstructed in the 1940s and 1950s, Paderborn became a major industrial seat in Westphalia.[5] The British Army retained a significant presence in the area until 2020, when British units were relocated back to the United Kingdom. Only a small training and enabling staff remain at Paderborn to facilitate temporary deployments to use the Sennelager Training Area.[7]

On May 20, 2022, Paderborn was hit by a damaging tornado, leaving 38 injured & considerable damage along its path.[8][9]


Pader River

Paderborn is situated at the source of the river Pader, approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Lippstadt and approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of Bielefeld on the Pader. The hills of the Eggegebirge are located east of the city. Paderborn is 104 kilometres (65 mi) east of Dortmund and the Ruhr region. To the north-west, Hannover is 115 kilometres (71 mi) away.

Neighbouring municipalities


The city of Paderborn consists of the following Stadtteile (city sections):


Climate data for Paderborn (Bad Lippspringe) (1991–2020 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −0.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 87.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 19.0 16.8 16.5 13.6 14.7 15.5 15.9 15.7 15.1 16.8 18.3 20.4 198.4
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 6.0 6.7 2.0 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.1 4.2 20.1
Average relative humidity (%) 83.9 81.2 76.6 70.2 70.7 72.1 71.7 72.3 78.0 81.9 85.1 85.5 77.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.3 69.4 117.4 166.5 192.5 191.5 198.2 187.4 141.3 102.6 51.3 41.6 1,512.7
Source: World Meteorological Organization[10]


Paderborn has a population of over 144,000, of which approximately 10% are students at the local university (Paderborn University). Additionally, about 10,000 members or relatives of members of the British armed forces live within Westfalen Garrison, but are not included in the nominal population size.

Largest groups of foreign residents
Nationality Population (2011)
 Turkey 2,210
 Poland 1,212
 Italy 1,206
 United Kingdom 903
 China 627
 Russia 578
 Serbia and Montenegro 573
 Spain 326

60% of the population are Catholics, 20% Lutherans and 20% members of other faiths or not religious.


Paderborn is the headquarters of the former Nixdorf Computer AG, which was acquired by Siemens in the early 1990s and known as Siemens-Nixdorf for about ten years. The company is now known as Diebold Nixdorf, which is still located in Paderborn, but Siemens retains a considerable presence in the city.

Many other information technology companies as well as industrial enterprises are located in Paderborn, too:

Paderborn is also home of the "Paderborner" brewery, which has belonged to the Warsteiner group since 1990.

Arts and culture

Paderborn has the largest computer museum in the world, the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum, opened in 1996. From 2001 to 2005, it hosted the RoboCup German Open [de].

The town supports the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie for regular symphony concerts in the Paderhalle.

The city is known today for its exhibitions in three museums: the Kaiserpfalz, The Diocesan Museum and the Art Museum - Städtische Galerie.[11] The city also have some natural tourist attractions within and around.[12]

Image gallery


With the Archdiocese of Paderborn based in the city cathedral, Paderborn has traditionally been a conservative Catholic city. In the Bundestag, it is located in the eponymous electoral district, which is a safe seat for CDU. Only twice (1949 and 2021) has CDU not received a majority of the district's votes, and from 1953 to 1987 always received at least 60% of the district's vote. In the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia, the city currently located in the district Paderborn II, which also has a strong CDU lean.

At local level, the city has always elected CDU mayors since 1946. Until 2009, the CDU held an absolute majority on the city council, and as late as 1979 received over 60% of the vote in the city.


The current mayor of Paderborn is Michael Dreier of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The most recent mayoral election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows:

Candidate Party Votes %
Michael Dreier Christian Democratic Union 29,038 52.0
Klaus Schröder Alliance 90/The Greens 11,194 20.1
Martin Pantke Social Democratic Party 6,902 12.4
Elke Süsselbeck The Left 2,467 4.4
Marvin Weber Alternative for Germany 2,404 4.3
Alexander Senn Free Democratic Party 1,743 3.1
Stephan Hoppe For Paderborn 1,099 2.0
Verani Kartum Volt Germany 538 1.0
Hartmut Hüttemann Free Voters 416 0.8
Valid votes 55,801 99.2
Invalid votes 464 0.8
Total 56,265 100.0
Electorate/voter turnout 118,244 48.6
Source: City of Paderborn

City council

Results of the 2020 city council election.

The Paderborn 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:

Party Votes % +/- Seats +/-
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 22,412 40.3 Decrease 6.1 24 Decrease 6
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 13,412 24.1 Increase 9.6 14 Increase 5
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 7,101 12.8 Decrease 9.5 7 Decrease 7
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 3,152 2.7 Increase 1.1 3 ±0
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 2,811 5.1 Increase 1.5 3 Increase 1
The Left (Die Linke) 2,554 4.6 Steady 0.0 3 ±0
For Paderborn (Für PB) 1,541 2.8 New 2 New
Die PARTEI 1,485 2.7 New 2 New
Free Citizens' Initiative – Free Voters (FBI) 564 1.0 Decrease 1.9 1 Decrease 1
Volt Germany (Volt) 536 1.0 New 1 New
Valid votes 55,568 98.9
Invalid votes 604 1.1
Total 56,172 100.0 60 Decrease 4
Electorate/voter turnout 118,244 47.5 Increase 1.1
Source: City of Paderborn

Twin towns – sister cities

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

Paderborn is twinned with:[13]


Paderborn is nationally known as a center for American Sports. The local baseball team, the Paderborn Untouchables, has won many German championships. The local American Football team, the Paderborn Dolphins, has also enjoyed considerable success. In 2006 the Paderborn Baskets, the home basketball team of the city was promoted to the Bundesliga.

Paderborn Baskets (basketball)

In the past, the Paderborn Baskets played multiple seasons in the Basketball Bundesliga. They reached the playoffs in the 2008–09 season.

Rugby Club Paderborn e.V.(rugby)

Recently Rugby Club Paderborn e.V. have had a great run in Regionalliga NRW and are on the verge of being promoted to the next league.

SC Paderborn 07 (football)

SC Paderborn 07 is the most successful football club in Paderborn. They were promoted to the Bundesliga, Germany's top flight, in 2019 but relegated back to 2. Bundesliga at the end of the same season.

The club was formed out of the 1985 merger of FC Paderborn and TuS Schloß Neuhaus as TuS Paderborn-Neuhaus and took on its current, shorter name in 1997, the 07 remembering the link with SV 07 Neuhaus. The Neuhaus club was founded in 1907 as SV 07 Neuhaus which was joined by the local side TuS 1910 Sennelager to become TuS Schloss Neuhaus in 1970. The Neuhaus and Paderborn teams played as tier III sides for most of their histories, as has the unified club. Today Paderborn plays its home matches at the Benteler Arena. In 2015, SC Paderborn were promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time. After relegation in their first season, Paderborn returned to the Bundesliga in 2019 only to be relegated again. Currently (2022) they have achieved comfortable mid-table positions in 2. Bundesliga.



Paderborn Airport

Paderborn is located at the Autobahn A 33, which connects Paderborn to the Autobahn A 2 in the north and the Autobahn A 44 in the south.

The main station is a regular stop for the InterCity on the Hamm–Warburg line and several local trains.

The Paderborn Lippstadt Airport connects Paderborn to the bigger German airports and offers flights to many locations in Europe. There is a bus shuttle between the airport and the Paderborn main train station. General Aviation and gliders are based at Paderborn-Haxterberg (ICAO: EDLR) (site of the world gliding championships in 1981).

In Paderborn there is a bus system served by the PaderSprinter for local buses and the Bahnbus Hochstift for regional buses.


University of Paderborn

Paderborn was once the oldest academic site in Westphalia. In 1614, the University of Paderborn was founded by the Jesuits but was closed in 1819. It was re-founded in 1972 as Universität-Gesamthochschule and transformed into a university in its own right in 2002. Today, it is attended by about 20,000 students.

There also are several theological and private academic institutes in Paderborn.

There are a number of grammar schools in the city, the most prominent of which are the Theodorianum and St. Michael Gymnasium,[citation needed] along with others such as the Goerdeler-Gymnasium. There are also a few British primary schools such as John Buchan School, which was located in Sennelager and mainly educated children of British military personnel and the garrison's employees until its closure in 2019.

Notable people

Sophie Schröder in 1828
Friedrich Sertürner
Joseph Hermann Schmidt
Karl von Plettenberg


See also


  1. ^ Wahlergebnisse in NRW Kommunalwahlen 2020, Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, accessed 29 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. ^ "Duden dictionary". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Ed. Heribert Zelder, Tourist Information Services, Welcome to Paderborn, Stadt Paderborn: Paderborn, Germany, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Ed. Heribert Zelder, Tourist Information Services, Welcome to Paderborn, Stadt Paderborn: Paderborn, Germany, 2009.
  6. ^ Stanton, Shelby, World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939–1946 (Revised Edition, 2006), p. 52
  7. ^ "The British Army in Germany". British Army. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  8. ^ "European Severe Weather Database". eswd.eu. Archived from the original on 20 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Tornado verwüstet Paderborn: 43 Verletzte – ein Opfer schwebt in Lebensgefahr".
  10. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991–2020". World Meteorological Organization Climatological Standard Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 12 October 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  11. ^ CREDO in Paderborn - Medieval Histories 2013: 9 ISBN 978-87-92858-11-5
  12. ^ "Attractions and Places To See around Paderborn - Top 20 | Komoot". komoot. Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  13. ^ "Paderborn und seine internationalen Partnerstädte". paderborn.de (in German). Paderborn. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  14. ^ "Le Mans (Frankreich)". paderborn.de (in German). Paderborn. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  15. ^ "Aldegrever, Heinrich" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 531.
  16. ^ "Schröder, Sophie" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 379.

Further reading