Welcome to Herford, a charming town located in the lowlands between the Wiehen Hills and the Teutoburg Forest in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Founded in 789 by Charlemagne, Herford is steeped in history and boasts a rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re interested in exploring its Gothic churches and half-timbered buildings, or delving into its contemporary art and design scene, Herford has something to offer every traveler.
Geographically, the town is situated in the chain of hills south of the Wiehen Hills. Its highest point is the Dornberg, located in the Schwarzenmoor district, while the lowest point is in the Werretal in the Falkendiek district. The River Aa joins the river Werre in the center of town, and the Stuckenberg is located to the east.
Sports enthusiasts can catch a game by the Herforder EV ice hockey club, which plays in the Regionaliga and draws an average of 800 fans. And for those interested in neighboring towns, Enger, Hiddenhausen, Löhne, Vlotho, Bad Salzuflen, and Bielefeld are all within easy reach.
Herford’s cultural and architectural heritage is on display in its many landmarks and museums. The Herford Minster (Münsterkirche) is a late Romanesque hall church and one of the earliest of its kind in Germany. St. James (Jakobikirche/Radewiger Kirche), St. John’s (St. Johannis/Neustädter Kirche), and St. Mary’s (St. Marien auf dem Berge) are also Gothic hall churches worth visiting. For those interested in half-timbered buildings, the Remensnider-Haus, Kantorhaus, Holland 21, Holland 39, Bürgermeisterhaus, Frühherrenstraße 11, and Wulfert-Haus all showcase the style. The town hall, built by Paul Kanold in Neo-Baroque forms, is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.
Art and design aficionados should head to the MARTa Herford, a museum housed in a building designed by Frank Gehry. The exhibits change regularly, and the museum is dedicated to contemporary art and design. The Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus explores the history of the city, while the Memorial and Meeting Place Cell Block documents the persecution and obliteration of minorities. Plans to construct a museum of city history next to the city hall and the Minster church have been postponed.
Herford is also home to the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (Northwest German Philharmonic), which performs regularly in the Stadtpark Schützenhof and neighboring cities. The Stadttheater (Municipal theater) provides seats for 706 viewers and is served by visiting theater companies. And for those looking for events at regular intervals, Herford hosts the Easter Fair, Jazz Festival, Organ Summer, Visions Fair, Summer Stage, Hoekerfest, City Fair, Herbstzeitlos, Wine Festival, and Christmas Lights.
Herford’s economy is supported by Vivani organic chocolate, and the town was the location of the headquarters of the 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division at Westfalen Garrison until the division moved to the United Kingdom in 2015. Herford is twinned with Hinckley, England, and Fredericia, Denmark, and has friendly relations with Vodice, Croatia; Quincy, United States; Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland; Manavgat, Turkey; and Xinbei (Jiangsu), China. Come discover the many wonders of Herford for yourself!