Essen and Dortmund, Germany
Essen, independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, (2019) 582 800 residents; extends from the hilly terrain on both sides of the Ruhr in the south over the lightly sloping plain to the north to over the Rhine-Herne Canal and the Emscher (30–202 m above sea level).
The city, which was formerly characterized by coal mining and iron production, has now shifted its economic focus to trade and services (especially administration) as well as teaching and research. Essen is the seat of the Regional Social Court of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Regional Court, the German Weather Service Essen branch, a Catholic bishop (Ruhrbistum), the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR), the Initiativkreis Ruhr, the Emschergenossenschaft and the Ruhrverband as well as numerous business associations and associations.
Together with Duisburg, Essen has a university (association in 2003, founded as a comprehensive university in 1972), Folkwang University of the Arts, University of Fine Arts (HBK), FOM University of Economics & Management (University Center Essen), Administration and Business Academy, Rhine-Westphalian Institute for economic research (Leibniz Institute) as well as numerous other educational and research institutions. Well-known theaters are the Aalto Theater (venue of the Essen Philharmonic), the modern Grillo Theater and the Colosseum Theater (musicals, concerts) in a converted industrial hall. The most important museums are: Museum Folkwang, German Poster Museum, Red Dot Design Museum, Ruhr Museum (since 2008 in the former coal washing plant at Zollverein, Shaft XII; formerly as the Ruhrland Museum under one roof with the Folkwang Museum) with various branch offices (e.g. Halbachhammer, Deilbachtal cultural landscape), Villa Hügel with the Krupp Historical Collection.
Essen is the center of the German energy industry with the administrative offices of RWE AG, E.ON SE and Steag. Other leading commercial companies are based in Essen (thyssenkrupp AG, Evonik Industries AG, Hochtief AG).
While the formerly important coal mining industry was discontinued in 1986, Essen has developed into an important decision-making center in the German economy (around a tenth of the 100 highest-turnover companies in Germany have their headquarters in Essen). The industries that once determined the economy (engine, truck, locomotive construction, steel production and steel construction, as well as electrical, brewery, mechanical engineering, light metal, printing and chemical industries) have lost their former importance. Various service companies have taken their place, particularly in the areas of administration, trade and media. As a trade fair city, Essen registers over 1.4 million overnight stays annually.
Essen has a dense network of mostly underground light rail lines as well as tram and bus routes. Some of the motorways leading through Essen are partly led in tunnels in the vicinity of the city. Essen has an industrial port on the Rhine-Herne Canal.
Dortmund, city in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area, with 588,300 residents, the largest city in Westphalia.
The former mining and industrial city has developed into a center for services and research in recent years. As a result of this structural change, unemployment is still relatively high today. Dortmund is a university city and a transport hub with a large port on the Dortmund-Ems Canal.
The cityscape is characterized by several old churches and modern buildings such as theaters, concert halls as well as the city and state library, the television tower in the Westfalenpark, the Westfalenhalle and the largest German football stadium.