Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
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City, Lower Saxony Land (state), northwestern Germany, on the canalized Hase River between the Teutoburger Wald (forest) and the Wiehengebirge (mountain range). Originally a Saxon settlement where Charlemagne established a bishopric in 785, the city was chartered in 1171 and was a member of the Hanseatic League, known especially for its “Osnaburg? linen. The city accepted the Reformation in 1543 and has been predominantly Protestant since. The Peace of Westphalia, signed there in 1648, stipulated that the bishopric was to be held alternately by Catholics and Protestants. Ernest Augustus I, elector of Hanover and the father of George I of England, was the first Protestant bishop. The see was secularized and given to Hanover in 1803, but it was reestablished as a Roman Catholic bishopric in 1858.

The palace of the elector bishops (1667–90) has survived. There was widespread destruction in World War II, but several buildings—including the historic town hall (1487–1512) with its peace hall (Friedenssaal) and the Gothic St. Mary's Church (1280–1324)—survived. Other medieval buildings include the 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and St. John's and St. Katherine's churches. There are town houses of the 13th–19th century, one of which was the birthplace of the writer and statesman Justus Möser (1720–94). The University of Osnabrück was founded in 1970. In the vicinity are several moated castles, such as Haus Gesmold, and spas, such as Melle (saline springs).

Osnabrück is a major rail junction with steel works and factories producing machinery, auto equipment, chemicals, textiles, and paper. Pop. (1989 est.) 154,594.

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