Bünde [ˈbʏndə] (Low German Buine) is a town in the Herford district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.


Coat of arms
Location of Bünde within Herford district
Coordinates: 52°12′N 8°36′E
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionDetmold
  MayorWolfgang Koch (CDU)
  Total59.30 km2 (22.90 sq mi)
59-175 m (−515 ft)
  Density770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes05223
Vehicle registrationHF


Bünde is situated between Osnabrück (west), Hannover (east) and Bielefeld (south).


The town is crossed from west to east by the River Else, one of the few rivers in the world that does not originate from a spring, but as a result of bifurcation. It drains the whole area and discharges via the Werre and Weser into the North Sea. Within the town area it is joined by numerous small streams from the south and north. One of the northern streams is the Gewinghauser Bach, which on its way to the Else crosses water meadows in the district of Ennigloh-Gewinghausen. Other tributaries coming from the north in downstream order are the Ahler Bruchbach, which starts in Rödinghausen, flows mainly through the district of Ahler Bruch and enters the Else in the Melle area; in addition there is the Darmühlenbach, which also rises in Rödinghausen; then the Spradower Mühlenbach and finally the Eselsbach. From the south the Else is joined by the Werfener Bach.


The town is divided into 12 districts (Population numbers as of June 30, 2005):

  • Bünde (city center) (11,163 inhabitants)
  • Ennigloh (9,146 inhabitants)
  • Spradow (4,832 inhabitants)
  • Südlengern (4,610 inhabitants)
  • Dünne (4,165 inhabitants)
  • Holsen (3,762 inhabitants)
  • Hunnebrock (3,329 inhabitants)
  • Ahle (2,060 inhabitants)
  • Bustedt (1,751 inhabitants)
  • Hüffen (1,653 inhabitants)
  • Werfen (934 inhabitants)
  • Muckum (853 inhabitants)

International relations

Bünde is twinned with:=


Bünde was first mentioned, as Buginithi, in 853.[2] It has one of the oldest church foundations of Westphalia, the 'Laurentius Church' (founded about 778 - 840). During the Cold War, it was home to a British military base (part of the BAOR) which closed in 1993.

Coat of arms

The two warriors shaking hands on the city's coat of arms are Hengist and Horsa, Saxon princes said to have led the Germanic conquest of southern Britain in the 5th century. Legend holds that it was here the brother warriors put aside their differences and swore to conquer the island together, a fact commemorated in the town's name (Bund, plural Bünde, means "league" or "covenant" in German).[3]

Natural history

About 30 million-year-old fossils were found in the Doberg, including a skull of a toothed whale (Easqualadon langewieschei) and a skeleton of a manatee (Anemotherium langewieschei). Both were found 1911-1912 by Friedrich Langewiesche, who became an honorary citizen of Bünde. The fossils are presented in 'Doberg Museum' in Bünde.


The main industries are kitchen furniture and cigar manufacturers. The town is called the Cigar Box of Germany. Many tobacco products such as pipes, and tobacco jars are also produced here. The Westphalian tobacco industry is based here, as well as the tobacco museums. Among companies based in the town, the model maker Revell is known on the international stage. The European arm has been based here since 1957.[4]


The town supports the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie for regular symphony concerts.

Notable Persons

Other personalities

The following personalities do not come from Bünde, but have worked or work in the city.

  • Hengest and Horsa, according to the legend, these two Saxon tribe leaders and brethren (whose historicity is very controversial) forged the alliance in England
  • Karl Koch (1875-1951), theologian, pastor in Ennigloh
  • Hans Werner Henze (1926-2012), composer, spent some years of his childhood in the Bünder district of Dünne
  • Fritz Pleitgen (born 1938), journalist, visited the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium here and worked during this time for the then Freie Presse as a sports reporter;
  • C. C. Catch (born 1964) (musician, real name: Caroline Gertrud Catherina Müller), musician, lived in Bünde for several years and attended school
  • Maximilian Hecker (born 1977), musician, lived for many years in Bünde and did his Abitur at the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium
  • Andreas Hermann (born 1983), actor, lived in Bünde


  1. "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2018" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  2. Adrian Room, Placenames of the World, 2nd ed. s.v. "Bũnde"; Franz Friedrich Roger Wilmans, Die Kaiserurkunden der Provinz Westfalen 777-1313: kritisch, topographisch, und historisch (Münster 1881) vol. II no. 189. p. 240; document of 1039.
  3. Militzer, Jörg (27 May 2009). "Legendärer Händedruck". Neue Westfälische.
  4. Revell Company History cites 1957 for Bunde. See http://www.revell.de/en/company/history.html retrieved 21 September 2016.
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