The Town of Muenster
Muenster was founded in 793: Liudger built an abbey (monasterium) close to the farmer’s village of Mimigernaford (“ford over the Aa river”). In the Middle Ages Muenster was a leading member of the Hanseatic League. In 1534 the Anabaptists took power and founded a democratic proto-socialistic state which they called “New Jerusalem”. However, the town was recaptured in 1535; the Anabaptists were tortured to death and their corpses were exhibited in cages which can still be seen hanging on the Tower of St. Lamberti's steeple. The signing of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 at Muenster and Osnabrueck ended the Thirty Years' War and Eighty Years' War and was one of the foundations upon which modern Europe was built. In 1940, the bishop of Muenster, von Galen, was one of the most prominent critics of the Nazi government. As retaliation, Muenster was heavily garrisoned during World War II. In 1944 it was heavily bombed by air and the majority of the Old City centre was destroyed. Fortunately, the Old City was rebuilt in the 1950ies to match its pre-war state. This wonderfully restored historic city centre was one of the reasons that Muenster was awarded the LiveCom Award in 2004. Other contributing factors were the ecologically friendly urban development with lots of parks (Green City) and bicycles as main means of transportation (Bicycle City), the rich cultural offers, for example with the newly founded Picasso Museum or the Sculpture Projects muenster, and the lively atmosphere with lots of students.
For tourists it is worthwhile to visit Muenster’s most famous sights, for example St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Prinzipalmarkt with the Gothic town hall (Hall of Peace), St. Lambert’s Church, or the Schloss (palace) that hosts the administration of the University. Furthermore, you can rent a bike and enjoy a tour around Muenster on the Promenade, circle the Aasee (lake Aa), or ride along the channel. In the evening, visit one of the typical student pubs for a beer or have dinner in the old dock area with lots of artists’ lofts and galleries.
More information about the city of Muenster can be found here.
The University of Muenster
With approximately 40.000 students the Westfaelische-Wilhelms University (WWU) of Muenster is the third largest University of Germany, only outnumbered by the Universities of Berlin and Cologne. It was founded in 1771 and after a tumultuous history Emperor Wilhelm II elevated it again to the status of University in 1902. Today, it consists of 7 faculties and 15 departments. University buildings are spread all over the city with the palace of Muenster as its main administrative building since 1954.
More information about the University of Muenster in general can be found here.
More information about the Department of Psychology of the WWU can be found here (mostly in German). here