Lünen, my town... is home to around 90,000 people in the Ruhr area. It is the next-door neighbour to the city of Dortmund and is right on the border to the Münsterland region. Lünen is a good place to live: Located on the banks of the River Lippe, the town links two regions. To the north, the gentle park-like landscape of the Münsterland with its great country houses forms a fascinating contrast to the industrial area to the south, with its impressive heritage of architecture from its industrial past and long mining traditions.
From farming village, through the trade and commerce of a Hansa town, to a centre of industry: First mentioned around the year 890, Lünen developed in the 13th century into a fortified town of the Hansa League. The Lippe river crossing played a major role in this. To the south of the Lippe, a long-distance road passed through the town, the east-west connection from Wesel via Dorsten and the Vest Recklinghausen to Lünen, and from there to Kamen, Hamm, Soest and Lippstadt. Of even greater importance was the north-south route, coming from the North and Baltic Seas via Bremen, Osnabrück and Münster to Lünen and Dortmund, and onward to Cologne. A source of great interest in this context is a customs list from the years 1573 / 74. It gives a good idea of the trade at that time, on the “Danish Ox Road” through Lünen. The main commodities carried were beer, spirits, cheese, wine and cattle. A reminder of the trade of those days is given by the group of oxen at the “Persiluhr” in the centre of town.
In 1336, Count Adolf II von der Mark relocated the town for strategic reasons from the north to the south bank of the Lippe and in 1341 gave it its municipal charter. With the mining of bog iron ore in the early 19th century, the Lippe was made navigable, and the first iron foundry in the Lünen area was established, subsequently ollowed by coalmines. Lünen grew.
Today, as home to the world’s biggest copper recycling plant, the Aurubis, the firm of Remondis, a market leader in matters of waste disposal, and glass production by the Ardagh Glass Group of Dublin, Lünen is a centre of skill for the recycling industry and the "Ruhr Economic Development Centre for Waste Disposal and Reutilisation Technology". The energy sector and health sciences are other important pillars on which the transformation of the local economic structure is based: A highly prominent and visible symbol of this transformation is the "UFO" of designer Prof. Luigi Colani, located in the Lünen Technology Centre and crowning the old pithead gear of the former "Minister Achenbach" Mine, Shaft IV, in a height of 37 metres.