1945 to the present day
Bishop Clemens August Graf von Galen is appointed cardinal by Pope Pius XII. Due to his courageous resistance during the Nazi era, he enjoys the highest respect even by the British military government. The cardinal dies completely unexpectedly a few days after his return from Rome.
A “reorganisation plan” for the destroyed old town settles for a reconstruction within the traditional standards and in a style modelled on the destroyed Münster. This does not remain undisputed, since the spirit of the time calls for the “car-compatible city”. Since the 1970s, the reconstruction of Münster is generally viewed as exemplary.
Inauguration of the new municipal theatre. The modern major building in the midst of the old town, embedded and at the same time contrastive in-between two medieval churches, is not only the first new post-war theatre building in Germany, but also Münster’s most important contribution to international architecture thitherto. The young architects Harald Deilmann, Max von Hausen, Werner Ruhnau, and Ortwin Rawe are the creators.
Münster concludes the first international twinning agreement with the English city of York, followed by Orléans in France (1960), Kristiansand in Norway (1967), Monastir in Tunisia (1969), Rishon le Zion in Israel (1981), Fresno in the USA (1967), Rjasan in Russia (1989), and Lublin in Poland (1991). A town twinning within German lands, desired by Münster for a long time is disallowed by the powers of the GDR. In 1990, a “friendship of cities” with Mühlhausen in Thuringia is contracted after the first free local elections.
Münster is connected to the speedway network via the A1 (also called the Hansalinie, i.e. Hanseatic Line) from the Kamener Kreuz (Kamen motorway interchange). Münster South has been forming a three-leg interchange with the A1 and A43 speedways since the early 1980s.
The construction of university facilities are implemented step by step by the city, the federal state, and the university. The Natuwissenschaftliches Zentrum (Science Centre) and the Großklinkum (major clinical centre) emerge as a result.
Inauguration of the Münster/Osnabrück Airport. Established as a regional airport, it quickly develops into an international airport.
By integrating nine surrounding communities, the urban area of Münster is multiplied, with the number of inhabitants growing from 200,000 to 265,000. The Münster district is dissolved, the city of Münster becomes successor in title.
The entire urban area of Münster becomes the location for the first exhibition project “Skulptur”, with artists of international distinction participating. The “Billiard Balls” of New-Yorker Claes Oldenburg on the Aasee meadow become most popular. Due to the great success, the “Skulptur” project is replicated decennially (in 1987, 1997, and 2007), each time with special focuses. As a result, Münster becomes the city with the highest number of sculptures in the townscape.
Pope John Paul II visits Münster. He was the first official leader of the Roman-Catholic Church to sojourn in the city, praying at the grave of Clemens August Cardinal von Galen, beside several addresses.
The town-hall is an important station of negotiations for preparing the "Zwei-plus-Vier-Treffen" (Meeting for the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany), opening up the path to German Unity and restoring full sovereignty to Germany. Eduard Schewardnaze, foreign minister of the USSR, and German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher meet at the Prinzipalmarkt.
In the town-hall, a momentous event takes place on the way to worldwide cooperation after the East/West conflict had been overcome. Here, the ministers of economic affairs of the G7 countries, i.e. the major industrial nations, meet with their colleagues form the East European republics for the first time.
The 1200th town anniversary is celebrated. The sculpture “Toleranz durch Dialog” (Tolerance by Dialogue) by Basque artist Eduardo Chillida († 2002) in the town-hall yard is handed over in the presence of Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker. Likewise, the spectacular new building of the municipal library (architect: Julia B. Bolles-Wilson) is handed over to the public, stirring international attention.
Münster is in the focus of the ceremonies of the anniversary “350 Years of the Peace of Westphalia”. In the Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History, the 26th exhibition of the Council of Europe, “1648 - War and Peace in Europe” is displayed. Mayor Marion Tüns welcomes numerous kings and queens as well as heads of European states and the Federal President Roman Herzog in the Hall of Peace of the town-hall.
LivCom Award: Münster is awarded the title “most livable city in the world” in the category of 250,000 - 700,000 inhabitants.
The bishopric of Münster celebrates its 1200th anniversary. The consecration of Saint Liudger to the first bishop of Münster on March 30, 805 marks the inception of the bishopric.
In April 2015, the European Heritage Label has been awarded to the Town Halls of Münster and Osnabrück as the ‚Sites of the Peace of Westphalia‘ by the European Commission.