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State:Lower Saxony
Adm. Region:Weser-Ems
Area:981 km²
Inhabitants:125,000 (2001)
pop. density:127 inh./km²
Car identification:NOH

Bentheim (in full Grafschaft Bentheim) is a district in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is bounded by (from the west and clockwise) the dutch provinces Overijssel and Drenthe, the district of Emsland, and the districts Steinfurt and Borken in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Geography
3 Coat of arms
4 Towns and municipalities
5 External links


Bentheim was a small medieval state. The district was once full of fens, just as the neighbouring Emsland. The small Vechte river offered the opportunity to found settlements along the banks. Bentheim became an earldom as early as 1050. In the following centuries it became a regional power by annexing the neighbouring earldoms of Steinfurt and Tecklenburg. Sandstone was the major export article in medieval times, ensuring the wealth of the earldom.


The small district of Bentheim is protruding into Dutch territory. The Vechte River (Dutch Vecht) crosses the district from south to north and leaves to the Netherlands. All major towns are situated along that river.

The district is roughly identical with the medieval earldom of Bentheim, but excluding Steinfurt and Tecklenburg.

Coat of arms

The arms are identical to the arms of the medieval earldom of Bentheim. The origin of these arms is unknown.

Towns and municipalities

  1. Bad Bentheim
  2. Nordhorn
  1. Emlichheim
  2. Neuenhaus¹
  3. Schüttorf¹
    Free municipalities
  1. Uelsen
  2. Wietmarschen
¹ including city of the same name

External links

Official website (German)