is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia
. It is located on both the western and eastern slopes of the Teutoburg Forest
. Population: 325,000.
The centre of Bielefeld is situated on the eastern side of the Teutoburg Forest. Today there are boroughs on the opposite side and on the hilltops incorporated into Bielefeld. Bielefeld separates the two main ridges of the Northern Teutoburg Forest and the Southern Teutoburg Forest from each other.
Bielefeld was founded in 1214 in order to guard a pass crossing the Teutoburg Forest. A great castle, the Sparrenburg, was built in the middle of the medieval town - it remained impregnable through the Middle Ages. The present view of the castle does not resemble the medieval look: the Sparrenburg decayed during the 18th and 19th centuries and was restored in 1879.
In the 15th century Bielefeld was a minor member of the Hanseatic League. Afterwards it began to trade linen and became famous as "the town of linen".
Bielefeld has a university since 1969. In 1973 the first villages on the opposite side of the Teutoburg Forest were incorporated.
Among German netizens, especially on the Usenet, a running gag is the claim that Bielefeld does not exist. This is known as the "Bielefeld-Verschwörung".
Official Bielefeld homepage\n