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Soest, Germany

Soest is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It's located east of Dortmund along the Hellweg, at 51 35' North, 8 7' East. Population: 48,361 (2001). Area: 85.81 km². It's capital of the Soest district.

History

Due to the fertile soil the area around Soest was long occupied before in 836 the first official paper mention a village. In the 11th and 12th century Soest did grow a lot, making it the biggest city in Westphalia with about 10,000 citizens. It was also member of the Hanseatic League at that time until 1609.

Being always very self-confident in the so-called Soester Fehde from 1444 to 1449 Soest did liberate itself from the bishop of Cologne, the owner of Westphalia. No longer capital of Westphalia Soest did align itself with the duke of Cleves. When the last duke of Cleves died in 1609 that dukedom was inherited by Brandenburg; after a short siege Soest was also part of it. During and after the Thirty Years' War Soest did loose both population and influence tremendously, at the lowest point in 1756 it only had 3,600 citizens.

With the creation of the Soest district in 1817 it's influence slowly rised again, however the industrialization of the Ruhr area did not reach Soest and thus it kept to be a small city.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms show a key, which is the symbol for the Saint Peter, the patron of Cologne. The coat wasn't changed even after Soest did no longer belong to the Cologne area.

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