Hamm in History, Facts, and Figures

Founded in 1226 as the capital of the county of Mark, it was a prosperous member of the Hanseatic League until the wars of the 17th and 18th centuries led to its decline. Hamm was revitalized by the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. It was heavily bombed in World War II, and more than half of its buildings were destroyed. The medieval St. Paul's Church and parts of the 16th-century St. Agnes' Church survived. Rebuilt, the city is still housing one of the three Land (State) Courts of Appeal in North-Rhine Westphalia, in a high rise built in 1959, as well as the Land Labor Court, along with lower courts thus imposing a strong accent on the law and all its whereabouts. There are a museum,given a new great home lately, a music school, a large wooded park,the Kurpark, dating back from a time when Hamm held the status of a 'bad' (spa) with thermal (saline) springs, a zoo, and Maximilian Park, the botanic garden, dominated by planet Earth's biggest elephant.

There is quite a number of hospitals in this city. Overall there are eight of them, including departments for internal medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, hematology, oncology, radiology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, ophthalmology, urology, oto-rhino-laryngology, psychiatry, and juvenile psychiatry.

Hamm is an important railway junction, and its chief industry is the manufacture of wire and cables. There are other heavy industries in the city and coal mines in the vicinity. There's an oil mill producing canola and sunflower oils to be sold all over the continent, from the former Soviet Union to Italy. There's a DuPont chemical plant. A nuclear power plant, the thorium high-temperature reactor, had to be uninstalled because of protests by the population. There's a power plant burning fossil material (coal dust) still operational at the site.

The city of Hamm (A1 and A2 are Interstate-type highways)

Pop. (1996 est. 189,533)