Town in Westphalia; former state of the Holy Roman Empire.
Founded c.795 by Charlemagne, Mimegerneford, as it was called until the 11th century, grew up around a monastery established by its first bishop, Saint Ludger, whose relics remain in the city.
Although the bishops, from the reign of Bishop Ludwig I, Count of Tecklenburg (1169-1173), exercised sovereign rights and were formally acknowledged as "Princes of the Empire" by Frederick II in 1220, yet numerous conflicts with the citizens resulted in the Diocesan Feud (1450-1457) and in the curtailment of many of their prerogatives.
The principality over which the prince-bishops had temporal jurisdiction lay north of the Lippe, extending as far as the upper Ems and the Teutoberg Forest.
Following the spread of Lutheranism, a reign of terror was inaugurated in the city (1533-1535) by the Anabaptists who were finally defeated after a long siege conducted by the bishop and Philip of Hesse.
The town contains a cathedral, built for the most part between 1225 and 1265; the 14th-century Church of Saint Lambert; the 12th-century Church of Saint Ludger; and a university, established in 1771.
It is the birth place of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, the scene of Blessed Maria Eutimia's work, and the site of Saint Gervanus' years as a hermit.
New Catholic Dictionary