Osnabrück – the City of Peace
Osnabrück’s profile as the City of Peace originates from one of the most significant peace treaties of the early modern period. After thirty years of war, devastation, pillage, murder, and displacement in the heart of Europe, the Peace of Westphalia was proclaimed from the steps of Osnabrück Town Hall in 1648. It marked a historic turning point in the history of Europe.
After all, the Peace of Westphalia, brokered in Osnabrück and Münster by the European powers over a period of five years, not only ended a long-running war by negotiation, but also led to the birth of a completely new notion: the idea of “Europe.” This agreement – one of the first instances of international law – created overriding legislation that took precedence over all existing laws, privileges, resolutions, and papal decrees. It heralded the development and breakthrough of the principle of religious and political diversity as we know it today in Europe.
The peace treaty of 1648, proclaimed from Osnabrück’s Town Hall, is the defining event in the history of the city, which has shaped its identification as the City of Peace to this very day. Osnabrück sees this historical legacy as a mandate to continue promoting peace both today and in the future. In so doing, the city does not act alone, but collaborates with a whole host of dedicated institutions, associations, and citizenship initiatives. Core activities include the fundamental support of the concept of tolerance, intercultural and interreligious understanding, the promotion of peace research and human rights policy, development policy education, and the fostering of existing international partnerships. The Office of Peace Culture acts as a coordination hub for the city’s efforts to promote a culture and policy of peace.
Büro für Friedenskultur der Stadt Osnabrück
Tel.: 0541 323 2322
Fax: 0541 323 2742
Tel.: 0541 323 2287