Munster, a city of Germany, capital of the Prussian province of Westphalia and of a district of its own name, on the small river Aa, connected by railway with Düsseldorf, and with the river Ems by a canal, 76 m. N. N. E. of Cologne; pop. in 1871, 24,815. It has tine Gothic buildings, the ground floor of the houses of the main street being provided with arcades to support the upper stories. Among the remarkable public buildings are the cathedral, of the 13th century, and St. Lambert's church. The house of John of Leyden, a fine specimen of the Gothic, still exists in the market place. The treaty of Westphalia, which ended the thirty years' war, was signed here in 1648. The town house was renovated in 1860, and a grand Gothic hall was added. The churches of St. Maurice and St. Leger have also recently been renovated. The Catholic university, which was supplanted in 1818 by the state university of Bonn, has been since reduced to an academy consisting of a theological and a philosophical faculty, which in 1873 had 28 professors and 387 students. There are also a gymnasium, a library of 50,000 volumes, a number of minor Roman Catholic churches and convents, a Protestant church, and a synagogue. The city is the seat of a bishop, and contains several learned societies.
The manufactures consist of leather, woollen goods, cloth, linen, sugar, etc. - Munster was known in the time of Charlemagne under the name of Mimi-gardevord. In the 13th century it joined the league of the Hanse towns. The reformation was introduced in 1532, and in 1533-'5 it witnessed the agitations of the Anabaptists. (See Anabaptists.) The former bishopric of Munster was raised in the 12th century to the rank of an imperial principality. Among the prince-bishops was the warlike Galen. (See Galen.) In 1719 the archbishop of Cologne was invested with the see of Munster. After the peace of Lunéville (1801) the bishopric was secularized, and a part of it ceded to Prussia, which constituted it a principality. This was ceded to France by the treaty of Tilsit in 1807, but restored to Prussia in 1815, with the exception of a small district allotted to Oldenburg.