Hamm is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany. It is located on the Lippe River, in the northeastern part of the Ruhr area. As of December 2003 its population was 180,849. The city situated between the A1 motorway and A2 motorway. Hamm railway station is an important hub for rail transport and renowned for its distinctive station building.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms has been in use in its present form for about 750 years. It shows the markish chessboard ("markischen Schachbalken") in red and silver on a golden field. Originally it was the founders' coat of arms, i. e. the Counts of Mark. The chessboard and the colours are often displayed in the coats of arms of further towns founded by that family line. Similarly, the colours of the city are red and white.
The name Ham means "corner" in the old Low German dialect spoken at that time. In the old times the name thom Hamme would be used, which evolved slowly into its modern form Hamm. The name derives from the description of the Hamm's location in the corner of the Lippe river and the narrow Ahse affluent, where it was founded on Ash Wednesday in March 1226 by Count Adolf I of the Mark.
In 2006 Hamm was the first city to accomplish a "Ratsburgerentscheid" (citizens decision). Subject of the plebiscite was a plan to build a 43 ha city lake (2007-2010) near the city centre. 136,521 citizens were entitled to vote, 57,563 used that possibility and 56.9% refused their approbation for the project. As minimal vote 20% (of the total 136,521 voters) had to decide between one of the possibilities (20% for Yes or 20% for NO). The city council accepted the voting and stopped the plans. This procedure is planned for future projects in NRW. Also in Hamm established was the "Baugerichtstag e. V." a society organizing a congress about the German building law. The congress is held in a two years term.
Several hospital are situated in Hamm. The largest is the Marien Hospital with ist two separate buildings, Marien Hospital I the old building within the centre of the city and Marien Hospital II together 587 beds. Then there is the (EVK Hamm) Evangelisches Krankenhaus Hamm (Protestant Hospital) commbined with the chidrens hospital south of the centre together 493 beds, the St. Barbara Klinik (Clinic) in Heessen with 422 beds and the Malteser Krankenhaus (Hospital) St. Josef in Bockum-Hovel with 260 beds. Additional there are the Klinik fur manuelle Therapie (Clinic for manual therapy) within the quarter Bad Hamm (138 beds), the cure district. The Westfalisches Institut Hamm fur Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und psychotherapie (Westphalian Institute Hamm for Children's- and Youthpsychiatry and psychotherapy) as an Institute of the federal state (158 beds) and the private Klinik (clinic) am Barenbrunnen. (All Hospitals together have 2058 beds.) Former Hospitals are:
The BWK Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Hamm (Hospital of the Federal Defence Forces) closed in 2007 after a reform of the German forces.
The St. Elisabeth Kinderklinik (Children's Hospital combined with the Markische Kinderklinik and now part of the EVK Hamm as "Klinik fur Kinder- und Jugendmedizin")
Markische Kinderklinik (Children's Hospital combined with the Elisabeth Kinderklinik and now part of the EVK Hamm as "Klinik fur Kinder- und Jugendmedizin"))
Knappschaftskrankenhaus ( Hospital operated by the health fund for miners (Bundesknappschaft) now Marien Hospital II)
Hamm has six Gymnasien (grammar schools), two comprehensive schools and several Realschulen, Hauptschulen and Grundschulen (elementary schools). The oldest Gymnasium in Hamm is the Gymnasium Hammonense which was established as academic school (small university) with three faculties in 1657. The school declined in its importance and in 1781 merged with the local Latin school and got reformed by Prussia. The new combined school was humanist Gymnasium. In 1867 the "Markisches Gymnasium" followed as the second Gymnasium of Hamm, in 1902 the "Freiherr vom Stein Gymnasium", in 1924 the "Beisenkamp Gymnasium" - first as "Oberlyceum" (Gymnasium for girls) - and in 1968 the "Galilei-Gymnasium" were established. Additionally in Schloss Heessen there is a private school including the Gymnasium. Both coprehensive schools in Hamm are younger foundations by the city during school reforms of NRW. Hamm is also well known for its many vocational schools:
"Friederich List Berufskolleg fur Wirtschaft" a trade school
"Eduard Spranger Berufskolleg fur Technik" a vocational school for techniques
"Elisabeth Luders Berufskolleg fur Sozialwesen, Gesundheit, Hauswirtschaft und Kinderpflege" a vocational school for social welfare, health, home economics and child care
,and several other schools. In 2005 a small private university of applied sciences was established, the "SRH Fachhoschule Hamm". The university of applied sciences started with two study programs ending with degrees of Bachelor and Master of Science for logistic engineering. The "Klinik fur Psychatrie und Psychotherapie of the Marienhospital cooperates with the University Witten-Herdecke in eduacation and science.
Schloss Heessen Major industrial branches are the coal-mining industry, steel industry, chemical industry and the car component supplier industry. In the last century there were four coal-mines within the urban district. Today the Bergwerk Ost in Herringen is the last operating coal mine with about 3,000 employees. Mannesmann Hoesch Prazisrohr, Westfalische Draht Industrie (WDI) and Bohler Thyssen Welding are the major representatives of the steel industry, the chemical industry is represented by DuPont in Uentrop and the car supplier industry by Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. factory 4 in Bockum-Hovel with about 1000 employees. The energy industry is represented by a RWE coal power plant and a further power plant (Trianel) in Uentrop. A new coal power plant is currently under construction. The THTR-300, also in Uentrop-Schmehhausen, was decommissioned in 1989. Alongside the A2, in the southern part of the urban district, a new business park inhabits the growing logistic business. Hamm is also know as "City of Law" (Stadt des Rechts) because of the greatest German regional appeal court (Oberlandesgericht), the local court (Amtsgericht), the industrial court (Arbeitgericht) and the industrial appeal court (Landesarbeitsgericht). The Chamber of Notaries and bar association of the regional appeal court Hamm and the courts are of greater influence on the appearance of the city. Several hospitals in the urban district are also important employers, for example the EVK Hamm has about 1000 employees.