Rietberg town centre, 2005


Coat of arms

Coordinates: 51°48′N 8°26′E / 51.800°N 8.433°E / 51.800; 8.433Coordinates: 51°48′N 8°26′E / 51.800°N 8.433°E / 51.800; 8.433
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Detmold
District Gütersloh
  Mayor André Kuper (CDU)
  Total 110.37 km2 (42.61 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 29,436
  Density 270/km2 (690/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 33397
Dialling codes 05244 / 02944 / 05242 / 05248
Vehicle registration GT
Website www.rietberg.de

Rietberg is a town in the district of Gütersloh in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located approximately 10 km south of Gütersloh and 25 km north-west of Paderborn in the region Ostwestfalen-Lippe. The town is located at the river Ems. There are 28,878 people living in Rietberg.[2]


Rietberg was first mentioned as 'Rietbike' around the year 1100. This name refers to Ried which is an old name for reed and to 'Bach' which means creek. There was a castle that dated back to the 11th century. From 1237, it was home to the family of Wenzel Adam von Kaunitz, Count Rietberg. From this time on the part 'Berg' in the name Rietberg refers to the existence of a castle which is called 'Burg' in German. Since that time Rietberg was an independent German territory until the year 1807. In the Middle Ages the Rietberg county was a very small state. Nevertheless, Rietberg had its own militia, its own currency and its own laws. Even foreign policy, on a small scale, was conducted independently. Until the 17th century Rietberg coined its own money. Until the 18th century the government was located in the Palace, built in the 14th century.

At the beginning of the 19th century the Palace was torn down because it was not needed anymore. Only the St. John's Chapel from 1748 can still be visited today.

In the year 1807 Rietberg became a part of Kingdom of Westphalia, while the title Count Rietberg remains extant in the House of Liechtenstein, with Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein and each born member of his dynasty and their dynastic wives bearing the title currently.

The village itself was not independent anymore, in the year 1843 the municipality Rietberg was established. Since 1970 Rietberg has been organised politically as it is today.[3]


The historic Town hall from around 1800

The best known building in Rietberg is the Town Hall from around 1800 in the centre of the Town. There are several other interesting historical buildings in the town like the Altes Progymnasium, the chapel of St John or the old Court House. In the historical Town centre there are around 60 old renovated half-timbered houses. That's why Rietberg is also known as the town of beautiful gables. It's still possible to see where the former rampart surrounded the town. Today there is no rampart anymore, but a promenade next to the river Ems and the Umflut on which it is possible to have a nice walk around the town centre. In the ward Varensell there is the Varensell Abbey from 1902.


In Rietberg carnival is the biggest event throughout the year. Every year around 50,000 people watch the Parade at Carnival Monday. After the parade people party in the streets and the bars for the whole night.

Other events are the Maikirmes Fair and the Stoppelkirmes Fair. And there are some traditional Schützenfeste, which are fairs featuring shooting matches in Rietberg.

Since 2004, there has been a summer Guitar Festival every year, with Tommy Emmanuel.


Schools in Rietberg:[4]


An important industry for Rietberg and the surrounding area is the furniture industry. In Rietberg itself there is a big galvanizing plant and a schnapps destillery.

General facts, percentage of employees:[5]

International relations

Rietberg is twinned with:


Presentation of the Logo for the 2008 gardening show

The Landesgartenschau of the year 2008 took place in Rietberg. The Landesgartenschau is a show of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia that shows gardens and parks of an area. It takes part in different cities each three years. A lot of park area has been created for the Landesgartenschau. Now there is an area with parks, gardens and playgrounds in Rietberg that can only be entered after paying an entrance fee.

Built-up areas in the town of Rietberg


  1. "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 18 July 2016.
  2. (German) Bevölkerung im Regierungsbezirk Detmold, Information und Technik Nordrhein-Westfalen
  3. stadt-rietberg.de
  4. (German) Schools in Rietberg, official website of Rietberg
  5. Economy and work, official website of Rietberg
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