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Dortmund is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia and with 588,250 inhabitants the ninth largest city in Germany, and the third largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne and Düsseldorf. Dortmund is part of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with around eleven million inhabitants, the largest city in the Ruhr area in terms of area and population, and is the administrative, commercial and cultural center of the eastern Ruhr area. The city is located on the western edge of Westphalia and is part of the Arnsberg administrative district.

The once important imperial and Hanseatic city (Tremonia in Latin) along the Hellweg, which presumably dates back to the founding of the Carolingian imperial court, is developing today from an industrial metropolis to an important service and technology location: In the past, Dortmund is mainly known for its steel, coal and beer A center of the insurance industry and retail trade after many years of structural change. With around 53,500 students at six universities, including the Technical University of Dortmund and 19 other scientific institutions, Dortmund is one of the ten largest university cities in Germany and is also an important location for science and high technology. New settlements and business start-ups are therefore preferred in the areas of logistics, information and microsystem technology. The metropolis in the Ruhr area has a diverse cultural scene with numerous museums and galleries such as the Museum Ostwall, the Museum for Art and Cultural History or the German Football Museum. There is also the Dortmund theater with opera house, the award-winning playhouse and the children's and youth theater as well as the concert hall.

With its main train station and airport, Dortmund is an important transport hub and point of attraction, especially for the surrounding area and Europe (Benelux countries), and has a connection to important seaports on the North Sea with the largest canal port in Europe. Dortmund gained national fame through the football club Borussia Dortmund with its home ground, Signal Iduna Park, the former Westfalenstadion. With over 81,000 spectator seats, it is the largest football stadium in Germany. Other attractions and landmarks of the city are the Dortmunder U, the Westenhellweg as one of the most frequented shopping streets in Germany, the Reinoldikirche, the Westfalenhalle, the Florian Tower and the Phoenix Lake. The cityscape and the skyline are also characterized by striking high-rise buildings. In terms of tourism, the city is growing in importance every year, with over 1.44 million overnight stays in Dortmund in 2019; the growth is therefore 6.5 percent.