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After it was destroyed by a fire, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) had the town rebuilt in 1152 and resided there (among other places) for two years. Mary's Church, Dortmund, and three years later in 1270 St. The combination of crossroad, market place, administrative centre – town hall, made Dortmund an important centre in Westphalia.
It became an Imperial Free City and one of the first cities in Europe with an official Brewing right in 1293.
Sprawling residential areas like the North, East, Union and Kreuz district sprang up in less than 10 years.
In 1920, Dortmund was one of the centres for resistance to the Kapp Putsch - a right military coup launched against the Social Democratic-led government.
The devastating bombing raids of 12 March 1945 destroyed 98% of buildings in the inner city center.
Founded around 882, Dortmund became an Imperial Free City.
Throughout the 13th to 14th centuries, it was the "chief city" of the Rhine, Westphalia, the Netherlands Circle of the Hanseatic League.
Its population of 601,402 (2017) makes it the 8th largest city in Germany.
Moreover, Dortmund is the largest city by area and population in the Ruhr Area, an urban area with some 5.1 million (2011) inhabitants which is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany.