Minden mĭn´dən [key], city (1994 pop. 80,423), North Rhine–Westphalia, NW Germany, a port on the Weser River and the Midland Canal. It is an industrial center and rail junction. Manufactures include textiles, ceramics, glass, chemicals, beer, furniture, and foundry products. Minden was the see of a bishopric founded c.800 by Charlemagne. The city struggled throughout the Middle Ages against the temporal rule of its bishops. In the 13th cent. it joined the Hanseatic League, and in 1530 it accepted the Reformation. Minden and the secularized bishopric passed to Brandenburg in the Peace of Westphalia (1648). In the Seven Years War the English and the Hanoverians defeated (1759) the French at Minden. The city passed to Prussia in 1814. Noteworthy buildings include the cathedral (11th–13th cent.) and the city hall (13th–17th cent.).
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