375 Years of the Peace of Westphalia

Jubilee 2023

2023 marks the 375th anniversary of the Treaty of Westphalia. It was then that the idea of Europe as a peace alliance was born. Even though this idea is almost 400 years old, it is as topical as ever. It has not been possible to maintain lasting peace in the world and in Europe. The war in Ukraine is unfortunately only one of the current examples.

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What's the deal with the anniversary in 2023?

"Wonders of the world also exist in Osnabrück". The Venetian envoy Alvise Contarini could not find a smaller word for the Peace of Westphalia already in 1648. After all, the envoys in Osnabrück and Münster succeeded in resolving three complex conflicts (territorial, constitutional and religious) in Europe, thus ending a war that was grueling for the population after 30 years.

Something great happened in Osnabrück even before the proclamation of the Peace of Westphalia on October 25, 1648: Former enemies of war shook hands and trusted each other. On August 6, 1648, in Osnabrück, the parties to the treaty confirmed with a handshake that they would not change anything in the text that had been drawn up to end the Thirty Years' War. This assurance between the emperor, the German princes and Sweden went down in history as the "Osnabrück handshake". The treaty was then signed in Münster and proclaimed in Osnabrück on October 25.

In 1998, the 350th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia was celebrated with a meeting of 20 heads of state. 25 years later, the focus is on the future and the ideas of young people. The whole city should be able to participate.

The program will show what we can learn from the Peace of Westphalia today and how civil society, politics, science, art and business intertwine in conflict resolution. With a variety of regionally and internationally oriented formats, such as congresses, discussion series, citizens' projects, seminars, cultural events, exhibitions, projects by and for young people, installations, concerts, and international exchange, the overall program will be created.

The program in the anniversary year 2023 unfolds as a season of seven months in which current peace issues are addressed in seven thematic chapters.

7 months, 7 topics

From April to October, each month has a special theme.

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The 2023 team

Who is actually behind the planning?

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Would you like to learn more about the historic peace treaty of 1648? Here you can get more information.

About the Peace of Westphalia

Messages from the program managers

First City Councilor Wolfgang Beckermann on the significance of the Peace of Westphalia for the present.

Project manager Patricia Mersinger would like the whole city - and especially the young people - to get involved.


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