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Unna

Trip Planner Europe  /  Germany  /  North Rhine-Westphalia  /  Unna
Unna is a town of around 67,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, the seat of the Unna district.GeographyUnna is situated on an ancient salt-trading route, the Hellweg road. Trade on this route and during the period of the Hansa Trade Route came from as far as London. It is located at the eastern extremity of the Ruhr area, about 15km east of the centre of Dortmund.Division of the townUnna consists of the following districts:Massen and Königsborn are industrial and mining areas; the other districts have a more rural character.HistoryThe history of Unna is a long series of wars, plagues, and fires.There were neolithic settlements here but Unna gained significance as a way station on the Hellweg. Its name is first recorded in an ecclesiastical document of 1032. Around 1200, Count Friedrich von Altena-Isenberg was invested with the fiefdom of Unna, among other estates, by the Archbishop of Cologne. Over the next few hundred years the town was repeatedly fought over, and burned down several times. In the 14th century the town became wealthy: a mint was established and in 1952 a selection of coins numbering around 70 were discovered during excavation works. The coins originated from various countries and are thought to have been buried around 1375. From the mid 15th century the town was a notable trade centre and Hanse town. In 1597 more than half the population died of the plague. In the early 17th century the town changed hands several times in religious wars, and in 1666 fell under the control of Prussia. In the early 19th century the primary character of the town started to change from agricultural to industrial, with improved communications by road, rail and waterways. Coal mining started in 1870, together with industries dependent on it. The population rose from around 2,500 at the start of the 19th century to 15,000 in 1900. In 1943-45 there were major air attacks directed at the significant barracks and other military installations in the town.
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