The Peace of Westphalia


The term Peace of Westphalia refers to the two peace treaties of Osnabrueck and Muenster, signed on May 15 and October 24, 1648, which ended both the Thirty Years' War in Germanyand the Eighty Years' War between Spainand the Netherlands. The treaties involved the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III (Habsburg), the Kingdoms of Spain, France and Sweden, the DutchRepublicand their allies among the princes of the Holy Roman Empire. | Source:, June 18, 2011

Map of the Holy Roman Empire 1648
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Muenster as the Location of the European Peace Congress (1643 – 1649)


The City Hall of Muenster where the treaty was signed.

Muenster became world famous for the Peace of Westphalia treaty which ended the bloodshed of the Thirty Years’ War. It solved the confessional and territorial conflicts of the different parties.

In 1643 Muenster was declared neutral ground to house the peace negotiation of the European powers. Decisions made in order to ensure the Peace of Westphalia decidedly influenced public international law in Europeup until to the French Revolution.


  1. Geschichte original – am Beispiel der Stadt Münster 12, published by Hans Galen, Joachim Kuropka, Helmut Lahrkamp, Münster 1983
  2. Geschichte der Stadt Münster Band 1, published by  Franz-Josef Jakobi,  p. 301 ff, Münster 1993

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