Borken is a town and the capital of the district of the same name, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
The name comes from the German word "Burg" or "Burk" and gradually changed to "Burke", then "Burken" and finally to "Borken". Around the year 800 the village was being used by Charles The Great (Charlemagne) as a stopover place on his travels. In 1226 City rights were granted by Bishop Dietrich II of Isenberg-Limburg. Fortification of the city with walls and towers was first noted in 1391. In the last years of the Holy Roman Empire (1803–06) it was the capital of the short-lived principality of Salm. From 1810 to 1814 it was part of the French Empire. In 1815 Borken came under the jurisdiction of the Prussian Province of Westphalia. At the same time it became the seat of government for the newly formed district or county of Borken (Kreis Borken). Between 1880 and 1905 the area experienced the building of railroad connections: (1880 Wanne-Borken-Winterswijk line, 1901 Empel-Bocholt-Borken and Borken-Burgsteinfurt, 1905 Borken-Coesfeld-Münster). Near the end of World War Two the historic center of the city was heavily destroyed. After the war, community rearrangements followed in 1969, including annexation of Gemen and other towns in the vicinity. Between 1975 and 1978 came the cleaning up and rebuilding of the southern part of the old city. There, buildings which had outlasted the destruction of the Second World War were finally demolished. In 2001 Borken celebrated its 775th anniversary.