Osnabrück is a city in the federal state of Lower-Saxony in north-west Germany. It is situated in a valley penned between the Wiehen Hills and the northern tip of the Teutoburg Forest. With a population of around 160,000, Osnabrück is the fourth-largest city in Lower Saxony. The city is the centrepoint of the Osnabrück Land region as well as the District of Osnabrück.
The founding of Osnabrück was linked to its positioning on important European trading routes. Charles the Great founded the Diocese of Osnabrück in 780. The city was also a member of the Hanseatic League. Later Osnabrück became well known for its role in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 which brought the Thirty Years’ War to an end; the treaty was signed both there and in nearby Münster. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in the region surrounding Osnabrück. The city is also known as the birthplace of novelist Erich-Maria Remarque (“All Quiet on the Western Front”) and painter Felix Nussbaum.
Osnabrück's role in the Treaty of Westphalia later led it to adopt the title Friedensstadt ("city of peace"). More recently Osnabrück has become well known for its industry. Numerous companies in the automobile, paper, steel and grocery sectors are located in the city and its surrounding area. In spite of the massive destruction inflicted on the city during World War II, the Altstadt (old town) was eventually reconstructed extensively with designs loyal to the original medieval architecture there. Osnabrück was also the home of the largest British garrison outside of the United Kingdom. Osnabrück's modern, urban image is enhanced by the presence of more than 22,000 students studying at the University and the University of Applied Sciences. Although situated in the region of Lower Saxony, historically, culturally and linguistically Osnabrück is held to belong to the region of Westphalia.