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Paderborn (pä´dərbôrn´), city (1994 pop. 130,130), North Rhine–Westphalia, NW Germany. It is an agricultural market and industrial center; manufactures include chemicals, building materials, and textiles. It was in Paderborn that the Holy Roman Empire was born, when Charlemagne met with Pope Leo III in 799 to discuss plans for founding a German nation. It became an episcopal see in 805. The city grew rapidly in the 11th cent. and in the 13th cent. joined the Hanseatic League. Its bishops ruled a large district as princes of the Holy Roman Empire until the bishopric was secularized in 1803 and passed to Prussia. The Catholic diocese was reinstated in 1821 and was raised to an archdiocese in 1930. Paderborn was badly damaged in World War II, but many of its historic structures have since been restored. Noteworthy buildings include the cathedral (11th–13th cent.) and a city hall (1613–20) in late-Renaissance style. There is a theological school, which held university status from 1614 to 1819. Excavation of Charlemagne's palace was undertaken in the city in 1964.

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