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Bochum(bō`kho͝om), city (1994 pop. 401,060), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany. Mentioned in the 9th cent. and chartered in 1321, it remained a small farming community until the development of nearby coal mines in the mid-19th cent. By the late 19th cent. it was a leading center of the Ruhr iron and steel industry; since the early 1960s its importance in coal and steel production has declined. Bochum today is an industrial and commercial center, a rail and road junction, and a growing vacation spot. Its manufactures include automobiles, metal products, chemicals, textiles, beer, and tobacco products. It is the seat of Ruhr Univ. (opened 1965) and museums of mining and geology.
a city of the Federal Republic of Germany, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, between the Ruhr and Emscher rivers. Population 346,800 (1968). It is an important transport junction and one of the main centers of heavy industry in the Ruhr region to develop in the first half of the 19th century. Bochum has large coal mines and metallurgical works which employed 22,000 workers in 1966. There are also coke-chemical and heavy engineering works. In the 1950’s an electrotechnical and radio engineering industry grew up, and in the 1960’s an automobile industry developed (the Adam Opel AG works, with US capital). Bochum also has light industry and a food industry. A university was founded there in 1965.