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Hagen is a city in the green, 42 percent of its area are covered by woods and forests, and four rivers meet on the city grounds, the rivers Ruhr, Lenne, Volme and Ennepe. It is one of 23 towns in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and is situated between the industrialized Ruhr area in the north and the rangy Sauerland in the south.
Hagen was of little significance until the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, when the trip hammers provided the growing industry with products and led to a modest prosperity of the area. In the 19th century, Hagen became an important railway junction, and a traffic junction in the 20th century, with an urban population of 230,000 inhabitants at its peak in 1975. Since then, Hagen has been hit by the steel and coal crisis of the late 20th century, and its peripheral position at the edge of the Ruhr area has led to a 20 percent reduction of population.
Klaus Ehlers

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