city, North Rhine-Westphalia Land (state), western Germany. It lies at the junction of the Rhine-Herne and the Dortmund-Ems canals, about 10 miles (16 km) west of Dortmund, in the industrial Ruhr district. Known as Haranni in the 10th century, it remained a small village until the discovery of coal in the 19th century stimulated rapid growth. It was chartered in 1897 and became an industrial centre with coal mines, foundries, and textile factories. In 1975 Herne incorporated the neighbouring city of Wanne-Eickel, which had been formed in 1926 through the amalgamation of the towns of Wanne and Eickel. Herne is an important traffic centre of the Ruhr. Machinery manufacturing is economically significant. Pop. (2003 est.) 172,870.
Learn more about Herne with a free trial on Britannica.com.