The lively university city presents itself as an economic and cultural metropolis in the eastern Westphalian business region. Founded as a commercial town, Bielefeld became a large city and is now the location of a number of large companies than are renowned throughout Germany. The city’s appearance is dominated by the 13th century Sparrenburg Castle. Some of Bielefeld’s most desirable residential areas include Hoberge-Uerentrup, Gadderbaum, Jöllenbeck and the musicians’ quarter, the locations at Teutoburg Forest and the Bielefeld Johannis Valley. The city has educational institutes covering different disciplines and offers a wide range of cultural activities: the Kunsthalle, the exhibition rooms of a large German food company, the Kunstverein and the Huelsmann Museum are only a few of the highlights. The Botanical Gardens, the Obersee and Olderdissen Zoo provide diverse leisure opportunities in the open air. The mixture of cultural, educational and recreational institutions, as well as an excellent infrastructure, makes Bielefeld an incredibly popular residential and commercial location.