|pop. density:||232 inh./km²|
Soest is a Kreis (district) in the middle of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Warendorf, Gütersloh, Paderborn, Hochsauerland, Maerkischer Kreis, Unna and the district-free city Hamm.
History In medieval times Soest was the biggest city of Westphalia, however after it liberated itself from the bishops of Cologne in the Soester Fehde in 1449 it's slowly lost importance, only to gain it again when in 1816 the new prussian government created the district. In 1974 the district was merged with the neighboring district Lippstadt.
Geographically it covers the northern part of Sauerland hills and the lower land north of it, the Hellweg. The rather flat land and very fertile loess soil makes it an old agricultural area. The main rivers through the district are the Ruhr, Lippe and the Möhne, which also forms the biggest artificial lake if North Rhine-Westphalia. The highest elevation is in near Warstein[?] with 580m, the lowest with 65m is the Lippe valley.
|The coat of arms show two symbols from the bishops Cologne, who owned the Soest until 1449. In left half is the key of Saint Peter, the patron of Cologne, in the right the black cross of Cologne. After the district was merged with Lippstadt the rose as symbol of the Lippe area was added on top of the cross. This new version of the coat of arms was granted in 1976.|