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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Kalkar
Map of Germany, position of the city of Kalkar highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 44 '  N , 6 ° 18'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Dusseldorf
Circle : Kleve
Height : 14 m above sea level NHN
Area : 88.2 km 2
Residents: 13,884 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 157 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 47546
Area code : 02824
License plate : KLE, GEL
Community key : 05 1 54 024
City structure: 13 districts / boroughs

City administration address :
Markt 20
47546 Kalkar
Website : www.kalkar.de
Mayor : Britta Schulz (Forum Kalkar)
Location of the city of Kalkar in the Kleve district
Niederlande Krefeld Kreis Borken Kreis Viersen Kreis Wesel Bedburg-Hau Emmerich am Rhein Geldern Goch Issum Kalkar Kerken Kevelaer Kleve Kranenburg (Niederrhein) Rees Rheurdt Straelen Uedem Wachtendonk Weezemap
About this picture

The town of Kalkar at the lower Lower Rhine in the northwest of North Rhine-Westphalia and is a district town of Kleve in the administrative district of Dusseldorf . It is a member of the Euregio Rhine-Waal . An earlier spelling, valid until June 9, 1936, was calcar .

Kalkar, which was founded in 1230 and presumably received city ​​rights in 1242 , is characterized in particular by its medieval townscape.


Landscape shaped by the Ice Age and the Rhine

In the penultimate ice age ( Saale Ice Age ) glaciers penetrated as far as the Lower Rhine. Here they pushed up deposits from the Rhine to form compression moraines . One of them is the Lower Rhine ridge in the west of the Kalkar urban area. The Rhine was pushed to the southwest by the ice front.

During the last ice age ( Weichsel ice age ), however, the ice no longer reached the Lower Rhine region. The climate was like that of a tundra .

After the glaciers retreated, the Rhine gradually shifted to the northeast. To the east of the compression moraine chain, due to the low gradient in today's Rhine lowlands, it formed a heavily ramified, shallow water network with numerous flat islands. In the Holocene , which began about 11,500 years ago, the dunes in the area of ​​today's district of Wissel were created from blown sand .

The course of the Rhine changed continuously until modern times . The formation of river bends can be seen particularly clearly around the Kalkar district of Grieth . In the Middle Ages the Rhine flowed in a wide arc around Grieth to the east. There was a land bridge between Grieth and the village of Grietherort on the right bank of the Rhine today . The arms of the old Rhine also bear witness to earlier Rhine loops in the Kalkar city area, for example the Boetzelaerer Meer in Appeldorn and the Kalflack in the area of Bylerward and Emmericher Eyland .

The nature conservation center in the Kleve district provides information on the development of the landscape in the Lower Rhine region .

Urban area

Market square in the center of Kalkar

The urban area of ​​around 88 square kilometers extends largely in the Rhine lowlands between the Lower Rhine ridge and the five to eight kilometers east-flowing Rhine . The ridge reaches a height of around 68 meters with the Monreberg in the southwest of the urban area. Only the district Neulouisendorf (342 inhabitants) and parts of Altkalkar lie on the ridge .

The town centers of Altkalkar and the medieval style of Kalkar, the development areas of which merge into one another, are in front of the Monreberg in the Rhine lowlands to the north. At the end of 2018, almost half of the total of 14,069 inhabitants in the city of Kalkar lived in Altkalkar (4449 inhabitants) and Kalkar (1990 inhabitants) as well as in Hanselaer (121 inhabitants) a little to the east .

Apart from Kehrum (482 inhabitants) and Appeldorn (1546 inhabitants) in the south and southeast of the urban area, the remaining districts are on the Rhine, which borders the urban area to the northeast.

Downstream to Kalkar belong:

In Emmericher Eyland the Kalflack flows into the Rhine. Its course north of Kalkar largely forms the western border of the Kalkar city area. In the 19th century, when the water level was high enough, the Kalflack was still used as a shipping route to Kalkar, around 10 kilometers to the south ("Kalkarsche Fahrt").

Neighboring communities

The city of Kalkar borders the city of Emmerich am Rhein in the north, the city of Rees in the east, the city of Xanten ( Wesel district ) and the municipality of Uedem in the south, and the city of Kleve and the municipality of Bedburg-Hau in the west .



The history of Kalkar has been closely linked to that of Kleve since the early Middle Ages . Kalkar was not only from Count Dietrich VI. founded by Kleve in 1230. As one of the seven “capitals” of the Duchy of Kleve, it always belonged to Kleve until the Dukes of Kleve died out. After the death of the last Duke of Kleve in 1609, Kalkar and Kleve fell to Brandenburg . It remained under Prussian rule with Kleve until the state of Prussia was dissolved and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia was founded after the Second World War . This time was only interrupted from 1794 to 1814, when French troops occupied the Rhineland.

Roman riding fort on the Monreberg

The history of the Romans on the Lower Rhine can be seen very clearly in the Xanten Archaeological Park - around 15 kilometers south of Kalkar. But traces of Roman settlement were also found in Kalkar. Immediately south of the Monreberg, where the federal road 57 coming from Xanten meets the ridge today , a cavalry unit of around 480 men was stationed in the Roman auxiliary force fort Burginatium around 40 AD . It was part of the Roman border security system along the left bank of the Rhine between the large legionary camps in Xanten and Nijmegen ( Lower German Limes ). The fort with a surrounding settlement has been proven for the first four centuries.

Castle on the Monreberg

Munna Castle was built on the Monreberg in the middle of the 10th century, but was destroyed again soon after the turn of the millennium. Count Dietrich VI. von Kleve had a new castle built, which is first mentioned in a document from 1265. Repeatedly destroyed in the meantime, the castle served as a widow's seat for the countesses and duchesses of Kleve in the 14th and 15th centuries. After being captured several times during the Thirty Years War , it was demolished around 1650. A picture of the castle can be found in Braun and Hogenberg's town book.

Kalkar founded in 1230

Kalkar was by Count Dietrich VI. von Kleve on October 20, 1230 on a ward , a sandbank washed up by the Rhine at the northern foot of the Monreberg. It is not a settlement that has grown over many centuries, but a city that was planned from the beginning.

The oval sandbank, which is surrounded by swampy terrain - around 1 kilometer long and around 400 meters wide in the middle - was easy to draw around with moats and was therefore easy to defend. That was probably the decisive factor in founding a new city at this point. The already existing settlement in today's Altkalkar , only a few hundred meters to the west , did not offer such favorable defensive possibilities.

Scheduled urban development

The bird's eye view plan from Braun and Hogenberg's city book from 1575 shows how the Kalkarward sandbank was opened up in the Middle Ages with a grid of streets crossing almost at right angles. Since then, the population has decreased from around 5,000 to a good 2,000. The road layout has hardly changed until today.

Initially only the western half of Kalkarward, which is a little higher up and is less endangered by flooding, was settled (it is drawn on the bird's eye view above).

As is still the case today, there were only four places in the city. From the gates in the north and south, two long main streets led through the middle of the western half of Kalkarward to the large central market square - Kesselstrasse and Monrestrasse. They were each connected by two narrow bridges with the ramparts surrounding the city. From the west, the shorter Altkalkarer Strasse ran into the market.

This resulted in almost rectangular districts. Along the main and ramparts, the settlers were given plots of roughly the same width, mostly with enough space for a garden at the rear of the houses.

The eastern boundary of the settlement was initially formed by the Monne stream. It ran in the middle of Kalkarward in a ditch, today's Grabenstrasse, from the Monretor in the south past the back of the town hall to the Kesseltor in the north.

In 1242 Kalkar received city ​​rights . That attracted new settlers. They knew how to value their rights as citizens of a city and were able to secure privileges (“city air makes you free”). The population grew rapidly. From around 1380 the eastern half of Kalkarward was also populated. Hanselaerstraße was driven from the market square in the direction of Hanselaer and connected to the Monretor in the south via Hohestraße.

The medieval Kalkar was surrounded by moats. They are still there today: in the west of the city moat, in the east of the Leybach . In the 14th and 15th centuries, the city was additionally fortified with walls and towers. Gates have been erected on the four streets leading out of the city. They can be seen well on the view of the city of Kalkar in Braun and Hogenberg's city book from 1575.

former Hanselaertor in 1758

The Monretor in the south of the city was a so-called double gate , similar to the well-preserved Klever Gate in Xanten . On the city side stood a square five-story inner gate tower. A gate with two round towers stood in front of him on the outskirts of town. The Hanselaertor in the east was an even more imposing double gate. Here both gates each had two round towers, seven on the city side and five storeys on Hanselaer . The two towers on the city side were connected to each other by a six-story gate, similar to the Eigelsteintorburg in Cologne . The Kesseltor in the north, a six-story square gate tower with a pointed tent roof and defensive core, and the Altkalkarer Tor in the west, a gate tower with five floors and a flat tent roof, were less complex .

None of the gates remained. The Hanselaertor was demolished in 1770 except for one arch, the rest removed in 1828. Its stones were used to build a nearby tower windmill . It was initially used as a tinder mill, in which oak bark was ground for tanning leather. Taken over by Gerhard van der Grinden around 1800, it served as a grain mill for over a hundred years. A granary and a house were part of it. In 1910 it was expanded in the neo-Gothic style by the last commercial miller Heinrich Rötten . The mill was completely restored in the 1990s.

There were many other mills in the immediate vicinity of the city. Around 200 meters in front of the boiler gate, the stump of a tower windmill , the so-called old mill, stands on a heaped hill . There was also a post windmill nearby , as the view of the town of Kalkar in Braun and Hogenberg's town book from 1575 shows.

Remnants of the medieval city wall with the so-called pigeon tower built in 1440 are only left in the north of the city at the Kesseltor. It has been reconstructed in other places. Taubenturm, derived from Duveturm , is a misleading name. Actually, it should be called Diebesturm, derived from Duiventörm , since it served as a prison for a while. However, only the lower round part of the tower dates from the Middle Ages. The upper hexagonal part with the curved slate dome is likely to date from the beginning of the 18th century.

Rapid economic boom

The basis of the city's rapid economic boom was primarily the weaving of wool . West of the city, the Gocher Heide offered good conditions for sheep breeding . In Kalkar mainly fabrics for everyday use were made. Finer cloth came from Flanders. A so-called Gewandhaus , the guild house of cloth weavers, was built in front of the town hall . Other important industries were the grain trade and numerous beer breweries . Kalkar became wealthy. In terms of taxation power, it was third among the Klevian cities, ahead of the royal seat of Kleve, behind Wesel and Emmerich. From 1540 to 1572 Kalkar was a member of the Hanseatic League - as the "Beistadt" of Wesel.

Flowering around 1500

Kalkarer Marktplatz
Jan de Beijer, 1744
Link to the picture ( Memento from April 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
(Please note copyrights )

The largest construction projects were completed around 1450 - a good 200 years after the city was founded. All the streets, most of the walkways and the market were paved. The Duke of Cleves was in 1420 in the southeastern corner of the city wall, the castle-like granary today no longer extant building. The construction of the monumental town hall by the Klever master builder Johann Wyrenberg was completed in 1446. The three-aisled hall church of Sankt Nicolai , which he also helped build, was consecrated in 1450. The citizens who had become wealthy could start decorating the church. Artists were brought to Kalkar. Rich citizens, artisan guilds and brotherhoods donated numerous altars, paintings and sculptures - to the glory of God, to secure their souls and to make their city famous.

Mary of Burgundy, who lived at Monterberg Castle as the widow of the Duke of Cleves, founded a Dominican monastery in 1455 . There were two beguinages . Poor and infirmary houses were built. A Latin school was available from which well-known scholars emerged. The humanist Konrad Heresbach , advisor to the Dukes of Kleve, lawyer, educator and farmer, a universal spirit, lived temporarily in Kalkar. Christian Sgrothen , who worked as a geographer for the Spanish King Philip II , was a citizen of Kalkar.

A drawing by Jan de Beijer can convey the image of the Kalkar market square in the city's heyday around 1500. Although it was not built until around 250 years later in 1744, with the Gothic stepped gable houses and the town hall, it shows an unchanged medieval character.

Kalkar reached its highest population around 1580 - around 5,000 inhabitants, more than many today's big cities had at that time.

Rapid decline from 1600

Burial of bubonic plague victims in Tournai. Part of a miniature from the chronicles of Abbot Gilles Li Muisis (1272–1352), Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, MS 13076-77, f. 24v.

The most important branch of Kalkar's economy, cloth making, had long since passed its peak towards the end of the 16th century. Severe blows of fate - epidemics, wars and conflagrations - accelerated the city's decline. Kalkar has been hit repeatedly by plague epidemics, the worst in the summer of 1599 when 1,500 people fell victim to the plague - around a third of the population. In 1636 there were about the same number.

Long wars and occupation ravaged the city. At the end of 1598 - during the Dutch struggle for freedom against Spain - it was partially destroyed by Spanish troops.

Traces of Prussia: a useless citadel

When Kalkar fell with Kleve to Brandenburg after the death of the last Duke of Kleve in 1609 , this did not stop the decline. For the electors in distant Berlin , Kalkar could only be used as a small outer bastion . The Brandenburg rule did not prevent Kalkar from suffering from rapidly changing occupiers during the Thirty Years' War . Hessian troops locked themselves up in Kalkar like a fortress from 1640 to 1645. To create a clear field of fire to the west, Altkalkar was razed to the ground. In a conflagration in 1647 55 houses burned down, mainly on Kesselstrasse.

In 1656, Elector Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg commissioned his governor in Kleve, Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen , to build a citadel fortified with bastions , ramparts and moats in Kalkar . The medieval city wall no longer seemed sufficient for an effective defense. Multiple protests by the city, claiming that it had already plunged into "desolation and poverty" due to billeting and compulsory levies, that 209 houses were uninhabited, were unsuccessful.

First draft model of the citadel in Jülich

The Kalkarer Zitadelle (Italian: "small town"), whose multi-pointed ground plan with four protruding corners resembled that of the citadel in Jülich , was built in the south of the city according to plans by the Dutch fortress engineer Henrick Ruse . Its center was roughly where the primary school is located on Am Bollwerk street today. Around 80 houses and parts of the city wall were demolished for the fortress. The Monretor was converted to the southern entrance to the citadel. Ruse had a double ring of wide moats built around the ramparts. The citadel alone had a side length of around 300 meters, including the trenches, it was around 500 meters. The moat ended in the north about 100 meters south of the Hanselaertores and in the south and west reached almost to today's B 57.

This huge facility, which was almost completed after a good ten years, never served its purpose. Already in 1674 the fortress began to be razed. The trenches of the fortress shaped the southern part of Kalkar for a long time. Some of them were only filled up with household waste and building rubble after the Second World War. Today, apart from a few steps in the terrain, there is little reminiscent of the citadel. In the meadows at Hanselaerertor, the bend of the Leybach and a row of trees trace the angular course of the moat, and in the west, near Bahnhofstrasse, a pond remains from the moat.

Birthplace of a Prussian war hero

Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz, Prussian equestrian general; born on February 3, 1721 in Kalkar

One of the Prussian soldiers marching through Kalkar in the 18th century was a Rittmeister von Seydlitz, who had the task of recruiting soldiers. In 1721 his wife gave birth to a son, Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz, in Kalkar . The family didn't stay in Kalkar for long. Friedrich Wilhelm grew up in Brandenburg . He quickly made a career as a cavalry officer and was appointed commander of the Prussian cavalry by King Frederick the Great in the Seven Years' War . On November 5, 1757, he decided the Battle of Roßbach for the Prussians against the French and Imperial troops.

A good 100 years later, a statue of the general was erected in the middle of the Kalkar market square next to the court linden tree in 1860. “To honor oneself, the city honors the hero's first trace” it said on one side of the monument base. Theodor Fontane's poem on von Seydlitz And Calcar, that is spur , also comes from this period . After the last war, enthusiasm for everything military had sunk in Kalkar too. Since the cavalry general was also "war-damaged" - Allied troops had shot his head off - the city council decided in 1949 to remove the memorial. The sandstone of the monument was used for the restoration of the window bases of the town hall. Von Seydlitz returned to Kalkar in honor when the barracks built in 1969 on the Beguinage were named after him.

“Agricultural town” well into the 20th century

Kalkar did not recover from the blows suffered in the 17th century. In 1730 it had only 2,000 inhabitants - only 150 years earlier it had been around 5,000. The city had to go into debt. In 1775 she was faced with a mountain of debt of 31,414 Reichstalers . She had borrowed 25,000 Reichstaler from monasteries and foundations alone.

Kalkar survived the French annexation that lasted 20 years from 1794 to 1814 during the French era . From 1798 on, Kalkar was the capital of a canton that was part of the Roerdepartement . There were even advantages for the financial situation: the debts to the monasteries and foundations expropriated and dissolved by Napoleon did not have to be repaid.

The medieval art treasures of the Nicolaikirche were largely preserved in Kalkar despite the turmoil of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Kalkarers robbed themselves of a considerable part of their artistic heritage. In 1818 seven altars were sold by the parish because money was needed to repair the church. Rotthauwe says in his book Kostbarkeit Kalkar, which was published on behalf of the city of Kalkar in 1980 : “Lack of money is an excuse, but it is not a sufficient explanation for the sale of art in Kalkar at the time. The reasons lay deeper, lay in not knowing, in indifference to an art that was not understood… ”.

After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the city was again assigned to Prussia and to the Kleve district . The long period of peace that followed brought Kalkar noticeable progress towards the end of the 19th century.

When the textile industry began to flourish in Germany in the 19th century, cloth production in Kalkar was long forgotten. An early connection to the rapidly growing German railway network was missed. It was not until 1904 that the Rheinhausen – Kleve railway line was opened with the station in the Altkalkar district (closed in 1989). The economic boom of the early days finally reached Kalkar. She left behind a number of representative town houses, especially in Altkalkarerstrasse and Monrestrasse. In the surrounding villages, farms were built, which, influenced by the style of historicism, sometimes had a castle-like character.

The church towers are also a sign of increased prosperity. In 1898, the small evangelical community built a striking tower with an onion-shaped bulge for their previously towerless church, which had been built around 200 years earlier. In 1905 the low spire of the Sankt Nicolaikirche , which was only a third of its original height after being destroyed several times by storms and lightning, was replaced by a double one.

The great memorials for the victims of the world wars in Kalkar and Grieth testify to the darkest chapters of the 20th century - and the memorial stone that the city of Kalkar erected in 1983 for former Jewish citizens and victims of the Nazi tyranny.

Kalkar under National Socialism

In the last free elections in 1933, the NSDAP won three of the twelve seats in the Kalkar office; in the Kalkar municipal council she got two of the twelve seats. It thus remained clearly in the minority at the local political level. But who was in charge of the city became very clear when, at the end of 1933, the long-time mayor was exchanged for the NSDAP functionary Rouenhoff previously deployed in Geldern. Rouenhoff remained in office until his death in June 1943.

On July 12, 1936, a war memorial was inaugurated at the municipal cemetery with a large propaganda celebration by the NSDAP and its branches, which is intended to commemorate the soldiers of Kalkar who died in World War I. On the back there is a dedication quote in a slightly modified form by Adolf Hitler , which is supposed to remind of the "heroes" of the world war. In the spring of 1983, the memorial was supplemented by the years 1939 to 1945 for the soldiers of World War II. Since 2019, an action artist has been involved with color redesigns to reinterpret the memorial in the sense of anti-militarism .

At the beginning of the Nazi dictatorship in 1933, 60 Jews were still living in Kalkar. The majority of them left the city before the outbreak of war. Those who stayed either died in Kalkar or were deported and later perished by starvation, shooting or gassing in the concentration and extermination camps. All 15 Jewish families living in Kalkar in 1933 suffered victims during the years of the Holocaust . After the war, only one member of the Kalkar Jewish community returned to Germany.

To commemorate the fate of the Jewish community, the city of Kalkar had a stone Torah scroll created by the Kalkar sculptor Christoph Wilmsen-Wiegmann erected in 1988 - fifty years after the pogrom night of 1938 - in a side street between the former location of the synagogue and the town hall . Not far away, the Jewish cemetery recalls the history of the Jews in Kalkar.

At the end of the war in 1945 Kalkar was by far not as badly hit as Kleve, Goch, Emmerich, Rees or Wesel. But the left half of the town hall and the city block on the south side of the market next to the town hall were completely destroyed. In Sankt Nicolai , bombing raids by the Allies damaged one aisle in particular. In Grieth , Niedermörmter and Appeldorn , the churches were destroyed by fanatical troops. After the battle in the Reichswald , in which the German troops offered bitter resistance to the Allies, retreating German soldiers blew up the churches or shot at them from the right bank of the Rhine in order not to leave the towers to the enemy as observation points. On March 6, 1945 soldiers of the 102nd Cavalry Group occupied Kalkar as well as Antweiler, Wachendorf, Kirspenich and Arloff.

Late economic miracle

Up until the 1970s there was little evidence of an “ economic miracle ” in Kalkar. Kalkar remained an "idyllic agricultural town". The backwardness also had advantages: the building sins of the post-war period, which can often be seen elsewhere, were largely avoided. The medieval townscape was preserved. The possibilities of spatial growth were already very limited because large areas around the city center were endangered by floods and could not be built on. That only changed in 1965 when a new dyke system was built with the construction of the Emmerich-Kleve Rhine bridge.

Another essential prerequisite for the settlement of companies was created in 1967 with the construction of the Rees-Kalkar Rhine bridge . The bridge building improved the connection to the right bank of the Rhine considerably.

An important local political milestone was the regional reform carried out on July 1, 1969 in North Rhine-Westphalia as part of the 1st local reorganization program . The municipalities of Altkalkar, Appeldorn, Bylerward , Grieth, Hanselaer, Hönnepel, Kalkar, Neulouisendorf, Niedermörmter, Wissel and Wisselward of the Kalkar office and the municipality of Emmericher Eyland of the Griethausen office were merged to form the new town of Kalkar, which then has a total of 13 districts with around 10,000 inhabitants included.

The population continued to grow. Inexpensive building land and improved transport connections encouraged immigration from the metropolitan areas. In 1975 the school center was completed with a grammar school .

There were great successes in efforts to relocate companies from the mid-1970s with the construction of the sugar factory in Appeldorn ( Pfeifer & Langen ) and the dispatch slaughterhouse in the Kehrum industrial park (which was closed in autumn 2005).

Demonstration against the fast breeder in Kalkar (1977)

The Kalkar nuclear power plant brought a strong boost to the Kalkar economy . Companies from Kalkar were also involved in the construction of this breeder reactor on the banks of the Rhine in Hönnepel . It cost around 7 billion DM. The breeder, which began in 1973 and was completed after long delays in 1986, was never put into operation. The demonstrations against the construction of the fast breeder, in which tens of thousands took part in Kalkar - led by Josef Maas (“Bauer Maas”) - are among the most important events in the history of the anti-nuclear movement, which are essential to education the party Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen contributed.

On March 21, 1991 Federal Research Minister Heinz Riesenhuber announced the final end for the breeder. Kalkar received around 60 million euros in compensation from the federal and state governments as part of the “Kalkar 2000” program. They were used in particular for urban redevelopment and the expansion of the infrastructure (Kehrum business park, road construction, Wisseler See amusement park, Hönnepel sewage treatment plant).

In addition, the power plant was sold in 1995 for 2.5 million euros to the Dutch entrepreneur Hennie van der Most , who converted the site into an amusement park with hotels, restaurants and sports facilities. The " Wunderland Kalkar ", which now also organizes conferences and trade fairs, recorded around 280,000 visitors and around 170,000 overnight stays in 2004. With 230 year-round employees and around 300 seasonal workers, it is one of the largest employers in Kalkar.

In the mid-1990s, the tower windmill at Hanselaertor on the eastern edge of the city was restored, a project that also served to promote tourism. The hull of the tower still stood from the mill. But it also had to be renovated. With new blades and two new grinders, the “Kalkarer Mühle” is now fully functional again. Grain is regularly ground here and bread is baked in the newly built bakery on the mill premises in 1996. The former granary was converted into a restaurant. In memory of the Kalkar beer brewing tradition, a brewing system was installed here. The mill and brewery are run on a voluntary basis by the Kalkarer Mühle am Hanselaerer Tor e. V. operated.

Overall, the Kalkar economy experienced a late economic miracle . The number of employees subject to social security contributions grew by a quarter from 1995 to 2003 to 3077. From 2003 to 2006, however, it fell by around 11%. Overall, however, there was an increase of around 11% to 2,745 employees between 1995 and 2006 (men: + 4%, women: + 22%).

The population of Kalkar increased by almost a third from 1987 to 2007, to which many immigrants of German descent from the areas of the former Soviet Union contributed. The proportion of the non-German population increased from 5.6% in 1987 to 6.7% in 2007. The immigrants also include some citizens who belong to the Kurdish religious community of the Yazidis .

Population development

The following information relates to what is now the area of ​​the city of Kalkar.

Population development in Kalkar from 1975 to 2017 according to the table below
  • 1975: 10,846 inhabitants
  • 1980: 11,068 inhabitants
  • 1985: 11,194 inhabitants
  • 1990: 11,084 inhabitants
  • 1995: 12,560 inhabitants
  • 2000: 13,639 inhabitants
  • 2005: 14,076 inhabitants
  • 2010: 13,829 inhabitants
  • 2015: 13,854 inhabitants
  • 2017: 13,868 inhabitants


Local election 2014
(in %)
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p
Allocation of seats in
the Kalkar City Council in 2014
A total of 32 seats
  • SPD : 5
  • Greens : 3
  • FBK : 2
  • Forum Kalkar : 11
  • FDP : 1
  • CDU : 10

City council

Four parties and two electoral associations are represented in the Kalkar City Council. In the local elections on May 25, 2014 , the electoral association "Forum Kalkar", which was only founded in February 2014, received the most votes.


Britta Schulz (Forum Kalkar) received the most votes in the mayor's runoff election on September 27, 2015.

coat of arms

Blazon : "In red three golden three-pinned fort towers with a wide archway in the heraldic corners of the shield head and in the shield base, covered with a silver shield."

The red shield with the small silver shield was the old coat of arms of Kleve, to which Kalkar belonged for a long time.

Town twinning

Kalkar maintains town twinning with the following cities :

Culture and sights

The Kalkarer Mühle
The Kalkar Municipal Museum in a historic building
Boetzelaer Castle in Appeldorn

Architectural monuments

In the medieval townscape of Kalkar are particularly worth seeing:

  • The Sankt Nicolaikirche with numerous works of art dates from the late Gothic and early Renaissance periods. Altars and sculptures in this church are counted among the most important testimonies of art around 1500 in Germany.
  • The Evangelical Church in Kesselstrasse, consecrated in 1697, with the onion roof tower from 1898. The interior is a striking example of reformed hall construction. Also worth seeing and hearing is the organ from 1781.
  • The large market square with the court linden tree
  • The town hall on the market square and the municipal museum behind it
  • The beguinage on Kesselstrasse north of the market square
  • The Ulft'sche Haus on the church square, built around 1550, with Gothic wall and ceiling painting
  • The city windmill at Hanselaertor in the east of the city ( Kalkarer Mühle ) ; it is the largest windmill (27.5 m canopy height, 25 m blade diameter, 8 floors) on the Lower Rhine; 1770/ 71 built as Lohmühle restored 1995/1996, it is now fully operational with two grinders; Guided tours are offered.

In the other districts there are particularly interesting monuments:

  • Sankt Clemens in Wissel , a former collegiate church from the 12th century
  • Saint Peter and Paul in Grieth from the 15th century
  • St. Anthony's Church in Hanselaer from the 15th century
  • Boetzelaer Castle , a restored water castle in Appeldorn , whose origins go back to the 13th century.

Fast breeder

Kalkar became known to the general public primarily through the disputes over the construction of the "fast breeder" , a nuclear power plant of the type SNR-300 with a planned output of 300 megawatts. Construction, which began in 1973 on the banks of the Rhine in the Hönnepel district , was completed in 1986, but the power plant was not put into operation. A Dutch entrepreneur built the amusement park " Wunderland Kalkar " on the site .


The SV Hönnepel-Niedermörmter plays in the football league Niederrhein .

Kalkar was also the venue for the 2015 German Duathlon Championship . The 2016 European Duathlon Championship will also take place in Kalkar.

Economy and Infrastructure


Air traffic

The closest airports are Niederrhein Airport and Düsseldorf Airport .

Bus transport

In the municipal transport run a number of bus lines for the development of the region and the urban area. The tariff of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) applies and the NRW tariff applies to all tariff areas .

Rail transport

The station Kalkar was on the Lower Rhine Railway in 1989 between Xanten and Kleve decommissioned was.

Road traffic

Kalkar is connected to the trunk road network via federal highways 57 and 67 .


Kalkar has been the Bundeswehr base since 1969 . The Von Seydlitz barracks in the Altkalkar district houses, among other things, the command authorities of the Air Force and NATO , in particular the National Situation and Command Center for Airspace Security , which is responsible for monitoring aviation security in Germany, and the Joint Air Power Competence Center . The Air Force's space situation center is also located in Kalkar .


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities associated with Kalkar

  • Christian Sgrothen (around 1525–1603), cartographer
  • Joseph von Lauff (1855–1933), writer; lived in Kalkar during his childhood
  • Heinrich Nauen (1880–1940), painter; lived in Kalkar until his death
  • Marie von Malachowski-Nauen (1880–1943), painter and wife of Heinrich Nauen
  • Hermann Teuber (1894–1985), painter; lived in Kalkar from 1943 to 1950 (pictures in the Kalkar Municipal Museum and in the Moyland Castle Museum )
  • Alfred Sabisch (1905–1986), sculptor and painter; came to Kalkar in 1937 (works in Kalkar: Nikolaus figure in front of the secondary school and relief above the entrance to the Joseph Lörks primary school, sculptures in the Kalkar Municipal Museum, tombs in the cemetery)
  • Heinrich Seesing (1932–2004), politician (CDU), Member of the Bundestag for the Kleve constituency from 1983 to 1994
  • Jürgen W. Möllemann (1945–2003), politician (FDP), Member of the Bundestag, Federal Minister for Education and Science (1987–1991) and Federal Minister for Economics (1991–1993); grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in Kalkarer district Appeldorn on

Fictional person

  • Arnold Zweig lets the protagonist of the story Pont and Anna , the successful Berlin architect Laurenz Pont, look back at his childhood around 1890 in Calcar. In a crisis, the buried memory returns - of carefree years with the Jewish girl next door Anna.


  • Rheinische Post. May 12, 2005, supplement “775 years of the city of Kalkar”, pages F1 to F12.
  • Helmut Rotthauwe called Löns: Precious Kalkar. Published by the city of Kalkar. Rheinland-Verlag, Brauweiler Abbey, Pulheim 1980, ISBN 3-7927-0558-3 .
  • Guido de Werd , Michael Jeiter: St. Nicolaikirche Kalkar. Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2002, ISBN 3-422-06336-6 .
  • Benedikt Erenz : The miracle of Kalkar. Three years of renovation - now the small town on the Lower Rhine shines again in the splendor of its unique altars. In: The time. No. 49 of November 30, 2000, p. 51.
  • Hermann Schröter: A trip to Kalkar. In: RWE-Verbund - Werkzeitschrift. Issue 82, Essen, May 1973.
  • Günther Elbin: On the Lower Rhine. Prestel, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-7913-0471-2 .
  • Günther J. Bergmann: Kalkar - the city guide for the center and the districts. With photos by Bernd Mörsen and maps and drawings by Karl-Heinz Rottmann. Mercator, Duisburg 2002, ISBN 3-87463-337-3 .
  • Günther J. Bergmann, Dan Z. Bondy, Aubrey Pomerance: Jews in Kalkar. Community history and cemetery documentation. Boss, Kleve 1999.
  • Alois Puyn: Calcar. You little town on the Lower Rhine - pictures from 1868–1945. Völkersche Buchdruckerei and Buchhandlung Goch, Kalkar 1980.
  • J. Boßmann, E.-J. van de Löcht: Altkalkar. A local history in pictures and text. Volume II.
  • Günter Kaldewei (ed.): The city in the Middle Ages. Kalkar and the Lower Rhine (= publications of the Heresbach Foundation Kalkar. Volume 1). ISBN 3-89534-136-3 .
  • Margret Wensky (arrangement): Kalkar. Ed .: Landschaftsverband Rheinland, Rheinischer Städteatlas , Delivery XIV, No. 76.Böhlau, 2001, ISBN 3-412-11501-0 .

Web links

Commons : Kalkar  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Population of the municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia on December 31, 2019 - update of the population based on the census of May 9, 2011. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), accessed on June 17, 2020 .  ( Help on this )
  2. Statistics of the German Reich, Volume 450: Official municipality directory for the German Reich, Part I, Berlin 1939; Page 267; first the new spelling Kalcar was introduced according to this source , but on July 8, 1936 it was changed again to the current one; the spelling calcar can still be found here and there as a proper name of institutions
  3. Illustration of the castle on the Monreberg in the town book of Braun and Hogenberg ( Memento from October 9, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  4. a b c Kalkar's bird's eye view plan from Braun and Hogenberg's town book ( Memento from May 26, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ Taubenturm ( Memento from December 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ); Kalkar, northern city wall with pigeon tower
  6. ^ Beguinage ( Memento of December 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ); Kalkar, Beguinage, Kesselstrasse
  7. https://www.kalkar.de/de/inhalt/kriegerdenkmal/
  8. https://www.jungewelt.de/artikel/380217.nazidenkmal-in-kalkar-da-k%C3%B6nnte-die-stadt-auch-hakenkreuze-flaggen.html
  9. Jewish cemetery on Kalkardeich ( Memento of 11 December 2007 at the Internet Archive ) Kalkar, Jewish Cemetery
  10. US Army in World War II, Chronology (1945)
  11. Martin Bünermann: The communities of the first reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1970, p. 79 .
  12. ^ Windmühle ( Memento from December 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Kalkarer Mühle
  13. Population of all municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia from December 31, 1962 at the end of each year according to the current territorial status
  14. http://wahlarchiv.krzn.de/wahl2014/wep530/index.html
  15. Archived copy ( memento of the original from January 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kalkar.de
  16. Statistics ( Memento from October 30, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ^ Dieter Dormann: Kalkar: Kalkar's third twin town - despite lack of money . Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  18. ^ [1] Kalkar, St. Nicolai, altars
  19. Die Zeit: "An ensemble that is unique in Germany in this unity and abundance."
  20. Evangelical Church ( Memento from December 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Kalkar, Evangelical Church
  21. CHAPTER V, a ( Memento of April 5, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Kalkar, The large market square with the judicial linden tree, photo report on the Internet site via romana
  22. CHAPTER V, b ( Memento of November 24, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) Kalkar, The town hall on the market square and the municipal museum behind it, photo reportage on the website via romana
  23. CHAPTER V, c ( Memento of November 22, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) Kalkar, The Beguinage, photo reportage on the Internet site via romana
  24. Ulft'sches Haus ( Memento from December 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ); Kalkar; Ulft's house on the church square
  25. ^ [2] Kalkar, Die Stadtwindmühle, homepage of the Kalkarer Mühle Association at Hanselaerer Tor e. V.
  26. [3] Kalkar, district of Wissel, Sankt Clemens Church, photo report on the Internet site via romana
  27. [4] Kalkar, Grieth district, Sankt Peter and Paul Church, photo report on the website via romana
  28. ^ [5] Kalkar, Sankt Antonius-Kirche, photo report on the website via romana