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

Coordinates: 51 ° 35 '  N , 6 ° 15'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Dusseldorf
Circle : Kleve
Height : 20 m above sea level NHN
Area : 100.64 km 2
Residents: 28,087 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 279 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 47623-47627
Primaries : 02832, 02838
License plate : KLE, GEL
Community key : 05 1 54 032
City structure: 5 districts

City administration address :
Peter-Plümpe-Platz 12
47623 Kevelaer
Website :
Mayor : Dominik Pichler ( SPD )
Location of the city of Kevelaer 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
town hall

The pilgrimage town of Kevelaer [ ˈkeːvəlaːɐ̯ ] ( Dehnungs -e ) is located on the lower left Lower Rhine in the northwest of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . It is a middle district town of the Kleve district in the administrative district of Düsseldorf . Kevelaer is a member of the Euregio Rhein-Waal . The city is particularly known as one of the most important Marian pilgrimage sites in Germany.


Spatial location

Typical house gable (main street)
Row of houses on Kapellenplatz
House Stassen

The city of Kevelaer is located in the Lower Rhine Plain, in the center of the Kleve district . The waters of Niers , Dondert, Kervenheimer Mühlenfleuth and Issumer Fleuth flow through the urban area. The area is embedded in a Donken landscape , which is also reflected in the names of the districts of Winnekendonk, Kervendonk , Kolvendonk and Grotendonk.

Urban area

Spatially, the urban area is divided into the following six districts or localities:

  • Kervenheim (with Kervendonk ) (previously named place of the Kervenheim zu Winnekendonk office until 1969 )
  • Kevelaer (formerly the municipality of Kevelaer in the office of Kevelaer)
  • Kleinkevelaer (Amt Kevelaer)
  • Twisteden (Amt Kevelaer)
  • Betting (Amt Kevelaer)
  • Winnekendonk (formerly the main town of the Kervenheim zu Winnekendonk office )

Neighboring municipalities / cities

The city of Kevelaer borders the municipality of Weeze in the north, the municipalities of Uedem and Sonsbeck ( Wesel district ) in the east, the city of Geldern in the south and the municipality of Bergen ( Limburg , NL ) in the west .


Early and late Middle Ages

The first evidence of the existence of a settlement in the city of Kevelaer goes back to the earlier Iron Age (around 800 BC). Sediments from a prehistoric well and urn finds indicate this. The Roman general Julius Caesar gives the first written information about the inhabitants of this area in his description of the Gallic War (58–51 BC). He calls them Menapier (tribe in the Belgian Gaul , who settled from the North Sea to the Rhine ).

The place was founded in the Merovingian era, as evidenced by remains of grave finds that were found in the 1960s. They come from the middle third of the 6th century. Around 450 m west of it, near today's Antonius Church, fragments from the 9th century were found during excavations, which indicate the location of the first settlement.

Kevelaer was first mentioned in a document on May 10, 1300. This certificate is a sales certificate for a farm. At that time, Kevelaer consisted of farms and cottages and is largely owned by the Xanten monastery and the Graefenthal monastery . The farmers Kevelaer and Wetten formed a judicial district and in the late Middle Ages belonged to the Niederamt Geldern of the county of Geldern. On March 19, 1339, the county was elevated to a duchy . Today's communities Kervenheim and Winnekendonk belonged to the Duchy of Kleve at that time .

Spanish Netherlands (States General)

By the Treaty of Venlo of September 12, 1543, the Duchy of Geldern was repealed in its former form and declared one of the 17 provinces of the Spanish Netherlands . In 1559 a diocese reform was carried out by Margarethe von Parma , whereby the farmers Kevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten, which until then belonged to the Archdiocese of Cologne, were subordinated to the new Diocese of Roermond . Winnekendonk and Kervenheim remained in the Archdiocese of Cologne.

In 1578 (also in 1633) the plague spread on the Lower Rhine , which also affected Kevelaer. In the war for supremacy in the Spanish Netherlands , Dutch troops marched into the city of Geldern and looted the surrounding villages of Kevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten. In addition, the practice of the Catholic religion was forbidden. In 1586 the parish church of the unoccupied Winnekendonk, located in the Duchy of Kleve, was desecrated by the Spaniards .

Thirty Years War and Peace of Westphalia

Hendrick Busmann statue in Busmannstrasse by Erika Rutert, erected in 1989

In 1614, a few years before the Thirty Years' War , the Duchy of Kleve fell to the Protestant Kurbrandenburg . A new state border ran right through the middle of today's urban area. Kervenheim and Winnekendonk were now part of the Protestant Brandenburg, and Kevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten were part of the Catholic Spanish Netherlands . At the end of July 1635, first Dutch, then Spanish and Croatian riding troops passed through Kevelaer. The Croatian mercenaries stormed the ski jump in Kevelaer on August 1st and killed 100 villagers. The Kroatenstrasse and the so-called Croatian Cross in Kevelaer still remind of this event today.

Pilgrimage pictures with the oldest town plan in Kevelaer

Probably the most important date for the history of Kevelaer is June 1, 1642. Shortly before Christmas 1641, the Geldrian merchant Hendrick Busmann heard the mysterious exclamation three times at the crossroads of the old trading routes Amsterdam - Cologne and Münster - Brussels : "At this point you should give me build a chapel! ” . Triggered by these events, he decided to obey the call. After his wife Mechel had seen a large, shiny light at night, in the middle of which there was a saint's house with a devotional image, he kept his promise and, despite the difficult times, built a wayside shrine in the same shape as Mechel had seen it where he heard the voice earlier. On June 1, 1642, the pastor of Kevelaer consecrated a wayside shrine at the crossroads and put an engraving of the Virgin Mary "Consolatrix Afflictorum" (comforter of the afflicted) from Luxembourg . This is how the story of the pilgrimage in Kevelaer begins (see below).

Due to the Peace of Westphalia , which was concluded in 1648 , the situation for the population in Kevelaer and the surrounding area did not become calmer or better, as they were repeatedly victims of looting. With the outbreak of the Dutch War in 1672, Kevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten as well as Kervenheim and Winnekendonk were occupied by French , Cologne and Münster troops and were repeatedly affected by raids by the French. In 1689 the parish church in Winnekendonk was again looted and burned down, and around 90 houses and farms in Kervenheim and Winnekendonk were also destroyed. A few years later, during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702, Kevelaer was then stormed by French troops, with houses looted and destroyed and up to 80 citizens killed.

In the following year 1703 the fortress of Geldern was besieged by Prussian troops. The siege lasted about a year until Geldern surrendered. In addition to Kervenheim and Winnekendonk, which already belonged to Prussia , with the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, Kevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten also fell to Prussia. In church terms, Kevelaer was still under the diocese of Roermond , which at that time became Austrian .

French occupation (coalition wars)

In April 1792 the First Coalition War began against France, in which Prussia also took part. During the war, Kevelaer and Kervenheim were occupied by French troops in December of the same year. The miraculous image was hidden in the St. Antonius parish church to protect it from the occupiers. The French extorted about 100 pounds of meat and 200 pounds of bread from the Oratorian monastery, founded in 1647, and took the priests hostage shortly afterwards . About 3,000 to 4,000 thalers were paid to trigger them.

After a brief lifting of the occupation, French troops marched into the Rhineland again in 1794 and this time were able to expand the French state border to the Rhine . With the Treaty of Basel in 1795, the entire area on the left bank of the Rhine with Kevelaer became French. French structures were quickly built up in the Rhineland during the French era . Kevelaer belonged to the Arrondissement de Clèves in the Département de la Roer . Three years later the Mairie (later mayor's office) Kevelaer was created, to which the municipalities Kevelaer, Kleinkevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten belonged.

In the same year, outdoor processions were banned and all crosses on paths and churches were removed, which understandably was a severe blow to the pilgrimage site of Kevelaer. In 1801 the diocese of Roermond was dissolved and Kevelaer was assigned to the diocese of Aachen . In the summer of the following year, all monasteries were dissolved by consular resolution, including the Oratorian monastery in Kevelaer. Due to the secularization operated by the French, the Chapel of Mercy and Candles were owned by the state from 1802 to 1806.

Vormärz (Prussia)

With the end of Napoleon's reign , Kevelaer became Prussian again in 1814/1815 through the decisions at the Congress of Vienna and belonged to the new Clevian District in the Lower Rhine General Government. The volcanic eruption of Tambora in 1815 resulted in enormous rainfall, which caused the Niers to overflow its banks. The terrible consequences were crop failures and famine, from which Kevelaer was not spared.

In 1816 the administrative district of Kleve was created. Kevelaer, located in the district of Geldern, was still a mayor's office, which included the villages of Kevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten and until 1975 belonged to the district of Geldern. Kervenheim and Winnekendonk, which have belonged to the city of Kevelaer since 1969, formed the Kervenheim mayor. In 1821, after 20 years in the Aachen diocese, Kevelaer was again placed under another diocese. Since then, Kevelaer has belonged to the diocese of Münster .

In Kevelaer, where a Lower Franconian dialect is spoken, a decision by the Bishop of Münster and the Prussian rule caused displeasure. From now on, sermons and school lessons had to be held in High German . New prayer books were also printed in German. For the people in Kevelaer this was hardly understandable language at the time. To this day, the Kevelaerer Platt is still spoken of by some age groups in Kevelaer .

In 1822, after only six years, the Kleve administrative district was dissolved and attached to the Düsseldorf administrative district . In the same year a poor commission for the mayor's office of Kevelaer was founded, which bears the first basic features of today's social welfare.

In the 1820s, pilgrimages, especially pilgrimages with overnight stays, were forbidden by the Bishop of Münster and by the Prussian rule. This ban, which hit the Kevelaerer again and again enormously, was not lifted until 1840.

March Revolution

In 1831 Kevelaer was visited by the future Kaiser Wilhelm I , and two years later, in 1833, by the Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm IV . After the Crown Prince's visit, the prohibitions on pilgrimages were relaxed somewhat. Twelve years later, the Crown Prince, then as King of Prussia, visited the place of pilgrimage again. In 1848 the Prussian constitution imposed by the king after the suppression of the revolution of 1848 came into force. Kevelaer himself was hardly affected by the March Revolution . It is only known that some attacks on owners and their property are said to have occurred in Kervenheim.

Three years after the constitution was revised, a town hall was built in Winnekendonk in 1853 on what is now the Old Market. With the construction, Winnekendonk took over the administration of the mayor's office in Kervenheim. The construction of a railway connection and railway station began in the 1850s, and construction work was completed in 1863.


While Kevelaer was hardly affected by the March Revolution , this changed in 1871 with the Kulturkampf initiated by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck . Between 1871 and 1873 the pulpit paragraph was introduced, the Jesuit order banned and the May Laws passed at the height of the Kulturkampf . In October 1873, the Mainz bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler , whom more than 25,000 people had followed to Kevelaer, preached against these decrees .

During this time, only processions were allowed in the Düsseldorf administrative district that had been making pilgrimages to a place of pilgrimage for decades . In the course of the Kulturkampf, the priest house in Kevelaer was confiscated. The policemen who refused to do it have been fired. In return, those who participated in the seizure were excommunicated for almost two years . The existence of the Kevelaer pilgrimage was threatened by the now open fight between the state authorities and the Catholic Church.

In May 1879 the Kevelaerer Volksblatt (also Kävels Blächen, Kevelaerer Blatt ) was founded by Elisabeth Ingmanns. At the time, the subtitle read “for throne and altar” . With the end of the culture war approaching, the community of Kevelaer bought today's market square in 1880, where a weekly market took place and is still taking place. A year later, construction work began on the Marienhospital in Kevelaer.

In 1882 a major fire occurred in the center of the community of Kevelaer, which did not yet have a volunteer fire brigade . Numerous houses and barns fell victim to the flames, but at the same time new possibilities for building were created, which were also used for the purpose of pilgrimage. 1884 the parish priest of Kevelaer was the privilege awarded to Marie solemnities the papal blessing to give. This privilege still exists today.

In the year of the 250th anniversary of the Kevelaer pilgrimage, 1892, the miraculous image was awarded a golden crown by the Pope . The crown was made in a Kevelaer goldsmith and decorated with votive offerings . Through this coronation the image of grace was included in the images of grace recognized and confirmed by Rome. In the anniversary year of 1892, the Poor Clares founded a monastery in Kevelaer.

Turn of the century and First World War

Postcard from Kevelaer around 1897 - Priest's House, Marienkirche, Mercy Chapel, Candle Chapel
Postcard from Kevelaer around 1904 - parish church, Kreuzbaum, Kreuzweg, Kapellen-Platz

In 1900, four relics were discovered in the parish church of Wetten during the demolition of the high altar . One of them came from St. Clement .

Four years later the construction of the Kevelaer water tower began. The work was completed in 1905. Instead of a private well , the Kevelaerer should now be supplied with water from this central point. In 1906 the first tap water flowed.

During the First World War , Kevelaer was a garrison town , but apart from the billeting of soldiers and the suspension of rail traffic, the direct consequences of the war barely felt.

Weimar Republic

This only changed in 1918 with the defeat of Germany and the subsequent occupation of Kevelaer by Belgian troops ( Allied occupation of the Rhineland ). The residents were confronted with strict requirements. People who did not greet uniformed occupiers were arrested. In the hallways of the house residents had to be posted. There was a nocturnal ban. Letters longer than two pages were not sent. All letters were checked by an authority and censored if necessary. Food such as bread, meat and fat were rationed. You could only get them for ration cards . The Belgian occupation remained until 1926.

At the end of 1919, the first elections to the National Assembly of the Weimar Republic and the first municipal elections took place in Kevelaer. A separatist movement emerged in the Rhineland , which in 1923 proclaimed the Rhenish Republic . In the Siebengebirge it came to the battle of Aegidienberg , in which 14 separatists were killed. Among them there should also have been people from Kevelaer.

In October 1920 the Lower Rhine Catholic Day took place in Kevelaer. In 1923 St. Mary's Church was elevated to the status of a papal St. Mary's basilica .

During the inflation in the Weimar Republic , Kevelaer printed his own emergency money in 1921 . The notes showed, among other things, the coat of arms of Kevelaer, the chapel of grace, the Mother of God Maria and farmers in the Kevelaer costume with the words Dor hör ek t'hüß (“there I am at home”).

time of the nationalsocialism

The time of National Socialism also left its mark on Kevelaer. Initially, Kevelaer was still politically determined by the Center Party . This only changed in later years during this period. In the Kevelaerer Volksblatt , too , a clear position was taken against National Socialism.

In the council meeting on April 11, 1933, it was unanimously decided to give Hindenburg and Hitler honorary citizenship. This was immediately communicated by telegram. At the meeting on June 11, 2003, Hitler was struck off the list of honorary citizens because a formal withdrawal was not possible. This only works for convicted war criminals. But Hitler could not be convicted because he had evaded a conviction by suicide.

A visit by Hitler and his deputy Rudolf Hess was planned for June 29, 1934 through the Essen Gauleiter Josef Terboven . According to Himmler, actions by Reich President von Hindenburg then prompted Hitler and his followers to leave for Bad Godesberg beforehand and not come to Kevelaer.

In the 1930s and 1940s the painter Karl Wenzel from Kevelaer turned to profane painting. His naturalistic way of working and his “völkisch painting style”, which in terms of content and form corresponded to the art ideas of National Socialism, were very well received. From 1937 there were exhibitions with watercolors and etchings in the Folkwang Museum of the artists from the Gau Essen, in Rheine and Kevelaer. In 1943 he was represented with several oil paintings in an exhibition in the Munich House of German Art .

Since there were no Jews resident in Kevelaer , the hatred of Jews could not find any targets here. Unlike in the neighboring towns, there were no corresponding actions. There were both members of the SA and the Hitler Youth in Kevelaer , and local politics spoke out in favor of National Socialism. The Catholic population, however, rejected this idea. The foundation stone for the new Haus der Heimat in Marienpark was laid in 1937, and the district museum opened in spring 1938, in which the achievements of the Third Reich were exhibited. Both fell victim to the aerial bombs in 1945.

During this time, the pilgrimage also lost a part. The Reichsbahn no longer provided special trains.

Second World War

British tanks in Kevelaer, March 4, 1945

As during the French occupation and during the First World War, the miraculous image was also hidden in the Second World War . In April 1940, a Royal Air Force reconnaissance aircraft was shot down near Kevelaer. Until the beginning of 1943, the community of Kevelaer hardly felt anything of the bombing raids that were flown on neighboring communities. Kevelaer itself was spared for the time being, as the St. Mary's Basilica was an important landmark for British aviators.

In the night of April 8th to 9th, 1943, around 300 incendiary bombs were dropped on Kevelaer and the surrounding areas. Several farms in Winnekendonk burned down.

In September, October and November 1944 there were several announcements and orders for the evacuation of Kevelaer; most of the population ignored them and stayed in Kevelaer. From the end of January the Nazi regime increased the pressure. On February 5, 1945, more than 1,000 SS “green police” rigorously cracked down to evacuate Kevelaer. From February 7 to 22, 1945, the battle of the Reichswald raged north of Kevelaer in the Kleve area ; the front came closer.

Kevelaer suffered heavy air raids on February 9, 11, and 15, and on March 1, 1945.

On January 28, 1945, Winnekendonk was bombed from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and largely destroyed.

On March 3, 1945, early in the morning, British and Canadian troops entered Kevelaer without a fight.


Three years after the end of the Second World War , the first international congress of the Catholic peace movement took place in Kevelaer in April 1948. The visit of the French bishop Pierre-Marie Théas was one of the first, widely noticed initiatives for the reconciliation of peoples between French and Germans. On April 3, 1948, the German organization of Pax Christi was formally founded in Kevelaer . In 1958, 1973 and 1988 further Pax-Christi meetings took place in Kevelaer.

By decree of the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia , the municipality of Kevelaer was granted town charter on May 25, 1949.

In 1985 the first motorcycle pilgrimage and the first world music festival (initially as an international folk festival) took place, which have been held annually since then.

In 1987, on the occasion of the Marian World Congress, Kevelaer was visited by Pope John Paul II , St. Mother Teresa , and by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger .

Origin and development of the pilgrimage

Beginnings of the pilgrimage

Around Christmas 1641, when the merchant Hendrick Busman (also Hendrik Busmann) was praying at a hail cross, heard a mysterious voice saying: “You should build me a chapel here!” (Op deze plaats sult gij mij een kapelleken bouwen!) . In the course of the next few days, on his daily journey from Weeze to Geldern , near the village of Kevelaer in the Kevelaerer Heide, Busman heard the said voice twice more during his daily prayers. Although the merchant was not rich, he carried out this assignment.

One month before Pentecost in 1642, his wife Mechel Schrouse had a nocturnal apparition. She saw in a great shining light a little house of saints with a picture of the Blessed Mother "Consolatrix Afflictorum" (comforter of the afflicted) from Luxembourg , which had been offered to her some time before by two soldiers for sale. Hendrick Busman saw his experience confirmed and commissioned his wife to track down the two soldiers and buy the picture. Mechel met a lieutenant in Kempen , who now owned the two offered pictures, and bought one of the pictures from him.

Kevelaer around 1656
(monastery, grace chapel, candles chapel)

First the picture was kept and honored in Geldern. The Capuchins from Geldern and the community demanded that the picture be taken to Kevelaer in a procession , but this did not happen. Instead, the picture was picked up by Johannes Schink, the pastor of the Antonius Church in Kevelaer at the time, on May 31 and placed in the chapel on Sunday, June 1, 1642. On the same day, quite a number of people from Geldern and the surrounding villages are said to have come to this holy house. There is still written under a coat of arms with a cross and a branch of leaves: "Ano 1642 Hendrick Busman - Mechel Scholt Gegev" .

In 1647 the events of 1641 and 1642 were examined by the Synod of Venlo . At the hearing, Busman described the events and swore an oath that his accounts were correct. The church recognized Kevelaer as a place of pilgrimage after only two days of hearing , which from today's perspective was exceptionally quick. Busman died on March 14, 1649.

Miraculous healings according to Catholic tradition

In the Catholic tradition of the pilgrimage to Kevelaer many miraculous healings are reported. The first representations of miracles come from the years 1642/1643. In 1642 the paralyzed Peter van Volbroek from Hassum is said to have been healed after a pilgrimage to Kevelaer. In 1643, Eerutgen Dircks, a woman from Huissen , is said to have been healed from years of open wounds on his legs after two visits to Kevelaer without medical treatment. Six more miracles were reported before the Synod in Venlo in 1647. All eight miracles were recognized by the synod according to Catholic rules.

In the opinion of the Catholic Church at least four other miracles took place in the 19th century, including the healing of the paralyzed Maria Katharina van Dyck in 1808 and Agnes Schiefer in 1849. In 1850, the regaining of sight by the pilgrim Johannes Weidenbach and by the regaining of the ability to speak by the pilgrim Agnes Meurßen reported.

Development of processions and numbers of pilgrims

Marian procession in Kevelaer, picture postcard 1903

In addition to the rapid approval as a place of pilgrimage, the popularity of Kevelaer developed just as quickly and with it the number of annual pilgrimage visits. The first closed procession to Kevelaer took place in 1643. At that time, a large group of pilgrims traveled on foot from Rees to Kevelaer. The wooden cross on which Busman had prayed became more and more unadorned with the large number of pilgrims, as the pilgrims cut chips from the cross as a souvenir. In 1649 the Drost von Geldern had the remains of the wooden cross removed and forbade the erection of a new cross.

50 years later - in 1699 - the first procession from Bonn to Kevelaer took place. At that time around 400 people made a pilgrimage to Kevelaer on foot to see and honor the miraculous image.

Chapel of Mercy

The flow of pilgrims continued to increase continuously until 1700, so that the priests residing in Kevelaer could hardly cope with the enormous influx of pilgrims. At this time, more than 15,000 people are said to have visited the pilgrimage site on some days.

During the French occupation and the associated secularization , the chapel for candles and grace was owned by the state between 1802 and 1806. Pilgrimages were banned. The number of pilgrims collapsed during this time. Only in 1809 did the number of pilgrims rise again to 140,000 a year.

Two years after Kevelaer was again under Prussian rule (1816), the number of pilgrims and processions continued to rise. This year there were 204 processions. This renewed upswing was to collapse a year later due to the strict regulations on pilgrimage by the Prussians. The number of pilgrims fell back to the level at the time of the French occupation. In 1842 Kevelaer celebrated the 200th anniversary of the pilgrimage. On this occasion, 200,000 pilgrims came to the place and 254 processions took place.

Since Kevelaer had a train station in 1863, the parish has become more accessible to pilgrims. This increased the number of pilgrims significantly. In 1913 344 special pilgrimage trains were counted and Kevelaer is said to have been visited by 600,000 pilgrims.

Kevelaerer peace stele by Norbert Vorfeld

There are contradicting data about the number of pilgrims in the first years of the First World War. Some sources say that the number of visitors fell in 1914, others report that pilgrimages continued to increase and a new record was reached in 1915 with 500,000 pilgrims. This number also contradicts the 600,000 pilgrims counted in 1913. In any case, at least half a million pilgrims were visiting Kevelaer annually at that time.

During the Second World War, Kevelaer did not celebrate its 300th anniversary. In 1942 the place of pilgrimage was visited by very few people. In the years that followed, the number of processions and pilgrims rose again and has now reached a high of around 800,000 visitors per year.

Peace pilgrimage 2015

On May 28, 2015, the everlasting fire of the Kevelaer peace stele was lit for the first time. The occasion was the 52nd anniversary of the historic speech by Martin Luther King with the statement I Have a Dream and the first interreligious pilgrimage to Kevelaer for Jewish , Muslim and Christian believers. The work of art was created by the Kevelaer artist Norbert Vorfeld based on a design by Niklas van Lipzig . It shows the globe and its continents as a solid foundation, from which many arms and hands stretch out towards the sky. These hands then form the protective cloak of Mary, the Kevelaer Mother of God, the Consolatrix afflictorum .

Representation in literature, music and film

From the beginning, local poets in particular wrote lyrical and literary texts about the pilgrimage to Kevelaer. In addition, Heinrich Heine wrote the ballad Die Pilfahrt nach Kevelaar in 1822 . Heine's poem was broadcast as a choral and orchestral work by the Swedish composer August Söderman in 1859-66. It was also set to music by Engelbert Humperdinck as a cantata for alto and tenor solo, mixed choir and orchestra (EHWV 55, premiere Munich 1878). There is the song Wick es d´r Wäch noh Kevelaer by the Bläck Fööss .

In 1921, during the heyday of the Swedish silent film (also called "Das Goldalter"), the poem Heinrich Heine was filmed by director Ivan Hedqvist in the surroundings of Cologne and Kevelaer, with studio recordings in Stockholm , as Vallfarten till Kevlaar . The film was digitally restored by the Swedish Film Institute in 2018 and had a new premiere in the same year at the Bonn Summer Cinema. In 2019 it was shown in Kevelaer Marienbasilika with organ accompaniment by Elmar Lehnen .

see also: Development of the Kevelaer church structures

Urban development and territorial reform

Postcard from Kevelaer around 1656

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Kevelaer mainly consisted of farms and cottages . To Kevelaer belonged the peasant communities Fronschaften, Klein- Keylaer , Hegerath, Vorst and the southern court of Hüdderath. A tax list from 1369 says that there were 31 cottages, farms and houses in Kevelaer. In 1635 100 Kevelaer were killed by Croatian troops, which means that at that time at least 100 people must have lived in Kevelaer. By 1756 Kevelaer had developed into a village with more than 100 houses. The railway connection created in 1863 accelerated the development of the urban area and the number of inhabitants. On May 25, 1949, the community of Kevelaer was granted town charter.

The city of Kevelaer in its current form was created on July 1, 1969 through the first municipal reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . The municipalities of Kleinkevelaer, Twisteden and Wetten, dass der Amt Kevelaer and Kervendonk, Kervenheim and Winnekendonk of the Amt Kervenheim were merged with the city of Kevelaer. The resulting new community was named Kevelaer and is called "City".

On January 1, 1975, in the course of the second reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia, the old Kleve district was merged with the former Geldern district and parts of the Moers and Rees districts to form the new Greater Kleve district on the Lower Rhine.

Population development

Population development in Kevelaers

June 30, 2007:


The increase in 1969 is due to the local reorganization in NRW.


Local election 2014
(in %)
n. k.
n. k.
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p

City council

In addition to the nationally represented parties, the local electoral association Kevelaerer Bürgerervereinigung (KBV) is active in Kevelaer municipal politics.

In the local elections on May 25, 2014, the local voters' association Independent Voters Union (UWU) and DIE LINKE no longer ran. Accordingly, the CDU, SPD, KBV, Bündnis90 / Die Grünen and FDP were available for election. The council of the city of Kevelaer regularly has 34 seats, but will be expanded to 38 seats in the 2014-2020 council period through two overhang mandates and two compensation mandates and is composed as follows:

  • CDU 17 seats (45.24 percent)
  • SPD 8 seats (20.92 percent)
  • KBV 6 seats (15.89 percent)
  • Green 5 seats (12.01 percent)
  • FDP 2 seats (5.93 percent)


From 1946 to 1999, the city council was headed by an honorary mayor. Since 1999 the directly elected mayor has also been head of administration. Dominik Pichler (SPD) was elected mayor of the city of Kevelaer on September 13, 2015 with 50.38 percent of the vote. He replaced Mayor Axel Stibi (CDU) , who had been in office since 2004 .

The next mayoral election will take place in 2020.

Mayor since 1800

  • 1800–1817: Johann Marian van den Wyenbergh a
  • 1817–1822: Peter Heuvens
  • 1822–1875: Gerhard Heinrich Cremeren
  • 1875–1884: Wilhelm Brügelmann
  • 1884–1901: Gerhard Arnold Leeuw
  • 1901–1924: Mathias Marx
  • 1924–1933: Bernhard Widmann
  • 1933–1945: Aloys Eickelberg
  • 1945–1946: Theodor van Ooyen b
  • 1946: Fritz Holtmann c
  • 1946–1978: Peter Plümpe d (CDU)
  • 1978–1989: Karl Dingermann (CDU)
  • 1989–1999: Friedrich Börgers (CDU), last honorary mayor
  • 1999-2004: Heinz Paal (CDU)
  • 2004–2015: Axel Stibi (CDU)
  • since 2015: Dominik Pichler (SPD)
aDuring the French period from 1800–1814 Maire der Mairie Kevelaer
bAppointed March 3rd by the British Command
c Elected by the local council meeting on February 11, 1946, repealed a month later by the British Command
d Appointed March 8th by the British Command

coat of arms

Blazon : “Divided by blue and gold, above a Geldern rose ( medlar blossom ) with golden petals, rounded red sepals and five-pointed red slugs stylized as a pentagram, the inner slug circle covered with eight circularly arranged silver dots and another in the middle, one below red heraldic lily. "

Meaning: The medlar blossom (Geldernsche Rose) symbolizes the original affiliation of the city of Kevelaer to the country of Geldern, as it was one of the insignia of the Count (later Duke) of Geldern and was in the seal of the Niederamt Geldern . The red lily refers to the fact that Kervenheim and Winnekendonk belong to the country of Kleve and is associated with the Kleve lily reel , also called carbuncle or Glevenrad, which was run by the dukes of Kleve . The coat of arms of the city of Kevelaer, officially approved on November 19, 1973, refers as a whole to the municipal reorganization of the city of Kevelaer from 1969, when the offices of Kevelaer and Kervenheim were merged. The legal historian Franz Norbert Otterbeck also considers a Marian interpretation of the symbolism to be implicit: the lily for the purity of Mary ( Immakulata ), the rose for the perfection of Mary ( Assumpta = rosa mystica ); the "wrong" colors speak against it (in the Mary symbolism: white lily, red rose), but the blue and gold shield background also shows Mary colors.

Town twinning

Kevelaer has been twinning with the city of Bury St. Edmunds ( GB ) since 1981 , which is best known for the ruins of a Benedictine abbey in the city center. The abbey in which the last Anglo-Saxon King Edmund is buried developed into an important place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.

The Kardinal-von-Galen-Gymnasium operates an active school partnership with the Abilene High School in Abilene , Kansas , USA as well as the Marnix College in Ede , Netherlands, and the IV. Liceum in Wrocław ( Breslau ), Poland.

Culture and sights

Kapellenplatz with Mercy Chapel (left) and basilica (right back)


In the center of the city is the Kapellenplatz with the Gnadenkapelle, the Marienbasilika , the candle chapel and the confessional chapel. This is followed by four pedestrian zones with cafes and restaurants.

The “Lower Rhine Museum for Folklore and Cultural History”, which has existed since 1910, sees itself as a folk-cultural picture book of the region. In addition, after taking over the "Juliane Metzger Toys Collection", it has developed into an important toy museum.

The city of Kevelaer is north-western Europe's largest pilgrimage site and a state-approved resort . Every year around one million pilgrims visit the small town with just under 28,000 inhabitants. In addition, handicrafts and diverse industries such as wood and metal processing are of economic importance. The visits of Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa as well as Josef Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) in 1987 are among the greatest events of the 20th century in the city of Kevelaer .

Theater and concerts

In Kevelaer events, as well as theater and concert performances in the concert hall and stage are offered throughout the year.


The Lower Rhine Folklore Museum and Cultural History was founded in 1910 (also known as Memoria-house) and sees itself as a regional museum for folklore and cultural history of the German-Dutch border area between the Rhine and Maas . In addition to permanent exhibitions on toys (Juliane Metzger's collection of toys ), agriculture , handicrafts and popular piety and pilgrimage , the museum also has a large collection on Lower Rhine peasant pottery and a collection of copperplate engravings by the Dutchman Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617). Finds from the Roman burial ground of Pont near Geldern form the core of the Roman exhibits in the museum.

Architecture and Buildings

Old Town Hall
Water tower

In the town center of Kevelaer there are almost 200 listed buildings. This includes the historical church buildings, but above all buildings from the period around 1900. The buildings that were built in the Wilhelmine era are particularly worth seeing because of their elaborate design of the front facades. This includes, for example, the Stassen house with its bay window and the ornate gables, the Polders goldsmith's house built in the 19th century , the pharmacy on Hauptstrasse, which was used as a hotel in the 17th century and later as a brewery, the Schreiner office on Friedensplatz, the water tower, which was built between 1904 and 1905, the blue building and a number of buildings on Annastraße. The approximately one kilometer long Way of the Cross , in which the 14 stations of the Passion of Christ are represented, is also under monument protection .

The old town hall , whose foundation stone was laid in 1902 and which was completed a year later, is located at Peter-Plümpe-Platz (market square) . You can still see the old coat of arms of the city of Kevelaer on the building. It shows the cross of St. Antonius on the right and a clover leaf on the left. Also of historical importance is the so-called Croatian Cross, which commemorates the Kevelaerer who were killed on August 1, 1635. At that time Croatian troops invaded Kevelaer and killed 100 Kevelaer in their protective facilities. Even today it is written there: "ANNO 1635 THE FIRST AUGUST ALZOO DECEN. DATO PROVIDED ZYN HERE OP DE SCHANS BIE HONDS MENSCH VERMOORT / BIT VOOR DY ZELLE OP DAT GODT HAER IN THE EEWICHEID GENADICH ZYN WILL!"

Individual modern works of art were set up throughout the city center to decorate the cityscape.

The Kervendonk Castle , located in the municipality of Kervenheim , is also of historical interest . The castle complex was first mentioned in a document in 1270. The facility was expanded at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1757 the castle was largely destroyed by a city fire. The remains were then used as an estate. Parts of the property have been owned by the Protestant parish and privately owned since the end of the 20th century. Also in Kervenheim is the listed Potthaus, which is mentioned for the first time in 1733. The Potthaus was a pottery that produced ceramics that were probably of excellent quality and therefore known nationwide. The building is built in the so-called Gulfhaus style .

Church buildings

Kevelaerer image of grace
Interior of the Marienbasilika

Due to its position as a place of pilgrimage , the city of Kevelaer offers numerous churches worth seeing, which have been built over the last 350 years, primarily the Marienbasilika , in which the larger pilgrimage services are celebrated. It was built from 1858 to 1864. The elaborate painting of the entire church comes from Friedrich Stummel . The nave and the north and south transepts were built according to plans by the Cologne cathedral master builder Vincenz Statz . Construction of the over 90 m high west tower began in 1883 and was completed a year later. In 1923 the church was elevated to a papal minor basilica .

Chapel of Mercy

In the center of the pilgrimage to Kevelaer is the Chapel of Mercy , which is home to the image of Kevelaer.

The chapel was built around a wayside shrine in 1654 . According to tradition, this wayside shrine was created by a man named Hendrick Busman above the place where he had stopped - during the Thirty Years' War, at Christmas 1641 - to pray at a wayside cross. Heaven is said to have opened up above him and he is said to have heard and understood Our Lady. He is said to have heard the call three times: "At this point you should build me a chapel!" After his wife also had a vision of a saint's house with a miraculous image, Hendrick Busman built a saint's house above the wayside shrine as a "protective cover", to protect the chapel of grace was later built.

The Gnadenkapelle is a hexagonal domed structure with a large, portal-like window opening on the side of the miraculous image. The artistic design of the chapel only began in 1888 and was completed four years later.

The miraculous image comes from the hands of soldiers who carried it with them and sold it to Hendrick Busmann in 1641. His wife had already seen this picture in her vision of the holy house after Busman himself had previously discovered it on the soldiers. The miraculous image was initially kept and venerated in Geldern, and was not brought into the wayside shrine until 1642.

Candlestick Chapel

Candlestick Chapel
Candle chapel, detail
Chapel chapel chancel

To the south of the Gnadenkapelle is the Candle Chapel, the oldest pilgrimage church in the city of Kevelaer, which was built between 1643 and 1645. The church interior is more than 30 meters long, about 10 meters wide and 15 meters high and, due to this architectural style, resembles a narrow branch church. The single-nave brick building does not have a tower, but was equipped with a roof turret . A sacristy was later added to the church. The patron saint of the church is the Archangel Michael . In the candle chapel there is an abundance of large, inscribed pilgrimage candles with the coats of arms of the places of origin or communities, which document the pilgrimage tradition.


In the candle chapel there is a two-manual organ that was built in 1990 by the local organ building company Romanus Seifert & Sohn . It is located in an older organ case from 1843, which was built by the organ builder Wilhelm Rütter , also from Kevelaer. The disposition of today's organ is based on the original disposition by Rütter. The instrument has 24 registers . The actions are mechanical.

I upper section C – g 3
1. Bourdon 16 '
2. Praestant 8th'
3. Flûte harmonique 8th'
4th Viola di gamba 8th'
5. Principal 4 '
6th Reed flute 4 '
7th octave 2 '
8th. Cornett V (from c 0 ) 8th'
9. Mixture IV
10. Trumpet 8th'
11. Clairon 4 '
II substation C – g 3
12. Bourdon 8th'
13. Salicional 8th'
14th Flauto traverso 4 '
15th Fifth 2 23 '
16. Flauto 2 '
17th third 1 35 '
18th Larigot 1 13 '
19th Cromhorne 8th'
Pedal C – f 1
20th Sub-bass 16 '
21st violoncello 8th'
22nd Bourdon 8th'
23. octave 4 '
24. trombone 16 '

As part of the renovation of the bell cage in the roof turret of the candle chapel, two new bells were purchased in 2007, some of which were cast from the material of the previous bells. The two bells were cast in November 2007 in the bell foundry of the Benedictine Abbey of Maria Laach .

No. Surname Casting year Caster Weight
Nominal inscription
1 Michael 2007 Laacher bell foundry 175 e 2 ARCHANGELE PEREGRINOS ET KEVELAERIENSES CUSTODI AD MORTEM VOCATES DEO REPRAESENTA. (Archangels guarding pilgrims and Kevelaer, those called to death represent God.)
2 Joseph 2007 Laacher bell foundry 105 g 2 (Helpers and protectors of the Blessed Virgin Mary be helpers and protectors also to us.)

Confessional chapel

Confessional chapel
Sacrament chapel

In 1857, construction work began on the confessional chapel, which was completed a year later. Today the confessional chapel is located directly at the Marienbasilika. From 1890 to 1892, the two-aisled confessional chapel on the north long side was expanded, creating more space for confessionals . In 1987 part of the old confessional chapel for the Marienbasilika was separated and converted into what is known as the monastery corridor today, which leads to several confessional rooms. The extension from 1892 now serves as the actual confessional chapel.


Forum Pax Christi

Today's sacrament chapel was built in 1860 and at that time served as a confessional chapel for Dutch pilgrims. In the 1880s the Paradise vestibule was added to the Sacrament Chapel, which was destroyed at the end of the Second World War. In 1890 the interior was expanded to include a third aisle. From 1975 the former confessional chapel was converted into a sacrament chapel.

The annual nativity market takes place in the Forum Pax Christi, which is located between the candle chapel and the Lower Rhine Museum for Folklore and Cultural History. In 1948 Kevelaer experienced the first international Pax-Christi congress . On this occasion, the open chapel of the pilgrimage center, newly built in 1982, was named Pax-Christi-Chapel . In 1999 the forecourt of the chapel was covered with a glass roof; the entire complex has since been called Forum Pax Christi .

The Johanneskapelle was built in 1992 and is a chapel for Orthodox Christians. The liturgical celebrations, on the other hand, may only be carried out by the autocephalous Orthodox churches.

The current priest house was built between 1647 and 1650 and was then still a monastery of the Oratorian Fathers . Between 1664 and 1802 the monastery was always occupied by an oratorian priest. In 1802 the order was abolished by the secularization efforts of the French and the monastery was closed.

Other ecclesiastical buildings of greater importance are the Poor Clare Monastery, the Provincial Mother House of the Provincial Sisters (now closed), the retreat house of the Clement Sisters (now closed) and the St. Antonius Church. There are also numerous other churches in the individual parishes and the various denominations.

Complete list of monuments

see under: List of architectural monuments in Kevelaer

Tourist offers

From Kevelaer the z. The Nierswanderweg, located directly on the right bank of the Niers, is signposted and leads via Wissen Castle and Weeze to Goch . It is also attractive for cyclists and has a very scenic landscape. The Niers itself can also be paddled on. The section between Kevelaer and Schloss Wissen is particularly beautiful because here roads and hiking trails are further away from the Niers and therefore encounters with shy water bird species are possible, which like to hide in the reeds on the bank.

Leisure and sports facilities

Kevelaer has a variety of leisure and sports facilities. In the city of Kevelaer there is an indoor and an outdoor pool , parks and meadows, lawn sports fields , soccer fields , an athletics field and tennis facilities . The municipalities of Kevelaer also have mini golf courses , riding arenas , facilities for western riding , tennis and squash halls .

Due to the rural location and the extensive forests and heaths , signposted bike routes can be used and fitness trails and nature trails in the woods can be run. There is a youth hostel on Schravelschen Heide and a holiday park to the north of it. There in the Kervendonk landscape a section of the Jakobspilgerweg (Rhine-Maas) leads from Weeze-Wissen to Kevelaer, past a large riding hall and along the nearby Niers . Paddle boat tours can be undertaken on the Niers . There is a well-known stud in the village of Kervenheim. Warmblood breeding began there as early as 1846 on the Vogelsangshof, which continues to shape Trakehner and Rhenish horse breeding. In Twisteden there is the Traberpark Den Heyberg and Irrland , which emerged from a corn maze in 1999 , is an amusement park with an area of ​​over 300,000 m 2 and around one million visitors a year. In addition to the weekly market in Kevelaer , the so-called Lower Rhine farmers' market takes place every Friday in the village of Winnekendonk, where only self-produced food is offered.

The historic city center of Kevelaer invites you to stroll, there are numerous street cafes, restaurants, pubs and the Luxembourg gallery, a covered shopping arcade . Of course, the pilgrimage and the worth seeing church buildings are also the focus of interest here.

The most important components of the Kevelaer customs are the carnival , the Easter bonfires , the rifle festivals , the fair and the St. Martin's parades in the individual communities.

Regular events

Every year on Easter Monday the philatelic borderland exchange day takes place in Kevelaer . More than 200 stamp and picture postcard collectors meet in the concert and stage building for this event. The Kevelaer pilgrimage begins every year on May 1st with the opening of the pilgrim portal of the Marienbasilika and ends when it closes on November 1st. In connection with the pilgrimage, the motorcycle pilgrimage takes place every year on the third weekend in July, the Tamil pilgrimage ( Christian and Hindu faith) on the second weekend in August and the carnival pilgrimage on the weekend before November 11th.

In the summer of 2005, a youth forum with over 1000 participants took place for the first time in connection with the World Youth Day of the Catholic Church, which is also planned for the coming years.

The Kevelaer nativity market is also held in the Forum Pax Christi during Advent. In addition, the Kevelaer vintage car ride and the Kevelaer hot air balloon festival as well as various folk festivals take place.

On August 29, 2009, more than 10,000 acolytes from the seven north German dioceses made a pilgrimage to Kevelaer. The motto of the campaign was "I believe in you".

Käwels Platt

Origin and pronunciation peculiarities

Spread of Salfranken and Rhine Franconia until 5th / 6th century

The dialect spoken in variants in Kevelaer and the surrounding villages is based on the Lower Franconian languages that were spoken at the time of the early medieval expansion of the Franks on the Lower Rhine - although the languages ​​of that time were so different from today's dialects that the respective speakers do not understand each other today would! The dialects on the right bank of the Rhine from Emmerich to Duisburg, on the left bank of the Rhine from Kleve to the Krefeld district of Hüls (with Hölsch Plott ) are assigned to the North Lower Franconian spoken north of the Uerdinger line (also called Kleverländisch ). Käwels Platt shows similarities in tone and usage with the Geldern and Klever Platt, but also with the dialects of the nearby Dutch border area. North of the Uerdinger line, the personal pronoun “I” is spoken as “ek” or “ekk”, as is the case in Kevelaer. South of this line, in South Lower Franconia (also called East Limburg ), “isch” or “esch” is used instead. The Benrath line runs even further south (maake-maache distinction), which separates southern Lower Franconian from Middle Franconian (with the Ripuarian dialects , including Kölsch ). East of Bocholt / Oberhausen also runs the unit plural line to the Westphalian . Although Platt is cultivated in clubs and dialect circles, the number of dialect speakers is constantly falling, especially among younger people. A colloquial language called Lower Rhine German is spoken more and more often - called Regiolekt by scientists .

Kevelaerer Heimatlied

Theodor Bergmann Monument

The Kevelaerer Heimatlied "Wor hör ek t'hüß?" , Written by Theodor Bergmann (* December 29, 1868, † May 17, 1948).

What do you hear ek t'hüß?

What do you hear ek t'hüß? - kent gej min country?
Gän Baerge schnejbelaeje,
Gän driewend Waater träkt en Band
Voerbej an groote Staeje:
Dor, where de Nirs doer't Flackland goes, What is
in the Baend et Maisüt,
On wor de Keckfoars quakt in't Lüß,
|: Dor hear ek t 'huh. : |

Wor op de Hej de Loewrek sengt,
Den Haas bursts doer de Schmeele,
Wor ons de ricke Sägen brings
De Aerbejshand full of Schweele,
Wor in et Koarn de Klappros drömt,
Van Fäld on Weije rond ömsömt,
So frindlek roast et Burenhüß,
| : Dor hear ek t'hüß. : |

Wor gärn de Lüj en oapen hand,
in need de Noaber reike,
Voer Gott on Kerk on Vaderland
Noch faas ston, as de Eike,
Woroman Drömer, masculine Sock,
As good as the others ok,
Wor silder Strit on groot Gedrüß,
|: Dor hear ek t'hüß. : |

Pries gej ow Land mar allemoal,
In North, East, South on
West , Ok man'ge big Noet es hoel -
Min Laendche es et best!
Here is min Wieg, here lüjt mej ok,
so god well, one de Dojeklok
Then mej op et steene Krüß shouted:
|: Here you hear t'hüß! : |

Kevelaerer sheet

The Kevelaerer Blatt is a weekly newspaper that has been published in Kevelaer since 1879 and is also dedicated to the local dialect.

Economy and Infrastructure


Economically, Kevelaer is very much influenced by the pilgrimage, but has been able to further expand its economic independence from it in recent years. Kevelaer is primarily a city of handicrafts . Glass painters , gold and silversmiths , nativity scene and organ builders , bronze casters, bookbinders , flag stickers, as well as publishers, printers and manufacturers of devotional objects are based in Kevelaer. The individual artisans are known nationwide and devotional objects are sold worldwide from Kevelaer.

Due to the number of pilgrims, in addition to handicrafts, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses are located in Kevelaer in order to be able to cope with the annual number of around 800,000 pilgrims.

In 1988 a business development company was founded.


Routes of the four citizen bus routes

The Kevelaer train station is on the left-hand Lower Rhine route , on which the “Niers Express” (RE 10) runs every half hour on weekdays and every hour on weekends from Kleve via Krefeld to Düsseldorf . The line is not electrified from Krefeld in the direction of Kleve and is single-track from Geldern. Local rail passenger transport is carried out by the NordWestBahn (NWB), which uses LINT 41 diesel multiple units in single to triple traction.

A number of bus routes operate within the urban area and to the neighboring municipalities . The operators are Stadtwerke Kevelaer. Since 1996 there has been a citizen bus connection between the city center and the Twisteden district. Due to the positive experience, the citizens' bus system was extended to the other three districts of Kervenheim, Wetten and Winnekendonk in 1999. The four independent lines, each operated by their own association, travel together across the entire city. One way to get from one to the other three villages is at the train station, where the lines meet almost at the same time. The Winnekendonker citizen bus line also goes to Sonsbeck, located in the Wesel district. From the train station there are additional connections with the collective call taxi or on- call bus to Niederrhein Airport, less than 10 km away .

Kevelaer is connected to the federal highway 57 ( E 31 ) via the federal highway 9 .

The closest airports are Niederrhein Airport and Düsseldorf Airport .

Educational institutions

The city of Kevelaer has five primary schools , three of which are in Kevelaer and one in each of the four localities. Kevelaer also has three secondary schools: the community secondary school Kevelaer (amalgamated from the Theodor-Heuss- and the Edith-Stein secondary school), the municipal comprehensive school Kevelaer and the Kardinal-von-Galen-Gymnasium , which are located in a school center. In addition, there is the special school at the Bieg ( special school with special focus on learning and language) and the Virginia Satir School ( special school with special focus on emotional and social development) of the Kleve district.

Children's and youth facilities

The city of Kevelaer with its four communities has 13 kindergartens. The youth center “Kompass” founded in 1985 in Kevelaer is a public institution for children and young people from the age of six. There are also other youth clubs in the city center. The four localities each have their own so-called youth room. The municipal “lunch meeting after school” has existed since 1999. There children and young people between the ages of ten and 16 are looked after after school. Due to the high demand, construction work began in 2004 on a new building located directly on the edge of the urban school complex. In July 2005 the construction work was completed and the building was occupied. Intensive youth work is also carried out in the numerous clubs.

Healing spring

The thermal spring on Twistedener Straße was recognized as a healing spring on October 27, 2006 with the name Therme Kevelaer .


Honorary citizen

People who have been granted honorary citizenship of the municipality / city of Kevelaer:

1In the minutes of the Main and Finance Committee of the City of Kevelaer from May 27, 2003 it says: "[...] Since the honorary citizenship expires with the death of the honorary citizen, a revocation of the honorary citizenship is only possible as long as the person concerned lives (cf. Comment by Rehn / Cronauge / von Lennep on Section 34 of the Municipal Code for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia ). In addition, the city of Kevelaer is taking the public discussion on this topic as an opportunity to expressly distance itself from the honor of Adolf Hitler issued by the community of Kevelaer in 1933. [...] "

sons and daughters of the town

Personalities associated with Kevelaer


  • Christian Hubens: Description of Kevelaer with the emergence and continuation of the devotion to the Most Holy Virgin and Mother of God Maria alda under the title: Comforter of the afflicted: with a treatise on the supplications and short prayers . Schaffrath, Geldern 1792 ( digitized version )
  • Johann Heinrich Krickelberg: The pilgrimage to Kevelaer, from its beginning to the bicentenary celebration in 1842 . 3., through a description of the jubilee v. Years 1842 presumably ed., Lumscher, Cologne 1843. Digitized edition
  • Johann Heinrich Krickelberg: The pilgrimage to Kevelaer - with appendix, contains: Order of the processions in 1867 . Schaafs, Kevelaer approx. 1867. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Josef van Ackeren: The pilgrimage in Kevelaer . 3rd edition Köster, Kevelaer 1899 ( digitized version )
  • Jakob Hubert Schütz: The Marian places of grace Luxembourg and Kevelaer: with a historical-dogmatic introduction about miracles, places of grace, places of pilgrimage; a pilgrimage book for all Catholics . van den Wyenbergh, Kevelaer 1911 ( digitized version )
  • Fritz Dyckmans: Kevelaer . Butzon & Bercker, Kevelaer 1970.
  • Robert Plötz: The pilgrimage to Kevelaer. A place of pilgrimage and its history . 1986.
  • Josef Smets, Thomas Faber: Kevelaer - Society and economy on the Lower Rhine in the 18th and 19th centuries. Verlag Butzon & Bercker, Kevelaer 1987.
  • Johannes-Dieter Steinert: Kevelaer. A region on the Lower Rhine between the Empire and the Third Reich. Verlag Butzon & Bercker, Kevelaer 1988.
  • Josef Heckens, Richard Schulte Staade: Consolatrix Afflictorum - The image of Mary at Kevelaer. Message, history, present. Butzon & Bercker, Kevelaer 1992.
  • Heinrich Janssen : Pilgrimages on the Lower Rhine . In: Heinrich Janssen, Udo Grote (Hg :): Two millennia history of the church on the Lower Rhine . Dialogverlag, Münster 1998, ISBN 978-3-933144-02-7 , pp. 397–411, on Kevelaer pp. 399–401 and 408–411.
  • Robert Plötz and Herbert Cürvers: Kevelaer. Sutton Publishing, 2003.
  • Stefan Zekorn , Detlef Trefz (photographer): Kevelaer . Aschendorff, Münster 2006, ISBN 978-3-402-00239-1 .
  • Heike Waldor-Schäfer, Axel Hundertmarck (photographer): You my Kevelaer . Anno-Verlag, Ahlen 2019, ISBN 978-3-939256-37-3 .
  • Paul Clemen : The art monuments of the Rhine province, 1st vol., II. Dept. The district of Geldern. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1891:
    • Kervenheim, p. 39 f.
    • Kevelaer, pp. 41-49
    • Twisteden, p. 79
    • Wetten, p. 100-102
    • Winnekendonk, p. 102 f.

Web links

Commons : Kevelaer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  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. ^ RP ONLINE: Kevelaer: Ministry of the Interior agrees to renaming. Retrieved June 10, 2017 .
  3. ^ Andreas Fasel: Vatican State in Small Format . April 29, 2006 ( [accessed November 5, 2019]).
  4. Main statute of the city of Kevelaer of November 15, 1999. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 19, 2013 ; Retrieved August 20, 2013 . 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 /
  5. ^ Frank Siegmund: Merovingian time on the Lower Rhine. Rhenish excavations 34. Rheinland-Verlag, Cologne 1989, pp. 326–327. - Finds in the Museum Kevelaer.
  6. ^ Finds in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, Inv. No. 84.0736-0739.
  7. Jürgen Kappel: Poor Clares have been praying in Kevelaer for 125 years. In: Kirche + Leben , October 8, 2017, p. 18.
  8. ^ National Socialism and World War II
  9. ^ The Kevelaerer Society of the 1930s
  10. Martin Willing: Kevelaer and the Nazi era. In: Blattus Martini - Kevelaer Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 10, 2017 (honorary citizenship rights to President von Hindenburg and Hitler ).
  11. April 11, 1933
  12. Kevelaer and the failed Hitler visit
  13. Museum Foundation Rheine - Foundation and aim. Retrieved March 13, 2019 .
  14. When the Nazi era was in its brown heyday
  15. For 150 years pilgrims have come by train
  16. Kevelaerer Encyclopedia: Chapter 2
  17. Kevelaerer Encyclopedia: Chronicle
  18. Kevelaerer Encyclopedia: Chapter 4
  19. a b Kevelaerer Encyclopedia: Chapter 8
  20. Kevelaerer Encyclopedia: Chapter 10
  21. A stele for the peace pilgrimage
  22. Bläck Fööss: Wick es d'r Wäch noh Kevelaer , video at
  23. Vallfarten till Kevlaar (1921) - SFDB. Retrieved July 26, 2020 (Swedish).
  24. Bianca Mokwa: Silent film about Kevelaer: When the Gnadenkapelle stood in Stockholm. Retrieved July 25, 2020 .
  25. Martin Bünermann: The communities of the first reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1970, p. 78 .
  26. Election results for the 2014 municipal elections ( Memento from May 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Municipal computer center Niederrhein
  27. ( Memento from February 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  28. Gnadenkapelle in Kevelaer - object view. In: March 13, 2019, accessed March 13, 2019 .
  29. See the report on the church website of the diocese of Münster
  30. Detailed information on the organ of the candle chapel with pictures
  31. Report of the RP on the two new bells  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  32. The Irrland in Kevelaer. Parkscout, May 2, 2017, accessed September 20, 2017 .
  33. ^ Dialects in the Rhineland ( Memento from May 3, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Website accessed on October 10, 2013
  34. Internet portal of the LVR: statements on the subject of Regiolect in the Rhineland ( memento from June 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Website accessed on October 10, 2013
  35. ^ City of Kevelaer: Schools in Kevelaer. Retrieved December 3, 2019 .
  36. Verena Kensbock: Kevelaer: Kronenberg becomes an honorary citizen of Kevelaer. Retrieved October 11, 2018 .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 28, 2005 .