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

Coordinates: 51 ° 47 '  N , 6 ° 8'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Dusseldorf
Circle : Kleve
Height : 12 m above sea level NHN
Area : 97.76 km 2
Residents: 52,388 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 536 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 47533
Area code : 02821
License plate : KLE, GEL
Community key : 05 1 54 036

City administration address :
Minoritenplatz 1
47533 Kleve
Website : www.kleve.de
Mayoress : Sonja Northing ( independent )
Location of the city of Kleve 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

Kleve ([ ˈkleːvə ]; Kleverländisch Kleef , Dutch Kleef , French Clèves , English Cleves , Spanish Cléveris , Latin Clivia , official spelling until July 20, 1935: Cleve ) is a town on the Lower Rhine on the German-Dutch border and is a middle one City in the district of Kleve in the administrative district of Düsseldorf . It is the seat of the Kleve district , middle center and member of the Euregio Rhine-Waal . As a health resort and center of the duchy of the same name, Kleve had a national importance for a long time. In the 17th century, Kleve was, alongside Königsberg and Berlin, one of the three residential cities in Brandenburg.



Kleve geographically belongs to the Lower Rhine valley and the Lower Rhine heights , both parts of the Lower Rhine lowlands .

The Klever Berg is with a height of 106.2  m above sea level. NHN the highest point in the urban area. Kleve's lowest point, eleven meters, is in the Düffel .

City structure

In addition to the core city of Kleve, 14 districts belong to the city (residents in brackets):

Neighboring communities

The city of Kleve borders in the north with the municipality Berg en Dal (province Gelderland , Netherlands ), the municipality Zevenaar (province Gelderland, Netherlands) and the city Emmerich am Rhein , in the east with the city Kalkar , in the south with the municipality Bedburg-Hau as well as the city of Goch . In the west lies the municipality of Kranenburg .


Origin and Middle Ages

Kleve in the 16th century, on the left the towering Schwanenburg, on the right the mill and provost church

Kleve was the seat of the Counts and Dukes of Kleve . The name Kleve is derived from Middle Dutch clef , clif 'Kliff, Klippe, the steep slope of the castle hill, terminal moraine from the Ice Age . The nucleus of the city is the castle dating back to the 10th century , next to which a settlement was built. In 1092 the name "Cleve" was first mentioned in a document. Opposite the castle, on the Heideberg, Count Dietrich VI founded. the city of Kleve. He gave Kleve city rights on April 25, 1242. The city received the right to elect a council towards the end of the 13th century. In the 14th century, on the occasion of the relocation of the lordly Marienstift from Monterberg Castle to Kleve, there was a considerable expansion of the city, the establishment of the new town, the Hagschenviertel. Great fires devastated Kleve in 1368 and 1528.

Early modern age

Kleve with inland gate in 1745

The city took off considerably thanks to the (marriage) policy of the Counts of Kleve. At the Council of Constance in 1417, Count Adolf II was raised to the rank of duke. Since the union of the duchies of Kleve , Jülich and Berg and the counties of Mark and Ravensberg in 1521, Kleve competed with Düsseldorf as a ducal residence. In the 16th century, the United Duchies comprised an area that roughly corresponds to today's North Rhine-Westphalia , with the exception of the principalities of Cologne , Münster and Paderborn and the County of Lippe . After the death of the childless Duke Johann Wilhelm , the territories fell to the Electorate of Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg. In 1614, Brandenburg received Kleve, Mark and Ravensberg for administration. In the 17th century Kleve retained the status of a Brandenburg royal seat (alongside Berlin and Königsberg (Prussia) ).

In 1647 Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen was appointed governor in Kleve by the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm (1620–1688). Friedrich Wilhelm had previously met Princess Luise Henriette of Orange through Johann Moritz in The Hague . When they got married, they first preferred Kleve over Berlin as the center of their lives, and the first two of six children were born in Kleve.

Johann Moritz had meanwhile founded Mauritsstad (since 1710 Recife ) for the Dutch “ West-Indian Compagnie ” in Brazil . In The Hague, Johann Moritz had a magnificent villa built by the famous architect Jacob van Campen after his return home , het Mauritshuis , currently one of the most important museums in the Netherlands. After Johann Moritz was promoted to Kleve by Friedrich Wilhelm, he initiated the baroque reconstruction of the Schwanenburg. The prince's court was built as the governor's residence and today only a street name can be remembered. The parks and baroque gardens around the city that he initiated are of such dimensions that they had a considerable influence on European garden design in the 17th century.

An equestrian statue of the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm in front of the Marstall on the square in front of the Schwanenburg commemorates the time under Brandenburg rule .

In 1741 the mineral spring was discovered on the Springenberg. Kleve becomes Bad Cleve. The spa facilities were expanded considerably in the middle of the 19th century, the heyday of the Klever spa. The former Kurhaus has now been converted into a museum, the Museum Kurhaus Kleve .

18th to 20th century

Cleve around 1895
The Schwanenburg towers above the cityscape

In 1794, French revolutionary troops conquered the city. From 1798 to 1814 it was the administrative seat of the Arrondissement de Clèves in the Département de la Roer of the French Republic and the French Empire. Through the Congress of Vienna it fell back to Prussia in 1815 , which re-established the administrative district of Kleve as one of 28 administrative districts in Prussia on the basis of the "Prussian ordinance due to improved establishment of the provincial authorities" of April 30, 1815 . On April 22, 1816, the administration began its work. After just six years, the Klever district was dissolved on June 22, 1822 and merged with the Düsseldorf administrative district .

On April 23, 1816, the Kleve district was formed as one of 29 districts in the Jülich-Kleve-Berg Province , later the Rhine Province .

In the cultural and linguistic areas, the return of the Prussian authorities had far-reaching consequences. The relative tolerance in language issues, which Prussia had exercised in its Lower Rhine provinces towards the use of Dutch in the 18th century, gave way to a rigid, active language policy in the 19th century, the aim of which was the complete displacement of Dutch and the establishment of Dutch German as the only standard and written language. In 1827 in Kleve the use of the Dutch language was banned in elementary schools and churches. With the loss of the last public domains, Dutch also largely disappeared from private writing (cover books, diaries, letters). Nevertheless, Dutch was secretly spoken and taught in the churches in Klevian until the last decades of the 19th century, so that around 1900 there were still 80,361 Dutch-speaking residents of the German Empire.

In 1914 the mineral spring dried up and the First World War brought the spa operations to a complete standstill; Until then, Kleve was allowed to call itself Bad (Bad Cleve) .

After the end of the First World War, Kleve was occupied by Belgian troops until 1926. A memorial created by Arno Breker commemorates this time and the murder of a Klever farmer .

During the November pogroms on November 9 and 10, 1938, the synagogue in Kleve was burned down. At the site of the former synagogue, a memorial that corresponds exactly to its floor plan reminds of the former Jewish community of Kleves. Of the Jewish community of around 200 members in 1933, 50 people were murdered during the National Socialist era .

The second World War

British aerial view of the destruction in Kleve, 1945
Praying Canadian field rabbi near Kleve on March 18, 1945, in the course of liberation from National Socialism

On October 7, 1944 1:40 p.m. 335 British four-engine bombers (89 Lancaster and 246 Halifax) dropped 1,728 tons of high explosive bombs and 4.5 tons of incendiary bombs on Kleve, killing 463 people. They primarily destroyed the center (bounded by Lindenallee, Römerstrasse, Gruftstrasse, Tiergartenstrasse and Kermisdahl).

The city and its suburbs had hit the city and its outskirts several times since the beginning of the war; on October 7, 1944 and February 7, 1945 Kleve was the target of a planned city attack together with the neighboring city of Emmerich .

The nocturnal attack on February 7, 1945 (285 bombers threw 1384 t high explosive and 12.3 t incendiary bombs) devastated the upper town, which had been largely spared until then (bounded by Lindenallee, Nassauerallee, Königsallee and Bresserbergstrasse). The English aerial photographs taken shortly after this attack show a crater landscape. The old town, including the Schwanenburg and its churches, was almost completely destroyed. These two attacks were enough to destroy the 700-year-old city up to 80 percent and kill around 800 to 1000 people. As a result of the two heavy bombings, Kleve was more severely destroyed than any other German city of comparable size. Low clouds and heavy rain prevented even worse damage.

In the course of the conquest of the Lower Rhine by the Allies, fierce ground fighting broke out around Kleve from February 7, 1945. The battle in the Reichswald took place in the nearby Klever Reichswald ; over 10,000 Allied and German soldiers died. The Western Allied soldiers came from Nijmegen and wanted to advance via Kleve, Goch and Geldern on today's federal roads 9 and 58 to the city of Wesel , in order to build a bridgehead over the Rhine .

Most of the dead from these fights are buried in the German military cemetery in Donsbrüggen and the British war cemetery in the Reichswald .

From 1948 to 1950, parts of the Reichswald were cleared to make room for new villages, in which mainly displaced people were to be settled. This resulted in the Klever district of Reichswalde .


The city of Kleve came into being in its current form on July 1, 1969 during the first municipal reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . The municipality of Materborn and the municipalities of Donsbrüggen, Keeken, Cattle and Wardhausen of the Office of Cattle, as well as the municipalities of Brienen, Griethausen, Kellen, Salmorth and Warbeyen of the Office of Griethausen and the municipality of Reichswalde of the Office of Till, became part of the law to reorganize the district of Kleve with the city of Kleve united.

On January 1, 1975, on the basis of the Lower Rhine Act as part 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 Lower Rhine greater Kleve district.

Population development

Deadline Residents
December 1, 1910 18,135
April 17, 1939 21,784
May 15, 1945 6,149
July 19, 1945 13,280
April 1, 1946 23,327
April 1, 1947 25,077
April 1, 1948 25,962
April 1, 1949 27.401
April 1, 1950 28,740
April 1, 1951 30,138
Deadline Residents
1952 30,424
April 1, 1953 * 18,642
April 1, 1954 19,357
April 1, 1955 19,676
April 1, 1956 19,939
April 1, 1957 20.191
April 1, 1958 20,561
April 1, 1959 20,811
December 31, 1960 21,129
December 31, 1961 21,845
Deadline Residents
December 31, 1962 21,967
December 31, 1963 22,503
December 31, 1964 22.601
December 31, 1965 22,675
December 31, 1966 22,838
December 31, 1967 22,893
December 31, 1968 22.805
December 31, 1969 ** 45.283
December 31, 1970 45,675
December 31, 1971 45.104
Deadline Residents
December 31, 1972 45,665
December 31, 1973 45,682
December 31, 1974 45,726
Population development of Kleve from 1910 to 2016

* after the parish; ** after incorporation

Annual population figures for the LDS have been available since 1975 (31 December each):

year Residents
1975 44,041
1976 43,894
1977 43.993
1978 43,930
1979 44,047
1980 44,022
1981 44,125
1982 43,954
1983 44,059
1984 44,224
year Residents
1985 44,548
1986 44,724
1987 44,233
1988 44,416
1989 45,235
1990 45,963
1991 46,450
1992 47,160
1993 47,869
1994 48,136
year Residents
1995 48,344
1996 48,672
1997 48,660
1998 48,543
1999 48,647
2000 48,662
2001 49,031
2002 49.160
2003 49.105
2004 49,249
year Residents
2005 49,099
2006 49,124
2007 49,254
2008 49,312
2009 49,392
2010 49,477
2011 47,622
2012 47,826
2013 48.172
2014 48,802
year Residents
2015 49,729
2016 51,047
2017 51,320


Traditionally, in many parts of the Lower Rhine of Catholicism the dominant denomination. In the entire city of Kleve, 65.8% belong to the Roman Catholic Church, and another 15.6% to a Protestant Church. There is also a New Apostolic congregation in Kleve with 250 members (as of 2007). 18.6% profess another denomination or are non-denominational. Since the end of 2008 Kleve has also had an Islamic cultural association (VIK Kleve e.V.), which offers Muslims in and around Kleve prayer and club rooms.

Synagogenplatz memorial

Jewish cemetery in Kleve

A Jewish community in Kleve that was closely related to Emmerich had existed in Kleve since the 17th century . In 1671 Elias Gompertz , the court Jew of the Great Elector , founded the first independent synagogue in Kleve, which stood north of the Schwanenburg. The Klever Synagogue stood below the Schwanenburg on a site that the Jewish community was able to acquire in May 1817. The church was inaugurated on August 24, 1821. A schoolhouse is also being built next to the synagogue. It was a simple, single-storey brick building in classical forms. It had a precious interior and was built in the style of Dutch classicism . The Kleves synagogue was burned down during the November pogroms of November 9th and 10th, 1938.

After the end of the Second World War, the site of the former synagogue lay fallow and was then used as an asphalt car park. In 2000 it is the initiative of surviving Jews and citizens that gave the impetus to erect a memorial. At the former location of the synagogue there is now a memorial, the Synagogenplatz , which depicts its floor plan. The names of 50 murdered Jewish former citizens of Kleve are remembered here with their names, date of death and place of death on small signs.


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

City council

Kleve, with its mainly Catholic population, was ruled by the Catholic Center Party from the mid-19th century until 1933 . This continued after the Second World War despite newly settled, mostly evangelical expellees, with the CDU , which was able to rule with an absolute majority in the Klever Council until 2004.

In addition to the nationally represented parties, a local voter association is active in Klever municipal politics: Offene Klever (OK) .

Allocation of seats from 2014
A total of 44 seats

Since the local elections on May 25, 2014 , the following parties have been represented in the city council:

Party / list Share of votes Seats
CDU 39.52% 17th
SPD 28.96% 13
Green 13.10% 6th
FDP 7.42% 3
Open Klever (OK) 11.00% 5
Turnout: 42.32%

In October 2018 four out of five council members of the Offene Klever (OK) founded a new parliamentary group under the name Independent Klever (UK) .

The next local election will take place in 2020.


Mayor of the city of Kleve has been Sonja Northing (independent) since 2015 . It was supported by the SPD, OK and FDP and elected with 64.5%. Her opposing candidates were Udo Janßen (CDU, 23.4%) and Artur Leenders (GREEN, 12.1%). The turnout was 40.89%.

For the first time since the CDU was founded almost 70 years ago, Kleve has a mayor who is not a member of the CDU.

The next mayoral election will take place in 2020.

The city of Kleve was last given a coat of arms, a seal and a flag in 1955. The city also has a logo.

Coat of arms blazon : "In red a silver (white) heart shield, accompanied by three (2: 1) golden (yellow) clover leaves."

The coat of arms connects the “ talking ” shamrocks for Kleve with the old sovereign symbol of the counts. The coat of arms is based on medieval seals. Today's tinging has been known since 1614.

Seal "The seal of the city of Kleve contains the city coat of arms with a swan sitting on it."

Banner and flag “The flag of the city of Kleve is red and white. It can contain the city's coat of arms. ”The correct (more precise) description is:“ Red-white stripes in a ratio of 1: 1, the city's coat of arms can be in the middle. It is also used as a banner. "

Logo The logo shows the location (red point) of the city on the Lower Rhine (green squares) and the river (blue square) and shows the silhouette of the Schwanenburg tower in connection with the vehicle registration number KLE . The logo can also have the lettering, "Stadt" above and "Kleve" below.

Town twinning

Kleve maintains twinning arrangements with the following cities :

Culture and sights


The XOX-Theater was founded in 1997 as an independent theater and is based in the former XOX biscuit factory in the Kellen district. In the orphaned biscuit production room on the third floor of the building, a large, well-equipped stage, an auditorium with 99 seats and a spacious foyer were created on an area of ​​around 600 m². The ensemble of the XOX-Theater consists of theater-loving women and men with different professional backgrounds. The focus of the selection of pieces is on contemporary theater. In addition to the in-house productions, there are guest performances by professional theater makers as well as lectures, readings and concerts in the program.


  • BC Koekkoek House : The Dutch landscape painter Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1803–1862) had the building built in 1847/1848 as a residential and studio house. Today, as a museum, it houses a collection of paintings by Koekkoek and those around him.
  • Geological museum in the Schwanenturm: The museum in the highest tower of the Schwanenburg shows mineralogical and palaeontological finds from the Lower Rhine, on the lower floor there is a photo gallery.
  • Museum Kurhaus Kleve : The Museum Kurhaus, located next to the gardens on Tiergartenstrasse, houses a collection of contemporary art, including the estate of the painter and sculptor Ewald Mataré , and organizes regular exhibitions.
  • Old mill Donsbrüggen: The mill, which was completed in 1824 and closed in 1957 in the Donsbrüggen district of Kleve , houses a mill museum.
  • Klever Shoe Museum: In this museum in a former company building of the Gustav - Hoffmann shoe factory you will find the representation of the shoemaker's trade, the history of the former shoe factories in Kleve, the exhibition of a shoe collection, old documents, old devices and machines and shoe-making tools and memories from years gone by.
  • Museum Forum Arenacum: In the former teacher's apartment in the Klever district of Cattle , the Museum Forum Arenacum shows Celtic, Roman and Franconian finds from cattle and the surrounding area.



Lower City Church
Collegiate church


Once characteristic of the city of Kleve were its numerous villas, many of which were thoughtlessly torn down or repurposed such as the old Kurhaus, which u. a. served as a furniture store.

Villa Belriguardo in Kleve
  • A particularly drastic example is the Villa Steiger on Gruftstrasse, which was built in 1907 by the imperial court photographer Ewald Steiger and was inhabited until the Second World War. Steiger turned his villa into an art house, which had a positive impact on the streetscape thanks to its special architectural features. After Steiger's death in 1966, the building, which had been completely intact and hardly damaged during the war, was auctioned and finally sold to a Klever architect, who ran it down and had it torn down in 1983 despite violent protests, demonstrations and squatting by the Klever population in order to on a steep hillside to build apartments for the disabled. The city council of Kleve unanimously renounced the right of first refusal in 1981.
  • The Villa Belriguardo at the Tiergartenwald was built in 1840. After a night bar and a pet shop had been there for years, it was bought in 1999 by the Klever designer Inge Dähne, who had it completely restored. The wall paintings were exposed, the stucco on the ceilings restored, the wooden floors returned to their original state and the chimneys rebuilt in their original locations. The villa can be visited as it is used as a commercial building, café and cultural venue.
  • The Villa Flora am Tiergartenwald was built by a Dutch family around 1870. In 1927 Heinrich Frings, a brother of the well-known Cologne cardinal, moved there. Today the villa is reminiscent of Italian models with its authentic cream-colored paint.

Other structures

Klever Berg observation tower
  • The city of Kleve is dominated by the Schwanenburg, which was rebuilt after the Second World War . The local and regional court of Kleve is located in it . The swan fountain by the sculptor Alfred Sabisch is set up in the inner courtyard .
  • The Marstall (coordinates) opposite the Schwanenburg was built in 1467 and was one of the few medieval buildings to survive the bombing raids relatively unscathed.
  • On the 106.2  m high Klever Berg (coordinates) , the highest elevation on the Lower Lower Rhine, there has been a 15 m high listed observation tower since 1892 .
  • WDR transmission mast
  • Marktplatz an der Linde, which owes its name to a historically documented, impressive dancing linden tree, which is no longer given the attention it deserves. Images of the historical linden tree frozen in 1708 consistently show an impressive arrangement of different shapes (discs and spheres) to create an artistic overall picture of a guided linden tree.
  • Small market , place in Kleve
  • Rhine bridge : The bridge between Kleve and Emmerich, which was released in 1965, is the longest suspension bridge in Germany with a length of 1228 m and a span of 500 m .

Green spaces and recreation

  • The forest garden (coordinates) on Tiergartenstraße with its numerous villas from Classicism and Wilhelminian style was laid out in the second half of the 18th century with 156 different types of trees and plants and designed by Maximilian Friedrich Weyhe in 1822 in the style of English parks. The former Kurhaus and the amphitheater are located there (coordinates) .

The gardens of Kleve

Line of sight from Sternberg towards Schwanenburg
New zoo, view from the canal to the Springenberg with amphitheater
View from the foot of the obelisk on the Springenberg over the amphitheater and the Prince Moritz Canal towards Hochelten

The baroque gardens with amphitheater, which Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen had laid out from 1647 by his garden architect Jacob van Campen , are worth seeing . Today the gardens are only partially preserved or have been restored, but that is precisely why they are very attractive. From 1660 they served as a model for the gardens of the Potsdam City Palace of the Brandenburg Elector Friedrich Wilhelm , who had appointed Johann Moritz as his governor in Kleve and Mark in 1649.

The Klever garden landscape is part of the European Garden Heritage Network .

For the New Tiergarten, an artificial elevation (Sternberg) was created on the Springenberg, from which twelve paths radiated out. The peculiarity of this path system is its orientation towards special buildings and cities. Some of them are still recognizable today as aisles in the forest. The lines of sight to the Schwanenburg and - on the other side of the Rhine - Hochelten still give an idea of ​​how artistic the complex was back then, despite a remodeling in the sense of the landscape garden .

The restored amphitheater , which was built into the hillside of the Springenberg, is part of the overall complex . It is a horticultural quote; the theater was never used as such. In the literature it is also referred to as a portico or exedra. The amphitheater was changed several times during the lifetime of Johann Moritz von Nassau.

Today it houses, among other things, Stephan Balkenhol'sNew Iron Man ”, a statue that commemorates Prince Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen and was inaugurated on his 400th birthday. The forerunner was a statue of the same name from the 17th century, which was destroyed by French revolutionary troops in 1794.

On top of the mountain there is now an obelisk that is said to have been designed by Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia.

In front of it is a park at the foot of the Springenberg, which is characterized by an elongated body of water facing northeast - the Prinz-Moritz-Kanal - and bordered by the Joseph-Beuys-Allee. The canal with two island parterres is also oriented towards Hochelten in the distance. It is still crossed by the disused Kleve – Nijmegen railway line. To the west there is still a zoo today .

Today the forest garden joins to the southeast. Originally known as the New Plantation, the facility was laid out in 1782 at the instigation of Julius Ernst von Buggenhagen , then President of the Chamber of the Prussian government in Kleve . Their winding paths correspond to the transition to the landscape garden. The park is planted in the manner of an arboretum with numerous different tree species.

The complex is separated from the Wasserburgallee and the Prinz-Moritz-Kanal by an aha ditch . This small moat not only adorns the park, but also protected it from the ingress of cattle without disturbing the view of the surrounding landscape. The Neue Plantage presents itself today - after changes by the garden architect Maximilian Friedrich Weyhe on an area of ​​5.6 hectares as a forest garden. Finally, one of the gardens of Kleve is the grave of Prince Johann Moritz in Bergendael (mountain and valley), located in the area of ​​the old zoo, a little outside of Kleve on Landesstrasse 362. The tumba and the upstream exedra are still preserved today . Roman finds from the area were incorporated into the exedra. Johann Moritz was buried there after his death, but was transferred very soon to Siegen .

The amphitheater and forest garden of the Klever parks were included in 2004/2005 as outstanding examples in the street of garden art between the Rhine and the Maas .

The Reichswald

Due to its natural features, the Lower Rhine offers a variety of recreational opportunities. The Klever Reichswald in particular is a paradise for local recreation. This forest has an area of ​​around 5100 ha, making it by far the largest forest area on the Lower Rhine. The heights of the Reichwald are part of the Lower Rhine ridge , which extends over a length of around 60 km between Kamp-Lintfort and Nijmegen . In the Reichswald are the highest elevations of the Lower Lower Rhine, the Klever Berg with 106 meters, as well as the Stoppel-, Gelden- and Brandenberg with about 90 m above sea level. For the Rhine towards him drain three small streams, the Red, the Clear and the Black Beeke. An extensive network of trails is available for cyclists, joggers and many other sports, on which nature can be enjoyed and experienced in all its facets.


In 2000 the clubs VfB Lohengrin 03 Kleve and SC Kleve 63 merged to form 1. FC Kleve 63/03 . One of the previous clubs, VfB 03 Cleve , hosted the first international soccer match on German soil between Germany and the Netherlands (1: 2) on October 16, 1910 .

1926 was sports club cattle founded. Its venue is located at the Wasserburg cattle .

In 1928 the SV Nordwacht Keeken was founded. It is the northernmost sports club in the city of Kleve with a sports area within sight of the ndl. Limit with over 600 members.

In 1953 the club DJK Rhenania VfS Kleve e. V. founded.

The table tennis club Weiß-Rot-Weiß Kleve and its women's team were among the best German teams in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1988 the American football department at VfL Merkur Kleve e. V. launched. The Cleve Conquerors (Conquerors) currently play in the Landesliga Nord. The Klever club with the largest number of members also offers other sports such as volleyball, handball, basketball, fencing, athletics, etc.

One of the oldest clubs in Kleve is the Clever Schwimmverein 1910 e. V. with over 1,000 members. The best-known members are the siblings Angela and Klaus Steinbach , who were successful at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Klaus Steinbach was also the first to swim the 100 m freestyle on the short course in under 50 seconds.

Regular events

  • One-week city fair in mid-July

Klever Platt

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

Kleevse Platt as well as the different dialects of the city districts and surrounding villages are based on the Lower Franconian languages ​​that were spoken at the time of the early medieval expansion of the Franks on the Lower Rhine. 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 ). Klever Platt is characterized by a special “tone” that outsiders perceive as “singing” and by the inclusion of dialect vocabulary from the nearby Dutch border area, with which it has a long tradition: Dutch was the standard language of the region until the 19th century . North of the Uerdinger line, the personal pronoun “I” is pronounced as “ek” or “ekk”. South of this line, in southern Lower Franconia (also called East Limburg ), “isch” or “esch” is used instead. The Benrath line (maake-maache distinction) runs even further south, dividing the southern Lower Franconian from the Middle Franconian (with the Ripuarian dialects , including Kölsch ). East of Bocholt / Oberhausen also runs the unit plural line to the Westphalian .

Although Kleevse 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 .


St. Georg Schützenbruderschaft Kleve This rifle brotherhood was probably founded before 1430. The year 1341 is assumed to be the possible year of foundation.

St. Antonius and St. Georg The brotherhoods did not pursue any commercial or political purposes, but were purely religious in character. Each brotherhood chose a particular saint, after which it was named.

The still existing rifle brotherhoods St. Antonius and St. Georg are the remnants of the once brilliant rifle guilds in Kleve, which enjoyed the special favor of the princes and the city.

Firearms for "parrot shooting " The shooters used the crossbow . Since 1568, in addition to the bow, "Büssen" and "Rohr" ( muzzle loaders ) have also been used. They needed “Een guede rüstige Hörne armboste” for the competition on the common shooting range of the Heiberg. Here every guild had its “doel”, a perch with a parrot on it.

Feeding the poor The poor were given regular consideration on the day of the King's Shooting and gifts were given to the guard at the Heidelberg Gate. There were three rifle guilds around 1430: "The old, middle and young". The Sebastianus Brotherhood is to be regarded as the oldest, while the St. George Brotherhood is to be regarded as the middle one. The latter merged with the Barbaragilde in 1586 and Duke Wilhelm joined the guild in 1569.

Antoniusgilde Dia Antoniusschützen formed a guild in 1461, continuing the tradition of an older brotherhood. In this brotherhood, warmly endorsed by the duke, not only the most respected citizens of the city but also some court lords accepted. In 1648 the Gild Brothers agreed in the Minorite Monastery in Kleve to shoot again at the bird, which had not been done since 1603 because of the difficult times of war. Now that "the holy sun of peace" had risen, master glassmaker ten Have also painted a swan for a flag of the St. Anthony Brotherhood.

Guild book - genealogical source Around 1540 a guild book of the St. Antonius Brotherhood was created, which was then continued continuously. The list on page 4 of the guild brothers who died before the book was published shows that since John I of Kleve (1448–1481) all dukes were guild brothers.

The guild brother named first, Duke Wylhem, came to the government in 1539 and, after an unfortunate war against Emperor Charles V in the Peace of Venlo in 1543, had to renounce Kleve's claims to money and Zutphen, which had been asserted since 1538. Since the names of these two counties were originally listed under his titles and were only later (but still legible) shaved away, the conclusion that the said membership register was created around 1539/40 seems justified.

Brother master

  • 1899 clothes maker Gerhard Flock, church Swiss of the lower town, born September 17, 1855; † March 6, 1928.

Economy and Infrastructure


Kleve's landmark "Schüsterken"

Industrialization started late in Kleve. Due to the spa and bathing operations, the city was careful to keep disruptive industries away from Kleve. In 1888 the Van den Bergh 'sche Margarinewerke (1927-2017 Unilever , owned by KKR since 2018 ) settled in Kellen. Other food factories such as the biscuit factory XOX-Biskuitfabrik GmbH and the cocoa factory Bensdorp were also built in Kellen . XOX and Bensdorp are closed today, some of the buildings are used for cultural purposes.

In 1896 Gustav Hoffmann founded the Elefanten children's shoe factory with his brother-in-law Fritz Pannier and turned the traditional shoe town of Kleve into a center of the children's shoe industry. In 1908 Hoffmann and Pannier separated with the agreement that Hoffmann only produced shoes up to size 26 and Pannier only produced shoes from this size. Another Klever brand for children's shoes is Bause. Today the Klever shoe industry is also in crisis, the closed factories are mainly used to sell other shoe brands. Nevertheless, the “Schüsterken” on the Herzogbrücke remains Kleve's landmark.

In the vicinity of the district of Griethausen there is an oil mill from the ADM company , which produces rapeseed and sunflower oil. The 2.8 km long field railway of the Wilhelm de Joncheere orchard was used around 1909 for the internal transport of plants, fertilizer, compost and the harvest.


Two daily newspapers with local editorial offices appear in Kleve, the Rheinische Post and the Neue Rhein Zeitung (Monday to Saturday).

Two advertising papers appear every week with local information, the Klever Wochenblatt (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and the Niederrhein Nachrichten (Saturdays).

The West German Broadcasting (WDR) maintains in Kleve offices and a radio studio for regional (circles Kleve and Wesel) News and reports. The Klever WDR office organizes the radio reports from the neighboring country of the Netherlands for the entire ARD. The Klever office is assigned to the WDR studio in Düsseldorf .

That the RP Media Group counting local radio for the district of Kleve , antenna Niederrhein sends six hours local program from the broadcasting center in Kleve daily. The district of Kleve with 15%, the cities of Geldern and Kleve with 2% each, the cities of Emmerich am Rhein , Goch and Kevelaer with 1% each and the cities and communities of Bedburg-Hau , Issum , are also part of the local radio district of Kleve operating company . Kalkar , Straelen , Uedem and Weeze each hold 0.5%.


In 2017, Kleve is home to nine primary schools, a special school, two comprehensive schools, two secondary schools, two grammar schools, a vocational school and a technical college. There are also three schools for care for the elderly and the sick, an agricultural school, the study seminar for the secondary levels and the study seminars for the primary level and special education. The Klever Volkshochschule also offers the acquisition of secondary and secondary school leaving certificates for adults. The next opportunity to acquire the advanced technical college entrance qualification and the Abitur in adult education is at the further education college Westmünsterland in Bocholt .


General education schools

  • Elementary schools
    • Elementary school An den Linden
    • Johanna Sebus School cattle
    • Karl Leisner School
    • Marienschule Materborn
    • Montessori School Kleve
    • St. Michael School in Reichswalde
    • Willibrord School Kellen
  • Realschulen
    • Karl Kister's secondary school Kleve-Kellen
  • High schools
  • Ringschule Förderschule Special focus on learning
  • Comprehensive schools
    • Joseph Beuys Comprehensive School
    • Comprehensive school at the forest garden

More schools

  • Vocational college Kleve of the Kleve district in Kleve, Weißes Tor


The Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences is a university of applied sciences founded in 2009 with an engineering focus. The educational institution was opened in the winter semester of 2009/10, and the newly built Kleve campus was moved into in September 2012. In the 2014/15 winter semester, the university achieved its expansion target of 5,000 students for the first time. The university has its headquarters in Kleve and a branch in Kamp-Lintfort .


Air traffic

The nearest two airports are Niederrhein Airport in Weeze, 33 km away, and Düsseldorf Airport . This is 93 km away and can be reached via the A 57 motorway. Further away (152 km) is Cologne / Bonn Airport . On the Dutch side, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is 147 km away .

Rail and bus transport

Entrance building of the Kleve train station

The station Kleve is located on the left Lower Rhine route . It is served Monday to Friday every 30 minutes, on weekends and holidays every hour from the RE  10 " Niers-Express " Kleve– Düsseldorf via Krefeld . Performed rail transport of the NordWestBahn (NWB), the diesel railcar type LINT 41 singly or in multiple traction begins.

In the municipal transport a number of associate city - and regional bus lines for the development of the region and the urban area. Most of the lines are operated by NIAG , which belongs to the Rhenus-Veniro Group . The tariff of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) applies to all local public transport and the NRW tariff applies to all tariff areas .

The Kleve – Spyck railway line was closed in 1969. The tracks were dismantled in the 1980s, and today a cycle path leads along the route to the railway bridge over the Old Rhine near Griethausen. The Kleve – Xanten and Kleve – Kranenburg – Nijmegen lines have been out of service since 1990 and 1991, respectively. The route to Kranenburg or Groesbeek is used for tourism by trolleybuses .

Between October 1, 1911 and March 31, 1962, the normal gauge trams of the Klever tram operated in the city . These had a connection to the Wesel – Rees – Emmerich railway and the Nijmegen tram .

Road traffic

There is no motorway in the Klever city area. Kleve is connected to the trunk road network via the B9 and B220 .

The B 57 also begins in the urban area of ​​Kleve . It runs in two sections from Kleve to Rheinberg and from Mönchengladbach to Aachen .

The nearest motorway accesses are the Goch junction of the A57 ( E 31 ) ( Nijmegen - Cologne ) and the Emmerich junction of the A 3 ( E 35 ) ( Emmerich - Passau ).

The state roads L 8, L 362, L 456 and L 484 also run through Kleve.

Bicycle traffic

Kleve since June 2019 on the Radschnellweg " Europe-wheel path connected" directly to Nijmegen. The Europa-RadBahn was built parallel to the disused section of the left Lower Rhine route between Kleve and Nijmegen and runs via Donsbrüggen, Nütterden, Kranenburg and Groesbeek to Nijmegen-Heyendaal.


Per ship Kleve was from the Rhine over the waterway Rhine-Kleve with the lock Brienen reached and the Spoykanal. After the closure of the Brienen lock, it will be demolished, with the exception of a few listed parts, in the course of a dike renovation in 2023.


Nationally known politicians from Kleve are the member of the Bundestag and Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD), the former long-term member of the Bundestag Paul Friedhoff (FDP), as well as the former city ​​director and former member of the state parliament and parliamentary state secretary Manfred Palmen (CDU), who was born in Kaarst (Neuss ).


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. Statistics of the German Reich, Volume 450: Official municipality directory for the German Reich, Part I, Berlin 1939; Page 267
  3. ^ Wilhelm von Kürten (editor): Geographische Landesaufnahme. Natural division of Germany. Sheet 95/96. Kleve, Wesel. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Remagen 1977, 75 pages, ISBN 3-87994-323-0
  4. ^ Wilhelm von Kürten: The natural space units on sheet 95/96, Kleve / Wesel. Map sheet, 1977 (PDF file, navigation with complete list of natural areas, approx. 6.9 MB)
  5. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  6. Statistical Yearbook 2013 , City of Kleve (PDF)
  7. a b c main statute of the city of Kleve. (PDF; 114 kB) Accessed September 24, 2013 .
  8. ^ Heinrich Gottfried Philipp Gengler : Regesta and documents on the constitutional and legal history of German cities in the Middle Ages , Erlangen 1863, pp. 494–497
  9. www.heimat-kleve.de ( Memento from July 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  10. ^ Werner Besch: Sprachgeschichte: a manual for the history of the German language, 3rd part. De Gruyter, 2003, p. 2636.
  11. ^ Wilhelm Böttger: Land between Rhine and Maas: the Left Lower Rhine. In: Monographs of German Economic Areas. No. 7, 1958, p. 22.
  12. Georg Cornelissen: The Dutch in the Prussian Gelderland and its replacement by the German, Rohrscheid, 1986, p. 93.
  13. ^ Society for the German Language. In: Der Sprachdienst, No. 18: Die Gesellschaft, 1974, p. 132.
  14. Foreign-language minorities in the German Empire . Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  15. Martin Bünermann: The communities of the first reorganization program in North Rhine-Westphalia . Deutscher Gemeindeverlag, Cologne 1970, p. 80 .
  16. a b c d Statistical Yearbook 2010 , City of Kleve (PDF)
  17. State Office for Data Processing and Statistics  ( 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: Toter Link / www.landesdatenbank-nrw.de  
  18. Synagogenplatz, Reitbahn, 47533 Kleve
  19. Synagogue Square . In: Sights in Kleve . Kleve Marketing GmbH & Co. KG. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  20. Audio guide to Synagogenplatz Kleve (MP3; 3.5 MB) In: Sights in Kleve . Kleve Marketing GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  21. a b Election results for the 2014 municipal elections, the Niederrhein municipal computing center
  22. ^ Free voter community Offene Klever
  23. Kleveblog October 28, 2018: Open, independent, autonomous, free, unbound, libertarian, permissive, unveiled Klever accessed on May 29, 2019
  24. Lokalkompass Kleve October 29, 2018: "Offene Klever": Four council members found their own parliamentary group, accessed on May 29, 2019
  25. ^ Election results for mayoral elections 2015 ( Memento from September 20, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), Kommunales Rechenzentrum Niederrhein
  26. ^ Matthias Grass: landslide victory for Sonja Northing , Rheinische Post Kleve, September 14, 2015
  27. ↑ City arms / logo. Retrieved September 20, 2013 .
  28. ^ Klever Schuh Museum (KSM) | Shoe manufacture in Kleve. Retrieved January 18, 2019 (German).
  29. ^ "Tower" - Events, On the history of the Klever observation tower on the website of the restoration for the observation tower UG
  30. Graefe, Rainer, 1941-: Buildings made from living trees: guided dance and court linden trees . Geymüller, Verl. For Architecture, Aachen [a. a.] 2014, ISBN 978-3-943164-08-4 , pp. 82 f .
  31. ^ Wilhelm A. Diedenhofen, Klevische Gartenlust - garden art and bathing structures in Kleve, Kleve 1994
  32. Internet portal of the LVR: Rhenish subjects and explanation of the dialect boundaries ( Memento of May 3, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Website accessed on October 10, 2013
  33. Internet portal of the LVR: Explanations on the subject of Regiolect in the Rhineland ( Memento from June 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Website accessed on October 10, 2013
  34. ^ The WDR office in Kleve , WDR
  35. Marc Cattelaens: Europaradbahn: Now the way is free. In: Rheinische Post . June 7, 2019, accessed October 18, 2019 (Dutch).
  36. RP ONLINE: Kleve: Lock in Brienen is to be torn down. Retrieved September 18, 2018 .

Web links

Commons : Kleve  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Kleve  - travel guide