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City of Leverkusen
Coat of arms of the former city of Opladen
Coordinates: 51 ° 4 ′ 4 ″  N , 7 ° 0 ′ 10 ″  E
Height : 49 m
Residents : 23,108  (Dec. 31, 2007)
Incorporation : 1st January 1975
Postal code : 51379
Area code : 02171
Location of Opladen in Leverkusen

Opladen is a district of the city of Leverkusen . Until December 31, 1974, Opladen was the district town and seat of the then Rhein-Wupper district , belonging to the Düsseldorf administrative district , and on January 1, 1975 , it was united with Bergisch Neukirchen , Hitdorf and Leverkusen to form the new independent city of Leverkusen in the Cologne administrative district .

Around 23,000 people live in what is now the Leverkusen district of Opladen, and around 47,000 people live in the former urban area of ​​Opladen, including the districts of Quettingen and Lützenkirchen . The license plate OP , which was abolished at the time, has been issued again for the city of Leverkusen since August 3, 2015.

Geographical location

Opladen is located on the lower foothills of the Bergisches Land on the Wupper , not far from its confluence with the Rhine . The area of ​​the former town of Opladen, which also included the current Leverkusen districts of Quettingen and Lützenkirchen , was surrounded by the towns and communities of Langenfeld , Leichlingen , Bergisch Neukirchen , Burscheid and Leverkusen . The current district of Opladen borders on the Leverkusen districts of Bergisch Neukirchen, Quettingen, Küppersteg and Rheindorf as well as the cities of Langenfeld ( Mettmann district ) and Leichlingen ( Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis ).


While Opladen is now a district of Leverkusen, for most of its history it was the judicial, administrative and transport center as well as the district town of the surrounding area. The industrialization of today's Leverkusen area also began to a large extent in Opladen.

Even the area of ​​today's inner city of Leverkusen - essentially Wiesdorf - originally belonged directly to the mayor's office (mayor's office) Opladen.

Early days

The oldest archaeological finds in the Opladen area date from the Middle Stone Age (8000–3000 BC). Other finds document, among other things, a settlement of the area in the Hallstatt period between 750 and 400 BC. From the 3rd century onwards, the archaeological finds break off, probably due to the Germanic or Frankish expansion to the west.

middle Ages

Portal of the first Remigius church , built around 1200

It was not until the 6th century that the area was re-settled as part of the Frankish conquest , as indicated by numerous place names such as Quettingheim (now Quettingen), Uphoven (Ophoven) and Upladhin (Opladen). The choice of St. Remigius as the patron saint of the oldest known Opladen church indicates that it was founded between the 6th and 11th centuries. At that time, Opladen belonged to the Deutzgau , which came under the rule of the counts (later dukes) of Berg in the 12th century . The first written mention of the name Upladhin, from which the name Opladen is derived, can be found in a document dated between 1168 and 1174 and in which a "Euirhardus Upladhin" was named as a witness. The name Upladhin is derived from "up" (above, high) and "slade" (slope, valley, mountain gorge).

Opladen is mentioned for the first time in church history in a document from Pope Honorius III. of 19 August 1223, in which the churches in Opladen and Neukirchen by name as possessions and privileges of the congregation of St. Gereon in Cologne are mentioned. The neighboring town of Quettingen was mentioned as Quettingheim as early as 1209 .

Friedenberger Hof

Opladen emerged from individual farms, not as a closed village. The church from which the parish of Opladen emerged was built in the geographical center of the settlement area . Remnants of this settlement structure and some of these farms were preserved well into the 20th century, and many of the farm names can still be found as street names. Today the Friedenberger Hof (first mentioned in 1362, possible seat of the Lords of Upladhin) on the steep bank above the Wupper and the former knight's seat Ophoven (1264) are still present.

Since the Middle Ages, Opladen has been the seat of the highest Bergisch court , later known as the main regional court . On the one hand, this court was responsible for the Bergisch nobility and was therefore also called a knight 's court, on the other hand it was the supreme court of all Bergisch regional courts. In addition, Opladen was the meeting place for the Bergisch estates , who held their parliaments here in close proximity to the meetings of the main regional court. The previously orally handed down legal principles, according to which decisions were made, but also the considerable participation of estates and knighthood in the government of the country were recorded in the legal or knight book from the 14th century that has been handed down to this day . The importance of the main regional court only declined from the middle of the 16th century, when Roman law also began to prevail in the county of Berg and the basis of the previous court system was removed. The assemblies of the estates also ended at the beginning of the 17th century.

From the 14th century to 1806, Opladen belonged to the Miselohe office of the Duchy of Berg .

From the Reformation to the Wars of Liberation

After the Reformation , the Opladen Church and almost the entire community changed to the Lutheran denomination around 1600. In 1620, however, the community returned to the Catholic faith with a new pastor. Since the Opladen congregation was Catholic in the normal year 1624, this was made permanent after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, while some neighboring congregations retained the Protestant faith. The few Protestant Christians in Opladen therefore had to visit churches outside of Germany in the following centuries.

Old Remigius Church (1787–1862)

After the congregation had already tried to rebuild the previous St. Remigius Church, which probably dates from the 13th century and had become dilapidated, since 1654, it was finally replaced by a new building in 1787.

After the French occupation and annexation of the Bergische areas on the left bank of the Rhine in 1794, French troops crossed the Rhine in 1795, so that Opladen fell victim to acts of war and French occupation in the following years. It was not until 1801 that the Duchy of Berg took control of the area again. As a result of the pressure to reform from the French Revolution , reforms also took place in Bergisches Land, the best known of which was the secularization that was also carried out in other areas of Germany . With the dissolution of the monasteries, the claims of various monasteries on the Opladen area ended. For the mostly rural residents, however, the abolition and division of the common forests was more important. The previously authorized users were each granted a parcel of the now divided area.

In 1806, the Bavarian King Max Joseph ceded the Duchy of Berg to Napoleon in exchange for the Margraviate of Ansbach . This expanded the territory of the duchy and elevated it to the Grand Duchy of Berg . The administrative structures were reorganized, and from 1808 Opladen was the seat of the municipality (mayor's office) and the canton (district) of Opladen in the Arrondissement of Düsseldorf , Département Rhine . In 1810 the Code Napoléon was introduced instead of the previous law. In every canton, including Opladen, a peace court was set up.

Opladen under Prussian rule

Mayor's office in Opladen around 1820

After the defeat of Napoleon, Opladen came first to the Generalgouvernement Berg and finally due to the resolutions of the Congress of Vienna under Friedrich Wilhelm III. to Prussia , which assigned it to the province of Jülich-Kleve-Berg , or from 1822 to the Rhine province . In 1815, Opladen was initially the seat of a district , but it was dissolved in 1819 and its area was incorporated into the Solingen district. In addition, from 1816 to 1856, Opladen was the seat of the mayor's office of the same name , which also included the communities of Bürrig, Neukirchen and Wiesdorf. The peace court remained under Prussian rule, albeit with a smaller area of ​​responsibility.

Vincenz Joseph Deycks

Vincenz Joseph Deycks, who had worked as a judicial advisor at the Miselohe court in Opladen from 1793, initially as a lawyer and later as a notary, was of great importance for Opladen's history. He was a widely known and sought-after legal expert; In addition, he promoted fruit growing, which has been strongly represented in the Bergisches Land since the Middle Ages , by establishing a large fruit tree nursery in the Ruhlach and carrying out experiments on fruit growing. From 1811 to 1815 Deycks was Maire (Mayor) of Opladen as the successor to Jakob Salentin von Zuccalmaglio and in this function was able to prevent the city from being damaged by the effects of the war. After several requests for dismissal had not been granted, he forced his dismissal in 1815 by not taking part in the homage to the Prussian king as the new sovereign.

With the secularization of 1803, the claims of the St. Gereon Monastery in Cologne and other monasteries to the Opladen city area ceased to exist. The corresponding rights (e.g. taxes) and obligations were now exercised by the state. In 1841 the Prussian state relieved itself of these obligations with a large payment to the Remigius Church community.

During the March Revolution in 1848, a civil guard was founded in Opladen. It was equipped by royal authorities and saw its task not in supporting the revolution, but in "maintaining order". After the failure of the St. Paul's Church Assembly , the Opladen Citizens Guard was abolished again in May 1849 and their weapons were confiscated. Also in 1848 the first Opladener Zeitung, the publisher on the Nieder-Wupper was founded. Although its founder emigrated to America in 1850 for political reasons, follow-up publications appeared until 1935. Another independent newspaper existed in Opladen from 1865 to 1951.

Grave of Dean Krey
Marienschule around 1880

From 1828 to 1873 Stephan Krey worked as a pastor in Opladen and from 1844 also as dean of the Solingen dean's office. With his participation, several important projects for the future of Opladen were tackled. With the help of donations from the population and the above-mentioned one-off payment as a result of the secularization, the parish church of St. Remigius was rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style in the years 1860–63 according to a design by the diocesan master builder Vincenz Statz . In addition, Krey had a decisive influence on the establishment of the Aloysianum , a boys' school run by the archbishopric until 1938, as well as the Marienschule , which opened in 1866 and was supported by the poor servants of Jesus Christ (Dernbacher sisters) until 1996 . Afterwards the sponsorship was transferred to the Archdiocese of Cologne .

The conflict between the Prussian state and the Catholic Church in the 1870s, known as the Kulturkampf , also had an impact in Opladen: While the Catholic Aloysianum no longer accepted Protestant students, the nuns who ran the Marienschule had to withdraw from teaching at times. After the death of Dean Krey in 1873, the pastor's position was immediately refilled by the church, contrary to the law. The Cologne Archbishop Melchers did not report the appointment to the state, which resulted in a fine of 200 thalers. The new pastor was not allowed to go about his business and was strictly monitored. With Reichstag election results of over 70 percent for the center in the 1870s, Opladen was clearly Catholic. It was not until 1886 that the Kulturkampf also ended in Opladen with the Prussian peace laws . But in 1904 the social democrat Philipp Scheidemann , who had been elected in the constituency of Solingen Stadt und Land , used the Catholic character of the area as a picture in his first Reichstag speech on the Wupper pollution: “The Wupper is actually so black below Solingen that if it is a national liberal immerse yourself in it, you can pull it out again as a center man. "

City of Opladen and mayor's office in Opladen-Land in the 19th century

In 1856 the previous community was transformed into the mayor's offices of Opladen-Stadt and Opladen-Land (Bürrig, Wiesdorf), which were initially administered as a single entity. Neukirchen became an independent municipality. In 1858, Opladen was granted city rights according to the Rhenish City Code of 1856. The name Stadtgemeinde Opladen was already in use beforehand , and since 1825 Opladen has sent delegates to the third estate (city council) of the Rhineland provincial estates . Part of the citizens now had the opportunity the mayor and the aldermen after the Prussian three-class franchise to choose.

Julius Schnitzler

The first industrial companies settled along the Wupper in the 19th century and, due to its convenient location, particularly near the Wupper crossing. While early attempts to establish a cotton mill and oil mill in the years 1814-1817 failed due to resistance from local forces, including Councilor Deycks, a cotton mill was opened on the right of the Wupper in 1822, which was taken over in 1839 by the industrialists Wilhelm and Julius Ulenberg and Schnitzler . In 1841 more than 200 people were working there. After the water power of the Wupper was initially used, the first steam boiler was used in Opladen in 1844. The spinning mill existed until about the turn of the century, while the buildings were taken over by metal goods factories.

Another important company was the Turkish red dye works founded in 1865 by Albert Römer, which produced in Opladen until the Great Depression in 1930. The buildings on the Wupper were demolished in 1937. Another dye works was founded by the Schoeller family of manufacturers and known as Schusterinsel after the company was sold in 1914 . In 1872 a dynamite factory was founded in the Bürriger Heide , which produced until 1926, and in 1893 a chemical factory on the Wupperbrücke. The manufacturers Ulenberg, Schnitzler, Römer, Schoeller and Tillmanns (from Lützenkirchen) played an important role in the public life of the city by promoting public projects, supporting the needy and getting involved politically and confessionally. The Villa Romans , built by the son of Albert Roman, a factory owner's villa, still exists and is called the House of History used. Julius Schnitzler became the city's first honorary citizen. Of the factories founded in Opladen in the 19th century, only the chemical factory (now Goetze ) is still in operation as a subsidiary of SKF GmbH today (2007) .

In 1860, Carl Leverkus' ultramarine factory was relocated from Wermelskirchen to Wiesdorf, which was part of the Opladener Samtgemeinde. Due to the advancing industrialization of the city and the surrounding area, the population had risen sharply, in particular due to immigration, so that the Protestant share also increased significantly again. In 1876, the Bielert Church was officially consecrated as the first Protestant church for over 250 years. The small Jewish community of Opladen became independent in 1879 and built a new synagogue.

District Court Opladen (1882)

Also since 1879, the District Court of Opladen, instead of the previous Peace Court, administered justice in its jurisdiction. In 1882 the first part of the building complex still used by the local court was completed.

In 1864 Opladen received the first street lighting, while a central water supply was not set up until 1903 and a power supply in 1907. In 1889 the personal union of the mayorships of Opladen city and country ended. Bürrig and Wiesdorf became independent mayor Küppersteg .

In 1891 the parish of St. Remigius opened the St. Josef Hospital (today Remigius Hospital) near the church with considerable financial support from the city and citizens.

The district office built in 1914. Today it serves as the city archive.

The then District Administrator of the district of Solingen, Adolf Lucas , supported the establishment of the Paritätische higher boys' school Opladen in 1906, today's District Administrator Lucas-Gymnasium , for which a new building was built in Hederichsfeld in 1911 . Lucas also arranged for the district administration of the district of Solingen to move from Solingen to Opladen in 1914, after Solingen had been independent for several years. In the same year the agricultural school of the lower district of Solingen , which he sponsored , was opened in Opladen. In 1907 the representative new building of the Archbishop's Aloysianum was opened, which shaped the cityscape of Opladen until it was demolished in 1975, most recently as Opladen Town Hall.

In the First World War a great was artillery - tractor park set up next to the railway main workshop. In the main workshop, wagons for troop transports were converted. Women and prisoners of war were also deployed here to counter the labor shortage due to the conscription . The population suffered from the shortage of food and other consumer goods caused by the war. The Marienschule and the St. Josef Hospital were used as a military hospital.

Weimar Republic and Third Reich

St. Aloysius, Aloysianum and Cölner Straße (undated postcard, approx. 1930?)

After the end of the First World War, a workers 'and soldiers' council was formed in Opladen on November 9, 1918 , which was supported in particular by the soldiers of the tractor park. There were no major incidents or bloodshed in Opladen. In December, however, the Workers 'and Soldiers' Council had to stop working after the first occupation troops marched into Opladen. Opladen belonged to the Cologne bridgehead of the area on the left bank of the Rhine occupied by the Allies ; Scottish, New Zealand and English troops were stationed in the building of the secondary school , which later became the District Administrator Lucas School. The British occupation prevented an escalation of the political disputes in the period that followed, as in the unoccupied areas.

In 1923, the French occupation of the Ruhr led to major economic problems. Although it did not directly affect Opladen, it led to traffic problems, such as the closure of the nearby Cologne-Düsseldorf railway line. This intensified when the area around the English-occupied bridgehead was occupied by the French and trade and traffic largely came to a standstill. The Reichsbahn repair shop in Opladen no longer repaired any locomotives. The inflation that set in, not least because of the resistance against the occupation of the Ruhr, once again worsened the situation. Only with the introduction of the Rentenmark in October 1923 did the situation begin to ease. The occupation of the Ruhr ended in 1925, and finally in 1926 the British occupation of Opladen as well.

City of Opladen from 1930 (orange)

In 1929, large parts of the Solingen and Lennep districts were merged. Opladen remained the district town of the new Solingen-Lennep district. In 1931 this was renamed the Rhein-Wupper-Kreis , as the towns that gave it its name no longer belonged to the district.

Lützenkirchen , first mentioned in a Deutz manuscript around 1160, was incorporated into Opladen in 1930, just like Quettingen , which was first mentioned in 1209 as Quettingheim. Both are now also districts of Leverkusen. Thus the area of ​​the city grew by more than double and the number of inhabitants by about a third.

From 1931 one of the first motorways in Germany , today's Federal Motorway 3 , was built as a bypass in Opladen . The opening took place in September 1933.

Voter turnout in Opladen was always relatively high during the Weimar Republic . In the election results, the center was always in the lead, the KPD usually came in second. This showed the Catholic character of the long-established population and the meanwhile increased role of the mostly immigrant workers. In 1932 the NSDAP came in second place, and it wasn't until the Reichstag elections in March 1933 that they achieved a majority. But even in this election, which no longer took place under democratic conditions, they did not achieve more than 34 percent. The Opladen party structure made a name for itself during this time, in particular through its support for hall battles and scuffles. During an election campaign in March 1933, in which the Reichstag member and former Reich Finance Minister Rudolf Hilferding (SPD) took part, the SA attacked . Hilferding was able to flee in time.

Memorial plaque on the square of the synagogue that was destroyed in 1938

After the National Socialists came to power in 1933, systematic discrimination against Jewish citizens began. Jewish businessmen were forced to sell their businesses in the following years; non-Jewish citizens who z. B. Customers referred to Jewish colleagues were publicly denounced in the press. The city council disempowered itself on March 12, 1933 by forming a "decision-making committee" to which almost all of its rights were transferred, and was finally dissolved on November 21 of the same year. Since then, Opladen has been centrally governed, with a municipal council only having an advisory role. Unpopular officials such as the mayor were given leave of absence and forced to retire in 1933.

The Catholic character of the area led to violent conflicts with the ruling National Socialists. As early as 1934, plans were made to close the church Aloysianum. The director, senior studies director Peter Neuenheuser , was harassed by the SA and the Hitler Youth after he had banned students from attending an anti-church Hitler Youth event. He was taken into protective custody and had to leave Opladen afterwards. In 1938 the Aloysianum was finally closed. Hermann Milde, pastor at St. Remigius, who had expressed himself critical at a parents' meeting on the occasion of the closure, was expelled from the district. The students were forced to switch to other schools, and the building continued to be used as a vocational school and Opladen town hall, instead of the Villa Römer , which had served as town hall since 1933 . After various reprisals, the Marienschule had to cease operations at Easter 1940. The rulers also pushed through their ideas in the city's high school . Inconvenient teachers were given leave of absence or forcibly transferred after the school was named Adolf-Hitler-Realgymnasium in May 1933 at the instigation of the city . Youth groups were forcibly integrated into the Hitler Youth. The membership of the NSBO grew from 12 to 2,500 between February and May 1933.

The National Socialist press repeatedly complained about the lack of interest and the rejection of large circles of the Opladen population. The local newspapers Bergische Post and Allgemeine Zeitung were occasionally critical of the political situation until around 1935, for which they were banned several times at short notice and finally closed for good .

Many members of the Jewish community left the city under pressure. On November 10, 1938 , the Opladen synagogue was destroyed by arson; the burned-out ruins were later removed. Many Jewish citizens were arrested. A plaque erected in 1963 commemorates this event today.

The 1939 built cath. St. Michael Church

In 1939 the parish church of St. Michael , built according to plans by Bernhard Rotterdam , was consecrated in the north of Opladen. The construction was mainly financed from the proceeds from the sale of the Catholic club house, to which the parish had been forced by the city. The church initially remained part of the parish of St. Remigius. The municipality only became independent in 1954.

Air raid shelters and bunkers have been built in the urban area since the beginning of 1939. The rationing of consumer goods began in the middle of the year. In 1941 the deportation of the Opladen Jews began. In the Opladen economy, especially in the Reichsbahn repair shop, forced laborers and prisoners of war were increasingly used to replace the drafted workers. School operations were severely restricted during the war. Schools were used for military purposes and there was a considerable loss of lessons. From 1942 onwards, older students were drafted as flak helpers, and entire classes were sent to areas less at risk from air raids . In October 1944, classes were completely stopped.

Due to its property as a railway junction and location of a repair shop , Opladen was the target of several air raids, the heaviest of which took place on December 28, 1944. In addition to the railway systems, the city was also badly hit. Among the dead were many slave laborers who were employed in the repair shop.

post war period

Mosaic on the former city library

On April 15, 1945, the war in Opladen ended with the invasion of American troops, which were replaced by British occupation forces on June 15. Opladen became the seat of the district military government. Due to the admission of many refugees and displaced persons from the former German areas, the number of inhabitants in Opladen rose again significantly after the war. Mass accommodation had to be organized for a few hundred refugees.

The Opladen publisher Friedrich Middelhauve founded the German Reconstruction Party in October 1945 . Together with other liberal groups, at a meeting in January 1946 in Opladen, the first regional association of the FDP emerged . Middelhauve became deputy state chairman and Erich Mende , who lived in Opladen, became managing director. The local associations of the SPD , CDU and KPD were (re) founded during this time.

In April 1946 a municipal council met again for the first time, which was replaced in September by a freely elected city council.

In 1947, Middelhauve founded the Westdeutscher Verlag , which was one of the most important German-language publishers for political and social sciences, until it was merged in 2004 with Leske + Budrich, founded in 1974 in Opladen by Edmund Budrich , to form VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften .

The parish of St. Elisabeth , which had existed since 1945 as the parish rectorate of St. Remigius and since 1952 as an independent parish, received its own church in 1957 after the Aloysius chapel had been used at times. The new church, designed by the architect Emil Steffan, differs significantly from the other Leverkusen churches due to its very simple and unusual shape.

In 1963 a new building for the District Administrator Lucas School was opened on the market square, whose theater-like auditorium was also used as the Opladen festival hall for cultural events.

The last town hall in Opladen

In 1973 and 1974, an administrative building planned as a town hall was built in the city center instead of the Goethe Park. In fact, after its completion, the Opladen City Council only met once in December 1974 in this building. At the same time, a pedestrian zone was set up in the city center.

On December 31, 1974, the history of the town of Opladen finally ended with the loss of its independence. In accordance with Section 17 of the Cologne Act on January 1, 1975, it was combined with the neighboring cities of Bergisch Neukirchen and Leverkusen and the Hitdorf district of Monheim to form the new city of Leverkusen. The Rhein-Wupper district was also dissolved. Since Leverkusen is now part of the Cologne administrative district, the boundaries of the Cologne and Düsseldorf administrative districts have also been changed.

Opladen as a district of Leverkusen

The new city ​​of Leverkusen in 1975

The old Opladener Rathaus, the building of the former Aloysianum, was demolished in 1975. Only the former school chapel was preserved and is now used as a youth church . After long discussions about the use of the site, a retirement home was built there in 1984.

The buildings on Schusterinsel were demolished and a business park was built in their place. In 1994 a new bus station was built near the train station, replacing the old bus station from 1963.

Today (2008) not many signs in the city area remind of the former independence and importance of Opladen. Exceptions are or were the naming of the train station ( Opladen instead of Leverkusen-Opladen ) and the Opladen motorway exit on the A3 (until 2008).

coat of arms

Seal with the coat of arms in the old version
City arms in the new version

The Opladen city coat of arms shows a " black crenellated bar in a silver shield " with a red wall crown and was introduced in 1883. The alternating battlement beam - an old coat of arms of the Counts of Berg - was traced back to the 13th century brothers Gerhard and Giso von Opladen, who served the Count of Berg and were therefore allowed to use his coat of arms. Since the colors of the old coat of arms were not handed down, the Prussian colors black and white were chosen. While the city initially used a five-pinnacle wall crown, this was corrected to three pinnacles in 1906, as only residential cities were allowed to have five pinnacles.

Wupper Bridge

Wupper Bridge until 1908
Construction of today's Wupper Bridge, around 1979. The steel arch bridge is still visible on the left.
Nepomuk statue at the Opladener Wupperbrücke, next to it the foundation stone of the previous bridge from 1732

The Opladener Wupper crossing established, among other things, the historical importance of the city. It is located in the course of a historic old street, which over the centuries was called Via Publica , Mauspfad , later Frankfurter Steinweg / Cologne-Arnheimer Chaussee , right bank of the Rhine trunk road and which largely corresponds to today's federal highway 8 . The transition connects today's Opladen center in the south with the Frankenberg , the presumed nucleus of Opladen north of the Wupper.

The originally wooden Wupper Bridge was first mentioned in a document in 1307. In 1730 the Imperial Post Office operated by Thurn und Taxis set up a transfer station next to the Wupper Bridge. In 1732 a stone arch bridge was built in place of the first bridge. In the course of the construction of the tram to Ohligs , it was replaced by a steel arch bridge in 1908. The bridge was supposed to be blown up at the end of the Second World War ; however , this was sabotaged , for which the guard threatened execution.

Today's reinforced concrete bridge was built in 1979 as part of the four-lane expansion of Bundesstraße 8 next to the steel arch bridge, which was demolished shortly afterwards. After the two-lane dismantling of federal highway 8, there are now bus lanes next to the remaining lanes.

Since the first half of the 18th century there has been a statue of St. John of Nepomuk next to the Wupper Bridge , who is the second patron of the Opladen parish church alongside Remigius. After this first statue was damaged by French troops in 1796, a Cologne senator donated a stone statue from 1746 as a replacement in 1829. This was restored for the first time in 1972. Vandalism made further restorations necessary in the following years. After the Wupper Bridge was rebuilt in 1979, the old statue was finally moved to the parish church and replaced by a modern bronze statue.

When the bridge was last rebuilt, the foundation stone of the stone bridge built in 1732 was found, which can now be viewed as part of the enclosure of the Nepomuk statue next to the bridge.

Former railway junction

Economy and employment

Opladen was also the seat or branch of larger industrial companies, such as the textile finishing factory Schusterinsel AG, the auto supplier Goetzewerke AG, the welding equipment factory I. u. W. Müller GmbH (world-famous welding machines under the name of Müller Opladen ), the corrugated cardboard factory Franz Gierlich and the sheet metal goods manufacturer Hermann Schmitz. At the end of the 1970s, however, numerous industrial jobs were lost due to restructuring and a deterioration in the economic situation. In addition to industry, there were also numerous craft and commercial enterprises as well as agriculture, which ensured a relatively balanced economic structure. Banks and authorities completed the picture and shaped Opladen as an administrative town. Not only the usual district, city and court authorities were or are on site, but also a motorway maintenance depot and formerly a branch of the Landeszentralbank NRW.


  • District Administrator-Lucas-Gymnasium with secondary levels I and II
  • Marienschule Opladen , grammar school sponsored by the Archdiocese of Cologne
  • Vocational college Opladen, secondary level II, vocational college with a vocational high school for business and administration as well as education
  • Theodor Heuss Secondary School
  • Catholic secondary school "Im Hederichsfeld"
  • Remigius School (Catholic Primary School Remigius), merged with the Brothers Grimm School since 2011
  • Community elementary school Opladen (Herzogstraße); awarded the seal of approval "Individual Promotion"
  • Teachers' seminar Leverkusen, study seminar for teacher training


The former Adler pharmacy on Düsseldorfer Strasse
  • The Friedenberger Hof is a manor house from the 16th century. Predecessor buildings were mentioned in documents as early as the 14th century.
  • Half-timbered houses from the 18th and 19th centuries on Altstadtstraße
  • A modern statue of St. John of Nepomuk on the Wupper Bridge has been replacing a previous statue from the 18th century since 1979, which can still be viewed in the St. Remigius Church.
  • The Villa Römer as the house of city history shows exhibitions about the history of Opladen and the surrounding area.
  • The former Adler pharmacy has long been one of the oldest pharmacies in the region. The historic interior is now in the Bergisches Museum in Burg Castle .
  • The carillon in Goethestrasse sounds every weekday between 12 noon and 6 p.m.
  • The NaturGut Ophoven is an environmental education center for children and adults. It was founded in 1989 as a nature and school biology center on the site of an old estate. One of the oldest buildings in the city is the remnant of a castle from the 13th century.


Evang. Church on Bielert
St. Elisabeth
  • The oldest completely preserved church is the Evangelical Church on Bielert from 1876.
  • The Catholic Church of St. Remigius , consecrated in 1952 after the previous building was partially destroyed during the war, is the old main parish church of the city. The first church on this site was mentioned as early as 1223. In 1787–88 and 1862–63, the previously too small buildings were replaced by new ones.
  • The Aloysius Chapel, inaugurated in 1907 as the school chapel of the then Archbishop's High School Aloysianum , has been the first youth church in Germany since 1995 .
  • In 1927 the St. Josephs Hospital (now Remigius Hospital), founded in 1891, received its own chapel.
  • The Marienschule opposite was also given its own chapel a little later.
  • In 1939 the Catholic Church of St. Michael was built for the newly built residential areas north of the Wupper.
  • The Catholic Church of St. Elisabeth , consecrated in 1957, is the youngest church in Opladen and an example of sacred post-war architecture.
  • Evangelical Free Church Congregation ( Brethren Movement )
  • Free Church Protestant Congregation ( Baptists )

See also list of sacred buildings in Leverkusen


Honorary citizen of Opladen

Born in Opladen

Personalities related to Opladen

  • Vinzenz Joseph Deycks (1768–1850), counselor and notary; was mayor of Opladen from 1811 to 1815. The Rat-Deycks-Straße and the Rat-Deycks-Schule are named after him.
  • Jakob Salentin von Zuccalmaglio (1775–1838), 1810–11 mayor of Opladen
  • Stephan Josef Krey (1803–1873), dean of St. Remigius in Opladen
  • Adolf Lucas (1862–1945), district administrator; moved the seat of the district to Opladen
  • Peter Neuenheuser (1877–1940), Catholic clergyman, director of the Aloysianum
  • Fritz Woike (1890–1962), Protestant worker poet
  • Friedrich Middelhauve (1896–1966), publisher, politician, co-founder and deputy chairman of the FDP , member of the Bundestag
  • Günther Weisenborn (1902–1969), writer; grew up in Opladen, employee of the Opladener Zeitung in the 1920s
  • Erich Mende (1916–1998), politician (FDP), Opladen City Council, Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic
  • Bruno Wiefel (1924–2001), Mayor of Opladen (1958–1974), Member of the Bundestag (SPD)
  • Klaus Germann (1941–1983), church musician of the Protestant community


Until the incorporation, the official postcode was 5670, the old phone code has remained until today: 02171.

The chronicler Rolf Müller ended his comprehensive city chronicle from 1974 with the words:

The closing words to this work on the history and life of the district town of Opladen and its citizens were coined by the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia in its session on September 27, 1974. After the state government had recommended the merger of the cities of Leverkusen, Opladen and Bergisch Neukirchen in the state parliament in its draft of a law for the reorganization of the municipalities and districts of the reorganization area Cologne (Cologne law), the committee for administrative reform of the state parliament agreed with the opinion of the council of the district town of Opladen - for the integration of the cities of Leverkusen and Opladen / Bergisch Neukirchen as independent cities in the Rheinisch-Bergischen district, the state parliament made the following decision with a large majority in the aforementioned plenary session with regard to the cities of Leverkusen and Opladen: (1) The cities of Leverkusen, Opladen and Bergisch Neukirchen and the Hitdorf district of the city of Monheim are merged to form a new independent city. The city is named Leverkusen ... "


  • Rolf Müller: Upladhin - Opladen. City Chronicle. Heggen-Verlag, Opladen 1974, ISBN 3-920430-87-5 .
  • Michael Gutbier: The main regional and knight's court in Opladen. Investigations into the legal history of the county of Berg in the later Middle Ages. Leweke, Leverkusen 1995, DNB 945603576 .
  • KulturStadtLev - City Archives (Ed.): Leverkusen. History of a city on the Rhine. Publishing house for regional history, Bielefeld 2005, ISBN 3-89534-575-X .

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Population structure on: leverkusen.com
  2. The Opladen license plate can be reserved since Wednesday. on: ksta.de , July 27, 2015, accessed on August 12, 2015.
  3. Announcement of the definition of distinguishing signs for administrative districts for the marking of motor vehicles of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure from May 11, 2015 ( BAnz AT May 20 , 2015 B3 )
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k Rolf Müller: Upladhin - Opladen - A city chronicle. Self-published by the city of Opladen, 1974.
  5. ^ Friedrich von Restorff : Topographical-Statistical Description of the Royal Prussian Rhine Province. Nicolai, Berlin / Stettin 1830, p. 418 ( Google Books )
  6. On the history of the Autobahn. ( Memento of January 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), accessed March 8, 2011.
  7. Europe's first motorway, 65 years old. ( Memento of November 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) August 5, 1997, accessed March 8, 2011.
  8. ^ Rolf Müller: Upladhin - Opladen - A city chronicle. Opladen 1974, p. 252.
  9. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 291 .
  10. Opladen only with addition. ( Memento from February 10, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (about the name of the Opladen motorway exit )