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Prussian Rhine Province (green), anno 1830

With Rheinland (often Rhld. Abbreviated Latin  Rhenania ) are not precisely defined areas in the German Central and Lower Rhine designated.

The term for the areas originally populated by Franconians did not appear until 1800, after France had annexed the parts of the Electoral Palatinate on the left bank of the Rhine . It essentially comprised the areas of a few small duchies on the Rhine and the Catholic "territorial areas" of the archbishopric of Cologne , Mainz and Trier as well as the imperial city of Aachen .

With the reorganization of Europe in 1815 , the areas on the left bank of the Rhine were divided between Prussia , Hesse-Darmstadt and Bavaria . Bavaria called its Wittelsbach-Palatinate areas Rheinkreis , Pfalz or Rheinpfalz, while the Grand Duchy of Hesse (Hessen-Darmstadt) called its new province Rheinhessen . Prussia, in turn, combined the province of the Grand Duchy of Lower Rhine and the province of Jülich-Kleve-Berg to form the Rhine Province in 1822 , the Catholic southern part of which formed a separation movement under the name of Rhineland . For the later, sometimes quite complex developments ( Allied occupation of the Rhineland after 1918, division into the federal states of Hesse , Rhineland-Palatinate , Saarland and North Rhine-Westphalia , decision-making for today's structure, questions of identity, the cultural region of Rhineland, etc.) see the following two sections.

The term "Rhineland"

The Rhineland as a comprehensive name for the areas on the Middle and Lower Rhine with a uniform political and social structure can only be spoken of from 1797 with the state integration of the left bank of the Rhine into revolutionary France . The unification of all the left bank of the Rhine occupied by the French from the Electoral Palatinate to the Duchy of Kleve , initially planned as a Cisrhenan Republic , was not carried out. Instead, the entire left area from the Electoral Palatinate onwards was annexed by France. The four new French departments formed were Roer , Rhein-Mosel , Saar and Donnersberg .

Before that, this area was essentially divided into various duchies and the Catholic "territorial areas" of the three electorates of Cologne , Mainz and Trier , in which the archbishops also held secular power as electors . In addition, there were various counties, smaller enclaves, lordships, abbeys and the two large and old imperial cities of Aachen and Cologne in this entire area . The inhabitants of the various duchies, counties, archbishoprics and free imperial cities were therefore not named as Rhinelander until 1797 and for many centuries , but as Berger, Geldener, Jülicher, Klever, Cologne and Kurkölner and so on. All of these territories had their own authorities with a wide variety of laws and regulations and a legally privileged upper class, the members of the nobility. Even the geographical term “Rhineland” was not used until the end of the 18th century, so the inhabitants of these areas could not be “Rhinelander” either.

After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the areas on the left bank of the Rhine were divided between Prussia, Hesse and Bavaria. Bavaria called its area on the left bank of the Rhine, which largely corresponded to the former Electoral Palatinate with the areas of the Palatinate branch lines of the Wittelsbacher , the Rhine District (later Palatinate or Rhine Palatinate), while the Grand Duchy of Hesse called its province on the left bank of the Rhine as Rheinhessen . The Prussian territories comprised most of the formerly French annexed left bank of the Rhine , which on the right bank of the Rhine was essentially supplemented by the area of ​​the Grand Duchy of Berg left by Napoleon Bonaparte . The modern legal and municipal system introduced by France was largely adopted in these areas. The Napoleonic Code civil as a civil legal system was retained in all territories on the left bank of the Rhine until the entry into force of the BGB on January 1, 1900.

The entire Prussian territories were initially merged into two provinces, the Grand Duchy of Lower Rhine and the Province of Jülich-Kleve-Berg , and from 1822 onwards were combined into a single Rhine province . The province consisted of the administrative districts of Aachen , Düsseldorf , Cologne , Koblenz and Trier . The name Rhineland became particularly common for this province, also in its Latinized form Rhenania . Since before the 19th century until the unification of the Rhine Province only the northern areas up to the level of the Ruhr estuary belonged to Prussia, and the new acquisitions were also predominantly Catholic, there was also resistance to integration into the new rule among the Protestant Prussians . Separatist counter-movements emerged, which the aim was to undermine through the historicizing term Rhineland with the formation of research institutions on the common regional history of the Rhineland. These separatist tendencies, which in 1923 led to the attempt to form a Rhenish Republic , could not ultimately prevail.

After the First World War , the term Rhineland temporarily acquired a new level of meaning through the Allied occupation of the Rhineland in 1918/19. When speaking of the occupied Rhineland, one meant not only all of Germany on the left bank of the Rhine, but also the "bridgeheads" occupied on the right bank of the Rhine (30 km zone) around Cologne, Koblenz and Mainz.

The Rhineland in this sense is distributed in the German post-war order as a result of the occupation zones established by the Allies after the Second World War in Hesse , North Rhine-Westphalia , Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland . The Rhineland was divided into the North Rhine-Westphalian Lower Rhine and the Rhineland-Palatinate Middle Rhine through new territorial divisions; only a small part of the northern Middle Rhine now also belongs to the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Rhineland-Palatinate includes the greater part of the areas on the Middle Rhine including the areas on the right bank of the Rhine below the height of Bonn to the Rheingau-Taunus district as well as Rheinhessen and the former Bavarian Rhine Palatinate , while Hesse no longer has an area on the left bank of the Rhine. The Saarland had a special status for a short time until January 1, 1957 , as it did for a time after the First World War .

In the narrower sense one now often only means the North Rhine-Westphalian part when speaking of the Rhineland; so it is often abbreviated to the Rhineland Regional Association. For the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland , despite all the historical upheavals, nothing has changed in the original expansion of the ecclesiastical province, which is congruent with the territory of the Prussian Rhine province.

Development towards the Rhineland region

Undisputed northern border of the Rhineland: Kleve (historic photo around 1895, colored)
The German Corner in Koblenz. According to the narrow Prussian interpretation, the most southeast corner of the Rhineland
Far west of the Rhine and yet Rhineland: The Eifel (here: Monschau an der Rur)
Still Rhineland? A borderline case: Mainz on the Rhine, around 1900

The integration of the Prussian Rhine Province into the State of Prussia proved difficult. In order to distance oneself from Prussia, the desire to examine the historical roots as a basis for joint development increased in the core region of the Rhine Province on the left bank of the Rhine. Research institutions and regional historical associations were founded which used the historicizing term Rhineland for their common tradition. Examples of this are the founding of the Art Association for the Rhineland and Westphalia in 1829 in Düsseldorf, the Natural History Association of the Rhineland and Westphalia in 1833 in Koblenz and the Society for Rhenish History in 1881 in Cologne.

The "Institute for historical regional studies of the Rhineland" at the University of Bonn , founded in 1920 by Hermann Aubin and co-financed by the Prussian Rhine Province from 1925, originally had the political background to defend against French claims, regional and church history, everyday history, social and linguistic To research community structures in these overarching areas on the Rhine. The former institute continues today as the "Department of Rhenish Regional History" of the Institute for Historical Science at the University of Bonn and works closely with the "Association for Historical Regional Studies of the Rhineland" founded in 1925.

The research topics in this area have changed little to this day, but today, free of these political endeavors, are concentrated on a core region of the Rhine from Koblenz to Düsseldorf , including the Eifel . Various local history associations, which were also founded during the Weimar Republic , work closely with this institute based on this understanding of the core region.

A current current interpretation of the "Rhenish" from the settlement and art-historical point of view relates to a core area between the Meuse as the western border, the Moselle as the southern and the Rhine as the eastern border. This core area will be expanded somewhat by the areas south of the Nahe up to the Palatinate Forest and the narrow strip on the right bank of the Rhine between Emmerich and the Rheingau .

The “Geschichtsforschungen Rheinlande Verlag” issues individual publications on special cultural monuments in the area.

In the wake of the national enthusiasm after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, which ended with the reconquest of the Upper Rhine areas on the left bank of the Rhine (Alsace and Lorraine), there was a tendency to interpret the Rhineland concept more broadly than it was according to the old Franconian- Carolingian tradition would make sense.

The first travel guide on the “Rhineland” by Karl Baedeker included the Upper Rhine on both sides as far as Basel in its first edition from 1854 . The magazine Die Rheinlande, published by Wilhelm Schäfer from 1900 to 1922 , also understood itself in this overall Rhenish tradition, which relates the term to the river from its source to its mouth and integrates Alsace and Lorraine . For Schäfer, “The Rhenish” was simply “The German”. After 1918, when Alsace and Lorraine fell back to France, the resentment about the Versailles Treaty was postulated by geographers with a greater German thinking, such as Friedrich Metz, that the Upper Rhine region (areas on both sides of the Upper Rhine) was a unified German cultural area. Critics have seen this understanding as a preliminary stage to the National Socialist approach, which by “Rhenish Germany” or the “Rhenish Zone” meant the entire Rhine as a German cultural area between Switzerland and the Netherlands (e.g. Gustav Braun, 1936). This criticism is probably exaggerated because the specific German dialect has been preserved in Alsace to this day and the culture that has developed over centuries, with Strasbourg as one of the most brilliant imperial cities, has its roots in the old German Empire. Badeners and Alsatians are geographical, Alemannic neighbors and relatives, so there are more original, shared cultural ties and identities than with the French heartlands. The same applies to the area of ​​the former prince-bishop Basel.

After 1945, ethnic concepts emanating from Germany no longer play a role. However, after the war France tried again to "finally" establish the "natural" eastern border on the Rhine, which had been persistently pursued since the 17th century (this was General de Gaulle's request to officers in autumn 1945, similarly repeated in 1959). In 1840 massive demands with French threats of war led to defensive and defensive stances in the German states, embodied in the song Die Wacht am Rhein . On the part of Germany, territorial expansions to the west were never intended - with the exception of the special case of Alsace-Lorraine, which was militarily broken out of the Reichsverband by France in the 17th century. From an art and cultural-historical point of view, however, even if the Upper Rhine is left out, a generous interpretation of the Rhineland concept has been maintained. The Historical Atlas of the Rhineland , the forerunner Historical Atlas of the Rhine Province under Wilhelm Fabricius in 1897 already had the Prussian Rhineland as its spatial content, supported in the map sheets published from 1981 to 2008 an expanded cultural area on both sides of the Rhine between the Dutch border and Mainz south to the Pfalz (Bavaria) into it. The most diverse cultural-historical aspects were examined.

RECLAM's art guide "Rhineland - Westphalia" (1959 edition) is also trying - with the inclusion of Rheinhessen - to comprehensively record the monuments on both sides of the Rhine as far as Mainz . Some contemporary art travel guides also see the area around Mainz as the border between two art regions on the Rhine that are different in terms of architectural history and iconography.

Common geographic definition

The Moselle flows into the Rhine at the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz
Petersberg with federal guest house in the Siebengebirge ( Königswinter near Bonn )
Eltz Castle above the Elzbach in the East Eifel ( Maifeld )
Aachen Cathedral , Charlemagne's grave with a pre-Romanesque octagon (center). 31 Roman and Roman-German kings were crowned here by 1531 .
Former warehouse row in Duisburg's
inner harbor, newly used for offices and leisure
City gate Porta Nigra in Trier, the former Roman Augusta Treverorum
Electoral Cologne Castle Augustusburg in Brühl
Benrath Castle in the south of Düsseldorf
Cologne Rhine panorama with the cathedral (left) and the Hohenzollern Bridge

The term Rhineland cannot be precisely defined in geoscientific terms, but has been used almost uniformly since the post-war regime:

The Rhineland part of North Rhine-Westphalia borders on the Netherlands in the north and west, Belgium in the south-west and Westphalia in the east . The Rhineland-Palatinate part borders in the west on Belgium and Luxembourg , in the south-west on the Saarland (formerly also part of the Rhineland) and in the south on the North Palatinate Bergland and the Rheinhessische Schweiz . It meets Hesse to the east and Westphalia to the northeast. The highest elevation in the North Rhine-Westphalian part of the country is the Weißer Stein mountain in the Eifel at 689 m. At 816 m, the Erbeskopf in the Hunsrück is the highest elevation of the Rhineland-Palatinate part of the state and thus of the Rhineland as a whole and also the highest German mountain on the left of the Rhine , which flows through the country from the southeast to the northwest. Between Bingen and Bonn, it cuts through the Rhenish Slate Mountains . The low mountain range bordering the North German Plain runs east of the Rhine along the lower reaches of the Ruhr , then in a southerly direction roughly on the line Mülheim an der Ruhr – Solingen– Bergisch Gladbach – Bonn, then west to northwest in an arc over Düren to Aachen.

Contrary to the theory represented here that Rheinhessen and Mainz are part of the Rhineland, there are authoritative regional institutions that by no means see it that way. Nowhere in these essays is there any reference to the Rhineland.


Population and community

The population of the Rhineland was originally Franconia , namely Lower Franconia ( Salfranken ) on the Lower Rhine and Rhine Franconia further south , also known as Ripuarian Franks. The Moselle Franconia also go back to this as a splinter group. The Franconian origin is still clear in place names and family names . Cities on the left bank of the Rhine often have Latin names and have rich finds from Roman times . This epoch goes z. B. viticulture on the Rhine, Moselle and various tributaries back. Furthermore, the Lower Saxony Westphalia , which, like the Romans , mixed with the Franks, left noticeable traces, especially in the north. While Catholicism traditionally predominates for the most part, there are also many (sometimes mostly) Protestants in the Bergisches Land, on the northern Lower Rhine and in the southeast . In the metropolitan areas there is also an increased proportion of Muslims due to migration .

One district cities

North Rhine-Westphalia: Aachen ** , Bonn , Düsseldorf , Duisburg , Essen * , Cologne , Krefeld , Leverkusen , Mönchengladbach , Mülheim an der Ruhr , Oberhausen * , Remscheid , Solingen , Wuppertal *

Rhineland-Palatinate: Koblenz , Trier

Counties / counties

North Rhine-Westphalia: Kleve , Wesel * , Viersen , Heinsberg , Rhein-Kreis Neuss , Mettmann * , Rhein-Erft-Kreis , Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis , Oberbergischer Kreis , Rhein-Sieg-Kreis , Euskirchen , Düren , Aachen city region ; the Borken district is part of Westphalia, but the town of Isselburg , which belongs to the district, was in the area of ​​the LVR until the Rees district was dissolved in 1975 .

Rhineland-Palatinate: Altenkirchen (Westerwald) , Neuwied , Ahrweiler , Mayen-Koblenz , Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis , Cochem-Zell , Bernkastel-Wittlich , Vulkaneifel , Bitburg-Prüm , Trier-Saarburg , Birkenfeld , Bad Kreuznach , Rhein-Lahn- circle

*The municipalities are members of the LVR , but parts of their areas - such as Essen-Burgaltendorf , Oberhausen-Osterfeld , Wuppertal-Langerfeld , Dingden or the districts of Velbert-Langenberg on the right of the Deilbach - historically belong to Westphalia .
**The city of Aachen has been part of the Aachen city ​​region since 2009 , but remains an independent city based on the Aachen Act .


A center of the Rhineland, from the Rhine Franconia to today: Cologne (panorama, seen from the Deutzer Brücke )

As uncommon as the term "Rhineland" has become for historical areas in the 21st century, there is still a great deal of interest in the historical and current region of the Rhineland . In addition to researching historical facts, the relationships between changes and current conditions in politics, culture, population development and the economy are also examined. In a collection of essays published by Gunter E. Grimm and Bernd Kortländer in 2005 “Rheinisch. Regarding the self-image of a region ”- apart from the known geographic, historical and political contexts - the topics described below are examined in more detail from different perspectives.


In the area of ​​the former Prussian Rhine Province, Kleverland, South Lower Franconian, Ripuarian, Moselle Franconian and Rhenish Franconian dialects are spoken, which differ so much from one another that one cannot speak of a homogeneous Rhenish dialect area. The Rheinische Fächer marks linguistic transitions , whereby it should be noted that the boundaries of the individual dialects merge and that there are no rigid delimitation lines.

In the northern Rhineland, on the Lower Rhine or partially in the Bergisch region , north of the Benrather line (Maken / Make- Isoglosse ), the Lower Franconian dialects, influenced by Standard German but nevertheless classified as dialects of Dutch , predominate: Kleverländisch / Ostbergisch below and Limburgisch (Südniederfränkisch ) above the Uerdinger line dividing the Lower Rhine (Ick / Ich-Isoglosse). Southern Lower Franconian can be regarded as a transitional dialect between the Lower Franconian and High German language areas.

The areas south of it are in the west-central German part of the High German language area: Up to roughly the state border between North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate , more precisely to the Vinxtbach line (Dorp / Dorf-Isoglosse), the northern Central Franconian dialect of Ripuars is also known as " Cologne dialect " known, spoken, while south of this line it is also Middle Franconian Moselle Franconian . To the east or south of the Sankt Goarer line (Dat / Das-Isoglosse) begin the Rhine-Franconian dialects , which also include Rheinhessian .

In the current Kleve district and parts of the Wesel district, it can be argued whether the original dialect was a German with a strong Dutch influence or a Dutch with a strong German influence. When the Prussians largely took over the northern part of the upper quarters from the former Duchy of Geldern in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, a Dutch dialect was largely spoken in this area.

This language distribution, use of Kleverland dialects, did not change in these areas until the end of the 19th century. From 1794 to 1814, the period under French suzerainty followed, during which French was also partly spoken. This changed only when the Prussians were responsible for this area again in 1815. In the 19th century, the Prussians introduced German as the only school language, whereby the use of Dutch was increasingly superseded.

Overarching studies of phonetic characteristics of the spoken high-level language as well as regional coloring of the historical written language, for example in court documents, have shown that, taking into account several linguistic-historical overlaps, common features of the Rhenish regiolects exist on a large area between the Lower and Middle Rhine.

The dialects of the Rhineland are documented in the Rhenish dictionary .


There is no uniform Rhenish cuisine that covers all areas between Nahe in the south and the Netherlands in the north. In rural areas, particularly on the Lower Rhine, in the Eifel and in the greater Moselle to the Nahe, many people were self-sufficient until the middle of the 20th century. Potatoes, cabbage, carrots, leeks, celery, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers and apples were the self-sufficient staple foods that were plentiful in summer and preserved for winter. Soups and stews were mainly used for everyday cooking, dishes were occasionally enriched with hearty sausage remains (e.g. heaven and earth ). According to Catholic tradition, meat was usually only available on Sundays, often from its own slaughter. Friday was a fish day, especially in the areas in the area of ​​water. This was caught by fishermen and offered at markets, as well as being caught: eel, trout, perch, salmon and, in season, Rhenish-style mussels . Traditional festive dishes as opposed to simple everyday cuisine (e.g. Rhenish sauerbraten , Martin's and Christmas goose, blue carp on New Year's Eve) were deliberately cultivated throughout the Rhineland.

From around 1970, as everywhere in West Germany, regional traditions began to decline in the urban centers, but later also in the “Vüürjebersch” in favor of international influences. Even small towns soon had their own “Italians” or “Greeks”. In the 21st century, some restaurateurs are trying to bring traditional rural recipes back to the table in a refined way. Compared to other German regional kitchens, however, “Rhenish cuisine” has not yet received any attention outside the Rhineland.

The wine culture on the Middle Rhine , Ahr and Mosel-Saar-Ruwer is not affected by this regional restriction.


The epitome of Rhine romanticism : The Loreley (photo taken around 1900)
Emil Krupa-Krupinski: Loreley (1899)
Heinrich Heine , born in Düsseldorf

The Rhine as a mythological landscape was partly discovered, partly created in the first place , by German Romanticism at the beginning of the 19th century. Under the collective name Rheinromantik , artistic creation found its expression primarily in landscape, genre and history painting , for example in the works of the Düsseldorf School of Painting , and in literature. Painting and literature played the Rhenish subjects alternately.

The experience of the French occupation, which made the Rhine a central theme as a German cultural area, was assessed equally differently by different authors. While Heinrich Heine from Düsseldorf , who described himself as “the far freer son of the free Rhine”, found positive aspects in the Napoleonic era, Ernst Moritz Arndt from Rügen did not take over the Rhine in the sense of emerging nationalism as “Germany's river” Germany's border ”. Like these two, not all Rhine Romantic writers were Rhinelander themselves. Thus, although came Clemens Brentano from Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein , Friedrich Schlegel contrast from Hannover.

Rhenish legends and myths were also increasingly collected in the period after 1800. These refer primarily to the approximately 130-kilometer-long narrow valley of the Middle Rhine between Bingen and Bonn with its old towns, villages and castles. The best-known theme of Rhine romanticism is the Lorelei myth, which does not go back to an old folk tale, but to Brentano's ballad " Lore Lay " from 1800. He himself took up the subject again in his Rhine tales in 1846, while it was its most popular expression in 1824 Heine's poem “ Die Lore-Ley ” found, which was later set to music by Friedrich Silcher ( I don't know what it should mean ). Old fairy tales and legends as well as newer art sagas and literary works of the 19th century contributed to a regional awareness of the Rhenish region, which at that time was only just beginning to emerge.

As a well-developed geographical settlement and cultural area, the region appears for the first time in the magazine Die Rheinlande published by Wilhelm Schäfer . Schäfer propagated the "folk" as the linchpin of literary art, against this background was interested in Rhenish subjects (anecdotes, sagas, fairy tales) and also published his own texts ("The interrupted Rhine journey", 1913). He described himself as the first "Rhenish poet".

In 1926, more than 100 authors came together to form the Association of Rhenish Poets in Koblenz, who addressed the Rhine in their works. The entire German-speaking Rhine landscape is meant. The core group included z. B. Adolf von Hatzfeld , Jakob Kneip , Alfons Paquet , Dettmar Heinrich Sarnetzki , Josef Winckler , Herbert Eulenberg , Kasimir Edschmid , Reinhard Goering , Josef Ponten , René Schickele , Walter Kordt , Heinrich Lersch , Alfred Mombert , Rudolf G. Binding , Leo Sternberg and Willi Schäferdiek . They met regularly for workshops and issued manifestos. The “Rhenish” self-image that united these authors is rooted in the literary material that inspired their creativity and is very difficult to grasp in concrete terms. Under National Socialism, the federal government had to stop its activities.

As a contemporary expression of Rhenish literature, Helge Drafz has described the regional crime novels from the Rhineland, which have appeared since around 1980. Well-known are the Eifel thrillers by Jacques Berndorf , the Niederrhein thrillers by Artur Leenders, Michael Bay and Hiltrud Leenders (also known as Trio Criminale ), as well as the Cologne thrillers by Christoph Gottwald. The crime scene episodes located in the Rhineland are also mentioned as examples of local color in this context.


Ludwig van Beethoven: At the age of 22 he left the Rhineland. Still the creator of “Rhenish music”?

There was no shortage of attempts to develop the concept of “Rhenish music” in the Weimar Republic. The music historians Willi Kahl and Ludwig Schiedermair postulated in Ludwig van Beethoven's music the epitome of Rhenish as pars pro toto for genuinely German: the temperamental, life-affirming, folk and melodic of this music is crystallized, but remains a vague construct.

According to the understanding of music historians, Rhenish music does not mean sheer preoccupation with Rhenish subjects. So nobody would think of associating Richard Wagner with his legend of the Ring of the Nibelung, which is located in the Siebengebirge . Nor does Robert Schumann's Rhenish Symphony (1850) play a role in a Rhenish musical self-image, because the work only received this nickname from its Düsseldorf concertmaster; the Zwickau composer came to the Rhine at the age of 40, where he tried to commit suicide three years later.

Those music historians who favored Beethoven as the quintessence of the Rhenish saw the folk music of the Rhenish Carnival as an "alien" degeneration of the "Berlin hit" (Willi Kahl). Today, however , the carnival songs that deal with wine, women and singing are often understood as characteristic “Rhenish music” and associated with a corresponding “Rhenish mentality” (cheerful, sociable, subtle and humorous). An original from the Mainz Carnival , colloquially known as Fassenacht and by no means a Rhineland idiom, was Ernst Neger , the singing master roofer and cannot be subsumed under the term Rhineland.

In the 21st century, Cologne is once again a center of contemporary music culture. The provenance of Bläck Fööss , Höhner , Brings is set in the carnival, but the performance has long since ceased to be limited to this.

All in all, everything that could be called “Rhenish Music” is so complex that such a term would by definition be problematic. It is therefore not a scientifically established term. The musicologist Professor Ernst Klusen , temporarily chairman of the Working Group for Rhenish Music History , has dealt with the Rhenish folk song in numerous works.

regional customs

Cologne Carnival = Rhenish music = Rhenish mentality? (Folkloric approach to definition)

Carnival is particularly well known in the Rhineland . The carnival in Cologne , Bonn and Düsseldorf in particular is known nationwide, as is the traditional rivalry between Cologne and Düsseldorf, which is reflected in their various carnival calls ("Alaaf" for Cologne, "Helau" for Düsseldorf) and in differences of opinion about the Expresses the taste of the respective regional beers ( Alt in Düsseldorf, Kölsch in Cologne). Carnival is also celebrated in smaller towns and in the country, where the entire population is often involved in the traditional parades. (See Aachen Carnival , Bonn Carnival , Düsseldorf Carnival , Eschweiler Carnival , Cologne Carnival , Koblenz Carnival , Neuss Carnival .)

The rifle festivals on the Lower Rhine and beyond are also traditional customs. The Neuss citizens' rifle festival is particularly well known due to its high number of participants (over 6000 active people). Annakirmes, which takes place annually for nine days in Düren, is one of the largest folk festivals in the Rhineland with around one million visitors.

UNESCO world heritage

So far, a number of sights and ensembles from the Rhineland have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List :

Well-known Rhinelander

Rhine trade

The long-distance trade in ships on the Rhine, which was already carried out by the Romans, was continued both during the Middle Ages and in modern times. From the Middle Ages onwards, the duty that was levied on the transport of goods on the Rhine was an important source of money for both the "Rhenish princes" ( Kurtrier , Kurköln , Kurmainz and Kurpfalz ) as well as the other rulers on the Rhine. The customs privilege was coveted and it was often argued about. With the income, the circulating gold, silver or copper could be bought and minted, even if the right to mint had been granted. In 1356 the electors had this right to mint in the Golden Bull . In the shape of the resulting Rhenish Mint Association and its common currency, the Rhenish Gulden , this interest group created a currency area that facilitated trade and helped shape the awareness of space. The meetings that the electors of Trier, Cologne, Mainz and the Palatinate held since the late Middle Ages were called the "Rhenish Electoral Days ". It was not until 1831 that the Rhine tolls were abolished in the area of ​​the German Rhine and in 1868 with the “Revised Rhine Shipping Act”, the last obstacles to trade for the entire Rhine were lifted.

The city of Cologne has been an important center for Rhine trade since Roman times. Through securitized rights such as the stacking and handling rights, the Cologne traders largely dominated trade across the Rhine until the 19th century. The basis of trade was the transport of goods by small ships. This was easy down the Rhine with the current, while up the Rhine for centuries it was only possible to move the ship with the wind over ship sails or by towing people or cattle (horses or oxen) with a rope. With the development of steam engines from around the middle of the 19th century, steam-powered ships made transport much easier, especially up the Rhine, and the volume of trade increased sharply. On the other hand , the transport by rope , which was carried out on the Elbe and Main from around 1850 to the mid-1880s , was not used on the Rhine.

IHK initiative Rhineland

Since 2010, the IHK chamber districts of Aachen , Mittlerer Niederrhein , Düsseldorf , Cologne and Bonn / Rhein-Sieg have been communicating the idea of ​​a metropolitan region of Rhineland , which extends across the chamber districts, in an effective way. Since October 2010 at the Expo Real in Munich communicated creation of a metropolitan region Rhineland, but rather to understand as a marketing offensive for when actually engaged in politics structure metropolitan area , as determined by the Conference of Ministers responsible for Spatial Planning has been defined. The IHK initiative is a first step to make the Rhineland region aware of itself, but it has to be based on topics rather than spatial layouts (chamber district layout). In addition to the purely economic engine of the IHK, a metropolitan region of the Rhineland also needs the social development of the conurbation .


The social market economy , which was developed under Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, is also called Rhenish capitalism - as a milder form of capitalism in contrast to Manchester capitalism .

See also


Web links

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


  1. Although called the Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine, the areas of the Middle Rhine from north of the Nahe also belonged to this province.
  2. The extended Lower Rhine ends in an area close to Düsseldorf. The areas south of it already belong to the Middle Rhine. The dialect gences also correspond to this: While the dialect of the Düsseldorfer Platt is part of the Limburg and thus the Lower Franconian language, the Kölsche Platt is a Ripuarian and therefore Middle Franconian variant.
  3. With currently around 4,000 members, the Art Association for the Rhineland and Westphalia is currently one of the largest such associations in Germany.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Rhineland In: Microsoft Encarta
  2. a b Meyer's large pocket dictionary - Volume 18. Bibliographisches Institut, Mannheim 1992
  3. ^ Joseph Hansen, in: Rheinland und Rheinländer , 1925, Koblenz, p. 9 ( digitized version ).
  4. The Rhineland in North Rhine-Westphalia  ( 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. , WDR knowledge archive.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.lernzeit.de  
  5. ^ Gerhard Muller: Theologische Realenzyklopädie: Religionspsychologie, Samaritaner , Volume 29. de Gruyter, Berlin and New York 1998, ISBN 3-11-016127-3 , pp. 167-176 (chapter Rhineland), limited online version on Google Books .
  6. Archived copy ( memento of the original from November 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Website of the association for historical regional studies of the Rhineland . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.landesgeschichte.uni-bonn.de
  7. Sabine Brenner, in: Waking the Rhineland out of Sleeping Beauty , 2004, Grupello Verlag, Düsseldorf, p. 9.
  8. a b c d e Edited article by Volker Gallés : On the history of Rheinhessen. regionalgeschichte.net, accessed on July 18, 2018 .
  9. a b c d e Edmund Ritscher: Rheinhessen still belongs to Hesse. Nibelungenstadt Worms , accessed on July 18, 2018 .
  10. Georg Cornelissen, in: Gelderländische Sprachgeschichte , 2001, edited by Johannes Stinner and Karl-Heinz Tekath, part 1, p. 360/63.
  11. ^ Rhenish cuisine, online .
  12. Sabine Brenner: “Awakening the Rhineland from its slumber!” To the profile of the cultural magazine Die Rheinlande (1900–1922) . Grupello Verlag, Düsseldorf 2004, 238 pp.
  13. Gertrude Cepl-Kaufmann, in: Bund Rheinischer Dichter , 2003, Paderborn / Munich. Online version via "Digi20"
  14. Meinrad Schaab: Settlement, Society, Economy from the Staufer Period to the French Revolution . In: Meinrad Schaab , Hansmartin Schwarzmaier (ed.) U. a .: Handbook of Baden-Württemberg History . Volume 1: General History. Part 2: From the late Middle Ages to the end of the old empire. Edited on behalf of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-608-91948-1 , p. 578.
  15. Clemens von Looz-Corswaren. in: On the development of Rhine shipping from the Middle Ages to the 19th century , from 1996, p. 30.
  16. J. H .: rope. Chain or rope , In: Eduard Wiss: Vierteljahrschrift für Volkswirtschaft, Volume 19, Volume 4, Herbig Company, Berlin 1882, pp. 89–96
  17. "Rhineland should become a metropolitan region" ( Memento of the original from October 8, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. from Rheinische Post from October 6, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.rp-online.de
  18. Sieger was a national politician and geographer, he coined the term "Donauschwaben".