Wesel (ˈveːzəl) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is the capital of the Wesel district
Wesel (district)
Wesel is a Kreis in the northwestern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Borken, Recklinghausen, district-free cities Bottrop, Oberhausen, Duisburg and Krefeld, districts Viersen, Cleves.-History:...


Division of the town

Suburbs of Wesel include Lackhausen, Obrighoven, Ginderich, Feldmark,Fusternberg, Büderich, Flüren and Blumenkamp.


The city originated from a Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

n manor that was first recorded in the 8th century.
In the 12th century, the Duke of Clèves took possession of Wesel. The city became a member of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 during the 15th century. Within the Duchy of Cleves
Duchy of Cleves
The Duchy of Cleves was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was situated in the northern Rhineland on both sides of the Lower Rhine, around its capital Cleves and the town of Wesel, bordering the lands of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster in the east and the Duchy of Brabant in the west...

, Wesel was second only to Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 in the lower Rhine region as an entrepôt
An entrepôt is a trading post where merchandise can be imported and exported without paying import duties, often at a profit. This profit is possible because of trade conditions, for example, the reluctance of ships to travel the entire length of a long trading route, and selling to the entrepôt...

. It was an important commercial centre: a clearing station for the transshipment
Transshipment or Transhipment is the shipment of goods or containers to an intermediate destination, and then from there to yet another destination....

 and trading of goods.

In 1590 the Spanish captured Wesel after a four-year siege. The city changed hands between the Dutch and Spanish several times during the Eighty Years War. In 1672 a French force under Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé captured the city. Wesel was inherited by the Hohenzollerns
House of Hohenzollern
The House of Hohenzollern is a noble family and royal dynasty of electors, kings and emperors of Prussia, Germany and Romania. It originated in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century. They took their name from their ancestral home, the Burg Hohenzollern castle near...

 of the Margraviate of Brandenburg
Margraviate of Brandenburg
The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806. Also known as the March of Brandenburg , it played a pivotal role in the history of Germany and Central Europe....

 in 1609 but they were unable to take control of Wesel until the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678. Although the city had been heavily fortified the Prussians evacuated the city during the Seven Years War and it was occupied by the French. It was returned to Prussia at the end of the war. Friedrich Wilhelm von Dossow
Friedrich Wilhelm von Dossow
Friedrich Wilhelm von Dossow was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall and Governor of Wesel.-Family:Friedrich Wilhelm was a member of the von Dossow family , old Pomeranian nobility first mentioned in 1330. The family's main possession was Cunow near Stettin and Greifenhagen...

 was the Prussian
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 Governor of Wesel during the 18th century. Wesel was ceded to the French in 1805 under the Treaty of Schönbrunn
Treaty of Schönbrunn
The Treaty of Schönbrunn , sometimes known as the Treaty of Vienna, was signed between France and Austria at the Schönbrunn Palace of Vienna on 14 October 1809. This treaty ended the Fifth Coalition during the Napoleonic Wars...

. The French heavily fortified the city constructing a rectangular fort called the Citadelle Napoleon at Büderich and the Citadelle Bonaparte on an island in the Rhine off Wesel. Though blockaded by the Allies in 1813 the city remained in French hands until after the Battle of Waterloo. After the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 of the early 19th century, the city became part of the Prussian Rhine Province
Rhine Province
The Rhine Province , also known as Rhenish Prussia or synonymous to the Rhineland , was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822-1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg...

 and the Citadelle Napoleon was renamed Fort Blücher.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, as a strategic depot
Distribution center
A distribution center for a set of products is a warehouse or other specialized building, often with refrigeration or air conditioning, which is stocked with products to be redistributed to retailers, to wholesalers, or directly to consumers. A distribution center is a principal part, the order...

, Wesel became a target
Bombing of Wesel in World War II
The German town of Wesel was heavily bombed in Allied air raids during World War II. Between this and the attacks in support of the crossing of the Rhine, the town was devastated....

 of Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 bombing. On the 16, 17 and 19 February 1945, the town was attacked with impact and air-burst bombs, which destroyed 97% of the city. The Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 blew up bridges along the Rhine and Lippe
Lippe is a Kreis in the east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Herford, Minden-Lübbecke, Höxter, Paderborn, Gütersloh, and district-free Bielefeld, which forms the region Ostwestfalen-Lippe....

 to prevent Allied forces from advancing. The Wehrmacht also destroyed the 1,950m-long railway bridge, the last Rhine bridge remaining in German hands, on 10 March. On 23 March, Wesel came under the fire of over 3,000 guns when it was bombarded anew, in preparation for Operation Plunder
Operation Plunder
Commencing on the night of 23 March 1945 during World War II, Operation Plunder was the crossing of the River Rhine at Rees, Wesel, and south of the Lippe River by the British 2nd Army, under Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey , and the U.S. Ninth Army , under Lieutenant General William Simpson...

. The shelling was assisted by a raid of RAF bombers and a larger raid that night. At 2100 hours on the 23rd, ten individual bombers each dropped a 10,000 kg bomb on Wesel, the heaviest bombs dropped in World War II (p. 141 Kurowski, Hitler's Last Bastion). Before the town was finally taken by Allied troops, 97% of its structures were destroyed. In the ensuing attacks by Allied forces, the town was taken for minimal casualties. Operation Varsity
Operation Varsity
Operation Varsity was a successful joint American–British airborne operation that took place toward the end of World War II...

 – the largest airborne landings of the war – dropped 18,000 troops into the area to take the hills behind Wesel. The British 1st Commando Brigade was already attacking Wesel carried into action by LVT Buffalos. The remainder of the Allied force crossed the Rhine in more amphibious vehicles.

From almost 25,000 in 1939, the population was reduced to 1,900 by May 1945. In 1946 Wesel became part of the new state North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

 of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....



Wesel's mayors:
  • 1808–1814: Johann Hermann Westermann
  • 1814–1840: Christian Adolphi
  • 1841–1862: Franz Luck
  • 1863–1870: Wilhelm Otto van Calker
  • 1870–1873: Heinrich Bang
  • 1873–1881: Carl Friedrich August von Albert
  • 1881–1891: Caspar Baur
  • 1891–1902: Josef Fluthgraf (1896 Oberbürgermeister)
  • 1903–1931: Ludwig Poppelbaum
  • 1931–1933: Emil Nohl
  • 1933–1945: Otto Borgers

Since 1945:
  • 1945: Jean Groos
  • 1945: Wilhelm Groos
  • 1946–1947: Anton Ebert (CDU)
  • 1947–1948: Paul Körner (CDU)
  • 1948–1952: Ewald Fournell (CDU)
  • 1952–1956: Helmut Berckel (CDU)
  • 1956–1966: Kurt Kräcker (SPD)
  • 1967–1969: Willi Nakaten (SPD)
  • 1969–1979: Günther Detert (CDU)
  • 1979–1984: Wilhelm Schneider (SPD)
  • 1984–1989: Volker Haubitz (CDU)
  • 1989–1994: Wilhelm Schneider (SPD)
  • 1994–1999: Bernhard Gründken (SPD)
  • 1999–2004: Jörn Schroh (CDU)
  • since 2004: Ulrike Westkamp (SPD)

International relations

Wesel is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Hagerstown, Maryland
Hagerstown, Maryland
Hagerstown is a city in northwestern Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Washington County, and, by many definitions, the largest city in a region known as Western Maryland. The population of Hagerstown city proper at the 2010 census was 39,662, and the population of the...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Felixstowe is a seaside town on the North Sea coast of Suffolk, England. The town gives its name to the nearby Port of Felixstowe, which is the largest container port in the United Kingdom and is owned by Hutchinson Ports UK...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Kętrzyn , is a town in northeastern Poland with 28,351 inhabitants . Situated in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship , Kętrzyn was previously in Olsztyn Voivodeship . It is the capital of Kętrzyn County...

, Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

Salzwedel of Altmarkkreis Salzwedel, and has a population of approximately 21,500. Salzwedel is located on the German Framework Road.-Geography:...

, Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is a landlocked state of Germany. Its capital is Magdeburg and it is surrounded by the German states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia.Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...


  • Wesel
    Wesel railway station
    Wesel is a railway station in Wesel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The station is located on the Arnhem-Oberhausen railway and Bocholt-Wesel railway and is served by RE and RB services operated by DB.-Train services:...

     is the main station of Wesel. There is also Wesel-Feldmark
    Wesel-Feldmark railway station
    Wesel-Feldmark is a railway station in Wesel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The station is located on the Arnhem-Oberhausen railway is served by RE and RB services operated by DB.-Train services:The following services currently call at Wesel-Feldmark:...

    , which is 2km north of the town centre.

These stations are served by services to Oberhausen
Oberhausen is a city on the river Emscher in the Ruhr Area, Germany, located between Duisburg and Essen . The city hosts the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and its Gasometer Oberhausen is an anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. It is also well known for the...

, Duisburg
- History :A legend recorded by Johannes Aventinus holds that Duisburg, was built by the eponymous Tuisto, mythical progenitor of Germans, ca. 2395 BC...

, Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

, Köln
KOLN, digital channel 10, is the CBS affiliate in Lincoln, Nebraska. It operates a satellite station, KGIN, on digital channel 11 in Grand Island. KGIN repeats all KOLN programming, but airs separate commercials...

 and Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach , formerly known as Münchengladbach, is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located west of the Rhine half way between Düsseldorf and the Dutch border....


Buildings and places of interest in Wesel

  • Berliner Tor
  • Willibrordi-Dom (Cathedral)
  • Zitadelle Wesel (Citadel)
  • Broadcasting Mast Wesel
    FM and TV-mast Wesel
    The FM and TV-mast Wesel is a 320.8 metre tall guyed steel framework radio mast of the Deutsche Telekom AG at Wesel-Büderich, Germany. FM and TV-mast Wesel was built in 1968 and is used for FM- and TV transmission....

    , one of Germany's tallest constructions

People born in Wesel

  • Jan Joest
    Jan Joest
    Jan Joest, also known as Jan Joest van Kalkar or Jan Joest van Calcar, was a Dutch painter from either Kalkar or Wesel , known for his religious paintings.- Biography :...

     (1455–1519), painter
  • Hans Lippershey
    Hans Lippershey
    Hans Lippershey , also known as Johann Lippershey or Lipperhey, was a German-Dutch lensmaker commonly associated with the invention of the telescope, although it is unclear if he was the first to build one.-Biography:...

     (1550–1619), Inventor of the telescope
    A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

  • Peregrine Bertie, 12th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (1555–1601), English diplomat and soldier
  • Peter Minuit
    Peter Minuit
    Peter Minuit, Pieter Minuit, Pierre Minuit or Peter Minnewit was a Walloon from Wesel, in present-day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, then part of the Duchy of Cleves. He was the Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Netherland from 1626 until 1633, and he founded the Swedish colony of...

     (1580–1641), Founder of New Amsterdam
    New Amsterdam
    New Amsterdam was a 17th-century Dutch colonial settlement that served as the capital of New Netherland. It later became New York City....

    , which later became New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

  • Johann Friedrich Welsch (1796–1871), painter
  • Konrad Duden
    Konrad Duden
    Konrad Alexander Friedrich Duden was a Gymnasium teacher who became a philologist. He founded the well-known German language dictionary bearing his name Duden.- Life :...

     (1829–1911), Author of the first Duden
    The Duden is a German dictionary, first published by Konrad Duden in 1880.Currently the Duden is in its 25th edition and published in 12 volumes, each covering different aspects like loan words, etymology, pronunciation, synonyms, etc...

  • Friedrich Geselschap (1835–98), painter
  • Ida Tacke (1896–1978), Discover with her husband Walter Noddack the chemical elements rhenium
    Rhenium is a chemical element with the symbol Re and atomic number 75. It is a silvery-white, heavy, third-row transition metal in group 7 of the periodic table. With an average concentration of 1 part per billion , rhenium is one of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust. The free element has...

     and technetium
    Technetium is the chemical element with atomic number 43 and symbol Tc. It is the lowest atomic number element without any stable isotopes; every form of it is radioactive. Nearly all technetium is produced synthetically and only minute amounts are found in nature...

  • Joachim von Ribbentrop
    Joachim von Ribbentrop
    Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

     (1893–1946), Foreign minister of Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

     from 1938–45
  • Marlis Jermutus (1942– ), Trans-Expressionist painter, and musician (Starseed)
  • Dieter Nuhr
    Dieter Nuhr
    Dieter Nuhr is a German comedian. From 1981 to 1989, Nuhr studied art and history at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. From 1982 to 1987 he attended the University of Duisburg-Essen, where he studied to become a teacher...

     (1960– ), Comedian
  • Martin Bambauer
    Martin Bambauer
    Martin Bambauer is a German organist and church musician.Bambauer studied church music at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf with Hans-Dieter Möller and passed his examination with distinction for improvisation . Further he studied with Daniel Roth in Frankfurt am Main and passed 2001...

     (1979– ), Church musician


  • Jutta Prieur (Hrsg.): Geschichte der Stadt Wesel: Beiträge zur Stadtgeschichte der frühen Neuzeit (= Studien und Quellen zur Geschichte von Wesel 20). Stadtarchiv, Wesel 1998, ISBN 3-924380-15-5
  • Daniel Vasta (Hrsg.): Wesel – Hansestadt am Niederrhein: Beiträge zum zeitgenössischen Geschehen (= Bilder von Menschen, Land und Leuten, Wesel 2009). Sutton Verlag, Wesel 2009, ISBN 3866805683
  • Martin W. Roelen (Hrsg.): Ecclesia Wesele: Beiträge zur Ortsnamenforschung und Kirchengeschichte (= Studien und Quellen zur Geschichte von Wesel 28). Stadtarchiv, Wesel 2005, ISBN 3-924380-23-6


One of Germany's highest radio masts
FM and TV-mast Wesel
The FM and TV-mast Wesel is a 320.8 metre tall guyed steel framework radio mast of the Deutsche Telekom AG at Wesel-Büderich, Germany. FM and TV-mast Wesel was built in 1968 and is used for FM- and TV transmission....

is situated in the district of Büderich on the left bank of the Rhine. It measures 320.08 metres.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.