Place:Cleves, Cleves, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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NameCleves
Alt namesKleefsource: Wikipedia
Klevesource: Wikipedia
TypeTown
Coordinates51.783°N 6.183°E
Located inCleves, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Kleve (English: Cleves; ; ; ) is a town in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany near the Dutch border and the river Rhine. From the 11th century onwards, Cleves was capital of a county and later a duchy. Today, Cleves is the capital of the district of Cleves in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The city is home to one of the campuses of the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The name Kleff probably derives from Middle Dutch clef, clif ‘cliff, bluff’, referring to the promontory on which the Schwanenburg castle was constructed. Since the city's coat of arms displays three clovers (German Klee, Low German Kliev), the city's name is sometimes linked by folk etymology to the clover, but the corresponding Dutch word is klever. Notably, Kleve was spelled with a C throughout its history until spelling reforms introduced in the 1930s required that the name be spelled with a K. In 2008, the CDU announced its intention to return the name to its original spelling.

The Schwanenburg Castle, where the dukes of Cleves resided, was founded on a steep hill. It is located at the northern terminus of the Kermisdahl where it joins with the Spoykanal, which was previously an important transportation link to the Rhine. The old castle has a massive tower, the Schwanenturm high, that is associated in legend with the Knight of the Swan, immortalized in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin.

Medieval Kleve grew together from four parts — the Schwanenburg Castle, the village below the castle, the first city of Kleve on Heideberg Hill, and the Neustadt ("New City"), dating from the 14th century. In 1242 Kleve received city rights. The Duchy of Cleves, which roughly covered today's districts of Kleve, Wesel and Duisburg, was united with the Duchy of Mark in 1368, was made a duchy itself in 1417, then united with the neighboring duchies of Jülich and Berg in 1521, when John III, Duke of Cleves, married Mary, heiress of Jülich-Berg-Ravenburg.

Kleve's most famous native is Anne of Cleves (1515–1557), daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and (briefly) wife of Henry VIII of England. Several local businesses are named after her, including the Anne von Kleve Galerie.

The ducal dynasty became extinct in the male line in 1609, leading to a succession crisis in the duchies. After the Thirty Years' War ended in 1648, the succession dispute was resolved with Cleves passing to the elector of Brandenburg, thus becoming an exclave of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, later Brandenburg-Prussia.

During the Thirty Years' War the city had been under the control of the Dutch Republic, which in 1647 had given Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen administrative control over the city. He approved a renovation of Schwanenburg Castle in the baroque style and commissioned the construction of extensive gardens that greatly influenced European landscape design. Significant amounts of his original plan for Kleve were put into effect and have been maintained to the present, a particularly well-loved example of which is the Forstgarten (Forest Garden).

The mineral waters of Kleve and the wooded parkland surrounding it made it a fashionable spa in the 19th century. At this time, Kleve was named "Bad Cleve" (English: Spa of Cleves).

During World War II Kleve was the site of one of the two radio wave stations that served the Knickebein aircraft navigation system. Luftwaffe bombers used radio beams from Kleve and a second station at Stolberg to navigate to British targets. The Knickebein system was eventually jammed by the British. It was replaced by the higher frequency X-Gerat system, which used transmitter stations located on the channel coast of France.

Kleve was heavily bombed during the Second World War, and over 90 percent of buildings in the city were severely damaged. Most of the destruction was the result of a raid late in the war in 1945, conducted at the request of Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks in preparation for Operation Veritable. Horrocks recounted his decision in the 1973 television documentary The World at War:

"Then they came to me and they said, “Do you want Cleves taken out?” By "taken out" they meant the whole of the heavy bombers putting on to Cleves. Now, I knew that Cleves was a very fine old historical German town. Anne of Cleves, one of Henry VIII’s wives, came from there. I knew that there were a lot of civilians in Cleves, men, women and children. If I said no, they would live. If I said yes, they would die. A terrible decision you’ve got to take. But everything depended on getting a high piece of ground at Materborn. The German reserves would have to come through Cleves, and we would have to breach the Siegfried Line and get there. And your own lives, your own troops, must come first, so I said yes, I did want it taking out. But when all those bombers went over, the night just before zero hour, to take out Cleves, I felt a murderer. And after the war I had an awful lot of nightmares, and it was always Cleves."

Horrocks later said that this had been "the most terrible decision I had ever taken in my life" and that he felt "physically sick" when he saw the bombers overhead.

As a result of the bombing, relatively little of the pre-1945 city remains. Those structures spared include a number of historic villas built during the heyday of the spa Bad Kleves, located along the B9 near the Tiergarten. Of those buildings destroyed, many were reconstructed, including most of the Schwanenburg and the Stiftskirche, the Catholic parish church. Constructed on high ground, many of these landmarks can be seen from the surrounding communities.

Since 1953 there has been a broadcasting facility for FM radio and television from regional broadcaster WDR near Kleve. The current aerial mast was brought into service in 1993. The steel tube mast rises 126.4 metres high and has a diameter of 1.6 metres. It is stabilized by guy wires attached at 57 and 101.6 metres height.

After the Second World War important employers in the area were associated with the West German "Economic Miracle" (Wirtschaftswunder), and included the XOX Bisquitfabrik (XOX Biscuit Factory) GmbH and the Van den Berg'schen Margerinewerke (margarine plant), that manufactured biscuits and margarine. Another important employer was the Elefanten-Kinderschuhfabrik (Elefant Children's Shoes Factory).

Retail became an increasingly important industry, particularly after the institution of the euro in 2002. Dutch citizens often crossed the open border to patronize Kleves retailers, and much of the euros spent on shopping in Kleve came from the Netherlands. Lower costs of real estate have attracted a wave of Dutch citizens, who purchased houses in the area.

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Kleve. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.