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Eschweiler, city (1994 pop. 55,790), North Rhine-Westphalia, W Germany, near Aachen. Its manufactures include lignite, iron, steel, rubber goods, limestone, textiles, and plastics. Known in the 9th cent., Eschweiler passed to the duchy of Jülich in 1420 and to Prussia in 1815. Noteworthy structures include the Church of Saints Peter and Paul (dating partly from the 12th cent.) and a 15th-century castle.

Eschweiler (ˈɛʃvaɪlɐ) is a municipality in the district of Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany on the river Inde, near the German-Belgian-Dutch frontier, and approx. 15 km east of Aachen and 50 km west of Cologne.


  • Celtics (first ore mining) and Romans (roads and villae rusticae).
  • 828 First mentioned by Einhard, the biographer of Charlemagne.
  • 1394 Coal mining first mentioned.
  • For some centuries part of the Duchy of Jülich.
  • 1678 Completely destroyed except one house and the valuable leather Pietà.
  • 1794 To France.
  • 1800 French municipal rights and capital of the Canton of Eschweiler in the French Département de la Roer.
  • 1816 To Prussia. The French Cantons of Burtscheid and Eschweiler are put together to form the Prussian Kreis Aachen.
  • 1838 Foundation of the first joint stock company in the then Kingdom of Prussia: Eschweiler Bergwerksverein (i.e. Eschweiler Coal Mining Company) EBV.
  • 1858 Prussian municipal rights. Its quarters Hehlrath, Kinzweiler and St. Jöris are released in order to form the new municipality of Kinzweiler.
  • 1932 Hastenrath and Nothberg become a part of Eschweiler.
  • 1944 Heavily destroyed in World War II, the last coal mine was flooded during the war and never been re-opened.
  • Part of the federal land of Northrhine-Westfalia.
  • 1960s Complete modernization of Eschweiler's downtown and regulation of the Inde in order to prevent the regular inundations.
  • 1972 Reorganization of administration in Northrhine-Westfalia: Eschweiler increases overnight from some 38,000 inhabitants to about 55,000 by receiving the villages Dürwiß, Laurenzberg, Lohn and Weisweiler. Kinzweiler, after 114 years, comes back.
  • 1970s Eschweiler loses seven quarters because of the brown-coal opencast mining: Erberich, Hausen, Langendorf, Laurenzberg, Lohn, Lürken and Pützlohn.


The town is twinned with the borough of Reigate and Banstead, England.

Eschweiler has three municipal halls (Dürwiß, Kinzweiler and Weisweiler), a cinema, a municipal art collection and the so-called Culture Centre Talbahnhof for cabaret and music events. Every summer the Eschweiler Music Festival EMF takes place. People go to the numerous pubs around the Market Place and in the old-town alley Schnellengasse as well as to the large-scale discotheque Klejbor's.


Eschweiler is a center of Rhineland carnival. It has more than 20 active carnival clubs, and every Monday before Lent it has the third of Germany's longest carnival processions.

Culinary specialities

  • Sauerbraten
  • Potato fritters (Reibekuchen) with black bread, apple syrup, sugar beet syrup or stewed apples
  • Blood sausage (Blutwurst) crude or fried
  • Hemmel on Äed (i.e. Heaven and Earth) mashed potatoes with stewed apples and fried blood pudding
  • Rice pies, apricot pies, pear pies ("Schwatze Flaam") - 20 cm in diameter; the pear pies, also called black pies, are traditionally served at funerals
  • Horse and horse by-products

Twin towns

Medical care

In Eschweiler, there is the St. Antonius Hospital with 443 beds and 13 departments. Every year, there are some 15.000 in-patients and 25.000 out-patients. The Euregio Breast Centre is part of the hospital.


Soccer, ice hockey, golf, open-air swimming pool, indoor swimming pool, horse sports.

Notable places

Artificial lake Blausteinsee (i.e. Blue Stone Lake), the Old Townhall (which is now the restaurant and conference wing of the Best Western 4 star hotel Hotel de Ville), two pilgrim churches, main parish church St. Peter und Paul with the Leather Pietà from 1360, the chapel and a dwelling house of the former Cistercians nunnery of St. Jöris, skull relic in St. Jöris' church, baroque altar in Hehlrath's church, the Old Mill of Gressenich and many castles and manors:

  • Castle of Eschweiler (only three towers from the 13th century are left)
  • Castle of Kambach (beautiful water castle besides the golf course)
  • Castle of Kinzweiler
  • Castle of Nothberg
  • Castle of Palant
  • Castle of Röthgen
  • Castle of Weisweiler (only the towers and the outer walls are left)
  • Manor of Broich
  • Manor of Drimborn
  • Manor of Nothberg


Chemical and metall industries, logistics and a brown-coal power plant.


The lignite (brown coal) deposits in the region are former Miocene swamp forest dominated by Castanopsis , a type of chinkapin. Such plants do not occur naturally in Europe today. A type of fossil wood has been described from logs found in Eschweiler mines. It was named Castanoxylon eschweilerense in reference to the town; the name would translate as "Eschweiler chinkapin wood", as it probably belonged to Castanopsis but perhaps to some other genus of chinkapin.


  • Eschweiler has six railway stations: Eschweiler Hbf (central station), Eschweiler-Aue (from 2009), Eschweiler-West, Eschweiler-Talbahnhof, Eschweiler-Nothberg, Eschweiler-Weisweiler and Nothberg (till 2009). Eschweiler-St. Jöris is planned.
  • Eschweiler has two bus terminals and bus lines in every quarter and in its whole vicinity.
  • Eschweiler has three autobahn exits on the A 4: Eschweiler-West, Eschweiler-Ost and Weisweiler. It can be reached also by three exits on the A 44: Aldenhoven, Alsdorf and Broichweiden.

Notable persons


External links

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