Wesel (ˈveːzəl) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the capital of the Wesel district.
Wesel is situated at the point where the Lippe River
empties into the Rhine
Division of the town
Suburbs of Wesel include Lackhausen, Obrighoven, Ginderich, Büderich, Flüren and Blumenkamp.
The city originates from a Franconian
manor that was first mentioned in the 8th century.
In the 12th century, Wesel came into the possession of the Duke of Cleves. The city was given extensive privileges and became a member of the Hanseatic League
during the 15th century. Within the Duchy of Cleves
, Wesel was second only to Cologne
in the lower Rhine region as an entrepôt
. It was an important commercial centre: a clearing station for the transshipment
and trading of goods.
Wesel was inherited by the Hohenzollerns of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1609. Friedrich Wilhelm von Dossow was the Prussian Governor of Wesel during the 18th century. The city became part of the Prussian Rhine Province after the Napoleonic Wars.
During World War II, Wesel became a target of the Allies particularly in its capacity as a strategic depot. On the 16, 17 and 19 February 1945, the town was attacked with impact and air-burst weapons and almost entirely destroyed. The Rhine and Lippe bridges were blown by the Wehrmacht; among others, on 10 March, the 1,950m long railway bridge, the last Rhine bridge remaining in German hands. On 23 March, Wesel came under the fire of over 3,000 guns when it was bombarded anew, in preparation for Operation Plunder. 97% of the town was destroyed before it was finally taken by Allied troops and the population had fallen from almost 25,000 in 1939 to 1,900 in May 1945..
Wesel became part of the new state North Rhine-Westphalia in 1946 after the war.
- 1808–1814: Johann Hermann Westermann
- 1814–1840: Christian Adolphi
- 1841–1862: Franz Luck
- 1863–1870: Wilhelm Otto van Calker
- 1870–1881: 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
- 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)
Buildings and places of interest in Wesel
- Berliner Tor
- Willibrordi-Dom (Cathedral)
- Zitadelle Wesel (Citadel)
- Broadcasting Mast Wesel, one of Germany's tallest constructions
People born in Wesel
- Jan Joest (1455–1519), painter
- Hans Lipperhey (1550–1619), Inventor of the telescope
- Peregrine Bertie, 12th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (1555–1601), English diplomat and soldier
- Peter Minuit (1580–1641), Founder of New Amsterdam, which later became New York City
- Johann Friedrich Welsch (1796–1871), painter
- Konrad Duden (1829–1911), Author of the first Duden
- Friedrich Geselschap (1835–98), painter
- Ida Tacke (1896–1978), Discover with her husband Walter Noddack the chemical elements rhenium and technetium
- Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893–1946), Foreign minister of Nazi Germany from 1938–45
- Dieter Nuhr (1960– ), Comedian
- Martin Bambauer (1979– ), Church musician
- Malek Osmane (1979– ), Tech Services Scientist
One of Germany's highest radio masts
is situated in the district of Büderich
on the left bank of the Rhine. It measures 320.08 metres.