Sister City Relationship Established 1985
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A major German industrial center, Krefeld is home to numerous steel, chemical, food processing, and textile plants. Its population currently stands at 238,000. Located on the west bank of the Rhine River in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, it is less than fifty miles from the border with the Netherlands and is just a few minutes drive away from the finance and service center of Düsseldorf.
Krefeld's history dates back to 69 AD, when Roman legions established the site as a military camp on one of the most critical north-south routes through the Rhineland. During the religious wars that plagued Europe throughout the late Middle Ages, Krefeld emerged as a city known for its religious tolerance. Krefeld owes its modern name to the Mennonites who came from France in the 17th century. These immigrants were recognized throughout Europe as skilled weavers of silk and velvet. On “Südwall,” a monument has been set up as a tribute to silk weavers who rolled up their products on a tree trunk before delivering them to their customers. The skill of Krefeld’s silk-weavers was so renowned that it is still reflected in the city’s official motto: “Stadt wie Samt und Seide” (City of Velvet and Silk). Even today, the vast majority of ties worn in Germany are manufactured in Krefeld. Click here
to watch a video by Deutsche Welle on Krefeld industry.
Krefeld is a beautiful mix of the historical and contemporary, blending medieval buildings and modern cultural facilities. The Catholic Dionysius Church, located in the city center, is the largest church in Krefeld and serves as a symbol of the city. The Museum Burg Linn is a restored medieval castle and hunting lodge that once served as the centerpiece of the town of Linn. Although it was eventually swallowed up by Krefeld, the original outer wall surrounding the town of Linn has been preserved.
Krefeld has many parks and wooded areas, a zoo, a horse track, golf courses, public swimming pools and two ice hockey stadiums. The Krefeld Penguins play in Germany’s premier ice hockey league. The Elfrather Water Sport Center offers many leisure activities. First created when the site was excavated to build a highway, it is now used for sports competitions – with a 7,500 foot regatta course taking center stage.
In 2009, the people of Krefeld broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest postcard. A total of 6367 photographs were compiled into a 459 square foot, 661 pound final postcard displaying the beauty of Krefeld.
Things to Do and Sights to See:
Because Krefeld is a mere 17 miles from Dusseldorf, one of Germany's largest cities, travel to the city is not difficult. While Krefeld is not particularly close to Munich or Berlin, make sure to stop by our picturesque sister city if you find yourself in the Western side of the country.
Haus Lange and Haus Esters
: These once residential houses were designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built in the late 1920s in typical Bauhaus style. Both structures exemplify the Bauhaus ideas of unity of space and subject and interaction between mind and craft. They have recently been converted into museums for contemporary art.
: The renowned Krefeld Zoo is best known for its cheetahs, maned wolves, snow leopards, tamanduas, and more. The zoo is not only commended for its diverse animal species, but also for its commitment to the protection of endangered species.
: The beautiful Linn Castle sits on the Rhine River, surrounded by a water-filled moat. Construction on the castle began in the twelfth century!
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