The castleGloworp was first mentioned in the 12th century. The town itself was first documented in 1219, naming the mayor Waltherus de Aken. In 1270 Aken received its town charter as Civitas. The name Aken is based on the Latin name Aqua (location at or near the water). Probably this was a foundation from lower rhenish settlers from Aachen which is spelled Aken in the Dutch language.