Grefrath

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Grefrath
Coat of arms of Grefrath
Coat of arms
Grefrath is located in Germany
Grefrath
Grefrath
Coordinates: 51°20′N 6°20′E / 51.333°N 6.333°E / 51.333; 6.333Coordinates: 51°20′N 6°20′E / 51.333°N 6.333°E / 51.333; 6.333
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Düsseldorf
District Viersen
Subdivisions 4
Government
 • Mayor Manfred Lommetz (Ind.)
Area
 • Total 30.98 km2 (11.96 sq mi)
Elevation 32 m (105 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 14,863
 • Density 480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 47929
Dialling codes 0 21 58
Vehicle registration VIE
Website www.grefrath.de

Grefrath (German pronunciation: [ˈɡʁeːfʁaːt]) is a municipality in the district of Viersen, in the western part of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. (It should not be confused with the village of Grefrath which lies just to the south of Neuss on the Rhine River.)

It is situated in the Lower Rhineland region (German: Niederhein), which is located between the river Rhine and the borderline between Germany and the Netherlands.

The river Niers crosses through the municipality from the south to the north. The villages of Grefrath and Vinkrath are located on the westerly bank of the small river, whereas Oedt and Mülhausen are situated on the easterly bank.

Towns and municipalities adjoining Grefrath are (clockwise, beginning in the north):

The nearest bigger cities are Mönchengladbach (15 km to the south-south-east), Krefeld (15 km to the east) and Venlo (15 km to the west).

History[edit]

The town of Grefrath was first mentioned in 1177, at that time bearing the name of Greverode. This stands for "The Earls' Clearing" (German: Rodung der Grafen). .[2]

In 1243 Grefrath was acquired by the county of Geldern (since 1339: duchy of Geldern) to which it belonged for the next centuries. In 1543 the duchy of Geldern was given to the Burgundian Netherlands, also called the Spanish Netherlands after the division of the House of Habsburg.

During the Eighty Years' War, in which the Seventeen Provinces (predecessor of today's Netherlands) fought for their independence from Spain, Grefrath continued to belong to Spain along with the southerly part of the duchy of Geldern. Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the Spanish part of the duchy of Geldern was added to Prussia.

In the course of the French Revolutionary Wars, Grefrath was occupied by the French in 1794. It became an official part of the French territory in 1801, belonging to the Département Roer. After the defeat of Napoleonic France, the left Lower Rhineland region was returned to Prussia as a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and Grefrath was assigned to what later became the Kempen District (Kreis Kempen).

Over a century later, when the country of Prussia was finally dissolved, Grefrath became a part of the newly created German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1970, the municipalities of Grefrath (including the villages of Grefrath and Vinkrath) and Oedt (including the villages of Oedt and Mülhausen) were united.

The United States Army's 507th U.S. Army Artillery Detachment was activated in 1970 and was assigned to the 5th U.S. Army Artillery Group. This group consisted of four teams, Alpha Team was headquartered in Grefrath, Germany. These teams were responsible for the security and maintenance of the Nike Hercules missile and was the only nuclear-armed surface-to-air weapon operational with the U.S. Army.

507th Arty Det TEAM LOCATION UNIT SUPPORTED COMMENTS
HQ Grefrath 9th Missile Wing The 9 Missile Wing was a Dutch-speaking Wing with Flemish personnel
A Team Grefrath 56th Squadron
B Team Kaster 53rd Squadron
C Team Kapellen 55th Squadron
D Team Xanten 54th Squadron
E Team Fort Bliss, TX Never deployed to Germany

Sons and daughters of Grefrath[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 31 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Grefrath: Das Inzell vom Niederrhein | RP ONLINE