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Unkel seen from the left bank of the Rhine
Unkel seen from the left bank of the Rhine
Coat of arms of Unkel
Coat of arms
Unkel   is located in Germany
Coordinates: 50°36′03″N 07°12′54″E / 50.60083°N 7.21500°E / 50.60083; 7.21500Coordinates: 50°36′03″N 07°12′54″E / 50.60083°N 7.21500°E / 50.60083; 7.21500
Country Germany
State Rhineland-Palatinate
District Neuwied
Municipal assoc. Unkel
Subdivisions 3
 • Mayor Gerhard Hausen (SPD)
 • Total 8.16 km2 (3.15 sq mi)
Elevation 56 m (184 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 5,098
 • Density 620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 53572
Dialling codes 02224
Vehicle registration NR
Website www.unkel.de (in English)
Rhine in Unkel, view towards Remagen

Unkel is a municipality in the district of Neuwied, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Rhine, near Remagen, approx. 20 km southeast of Bonn.

Unkel is the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde ("collective municipality") Unkel.


Unkel is primarily Catholic. Approximately 55% of the inhabitants are Catholic and 15% Protestant. 18% of the residents do not belong to a religious denomination, 8% are Muslim.


Geographical position[edit]

The city is located at the verge of the "Naturpark Rhein-Westerwald" at the Middle Rhine Valley, the downtown is about 4 km away from the border to North Rhine-Westphalia.

Neighbor townships[edit]

Unkel abuts on (from North to South) Rheinbreitbach, Bruchhausen, Windhagen, Linz, Erpel und Remagen.

City organization[edit]

Unkel consists of the districts Unkel, Scheuren and Heister.


The most important sight is the "Freiligrathaus", which is located at the Rhine promenade. It is a baroque palace, built in 1760. Ferdinand Freiligrath lived there from 1839 until 1841.

The rich-featured Catholic parish church "St. Pantaleon" accommodates a feretory (a receptacle for the relics of saints). Additionally, most of the old city wall is well preserved.

Sister city[edit]

Famous citizens[edit]

  • Willy Brandt, former Chancellor of Germany, spent the last years of his life, from 1979 until 1992, in Unkel. Many famous politicians visited him there, like Helmut Kohl or Mikhail Gorbachev. The market place is named after him. His work room can be visited on request.
  • Konrad Adenauer, who became first Chancellor of West Germany, found refuge in Unkel during the time of national socialism.
  • Fritz Henkel, the inventor of Persil (laundry detergent) and founder of the Henkel Company, had his summer home in Unkel. He donated a fire-brigade car and a park, which was named after him.
  • Ferdinand Freiligrath, a German writer, started his literary career in Unkel. The house he lived in is now called Freiligrathhaus.
  • Stefan Andres, author of the novella 'Wir sind Utopia'.
  • Leonhard Reinirkens, a writer, is honorary citizen of Unkel.