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Town hall
Town hall
Coat of arms of Neuss
Coat of arms
Neuss  is located in Germany
Coordinates: 51°12′N 6°42′E / 51.200°N 6.700°E / 51.200; 6.700Coordinates: 51°12′N 6°42′E / 51.200°N 6.700°E / 51.200; 6.700
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Düsseldorf
District Rhein-Kreis Neuss
 • Mayor de:Reiner Breuer (SPD)
 • Total 99.48 km2 (38.41 sq mi)
Elevation 30 - 67 m (−190 ft)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
 • Total 155,414
 • Density 1,600/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 41460-41472
Dialling codes 02131, 02137 (Norf), 02182
Vehicle registration NE

Neuss (German pronunciation: [ˈnɔʏs]; spelled Neuß until 1968; Limburgish: Nüss; Latin: Novaesium) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the west bank of the Rhine opposing Düsseldorf. Neuss is the largest city within the Rhein-Kreis Neuss district. It is primarily known for its historic Roman sites, as well as the annual Neusser Bürger-Schützenfest. In 1984 Neuss celebrated 2000 years since its foundation. It therefore holds the title of "Germany's oldest city" alongside the city of Trier.


Rheinbahn tram in downtown Neuss.
Saint Sebastianus church in the city of Neuss

Ancient Rome[edit]

Neuss was founded by the Romans in 16 BC as a military fortification (castrum) with the current city to the north of the castrum, at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Erft, with the name of Novaesium.

Legio XVI Gallica ("Gallic 16th Legion") of the Roman army was stationed here in 43-70 AD. It was disbanded after surrendering during the Batavian rebellion (AD 70).[2]

Later a civil settlement was founded in the area of today's centre of the town during the 1st century AD. Novaesium, together with Trier (Augusta Treverorum), is one of the three oldest Roman settlements in Germany.

Middle Ages[edit]

Neuss grew during the Middle Ages because of its prime location on several routes, by the crossing of the great Rhine valley, and with its harbour and ferry. During the 10th century, the remains of the martyr and tribune Saint Quirinus, not to be confused with the Roman god Quirinus, had been relocated to Neuss. This resulted in pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Quirinus even from countries beyond the borders of the Holy Roman Empire. Neuss was first documented as a town in 1138.

One of the main events in the town's history is the siege of the town in 1474–75 by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, that lasted for nearly a year. The citizens of Neuss withstood the siege and were therefore rewarded by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. The town was granted the right to mint its own coins and to carry the imperial coat of arms, the imperial eagle and the crown, in the town's own coat of arms. Neuss became a member of the Hanseatic League, although it was never accepted by the other members of the League.

Early Modernity[edit]

In 1586, more than two-thirds of the city was destroyed by fire, and several wars during the reign of King Louis XIV of France resulted in worsening finances for Neuss. Its importance as a place for trading declined rapidly, and from the mid-17th century onwards, Neuss became a place only important for its agriculture.

Until the late 18th century, Neuss belonged to the Electorate of Cologne. From 1794 to 1814, Neuss was part of France during the reign of Napoleon. In 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, Neuss became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, and was reorganized as a district with the municipalities of Neuss, Dormagen, Nettesheim, Nievenheim, Rommerskirchen and Zons. The town had a population of 6,333 at that time. It was part of the Prussian Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg (1815–22) and its successor, the Rhine Province (1822–1946).

19th century - present[edit]

Neuss regained its economic power in the 19th century, with expansion of the harbour in 1835, and increasing industrial activity. The city's boundaries were expanded in 1881. Neuss became part of the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1946.

In 1968 the spelling of the name was changed from Neuß to Neuss. In 1975 the town of Neuss and the district of Grevenbroich were joined to form the district of Rhein-Kreis Neuss with a population of 440,000 and its seat of government in Neuss. Neuss is also home to Toshiba's European headquarters.

Largest groups of foreign residents[3]
Nationality Population (2013)
 Turkey 5,864
 Greece 1,429
 Poland 1,218
 Portugal 1,125
 Serbia & Montenegro 1,016
 Italy 909

Mayors and Lord Mayors since 1849[edit]

  • 1849-1851: Heinrich Thywissen, Mayor (Bürgermeister)
  • 1851-1858: Michael Frings, Mayor
  • 1858-1882: Johann Joseph Ridder, Mayor
  • 1882-1889: Carl Wenders, Mayor
  • 1890-1902: Engelbert Tilmann, Mayor
  • 1902-1921: Franz Gielen, Lord Mayor
  • 1921-1930: Heinrich Hüpper, Lord Mayor
  • 1930-1934: Wilhelm Henrichs, Centre Party (Germany), Lord Mayor (Oberbürgermeister)
  • 1934-1938: Wilhelm Eberhard Gelberg, NSDAP, Lord Mayor
  • 1938-1945: Wilhelm Tödtmann, NSDAP, Lord Mayor
  • 1945-1946: Josef Nagel, Lord Mayor
  • 1946: Josef Schmitz, Lord Mayor
  • 1946-1961: Alfons Frings, CDU, Lord Mayor
  • 1961-1967: Peter Wilhelm Kallen, Lord Mayor
  • 1967-1982: Herbert Karrenberg, CDU, Lord Mayor
  • 1982-1987: Hermann Wilhelm Thywissen, CDU, Lord Mayor
  • 1987-1998: Bertold Mathias Reinartz, CDU, Mayor
  • 1998-2015: Herbert Napp, CDU, Mayor
  • Since 2015:Reiner Breuer, SPD, Mayor

Number of inhabitants[edit]

  • 1798: 4.423
  • 1831: 7.888
  • 1861: 10.300
  • 1885: 20.074
  • 1900: 28.472
  • 1925: 44.958
  • 1945: 51.624
  • 1965: 111.104
  • 1987: 142.178
  • 2015: 159.672


One sports club is Neusser Schlittschuh-Klub. Their sections are figure skating, ice stock sport and, as the only club in Germany, bandy. With the lack of a large ice surface, the variety rink bandy is practiced.[4] And there is also a football club in the city of Neuss, the VfR Neuss Football Club. There is also a fieldhockey club, HTC Schwarz-Weiss Neuss, and TC Blau-Weiss Neuss, a famous tennis club where Nadal began his career. And an American Football Club, the Neuss Frogs. Besides Neuss owns an all-weather racecourse called "Galopprennbahn Neuss".

Points of interest[edit]

  • Botanischer Garten der Stadt Neuss, the city's botanical garden
  • Saint Quirinus Minster: a 13th-century late romanesque church, dedicated to the city's patron saint and housing a shrine with his relics. Its dome-shaped eastern tower is one of the city's landmarks. In 2009 it was granted the title of minor basilica.[citation needed]
  • Obertor (Upper Gate): southern city gate, built c.1200; today part of the Clemens-Sels-Museum. It is the only remaining of originally six gates that were part of the medieval town fortification.
  • Blutturm (Bloody Tower): built in the 13th century, the only remaining round tower of the historic town fortification.
  • Zum "Schwatte Päd" (The Black Horse): the oldest public house in the Lower Rhine region, established 1604
  • Saint Sebastianus Church
  • Saint Maria Church:
  • Christuskirche (Christ church): historicistic church, the city's oldest Protestant church
  • Globe Theater, a replica of the London Globe Theatre, with an annual Shakespeare festival
  • Hamtor/the Hamgate
  • Neusser Bürger-Schützenfest: one of Germany's largest marksmen's festivals, taking place annually on the last weekend in August; roundabout 7000 marksmen take part in the traditional parades.

Notable people[edit]

Theodor Schwann 1857




  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 18 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Matthew Bunson (1 January 2009). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. Infobase Publishing. pp. 313–. ISBN 978-1-4381-1027-1. 
  3. ^ "Die ausländischen Mitbürger in der Stadt Neuss am 0 1.01.2013" (PDF). Stadt Neuss. Retrieved 2014-10-26. 
  4. ^ Neusser Schlittschuh-Klub official home page

External links[edit]