Rees, Germany

For other uses, see Rees (disambiguation).

Coat of arms

Coordinates: 51°46′0″N 6°24′0″E / 51.76667°N 6.40000°E / 51.76667; 6.40000Coordinates: 51°46′0″N 6°24′0″E / 51.76667°N 6.40000°E / 51.76667; 6.40000
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Düsseldorf
District Kleve
  Mayor Christoph Gerwers (CDU)
  Total 109.66 km2 (42.34 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 21,349
  Density 190/km2 (500/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 46459
Dialling codes 0 28 51
0 28 50 (Haldern)
0 28 57 (Mehr / Haffen)
Vehicle registration KLE

Rees is a town in the district of Cleves in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the right bank of the Rhine, approx. 20 km east of Cleves. Population (2005): 22,559. Founded in 1228, Rees is the oldest town in the lower Rhine area.

Organization and neighbouring municipalities

Rees is administratively organized in eight communities:

The neighbouring municipalities are Oude IJsselstreek (province of Gelderland, NL) and Isselburg (district of Borken) in the North, Hamminkeln and Wesel in the East, Xanten in the South (all district of Wesel), and Kalkar and Emmerich in the West.


The origin of the town is a Frankish settlement established between 500-800 AD. The name Rees most probably goes back to the Franconian term "Rys", which means "willow grove".

The Lower Rhine area was Christianized by the Irish missionary Willibrord between 657-739. Around 1000 the nearby monastery of Aspel was first mentioned.

On 14 July 1228 Rees was granted municipal rights by Heinrich I von Müllenark, Archbishop of Cologne. At that time it had about 600 inhabitants. In 1289/90 the works on a fortified city wall began, which was completed in 1350. In 1392 Rees and the monastery of Aspel became parts of the County of Cleves.

During the Eighty Years War, the town was captured by Spanish troops in 1598. After the death of the last duke of Cleves in 1609 the town belonged to the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Between 1616 and 1625 Rees was occupied by Dutch troops who transformed the town into a huge fortress. In 1701 Rees became a part of the Kingdom of Prussia.

In 1816 Rees became capital of the newly founded Rees District within Regierungsbezirk Kleve. The railway line from Oberhausento Arnhem was inaugurated in 1856 and a railway station was built near Rees. At the beginning of the 20th century Rees had 4.096 inhabitants of whom 330 were Protestants and 52 were Jews.[2]

During the Nazi period, many Jewish inhabitants were deported. Today the only reminders on Jewish culture in Rees are two historic Jewish cemeteries. The city was almost completely destroyed by an Allied air raid on February 16, 1945 during World War II. It became part of North Rhine-Westphalia after the war.

The Rhine bridge of Rees was completed in 1967.

Culture, Tourism and Points of Interest

Mühlenturm tower of the medieval city wall
Sculpture Park
War memorial Bastei

Traffic connections


The train station Empel-Rees, located about 4 km from the city center, is connected northbound to Emmerich and southbound to Wesel-Oberhausen-Duisburg-Düsseldorf-Cologne-Bonn-Koblenz. From the station, there is a bus line downtown. There stations in Millingen and Haldern as well.

Major roads

Rees has major road access to the Autobahn A3 and the federal roads B8 (North-South) and B67 (East-West).

Inland waterways

For pedestrians and bicyclists, transfer across the Rhine is provided by two ferries from Easter holidays through October.

Nearest airports

Distance to Düsseldorf International Airport: ca. 75 km

Distance to Airport Weeze (low cost carriers only): ca. 35 km

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rees.


  1. "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 18 July 2016.
  2. Wilhelm Keil: Neumanns Orts- und Verkehrslexikon, vol. 2, p. 875. Leipzig 1905
  3. Wilhelm Voss-Gerling: Nordrhein-Westfalen, p. 60. München 1983
  4. Dr. Erdmann Werner Böhme: Der Rhein von Mainz bis Emmerich, p. 81. München 1972
  5. Wilhelm Voss-Gerling: Niederrhein und Ruhrgebiet, p. 39. München 1986
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