Main Births etc
City Hall
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Düsseldorf
District urban district
First mentioned
 • Lord Mayor Gregor Kathstede (CDU)
 • Total 137.68 km2 (53.16 sq mi)
Elevation 39 m (128 ft)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 • Total 235,076
 • Density 1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 47701-47839
Dialling codes 02151
Vehicle registration KR

Castle Linn at Night

Krefeld (German pronunciation: [ˈkʁeːfɛlt]), also known as Crefeld until 1929, is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located northwest of Düsseldorf, its centre lying just a few kilometres to the west of the River Rhine; the borough of Uerdingen is situated directly on the Rhine. Krefeld is accessed by the autobahns A57 (CologneNijmegen) and the A44 (AachenDüsseldorfDortmundKassel).

Krefeld is also called the "Velvet and Silk City".

Krefeld's residents speak Hochdeutsch, the standard German taught to all people in Germany. However, the native dialect is a Low German variety, sometimes locally called Krefelder Plattdeutsch, Krieewelsch Platt, Plattdeutsch, or sometimes simply Platt. The Uerdingen line isogloss, separating general dialectical areas in Germany and neighbouring Germanic-speaking countries, runs through and is named after Krefeld's Uerdingen district, originally an independent municipality. The city is also home to a production line for the iconic Class 380 Rail car for export to the UK market.[2]


The origins of the town were in Roman times, when the legions founded the military camp of Gelduba (today the borough of Gellep). Krefeld itself was first mentioned in 1105 under the name of Krinvelde. Uerdingen was originally an independent town east of Krefeld, founded in 1255. In medieval times it was larger and more important than Krefeld.

The growth of the town began in the 17th century, when Krefeld was one of few towns spared the horrors of the Thirty Years' War. Because the town was quickly overpopulated in 1683 a group of thirteen families (Quakers and Mennonites) left Krefeld, crossed the Atlantic on the ship, Concord,[3] and founded the settlement of Germantown (now incorporated in Philadelphia), thus beginning the Pennsylvania German ethnic identity. The town of Uerdingen was less fortunate; it was completely destroyed in the Thirty Years' War by troops from Hesse and almost ceased to exist.

After the 1702 death of William III of Orange, Krefeld passed to the Kingdom of Prussia. The Battle of Krefeld occurred nearby in 1758 during the Seven Years' War. Krefeld and Uerdingen were included within the Prussian Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg in 1815 (after 1822 the Rhine Province). In 1872 Krefeld became an independent city within Rhenish Prussia. During part of 1918 it was the base of the Belgian Army during the occupation of the Rhineland in the First World War. In 1929 Krefeld and Uerdingen merged to form Krefeld-Uerdingen; in 1940 the name was shortened to simply Krefeld. The town became part of the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia after World War II.

Points of interest[]

  • Castle of Linn
  • Botanischer Garten Krefeld, a municipal botanical garden
  • Lange and Esters Houses, neighbouring houses by early Mies van der Rohe, now serving as local contemporary art museum venues[4]
  • Zoo Krefeld


There are a number of districts in Krefeld. Each has a municipal representative, with representatives chosen by local elections. The districts are:

  • Benrad-Nord
  • Benrad-Süd
  • Bockum, pop: about 21.903, elevation: 35 m, postal code: 47800 (old: 4150 Krefeld 1)
  • Cracau
  • Dießem/Lehmheide
  • Fischeln
    • Königshof, part of Fischeln
  • Forstwald
  • Gartenstadt
  • Gellep-Stratum
  • Hüls
  • Hülser Berg
  • Inrath/Kliedbruch
  • Kempener Feld/Baackeshof
  • Linn
Linn, with its own history reaching to between 1090 and 1120, was situated on the banks of the Rhine. In Linn, there is a park built around a Wasserburg, a castle built at the water's edge, and with a water-filled moat. The Burg Linn, as the castle is known, has been preserved for the city's residents as a park and museum.[5]
  • Oppum
  • Stadtmitte
  • Traar, pop: about 5,000, postal code: 47802
  • Uerdingen, pop: about 18,507, elevation: 31 m, postal code: 47829
  • Verberg


Cities and places that were incorporated into Krefeld:

  • 1901: Linn (Stadtrecht since 1314)
  • 1907: Bockum, Verberg und Oppum (all mayoralty Bockum)
  • 1929:
    • Krefeld became an independent city
    • Uerdingen, Krefeld (received municipal law in 1255/1344, added Hohenbudberg in today's Duisburg district Friemersheim)
    • Fischeln, Krefeld district
    • Traar, Krefeld district
    • Gellep and Stratum (in Lank), Krefeld district
    • Forstwald (Vorst), Krefeld district
    • Benrad und Hülserberg (Hüls), Kempen
  • 1975: Locality of Hüls from Kempen (since 1970 integrated and belonged since 1929 to the Kempen-Krefeld district; in 1936 Orbroich had been independent)

Historical population of Krefeld[]

Year Population
1604 350
1722 1,499
1787 7,896
1830 18,511
1871 57,105
1875 ¹ 62,905
1880 73,872
1 December 1890 ¹ 105,376
2 December 1895 ¹ 107,245
1 December 1900 ¹ 106,928
1 December 1905 ¹ 110,344
1 December 1910 ¹ 129,406
8 October 1919 ¹ 124,325
Year Population
16 June 1925 ¹ 131,098
16 June 1933 ¹ 165,305
17 May 1939 ¹ 170,968
13 September 1950 ¹ 171,875
6 June 1961 ¹ 213,104
31 December 1970 222,700
30 June 1975 230,500
30 June 1980 223,400
30 June 1985 217,000
1 January 1989 235,423
30 June 1997 246,800
31 December 2003 238,565
31 December 2007 240,548

¹ Census data

Mayors of Krefeld from 1848[]

  • 1848–1872: Ludwig Heinrich Ondereyck
  • 1872–1881: Friedrich Christian Roos
  • 1882–1903: Ernst Küper
  • 1903–1905: Wilhelm Hammerschmidt
  • 1905–1911: Adalbert Oehler
  • 1911–1930: Johannes Johansen
  • 1945–1946: Johannes Stepkes
  • 1946–1947: Wilhelm Warsch
  • 1947–1949: Hermann Passen
  • 1949–1951: Hanns Müller (FDP)
  • 1951–1956: Johannes Hauser (CDU)
  • 1956–1961: Josef Hellenbrock (SPD)
  • 1961–1968: Herbert van Hüllen (CDU)
  • 1968–1982: Hansheinz Hauser (CDU)
  • 1982–1989: Dieter Pützhofen, first term in office (CDU)
  • 1989–1994: Willi Wahl (SPD)
  • 1994–2004: Dieter Pützhofen, second term in office (CDU)
  • 2004–present: Gregor Kathstede (CDU)

City counsellors 1946 until 1999[]

  • 1946–1949: Johan Stepkes
  • 1949–1964: Bernhard Heun
  • 1964–1986: Hermann Steffens
  • 1986–1988: Alfred Dahlmann
  • 1988–1999: Heinz-Josef Vogt


Bundesautobahn 44 towards Düsseldorf

Krefeld is connected to the Deutsche Bahn network with several stations, including its main station, Krefeld Hauptbahnhof. They are served only by Regional-Express and Regionalbahn trains. The Düsseldorf-based Rheinbahn operates a Stadtbahn service to the centrally located Rheinstraße stop. This line was the first electric inter-city rail line in Europe, established in 1898, and commonly called the K-Bahn because of the letter "K" used to denote the trains to Krefeld. Nowadays, in the VRR notation, it is called U76, with the morning express trains numbered as U70, the line number there coloured red instead of the usual blue used for U-Bahn lines. The term K-Bahn, however, prevails in common usage.

The city of Krefeld itself operates four tramway and several bus lines under the umbrella of SWK Mobil, a city-owned company. Since 2010 19 of the oldest trams of the type DUEWAG GT8 were replaced by modern barrier-free trams of the type Bombardier Flexity Outlook. SWK Mobil owns an option to buy another 19 trams of the same type to replace the last 19 DUEWAG M8 trams. The whole tram-fleet will then be barrier-free. Next to that the city plans to extend the line 044 in Krefeld-Hüls to connect the northern district of Hüls with the Krefeld downtown area in.


The headquarters of Fressnapf, a pet food retailer franchise company, are situated in Krefeld.

International Relations[]

Since 1964,[6] the city has hosted an "honors program in foreign language (German) studies" for high school students from Indiana, United States. The program annually places approximately thirty carefully selected high school juniors with families in and around Krefeld for intensive German language training.[7] Since 1973, the fire services of Krefeld and twin city Leicester have played each other in an annual 'friendly' football match.[8]

Twin towns – Sister cities[]

Krefeld is twinned with:

Country City County / District / Region / State Date
Netherlands Netherlands Coat of arms of Venlo.svg Venlo NL-LimburgVlag.svg Limburg 1964
England England File:ArmsLeicesterCityCouncil.png Leicester County Flag of Leicestershire.png Leicestershire 1969
France France File:Blason ville fr Dunkerque (Nord).svg Dunkirk Blason Nord-Pas-De-Calais.svg Nord 1974
Netherlands Netherlands Leiden flag.svg Leiden Flag Zuid-Holland.svg South Holland 1974
United States United States Charlotteflag.png Charlotte Flag of North Carolina.svg North Carolina 1986
Germany Germany Wappen Beeskow.png Beeskow Flag of Brandenburg.svg Brandenburg 1990
Russia Russia Flag of Ulyanovsk.svg Ulyanovsk Flag of Ulyanovsk Oblast.png Ulyanovsk Oblast 1993
Turkey Turkey Kayseri Kayseri Province 2009

Notable natives[]


  • Rudi Dornbusch (1 December, 8 June 1942 – 25 July 2002), economist
  • Max Zorn (6 June 1906 – 9 March 1993 in Bloomington, Indiana), mathematician
  • Leopold Löwenheim, logician

Writers, poets and journalists:

  • Bernhard Hennen (born in 1966) is a German best-seller writer of fantasy literature
  • Kurt Feltz (14 April 1910 – 3 August 1982 in Majorca) – poet
  • Werner Ross (1912 in Uerdingen – 2002), German writer
  • Otto Brües (1 May 1897 – 18 April 1967) – journalist
  • Margarethe Schreinemakers (1958), a journalist


  • Silent Force, prog/classical "epic" rock band
  • Blind Guardian, popular German heavy metal band
  • Everon, German progressive metal
  • Ralf Hütter (20 August 1946), Lead Singer of Electronic Music Pioneers Kraftwerk
  • Aquagen, popular German trance and techno artists
  • Heinrich Band (1821–1860)
  • Andrea Berg, popular German singer
  • Cosmic Gate, popular German trance duo


  • Joseph Beuys (12 May 1921 – 1986), artist
  • Heinrich Campendonk (3 November 1889 – 9 May 1957 in Amsterdam)
  • Albert Oehlen, artist
  • Markus Oehlen, artist
  • Marc Margielsky, artist


  • Felix Kracht (1912–2002), aerospace engineer, an Airbus pioneer and former Senior Vice President
  • Werner Voss (13 April 1897 – 23 September 1917), German World War I aviator
  • Edmund Roßmann (1918 - 2005) Knights Cross holder
  • Emil Schäfer (17 December 1891 – 5 June 1917), German World War I aviator


  • Martin Hyun, German and U.S. hockey player
  • Frank Schwinghammer a German and Canadian hockey player
  • Philip Hindes a British sprint cyclist

Knights Cross Holder:

  • Heinz Harmel


  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. 31 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Uerdingen Line
  3. ^ Germantown Historical Society: Founders of Germantown; Jones, Iris Carter: Krefeld Immigrants
  4. ^
  5. ^ Herzlich willkommen im Museumszentrum Burg Linn! Besuchen Sie unser Museum
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^
  8. ^ Brown, Tom (31 July 2013). "Twin towns: Do we still need them?". BBC East Midlands Today (BBC News). Retrieved 2013-08-07. 

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Krefeld. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.