Cleves (German: Kleve; Dutch: Kleff, Kleef; French: Clèves; Latin:
Clivia) is a town in the
Lower Rhine region
1 Territory of the municipality 2 History 3 Demographics
3.1 Census data 3.2 Religion
4 Gallery of churches in Kleve 5 Government
5.1 City Council 5.2 Mayor
6 Language and dialect 7 Twin cities 8 Notable people 9 References 10 External links
Territory of the municipality The territory of Cleves comprises, next to the innercity, of fourteen villages and populated places: Bimmen, Brienen, Donsbrüggen, Düffelward, Griethausen, Keeken, Kellen, Materborn, Reichswalde, Rindern, Salmorth, Schenkenschanz, Warbeyen and Wardhausen. History
Mid 17th century Tiergarten
City and port of
The native name Kleff probably derives from
Middle Dutch clef, clif
‘cliff, bluff’, referring to the promontory on which the
Schwanenburg castle was constructed. Since the city's coat of arms
displays three clovers (German Klee,
Then they came to me and they said, “Do you want Cleves taken
out?” By "taken out" they meant the whole of the heavy bombers
putting on to Cleves. Now, I knew that Cleves was a very fine old
historical German town. Anne of Cleves, one of Henry VIII’s wives,
came from there. I knew that there were a lot of civilians in Cleves,
men, women and children. If I said no, they would live. If I said yes,
they would die. A terrible decision you’ve got to take. But
everything depended on getting a high piece of ground at Materborn.
The German reserves would have to come through Cleves, and we would
have to breach the
Horrocks later said that this had been "the most terrible decision I
had ever taken in my life" and that he felt "physically sick" when he
saw the bombers overhead.  
As a result of the bombing, relatively little of the pre-1945 City
remains. Those structures spared include a number of historic villas
built during the heyday of Spa Bad Kleves, and they are located along
the B9 near the Tiergarten. Of those buildings destroyed, many were
reconstructed, including most of the Schwanenburg and the
Stiftskirche, the Catholic parish church. Constructed on high ground,
many of these landmarks can be seen from the surrounding communities.
Since 1953 there has been a broadcasting facility for FM radio and
television from regional broadcaster WDR near Kleve. The current
aerial mast was brought into service in 1993. The steel tube mast
rises 126.4 metres high and has a diameter of 1.6 metres. It is
stabilized by guy wires attached at 57 and 101.6 metres height.
Following the Second World War important employers in the area were
associated with the Wirtschaftswunder, and included the XOX
Bisquitfabrik (XOX Biscuit Factory) GmbH and the Van den Berg'schen
Margerinewerke (Margarine Union), that manufactured biscuits and
margarine. Another important employer was the
Elefanten-Kinderschuhfabrik (Elefant Children's Shoes Factory).
Retail has become an increasingly important industry, particularly
after the institution of the euro in 2002. Dutch citizens often cross
the border to patronize local retailers, drawn by cost savings they
can get in Germany. A great deal of the euros spent on shopping in
Year Pop. ±%
1815 6,517 —
1832 6,990 +7.3%
1867 9,209 +31.7%
1898 13,724 +49.0%
1910 18,135 +32.1%
1920 19,453 +7.3%
1930 21,561 +10.8%
1939 21,784 +1.0%
1950 28,740 +31.9%
1960 21,129 −26.5%
1970 45,675 +116.2%
1980 45,899 +0.5%
1990 47,191 +2.8%
2000 48,926 +3.7%
2010 49,794 +1.8%
2013 50,650 +1.7%
According to the Statistical Yearbook of Cleves as of 2013, 50,650
people resided in the city. The population density was 517.9 people
per square kilometer. 86.7% of the residents had the German
citizenship (including residents with dual citizenship) and 10.1%
another EU citizenship (5.6% Dutch and 2.9% Polish).
In the city, in 2013, the population was distributed with 19.7% under
the age of 21, 25.6% from 21 to 40, 29.7% from 41 to 60, 20.1% from 61
to 80, and 4.9% who were 81 years of age or older. For every 100
females, there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 21 and over,
there were 93.9 males.
81.3 of the citizens lived in households without children under the
age of 18, 9.2% with one child, 6.1% with two children, 1.7% with
three children, and 0.1% with four children or more.
As the rest of the Lower
Bimmen, St. Martin
Düffelward, St. Maurice
Griethausen, St. Martin
Keeken, St. Mariae Himmelfahrt
Keeken, Reformed church
Kellen, St. Willibrord
Kleve, St. Mariae Himmelfahrt
Materborn, St. Anna
Rindern, St. Willibrord
Schenkenschanz, Reformed church
Government City Council Cleves' local politics were since the mid-19th century until 1933 dominated by the Catholic Centre Party. This situation continued with the Christian Democratic successor party CDU after the Second World War, in spite of resettled, mostly Protestant, displaced. Until 2004 the CDU controlled an absolute majority of the city council. Today, Cleves is governed by a coalition of CDU and the Green Party. Since the last local elections on 25 May 2014 the following parties are represented in Cleves' city council. In addition to nationwide parties, Offene Klever (Open Cleves) has a number of seats.
Party % Seats
CDU (Christian Democrats) 39.52 17
SPD (Social Democrats) 28.96 13
Green Party 13.10 6
Open Cleves 11.00 5
FDP (Liberals) 7.42 3
The next local elections are scheduled for 2020.
The mayor of Cleves is since September 2015 Sonja Northing (without
party affiliation), who won the election with 64.5%. Her candidacy was
supported by Social Democrats, Open Cleves and FDP. Northing's
opponents were Christian Democrat Udo Janßen (23.4%) and the Green
candidate Artur Leenders (12.1%). The participation was 40.89%.
Northing is the first mayor of Cleves since World War II, who is not a
The next mayor elections are scheduled for 2020.
Language and dialect
The native language of Cleves and much of the
Lower Rhine region
Joseph Beuys, artist, grew up in Kleve.
Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII of England.
Marie of Cleves, mother of king Louis XII of France.
Marie Eleonore of Cleves, Duchess of consort Prussia.
Jean-Baptiste du Val-de-Grâce, baron de Cloots, (1755-1794),
politician and French revolutionary, born in Kleve.
Barbara Hendricks, (born 1952), politician (SPD), current German
Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and
Nuclear Safety, born in Kleve.
Karl Leisner, (1915-1945),
^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und
Technik NRW (in German). 18 July 2016.
^ L. Grootaers & G.G. Kloeke, eds., Taalatlas van Noord- en
Zuid-Nederland (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1939): .
^ "Most Secret War". R.V. Jones
The World at War
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kleve.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kleve.
Official website (in German) Tourist Information (in German) Edicts of Jülich, Cleves, Berg, Grand Duchy Berg, 1475-1815 (Coll. Scotti) online Settlement of Dortmund between Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg and the conflict of succession in Jülich, in full text
v t e
Towns and municipalities in
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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 147752178 GND: 4031156-9 BNF: