Neuss - 2,000 years of history
The eventful history of the city of Neuss begins with the Romans. They built a military camp near the mouth of the Erft on the Rhine, followed by a civilian settlement on what is today's city centre.
Neuss was officially designated as a city in 1190. The most important indication of the city's development is the first city fortifications from the second half of the 12th century. The building of the Minster of St Quirinus began in 1209. In the centuries that followed, it was the destination of many pilgrims who brought money to the city.
In 1474/75 Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, ignited a war. The people of Neuss resisted the siege and the troops withdrew. The city was taken over by Emperor Friedrich III and the locals were rewarded for their courage. They were given tariff reductions, the rights of a Hanseatic city, a new coat of arms with an imperial eagle and an imperial crown, as well as the right to mint their own coins, which increased the city's power.
French was also spoken in Neuss for more than 20 years when the city on the left bank of the Rhine was under French rule from 1794. In 1815, the city came to the Kingdom of Prussia.
The expansion of the port and the transition from arable land to an industrial city, alongside the associated growth, shaped the 19th century. It was economic power in particular that made Neuss the target of bombing raids during the Second World War. The result was violent destruction. In 1963, Neuss was home to 100,000 citizens. Today, the city is a thriving business location with around 160,000 inhabitants.
Neuss - on the trail of the Hanseatic League
When the city of Neuss bravely resisted the siege by Charles the Bold in 1474/75, it was not a member of the Hanseatic League. Nevertheless, the city successfully operated long-distance trade with the Netherlands, the northern German cities and the Baltic States. The situation on the rivers Erft and Rhine favoured the revival of trade. Wines, spices and brewery products were, and still are, traded in Neuss.
Neuss is a founding member of the new Hanseatic League. In 1984, they hosted the International Hanseatic Day as part of its 2000 year celebration. In May 2022, they will again have the honour of welcoming delegates, business representatives, creative artists and market players to the 42nd International Hanseatic Day.
Neuss - city of markets and festivals
Markets have a long tradition in Neuss. Eight times a year, the historic quarter around the Minster of St. Quirinus turns into a lively browsing and shopping experience in the open air. Thrifters are enticed into town by vintage and second-hand goods, some rarities and treasures.
Major sporting events such as the running event "Internationaler Sommernachtslauf" or the "Tour de Neuss" cycle race give the centre its reputation as an international sports grandstand. The open-air gourmet event "Nüsser Genüsse", the Rhein Gin Festival and the numerous fish and wine markets will spoil your palate, as well as your soul.
The highlight of the year is most certainly the Neusser Bürger-Schützenfest. The well-known festival takes place on the last weekend in August, where the city centre sees around 7,700 marksmen and musicians march through. Flags and flowers decorate the streets, while hundreds of thousands celebrate from near and far.
At the traditional Hansefest in September, the city of Neuss presents itself in Hanseatic-medieval garb. In autumn, the Quirinus Medieval Market takes young and old into bygone times and the four-week Christmas market on Münsterplatz brings the event year to a close.
Neuss - a stage for artists and art treasures
Neuss and culture - two terms that go hand in hand. From cabaret in the Theater am Schlachthof and internationally acclaimed Tanzwochen in the Stadthalle to the finest classics in the Zeughaus, there is a lot on offer. Neuss boasts world-class cultural attractions such as the Shakespeare Festival in the Globe Theatre and the Museum Insel Hombroich. In the floodplain landscape on the river Erft, art and architecture are in harmony with nature. The charming backdrop is complemented by the neighbouring Langen Foundation, the Raketenstation Hombroich, the Skulpturenhalle, the Kirkeby-Feld and the Feld-Haus - where art enthusiasts will have heart palpitations.
And the inner-city museums also have something for both young and old: urban and cultural history come to life in the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss, and the Rheinisches Schützenmuseum Neuss presents the Rhenish marksman tradition, a colourful and comprehensive display which is over 700 years old.
Neuss - active on the move
The city garden with its lovingly tended rose garden, the Selikum park with the tree museum and fallow deer enclosure and the forest area of the Mühlenbusch are green oases and popular places to relax in the bustling city. Biking and hiking trails along the Erft, Rhine and North Canal offer the opportunity to actively explore the city at your own pace.
If you are looking for a range of activities throughout the year, in any weather, then the Alpenpark Neuss is the perfect place. It is an active leisure park, open all year round, with a ski hall, fun football, climbing park and alpine golf. The Hummelbachaue is another sporty destination. Home to world-class golfing facilities, you can practice your game here at the highest level.
For those with interests outside of sports, Wellneuss promises a short vacation for body, mind and soul. A sauna area with a natural swimming lake and wellness treatments are all on offer.
The children's farm in the south of Neuss provides exciting experiences and encounters relating to agriculture and domestic livestock. Afterwards, a detour to the neighbouring barefoot path in the Hochzeitshain is worthwhile. With bare feet, there are 17 adventure fields that are filled with bark mulch, basalt gravel or shells. A soothing massage is included.
The city of Neuss is well worth a visit and the endless choices are sure to impress you.