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Mönchengladbach ( ) is a city in North Rhine-Westphaliamarker, Germanymarker. The largest city at the left Lower Rhinemarker belonged as upper center to the governmental district Düsseldorfmarker and is a component of the Metropolregion Rhine-Ruhr.

The original name of the city was Gladbach, which is even today often applied to the town. To distinguish the town from another town of the same name (the present Bergisch Gladbachmarker) it took the name München-Gladbach in 1888. This spelling could mislead people to think that Gladbach was a borough of Munichmarker (München in German), and consequently the name was changed to Mönchen Gladbach in 1950 and Mönchengladbach in 1960.The origin of the town was an abbeymarker founded in 974. It was named after the Gladbach, a narrow brook, that runs subterraneously today. The abbey and adjoining villages became a town in the 14th century. The town of Rheydtmarker is located nearby and is incorporated into Mönchengladbach today.Mönchengladbach is home of the football club Borussia Mönchengladbach, Formula One race car drivers Nick Heidfeld and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, author/cartoonist Walter Moers, cabaret artist Volker Pispers, and the philosopher Hans Jonas.

History

The first settlements in the area of Mönchengladbach are approximately 300,000 - 400,000 years old and show remains of Homo Erectus and Neanderthal. There are numerous cairns from the Neolithic and the Bronze Age.

The history of Mönchengladbach began with the construction of the Gladbach Cathedral and the founding of an abbey in the year 974 by Gero, Archbishop of Cologne, and his companion, the monk Sandrad of Trier.

To advance the settlement, the monks created a market north of the church in the 12th century. Craftsmen settled near the market. Gladbach received its town charter in 1364/1366. The "town" got a town wall made of stone, which had to be maintained by the citizens. (Remains of that wall can be found at the Geroweiher, as can remains of the "Thick Tower", an old fortifed tower at the Waldhausener hill). Until the end of the 18th century the city belonged to the department of Grevenbroichmarker within the duchy of Jülichmarker.

On October 4, 1794 French revolution army troops marched into the town, one day before the fortress Jülich had been handed over. When the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II conveyed the left bank of the river Rhinemarker to France with the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, Gladbach fell under French religion laws. This was the end for the abbey, and the monastery was closed. On October 31, 1802, the last 31 monks left the monastery. The tremendous abbey library, well known outside of Germany, was scattered or destroyed.

From 1798 until 1814, the Mairie Gladbach was part of Kanton Odenkirchen, Arrondissement Krefeld, of the French Département de la Roer.

In 1815, Gladbach became part of the Kingdom of Prussiamarker and seat of the Landkreis Gladbach, which was dissolved in 1929. In 1815 Gladbach became seat of the Bürgermeisterei (Office of mayor), which was split in 1859 into two parts: the City of Gladbach and Office of MayorObergeburth. The latter was renamed to München-Gladbach-Land in 1907. When the Prussian Rhine Provincemarker was dissolved after World War II, the city became part of the new state North Rhine-Westphaliamarker.

Twin Cities



Points of interest



Sons and daughters of Mönchengladbach

These people were born in Mönchengladbach, or in Rheydt or Wickrath, formerly independent communities united with Mönchengladbach in 1975.



Transport

The city has two main railway stations: Mönchengladbach Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) and Rheydt Hbf, the result of the merger of the two cities, in which the deprecated name for Rheydt Hbf was never removed.An S-Bahn line connects the city to Düsseldorfmarker and Hagenmarker; an extension further westwards is presently being discussed. A number of regional trains serve Mönchengladbach, but it is the largest city in Germany without regular long-distance services. The city also has a commercial airport called Dusseldorf Monchengladbachmarker.Local bus and rail transport is carried out by the NVV-AG under the VRR transport association regulations.

Sports

The city hosted the FIH Hockey World Cup 2006 during the period of September 6-17.

Mönchengladbach has a long football tradition as well. Its home club Borussia Mönchengladbach is one of the country's most well-known, best-supported, and successful teams.Die Fohlen ("The Foals") with more than 40,000 members is rated actually as fourth largest fan-club in Germany. However, after a last place finish in the top flight for the 2006-2007 season, they were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga (1. and 2. National Leagues)for the 2007-2008 season. They are playing in the Bundesliga for the 2009 - 2010 season after surviving relegation and finishing 15th in the 2008 - 2009 season.

On July 30, 2004 the opening of the new stadium "Borussia-Parkmarker" was celebrated. It has a capacity of 54.700 visitors (sitplaces: 34.300, standplaces: 20.400 / capacity on International games: 45.600). The stadium can be reached by car (through dedicated exit on the Autobahn "A 61"), bus and train.

Military

Just outside Mönchengladbach is the Rheindahlen Military Complexmarker, home to the headquarters of the British Armed Forces in Germany.

References




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