The Northern tip of the Lower Rhine: The Rhine river at Millingen in the Dutch province of Gelderland near the Dutch-German border.
The Dutch-German border between Groesbeek in the province of Gelderland and Kranenburg in the Cleves District.
The Dutch-German border near Millingen in the province of Gelderland.
Landscape near Schenkenschanz, north of Cleves.
Dutch street name (“Uitweg”) in Kranenburg in the Cleves District.
Name of a restaurant (“Op de Huck”, English: “On the Corner”) in local Lower Franconian dialect between Kranenburg and Cleves.
Griethausen at the Rhine river in the Cleves District.
Copy of an old map of Goch in the Cleves district with street names in Dutch.
The “Steintor” (Stone Gate) in Goch in the Cleves District.
Market Square in Kalkar in the Cleves District.
Lower Rhine landscape near Xanten in the Wesel District.
Place name (“Nieukerk”) at the Lower Rhine in the Cleves District.
Place names at the Lower Rhine (Schaephuysen/Rheurdt) in the Cleves District with a traditional Lower Rhine farmhouse to the left.
The Niers river near Wachtendonk in the Cleves District.
Old Dutch house inscription in Wachtendonk in the Cleves District.
Dutch street name (“Achter de Stadt”) in Wachtendonk in the Cleves District.
Wachtendonk in the Cleves District.
The discovery of coal in the 19th century led to heavy industrialisation in the eastern part of the Lower Rhine making it subsequently a part of the Ruhr industrial district. However, structural change resulted in many of the old industrial sites being closed down. Relics are still visible like this conveyor tower of the Sterkrade coal mine in Oberhausen.
Mine workers homes in Oberhausen-Alsfeld.
At the conjunction of the rivers Ruhr and Rhine, the city of Duisburg became a major inland port. City street in Duisburg-Ruhrort located in the middle of the Duisburg harbour area.
The city of Duisburg was heavily bombarded during World War II and was rebuilt in a new post war design. A good example is the pedestrianized “Königstraße” (King Street) in the city centre of Duisburg. The tram was converted into a metro and a motorway cuts through the city centre, partly in a tunnel.
Remains of the old city wall in Duisburg.
New commercial and entertainment development at the inner harbour area in Duisburg.
The Rhine river near Duisburg with heavy industry in the background.
Coal mines also existed on the west bank of the Rhine river such as the “Rheinpreussen” in Moers.
In contrast to neighbouring Duisburg, the city of Moers was able to retain much of its pre-war appearance such as the main market square.
The “Schustergasse”(Shoemaker Lane) in Moers.
The “Obernwall” (Upper Wall) in Moers.
The Moers castle.
Further to the west, the city of Kempen has made a name for itself due to the intact old city centre. Old houses in the “Alte Schulstrasse” (Old School Street) in the centre of Kempen in the Viersen District.
Kempen in the Viersen District.
The windmill “Hessenmühle” in Kempen in the Viersen District.
Traditional Lower Rhine farmhouse with the gable facing the street in Osterath in the Neuss District.
Traditional Lower Rhine farmhouse in Herzbroich near Korschenbroich in the Neuss District.
Lower Rhine farmhouse from Herzbroich near Korschenbroich in the Neuss District exhibited at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Kommern, Euskirchen District.
Traditional Lower Rhine cottage in Korschenbroich in the Neuss District.
Lower Rhine landscape between Büttgen and Kleinenbroich in the Neuss District.
The village of Büttgen in the Neuss District with a Middle Franconian farmstead to the left.
Street signpost (“Struckerweg”) in local Lower Franconian dialect in Büttgen in the Neuss District.
The old market in Mönchengladbach. Just like Duisburg, Mönchengladbach was heavily bombarded during World War II and only very few buildings of the old town centre have remained intact such as the “Münster” (minster) in the background.
The area of the former Bökelberg football ground in Mönchengladbach. From here the local football club “Borussia VfL” gained international fame during the 1970s by becoming 5 times German football champions and winning the UEFA-Cup twice. In 2004 the club relocated its ground to the south west of the city and the “Bökelbergstadion” was converted into a housing estate.
Traditional Lower Rhine farmstead at Schwalmtal-Lüttelforst in the Viersen District.
On the eastern bank of the Rhine river the city of Düsseldorf has developed into a commercial and administrative centre and it is also the capital of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The old town along the Rhine river is famous for its many pubs and restaurants. Scene from the “Marktstraße” (Market Street) with the town hall in the background.
The “Uerige”pub and local ale (“Altbier”) brewery with an inscription in local Lower Franconian dialect (“Dat leckere Dröppke”, English: “The tasty droplet”) in the old town of Düsseldorf.
Lane with historical city houses in the old town of Düsseldorf.
The “Königsallee” (King’s Avenue) in the centre of Düsseldorf.
The Rhine river at Düsseldorf.
Opposite Düsseldorf on the west bank of the Rhine river lies the old city of Neuss. Although parts of its centre was destroyed during World War II many old buildings still remain such as this traditional pub with its name in Lower Franconian dialect (“Em Schwatte Päd”, English: “In the Black Horse”).
The Quirinus-Cathedral in Neuss.
Historical Lower Rhine city houses in Neuss.
The “Obertor” (Upper Gate) in Neuss.
The Rhine harbour of Neuss has always given the city a good commercial position.
The Lower Rhine linguist Theodor Frings described the divide line between Low German (or Low Saxon) and Dutch on the one hand and High- or Standart German on the other as the “Benrath Line” since it trespasses the modern Düsseldorf suburb of Benrath just north of it. To the north of the line Middle-Franconian “maache” and “loofe” becomes Lower Franconian-Dutch “maake” and “loope” (“make” and “run”). The picture is taken exactly “on” the “Benrath Line” to the south of Lüttenglehn in the Neuss District.
The topographical border between the Jülicher Börde uplands and the Lower Rhine lowlands south of Lüttenglehn in the Neuss District which coincides here with the “Benrath Line”.
Traditional Lower Rhine cottage in Lüttenglehn in the Neuss District.
The village of Damm in the Neuss District, just south of the “Benrath Line”.
On the topographical border between the Jülicher Börde uplands and the Lower Rhine lowlands looking north towards the village of Steinforth in the Neuss District.
The “Benrath Line” between Hochneukirch in the Neuss District and Mönchengladbach-Wanlo with cast mining in the background.
Lignite cast mining near Immerath in the Heinsberg District.
Square at the Roßtor in Wassenberg in the Heinsberg District.
Rur river (The Rhenish “Rur”river not to be mistaken with the “Ruhr” river passing through the Ruhr Duistrict) near Hückelhoven in the Heinsberg District.
Landscape near Waldfeucht in the Heinsberg District.
On the “Benrath Line” between Lindern in the Heinsberg District and Gereonsweiler in the Düren District with the foothills of the Eifel faintly visible in the background.
Lower Franconian place name (“Beeck”) in the Heinsberg District, just to the north of the “Benrath Line”.
The village of Prummern in the Heinsberg District.
Archery festival decoration in Waurichen in the Heinsberg District.
The “Benrath Line” between Waurichen in the Heinsberg District and Baesweiler-Beggendorf in the Aachen District.
Lower Franconian place name (“Holthausen”) in Übach-Palenberg in the Heinsberg District.
The “Benrath Line” in Übach-Palenberg between the Holthausen and Boscheln suburb of the town.
The Dutch-German border between Scherpenseel in the Heinsberg District and Waubach in the Dutch province of Limburg.
Waubach in the Dutch province of Limburg, just over the border from the German District of Heinsberg.
Bilingual Dutch-Limburgish signpost in Kerkrade in the Dutch province of Limburg clearily indicating (“Kirchroa”) that the dialect of Kerkrade is to be categorized as south of the “Benrath Line” and thus to be viewed as Middle Franconian.
The town hall of Kerkrade in the Dutch province of Limburg.
The Nieuwstraat/Neustrasse where one side belongs to Kerkrade in The Netherlands and the other to Herzogenrath in Germany, thus the national border separates the neighbours on both sides of the street from each other. Dutch style traffic signs are used with German inscription.
The Nieuwstraat/Neustrasse with its bilingual streetname visible at the southern end in Kerkrade/Herzogenrath.
The village of Bocholtz in the Dutch province of Limburg. The local Limburgish version of the place name (“Boches”) is displayed at the bottom of the sign post. The name “Bocholtz” (“holtz” instead of “holt/hout” in Lower Franconian) indicates that it is another village in South-East Limburg which has already a Middle-Franconian dialect and is thus south of the “Benrath Line”.
Bilingual Dutch-Limburgish street name in Maastricht, the capital of the Dutch province of Limburg.
The Aachen cathedral which contains the tomb of Charlemagne the Great.
Epen in the Dutch province of Limburg, just north of the Dutch-Belgian border.
The Dutch-French linguistic border in Belgium, here separating Eben-Emael in the Liege-province from Kanne in the Belgian province of Limburg appearing misleadingly insignificant here. Kanne itself is only a few kilometers south of Maastricht. One may wonder what language the inhabitants of the two houses separated by the linguistic border actually speak to each other.
Bilingual Dutch-French placename in the disputed Voeren municipality in the Belgian province of Limburg.
The village of Moelingen in the Belgian province of Limburg, just south of the national border to The Netherlands.
The little rock on the pavement in the centre of the photograph marks the old “border” of Neutral Moresnet which remained neutral between The Netherlands (and after 1830 Belgium) on the one hand and Prussia (and after 1871 the German Empire) on the other from 1816 until 1920 when it was finally alocated to Belgium and subsequently became a part of the French speaking part of Belgium although the local dialect is Lower Franconian. A dispute about the local zinc spare mine between the king of The Netherlands and the king of Prussia left the area neutral and thus de-facto independent as a micro-state for 104 years and made the tripoint on the Vaalserberg a quadripoint (The Netherlands, Belgium, Neutral Moresnet and Prussia, later the German Empire) for 90 years.
Eifel-landscape near Simmerath-Dedenborn in the Aachen District.
© Helge Tietz 2016