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Kalkar

Kalkar - Koblenz or more like Amsterdam?

The place where we are now standing was once jokingly called the "Deutsches Eck" (German Corner). The confluence of the town moat and the Ley does look a little like the famous meeting of the Moselle and Rhine in Koblenz. Water played an important role in the history of Kalkar. As an important and prosperous wool trading town in the Middle Ages it depended on reasonable transport on the Rhine. We can imagine how much wool was transported when we look over to the impressive 15th century town hall that towers over the town centre. Such great wealth is barely conceivable without a transport link to the Rhine. And although the Rhine can fill its old bed right up to the walls of Kalkar during a flood, it is normally some distance away. Luckily, there is a water link to the river in the form of the Kalflack. It was made navigable up to this confluence in the 16th century. After all, who wanted to carry very heavy bales of cloth and wool for many kilometres? Who would pay for that? Here, from today's bridge over the Ley, we can see an expansion in the course of the stream. The Monne once flowed into it there. Well into the 19th century, this canal ran through the town behind the town hall. So Kalkar followed the example of Amsterdam more than that of Koblenz. Because with a waterway within the town, goods could be rowed right up to the front door, just like in the Dutch trading metropolis. Kalkar's port was located here, where there is a bridge over the Ley today. Here, the freight was unloaded from the town's own barges to the river boats and from here Kalkar had access to the world market of the time (Betonung bitte auf "hier" um die Aufzählung und die Bedeutung des Standortes zu verdeutlichen. Anm. Red.). We can still see traces of this today - have you ever asked yourself why Kalkar's Grabenstrasse is so disproportionately wide? (We are looking down it towards the town hall.) Because the Monne once flowed through the middle of it!

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