city, North Rhine-Westphalia Land (state), western Germany. It lies northwest of Dusseldorf, less than 5 miles (8 km) south of the Dutch border. It is connected with the Rhine River by a canal. The seat of the counts of Cleves from the 11th century, it was chartered in 1242. The county passed to the counts of La Marck in 1368; it was made a duchy in 1417 and acquired the duchies of Julich and Berg in 1521. Anne of Cleves, daughter of Duke John, was the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England. The town passed to the electors of Brandenburg by the Treaty of Xanten in 1614. Held by the French during the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, it passed to Prussia in 1815. Kleve was severely damaged in World War II.
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