town, North Rhine-Westphalia Land (state), northwestern Germany. It lies along the Rhine and Lippe rivers and the Lippe-Seiten Canal, northwest of the Ruhr. Chartered in 1241, it joined the Hanseatic League in about 1350 and has long been an important trade and shipping point. It was also a traditional district capital and cultural centre of the border area of the lower Rhine. The town fell to Brandenburg in 1667 and was a Brandenburg-Prussian garrison town until 1918. Its citadel was one of the finest 17th-century examples of its type.
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