Gladbach - Encyclopedia




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GLADBACH, the name of two towns in Germany distinguished as Bergisch-Gladbach and Munchen-Gladbach.

I. Bergisch-Gladbach is in Rhenish Prussia, 8 m. N.E. of Cologne by rail. Pop. (1905) 13,410. It possesses four large paper mills and among its other industries are paste-board, powder, percussion caps, nets and machinery. Ironstone, peat and lime are found in the vicinity. The town has four Roman Catholic churches and one Protestant. The Stundenthalshbhe, a popular resort, is in the neighbourhood, and near Gladbach is Altenberg, with a remarkably fine church, built for the Cistercian abbey at this place.

2. Munchen-Gladbach, also in Rhenish Prussia, 16 m. W.S.W. of Dusseldorf on the main line of railway to Aix-laChapelle. Pop. (1885) 44,230; (1905) 60,714. It is one of the chief manufacturing places in Rhenish Prussia, its principal industries being the spinning and weaving of cotton, the manufacture of silks, velvet, ribbon and damasks, and dyeing and bleaching. There are also tanneries, tobacco manufactories, machine works and foundries. The town possesses a fine park and has statues of the emperor William I. and of Prince Bismarck. There are ten Roman Catholic churches here, among them being the beautiful minster, with a Gothic choir dating from 1250, a nave dating from the beginning of the 13th century and a crypt of the 8th century. The town has two hospitals, several schools, and is the headquarters of important insurance societies.

Gladbach existed before the time of Charlemagne, and a Benedictine monastery was founded near it in 793. It was thus called Munchen-Gladbach or Monks' Gladbach, to distinguish it from another town of the same name. The monastery was suppressed in 1802. It became a town in 1336; weaving was introduced here towards the end of the 18th century, and having belonged for a long time to the duchy of Juliers it came into the possession of Prussia in 1815.

See Strauss, Geschichte der Stadt Munchen-Gladbach (1895); and G. Eckertz, Das Verbriiderungsand Todtenbuch der Abtei Gladbach (1881).

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