Neuss - Encyclopedia




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NEUSS, a town of Germany, in the Prussian Rhine province, lies 4 m. to the W. of Dusseldorf and 12 m. from the W. bank of the Rhine, with which it is connected by the Erft canal. It lies at the junction of lines to Cologne, Viersen, Zevenaar (Holland), Dusseldorf, Duren and Rheydt. Pop. (1905) 30,494, of whom 95% were Catholics. The chief building in the town is the church of St Quirinus, a remarkably fine example of the transition from the Round to the Pointed style; and there are six other Roman Catholic churches, two Protestant churches and a gymnasium, which contains a collection of Roman antiquities. The town hall was built in the 17th and altered in the 18th century. The old fortifications are now laid out as a promenade encircling the town. Neuss produces oil and meal, and also manufactures woollen stuffs, chemicals and paper, bricks and iron-ware. Its markets for cereals are among the most important in Prussia, and it is also the centre of a brisk trade in cattle, coals, building materials and the products of its various manufactories.

Neuss, the Novaesium of the Romans, frequently mentioned by Tacitus, formerly lay close to the Rhine, and was the natural centre of the district of which Dusseldorf has become the chief town. Drusus, brother of the emperor Tiberius, threw a bridge across the Rhine here, and his name is preserved in the Drusustor, the lower half of which is of Roman masonry. In1474-1475Charles the Bold of Burgundy besieged the town in vain for eleven months, during which he lost io,000 men; but it was taken and sacked by Alexander Farnese in 1586. Since 1887 extensive excavations have been made of the foundations of a huge Roman camp, and many valuable Roman treasures have been unearthed.

See C. Tacking, Geschichte der Stadt Neuss (Dusseldorf, 1891); F. Schmitz, Der Neusser Krieg,1474-1475(Bonn, 1896); W. Effmann, Die St Quirinus Kirche zu Neuss (Dusseldorf, 1890); and Band xx. of the Chroniken der deutschen Stc dte.

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