Webcam on the embankment in the city of Rees in Germany
Rees, situated in the Kleve district within North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is a historical town on the right bank of the Rhine, about 20 km to the east of Kleve. As of 2005, it had a population of 22,559. Dating back to 1228, Rees holds the distinction of being the oldest town in the lower Rhine region.
The town’s origins can be traced to a Frankish settlement established between 500-800 AD. The name “Rees” likely finds its roots in the Franconian term “Rys,” which translates to “willow grove.”
Christianization of the Lower Rhine area was attributed to the efforts of the Irish missionary Willibrord between 657-739. Around 1000, the nearby Aspel monastery was documented for the first time.
On July 14, 1228, Rees was granted municipal privileges by Heinrich I von Müllenark, the Archbishop of Cologne. At that period, the town boasted around 600 inhabitants. The construction of a fortified city wall commenced in 1289/90 and concluded in 1350. In 1392, Rees and the Aspel monastery became integral parts of the County of Cleves.