Although no longer a textile metropolis, Krefeld remains a fascinating destination.
By Alevtina Altenhof
More than eight centuries ago, when Gothic temples were emerging here and there in the territory of the Holy Roman Empire under the reign of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, the small town of Crinvelde (today Krefeld) appeared on the map. Although the place did not even possess the official municipal rights of a town at that time (those were granted by Emperor Charles IV in 1373) and was far beyond the notion of Gothics, a Romanesque-style chapel was built there in 1066. Owing to its proximity to the Lower Rhine, which was rich with Roman ruin heritage, the location of Krefeld turned out to be quite advantageous for building the first place of worship in Krefeld. In fact, it was chosen on purpose since the craftsmen used all the construction materials from the easily reachable Roman ruins in order to reduce the costs. As the number of believers in the town of Crefeld grew in the 15th century, the chapel (known as the Old Church) became far too small to hold services in, which was the reason for laying a cornerstone for the new Catholic St. Dionysius Church in 1752 in the otherwise Protestant town with the permission of Frederick II. Presently, the church is a famous landmark and a major place of worship in Krefeld.
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