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The castle Odenkirchen

The first mention of the family name is in 1106. A count " Herimannus de Udenkircha " and its brother " Arnoldus ". (the document, which originates allegedly from the year 1028 and is mentioned in a " Christianus de Hudenkichen ", is most likely a falsification developed in the 12th Century)

Around 1150 the Cologne archbishop Arnold II. bought the castle Odenkirchen, which was created probably as moth system with a timber construction at that time. (see extra information), This was after a donation or conveyance on the part of the hereditary daughter Udilhildis of Arnstein, Emperor Friedrich Ith Barbarossa acknowledged the purchase " castellums of the Udenkirchen " on 14 June 1153 Cologne archbishop.

Starting from 1153 the castle counts ,who came from a Cologne aristocracy family, were representatives of the Cologne archbishop. Around 1321 the castle Odenkirchen began a new building of the castle, which was converted to a typically niederrheinischen water castle (viz. lock Rheydt).

By marriage of the female heiresses the Castle was in the possession of:

to the family of Hoemen (1392 - 1502),

of nail (1502 to 1509),

from Flodorp (Vlodorp, 1531 to 1564),

of Boetzelaer (1572 to 1636) and finally on to

Maximilian of Bronkhorst,

from that the Cologne archbishop however in 1637 transfered the castle to the famous rider general January van Werth. After his death in 1652 the Castle went to the family Raitz of Frentz.

in 1694 Maximilian of Merode, Marquis of Westerloo, the grandchild of the Maximilian of Bronkhorst, the castle Odenkirchen was awarded.

All that remains are an old gate elbow, remainder of a formerly trutzigen castle system. The masters of this castle were already mentioned as a count von Odenkirchen in the year 1028 urkundlich. How the castle looked, shown on the image of a wall carpet, which is in the care of the prince of Merode in Brussels. Their ancestor was in the first half 18. Century owners of the castle and ruled Odenkirchen.

Castle Odenkirchen about 1701

The property attached to the castle Odenkirchen included not only the castle mill, but also numerous gardens, shrubs, Benden, hereditary breaks and the fish weir. The largest of the tree gardens was the Burgbongert in the area of the upper castle .

The expanded forest and shrub surfaces of the castle amounted in 16th Century on approx. 250 mornings country. In Odenkirchen were the Pixbusch and the carpenter shrubs, in whose place today the High School and the zoo are. (the zoo became 1956 of Dr. Emil Moesgen, Willy cock, Norbert Hilgers, Theo Breuer, Heinz Kohnen, Karl Otten and Ernst Heinen based and 1959 after the completion opens.)

Further well-known areas in the glory Odenkirchen were the paper mill , the Elsterkaul, the oil mill , the Lohhausbruch, the Tuerkenbueschgen, the Buschkesberg, the Weydtbusch, the fordeste , the Haen , the Lybergs Hentgen, the new workstation, the Haicksteiner Heydt, the old Kaulen , the Limiker and the Lyken .

Also numerous Benden (enclosed meadows) and hereditary breaks (with trees and unterholz bewachsenes area) were in the possession of the castle.

Finally there were also large, fish-rich weir in Odenkirchen, on which today only the "bath hotel badhotelweiher" exists.


approx. 10,000 v.Chr. Settlementsettlement settlement (finds on the Kamphausener height and in Muelfort)
53 v. Chr. Destruction that here resident Eburonen by Caesar
b. approx. 400 n. Chr. Nodal point of Roman army routes in Muelfort
around 500 n. Chr. Franconia in our homeland (Salhoefe, Muelgau)
around 800 n. Chr. Saxonia colony with Odenkirchen under Karl the large one
1028 first documentary mention (count Christianus de Hudenkirchen)
1153 Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa acknowledges the possession of the castle and glory Odenkirchen Cologne archbishop to the Arnold II.
1153-1391 Castle count von Odenkirchen as leaning carriers of the archbishop to Cologne
1365-1391 Gerhard V. of Odenkrichen (robbery knight nuisance)
1391-1501 Castle count from the sex of Hoemen
1502 Heinrich of nail, gentleman to Odenkirchen
1503-1564 Castle count von Flodrop
1572-1636 Castle count von Botzelaer
1637-1652 January van Werth, master of the castle
1652 Raitz of Frentz
1694 Maximilian of Merode Westerloo
1701 Fire disaster in Odenkirchen
1745 Odenkirchen changes into the direct possession of the cure prince Clemens August of Cologne
1755/57 Building of the Evangelist church
1801 Frenchman rule in Odenkirchen
1805 Auction of the castle; in private property
1856 Odenkirchen receives municipal rights
1872 Castle association
1890 Building of the catholic parish church St. Laurentius
1920 Kath. Pfarrgemeinde acquires the castle
1929 Incorporation in Moenchengladbach
1933 Rheydt Odenkirchen
31.8.1943 Fliegerangriff, destruction of many buildings
1975 Incorporation to Moenchengladbach: Urban district Odenkirchen

History of the Name Odenkirchen

Minister Franz Rixen tries in its "Laurentiusboten" (Odenkirchen library tape I) four interpretations, which are in general terms shown here. The master word is unique "...churches", which meant that here already very early a church , probably already at the time of the Christianisierung of the Muelgaus ( in the 7th Century).

The front part of the composition " Odenkirchen " gives "Oden... " which can mean"oed ", because the area in former times very water-rich, swampy, with difficulty accessible and therefore was" oed " . In addition, it can come from the Niederdeut Houd = wood, with which a wood church was therefore defined. The third interpretation refers to the Netherlands oud = old. Like that an old church would be marked in contrast to the new church of the Nachbarpfarre (Hochneukirch) by Odenkirchen. The fourth interpretation is in addition, plausible. At the time at that time there were many self-established churches . The basic gentleman established his own church, to which he gave then his name for its family and yard. The clergyman maintained it; this was to a certain extent its " civil servant ", whom he could employ and dismiss. This medieval custom then finally led to the Investiturstreit between religious and lay power.

There it among the early Mr. von Odenkirchen some with names Udo, Odo or Rabodo gave, is obvious this interpretation prefix in the name of the Odenkirchen . It therefore concerned the church Udo or Odo. Also in the name of the Odenkirchener hereditary daughter Udilhildis (Adelheid) of Arnstein, which conveyed in the year 1109 castle and rule Odenkirchen to the archbishop to Cologne, we find resemblances to this names.

None of the four interpretations has a requirement on certainty. Thus the unique assertion of the name Odenkirchen is still situated just like also the origin of our place of residence in the darkness of the historical past.


Click here to view Johann Jacob Odenkirchen in America

Click her to see Germany (Prussia) around Johan Jacob Odenkirchens' time


(source: Our Odenkirchen; Author: Heinz Croonenbroek)


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