Coming from abroad to the Lower Rhine
The Hochschule Niederrhein was founded as a University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld and Mönchengladbach in 1971. It takes its name from the two towns located on the left banks of the lower Rhine. The Hochschule Niederrhein enjoys an excellent traffic infrastructure and is easy to reach by car, rail or air. The airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne are conveniently positioned. It takes just half an hour to reach Düsseldorf or the Dutch border. Cologne, Aachen or the Belgian border can be reached in an hour.
Located in the lower Rhine basin, Krefeld has around 240,000 inhabitants. Its roots lie in the village of Gellep: archaeological finds show that the first settlers encamped here some 2000 years ago. The small market community only really began to develop in the 17th century with the emergence of the silk trade and soon began to grow quickly. The textile industry still has a role to play here, although the manufacturing concentrates mainly on innovative technical textiles today. Yet, Krefeld remains the "town of silk and velvet workers," with silk ties from Krefeld in great demand worldwide.
From the early 20th century onwards, chemical, steel, engineering and food industries began to move in. They meanwhile play a leading role. Direct access to the international waterway network from the Rhine Port in Uerdingen has had a positive impact on the town's economic development.
Krefeld is not only the economic hub, but also the cultural heart on the lower Rhine's left bank. Wealthy silk industrialists developed into patrons of the arts and provided the town with numerous cultural institutions:
- The "Burg Linn", a museum exhibiting Roman and Franconian finds, traditional arts and crafts from the lower Rhine.
- The German Textile Museum in Linn
- The Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, fine art from the Middle Ages to the present.
- "Haus Esters" and "Haus Lange," modern art, while the houses themselves serve as prime examples of modern architecture)
Numerous Neo-Gothic churches and buildings bearing elements of Art Nouveau and facades dating from the 1870s, each with their own particular architectural charm.
Krefeld and Mönchengladbach "share" a theatre ensemble (opera, operetta, musicals, drama, ballet) and the Lower Rhine Symphony Orchestra. The "Fabrik Heeder" (a restored wing of a former factory), the "Kulturfabrik" and smaller theatres present a wide range of cultural entertainments.
Krefeld also has plenty to offer those interested in sport: Horseracing, golf, football, an ice rink and stadium, water sports on the nearby Elfrather See lake and many other sports provide plenty of choice. Further attractions include parks, a botanical garden, and a renowned zoo.
Krefeld is not your typical "student town", because many students from the region commute between home and university, day in, day out. An excellent traffic network makes this possible. It only takes half an hour to reach Mönchengladbach, the Netherlands, Düsseldorf or Duisburg, and just an hour to get to Cologne or Aachen. However, most students enjoy the cultural events offered here, as well as the pubs, beer gardens and clubs, plus the relaxing atmosphere.
Mönchengladbach has around 266 000 inhabitants, making it the largest town on the left bank of the lower Rhine. It takes its name from the Benedictine Monks who founded an Abbey on the Gladbach (a narrow brook) in around 974.
The Middle Ages saw linen weaving emerge in Mönchengladbach, later to be replaced by cotton spinning in the 18th century. Further progress led to a flourishing textile and garment trade with a whole range of guilds and trades forming as well. Today, industry focuses on steel, mechanical and automotive engineering plus electrical and food industries. Yet, the remaining textile manufacturers still enjoy an excellent international reputation. Outstanding road and rail networks have enhanced Mönchengladbach's role as a centre of trade and commerce, a key factor being the town's excellent infrastructure and its national and international traffic connections. The decision to expand the local regional airport further raised the town's profile. Companies from Japan, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands operating worldwide maintain branches here.
Mönchengladbach boasts delightful town districts with galleries and shopping centres, attracting customers and tourists from the region and the neighbouring Netherlands. Indeed, Mönchengladbach has plenty to offer in the cultural field as well:
- the Benedictine Minster of St. Vitus dating back to 974.
- the Abteiberg Museum of 20th century fine art.
- the Art Noveau Water Tower.
- the historical old town with its pubs and bistros.
- gala events in the Opera House Rheydt.
Mönchengladbach sees itself as the greenest town in the Rhineland. After all, 60% of the town is parkland with historical lawns and gardens extending out to the parks and woods, where castles and palaces from various ages lie "hidden" behind hedges and flowers, waiting to be (re)discovered by passers-by, tourists, and locals, of course.
Mönchengladbach attaches importance to sport, as reflected in the numerous sports facilities (including indoor pools, a track and field athletics stadium, tennis courts, and a golf course. The local football club, Borussia Mönchengladbach, is well known throughout Germany and beyond. While the harness racing track has also proven that it can attract plenty of visitors.
Not to mention what Mönchengladbach has to offer for those who come here to study, with plenty of options and pubs close to the university.