Kevelaer is a town in the district of Kleve, in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It is the largest Catholic pilgrimage location within north-western Europe. More than 1 million pilgrims, mostly from Germany and the Netherlands, visit Kevelaer every year to honour the Virgin Mary.[3] The population in 2019 was 28,021.

Basilica of the Virgin Mary
Basilica of the Virgin Mary
Flag of Kevelaer
Coat of arms of Kevelaer
Location of Kevelaer within Kleve district
Kevelaer in KLE.svg
Kevelaer is located in Germany
Kevelaer is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 51°35′0″N 06°15′0″E / 51.58333°N 6.25000°E / 51.58333; 6.25000Coordinates: 51°35′0″N 06°15′0″E / 51.58333°N 6.25000°E / 51.58333; 6.25000
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionDüsseldorf
 • Mayor (2020–25) Dominik Pichler[1] (Ind.)
 • Total100.6 km2 (38.8 sq mi)
20 m (70 ft)
 • Total27,955
 • Density280/km2 (720/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
47623, 47624, 47625, 47626, 47627
Dialling codes0 28 32
Vehicle registrationKLE, GEL


Historical affiliations

  County of Guelders 1300–1339
  Duchy of Guelders 1339–1393
  Duchy of Jülich 1393–1423
  Duchy of Guelders 1423–1543
  Habsburg Netherlands 1543–1556
  Spanish Netherlands 1556–1713
  Kingdom of Prussia 1713–1794
  French Republic 1794–1804
  French Empire 1804–1814
  Kingdom of Prussia 1815–1871
  German Empire 1871–1918
  Weimar Republic 1919–1933
  Nazi Germany 1933–1945
  Allied-occupied Germany 1945–1949
  West Germany 1949–1990
  Germany 1990–present

Kevelaer is a center of veneration and pilgrimage to Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted (also known as Our Lady of Consolation. According to tradition, a merchant named Hendrik Busman, in the days before Christmas, 1641, three times heard a voice saying "Here thou shalt build me a chapel". He began to set money aside but feared his wife, Mechel, wouldn't approve. She, however, had a vision, around Pentecost, in which she saw a little chapel containing a print of Our Lady of Consolation, all bathed in light. The story was confirmed by two passing soldiers, who saw the house light up at night. Days before, two soldiers had tried to sell her two copperplate engravings with the same image on it, but she found it too expensive. Hendrik began building the chapel while Mechel tried to obtain the print. The chapel was consecrated and on 1 June 1642, the Sunday after Assumption of Mary, the print was displayed in it, and the chapel became such a popular destination for pilgrims that a church was built for them between 1643 and 1645. The little chapel was replaced in 1654 with a larger one, the Gnadenkapelle, which still houses the print.[4]

It is one of the best visited Catholic pilgrimage locations in north-western Europe. The Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of Grace) has drawn pilgrims to the Lower Rhine Region from all over the world for more than 360 years.[3] Pope John Paul II visited in 1987.[5]

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Kevelaer is twinned with:[6]

Notable peopleEdit



  1. ^ Wahlergebnisse in NRW Kommunalwahlen 2020, Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, accessed 21 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2020" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b City of Kevelaer
  4. ^ Verspaandonk, J. A. J. M. (1975). Het hemels prentenboek: Devotie- en bidprentjes vanaf de 17e eeuw tot het begin van de 20e eeuw. Hilversum: Gooi en Sticht. p. 12.
  5. ^ "City of Kevelaer - Wallfahrt".
  6. ^ "Partnerstädte". (in German). Kevelaer. Retrieved 2021-02-28.

External linksEdit