About City
General information

The Fortress town Meppen is located in the north of Germany, almost 20 km only away from the National boundary to the Netherlands. Meppen is the district town of the administrative district Emsland.
The scenic situation at the confluence of the two rivers Ems and Hase offers a high residential and recreational value for young and old persons. The Emsland is particularly popular for wheel tourists

Population: about 35000 inhabitants
Area: 188,49 km²
Sea level: 14-15m about NN



  •     Historical city hall (built 1408, extended 1605)

  •     Propsteikirche (1461/62 built)

  •     Arenbergsche Rentei from the year 1805 (today it’s town museum)

  •     Koppelschleuse (sluice) and art centre (1826/28 built)

  •     Herrenmühle (a mill from the 16th century)

City Wall: The origin of today’s embankment is almost properly located in a medieval one square town fortress.

Territorial discussions (Spanish Dutch war/30-year war 1618-48) required a heavy development of the fastening, since the old city wall didn’t withstand the improved siege weapons and the powerful artillery any more.

Meppen was therefore improved to the Bastion fortress with a stellate ground plan, followed the Dutch and French method.
Since the weapon technology permanently improved and the permanently necessary development financially overtaxed the royal bishop of Münster was the fortress Meppen lifted and 1762 dragged.

Unique in Meppen is the preservation of the Contrescarpe with parts of the Glacis-area (mostly three corner-shaped outside surfaces), while at everyone known to us converted former fortresses, was to preserve  the inner embankment. So it comes that the ditch here also lies atypically within the embankment.

The embankment forms a prominent green ribbon and develops and connects the historical town centre with the residential areas lying on the outside. They are a valuable living space for flora and fauna.

History of Meppen

around 780     Charlemagne has built a baptizing church in the context of the Saxon conversion. From this a mission cell develops.
834     First documented mention
1360     Meppen receives the town charters and with that the right to the “fastening with embankment and ditch”.
1408     Construction beginning of the city hall
1461/62     In the place of the baptizing church is the church (Propsteikirche) built in the Gothic style.
1605     Expansion of the city hall.
1633-38     During the Thirty Years’ War the fortress Meppen was improved by Swedish occupation forces
1660     Start of building of the fortress through the Royal bishop Christoph Bernhard of Galen.
1762     Toward the end of the seven-year war the fortress was dragged, the counter-embankment remains unchanged to this day.
after 1785     First trees cultivated areas on the counter-embankment. According to plans of the architect Johann Conrad Schlaun the fortress is developing to gardens with promenade way.
1826     Facilities of the dukedom Arenberg-Meppen with Meppen as a capital.
after 1840     For the improvement in the flood control an embankment rise is carried out
1856     Opening of the railroad Rheine-Emden.
1866     Hannover becomes Province in the kingdom Prussia and with that the Emsland too.
1892-99     Construction of the Dortmund-Ems-Channel, an important connection of the Ruhr-district to the north seaport Emden.
1939-45  In the 2nd World War hundreds casualties and heavy property damages have to be lamented also in Meppen.
1946     Last great flood disaster in the Emsland due to several breaches in the dyke
1977     Meppen becomes district town of the administrative district Emsland
2004     Connection of the Emsland to the German freeway net with the A 31
2010     Meppen celebrates the anniversary „650 years town charters“
2012     250 year celebration for the end of the fortress of Meppen

Contact Person

Stadt Meppen
Markt 43
D-49716 Meppen

        Tel.: +495931 153-0