More than 1,000 years of history in Vreden

Frethenna, Vrethen, Frehde, Vredena, Vreede, Vreeden – diverse but constant in its core is the naming of today`s town Vreden within the course of the centuries. Vreden was first mentioned in the documents in the “Annalen of Xanten” back in the year 839.

It is very likely that before that a convent for noblewomen was established, according to historical sources by Earl Walbert.  In the “Fretheni civitatem” the last Billunger Wichmann III was entombed at his fathers.

And here  King Konrad II was a guest of “Frethenna praeclara” ( in famous Vreden) in 1024 on the occasion of a royal progress around Vreden.

The settlement which already came into existence  before the turn of the century, became an important centre. And since 1252 at the latest, when the Archbishop of Cologne and the Bishop of Münster undertook to develop the place,  Vreden also got its city charter.



Wapen met de bisschop van Keulen en de bisschop van Munster

A lot of things have changed since then. The town was often destroyed, therefore there is a lack of historical records. In 1324 the “Münster” part of Vreden was destroyed by Reinold von Geldern.  The town wasn`t spared further medieval feuds. From 1590 Vreden was suffering for nine years from the Spanish  passing the Dutch- Westphalian border district. The Black Death raged in Vreden several times. Vreden was also occupied by the Hessian for more than 10 years during the Thirty Years`War. During the revolution wars the French conquered the town for a short time in 1795, the “Franzosenbild” at the Butenwall is a reminiscent of that time.


In 1811 the town was hit by a devastating fire. In 1857 another fire destroyed large parts of Vreden.

Nevertheless, the people in Vreden never gave up, they kept building up their place again and again.




After the bombing on 21 March 1945,  when 40 per cent of the town centre was destroyed, the people in Vreden immediately started the reconstruction of their town.

In 1969 the town Vreden and the community Ammeloe came together. This resulted in completely new possibilities of development which have been used in a very good way and which can be seen in many different areas in Vreden today.


De nachtwacht vertellt iests over de geschiedenis van Vreden


The nightwatchman tours offered by the Vreden Stadtmarketing GmbH present special events of Vreden`s history and take visitors to places steeped in history.