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Kleve(klēv), Cleve or Eng. Cleves, city (1994 pop. 44,780), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, near the Dutch border. Tourism is important in the city, and its manufactures include foodstuffs, clothing, and chemical products. It is a rail junction and popular resort. Among its noteworthy buildings are the collegiate church (14th–15th cent.), which contains the tombs of the dukes of Kleve, and the 11th-century Schwanenburg [Ger.,=swans' castle], which is associated with the legend of Lohengrin. Kleve was the capital of the former Duchy of ClevesCleves, duchy of,
former state, W Germany, on both sides of the lower Rhine, bordering on the Netherlands. Cleves was the capital. A county from late Carolingian times, it acquired (late 14th cent.) the county of Mark, in Westphalia, and in 1417 was made a duchy.
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or Cleve, a historical region along the lower Rhine (mostly in the Federal Republic of Germany, in North Rhine-Westphalia).
Kleve was originally a county of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1368 it was combined with the county of Mark, and in 1417 it became a duchy. In 1511 (1521?) the duke of Kleve added the duchies of Jülich and Berg to his possessions. A struggle between the German princes for Jülich-Kleve flared up after the end of the Kleve line in 1609. This struggle resulted in the transfer in 1614 (conclusively, in 1666) of Kleve and a number of other territories to Brandenburg. The Kleve territory was held by France from 1795 to 1805. By a decision of the Congress of Vienna of 1814–15, Kleve passed to Prussia (and partly to the Netherlands).