Stadtwappen Neuss

Blood Tower

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The tower, built from basalt and tuff, is one of the last remaining semicircular towers of the former town fortifications of Neuss. These defensive towers were built into the town walls at regular intervals and connected by a guard’s walkway. On the town side, it rested on arches that also served to strengthen the fortifications; two such arches are still in place. It is possible that in medieval and early modern times the Blood Tower used to serve as a prison and torture chamber. According to legend, Hester Meurer née Jonas had been imprisoned here; in 1635, she was accused of witchcraft, tortured and finally executed on Christmas Day. The records of her trial are preserved in their entirety in the municipal archives.

When the town fortifications were razed in the early 19th century, the tower remained, initially as a viewpoint. After World War II, the Neuss poet and writer Karl Schorn had his home in the tower for about 10 years. Since then it has seen several renovations. From the 1980s, it has been used for urban youth work.

Sources and texts: Neuss municipal archives