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of Kleve in 1225, the town located on the Dutch border, midway between
the Rhine and Maas rivers.
local opinion, the name
“Kranenburg” derives from the presence of a
large number of cranes which were in that area at the time of its
founding. The legend could
also refer to the more common heron, which is still prevalent in the
Kranenburg is a place
of pilgrimage which, since 1308,
has seen a constant
flow of visitors who come from near and far. They arrive to honor a
figure of Christ
in the shape of a cross having the appearance of a carved wood
sculpture. According to legend, the figure sprang miraculously from a
communion wafer which was discarded near a tree.
parts of the
town center still have a medieval
appearance, including houses that are
built into the ancient perimeter wall. Those are not uncommon in
Germany, but Kranenburg has
somewhat more than usual. The Mühlenturm (mill
tower, below) and the
old church are also
worth a visit. Kranenburg has a regional office of
making the town an important stop for
those who come to the Niederrhein for winter wildfowl watching.