Aachener Strasse Customs/Toll Office

Customs office of Aachener Strasse towards Herzogenrath before World War I (Herzogenrath city archives)

In the past, it was permitted to charge tolls for escort along roads and the maintenance of these roads.
During this period, when rulers changed frequently, the right to collect tolls in Herzogenrath belonged first to the Count von Saffenberg and then to the Duke of Brabant.After Napoleon’s defeat and the Congress of Vienna in 1815, authority for handling all customs formalities was transferred first to Prussia and then to the German Empire. One of the most important and profitable border crossings of the Duchy of Limburg and later of the Duchy of Brabant was located here on this stretch of road from Herzogenrath.Traders on and along the Cologne–Flanders trade route had little option than to use the route established here. Tolls were enforced, providing an important source of income for the landlords.For this reason, gaining control over a toll station always gave rise to a dispute.The cash collected by the Herzogenrath toll station far exceeded the income of other stations.The toll station that had been located in Rimburg since ancient times was in fact only occupied at that time to remind traders that they had to pay the toll crossing in Herzogenrath.Originally, the toll crossing in Herzogenrath was located at the bottom of the city. When Prussia took over, the location was located uphill, right on the border with Kerkrade.Ultimately, the Dutch and German customs offices on the western side of the border wall worked together to jointly complete the customs formalities during border crossings between the Netherlands and Germany.

Peter Dinninghoff

Dutch customs house (Herzogenrath municipal archives)

The house in the foreground and the customs house were demolished in the course of the conversion of Neustraße and the EBC building respectively. The Eurode Business Centre now stands on this site.

German customs crossing before 1968, towards Herzogenrath (Herzogenrath town archive)

The German customs crossing was located on Aachener Straße at number 44. In the service building (right-hand side, house in the background), there were service flats for the customs officers on the upper floors. During the Nazi era, the Gestapo had an office here.

German customs crossing before 1968, direction Kerkrade (Herzogenrath city archives)

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