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History of Annakirmes


Transfer of the Annahaupt from Mainz to Düren by the stone mason Leonhard of Kor-nelimünster. After years of legal dispute on 18 March 1506 pope Julius II decided the relic to remain in Düren.

1600 - 1800

First documented mention of a market was on 15 September 1638 in a protocol of a council decision. The protocol states that cloth merchants from Elberfeld and Langenberg were the first market stall sellers.
At the end of the 17th century all fairs had subsided due to war related events.
In 1715 the council of Düren decided to open the fairs again. Market days were opened by sounding handheld bells.


On 22 June 1818 the district administrator decides the market to last for eight days.

1892 - 1897

Annakirmesplatz becomes the fairground. That part of the fair whose businesses  caused considerable noise moved to Annakirmesplatz at the old water tower. Until 1897 also the merchants followed the other showmen. Up to that point the market had been held in various places right in the center of town.

1940 - 1945

Because of the Second World War no Annakirmes was held during this period. From 1946 on the Annakirmes was again held as a fun fair on the grounds were the old water tower had been standing. 


First family-day on Annakirmes. The Tuesday of the fair is the traditional day for all showpeople presenting rides to reduce their prices by half. During the first years the amount of deduction was still at the liberty of the individual showman. The positive response of visitors on family-day shows that introducing it was a good decision.

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1966 - 1967

Enlarging Annakirmesplatz: The major makeover and construction of sewers on the 50.000 m² fairground was due to the technical development of the fairground attractions needing more space now. The enlargement became possible because the town of Düren abandoned most of its drinking water wells on Annakirmesplatz thus making more room.

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First guests-day of the City of Düren. In November 1967 the idea for a "VIP stroll" was born. Since 1968 120 to 150 participants from public administration, politics, churches, economy and associations follow the mayor’s invitation each year.

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First keg-tapping ceremony by the mayor held in the former Bayernzelt (= Bavarian tent), today Annazelt (=St. Anne’s tent). For the first time a large festival tent by the size of 25 by 56 meters was put up on Annakirmes in 1973. Since then it is a part of tradition for the acting mayor to open the Annakirmes on Saturday night by tapping the keg.

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First world championship of cherry-pit-long-spitting on the police dogs training ground. This world championship is a crazy idea born in conversation between the deceased radio presenter K. G. Breuer and the also deceased fair-director Hans Zens following the football world championship in Germany in 1974. Up to 2.500 spectators can be counted at this event on the first Saturday of the fair in Düren.

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First contest for Miss Annakirmes. The idea for holding a contest for Miss Annakirmes was devised by the trio of landlords of the festival tent Faßbender, Keller and Kämper (colloquially abbreviated as FKK-Wirte, FKK being the German acronym for Freikörperkultur = nudism). Until 2011 every year six to eight ladies over 18 years of age reported to the fair’s administration to participate on that Monday in this contest in the festival tent.
As the response to the Miss Annakirmes-contest had declined over the years, the landlords of the festival tent decided together with the City of Düren in the year 2012 not to hold on regardless to this tradition. Thus the competition was abandoned then.

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This photo shows the Annakirmes-steins from the years 1996 and 2000.


First design of an Annakirmes-stein. The idea came from Berthold Schoenen a ceramics merchant from the neighboring village of Kleinhau. The steins usually show nostalgic attractions of the Annakirmes thus perpetuating them. The last stein has been issued in the year 2002.

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Annakirmes celebrating its 350th anniversary! The City of Düren organized an extensive special programme. The jubilee-year had to offer a parade through town, a photo-competition, exhibitions and further highlights.

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The Annakirmes was prescribed new closing times by the Regierungspräsident (head of regional state administration, also regional head of police). In the seventies and eighties visitor’s habits had changed. Guests stayed longer on the fairground than previously. Pub-owners  from the center of town complained because this development seemed to lower their business volume. The City of Düren counteracted by lifting closing time altogether during the Annakirmes. Following that neighbors of the fairground aggravated by nocturnal noise called the Regierungspräsident to help. After tough negotiations the opening hours valid today could be bargained. Due to respect for tradition it could be achieved that showpeople may keep their businesses open until 2 o’clock in the morning on four days.

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"Elephant-posters" recommend kids beverages at low prices. Drinks stalls committed themselves to offer one non-alcoholic drink for a cheaper price than the same amount of any alcoholic drink.

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Düren celebrates 100 years of Annakirmes on the grounds "at the old water tower". For the jubilee of Annakirmesplatz the fairground-administration organized a nostalgia-fair, a historic exhibition of photos and models and a parade.

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Historic parade for the 1250-yerar-jubilee of the City of Düren
747/748 Düren was first mentioned as "in villa, quae dicitur Duria".


25 years of world championship of cherry-pit-long-spitting.

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Jubilee year: For 500 years the Annahaupt has been in Düren. Celebrations comprise the Annamarkt and a parade. "Emperor Charles V." visits Düren worshipping the Annahaupt.

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Two world-records in one year: Oliver Kuck improves on his previous world-record of 20,66 meters from 1996 to now 21,71 meters in the 29th world-championship. The Swiss Conchita Koehler improves the ladies best to 15,24 meters.

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Second Annamarkt in Düren comprising grand spectacle and festive parade.

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The Annamarkt has become an established event as it is celebrated for the third time with a medieval market and a festive parade in the center of town.

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For the first time the Düren Annakirmes opens already at 11 am instead of 3 pm. Thus the show-people are given the first Saturday as a whole businessday.

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In 2013 the first mention of the largest folk festival in the region marks the 375th time. This was celebrated with numerous events. For the anniversary, the fair administration organized an organ weekend, a historic fair, an exhibition at the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum with photos and models, as well as a parade.

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The cherry pit spitting celebrating their anniversary this year: For the 40.ten times the elite cherry pit wide spiter meets in Düren. For the anniversary of world championsship special event for selected teams has caused additional stress.

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Hans-Jürgen Pelzer, fire chief of the volunteer fire brigade Düren, had the fair Friday his last day on the service Dürener Annakirmes. He has honorary passed fire safety guard on the Annakirmes place for 25 years.
Mayor Paul Larue, place master Achim Greiff and the chairman of the association traveled showman e.V. Düren, Hans Bert Cremer, said Mr Pelzer her thanks.

Paul Larue presented a book about the work of the Dürener inventor Ernst Neumann-Neander, who near the Annakirmes square in Rölsdorf lived and worked.
From the hands of place master Achim Greiff Hans-Jürgen Pelzer received a gift basket with special thanks for the many years of their cooperative.
The dressing Traveller showman thanked with a fair heart, roasted almonds and a Annakirmes pitcher for the long-term commitment to the Dürener Annakirmes.

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