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Trip Planner Europe  /  Germany  /  Lower Saxony  /  Nordhorn
Nordhorn is the district seat of Grafschaft Bentheim in Lower Saxony's southwesternmost corner near the border with the Netherlands and the boundary with North Rhine-Westphalia.Name's originOne story holds that the town's name – which means "North Horn" – came about when the town was under attack, in which case a horn – the so-called Nothorn or emergency horn – was blown by the watchmen to warn the Vechteinsel inhabitants and also to call for help. Since the town lay north of Bentheim and its castle, it is said that this yielded the name Nordhorn.A horn, however, was also used by the boatmen on the river Vechte to warn each other of ships’ movements in fog. Indeed, since the 1970s, the Tuter, a bronze memorial to the beginnings of inland shipping, has stood at the old harbour.Since a settlement with a harbour arose between Schüttorf and Emlichheim in the Early Middle Ages whose coat of arms bore a horn as a charge, it seems likely that Nordhorn could have arisen from this.A more scientifically based variation on what the arms mean holds that "horn" is meant in the sense of "pointed end", making "Nordhorn" a northern point – the jutting northerly end of a field into the Vechte Valley. Heinrich Specht pointed this out in his 1941 town chronicle in reference to the spur, or "horn", of land on which the town's first centre was built.
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