Before 100 BC Celts lived in the area. Later the Franks came into this area as graves from the 7th century prove. The first written document is the Life of the first bishop of Münster. It describes how bishop Ludger walked from Budica, now Büttgen, through the forest of Hamrithi. Kaarst was mentioned for the first time as 'Karlesforst' in the year 1218. Karl was a very common name for frankish nobles including king Charlemagne , but a link between Charlemagne and Kaarst has not been proven.
Kaarst and Büttgen both have churches built in the 12th century. Both villages were destroyed by Charles the Bold duke of Burgundy , in the Cologne War and in the Thirty Years' War . Jan van Werth, a celebrated general during the Thirty Years' War, was born near Büttgen in 1591.
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