Julich (Fr. Juliers), a town of Prussia, in the province of the Rhine, capital of a circle celebrated for fertility, in the district and 17 m. N. E. of the city of Aix-la-Chapelle; pop. in 1871, 5,244. It is in a fertile plain, surrounded by low swampy grounds which make it unhealthy. Among its manufactures are common and white leather, soap, and vinegar. It has also some trade in cattle and in country produce. Coal is mined in its neighborhood.- The town was the Juliacum mentioned in the "Itinerary " of Antoninus. One of the imperial counts of Julich, Gerhard I., assisted Henry the Fowler in his warfare against the Hungarians, and the county of Julich was raised to the rank of a duchy in favor of Gerhard's descendants by the emperor Charles IV. (1357). For a long time afterward Julich was one of the independent duchies on the Rhine, until the beginning of the 16th century, when the male line of hereditary dukes became extinct, and Julich was united through the female line with Cleves, having previously been united with Berg. After the expiration of the house of Cleves in 1609, the contest about " the Julich succession " formed one of the preludes to the thirty years' war.
The dispute was not settled before 1666, when Julich and Berg were given to the counts palatine of Neuburg. Julich was annexed by the French republic, and by the congress of Vienna allotted to Prussia, with the exception of a few localities annexed to the Dutch province of Limburg. The razing of the fortress of Julich was begun in 1860.