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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of Konstanz
View of Konstanz
Coat of arms of Konstanz
Konstanz is located in Germany
Coordinates 47°39′48″N 9°10′31″E / 47.66333°N 9.17528°E / 47.66333; 9.17528
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Freiburg
District Konstanz
Town subdivisions 15
Lord Mayor Horst Frank (Grüne)
Basic statistics
Area 55.65 km2 (21.49 sq mi)
Elevation 405 m  (1329 ft)
Population 81,006  (31 December 2006)
 - Density 1,456 /km2 (3,770 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate KN
Postal codes 78462–78467
Area codes 07531, 07533
Konstanz in 1925 seen from the lake
Schnetztor, a section of the former city wall
Rheintorturm, a section of the former from city wall
Shops in Konstanz
The Konzilgebäude in Konstanz
The plaque on the house where Jan Hus stayed in 1414

Konstanz (pronounced [ˈkɔnstants], locally [ˈkɔnʃtants]; also known in English as Constance) is a university town of around 80,000 inhabitants at the western end of Lake Constance in the south-west corner of Germany, bordering Switzerland.



Konstanz is situated on Lake Constance (the Bodensee in German). The Rhine river, which starts in the Swiss Alps, passes through Lake Constance and leaves it again, considerably larger, by flowing under a bridge connecting the two parts of the city. North of the river lies the larger part of the city with residential areas, industrial estates, and the University of Konstanz; while south of the river is the old town which houses the administrative centre and shopping facilities in addition to the Fachhochschule or the University of Applied Sciences. Car ferries provide access across Lake Constance to Meersburg, and the Katamaran provides a shuttle service for pedestrians to Friedrichshafen. To the south, the old town borders onto the Swiss town of Kreuzlingen.


Konstanz is subdivided into 15 wards or districts (Stadtteile). The island of Mainau belongs to the ward of Litzelstetten, a separate municipality until its incorporation into Konstanz on Dec. 1, 1971.

Wards of Konstanz


The first traces of civilization in Konstanz date back to the late Stone Age. Around 50 AD, the first Romans settled on the site. Its name, originally Constantia, comes either from the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus, who fought the Alemanni in the region and fortified the town around 300 AD, or from his grandson Constantius II, who visited the region in 354.

Around 585 the first bishop took residence in Konstanz and marked the beginning of the city's importance as a spiritual center. By the late Middle Ages, about one fourth of Konstanz's 6,000 inhabitants were exempt from taxation on account of clerical rights.

Trade thrived during the Middle Ages; Konstanz owned the only bridge in the region which crossed the Rhine, making it a strategic place. Their linen production had made an international name and the city was prosperous. In 1192, Konstanz gained the status of Imperial City so it was henceforth subject only to the Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1414–1418 the Council of Constance took place, during which, on 6 July 1415, Jan Hus (Czech religious thinker, philosopher and reformer), who was seen as a threat to Christianity by the Roman Catholic Church, was burned at the stake. It was here that the Papal Schism was ended and Pope Martin V was elected during the only conclave ever held north of the Alps. Ulrich von Richental's illustrated chronicle of the Council of Constance testifies to all the major happenings during the Council, as well as showing the everyday life of medieval Konstanz. The Konzilgebäude where the conclave was held can still be seen standing by the harbour. Close by stands the Imperia, a statue that was erected in 1993 to remind of the Council.

In 1460 the Swiss Confederacy conquered Thurgau, Konstanz's natural hinterland. Konstanz then made an attempt to get admitted to the Swiss Confederacy, but the forest cantons voted against its entry, fearing over-bearing city states; Konstanz then entered the Swabian League instead. In the Swabian War of 1499, Konstanz lost its last privileges over Thurgau to the Confederation.

The Protestant Reformation took hold in Konstanz in the 1520s, headed by Ambrosius Blarer. Soon the city declared itself officially Protestant, pictures were removed from the churches, and the bishop temporarily moved to Meersburg, a small town across the lake. The city first followed the Tetrapolitan Confession, and then the Augsburg Confession. However, in 1548 Emperor Charles V imposed the Imperial Ban on Konstanz and it had to surrender to Habsburg Austria which had immediately attacked. Thus, Konstanz lost its status as imperial city. The new Habsburg rulers were eager to re-Catholicise the town and in 1604 a Jesuit College was opened. Its accompanying theater, built in 1610, is the oldest theater in Germany still performing regularly.

The city became part of the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1806. In 1821, the Bishopric of Constance was dissolved and became part of the Archdiocese of Freiburg. Konstanz became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. After World War I it was included within the Republic of Baden.

Because it practically lies within Switzerland, directly adjacent to the Swiss border, Konstanz was not bombed by the Allied Forces during World War II. The city left all its lights on at night, and thus fooled the bombers into thinking it was actually Switzerland. After the war, Konstanz was included first in South Baden and then in the new state of Baden-Württemberg.

The Altstadt (Old Town), which is large considering the small size of modern Konstanz, has many old buildings and twisted alleys. The city scene is marked by the majestic "Münster" Cathedral ("Münster Unserer Lieben Frau"), several other churches and three towers left over from the city wall, one of which marks the place of the former medieval bridge over the Rhine.

The University of Konstanz was established close to the town in 1966. It houses an excellent library with approximately two million books, all freely accessible 24 hours a day, as well as a botanical garden (the Botanischer Garten der Universität Konstanz).

Konstanz was the birthplace of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, constructor of the famous Zeppelin airships.

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Konstanz is twinned with:


Konstanz is served by major railway lines running west to Singen with connections to all parts of Germany, and south into Switzerland, connecting to major routes at Weinfelden. Services are provided by the Deutsche Bahn AG and also the Swiss Thurbo company and its German subsidiary. The nearest airport is at Friedrichshafen, which can be reached by a fast ferry service on the lake, which also connects Konstanz to other lakeside towns. The airport mainly hosts domestic flights, but flights to London Stansted Airport and Alicante are available. The nearest international airports are in Stuttgart, in Basel, and Zurich, which has a direct train from Konstanz. Bus services within the city are provided by SüdbadenBus GmbH.

Additionally Konstanz and Friedrichshafen have been connected by the two (and soon three) catamarans Constance and Fridolin since 2005.

See also

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There is more than one place called Constance:



United States of America

  • Constance (Arkansas) - A town in Arkansas.
  • Constance (Kentucky) - A town in Kentucky.
  • Constance (Kentucky) - A town in Nebraska.
This article is a disambiguation page. If you arrived here by following a link from another page you can help by correcting it, so that it points to the appropriate disambiguated page.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CONSTANCE (Ger. Konstanz or Costnitz), a town in the grandduchy of Baden. It is built, at a height of 1303 ft. above the sea, on the S. or left bank of the Rhine, just as it issues from the Lake of Constance to form the Untersee. The town communicates by steamer with all the places situated on the shores of the Lake of Constance, while by rail it is 30 or 31 m. by one or other bank of the Rhine from Schaffhausen (on the W.) and 222 m. along the S.W. shore of the lake from Rorschach (S.E.). In 1905 it numbered 24,818 inhabitants, mostly Germanspeaking and Romanists. A fine bridge leads north over the Rhine to one suburb, Petershausen, while to the south the town gradually merges into the Swiss suburb of Kreuzlingen. It is a picturesque little town, with several noteworthy medieval buildings. The former cathedral church was mainly built 1069-1089, but was later gothicized; near the west end of the nave a plate in the floor marks the spot where Huss stood when condemned to death, while in the midst of the choir is the brass which covered the grave of Robert Hallam, bishop of Salisbury, who died here in 1417, during the council. The old Dominican convent, on an island east of the town, is now turned into a hotel, but the buildings (especially the cloisters) are well preserved. The 14th century Kaufhaus (warehouse for goods) was the scene of the conclave that elected Martin V., but the council really sat in the cathedral church. The town-hall dates from 1592, and has many points of interest. In the market-place, side by side, are two houses wherein two important historical events are said to have taken place - in the "Gasthaus zum Barbarossa" Frederick Barbarossa signed the peace of Constance (1183), while in the house named "zum Hohen Hafen" the emperor Sigismund invested Frederick of Hohenzollern with the mark of Brandenburg (1417). On the outskirts of the town, to the west, in the Bruhl suburb, a stone marks the spot where Hus and Jerome of Prague were burnt to death. The Rosgarten museum contains various interesting collections. Constance is the centre of a brisk transit trade, while it has various factories and other industrial establishments.

Constance owes its fame, not to the Roman station that existed here, but to the fact that it was a bishop's see from the 6th century (when it was transferred hither from Vindonissa, near Brugg, in the Aargau) till its suppression in 1821, after having been secularized in 1803 and having lost, in 1814-1815, its Swiss portions. The bishop was a prince of the Holy Roman Empire, while his diocese was one of the largest in Germany, including (shortly before the Reformation) most of Baden and Wurttemberg, and 12 out of the 22 Swiss cantons (all the region on the right bank of the Aar, save the portions included in the diocese of Coire) - in it were comprised 350 monasteries, 1760 benefices and 17,000 priests. It was owing to this important position that the see city of the diocese was selected as the scene of the great reforming council, 1414-1418 (see below), which deposed all three rival popes, elected a new one, Martin V., and condemned to death by fire John Huss (6th of July 1415) and Jerome of Prague (23rd of May 1416). In 1192 (some writers say in 1255) the city became an imperial free city, but the bishop and his chapter practically ruled it till the time of the Reformation. Constance is the natural capital of the Thurgau, so that when in 1460 the Swiss wrested that region from the Austrians, the town and the Swiss Confederation should have been naturally drawn together. But Constance refused to give up to the Swiss the right of exercising criminal jurisdiction in the Thurgau, which it had obtained from the emperor in 1417, while the Austrians, having bought Bregenz (in two parts, 1451 and 1523), were very desirous of securing the well-placed city for themselves. In 1530 Constance (whose bishop had been forced to flee in 1527 to Meersburg, on the other side of the lake, and from that time the episcopal residence) joined, with Strassburg, Memmingen and Lindau, the Schmalkalden League. But after the great defeat of the Protestants in 1547, in the battle of Muhlberg, the city found itself quite isolated in southern Germany. The Austrians had long tried to obtain influence in the town, especially when its support of the Protestant cause attracted the sympathy of the Swiss. Hence Charles V. lost no time, and in 1548 forced it, after a bloody, though unsuccessful, fight on the bridge over the Rhine, not merely to surrender to the imperial authority and to receive the bishop again, but also to consent to annexation to the Austrian family dominions. Protestantism was then vigorously stamped out. In 1633 Constance resisted successfully an attempt of the Swedes to take it, and, in 1805, by the treaty of Pressburg, was handed over by Austria to Baden.

See S. J. Capper, The Shores and Cities of the Bodensee (London, 1881); G. Gsell-Fels, Der Bodensee (Munich, 1893); Bruckmann's illustrierte Reisefi.ihrer; E. Issel, Die Reformation in Konstanz (Freiburg i/B., 1898); F. X. Kraus, Die Kunstdenkmdler des Kreises Konstanz (Freiburg i/B., 1887); J. Laible, Geschichte der Stadt Konstanz (Konstanz, 1896); A. Maurer, Derbergang der Stadt Konstanz an das Haus Osterreich (Frauenfeld, 1904). (W. A. B. C.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




A medieval form of the Latin Constantia from a word meaning constancy.

Proper noun




  1. A female given name.

Related terms



  • 1951 translation by Nevill Coghill of: 13?? Geoffrey Chaucer: Canterbury Tales: The Man of the Law's Tale:
    And forth she sailed the ocean salt and rude.
    O Constance, full of sweet solicitude,
    O Emperor's daughter of a mighty realm,
    He that is Lord of Fortune guide thy helm!


Proper noun


  1. A female given name, cognate to English Constance.



Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Lincoln Constance article)

From Wikispecies


Simple English

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