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Koblenz
Altstadt Koblenz.jpg
Coat of arms of Koblenz
Koblenz is located in Germany
Koblenz
Coordinates 50°21′35″N 7°35′52″E / 50.35972°N 7.59778°E / 50.35972; 7.59778
Administration
Country Germany
State Rhineland-Palatinate
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Eberhard Schulte-Wissermann (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 105.02 km2 (40.55 sq mi)
Elevation 64.7 m  (212 ft)
Population 105,888  (31 December 2006)
 - Density 1,008 /km2 (2,611 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate KO
Postal codes 56001–56077
Area code 0261
Website koblenz.de

Koblenz (also Coblenz in pre-1926 German spellings; French Coblence) is a city situated on both banks of the Rhine at its confluence with the Moselle, where the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) and its monument (Emperor William I on horseback) are situated.

As Koblenz (Latin (ad) Confluentes, "confluence" or "(at the) merging (rivers)", Covelenz, Cobelenz; local dialect "Kowelenz") was one of the military posts established by Drusus about 8 BC, the town celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1992.

After Mainz and Ludwigshafen am Rhein, it is the third largest city in Rhineland-Palatinate, with a population of c. 106,000 (2006). Koblenz lies in the Rhineland, 92 kilometers (57 miles) southeast of Cologne by rail.

Contents

History

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Ancient era

Around 1000 BC, early fortifications were erected on the Festung Ehrenbreitstein hill on the opposite side of the Moselle. In 55 BC Roman troops commanded by Julius Caesar reached the Rhine and built a bridge between Koblenz and Andernach. About 9 BC, the "Castellum apud Confluentes", was one of the military posts established by Drusus.

Remains of a large bridge built in 49 AD by the Romans are still visible. The Romans built two castles as protection of the bridge, one in 9 AD and another in the 2nd century, the latter being destroyed by the Franks in 259. North to Koblenz was a temple of Mercury and Rosmerta (a Gallo-Roman deity), which remained in use up to the 5th century.

Palace of the prince electors of Trier.
Map of the Koblenz region.

Middle Ages

With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was conquered by the Franks and became a royal seat. After the division of Charlemagne's empire, it was included in the lands of his son Louis the Pious (814). In 837 it was assigned to Charles the Bald, and a few years later here Carolingian heirs discussed what was to become the Treaty of Verdun (843), by which the city became part of Lotharingia under Lothair I. In 860 and 922 Koblenz was the scene of ecclesiastical synods. At the former of these, held in the Liebfrauenkirche, took place the reconciliation of Louis the German with his half-brother Charles the Bald. The town was sacked and destroyed by the Normans in 882. Starting from 925, it became part of the eastern German Kingdom, later the Holy Roman Empire.

Fortress (Festung) Ehrenbreitstein in the background.

In 1018 the city, after receiving a charter, was given by the emperor Henry II to the archbishop and prince elector of Trier. It remained in the possession of his seccessors till the close of the 18th century and was their main residence since the 17th century. Emperor Conrad II was elected here in 1138. In 1198 in the nearby took place the battle between Philip of Swabia and Otto IV. In 1216 prince-bishop Theoderich von Wied donated to the Teutonic Knights part of the lands of the basilica and the hospital, which later became the Deutsches Eck.

In 1249-1254 Koblenz was surrounded with new walls by Archbishop Arnold II of Isenburg; and it was partly to overawe the turbulent townsmen that successive archbishops built and strengthened the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein that dominates the city.

Modern era

As a member of the league of the Rhenish cities which took its rise in the 13th century. The Teutonic Knights founded the Bailiwick of Koblenz in or around 1231. Koblenz attained to great prosperity; and it continued to advance till the disasters of the Thirty Years' War occasioned a rapid decline. After Philip Christopher, elector of Trier, had surrendered Ehrenbreitstein to the French the town received an imperial garrison (1632), which was soon, however, expelled by the Swedes. They in their turn handed the city over to the French, but the imperial forces succeeded in retaking it by storm (1636).

In 1688 Koblenz was besieged by the French under Marshal de Boufflers, but they only succeeded in bombing the Old City (Altstadt) into ruins, destroying among other buildings the Old Merchants' Hall (Kaufhaus), which was restored in its present form in 1725. The city was the residence of the archbishop-electors of Trier from 1690 to 1801.

In 1786 the last archbishop-elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, gave great assistance to the extension and improvement of the city, turning the Ehrenbreitstein into a magnificent baroque palace. After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, the city became, through the invitation of the archbishop-elector's chief minister, Ferdinand Freiherr von Duminique, one of the principal rendezvous points for French émigrés. The archbishop-elector approved of this because he was the uncle of the persecuted king of France, Louis XVI. Among the many royalist French refugees who flooded into the city were Louis XVI's two younger brothers, the Comte de Provence and the Comte d'Artois. In addition, Louis XVI's cousin, the Prince de Condé, arrived and formed an army of young aristocrats willing to fight the French Revolution and restore the Ancien Régime. The Army of Condé joined with an allied army of Prussian and Austrian soldiers led by Duke of Brunswick in an unsuccessful invasion of France in 1792. This drew down upon the archbishop-elector the wrath of the First French Republic; in 1794 Coblenz was taken by the French Revolutionary army under Marceau (who fell during the siege), and, after the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville (1801) it was made the capital of the new French départment of Rhin-et-Moselle. In 1814 it was occupied by the Russians. The Congress of Vienna assigned the city to Prussia, and in 1822 it was made the seat of government for the Prussian Rhine Province.

After World War I, France occupied the area once again. In retaliation against the French, the German populace of the city has insisted on using the more German spelling of Koblenz since 1926. During World War II it was the location of the command of Army Group B and like many other German cities, it was heavily bombed and rebuilt afterwards. Between 1947 and 1950, it served as the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Rhine Gorge was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002, with Koblenz marking the northern end.

Fortress Ehrenbreitstein as seen from Koblenz.
HDR Panorama of Koblenz from Metternich.

Main sights

Fortified cities

Basilica St. Kastor
US Air Force bombing in 1944
Monument at Deutsches Eck

Its defensive works are extensive, and consist of strong forts crowning the hills encircling the town on the west, and of the citadel of Ehrenbreitstein on the opposite bank of the Rhine. The old city was triangular in shape, two sides being bounded by the Rhine and Mosel and the third by a line of fortifications. The last were razed in 1890, and the town was permitted to expand in this direction. Immediately outside the former walls lies the new central railway station, in which is effected a junction of the Cologne-Mainz railway with the strategic line Metz-Berlin. The Rhine is crossed by a road bridge and, a mile above the town, by a beautiful bridge of two wide and lofty spans carrying the Berlin railway referred to above. The Moselle is spanned by a Gothic freestone bridge of 14 arches, erected in 1344, and also by a railway bridge.

The city, down to 1890, consisted of the Altstadt (old city) and the Neustadt (new city) or Klemenstadt. Of these, the Altstadt is closely built and has only a few fine streets and squares, while the Neustadt possesses numerous broad streets and a handsome frontage to the Rhine.

Other sights

In the more ancient part of Koblenz stand several buildings which have a historical interest. Prominent among these, near the point of confluence of the rivers, is the Basilica St. Kastor or Kastorkirche, dedicated to Castor of Karden, with four towers. The church was originally founded in 836 by Louis the Pious, but the present Romanesque building was completed in 1208, the Gothic vaulted roof dating from 1498. In front of the church of Saint Castor stands a fountain, erected by the French in 1812, with an inscription to commemorate Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Not long after, Russian troops occupied Koblenz; and St. Priest, their commander, added in irony these words: "Vu et approuvé par nous, Commandant russe de la Ville de Coblence: Janvier 1er, 1814."

In this quarter of the town, too, is the Liebfrauenkirche, a fine church (nave 1250, choir 1404-1431) with lofty late Romanesque towers; the castle of the electors of Trier, erected in 1280, which now contains the municipal picture gallery; and the family house of the Metternichs, where Prince Metternich, the Austrian statesman, was born in 1773. Also notable is the church of St. Florian, with a two towers façade from c. 1110.

The former Jesuit College is a Baroque edifice by J.C. Sebastiani (1694-1698) serves as the current Town Hall.

Near Koblenz is the Lahneck Castle near Lahnstein, open to visitors from April 1 to October 31.

The city is close to the Bronze Age earthworks at Goloring, a possible Urnfield calendar constructed some 3000 years ago.

Elector's palace

In the modern part of the town lies the palace (Residenzschloss), with one front looking towards the Rhine, the other into the Neustadt. It was built in 1778-1786 by Clement Wenceslaus, the last elector of Trier, under design by the French architect P.M. d'Ixnard. In 1833, the palace was used as a barracks, and became the final depot for the optical telecommunications system that originated in Potsdam. Today, the elector's former palace is a museum; among other curiosities, it contains some fine Gobelin tapestries. From it some pretty gardens and promenades (Kaiserin Augusta Anlagen) stretch along the bank of the Rhine, and in them is a memorial to the poet Max von Schenkendorf. A fine statue to the empress Augusta, whose favourite residence was Coblenz, stands in the Luisenplatz. But of all public memorials the most striking is the colossal equestrian statue of the emperor William I of Germany, erected by the Rhine provinces in 1897, standing on a lofty and massive pedestal, at the point where the Rhine and Mosel meet.

William I monument

The Teutonic Knights were given an area for their Deutschherrenhaus Balley right at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel, which became known as German Corner (Deutsches Eck).

In 1897, a monument to German Emperor William I of Germany, mounted on a 14 meter high horse, was inaugurated there by his grandson William II. The architect was Bruno Schmitz, who was responsible for a number of nationalistic German monuments and memorials. The German Corner is since associated with this monument, the (re) foundation of the German Empire and the German refusal of any French claims to the area, as described in the song "Die Wacht am Rhein" together with the "Wacht am Rhein" called "Niederwalddenkmal" somewhat 30 km upstream.

During World War II, the statue was destroyed by US artillery. The French occupation administration intended the complete destruction of the monument and wanted to replace it with a new one.

In 1953, Bundespräsident Theodor Heuss re-dedicated the monument to German unity, adding the signs of the remaining western federal states as well as the ones of the lost areas in the East. A Flag of Germany waved there since. The Saarland was added four years later after the population had voted to join Germany.

In the 1980s, a movie of the monument was often shown on late night TV when the National Anthem was played to mark the end of the day, a practise which was discontinued when nonstop broadcasting became common. On October 3, 1990, the very day the former GDR states joined, their signs were added to the monument.

As German unity was considered complete and the areas under Polish administration were ceded to Poland, the monument lost its official active purpose, now only reminding of past history. In 1993, the flag was replaced by a copy of the statue, donated by a local couple. The day chosen for the reinstatement of the statue, however, caused controversy as it coincided with Sedantag (Sedan Day) (2 September 1870) a day of celebration remembering Germany's victory over France in the Battle of Sedan.[1] The event was widely celebrated from the 1870s until the turn of the century.

Incorporated villages

Formerly separate villages now incorporated into the jurisdiction of the city of Koblenz

Date Village Area Date Village Area
1 July 1891 Neuendorf mit Lützel 547 hectares (2.1 sq mi) 7 June 1969 Kesselheim  ?
1 April 1902 Moselweiß 382 hectares (1.5 sq mi) 7 June 1969 Kapellen-Stolzenfels  ?
1 October 1923 Wallersheim 229 hectares (0.88 sq mi) 7 November 1970 Arenberg-Immendorf  ?
1 July 1937 Asterstein (Teil von Pfaffendorf)  ? 7 November 1970 Arzheim 487 hectares (1.9 sq mi)
1 July 1937 Ehrenbreitstein 120 hectares (0.46 sq mi) 7 November 1970 Bubenheim 314 hectares (1.2 sq mi)
1 July 1937 Horchheim 772 hectares (3.0 sq mi) 7 November 1970 Güls mit Bisholder  ?
1 July 1937 Metternich 483 hectares (1.9 sq mi) 7 November 1970 Lay  ?
1 July 1937 Niederberg 203 hectares (0.78 sq mi) 7 November 1970 Rübenach  ?
1 July 1937 Pfaffendorf mit Asterstein 369 hectares (1.4 sq mi)

Economy

Königsbacher brewery

Koblenz is a principal seat of the Mosel and Rhenish wine trade, and also does a large business in the export of mineral waters. Its manufactures include automotive parts (braking systems - TRW Automotive, gas springs and hydraulic vibration dampers - Stabilus), aluminium coils (Aleris Aluminum), pianos, paper, cardboard, machinery, boats, and barges. Since the 17th century, it is home to the Königsbacher brewery (the Old Brewery in Koblenz's center, and now a plant in Koblenz-Stolzenfels). It is an important transit centre for the Rhine railways and for the Rhine navigation.

Education

The campus Koblenz of University of Koblenz and Landau is located in the city.

Twin cities

Dr. Eberhard Schulte-Wissermann, Mayor of Koblenz since 1994

Koblenz is twinned with the following cities:

The non-profit organisation Sister Cities International.[2] designates

a sister city of Koblenz.

Popular culture

In Philip Reeve's series The Mortal Engines Quartet, Koblenz, as Panzerstadt Koblenz, is a member of the Traktionstadtsgesellschaft, a fictional league of German traction cities formed to combat the ruthless advance of the Anti-tractionists, thousands of years in the future.

The children's toy yo-yo was nicknamed de Coblenz (Koblenz) in 18th century France, referring to the large number of noble French émigrées then living in the city.[3].

References

  1. ^ Jefferies, Matthew, Imperial Culture in Germany, 1871-1918 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003)
  2. ^ Sister Cities International (2007). "Online Directory: Germany, Europe". Retrieved October 12, 2007.
  3. ^ [1] National Yo-Yo Museum, California

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Koblenz [1] is a city in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in the Federal Republic of Germany. Koblenz has approx. 108,000 inhabitants; the surrounding area accounts for approx. 400,000 people in total.

Get in

By plane

Koblenz is located within one hour travelling time of three major German airports:

  • Frankfurt, which is a main European hub and home of Lufthansa (rates will be comparably expensive),
  • Frankfurt-Hahn, which is a hub of the low-cost airline Ryanair and Wizz Air, Pegasus Airlines, Blue Air, & Iceland Express.
  • Cologne, which is served by major airlines and low-cost carriers as HLX, Germanwings, EasyJet.

By train

Koblenz can easily be reached by train, for example from the Frankfurt/Mainz area, Cologne area or Trier. These towns are one to two hours away and connections run from early in the morning till late night.

By car

Three German motorways lead to Koblenz: A3, A48 and A61. Parking in the center of Koblenz is sometimes restricted according to time. Park and ride is available. The train station has a parking garage, as does the Löhr Center. Pay attention to closing times at the Löhr Center parking garage - it closes shortly after the shops, typically catching at least a few tourists unaware!

By bus

Many bus companies offer trips to Koblenz for one or more days.

Get around

Buses leave from the central train station (usually between 5:30 and 23:00) and will take you to most parts of Koblenz. The city itself is quite small and easily accessible on foot.

You can reach "Festung Ehrenbreitstein" by taxi, bus, or by taking a ferry across the Rhine River and walking up the walled access road to the fortress. You can also ride a chairlift (Sesselbahn) to the top of the fortress.

  • Deutsches Eck. This spot (the name means German Corner in German) is where the Mosel River meets the Rhein River. The tip of the park is shaped like a ship's prow, overlooked by an enormous equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm mounted on an equally-huge stone base that you can climb for a great view of the rivers and opposite shore castle/fort. Not far from the German Corner, you can catch a little sightseeing train which will drive around & point out some of the interesting things about Koblenz.
  • Festung Ehrenbreitstein. This is a big military castle/fort in good condition. From there you have a good view over Koblenz (entry fee about €2). There is also one of the museum of Koblenz. It is located on the other side of the Rhine.
  • Militär Museum. This is a big military museum. It is located on the other side of the Mosel. In the past Koblenz was an important strategic military area. On every side of the rivers were military castles/forts. Rivers were the most important logistic routes until the 20th century. Their possession could decide who won or lost a war.
  • Schängel-Brunnen. This is a nice little fountain near the town hall. You should stand three steps in front of the fountain and in front of the figure's face. Wait there three minutes. What then happens should bring fortune.
  • City Sculptures. Koblenz has a number of whimsical sculptures and fountains scattered throughout the city. Look for them as you walk around, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
  • Watch football at the Oberwerth-Stadium and see TuS Koblenz [2]
  • On the second weekend in August, watch "Rhein in Flammen" (Rhein in Flames). During that weekend there are concerts at Deutsches Eck, with a big fireworks display on Saturday evening. The history for this event is that the Germans sent burning ships down the Rhine and confused the Roman troops. So they broke through the "limes", a wall which protected the Romans from the uncivilized wild Germans.
  • In September is the "Nacht der Museen" (Night of Museums). Special buses run between museums and other points of interest, which are open till midnight. Ticket for entrance and bus is about €16.
  • Boating trips on the Rhine are famous. There are castles and vineyards to see.
  • Koblenz has a classical theater. In Germany, men wear suits and women wear gowns when going to a classic theatre.
  • In Blaue Biwel enjoy the cabaret.
  • For young people, KuFa (culture factory) offers nice plays and concerts.

Buy

Koblenz has a big shopping mall (Löhr-Center) with some 130 shops, located in the city centre. There are also many downtown shops on or near Löhrstraße.

  • Wirtshaus Alt Coblenz, Am Plan 13, 0261 160656 (fax: 0261 309882), [3]. Excellent regional wine and food. Main dish €9-15.  edit

Drink

Koblenz is located in the wine area of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, mostly known for dry white wines, but also producing dry red wines. And in Germany, trying the beer is also a must! South and north German beers differ in the proportion of hops and malt. More hops makes the beer more bitter, and this region is known for a higher percentage of hops. "Königsbacher" is one local brewery.

  • Irish Pub, down the street from the Deutsches Eck (German Corner), is a friendly pub with English-speaking bar staff, occasionally music.
  • Rhein-Hotel Diehl's Terrassen [4] is situated directly at the Rhine, below the Ehrenbreitstein castle/fort, with a view of the Deutsches Eck from every room. 4-star, but unfortunately only a few metres from a busy railway.
  • Youth Hostel - map - located in the fortress "Festung Ehrenbreitstein". From there you have a nice view over Koblenz
  • Cochem — medieval town up the Mosel River
  • Treis-Karden — site of the stunning Eltz Castle, 30 km west of Koblenz
  • St. Goar — home to the famous "Loreley", the narrowest and once the most dangerous part of the Rhine for ships
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Proper noun

Koblenz

  1. independent city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Translations

  • French: Coblence

German

Wikipedia-logo.png
German Wikipedia has an article on:
Koblenz

Wikipedia de

Proper noun

Koblenz

  1. Koblenz (independent city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)

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