Konstanz: Wikis

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Konstanz
View of Konstanz
View of Konstanz
Coat of arms of Konstanz
Konstanz is located in Germany
Konstanz
Coordinates 47°39′48″N 9°10′31″E / 47.66333°N 9.17528°E / 47.66333; 9.17528
Administration
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
Website www.konstanz.de
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.

Contents

Location

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.

Subdivisions

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

History

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

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Twin towns — sister cities

Konstanz is twinned with:

Transport

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

Konstanz [1] is a city in southern Germany. It lies on the border with Switzerland and on the Bodensee, known in English as Lake Constance. It is a historical city which survived WWII intact thanks to its proximity to Switzerland, and could be named the jewel of the region. It is actually located closer to Switzerland than to the rest of Germany, as it is more or less an enclave.

Get in

The bus services of southern Germany are, as in all of Germany, excellent. Konstanz has a train station as well, from which trains leave for many towns in the area. Connections can also be obtained from other stations.

By Plane: Konstanz has no commerical airport. Closest airports are Zurich in Switzerland (1 hour drive), Friedrichshafen (1 hour drive) and Stuttgart (est. 2 hours drive). Zurich airport: There is a direct train connection from Zurich International Airport and various smaller connections twice an hour throughout the day. Friedrichshafen airport: Take the Highspeed Ferry from Friedrichshafen (Bus from Friedrichshafen Airport to Friedrichshafen Harbor) directly into Konstanz (runs every hour). Alternatives: train from Friedrichshafen, change in Radolfzell and continue to Konstanz.

Get around

Konstanz's centre is largely pedestrian and very walkable. Taxis or buses are also available in large quantities.

See

The Munsterturm Cathedral. Construction completed on the North Tower in about 1100 AD. Built between 1100 and 1854, the church is a magnificent example of architectural styles of the centuries. Climb up the tower for a fantastic view of Konstanz and the Bodensee. Image:Konstanz.jpg

Do

Don't miss the oldest district of Constance,named "Niederburg".Its a very charming district with old houses,sometimes more then 700 years old.

Eat

Konstanz has a rich variety of all kinds of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. Due to the proximity of the Swiss border, prices are higher than in other cities (mentally add 2 Euros to every main dish you are eating in other German cities). In summertime most restaurants offer outside sitting and eating, in the evening hours it is hard to find a place, occasionally.

A good start to discover the Konstanz restaurant scene is to start at the central marketplace "Marktstätte: "Casablanca" offers italian food, a great place to sit outside and watch the tourist masses walk by or catch the performances of the street artists. "Aran" is an upscale cafe with great snacks (wood oven bread slices with various toppings, hot wraps, custom made icecream) "La Piazza" offers italian food of all different varieties.

Close to the "Marktstätte" is the old fish market site "Fischmarkt". "Los Latinos" offers Tex-Mex food of high quality. "Rossini" is an Italian restaurant with a great bistro atmosphere. If you are fond of the turkish "Döner Kebap" dish, there are lots of very good "Dönerbuden" (kebap houses) in the city center. "Ali Baba" near the Cinestar movie theater is a special recommendation.

A yearly published magazine "Die Seezunge" covers many of the Konstanz eateries and is available in tabac shops and kiosks.

Sleep

One good place is the Hotel Hirschen. The proprietors speak English and can arrange for nearby parking for a modest fee. It is just south of the old city center. Image:Hirschen.jpg

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Simple English

Konstanz

Konstanz
Coordinates 47°39′48″N 09°10′31″E / 47.66333°N 9.17528°E / 47.66333; 9.17528
Administration
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Freiburg
District Konstanz
Town subdivisions Altstadt und 14 weitere Stadtteile
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
Website www.konstanz.de

Konstanz (English often Constance) is a university town with a population of around 80,000, on the shore of Lake Constance in the south-west corner of Germany, bordering Switzerland. The history of the city goes back to Ancient Rome. In the 15th century, the Council of Constance was held there. This ended the Western Schism. Jan Hus was burned as a heretic at the council.


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