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Coat of arms of Landau
Landau is located in Germany
Coordinates 49°11′58″N 8°7′23″E / 49.19944°N 8.12306°E / 49.19944; 8.12306
Country Germany
State Rhineland-Palatinate
District Urban district
Town subdivisions 8 Ortsteile
Lord Mayor Hans-Dieter Schlimmer (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 82.94 km2 (32.02 sq mi)
Elevation 142 m  (466 ft)
Population 43,048  (31 December 2006)
 - Density 519 /km2 (1,344 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate LD
Postal code 76829
Area code 06341

Landau or Landau in der Pfalz (pop. 41,821) is an autonomous (kreisfrei) city surrounded by the Südliche Weinstraße ("Southern Wine Route") district of southern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is a university town (since 1990), a long-standing cultural centre, and a market and shopping town, surrounded by vineyards and wine-growing villages of the Palatinate wine region. Landau lies east of the Palatinate forest, Europe's largest contiguous forest, direct on the German Wine Route.



Landau was first mentioned as a settlement in 1106. It was in the possession of the counts of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Landeck, whose arms, differenced by an escutcheon of the Imperial eagle, served as the arms of Landau until 1955 [1]. The city was granted a charter in 1274 by Rudolf I of Habsburg, King of Germany, who declared the city an Imperial Free City in 1291; nevertheless the bishop of Speyer, a major landowner in the district, seized the city in 1324. The city did not regain its ancient rights until 1511, through the offices of Maximilian I.

Landau's Main Square.

An Augustinian monastery was founded in 1276.

Landau was later occupied by the French from 1680 to 1815, when it was one of the Décapole, the ten free cities of Alsace, and received its modern fortifications by Louis XIV's military architect Vauban in 1688–99, making the little city (population in 1789 was still only approximately 5,000) one of Europe's strongest citadels. After Napoleon's Hundred Days following his escape from Elba, Landau, which had remained French, was granted to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1816 and became the capital of one of the thirteen Bezirksämter (counties) of the Bavarian Rheinpfalz.In 1840 famous political cartoonist Thomas Nast was born in Landau. Following World War II, Landau was an important barracks city for the French occupation.

Main sights

Landau's giant main square (Rathausplatz) is dominated by the city hall (Rathaus) and the market hall (Altes Kaufhaus). The former fortifications gave way in the 19th-century to a Hauptring that encircles the old town centre, from which the old industrial buildings have been excluded. A convention hall, the Festhalle, was built in Art Nouveau style, 1905–07 on a rise overlooking the city park and facing the modernist Bundesamt, the regional government building.


Wine-making continues to be an important industry of Landau.


The familiar luxury open carriage called the "landau" was invented in the city.

Jewish history

With a brief interruption in the mid-15th Century, Landau had a sizable Jewish community from the Middle Ages until the Nazi Era, at one point the largest in the Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as one of its most prosperous (many Jews were wine merchants). This accounts for 'Landau' and 'Landauer' being fairly common Ashkenazi Jewish family names. A prayer room existed since the 16th century: the first actual synagogue was built in 1648, rebuilt in 1691 after a fire. The Great Synagogue (350 sq. m., 16 m. high) was dedicated in 1884: it was burned down during the Kristallnacht, and only its charred remains can now be seen.[1] The historic Frank-Loeb house is another relic of the Jewish presence in Landau: its proprietor in the late 19th Century was Zacharias Frank, great-grandfather of Anne Frank.[2]


External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LANDAU, a town in the Bavarian Palatinate, on the Queich, lying under the eastern slope of the Hardt Mountains, 32 m. by rail S.W. from Mannheim, at the junction of lines to Neustadt an der Hardt, Weissenburg and Saarbriicken. Pop. (1905) 17,165. Among its buildings are the Gothic Evangelical church, dating from 1285; the chapel of St Catherine built in 1344; the church of the former Augustinian monastery, dating from 1405; and the Augustinian monastery itself, founded in 1276 and now converted into a brewery. There are manufactures of cigars, beer, hats, watches, furniture and machines, and a trade in wine, fruit and cereals. Large cattle-markets are held here. Landau was founded in 1224, becoming an imperial city fifty years later. This dignity was soon lost, as in 1317 it passed to the bishopric of Spires and in 1331 to the Palatinate, recovering its former position in 1511. Captured eight times during the Thirty Years' War the town was ceded to France by the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, although with certain ill-defined reservations. In 1679 Louis XIV. definitely took possession of Landau. Its fortifications were greatly strengthened; nevertheless it was twice taken by the Imperialists and twice recovered by the French during the Spanish Succession War. In 1815 it was given to Austria and in the following year to Bavaria. The fortifications were finally dismantled in 1871.

The town is commonly supposed to have given its name to the four-wheeled carriage, with an adjustable divided top for use either open or closed, known as a "landau" (Ger. Landauer). But this derivation is doubtful, the origin of the name being also ascribed to that of an English carriage-builder, Landow, who introduced this form of equipage.

See E. Heuser, Die Belagerungen von Landau in den Jahren 1702 and 1703 (Landau, 1894); Lehmann, Geschichte der ehemaligen freien Reichsstadt Landau (1851); and Jost, Interessante Daten aus der 600 jahrigen Geschichte der Stadt Landau (Landau, 1879).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also landau


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Proper noun


  1. Landau (independent city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)
  2. A Jewish surname.

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