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Koblenz

 

Koblenz (until 1926 Coblenz; dialect: Kowelenz) is an independent city in northern Rhineland-Palatinate. With just under 114,000 inhabitants, it is the third largest city in this state after Mainz and Ludwigshafen am Rhein and forms one of its five regional centers (the others are Trier and Kaiserslautern). Koblenz ranks 68th among the largest cities in Germany.

Koblenz is the seat of the Koblenz campus of the Koblenz-Landau University, the RheinMoselCampus of the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences, the administration of the Mayen-Koblenz district, the North Structure and Approval Directorate (Koblenz district government until 1999), the Federal Archives, the State Main Archives, and the Rhineland-Palatinate Constitutional Court as well as the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr.

Koblenz, which celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1992, is one of the oldest cities in Germany. The original Latin name Confluentes (German for the confluence) was derived from the location of the city at the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine at the so-called Deutsches Eck. In 1962 Koblenz passed the 100,000-inhabitant mark and thus became a major city.

Parts of Koblenz are part of the UNESCO World Heritage: since 2002 the city with its cultural monuments has been the northern gateway to the cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, and Niederberg Castle has been on the UNESCO list since 2005 as part of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes. In 2011, the first Federal Horticultural Show in Rhineland-Palatinate took place in Koblenz.

The city has been a member of the Climate Alliance since 1997.

 

History

The history of the city of Koblenz is very changeable and characterized by armed conflicts in numerous border conflicts as well as a major structural change. The area of ​​Koblenz has been settled since the Stone Age. The Romans built a fortified urban settlement here for the first time. The Fort Confluentes was built in today's old town center to secure the Roman Rhine Valley Road (Mainz – Cologne – Xanten) and in Niederberg the Niederberg fort to secure the Limes and the first bridges over the Rhine and Moselle. Koblenz is one of the oldest cities in Germany. After the withdrawal of the Roman troops in the 5th century, Koblenz was conquered by the Franks, who founded a royal court here. In the Kastor Church, consecrated in 836, negotiations took place between the three grandchildren of Charlemagne in 842, which ultimately led to the partition of the Franconian Empire in the Treaty of Verdun in 843.

During the reign of the Archbishops and Electors of Trier, Koblenz continued to flourish and a large number of cultural treasures arose in the form of churches, castles and fortifications. The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress gradually emerged from the castle built on the Ehrenbreitstein around 1020. In uncertain times, the largest sanctuaries were kept in this safest castle in the electorate. In the 12th century, the Archbishops of Trier built the Florins Church and the Church of Our Lady. In the 13th century, the Stolzenfels Castle was built as an electoral customs castle on the Rhine and the Old Castle as a fortress against citizens striving for more independence. In the following century, the construction of the Baldwin Bridge made it possible for the first time since the Romans to cross the Moselle. During the Thirty Years' War, Elector Philipp Christoph von Sötern moved his official residence from Trier to the newly built Philippsburg Palace at the foot of the Ehrenbreitstein, which has now been converted into a fortress. In 1786, Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxony moved to the Electoral Palace in Koblenz. From here he ruled the electoral state until its end in 1794, when the country and Koblenz were conquered by the French revolutionary army. From 1789 to 1794 (and then to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress until 1799), counter-revolutionary forces around the brothers of Louis XVI. withdrew to Koblenz and, thanks to her uncle Wenzeslaus, managed it relatively independently as "Little Paris" until it was conquered by Severin Marceau.

The following French period shaped Koblenz (French Coblence) far beyond its end. The term Schängel emerged, which is still used to describe everyone who was born in Koblenz. In the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, Koblenz also formally fell to France and became the capital of the French Department de Rhin-et-Moselle. The end of this French era came in 1814 with the occupation of Koblenz by Russian troops.

Due to the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, the Rhenish properties of the Trier electoral state and with it Koblenz were transferred to Prussia. The city, initially the seat of the Upper Presidium of the Grand Duchy of Lower Rhine Province, later the capital of the Prussian Rhine Province, was developed as the Koblenz Fortress into one of the strongest fortress systems in Europe. In the 19th century, not only were mighty fortifications built in Koblenz, Stolzenfels Castle was also rebuilt and a ship bridge now crossed the Rhine. The first railway entered Koblenz in 1858 over the newly built Moselle railway bridge. With the subsequent expansion of the railway network, with the construction of the Pfaffendorfer Bridge, the Güls Railway Bridge and the Horchheim Railway Bridge, further crossings were made over the Rhine and Moselle. Due to the advancing war technology, the fortresses lost their importance from the second half of the 19th century. Since 1890 the city fortifications were completely demolished and the settlement area could now be expanded beyond the narrow city limits for the first time. In honor of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who had lived in Koblenz with his wife Augusta for a long time before his accession to the throne, the Kaiser Wilhelm monument was inaugurated at the Deutsches Eck in 1897 in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II at the mouth of the Moselle.

The 20th century was marked by major structural changes and a considerable expansion of the settlement area. The Herz-Jesu-Kirche was consecrated on the site of the former Löhrtor in 1903. A year earlier, a magnificent main train station was completed in the new southern suburb. After the end of the First World War, Koblenz was occupied first by American and then by French troops. In 1932, the complete renovation of the Pfaffendorfer Bridge began, from which a completely new construction to a road bridge emerged. Two years later, a new Moselle crossing was inaugurated because the Balduin Bridge was no longer able to cope with the growing volume of traffic.

 

The air raids on Koblenz during the Second World War were decisive, with 87% of the city being destroyed. In 1944, Lancaster bombers of the British Royal Air Force reduced the center of Koblenz to rubble and ashes. On March 18 and 19, 1945, the 87th US Infantry Division of the US Army took Koblenz. The city slowly recovered from the war events, but the historical cityscape remains partially lost. In the post-war period Koblenz came to the French zone of occupation and, as a result, to the new state of Rhineland-Palatinate. In the early years it was also the provisional seat of government. At the Rittersturz Conference in 1948, one of the fundamental decisions was made for the merger of the three western zones of occupation (“Trizone”) to form the Federal Republic of Germany and thus for the temporary separation from the Soviet zone. As a result of the West German rearmament since the mid-1950s, Koblenz again received a very large German garrison. The last parts of the French garrison withdrew in 1969. Koblenz passed the 100,000 mark in 1962, making it a major city. A major bridge construction project was completed with the completion of the south bridge in 1975. During the construction of the Rhine bridge, there were two tragic accidents in which 19 workers were killed. In 1992 the city of Koblenz celebrated the 2000th anniversary of the city's foundation.

On December 4, 2011, around 45,000 residents had to leave their homes. The reason for the most extensive evacuation of a German city after 1945 was to defuse some weapons; including a British WWII aerial mine.

 

Geographical location

Koblenz is located on the Deutsches Eck, an estuary formed by the Moselle and Rhine. The closest major cities are Bonn (around 60 km down the Rhine), Wiesbaden and Mainz (around 90 km up the Rhine). Koblenz is bordered by the foothills of the Hunsrück in the south and the slightly hilly landscape of the Maifeld (foothills of the Eifel) in the west. The districts to the right of the Rhine in the east of the urban area lie in the foothills of the Westerwald and, with some steep slopes, extend right up to the river.

The districts between the Moselle and the Rhine in the south are partly forested with lush mixed trees and form the “green lung” and the recreational area of ​​Koblenz. This section of the Rhine belongs to the Middle Rhine.

According to the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, Koblenz is 73 m above sea level. NHN. The Deutsches Eck is 64.7 m high. The highest elevation located entirely in the urban area is the Kühkopf in the urban forest at 382 m. The highest point of the urban area with 385 m is located on the border with the city of Rhens on the northern slope of the Mulberry Head, whose 395 m high peak is located in the Rhens city area.

Neighboring communities
The independent city of Koblenz borders on three districts:
in the northeast to the Westerwaldkreis (Simmern and Eitelborn),
in the east to the Rhein-Lahn-Kreis (Lahnstein, Fachbach and Mialen) and
in the south, west and north to the district of Mayen-Koblenz (Rhens, Waldesch, Dieblich, Winningen, Kobern-Gondorf, Mülheim-Kärlich, Kaltenengers, Urmitz, St. Sebastian, Bassenheim, Niederwerth, Vallendar, Bendorf and Urbar).
In the immediate vicinity of the city there is also the district of Neuwied in the north and the Rhein-Hunsrück district in the south.

City structure
The urban area of ​​Koblenz is divided into 30 (statistical) districts. The division took place within the framework of the small-scale structure on the recommendation of the German Association of Cities. A special feature are the Karthauses, which are statistically divided into Karthauser Nord, Karthauser Flugfeld and Karthauserhof area, as well as the southern suburb, which is statistically subdivided into Central and South. The Karthauses and the southern suburbs, on the other hand, have historically emerged from uniformly grown structures and are only viewed as a district by the population as a whole. However, there is no decision by the City Council of Koblenz on the status of a district of these statistical subdivisions.

Nine districts form a total of eight local districts, whose concerns are represented to the city by a local advisory board and a local councilor. The remaining 21 districts have no local councils.

The 30 districts of Koblenz are Altstadt, Arenberg (district together with Immendorf), Arzheim (district), Asterstein, Bubenheim (district), Ehrenbreitstein, Goldgrube, Güls with Bisholder (district), Horchheim, Horchheimer Höhe, Immendorf (district together with Arenberg ), Karthause (with the statistical districts of Karthaus Nord, Karthaus-Flugfeld and Karthäuserhofgelände), Kesselheim (local district), Lay (local district), Lützel, Metternich, Moselweiß, Neuendorf, Niederberg (with Neudorf), Oberwerth, Pfaffendorf, Pfaffendorfer Höhe, Rauental , Rübenach (local district), Stolzenfels (local district), Südliche Vorstadt (with the statistical districts center and south) and Wallersheim.

Climate
Koblenz lies in the so-called temperate zone with a moderately cool climate and prevailing westerly winds. In the western German lowlands and the Rhine Rift, these winds bring about 700 mm of precipitation annually from the Atlantic and the North Sea. Koblenz is humid all year round with an average annual temperature of 10.8 ° C and an annual rainfall of 674 mm. The rainfall is low. They are in the lower quarter of the values ​​recorded in Germany. Lower values ​​are registered at 23% of the measuring stations of the German Weather Service. The driest month is February, with the most rainfall in July. In July there is 2.4 times more rainfall than in February. Precipitation varies greatly. Lower seasonal fluctuations are recorded at 72% of the measuring stations. Coldest month is January with a temperature of 2.7 ° C, warmest month July with an average of 19.5 ° C. The heat record is 39.4 ° C and was measured on June 18, 2002 in Koblenz. Due to its location in the valley of the surrounding low mountain ranges Eifel, Hunsrück and Westerwald as well as the proximity of three rivers (Rhine, Moselle, Lahn), Koblenz often has a "boiler climate" that is often quite humid compared to the surrounding area in summer. In the autumn and winter months, thick layers of fog are not uncommon, while on the heights of the low mountain ranges there is a cloud-free sky.