Sunday, November 9, 2008

Travel Notes: Koblenz, Germany (October 2008)

Koblenz, Germany

Date Visited: October 20 -21, 2008
How I got there: From Heidelberg, I took a slow train to Binge via Worms (2 hours). From Binge, I took the slow train to Koblenz (1 hour) passing along the Rhine.

Interesting Sights Visited/Seen:

1. Deutsches Eck
2. Kaiser Wilhelm monument
3. St. Kastor Church
4. St. Florian’s Church
5. St. Mary’s Church
6. Ehrenbreiststein Fortress

Interesting Facts About Koblenz:

“Ad confluences” (at the flowing together) was what the Romans called the earth castel they built here on the Mosel ford of the Rhine road linking Mainz, Cologne and Xanten shortly after the birth of Christ. From the completion of the Lime Walls (from 82 A.D.), there was here a Mosel bridge and a Rhine bridege, over which ran right through the town, the important military road between Cologne and Mainz. Around 260 AD he Romans built a wall with 19 round towers, which remained the town fortification until into the Middle Ages. A royal palatinate was created in the age of the Franks. The town was “immediately under the empire” (not subject to any prince) until 1018, when it was donated by Empereor Henreich II to the elector of Trier. It did not undergo any particularly troubled times during the Reformation. However, it suffered all the more during the wars of Ludwig XI, being almost completely destroyed by a French bombardment.

Koblenz is still characterized by the baroque style that dominated its reconstruction. It served as capital of a modest French department from 1794 – 1814. From 1815 it became capital of the Prussian Rhine province and was expanded into the largest fortress and garrison town of the Reich (“Die Wacht am Rhein”). From 1947 – 50 it served as seat of the government of the feral state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Ehrensbreitstein Fortress, is the most recent and at the same time largest example of the classic fortress, which became useless after the invention of long-range artillery shells and explosive bombs. Ehrenbreitstein was built from 1815-33 according to plans drawn up Colonel von Aster, with support from Friedrich Schinkel. The entire complex consists of two actual fortresses Konstantin and Alexander, the rotunda on the Asterstein and the casemates. It offers a fantastic view over the Rhine-Mosel region.

Interesting Experience:

1. Climb up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress amidst trees in autumn colors.
2. View from the Ehrenbreistrein Fortress
3. Walking along the Old Town of Koblenz


Reference: The Rhine: A Guide From Mainz to Cologne,

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