Kaiserslautern     Speyer     Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Kaiserslautern und Saarbrücken     Saarbrücken

Baden-Baden: The Romans knew about the healthful springs of Baden-Baden, although the reference to the Emperor Hadrian as its founder is by an inscription of somewhat doubtful authenticity. The name of Aurelia Aquensis was given to it in honour of Aurelius Severus. Fragments of its ancient structures still exist. In 1847, remains of the well-preserved Roman vapour baths were discovered just below the newer city Castle on the Florentinerberg. The town was named Baden (meaning baths without any repetition) in the Middle Ages. From the 14th century down to the end of the 17th, it was the residence of the Margraves of Baden, to whom the town gave its name and who built the new Castle. The Old Castle Hohenbaden, built in 1102 to tower way above the city, has been a ruin since the 15th century. The Stiftskirche includes the tombs of fourteen of the margraves. In 1931, the town of Baden-Baden was officially given its double name, the short form for "Baden in Baden" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden-Baden. Don't miss Mount Merkur with Merkurbergbahn funicular railway and observation tower on a hill opposite the city. You may take the mineral water spring at the Trinkhalle.

Karlsruhe: The town, founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, became the seat of two of the highest courts in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht) whose decisions have the force of a law, and the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (Bundesgerichtshof), the highest court of appeals in matters of civil law and criminal law. Karlsruhe became the capital of Baden-Durlach and in 1771 of a united Baden until 1945. The architect Friedrich Weinbrenner designed many of the most important buildings, so that it is one of only three large German cities in which building ensembles exist in Neoclassici style. In contrast, at the western edge of the city, directly on the river Rhine is the nation's largest petrochemical refinery. Today, about 20% of the region's jobs are in Research and Development. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe's rail system, the Stadtbahn Karlsruhe, is well known in transport circles around the world for pioneering the concept of operating trams on train tracks (tram-trains), to achieve a more effective and attractive public transport system. This concept makes it possible to reach other towns in the region, like Ettlingen, Wörth am Rhein, Pforzheim, Bad Wildbad, Bretten, Bruchsal, Heilbronn, Baden-Baden and even Freudenstadt in the Black Forest right from the city-centre. Karlsruhe is also the home of the Karlsruhe model tram-train system. Karlsruhe is the birthplace of Friedrich Weinbrenner, a German architect of Neoclassicism, who was born in 1766. Here he died in 1826. His tomb is situated in the main Protestant church. Karlsruhe may also claim Karl Benz as one of its favoured sons. Brauerei Moninger AG, established by Stephen Moninger in 1856, remains a traditional brewery distributing to a regional market. The brewery is now a subsidiary of Stuttgarter Hofbreau. Pics HERE

Speyer: Speyer sits on the River Rhein about 15 miles south of Mannheim. Its oldest known name was Civitas Nemetum, named after the Teutonic tribe, the Nemeter, settling in this area. Around the year 500AD Spira appears as the town's name in written records. But some 5,000-year-old finds from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages bear witness to permanent agricultural settlements at a Rhine ford in the area of present-day Speyer. Oficially Speyer celebrated its 2000th year based on a Roman founding in 1990. An olde town called Chartres is its French sister city.

Romans fortified the site in 10BC for a 500-man garrison on what was then the border area of the empire. Around 150AD, the town appeared as Noviomagus on the world map of the Greek historian Ptolemaios. The same name is mentioned at the beginning of the 3rd century in the Itinerarium Antonini, a travel-blog of the Roman Empire. A town and an administrative regional capital emerged at a central point of the Roman Rhine valley road. It possessed a market place, wide arcade-lined streets, public buildings, living quarters, temples and a theatre. It is practically impossible to do any digging below today's street level without hitting on remnants of this era. The numerous finds, (for example the oldest preserved and still sealed wine bottle in Germany), can be seen in the Museum of Palatinate History (Historisches Museum der Pfalz).

In 346 AD Speyer was mentioned for the first time as a diocesan town, the first churches and monasteries were built in the 6th and 7th centuries, among them not only the earliest verifiable church of St. Germain, but also a bishop’s church, of which the patrons saints Maria and Stephen were dedicated circa 662-664. Over the next 500 years, despite the instability of the region and population changes Speyer became very important. Henry IV’s departed there for Canossa in 1077. The city witnessed the preachings of Bernhard of Clairvaux and the beginning of the Second Crusade at Christmas 1141. From here Richard the Lionheart was extradited to Henry VI (1193) Frederick II’s first journey through Germany began in Speyer in the year 1213.

Mainstreet SpeyerNothing could express this importance more than a mighty impressive cathedral. The laying of the Speyer foundation stone further brought growth. The building, consecrated in 1061, was completed 2 generations years later (1111). It was the largest new structure of its time. Speyer's significance, symbolized Imperial power as well as Christianity. It became the burial place of eight German Emperors and Kings (beneath the high altar). With the Abbey of Cluny in ruins, the Speyer Cathedral remains the largest Romanesque-style church to this very day. Indeed, Speyer has a modern compact city-centre, totally dominated by the Cathedral of Speyer (Dom du Speyer).

Since Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses and the Creed enunciated by the Diet of Worms, the reformation movements and related uprisings of peasants and other folk had become the dominating issues of domestic politics. With this background the Imperial Diet of 1526 convened for the first time in Speyer. The ambiguous resolution of the Diet that each estate should behave as it saw fit before God and the Emperor, favoured the expansion of Luther’s doctrines. On April 19, 1529 (Second Diet of Speyer), a majority of the delegates decided to rescind the Imperial resolution of the last Diet in 1526 and to reconfirm the Edict of Worms, passed by the Diet of Worms in 1521, imposing the Imperial ban on Luther and his followers. This resolution outraged the participating evangelical princes and Imperial towns. On April 20, they drew up a letter of protest which was rejected by the Diet but then delivered to Emperor Charles V. This Protestation at Speyer sealed another great schism of the Christian church. It is considered the birth of Protestantism. From this time on the adherents of the Reformation were called Protestants. Large-scale European wars followed, from which the city suffered. For example, the Wars of Liberation against Napoleon and the restructuring of the European states at the Vienna Congress in 1815 again changed the structures of power in the Palatinate and Speyer. Once again it stood in the limelight of “big politics” when Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Emperor Francis I of Austria, and King Frederick William III of Prussia met in Speyer at the allied headquarters on June 27, 1815. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speyer

Brunnen an der StiftskircheKaiserslautern: Prehistoric settlement in the area of what is now Kaiserslautern has been traced to at least 800 B.C. Some 2,500-year-old Celtic tombs were uncovered at Miesau, a town about 29 kilometres west of Kaiserslautern. The recovered relics are now in the Museum for Palatinate History at Speyer.

Kaiserslautern received its name from the favorite hunting retreat of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa who ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1155 until 1190. The small river Lauter made the old section of Kaiserslautern an island in medieval times. The city's coat of arms is a red and white shield, with an open-mouthed pike on it. This was reportedly Frederick's favorite dish. Ruins of Frederick's original castle, built 1152–1160, can still be seen in front of the Rathaus (city hall). Because of the influence Frederick Barbarossa, it is sometimes referred to as "Barbarossa town." A second castle, Nanstein Castle, was built at nearby Landstuhl to guard the western approach to the city. Nanstein was a stronghold for local nobles favoring the Reformation. From here was launched an unsuccesful campaign against Trier. For this roll the castle was beseiged by and eventually sucumbed to the forces of the Catholic princes.

One hundred years later, harsh Spanish occupation in 1621–1632 ended when Protestant Swedish armies liberated the area. In 1635, however, the ruthless Croatian troops of the Austrian emperor's army entered Kaiserslautern and killed 3,000 of the 3,200 residents in three days' plundering. Landstuhl was saved from a similar fate by surrendering without a fight. It took Kaiserslautern about 160 years to repopulate itself. More carnage followed, as French and German armies vied for control until 1815. On 20 March 1945, as the last of Omar Bradley's 1st Army crossed the Rhine at Remagen, the U.S. 80th Division, 319th Infantry, part of George Patton's 3rd Army, seized Kaiserslautern without resistance. The war was over for this area, but there was little reconstruction until the currency reform of 1948. The pace of the economy remained slow until 1952, when construction for newly established garrisons of American troops brought back economic growth to the area. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Kulturdenkmäler_in_Kaiserslautern

St John's BasilicaSaarbrücken: In modern German Saarbrücken literally means Saar bridges, and indeed there are about a dozen bridges across the Saar river. The name actually predates any bridge at this spot by at least 500 years. Thus the historical name of the town, Sarabrucca, derives from the Old Hoch Deutsch Brucca, which became Brocken (rocks or boulders in English, Les Roches in French). Historic landmarks include a stone bridge across the River Saar (1546), the Gothic-style church dedicated to St. Arnual, the 18th century Saarbrücker Schloss (castle) and in the altstadt, the St. Johanner Markt. Saarbrücken once was the industrial and transport center (like nearby Metz and Longwy) of coal production. Its other products included iron and steel, sugar, beer, pottery, optical instruments, machinery, and construction materials. However, over the past decades the industrial importance of Saarland has declined, as the mining industry diminished. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saarbrücken

Modern Map to go Here

A few German Cities: Lörrach {twin city of Sens} -- Mainz -- Trier and Aachen -- Frankfurt -- Köln / Cologne -- Dresden -- Essen -- Duisburg, Düsseldorf und Dortmund -- Düren, Bonn und Koblenz -- Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Stuttgart und Tübingen -- Mannheim, Worms, Darmstadt und Würzburg -- Magdeburg, Halle (Saale), Dessau und Leipzig -- Münster -- Lübeck, Kiel, Rostock und Schwerin -- Fulda, Kassel und Erfurt -- Lorch (Württemberg), Schwäbisch_Gmünd, Ulm, Augsburg, Ingolstadt und Regensburg -- Switzerland: Geneva -- Bern, Basel and Zürich -- Images of Baden

Saarbrücken

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historiæ -- Anglo Saxons et.al.



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