Flag of Düren    Düren, Bonn und Koblenz    Croix de saint Georges, drapeau Coblence

Düren: This town in North Rhine-Westphalia (capital of Düren district), is located between Aachen and Cologne on the river Rur, astride the northeastern slopes of the Eifel Hills. The history of Düren began more than 2000 years ago. The Keltoi (Celtic tribes) inhabited a small settlement Durum (meaning castle). Other Germanic tribes moved into this area that was conquered by the Romans under Julius Caesar. Durum became a supply source for the rapidly growing Roman city at Köln (Cologne). Furthermore, a few important Roman roads pass by Durum (including the road from Köln to Jülich / Tongeren and the road from Köln to Zülpich / Trier). Inspite of invasions, the Romans maintained forces in the area for about 400 years.

After the authority of Rome waned in the 5th century, the Franks came into control of Düren. The name villa duria occurred the first time in the Frankish Annals in the year 747. The Frankish king Pippin der Kleine (Pippin the Short, the father of Emperor Charlemagne) is said to have visited Düren often (8th century). The Franks established a fortified royal palace in Düren (from which the name Palatine (Pfalz in German) is derived) and held a few important convocations, diets and synods. Their castle stood at the place where Sainte Anne's Church stands today. Due to the frequent visits of Charlemagne, a few markets sprang up. They contributed to Düren's cultural and economic development. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Düren And so many years pass, until . . . .

A chiseler named Leonhard stole the relic of Saint Anne out of the Mainzer Stiftskirche, St. Stephan in 1501. Mason Leonhard brought it to Düren. A dispute arose and Pope Julius II decided (March 18 1506) that Düren could keep these remains. Dejected, the Mainzer city fathers had Chagall do a few windows at St. Stephan's. The new owners at Düren kept the relic in a beautiful box in the gothic-style Martinskirche (Church of Saint Martin). The church later was renamed the Annakirche. In the 19th century reference to the parish church of the holy Martinus still can be found.

Sainte Anne became the patron of Düren. Never-the-less, the prominent structures of Annakirche, Marienkirche and Christuskirche as well as 97% of the city was destroyed by bombing in 1944. As World War II drew to a close, in early 1945, Düren was the scene of bitter fighting for control of the strategically vital river necessary for the Alied advance. The ruins were cleared and the city rebuilt including Annakirche. Every year, Anne's feast day (July 26th) is celebrated for one week with the Anna octavos and the Anna parish fair, today one of the biggest and most popular festivals of Germany. see http://www.dueren.de/; Hier geht es zur RurWeb Webcam am Dürener Markt.

Bonn: The city sits on the western side of the Rhein about 12 miles south of Köln. Bonn was the capital of West Germany prior to unification, and for nearly another decade until returned to Berlin. Bonn remains a center of politics and administration; however, because roughly half of all government jobs and many government departments remained in Bonn. The former capital now holds the title of Bundesstadt ("Federal City"). Bonn currently hosts 16 United Nations-related institutions. From 1597 to 1794, it was the residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne, and was the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven (born 1770). So the city is no stranger to the accouterments of power.

The known history of the area dates to Roman times. In about 11 BC, the Roman Army stationed a small unit in what is today's city-centre. The Latin name for that settlement, Bonna, may stem from the original population of this and many other settlements in the area, of the Eburoni, a celtic tribe. Rome also had resettled members of a Germanic tribal group (allied with Rome) called the Ubii, in Bonn during the first century BC. Later, stone fortifications were built by Rome north of the original site Castra Bonnensis. The fort, taken over by Frankish kings, fell into disuse. Its building stones appear in Bonn's 13th century city wall. Interestingly, Bonn's Roman fort remains the largest fort of its type known from the ancient world; it housed an imperial legion within 250,000 square meters. The chief Roman road, that linked the provincial capitals of Cologne and Mainz, passed through the fort, where it became the main road (now, Römerstraße). Once beyond the South Gate, the Cologne-Mainz road continued along streets named Belderberg, Adenauerallee and others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonn See http://kunstmuseum.bonn.de/start_e.htm

The Doppelkirche (the Double Church), built in 1151, with its many splendid murals and das Bonner Münster (Romanesque style: built between the 11th and 13th centuries) are landmarks in the city that thrived once Rome and the dark ages receded. Cassius & Florentius were Roman legionnaires of the legendary all-Christian Theban Legion based in Egypt. Roman Emperor Maximianus Herculius ordered the legion to go to Gaul to help quell germanic rebels from Burgundy (Helvitii ??). At some point during the march, the legionnaires refused to follow orders to either kill fellow Christians or to worship Maximianus Herculius as a god. As a result, the men of the legion were martyred. Most died in Agaunum, now named after the warrior-saint Maurice (287 AD) -- Saint Maurice-en-Valais (in today's Switzerland). The rest were killed where they were found. According to legend, Saints Cassius and Florentius, who were under the command of Saint Gereon of Köln (French: Géréon) were beheaded at the site of the Bonn Minster for their faith http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonn_Minster. Gregory of Tours, writing in the 6th century, said that Gereon and his companions were a detachment of some fifty men of the Theban Legion the majority of whom died at Agaunum. Venerable Bede recites that Gereon's feast day was recognized at Sarum, Durham and Barking, England. St. Gereon's Basilica, in Cologne, has a very famous Dom with a very long span. Doppelkirche Schwarzrheindorf sits on the site of an ancient Roman-era structure. Tradition has it that a small memorial shrine was built over their graves in the 4th century by Ste. Helen, mother of Constantine. In 1643, Cassius and Florentius were officially declared the patron saints of Bonn.

19th Century tolerence (May 26, 1831) -- Death of Georg Hermes in Bonn, Germany: Georg Hermes was a Roman Catholic theologian who was a follower of the systems of Immanuel Kant. He originated a theological system called Hermesianism by which he sought to prove the rational necessity of Christianity: Einleitung in die christkatholische Theologie (1819-29). He was ordained a priest in 1799 and became a professor of dogmatic theology at the Universities of Münster and Bonn. After his death he fell out of favor and his writings were listed on the Roman Catholic Index of Forbidden books. Pope Gregory XVI and the first Vatican Council condemned his theology. Compare René Descartes' Cogito, ergo sum with Credo, in unum Deo.

1665Koblenz: The city sits astride both sides of the Rhine, where the Moselle ends its journey. Aptly named Castellum apud Confluentes in Latin, it was one of the military posts established by Drusus about 8 BC. Remains of a large bridge built in 49 AD by the Romans are still visible. The town celebrated its official 2000th anniversary in 1992, but was likely at least 1000 years old when Rome found it. It is about 70km southeast (upstream from Bonn). It is a similar distance NW of Mainz (slightly longer as measured in river miles because of the big bend at Bingen that is located about halfway between the two spots. If you take a popular boat ride from Koblenz past Bingen to nearby Rüdesheim, you will pass the world-famous Lorelei (a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine near St. Goarshausen (an der Loreley), which soars some 120 meters above the water), and you will observe many castles in the hills and grape vines. You may sample Riesling at Rüdesheim (situated in the heart of the Rheingau wine region). A visit of the Rheingauer wine museum in the castle Brömser is also recomended. While you wait for your return ride to Koblenz just sing Du, du, liegst mir im Herzen ... Ja, ja, ja, ja, weißt nicht wie gut ich dir bin.

I don't know what it may signify
That I am so sad;
There's a tale from ancient times
That I can't get out of my mind.
* * *
Und das hat mit ihrem Singen
Die Lorelei getan.
Die Lorelei

After the division of Charlemagne's empire, Koblenz was included in the lands of his son Louis the Pious (814). In 837 it was assigned to Charles the Bald, and a few years later Carolingian heirs negotiated what was to become the Treaty of Verdun (843), by which the city became part of Lotharingia under Lothair I. In 860 and 922 Koblenz was the scene of ecclesiastical synods. At the former of these, held in the Liebfrauenkirche, took place the reconciliation of Louis the German with his half-brother Charles the Bald. The town was sacked the Normans in 882. Starting from 925, it became part of an eastern German Kingdom, later called the Holy Roman Empire (Römischen Reich). As you may guess Koblenz was well experienced in the misfortunes of war.

In 1786 the last archbishop-elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, gave great assistance to the extension and improvement of the city, turning the Ehrenbreitstein into a magnificent baroque palace. After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, the city became, through the invitation of the archbishop-elector's chief minister, Ferdinand Freiherr von Duminique, one of the principal rendezvous points for exiled French émigrés. The archbishop-elector approved of this process because he was the uncle of the persecuted king of France, Louis XVI. Among the many royalist French refugees who flooded into the city were Louis XVI's two younger brothers, the Comte de Provence and the Comte d'Artois. In addition, Louis XVI's cousin, the Prince de Condé, arrived and formed an army of young aristocrats willing to fight and restore the Ancien Régime. The Army of Condé joined with an allied army of Prussian and Austrian soldiers led by Duke of Brunswick in an unsuccessful invasion of France (1792). This action brought upon the archbishop-elector the wrath of the First French Republic; in 1794 Coblence was taken by the French Revolutionary Guard under M. Marceau (who fell during the siege). After the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville (1801) Coblence became the capital of the new French départment of Rhin-et-Moselle. In 1814 the city was occupied by the Russians on their way to defeat Napoleon. The Congress of Vienna assigned the city to Prussia, and in 1822 it was made the seat for the Rhine Province of Prussia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koblenz

In the more ancient part of Koblenz stand several buildings that have an historical connection. Prominent among these, near the point of confluence of the rivers, is the church of Saint Castor (Kastorkirche), with four towers. The church was originally founded in 836 by Louis the Pious, but the present Romanesque building was completed in 1208. Its Gothic vaulted roof dating from 1498. In front of the church of Saint Castor stands a fountain, erected by the French in 1812, with an inscription to commemorate Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Not long after, Russian troops occupied Koblenz; and, St. Priest, their commander, added in irony these words: "Vu et approuvé par nous, Commandant russe de la Ville de Coblence: Janvier 1er, 1814." In this quarter of the town, too, is the Liebfrauenkirche, a beautiful structure (nave 1250, choir 1404-1431) with lofty late Romanesque towers. The castle of the electors of Trier, erected in 1280, now contains the municipal picture gallery. The family house of the Metternichs, where Prince Metternich, the Austrian statesman, was born in 1773 is nearby. Also notable, the church of St. Florian, with a two towers façade from about 1110. http://www.panorama-cities.net/koblenz/koblenz_germany.html

Deutsches Eck-Koblenz The most striking memorial is at Deutsches Eck. The colossal equestrian statue of the emperor William I of Germany, was erected by the Rhine provinces in 1897. It stands on a lofty and massive pedestal, at the point where the Rhine and Mosel meet. The Teutonic Knights were given an area for their Deutschherrenhaus Balley right at the confluence of the rivers, which became known as German corner (Deutsches Eck). During World War II, the statue was destroyed by US artillery. The French occupation administration intended the complete destruction of the monument; however, the cold war ensued. So in 1953, Bundespräsident Theodor Heuss re-dedicated a rebuilt monument to German unity. He added symbols of the remaining western federal states, as well as the ones of the lost areas in the communist controlled East-German state. A Federal flag of Germany has waved there since. Saarland was added four years later (1957) after the population had voted to join West-Germany. Pics at the Eck's edge and More HERE. The memorial has a sister, just a few miles south.

High up above the rooftops of Rüdesheim towers the famous monument at Niederwald with the best known “iron lady” in Germany. This Germania celebrates in 2013 some interesting 130 years. The monument draws many thousands of visitors with its intoxicating views of the broad Rhine Valley at the feet of this former “Wacht am Rhein” (Guardian on the Rhine) in the Taunus Mountains Views HERE. Wacht am Rhein and the memorial at Deutsches Eck sit in stark contrast to the Lyon of Belfort, monuments to a past never to be forgotten, but never to be relived. Photos of Rüdesheim -- Ja, ja, ja, ja . . . .

The area was settled first by Celtic tribes, then at the beginning of the Christian Era by Ubii and later by Mattiaci. In the first century, the Romans pushed forth to the Taunus mountains. In Bingen they built a castrum (fort-castle). On the other side, near what is now Rüdesheim, lay a bridgehead on the way to the Limes (wall fortifications in the Taunus). The Alamanni next came to the region as Rome lost sway, and during with the Migration Period (Völkerwanderung) came the Franks. Archæological finds of glass from this time suggest that wine already was grown in Rüdesheim even then. Today vineyards cover the hills above the town and below the Niederwald monument. Link to a list of winefests in Germany HERE. A link to the nearby Rheingau Wine region.

A few German Cities: Lörrach {twin city of Sens} -- Mainz -- Trier and Aachen -- Frankfurt -- Köln / Cologne -- Dresden -- Essen -- Duisburg, Düsseldorf und Dortmund -- Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Kaiserslautern und Saarbrücken -- 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 -- Switzerland: Geneva -- Bern, Basel and Zürich

Koblenz

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

Modern Map to go Here


New: February 16, 2009