Mannheim     Mannheim, Worms, Darmstadt und Würzburg     Würzburg

Mannheim: Mannheim is situated at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar, in the northwestern corner of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The Rhine separates Mannheim from the adjacent Rhineland-Palatinate city of Ludwigshafen. The Hessian border is north of the city. Ludwigshafen is located on the Rhine opposite Mannheim. Together with Mannheim, Heidelberg and the surrounding region, it forms the Rhine Neckar Area with nearly 2.5 million souls. Mannheim is the largest city of that metropolitan area.

Mannheim is start and finish of Bertha Benz Memorial Route, eventhough her husband was born in Karlsruhe. the first Carl Benz vehicle appeared on the streets of Mannheim in 1886. At his workshop in Mannheim, Benz produced a lightweight three-wheeled vehicle powered by a single cylinder gasoline-fueled engine, first shown in public around 1886. This powered tricycle subsequently came to be widely regarded as the original automobile. Further transportation firsts: The Lanz Bulldog, a tractor with a Diesel engine was introduced from here in 1921; Julius Hatry built the world's first rocket plane in 1929 for Fritz von Opel. Local public transport in Mannheim includes the RheinNeckar S-Bahn, eleven tram lines and numerous bus lines operated by Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr.

Mannheim is unusual among German cities in that its central area is laid out in a regular pattern, like many US cities. An enormous 18th-century palace, the former seat of the Electors of the Palatinate, now houses the University of Mannheim and sits amid the street grid. The city for at least 1000 years had remained a village until Frederick IV, Elector Palatine initiated building the fortress Friedrichsburg and the adjacent grid-like city core in 1606. In antiquity, Celtic and Germanic tribes settled here and during the last century B.C., the Romans conquered the region and a Roman auxiliary fort was constructed near the present suburb of Rheingönheim at Ludwigshafen. In the Middle Ages, Oggersheim, Maudach, Oppau and Mundenheim arose, but most of the area was still swampland. The capital of the Electoral Palatinate was transferred from Heidelberg to Mannheim in 1720. It was then that Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine began construction of the Mannheim Palace and the Jesuit Church. They were completed in 1760. About 2 km (1 mile) below the town the Russian Army crossed the Rhine in 1813.; {deutsch}

Worms: Established by the Celts who called it Borbetomagus, Worms today vies with the cities Trier and Cologne over title of "Oldest City in Germany." The Romans captured and fortified the city under Drusus in 14 BC and renamed it Augusta Vangionum. Worms may be most famed for the original "Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück" epotoponym for the Liebfraumilch wine, however it paid an important role in the Reformation, for those not just on a liquid Diet. For instance William Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament was printed at Worms in 1526. Sainte Erentrude, or Erentraud of Worms, (~650 to 710), later cannonized, was the first abbess of Salzburg's Nonnberg convent (where she died).

Worms was a Roman Catholic bishopric since at least 614 with an earlier mention in 346. In the Frankish Empire, the city was the location of an important palatinate of Charlemagne (Karl der Grosse), who built one of his many administrative palaces here. Worms Cathedral (Wormser Dom), dedicated to St Peter, is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Germany. Alongside the nearby Romanesque cathedrals of Speyer and Mainz, it is one of the so-called Kaiserdome (Imperial Cathedrals). Some parts in early Romanesque style from the 10th century still exist, while most parts are from the 11th and 12th century, with some later additions in Gothic style. Four other Romanesque churches as well as the Romanesque old city fortification still exist, making the city Germany's second in Romanesque architecture only to Cologne. The Reichstag of 1521 (commonly known as the Diet of Worms) ended with the Edict of Worms under which Martin Luther was declared an outlaw after refusing to recant his religious beliefs.

Roman inscriptions and altars and votive offerings can be seen in the archæological museum, along with one of Europe's largest collections of Roman glass. Potters worked in the south quarter of the town. Fragments of ancient amphoras show contents of olive oil from Hispania Bætica, doubtless transported by sea and then up the River Rhine. The city became the chief city of the first kingdom of the Burgundians, who were overwhelmed in 437 by Hun mercenaries serving Roman general Aëtius in order to put an end to Burgundian raids. This produces an epic disaster, the background source for the Nibelungenlied. In 1689 during the Nine Years' War, Worms (like the nearby towns and cities of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Oppenheim, Speyer and Bingen) was sacked by troops of King Louis XIV of France, though the French only held the city for a few weeks. In 1743 the Treaty of Worms was signed, ending the Second Silesian war between Prussia and Austria. In 1792 the city was occupied by troops of the French First Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. And the British bombed the city towards the end of the War (1945), an action that burned the cathedral and some 6,500 other buildings.,_Germany

Darmstadt: Darmstadt lies in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine-Main Area. Its French sister city is TroyesThe city of Darmstadt, as founded by the Counts of Katzenelnbogen in 1330, was chartered by the Holy Roman Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in the same year. Settlements near the city are known from as early as the late 11th century. When the house of Katzenelnbogen became extinct in 1479, the city passed to the Landgraviate of Hesse. It became the capital of the ruling landgraves (1567-1806) and thereafter (up to 1918) of the Grand Dukes of Hesse.

House of Peter Behrens in Darmstadt At the outset of the 20th century Darmstadt was an important center for the art movement Jugendstil, the German variant of Art Nouveau. Related annual architectural competitions led to the construction of unique buildings during this period. Jugendstil is a German combination meaning "youth style" and named after the magazine Jugend: Münchner illustrierte Wochenschrift für Kunst und Leben, which promoted the new modern way of looking at the world. Jugendstil used precise and hard edges, a characteristic different from the accepted naturalistic style of the time. Henry Van de Velde, who worked most of his career in Germany, was a Belgian theorist who influenced many others to continue in this style of graphic art including Peter Behrens, Hermann Obrist, August Endell and Richard Riemerschmid.

British bombing in 1944 left over 11,000 dead and a city-centre 75% destroyed. A plainer style was used in reconstruction, however the Schlossplatz, a market square in front of the Ducal Palace was one of the few areas to maintain a similar style after World war II. The counts of Darmstadt also possessed a castle on the Langenberg, high above the city. This structure dates to the 13th century, but it was acquired by the counts of Hesse-Darmstadt only in 1662. The name of the castle is Frankenstein. One last item: the Jugendstil Russian Chapel was built as a private place of worship by the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, whose wife Alexandra was born in Darmstadt.

Würzburg: Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, upstream from Frankfurt, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Unterfranken. The regional dialect is Franconian. By 1000 BC a Celtic {Keltoi} fortification stood on the site of the present Fortress Marienberg. In 686 by Irish missionaries Kilian, Colman and Totnan arrived. The city name appears as Vurteburch in 704. The first diocese was founded by Saint Bonifatius in 742, who appointed the first bishop, Saint Burkhard. The premier church on the site of the present Würzburg Cathedral was built as early as 788, and consecrated that same year by Charlemagne; the current building was constructed from 1040 to 1225 in Romanesque style. Two artists who made a lasting impression were sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider (1460–1531), who was also mayor and participated in the Peasants' War, and Balthasar Neumann (1687–1753), Baroque architect and builder of the Würzburg Residence, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior was decorated by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son, Domenico.

During World War II, on March 16, 1945, about 90% of the city was destroyed by some 225 Lancaster bombers in 17 minutes during a British air raid. Churches, cathedrals and other monuments did not survive, while the city-centre, dating from medieval times, was totally consumed in a firestorm in which some 5,000 people perished. In relative terms Würzburg, was destroyed more completely than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month. Some old structures remain and others were rebuilt or refurbished.ürzburg

Würzburg's Olde Main Bridge (Alte Mainbrücke) was built 1473–1543 to replace the ruined Romanesque bridge from 1133. It was adorned from 1730 onward in two phases with well-known statues of saints and famous persons. A comparable structure is the impressive Charles Bridge in Prague. The Fortress Marienberg is the castle on a hill across the Alte Mainbrücke, overlooking the whole town area as well as the surrounding hills. Among Würzburg's many notable churches are the Käppele, a small Baroque/Rococo chapel by Balthasar Neumann on a hill opposite to the Fortress Marienberg and the Dom (Würzburg Cathedral). The Baroque Schönborn Chapel, a side-chapel of the cathedral has interior decoration made of (artificial) human bones and skulls. The Neumünster is a Romanesque minster church with a Baroque façade and dome. Among the Baroque-style churches in the inner city are Stift Haug (Stift Haug was built in the years 1670–1691 and was the first Baroque church in Franconia, and is the most important building of the Italian architect Antonio Petrini), St. Michael, St. Stephan and St. Peter. The Haus zum Falken next to the Marienkapelle, with its splendid facade, is an achievement of the Würzburg rococo period. Also look for replicas of the statues of Adam and Eve by Riemenschneider at the entrance to the Marienkapelle (on the market square).

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 -- Heppenheim -- Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Kaiserslautern und Saarbrücken -- Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Stuttgart und Tübingen -- 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

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historiæ -- Anglo Saxons

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