Koblenz, also spelled Coblenz or Coblence, is a German city situated on both banks of the Rhine at its confluence with the Moselle, where the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) and its monument (Emperor William I on horseback) are situated.
Around 1000 BC, early fortifications were erected on the Festung Ehrenbreitstein hill on the opposite side of the Moselle. In 55 BC, Roman troops commanded by Julius Caesar reached the Rhine and built a bridge between Koblenz and Andernach. About 9 BC, the "Castellum apud Confluentes", was one of the military posts established by Drusus.
Remains of a large bridge built in 49 AD by the Romans are still visible. The Romans built two castles as protection for the bridge, one in 9 AD and another in the 2nd century, the latter being destroyed by the Franks in 259. North of Koblenz was a temple of Mercury and Rosmerta (a Gallo-Roman deity), which remained in use up to the 5th century.
In 1688, Koblenz was besieged by the French under Marshal de Boufflers, but they only succeeded in bombing the Old City (Altstadt) into ruins, destroying among other buildings the Old Merchants' Hall (Kaufhaus), which was restored in its present form in 1725. The city was the residence of the archbishop-electors of Trier from 1690 to 1801.
The Rhine Gorge was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002, with Koblenz marking the northern end.
The Romans brought the first wines to the region. Since then this old tradition has been maintained and has manifested into the wine town of Koblenz and about half a million wines. The wine growers can prove their fantastic talents in the Rhine and on the Moselle presenting the best of these two famous wine cultivation areas.
During wine and wine growers festivals, directly on the wine grower’s premises, in one of the quaint taverns and in wine bars, restaurants and pubs along the banks of the river, you can enjoy a few “Schoppen” and delve into the world of the Bacchus.
- The Basilica of St. Castor is the oldest church in Koblenz. It is located near Deutsches Eck at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle. A fountain called Kastorbrunnen("Castor well") was built in front of the basilica during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.Pope John Paul II raised St. Castor to a basilica minor on 30 July 1991. This church is worth seeing for the historical events that have occurred in it, its extensive Romanesque construction and its largely traditional furnishings. Since 2002, the Basilica of St. Castor has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. In addition, it is a cultural property protected under the Hague Convention. The church of St. Castor was built between 817 and 836 by Hetto, the Archbishop of Trier with the support of Emperor Louis the Pious, just outside the city of Confluentes (the city founded by the Romans in the area) and dedicated on 12 November 836. As Koblenz had a Frankish royal court, Louis was in charge of the construction of the church and it was built as a Carolingian proprietary church. However, Louis did not come to Koblenz until after the consecration of the church. This points to the importance of the Archbishop in the building of the church, especially as the church was until the 13th century outside the city of Koblenz.
- The Electoral Palace (German: Kurfürstliche Schloss) was the residence of the last Archbishop and Elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, who commissioned the building of the castle by the end of the 18th Century. In the mid-19th Century, the Prussian Crown Prince (later Emperor William I) resided in the castle for a number of years as a Rhenish-Westphalian military governor. Today it is the location of various federal agencies. One of the most important castles of the French early classicism in southwestern Germany, and one of the last residence palaces built before the French Revolution in Germany. Since 2002, the Electoral Palace is part of the World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, acknowledged by UNESCO.
- William I monument The Teutonic Knights were given an area for their Deutschherrenhaus Balley right at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel, which became known as German Corner (Deutsches Eck).In 1897, a monument to German Emperor William I of Germany, mounted on a 14 meter high horse, was inaugurated there by his grandson William II. The architect was Bruno Schmitz, who was responsible for a number of nationalistic German monuments and memorials. The German Corner is since associated with this monument, the (re) foundation of the German Empire and the German refusal of any French claims to the area, as described in the song "Die Wacht am Rhein" together with the "Wacht am Rhein" called "Niederwalddenkmal" some 30 km upstream.
- Stolzenfels Castle Finished in 1259, Stolzenfels was used to protect the toll station at the Rhine, where the ships, back then were the main transport for goods, had to stop and pay toll. Over the years it was extended several times, occupied by French and Swedish troops in the Thirty Years' War and finally, in 1689, destroyed by the French during the Nine Years' War. For 150 years the ruins decayed, until in 1815 they were given as a present to Frederick William IV of Prussia by the city of Koblenz. Following the romantic traditions, the prince started to completely rebuild the castle after 1826 as a summer residence. Supported by famous neoclassic architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the castle was completely remodeled in the then fashionable neo-Gothic style, aiming to create a romantic place representing the idea of medieval knighthood - the architects even created a tournament site.
- Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is a fortress on the mountain of the same name on the east bank of the Rhine opposite the town of Koblenz. It was built as the backbone of the regional fortification system, Festung Koblenz, by Prussia between 1817 and 1832 and guarded the middle Rhine region, an area that had been invaded by French troops repeatedly before. The fortress was never attacked. Early fortifications at the site can be dated back to about 1000 BC. At about AD 1000 Ehrenbert erected a castle. Its initial name "Burg Ehrenbertstein" became:Burg Ehrenbreitstein. The Archbishops of Trier expanded it with a supporting castle Burg Helferstein and guarded the Holy Tunic in it from 1657 to 1794.