The Rhineland (German: Rheinland, French: Rhénanie, Dutch: Rijnland, Latinised name: Rhenania) is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section.
Historically, the Rhinelands refers (physically speaking) to a loosely defined region embracing the land on the banks of the Rhine in Central Europe, which were settled by Ripuarian and Salian Franks and became part of Frankish Austrasia. In the High Middle Ages, numerous Imperial States along the river emerged from the former stem duchy of Lotharingia, without developing any common political or cultural identity.
A "Rhineland" conceptualization did not evolve until the 19th century after the War of the First Coalition, when a short-lived Cisrhenian Republic was established by Napoleon. The term covered the whole French conquered territory west of the Rhine (German: Linkes Rheinufer), but also including a small portion of the bridgeheads on the eastern banks. After the collapse of the French empire, the regions of Jülich-Cleves-Berg and Lower Rhine were annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1822 the Prussian administration reorganized the territory as the Rhine Province (Rheinprovinz, also known as Rhenish Prussia), a tradition that continued in the naming of the current German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Following the First World War, the western part of Rhineland was occupied by Entente forces, then demilitarized under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and then the 1925 Locarno Treaties. German forces remilitarized the territory in 1936, as part of a diplomatic test of will, three years before the outbreak of the Second World War.
To the west the area stretches to the borders with Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands; on the eastern side it encompasses the towns and cities along the river and the Bergisches Land area up to the Westphalian (Siegerland) and Hessian regions. Stretching down to the North Palatine Uplands in the south, this area, except for the Saarland, more or less corresponds with the modern use of the term.
The southern and eastern parts are mainly hill country (Westerwald, Hunsrück, Siebengebirge, Taunus and Eifel), cut by river valleys, principally the Middle Rhine up to Bingen (or very rarely between the confluence with the Neckar and Cologne) and its Ahr, Moselle and Nahe tributaries. The border of the North German plain is marked by the lower Ruhr. In the south, the river cuts the Rhenish Massif.
The area encompasses the western part of the Ruhr industrial region and the Cologne Lowland. Some of the larger cities in the Rhineland are Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Koblenz, Krefeld, Leverkusen, Mainz, Mönchengladbach, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Oberhausen, Remscheid, Solingen, Trier and Wuppertal.
Toponyms as well as local family names often trace back to the Frankish heritage. The lands on the western shore of the Rhine are strongly characterized by Roman influence, including viticulture. In the core territories, large parts of the population are members of the Catholic Church.
At the earliest historical period, the territories between the Ardennes and the Rhine were occupied by the Treveri, the Eburones and other Celtic tribes, who, however, were all more or less modified and influenced by their Germanic neighbors. On the East bank of the Rhine, between the Main and the Lahn, were the settlements of the Mattiaci, a branch of the Germanic Chatti, while farther to the north were the Usipetes and Tencteri.
Julius Caesar conquered the Celtic tribes on the West bank, and Augustus established numerous fortified posts on the Rhine, but the Romans never succeeded in gaining a firm footing on the East bank. As the power of the Roman empire declined the Franks pushed forward along both banks of the Rhine, and by the end of the 5th century had conquered all the lands that had formerly been under Roman influence. The Frankish conquerors of the Rhenish districts were singularly little affected by the culture of the Roman provincials they subdued, and all traces of Roman civilization were submerged. By the 8th century, the Frankish dominion was firmly established in western Germania and northern Gaul.
On the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun the part the province to the east of the river fell to East Francia, while that to the west remained with the kingdom of Lotharingia.
By the time of Emperor Otto I (d. 973) both banks of the Rhine had become part of the Holy Roman Empire, and in 959 the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper Lorraine, on the Mosel, and Lower Lorraine on the Meuse.
As the central power of the Holy Roman Emperor weakened, the Rhineland split up into numerous small independent principalities, each with its separate vicissitudes and special chronicles. The old Lotharingian divisions became obsolete, and while the Lower Lorraine lands were referred to as the Low Countries, the name of Lorraine became restricted to the region on the upper Moselle that still bears it. After the Imperial Reform of 1500/12, the territory was part of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian, Upper Rhenish, and Electoral Rhenish Circles. Notable Rhenish Imperial States included:
In spite of its dismembered condition and the sufferings it underwent at the hands of its French neighbors in various periods of warfare, the Rhenish territory prospered greatly and stood in the foremost rank of German culture and progress. Aachen was the place of coronation of the German emperors, and the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine played a large role in German history.
At the Peace of Basel in 1795, the whole of the left bank of the Rhine was taken by France. The population was about 1.6 million in numerous small states. In 1806, the Rhenish princes all joined the Confederation of the Rhine, a puppet of Napoleon. France took direct control of the Rhineland until 1814 and radically and permanently liberalized the government, society and economy. The Coalition of France's enemies made repeated efforts to retake the region, but France repelled all the attempts.
The French swept away centuries worth of outmoded restrictions and introduced unprecedented levels of efficiency. The chaos and barriers in a land divided and subdivided among many different petty principalities gave way to a rational, simplified, centralized system controlled by Paris and run by Napoleon's relatives. The most important impact came from the abolition of all feudal privileges and historic taxes, the introduction of legal reforms of the Napoleonic Code, and the reorganization of the judicial and local administrative systems. The economic integration of the Rhineland with France increased prosperity, especially in industrial production, while business accelerated with the new efficiency and lowered trade barriers. The Jews were liberated from the ghetto. There was limited resistance; most Germans welcomed the new regime, especially the urban elites, but one sour point was the hostility of the French officials toward the Roman Catholic Church, the choice of most of the residents. The reforms were permanent. Decades later workers and peasants in the Rhineland often appealed to Jacobinism to oppose unpopular government programs, while the intelligentsia demanded the maintenance of the Napoleonic Code (which was stayed in effect for a century).
A Prussian influence began on a small scale in 1609 by the occupation of the Duchy of Cleves. A century later, Upper Guelders and Moers also became Prussian. The Congress of Vienna expelled the French and assigned the whole of the lower Rhenish districts to Prussia, who left them in undisturbed possession of the liberal institutions to which they had become accustomed under the French. The Rhine Province remained part of Prussia after Germany was unified in 1871.
The occupation of the Rhineland took place following the Armistice with Germany of 11 November 1918. The occupying armies consisted of American, Belgian, British and French forces. Under the Treaty of Versailles, German troops were banned from all territory west of the Rhine and within 50 kilometers east of the Rhine.
In 1920, under massive French pressure, the Saar was separated from the Rhine Province and administered by the League of Nations until a plebiscite in 1935, when the region was returned to Germany. At the same time, in 1920, the districts of Eupen and Malmedy were transferred to Belgium (see German-Speaking Community of Belgium).
Shortly after, France completely occupied the Rhineland, strictly controlling all important industrial areas. The Germans responded with passive resistance and hyperinflation; the French gained very little of the reparations they wanted. French troops did not leave the Rhineland until 1925.
On 7 March 1936, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, German troops marched into the Rhineland and other regions along the Rhine. German territory west of the Rhine had been off-limits to the German military.
In 1945, the Rhineland was the scene of major fighting as the Allied invaders overwhelmed the German defenders.
In 1946, the Rhineland was divided into the newly founded states of Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Rhineland-Palatinate. North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the prime German industrial areas, containing significant mineral deposits, (coal, lead, lignite, magnesium, oil, and uranium) and water transport. In Rhineland-Palatinate agriculture is more important, including the vineyards in the Ahr, Mittelrhein, and Mosel regions.
Bettingen is a municipality in the district of Bitburg-Prüm, in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany.Dahlem, Rhineland-Palatinate
Dahlem is a municipality in the district of Bitburg-Prüm, in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany.Franco-Dutch War
The Franco-Dutch War, often just the Dutch War (French: Guerre de Hollande, Dutch: Hollandse Oorlog), was a conflict that lasted from 1672 to 1678 between the Dutch Republic and France, each supported by allies. France had the support of England and Sweden, while the Dutch were supported by Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark.
The war began in May 1672 when France invaded the Netherlands and nearly overran it, an event still referred to as het Rampjaar or 'Disaster Year'. By late July, the Dutch position had stabilised, with support from Emperor Leopold, Brandenburg-Prussia and Spain; this was formalised in the August 1673 Treaty of the Hague, joined by Denmark in January 1674.
Faced by a financial crisis, Sweden agreed to remain neutral in return for French subsidies, but became involved in the 1675–1679 Scanian War with its regional rivals Denmark and Brandenburg. On balance, the cost of funding the Swedish army made its support largely negative for France.
The period of English participation as an ally of France is also known as the Third Anglo-Dutch War; the alliance was always unpopular and domestic opposition led to its exit in the February 1674 Treaty of Westminster. In November 1677, William of Orange married his cousin Mary, niece to Charles II of England and England agreed a defensive alliance with the Dutch in March 1678.
Under the Peace of Nijmegen, France returned Charleroi to Spain. In return, it received the Franche-Comté and cities in Flanders and Hainaut, essentially establishing modern France's northern border. However, it also marked the highpoint of French expansion under Louis and William's arrival as leader of an anti-French coalition, which would hold together in the 1688–1697 Nine Years War and 1701–1714 War of the Spanish Succession.Fritz-Walter-Stadion
Fritz-Walter-Stadion (German pronunciation: [ˌfʁɪtsˈvaltɐˌʃtaːdi̯ɔn]) is the home to the 3. Bundesliga club 1. FC Kaiserslautern and is located in the city of Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It was one of the stadia used in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It is named after Fritz Walter, who played for the Kaiserslautern club throughout his career and was captain of the Germany national football team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup in the "Miracle of Bern". The stadium was built on the Betzenberg hill, hence its nickname "Betze", and was opened in 1920.Hütten, Rhineland-Palatinate
Hütten is a municipality in the district of Bitburg-Prüm, in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany.Koblenz
Koblenz (German: [ˈkoːblɛnts] (listen); French: Coblence), spelled Coblenz before 1926, is a German city situated on both banks of the Rhine where it is joined by the Moselle.
Koblenz was established as a Roman military post by Drusus around 8 B.C. Its name originates from the Latin (ad) cōnfluentēs, meaning "(at the) confluence" of the two rivers. The actual confluence is today known as the "German Corner", a symbol of the unification of Germany that features an equestrian statue of Emperor William I. The city celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1992.
After Mainz and Ludwigshafen am Rhein, it is the third-largest city in Rhineland-Palatinate, with a population of around 112,000 (2015). Koblenz lies in the Rhineland.List of cities and towns in Germany
This is a complete list of the 2,056 towns and cities in Germany (as of January 1st, 2019). Only independent municipalities that have the right to call themselves Stadt are included. Historically, this title was associated with town privileges but today it is a mere honorific title. The title can be bestowed to a municipality by its respective state government and is generally given to such municipalities that have either had historic town rights or have attained considerable size and importance more recently. In this list, only the town names are given. For more restricted lists with more details, see:
List of cities in Germany by population (only Großstädte, i.e. cities over 100,000 population)
Metropolitan Regions in GermanyNumbers of cities and towns in the German states:
Bavaria: 317 towns and cities
Baden-Württemberg: 313 towns and cities
North Rhine-Westphalia: 272 towns and cities
Hesse: 191 towns and cities
Saxony: 169 towns and cities
Lower Saxony: 159 towns and cities
Rhineland-Palatinate: 129 towns and cities
Thuringia: 121 towns and cities
Brandenburg: 113 towns and cities
Saxony-Anhalt: 104 towns and cities
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: 84 towns and cities, see list
Schleswig-Holstein: 63 towns and cities
Saarland: 17 towns and cities
Bremen: 2 cities
Berlin: 1 city
Hamburg: 1 cityMainz
Mainz ( MYNTS, German: [maɪnts] (listen); Latin: Mogontiacum; French: Mayence) is the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The city is located on the Rhine river at its confluence with the Main river, opposite Wiesbaden on the border with Hesse. Mainz is an independent city with a population of 206,628 (2015) and forms part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region.Mainz was founded by the Romans in the 1st Century BC during the Classical antiquity era, serving as a military fortress on the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire and as the provincial capital of Germania Superior. Mainz became an important city in the 8th Century AD as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the capital of the Electorate of Mainz and seat of the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz, the Primate of Germany. Mainz is famous as the home of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable-type printing press, who in the early 1450s manufactured his first books in the city, including the Gutenberg Bible. Historically, before the 20th century, the city was known in English as Mentz and in French as Mayence. Mainz was heavily damaged during World War II, with more than 30 air raids destroying about 80 percent of the city's center, including most of the historic buildings. Today, Mainz is a transport hub and a center of wine production.Missouri Rhineland
The Missouri Rhineland is a geographical area of Missouri that extends from west of St. Louis to slightly east of Jefferson City, located mostly in the Missouri River Valley on both sides of the river. White settlements date to 1801. Dutzow, the first permanent German settlement in Missouri, was founded in 1832 by Baron von Bock. The area is named after the Rhineland region in central Europe, a wine-growing area around the Rhine river, by German-Americans who noticed similarities in the two regions' soil and topography.
The soils of the Missouri River Valley and surrounding areas are mainly rocky residual soils left after the carbonate (mainly limestone) bedrock weathered away to impurities of clayey soil and chert fragments. Farther to the north, glacial deposits and wind-deposited loess, a silty soil also associated with the glaciers, are intermingled with the residual soils.
While the soil could support other crops, the steep slopes of these areas were better used for viticulture. German settlers established the first wineries in the mid-19th century. Italian immigrants later established their own vineyards, especially near Rolla in Phelps County. By 1920, Missouri was the second-largest wine-producing state in the nation. Then came Prohibition, which ruined the industry.
In the 1960s, local winemakers began to rebuild, part of a movement in states across the country. In 1980, An area around Augusta, Missouri, was designated by the federal government as the first American Viticultural Area (AVA), and one around Hermann, Missouri, was designated an AVA in 1983. Much of the region of the Missouri Rhineland from Augusta to Jefferson City along the Missouri River is part of the larger Ozark Mountain AVA. Winning national tasting awards, the state's wine industry contributes to both the agricultural and tourist economies.Occupation of the Rhineland
The Occupation of the Rhineland from 1 December 1918 until 30 June 1930 was a consequence of the collapse of the Imperial German Army in 1918. Despite Germany proving victorious on the eastern front following the Russian Revolution, the military high command had failed to prevent the continuing erosion of morale, both domestically and in the army. Despite transferring veteran troops from the eastern front to fight on the western front, the spring offensive was a failure and following the outbreak of the German Revolution the Germany's provisional government was obliged to agree to the terms of the 1918 armistice. This included accepting that the troops of the victorious powers occupied the left bank of the Rhine and four right bank "bridgeheads" with a 30 kilometres (19 mi) radius around Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz and a 10 kilometres (6 mi) radius around Kehl. Furthermore, the left bank of the Rhine and a 50 kilometres (31 mi)-wide strip east of the Rhine was declared a demilitarized zone. The Treaty of Versailles repeated these provisions, but limited the presence of the foreign troops to fifteen years after the signing of the treaty (until 1934). The purpose of the occupation was on the one hand to give France security against a renewed German attack, and on the other to serve as a guarantee for reparations obligations. After this was apparently achieved with the Young Plan, the occupation of the Rhineland was prematurely ended on 30 June 1930. The administration of occupied Rhineland was under the jurisdiction of the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission with its seat at the Upper Presidium of the Rhine Province in Koblenz.Palatinate (region)
The Palatinate (German: die Pfalz; Pfälzer dialect: Palz), historically also Rhenish Palatinate (German: Rheinpfalz), is a region in southwestern Germany. It occupies roughly the southernmost quarter of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz), covering an area of 5,451 square kilometres (2,105 sq mi) with about 1.4 million inhabitants. Its residents are known as Palatines.Reiff (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Reiff is a municipality in the district of Bitburg-Prüm, in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany.Remilitarization of the Rhineland
The remilitarization of the Rhineland (German: Rheinlandbesetzung) by the German Army began on 7 March 1936 when German military forces entered the Rhineland. This was significant because it violated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties, marking the first time since the end of World War I that German troops had been in this region. The remilitarization changed the balance of power in Europe from France and its allies towards Germany, making it possible for Germany to pursue a policy of aggression in Western Europe that the demilitarized status of the Rhineland had blocked until then.Rhine Province
The Rhine Province (German: Rheinprovinz), also known as Rhenish Prussia (Rheinpreußen) or synonymous with the Rhineland (Rheinland), was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822 to 1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg. Its capital was Koblenz and in 1939 it had 8 million inhabitants. The Province of Hohenzollern was militarily associated with the Oberpräsident of the Rhine Province.
The Rhine Province bounded on the north by the Netherlands, on the east by the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and Hesse-Nassau, and the grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, on the southeast by the Palatinate (a district of the Kingdom of Bavaria), on the south and southwest by Lorraine, and on the west by Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The small exclave district of Wetzlar, wedged between the grand duchy states Hesse-Nassau and Hesse-Darmstadt was also part of the Rhine Province. The principality of Birkenfeld, on the other hand, was an enclave of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, a separate state of the German Empire.
In 1911, the extent of the province was 10,423 km2 (4,024 sq mi); its extreme length, from north to south, was nearly 200 km (120 mi), and its greatest breadth was just under 90 km (56 mi). It included about 200 km (120 mi) of the course of the Rhine, which formed the eastern border of the province from Bingen to Koblenz, and then flows in a north-northwesterly direction inside the province, approximately following its eastern border.Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate (German: Rheinland-Pfalz, pronounced [ˈʁaɪ̯nlant ˈp͡falt͡s]) is a state of Germany.
Rhineland-Palatinate is located in western Germany covering an area of 19,846 km2 (7,663 sq mi) and a population of 4.05 million inhabitants, the seventh-most populous German state. Mainz is the state capital and largest city, while other major cities include Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Koblenz, Trier, Kaiserslautern, and Worms. Rhineland-Palatinate is surrounded by the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland, Baden-Württemberg, and Hesse. It also borders three foreign countries: France, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
Rhineland-Palatinate was established in 1946 after World War II from territory of the historically separate regions of the Free State of Prussia, People's State of Hesse, and Bavaria, by the French military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. Rhineland-Palatinate became part of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, and shared the country's only border with the Saar Protectorate until it was returned to German control in 1957. Rhineland-Palatinate has since developed its own identity built on its natural and cultural heritage, including the extensive Palatinate winegrowing region, its picturesque landscapes, and many castles and palaces.Schleid, Rhineland-Palatinate
Schleid is a municipality in the district of Bitburg-Prüm, in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany.Trier
Trier ( TREER, German: [tʁiːɐ̯] (listen); Luxembourgish: Tréier [ˈtʀəɪ̯ɐ]), formerly known in English as Treves ( TREV; French: Trèves [tʁɛv]) and Triers (see also names in other languages), is a city on the banks of the Moselle in Germany. It lies in a valley between low vine-covered hills of red sandstone in the west of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the border with Luxembourg and within the important Moselle wine region. Karl Marx, philosopher and founder of the theory that would become known as Marxism, was born in the city in 1818.
Founded by the Celts in the late 4th century BC as Treuorum and conquered 300 years later by the Romans, who renamed it Augusta Treverorum ("The City of Augustus among the Treveri"), Trier has a good title for being considered Germany's oldest city. It is also the oldest seat north of the Alps of a bishop. In the Middle Ages, the Archbishop-Elector of Trier was an important prince of the church who – as archbishop-elector – controlled land from the French border to the Rhine. The Archbishop-Elector of Trier also had great significance as one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire.
With an approximate population of 105,000, Trier is the fourth-largest city in its state, after Mainz, Ludwigshafen, and Koblenz. The nearest major cities are Luxembourg (50 km or 31 mi to the southwest), Saarbrücken (80 kilometres or 50 miles southeast), and Koblenz (100 km or 62 mi northeast).
The University of Trier, the administration of the Trier-Saarburg district and the seat of the ADD (Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion), which until 1999 was the borough authority of Trier, and the Academy of European Law (ERA) are all based in Trier. It is one of the five "central places" of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Along with Luxembourg, Metz and Saarbrücken, fellow constituent members of the QuattroPole union of cities, it is central to the greater region encompassing Saar-Lor-Lux (Saarland, Lorraine and Luxembourg), Rhineland-Palatinate, and Wallonia.Verbandsgemeinde
A Verbandsgemeinde (German pronunciation: [fɛɐ̯ˈbantsɡəˌmaɪndə]; plural Verbandsgemeinden) is a low-level administrative unit in the German federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt. A Verbandsgemeinde is typically composed of a small group of villages or towns.Worms, Germany
Worms (German: [vɔʁms]) is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, situated on the Upper Rhine about 60 kilometres (40 miles) south-southwest of Frankfurt-am-Main. It had approximately 82,000 inhabitants as of 2015.A pre-Roman foundation, Worms was the capital of the Kingdom of the Burgundians in the early 5th century and hence the scene of the medieval legends referring to this period, notably the first part of the Nibelungenlied.
Worms has been a Roman Catholic bishopric since at least 614, and was an important palatinate of Charlemagne. Worms Cathedral is one of the Imperial Cathedrals and among the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Germany. Worms prospered in the High Middle Ages as an Imperial Free City. Among more than a hundred Imperial Diets held at Worms, the Diet of 1521 (commonly known as the Diet of Worms) ended with the Edict of Worms in which Martin Luther was declared a heretic. Today, the city is an industrial centre and is famed as the origin of Liebfraumilch wine. Other industries include chemicals, metal goods and fodder.