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Koblenz I (Overlay)

B17's of the USAF bombing Koblenz downtown.



Koblenz, the city at the confluence of River Rhine and River Mosel, was established more than 2,000 years ago by Romans. They called it "Castrum ad Confluentes" (castle at the confluence). The next 2,000 years the name changed (Confluentes -> Covelenz -> Cobelenz -> Coblenz -> Koblenz).

Later it was frequently the residence of the Frankish kings, and in 860 and 922 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.



In 1688 Koblenz was besieged by the French under Marshal de Boufflers, but they only succeeded in bombarding the Altstadt into ruins, destroying among other buildings the old merchants' hall (Kaufhaus), which was restored in its present form in 1725. In 1786 the elector of Trier, Clement Wenceslaus of Saxony, took up his residence in the town, and gave great assistance in its extension and improvement; a few years later it became, through the invitation of his minister, Ferdinand, Freiherr von Duminique, one of the principal rendezvous of the French émigrés. This drew down upon the archbishop-elector the wrath of the French republicans; in 1794 Coblenz was taken by the French Revolutionary army under Marceau (who fell during the siege), and, after the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville (1801) it was made the chief town of the Rhine and Mosel department. In 1814 it was occupied by the Russians, by the congress of Vienna it was assigned to Prussia, and in 1822 it was made the seat of government of the Prussian Rhine province.



Due to the railroad Koblenz became an important target for the Allies. Like in WWI a lot of reinforcement and supply was sent via Koblenz. Most of the forces for the 'Ardennen-Offensive' (Battle of Bulge) were sent via Koblenz to front unspotted by Allied Reconnassaince. The heavy air-raids of the Allied Forces between 1944 and 1945 destroyed ~87% of Koblenz city. The historical townscape was goen forever. 1,016 people died, 2,924 were wounded. 2,000,000 cubicmeters of debris embossed the townscape.