Right next door to the City Theater on Deinhardplatz is the head office of the Deinhard Wine Company, one of the leading producers of the German sparkling wine known as Sekt.
The company was founded here in Koblenz by Johann Friedrich Deinhard on May 1, 1794, just six months before the French revolutionary army took control of Koblenz and vicinity.
A few years earlier, Prince Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus had set about reforming the wine-growing industry. He ordered the destruction of the inferior grapes that had been grown up to that time, and had them replaced by "good grapes" such as Riesling und Elbling, thus creating the basis for the Moselle and Rhine wines we know today.
The eventual downfall of Clemens Wenzeslaus had to do with the fact that his sister had married into the French royal family, making him the uncle of three French kings. After the French Revolution many French aristocrats took refuge in Koblenz, where the revolutionary army later caught up with them and sent Clemens Wenzeslaus into exile.
The Deinhard people now offer tours of their "cellar-museum" at various unpredictable times which are listed at their front door (but not on their website). The cost of a one-hour tour including one glass of sparkling wine is 5.00 Euros per person. A longer tour including a small sparkling wine tasting costs 7.00 Euros per person and lasts about an hour and a half.
The word "Damenwahl" on their advertising banner means "ladies' choice". This is a word which is used at dances, for instance, when the ladies get to choose their partners for the next dance.
Prince Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxony (1739−1812) was the ruler of this area for a quarter century at least. He was also the Archbishop of Trier and the Bishop of Augsburg, which in those days was no contradiction. In 1786 he officially set up Residence in Koblenz, where he commissioned this public theater the same year. The obelisk in front of the theater, with his name on it, commemorates the inauguration of a new fountain in 1791.
Clemens Wenzeslaus seems to have been quite the enlightened ruler. One indication of this is that he commissioned the theater not only for himself and his courtiers, but for the general public as well. The Latin inscription on the theater reads: "Musis Moribus Et Publicae Laetitiae", which means roughly: "To the muses, morals and public amusement."
Second photo: People gathering outside the theater on Deinhardplatz. The first opera I saw in this theater was a very lively production of Ariadne auf Naxos, by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), done by young singers and actors with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
Third photo: The theater, flanked by the Deinhard sparkling wine company and the Hotel Trierer Hof.
Fourth photo: The theater box office, which is around the corner on Clemensstraße. (The street was named after the Prince Elector, of course.)
Fifth photo: Stage entrance on Clemensstraße, with bicycles.
In May 2006 I saw a performance here in the Koblenz City Theater of Die weiße Rose (The White Rose) by Udo Zimmermann (born 1943). This is a short opera about the life and death of Hans and Sophie Scholl, a brother and sister who formed an anti-Nazi resistance group called The White Rose in Munich during the Second World War.
In 1943, eight months before the composer was born, Hans and Sophie were caught distributing anti-Nazi leaflets at the university in Munich. They were condemned to death for this, and were executed the same day.
A new production of the same opera, staged by the actor Christoph Quest and featuring Britta Stallmeister as Sophie, was performed in Frankfurt at the Bockenheimer Depot in March 2007.
The composer Udo Zimmermann is better known as an orchestra conductor and opera manager. He was the General Director (Intendant) of the Leipzig Opera from 1990 to 2001, and held the same post at the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2001 to 2004.
Second photo: People taking their seats in the Koblenz Theater for Zimmermann's opera.
Third photo: Since this opera is about resistance against the Nazis, they were allowed to use a Nazi flag on the stage. Ordinarily it is illegal in Germany to display any sort of Nazi symbols.
Fourth photo: The upper lobby of the Koblenz theater.
This Old Castle, on the Moselle River at the edge of the Old Town, was originally built in the thirteenth century by someone called Heinrich von Finstingen, who at the time ruled this area in his capacity as Prince Elector of Trier.
The building now houses the City Archives.
This memorial to the victims of Nazi terror was set up on Reichensperger Platz, near the theater, after years of campaigning by a local citizens' group.
It was dedicated on August 23, 2001, in the presence of several Holocaust survivors from Jewish families who formerly lived in Koblenz.
Deutsches Eck (German Corner) lies on a spit of land at the point where the Mosel flows into the Rhein. The name originates from the Knights of the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden) who settled and established their 1st centre here in 1216. Following banking-up of the promontory at the end of the 19th century, a monument to Emperor Wilhelm I was built here, commemorating the victory of 1871. The construction took from 1883 to 1897. The project was proposed a few weeks after the Emperor's death and a call for donations brought in 80,000 Mark from the Republic. It was Emperor Wilhelm II who decided on the final location of the monument; the parliament of the provinces had originally chosen the Drachenfels rock overlooking Königswinter. A total of 6 million gold Mark was spent on the project. Overall the monument was 37 metres high, the 14 metres equestrian statue of the Emperor was cast from 35,000 kg of copper ingots. The Emperor's gaze faced down rive, the horse's tail towards the arch-enemy: France. ;) After standing here for 48 years the monument was destroyed in World War II, on March 16 1945. Horse and rider tipped over to the right to hang head-down from the base of the monument. Then the statue simply disappeared, creating a great sensation! Until today no-one knows who was behind this "kidnapping", or why and how they did it!! The monument was initially redesigned without the statue by mounting the coats of arms of Germany's federal states along the semicircular South Wall. But in 1987 a Koblenz publisher made an impressive offer: he said he would finance a copy of the original statue and give it to the city of Koblenz as a present. And on September 2nd 1993, Europe's biggest floating crane lifted the faithful 61.5-ton bronze copy of the equestrian statue of Emperor Wilhelm I onto its restored pedestal.
We boarded our boat *The Loreley* at Koblenz and it took a leisurely 2.5 hours to reach Boppard. The hills along the Rhein were covered in vines and little churches and villages and castles, it was quiet and dreamlike and magical.
We were a group booking so I am not sure what the cost of individual tickets would be. It is possible to book your cruise on line at the website below.
Kastorbrunnen at the forecourt of St. Kastor's basilica is a rather quaint testimony of the French Revolutionary Wars and the eventful history of the town. As an effect of the above mentioned war Koblenz was the capital of the French Département "Rhin et Moselle". And the town's prefect, Jules Doazan, decided to built a monument commemorating Napoleon's Russian campaign of 1812. Paradoxically enough the monument was built BEFORE the campaign commenced and in retrospect it proved very much precipitate! Napoleon's troops suffered a disastrous defeat in Russia. And after the decisive Battle of the Nations near Leipzig in 1813 Russian troops took over the former French territories, including Koblenz. The new city commandant of Koblenz happened to be French-born but on Russian duty and he proved a wry sense of humour as he "completed" the monument's original inscription. Now at Kastorbrunnen you can read:
""A Napoleon le Grand"" "An MDCCCXII Memorable par la Campagne contre les Russes sous la Prefecture de Jules Doazan"
(To Napoleon the Great - an 1812 monument commemorating the campaign against the Russians under the prefecture of Jules Doazan)
"Vu et approuvé par nous Commandant Russe de la Ville de Coblentz/ le 1er janvier 1814"
(Seen and approved by us, the Russian commandant of the city of Coblentz/ 1st of January 1814)
This is the little ferryboat we took to get to Ehrenbreitstein. It didn't cost much, just a few cents I think and it only takes a couple of minutes to get to the landing stage on the opposite bank (where the red train is in the photo). The fort is on the top left of the photo.
When you're at St. Florin's square and you're visiting (or passing) the Mittelrhein Museum, do have a closer look at the museum's facade. The Gothic style building originally was a merchant's house and later was used as a place of assemblies and festivities. The early 15th century building is one of the most beautiful old town houses of Koblenz. And its tower houses a real particularity: a relief showing a man's face with his eyes moving in accordance with the clock right above. The clockwork makes the eyes roll each second and at hourly intervals the relief will stick its tongue out. ; )
There's a legend about the origin of the eye roller relief that says that it depicts a 16th century robber baron called Johann Lutter von Cobern who did mischief in this area and therefore was beheaded at the market square of Koblenz in 1536. Shortly before his execution he predicted prosperty to the town if only the councilmen decided to raise a momument for him.
The date of the 1st putting up of the eye roller relief is uncertain but it's safe to say that a mask similar to the present one has already been gracing the assembly hall in 17th century.
The stained glass windows of Liebfrauenkirche were added as recently as 1992. They are the design of HG Stockhausen. They are way more than just eyecatching, they are indeed spectacular and well worth a look. I know that Europe almost suffers from overload in the stained glass department, but these to my mind are pretty special.
The Prince Elector's Castle (Alte Burg) dates back to the 12th century and is the work of a man by the name of Von der Arken. Archbishop Heinrich von Vistingen from Trier added extensions towards the latter part of the 13th century, when it became a residence for the archbishops.
It now houses the town archive as well as the municipal library. You can also find a fine old sandstone spiral staircase which is of great interest to many visitors.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Fridays 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
When the town archive is open.
In the military museum you will find many life size figures modelling the changing trends in the history of suits of armour. I don't think that anyone has ever worked out how the knights of old were able to engage in battle wearing all that heavy metal. I believe that there were suits which weighed up to 90 pounds even before the sword was counted in.
The museum also has exhibits of various kinds of weaponry.
To say that this part of the castle was a bit grim and gruesome would be a gross understatement. Here there are displayed many items used to torture prisoners when the castle was used as a prison. The mind boggles at the very thought of what some of these instruments were used for.
Thumbscrews, hooks, racks, chains, you name it.
I was certainly glad to pass through this area.
I must admit that I am a sucker for frescoes and these appealed to me extra specially because they looked as though they were the original works. I may be wrong in this assumption, but it certainly looked that way to me. In any event, they were truly magnificent as was the statuary in the chapel. This part of Marksburg was really a peaceful place and it was good just to stand there and try to take it all in. It was definitely a "feel good" room.
The tower which houses Markuskapelle or (St. Mark's Chapel) was built in 1200 and gave its name to the castle which was originally called Burg Braubach.
modern hotel, very central located. Definitely more comfortable than in a station wagon. Average...more
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Very nice rooms for the price with easy access to the altstadt. Near a bus stop.more