Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Środa Śląska is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland. It is the seat of Środa Śląska County, of the smaller administrative district called Gmina Środa Śląska; the town lies 32 kilometres west of the regional capital Wrocław, on the Średzka Woda creek. As at 2006, the town has a population of 8,800. Środa Śląska is situated in the central part of the Lower Silesia region at the main transport routes joining the east and west of Europe. Transforming it from a small commercial settlement into a center of urban character was carried out by a Polish prince Henryk the Bearded whose idea was to enhance the economic and political significance of the Silesia region as a means to unify the Polish Kingdom. At around 1235 he granted the settlement a special law, based on the Magdeburg law, but adopted to the local conditions, it was a model on which many other Polish towns were funded. In 1428-31 the town was devastated by the Hussites. In 1526 it was incorporated by the Habsburg monarchy.
In 1740 the Prussian soldiers incorporated it in the Prussian Kingdom. In 1806 it was sacked by French troops, in 1813 by German soldiers. On February 9, 1945 the German troops withdrew from the town and it became part of Poland; the German population of the city was forcefully expelled. For more information about the history of the region, see Silesia. Laurentius Corvinus, scholar Franz Josef Kallmann Hugo von Kirchbach, Prussian general Leszek Kosedowski Środa treasure Municipal website Jewish Community in Środa Śląska on Virtual Shtetl
German mediatisation was the major territorial restructuring that took place between 1802 and 1814 in Germany and the surrounding region by means of the mass mediatisation and secularisation of a large number of Imperial Estates. Most ecclesiastical principalities, free imperial cities, secular principalities, other minor self-ruling entities of the Holy Roman Empire lost their independent status and were absorbed into the remaining states. By the end of the mediatisation process, the number of German states had been reduced from 300 to just 39. In the strict sense of the word, mediatisation consists in the subsumption of an immediate state into another state, thus becoming mediate, while leaving the dispossessed ruler with his private estates and a number of privileges and feudal rights, such as low justice. For convenience, historians use the term mediatisation for the entire restructuring process that took place at the time, whether the mediatized states survived in some form or lost all individuality.
The secularization of ecclesiastical states took place concurrently with the mediatisation of free imperial cities and other secular states. The mass mediatisation and secularisation of German states that took place at the time was not initiated by Germans, it came under diplomatic pressure from revolutionary France and Napoleon. It constituted the most extensive redistribution of property and territories in German history prior to 1945; the two highpoints of the process were the secularization/annexation of ecclesiastical territories and free imperial cities in 1802–03, the mediatisation of secular principalities and counties in 1806. Although most of its neighbors coalesced into centralized states before the 19th century, Germany did not follow that path. Instead, the Holy Roman Empire maintained its medieval political structure as a "polyglot congeries of hundreds of nearly sovereign states and territories ranging in size from considerable to minuscule". From a high of nearly 400 – 136 ecclesiastical and 173 secular lords plus 85 free imperial cities – on the eve of the Reformation, this number had only reduced to a little less than 300 by the late-18th century.
The traditional explanation for this fragmentation has focused on the gradual usurpation by the princes of the powers of the Holy Roman Emperor during the Staufen period, to the point that by the Peace of Westphalia, the Emperor had become a mere primus inter pares. In recent decades, many historians have maintained that the fragmentation of Germany – which started out as a large polity while its neighbors started small – can be traced back to the geographical extent of the Empire – the German part of the Empire being about twice the size of the realm controlled by the king of France in the second half of the 11th century – and to the vigor of local aristocratic and ecclesiastical rule from early on in the medieval era. In the 12th century, the secular and spiritual princes did not regard themselves as the Emperor's subordinates, still less his subjects, but as rulers in their own right - and they jealously defended their established sphere of predominance. At the time of Emperor Frederick II's death in 1250, it had been decided that the regnum teutonicum was "an aristocracy with a monarchical head".
Among those states and territories, the ecclesiastical principalities were unique to Germany. The Ottonian and early Salian Emperors, who appointed the bishops and abbots, used them as agents of the imperial crown - as they considered them more dependable than the dukes they appointed and who attempted to establish independent hereditary principalities; the emperors expanded the power of the Church, of the bishops, with land grants and numerous privileges of immunity and protection as well as extensive judicial rights, which coalesced into a distinctive temporal principality: the Hochstift. The German bishop became a "prince of the Empire" and direct vassal of the Emperor for his Hochstift, while continuing to exercise only pastoral authority over his larger diocese; the personal appointment of bishops by the Emperors had sparked the investiture controversy in the 11th century, in its aftermath the emperor‘s control over the bishops' selection and rule diminished considerably. The bishops, now elected by independent-minded cathedral chapters rather than chosen by the emperor or the pope, were confirmed as territorial lords equal to the secular princes.
Having to face with the territorial expansionism of the powerful secular princes, the position of the prince-bishops became more precarious with time. In the course of the Reformation, several of the bishoprics in the north and northeast were secularized to the benefit of Protestant princes. In the sixteenth century the Counter-Reformation attempted to reverse some of these secularizations, the question of the fates of secularized territories became an important one in the Thirty Years' War. In the end, the Peace of Westphalia confirmed the secularization of a score of prince-bishoprics, including the archbishoprics of Bremen and Magdeburg and six bishoprics with full political powers, which were assigned to Sweden and Mecklenburg. On the other hand and Paderborn – under Protestant administration for decades and given up for lost – were restored as prince-bishoprics. In addition, the Peace conclusively reaffirmed the imperial immediacy, therefore the de facto independence, of the prince-bishops and imperial abbots, free imperial cities, imperial counts, as well as the imperial knights.
According to one authority, the sixty-five ecclesiastical rulers cont
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
A city-state is a sovereign state described as a type of small independent country, that consists of a single city and its dependent territories. This included cities such as Rome, Athens and the Italian city-states during the Renaissance; as of 2019, only a handful of sovereign city-states exist, with some disagreement as to which are city-states. A great deal of consensus exists that the term properly applies to Singapore and Vatican City. City states are sometimes called micro-states which however includes other configurations of small countries, not to be confused with Micronations. A number of other small states share similar characteristics, therefore are sometimes cited as modern city-states—namely, Brunei, Kuwait and Malta, which each have an urban center comprising a significant proportion of the population, though all have several distinct settlements and a designated or de facto capital city. Other small states with high population densities, such as San Marino, are cited, despite lacking a large urban centre characteristic of traditional city-states.
Several non-sovereign cities enjoy a high degree of autonomy, are sometimes considered city-states. Hong Kong and Macau, along with independent members of the United Arab Emirates, most notably Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are cited as such. Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Ur. Danish historian Poul Holm has classed the Viking colonial cities in medieval Ireland, most Dublin, as city-states. In Cyprus, the Phoenician settlement of Kition was a city-state that existed from around 800 BC until the end of the 4th century BC; some of the most well-known examples of city-state culture in human history are the ancient Greek city-states and the merchant city-states of Renaissance Italy, which organised themselves as small independent centers. The success of small regional units coexisting as autonomous actors in loose geographical and cultural unity, as in Italy and Greece prevented their amalgamation into larger national units. However, such small political entities survived only for short periods because they lacked the resources to defend themselves against incursions by larger states.
Thus they gave way to larger organisations of society, including the empire and the nation-state. In the history of mainland Southeast Asia, aristocratic groups, Buddhist leaders, others organized settlements into autonomous or semi-autonomous city-states; these were referred to as mueang, were related in a tributary relationship now described as mandala or as over-lapping sovereignty, in which smaller city-states paid tribute to larger ones that paid tribute to still larger ones—until reaching the apex in cities like Ayutthaya, Bagan and others that served as centers of Southeast Asian royalty. The system existed until the 19th century. Siam, a regional power at the time, needed to define their territories for negotiation with the European powers so the Siamese government established a nation-state system, incorporated their tributary cities into their territory and abolished the mueang and the tributary system. In early Philippine history, the Barangay was a complex sociopolitical unit which scholars have considered the dominant organizational pattern among the various peoples of the Philippine archipelago.
These sociopolitical units were sometimes referred to as Barangay states, but are more properly referred to using the technical term "polity", so they are simply called "barangays." Evidence suggests a considerable degree of independence as "city states" ruled by Datu's, Rajah's and Sultan's. Early chroniclers record that the name evolved from the term balangay, which refers to a plank boat used by various cultures of the Philippine archipelago prior to the arrival of European colonizers. In the Holy Roman Empire over 80 Free Imperial Cities came to enjoy considerable autonomy in the Middle Ages and in early-modern times, buttressed by international law following the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. Some, like three of the earlier Hanseatic cities - Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck - pooled their economic relations with foreign powers and were able to wield considerable diplomatic clout. Individual cities made protective alliances with other cities or with neighbouring regions, including the Hanseatic League, the Swabian League of Cities, the Décapole in the Alsace, or the Old Swiss Confederacy.
The Swiss Cantons of Zürich, Lucerne, Solothurn, Basel and Geneva originated as city-states. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, some cities – members of different confederacies – became sovereign city-states – such as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, the Free City of Frankfurt upon Main, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (180
Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million. One of Germany's 16 federal states, it is surrounded by Schleswig-Holstein to the north and Lower Saxony to the south; the city's metropolitan region is home to more than five million people. Hamburg lies on two of its tributaries, the River Alster and the River Bille; the official name reflects Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a sovereign city state, before 1919 formed a civic republic headed constitutionally by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. Beset by disasters such as the Great Fire of Hamburg, north Sea flood of 1962 and military conflicts including World War II bombing raids, the city has managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe. Hamburg is Europe's third-largest port. Major regional broadcasting firm NDR, the printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr and the newspapers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are based in the city.
Hamburg is the seat of Germany's oldest stock exchange and the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Media, commercial and industrial firms with significant locations in the city include multinationals Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis and Unilever; the city hosts specialists in world economics and international law, including consular and diplomatic missions as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the EU-LAC Foundation, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, multipartite international political conferences and summits such as Europe and China and the G20. Both the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Angela Merkel, German chancellor since 2005, come from Hamburg; the city is a major domestic tourist destination. It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016; the Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2015. Hamburg is a major European science and education hub, with several universities and institutions. Among its most notable cultural venues are the Laeiszhalle concert halls.
It paved the way for bands including The Beatles. Hamburg is known for several theatres and a variety of musical shows. St. Pauli's Reeperbahn is among the best-known European entertainment districts. Hamburg is at a sheltered natural harbour on the southern fanning-out of the Jutland Peninsula, between Continental Europe to the south and Scandinavia to the north, with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the northeast, it is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Bille. The city centre is around the Binnenalster and Außenalster, both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes; the islands of Neuwerk, Scharhörn, Nigehörn, 100 kilometres away in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, are part of the city of Hamburg. The neighborhoods of Neuenfelde, Cranz and Finkenwerder are part of the Altes Land region, the largest contiguous fruit-producing region in Central Europe. Neugraben-Fischbek has Hamburg's highest elevation, the Hasselbrack at 116.2 metres AMSL. Hamburg borders the states of Lower Saxony.
Hamburg has an oceanic climate, influenced by its proximity to the coast and marine air masses that originate over the Atlantic Ocean. The location north of Germany provides extremes greater than marine climates, but in the category due to the mastery of the western standards. Nearby wetlands enjoy a maritime temperate climate; the amount of snowfall has differed a lot during the past decades: while in the late 1970s and early 1980s, at times heavy snowfall occurred, the winters of recent years have been less cold, with snowfall only on a few days per year. The warmest months are June and August, with high temperatures of 20.1 to 22.5 °C. The coldest are December and February, with low temperatures of −0.3 to 1.0 °C. Claudius Ptolemy reported the first name for the vicinity as Treva; the name Hamburg comes from the first permanent building on the site, a castle which the Emperor Charlemagne ordered constructed in AD 808. It rose on rocky terrain in a marsh between the River Alster and the River Elbe as a defence against Slavic incursion, acquired the name Hammaburg, burg meaning castle or fort.
The origin of the Hamma term remains uncertain. In 834, Hamburg was designated as the seat of a bishopric; the first bishop, became known as the Apostle of the North. Two years Hamburg was united with Bremen as the Bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen. Hamburg occupied several times. In 845, 600 Viking ships sailed up the River Elbe and destroyed Hamburg, at that time a town of around 500 inhabitants. In 1030, King Mieszko II Lambert of Poland burned down the city. Valdemar II of Denmark raided and occupied Hamburg in 1201 and in 1214; the Black Death killed at least 60% of the population in 1350. Hamburg experienced several great fires in the medieval period. In 1189, by imperial charter, Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of a Free Imperial City and tax-free access up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea. In 1265, an forged letter was presented to or by the Rath of Hamburg; this charter, along with Hamburg's proximity to the main trade routes of the North Sea and Baltic Sea made it a
Nuremberg is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, its 511,628 inhabitants make it the 14th largest city in Germany. On the Pegnitz River and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it lies in the Bavarian administrative region of Middle Franconia, is the largest city and the unofficial capital of Franconia. Nuremberg forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring cities of Fürth and Schwabach with a total population of 787,976, while the larger Nuremberg Metropolitan Region has 3.5 million inhabitants. The city lies about 170 kilometres north of Munich, it is the largest city in the East Franconian dialect area. There are many institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, with 39,780 students Bavaria's third and Germany's 11th largest university with campuses in Erlangen and Nuremberg and a university hospital in Erlangen. Nuremberg Airport is the second-busiest airport of Bavaria after Munich Airport, the tenth-busiest airport of Germany.
Staatstheater Nürnberg is one of the five Bavarian state theatres, showing operas, operettas and ballets, plays, as well as concerts. Its orchestra, Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, is Bavaria's second-largest opera orchestra after the Bavarian State Opera's Bavarian State Orchestra in Munich. Nuremberg is the birthplace of Johann Pachelbel. Nuremberg was the site of major Nazi rallies, it provided the site for the Nuremberg trials, which held to account many major Nazi officials; the first documentary mention of the city, in 1050, mentions Nuremberg as the location of an Imperial castle between the East Franks and the Bavarian March of the Nordgau. From 1050 to 1571 the city expanded and rose in importance due to its location on key trade-routes. King Conrad III established the Burgraviate of Nuremberg, with the first burgraves coming from the Austrian House of Raab. With the extinction of their male line around 1190, the last Raabs count's son-in-law, Frederick I from the House of Hohenzollern, inherited the burgraviate in 1192.
From the late 12th century to the Interregnum, the power of the burgraves diminished as the Hohenstaufen emperors transferred most non-military powers to a castellan, with the city administration and the municipal courts handed over to an Imperial mayor from 1173/74. The strained relations between the burgraves and the castellans, with gradual transferral of powers to the latter in the late 14th and early 15th centuries broke out into open enmity, which influenced the history of the city. Nuremberg is referred to as the "unofficial capital" of the Holy Roman Empire because the Imperial Diet and courts met at Nuremberg Castle; the Diets of Nuremberg played an important role in the administration of the empire. The increasing demands of the Imperial court and the increasing importance of the city attracted increased trade and commerce in Nuremberg. In 1219 Emperor Frederick II granted the Großen Freiheitsbrief, including town rights, Imperial immediacy, the privilege to mint coins, an independent customs policy - wholly removing the city from the purview of the burgraves.
Nuremberg soon became, with Augsburg, one of the two great trade-centers on the route from Italy to Northern Europe. In 1298 the Jews of the town were falsely accused of having desecrated the host, 698 of them were killed in one of the many Rintfleisch massacres. Behind the massacre of 1298 was the desire to combine the northern and southern parts of the city, which were divided by the Pegnitz; the Jews of the German lands suffered many massacres during the plague years of the mid-14th century. In 1349 Nuremberg's Jews suffered a pogrom, they were burned at the stake or expelled, a marketplace was built over the former Jewish quarter. The plague returned to the city in 1405, 1435, 1437, 1482, 1494, 1520 and 1534; the largest growth of Nuremberg occurred in the 14th century. Charles IV's Golden Bull of 1356, naming Nuremberg as the city where newly elected kings of Germany must hold their first Imperial Diet, made Nuremberg one of the three most important cities of the Empire. Charles was the patron of the Frauenkirche, built between 1352 and 1362, where the Imperial court worshipped during its stays in Nuremberg.
The royal and Imperial connection grew stronger in 1423 when the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg granted the Imperial regalia to be kept permanently in Nuremberg, where they remained until 1796, when the advance of French troops required their removal to Regensburg and thence to Vienna. In 1349 the members of the guilds unsuccessfully rebelled against the patricians in a Handwerkeraufstand, supported by merchants and some by councillors, leading to a ban on any self-organisation of the artisans in the city, abolishing the guilds that were customary elsewhere in Europe.