Between Bingen and Bonn, the river Rhine flows as the Middle Rhine through the Rhine Gorge, a formation created by erosion, which happened at about the same rate as an uplift in the region, leaving the river at about its original level, the surrounding lands raised. This gorge is quite deep, about 130 metres from the top of the rocks down to the average water-line; the "Middle Rhine" is one of four sections of the river between the North Sea. The upper half of the Middle Rhine from Bingen to Koblenz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 40 castles and fortresses from the Middle Ages and many wine-villages; the lower half from Koblenz to Bonn is famous for the volcanic Siebengebirge with the Drachenfels volcano. Both parts together are known as "the romantic Rhine"; the Middle Rhine Valley has been a major tourist attraction since the 19th century. It is home to some 450,000 people; the valley owes its special appearance to both human alterations. For two millennia, it has been one of the most important routes for cultural exchange between the Mediterranean region and northern Europe.
Situated in the heart of Europe, it was sometimes a border and sometimes a bridge between different cultures. The history of the valley reflects the history of Western Europe. With its many outstanding monuments, its hills full of vines, its settlements crowded on the narrow river banks, the rows of castles lined up on the hill tops, it is considered the epitome of the Rhine romanticism, it inspired Heinrich Heine to write his famous poem "Lorelei" and Richard Wagner to write his opera Götterdämmerung. The vineyards along the Middle Rhine form the wine-growing region of the same name, see Mittelrhein; the name Rhine Gorge refers to the narrow gorge of the Rhine flowing through the Rhenish Slate Mountains between Bingen am Rhein and Rüdesheim am Rhein in the South and Bonn-Bad Godesberg and Bonn-Oberkassel in the North. Between Rüdesheim and Lorch, the left bank belongs to the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Downstream of Lorch, both banks belong to Rhineland-Palatinate until the river crosses the border with North Rhine-Westphalia shortly before Bonn.
The Middle Rhine basin at Neuwied separates lower halves of the Middle Rhine. On the Namedyer Werth peninsula, is the Andernach Geyser, which at 50 to 60 metres is the highest cold-water geyser in the world. On 7 July 2006, the geyser was reactivated for tourists. There are major railway lines on both sides of the river: the Linke Rheinstrecke on the left and the Rechte Rheinstrecke on the right. Major roads are the federal roads B9 and B42 and, of course, the Rhine itself is a major international waterway; the most important cities on the left bank are Bingen, Oberwesel, St. Goar and Koblenz on the Upper Middle Rhine and Andernach, Bad Breisig, Sinzig and Bonn on the Lower Middle Rhine. On the right bank we find Rüdesheim, Lorch, Kaub, St. Goarshausen and Lahnstein on the Upper Middle Rhine and Vallendar, Neuwied, Bad Hönningen, Linz am Rhein, Bad Honnef and Königswinter on the lower part. Larger tributaries on the left include Nahe and Ahr; the most outstanding castles are the Marksburg, the only undamaged hilltop castle in the Middle Rhine Valley, the Burg Pfalzgrafenstein, on a rocky island in the middle of the Rhine, Rheinfels Castle, developed into a fortress over time.
Stolzenfels Castle is a synonym for Rhine romanticism like no other. It did not just encourage the acceptance of the existing castles, it encouraged their restoration and the building of more castles; the Electoral Palace in Koblenz was the last residence of the Electors of Trier. It was demolished by the French revolutionary army; the most powerful fortress in Rhineland-Palatinate, Koblenz Fortress, was built in the 19th century by the Prussians. Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, once part of the fortification system, dominates the Rhine Valley to this day; the following castles are found along the Middle Rhine, in downstream order: The terraces of the Middle Rhine Valley have been inhabited since the early Iron Age. Evidence of this are the barrow fields around the city forest of Boppard and in the forest of Brey and the ring walls on the Dommelberg in Koblenz and on the giant hill at St. Goarshausen. On the western border of the Middle Rhine region, there are traces of a Celtic settlement, with the grave pillars of Pfalzfeld and the Waldalgesheim chariot burial.
In the 4th century BCE, the area had come under the influence of Mediterranean civilizations. The north-south link between mouth of the Nahe and the Moselle estuary rich in use in pre-Roman times; the Roman development of the route overlaps in large sections with the route of the modern Bundesautobahn 61 The Romans settled in the area of the Middle Rhine from the mid-1st century BC to about 400 AD. An important factor was the construction of the Roman Rhine Valley Road between the provincial capitals Mainz and Cologne along the left bank of the Rhine, both on the plateau as on the left bank in the Valley; the Rhine was the border of the Roman Empire, why the road had to be constructed on the left bank, just inside the Empire. Traces of significant road construction have been identified near Stahleck Castle at Bacharach; the cities of Bingen and Ko
The Duchy of Saxe-Zeitz was a territory of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1656/57 as a secundogeniture of the Electoral Saxon house of House of Wettin. Its capital was Zeitz; the territory fell back to the Wettin electoral line in 1718. On 20 July 1652, the Saxon elector John George I stipulated in his will that, while the electoral dignity passes to his eldest son John George II, his three younger brothers should receive secundogeniture principalities upon his death. After the elector died on 8 October 1656, his sons concluded the "friend-brotherly main treaty" in the Saxon residence of Dresden on 22 April 1657 and a further treaty in 1663 delineating their territories and sovereign rights definitely; these treaties created three duchies: Saxe-Weissenfels and Saxe-Merseburg. Prince Maurice, the fourth-oldest son received the districts of Zeitz and Haynsburg in the former Bishopric of Naumburg-Zeitz which in 1562 had been secularized in the course of the Protestant Reformation, he received the city of Schleusingen in 1660, which had once been the residence of the extinct Counts of Henneberg, together with the districts of Suhl and Kühndorf.
Duke Maurice resided in the city castle at Naumburg until his new seat at Moritzburg Palace in Zeitz had been completed. The only rulers were his son Duke Moritz Wilhelm of Saxe-Zeitz; this line was the first of the three Saxon secundogenitures to die out in 1718, when the only male heir, Prince Christian August, joined the clergy. Erdmuthe Dorothea of Saxe-Zeitz, consort of Duke Christian II of Saxe-Merseburg Christian August of Saxe-Zeitz, Primate of Hungary and Cardinal Frederick Henry, Duke of Saxe-Zeitz-Pegau-Neustadt Dorothea Wilhelmine of Saxe-Zeitz, by marriage Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel Johann Huebner... Three hundred and thirty-three Genealogical Tables, Table 171
The Franconian Circle was an Imperial Circle established in 1500 in the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. It comprised the eastern part of the former Franconian stem duchy — corresponding with the present-day Bavarian Regierungsbezirke of Upper and Lower Franconia — while western Rhenish Franconia belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle; the title of a "Duke of Franconia" was claimed by the Würzburg bishops. The circle was made up of the following states: The list of states making up the Franconian Circle is based on that in the German Wikipedia article Fränkischer Reichskreis. Imperial Circles in the 16th Century – Historical Maps of Germany
Bamberg is a town in Upper Franconia, Germany, on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. A large part of the town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. During the post-Roman centuries of Germanic migration and settlement, the region afterwards included in the Diocese of Bamberg was inhabited for the most part by Slavs; the town, first mentioned in 902, grew up by the castle Babenberch which gave its name to the Babenberg family. On their extinction it passed to the Saxon house; the area was Christianized chiefly by the monks of the Benedictine Fulda Abbey, the land was under the spiritual authority of the Diocese of Würzburg. In 1007, Holy Roman Emperor Henry II made Bamberg a family inheritance, the seat of a separate diocese; the Emperor's purpose in this was to make the Diocese of Würzburg less unwieldy in size and to give Christianity a firmer footing in the districts of Franconia, east of Bamberg. In 1008, after long negotiations with the Bishops of Würzburg and Eichstätt, who were to cede portions of their dioceses, the boundaries of the new diocese were defined, Pope John XVIII granted the papal confirmation in the same year.
Henry II ordered the building of a new cathedral, consecrated 6 May 1012. The church was enriched with gifts from the pope, Henry had it dedicated in honor of him. In 1017 Henry founded Michaelsberg Abbey on the Michaelsberg, near Bamberg, a Benedictine abbey for the training of the clergy; the emperor and his wife Kunigunde gave large temporal possessions to the new diocese, it received many privileges out of which grew the secular power of the bishop. Pope Benedict VIII visited Bamberg in 1020 to meet Henry II for discussions concerning the Holy Roman Empire. While he was here he placed the diocese in direct dependence on the Holy See, he personally consecrated some of Bamberg's churches. For a short time Bamberg was the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Henry and Kunigunde were both buried in the cathedral. From the middle of the 13th century onward the bishops were princes of the Empire and ruled Bamberg, overseeing the construction of monumental buildings. In 1248 and 1260 the see obtained large portions of the estates of the Counts of Meran through purchase and through the appropriation of extinguished fiefs.
The old Bishopric of Bamberg was composed of an unbroken territory extending from Schlüsselfeld in a northeasterly direction to the Franconian Forest, possessed in addition estates in the Duchies of Carinthia and Salzburg, in the Nordgau, in Thuringia, on the Danube. By the changes resulting from the Reformation, the territory of this see was reduced nearly one half in extent. Since 1279 the coat of arms of the city of Bamberg is known in form of a seal; the witch trials of the 17th century claimed about one thousand victims in Bamberg, reaching a climax between 1626 and 1631, under the rule of Prince-Bishop Johann Georg II Fuchs von Dornheim. The famous Drudenhaus, built in 1627, is no longer standing today. In 1647, the University of Bamberg was founded as Academia Bambergensis. Bambrzy are German Poles who are descended from settlers from the Bamberg area who settled in villages around Poznań in the years 1719–1753. In 1759, the possessions and jurisdictions of the diocese situated in Austria were sold to that state.
When the secularization of church lands took place the diocese covered 3,305 km2 and had a population of 207,000. Bamberg thus lost its independence in 1802, becoming part of Bavaria in 1803. Bamberg was first connected to the German rail system in 1844, an important part of its infrastructure since. After a communist uprising took control over Bavaria in the years following World War I, the state government fled to Bamberg and stayed there for two years before the Bavarian capital of Munich was retaken by Freikorps units; the first republican constitution of Bavaria was passed in Bamberg, becoming known as the Bamberger Verfassung. In February 1926 Bamberg served as the venue for the Bamberg Conference, convened by Adolf Hitler in his attempt to foster unity and to stifle dissent within the then-young Nazi party. Bamberg was chosen for its location in Upper Franconia, reasonably close to the residences of the members of the dissident northern Nazi faction but still within Bavaria. In 1973, the town celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of its founding.
Bamberg is located in Franconia, 63 km north of Nuremberg by railway and 101 km east of Würzburg by rail. It is situated on 3 km before it flows into the Main river, its geography is shaped by the Regnitz and by the foothills of the Steigerwald, part of the German uplands. From northeast to southwest, the town is divided into first the Regnitz plain one large and several small islands formed by two arms of the Regnitz, the part of town on the hills, the "Hill Town". Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church; this has led to Bamberg being called the "Franconian Rome" — although a running joke among Bamberg's tour guides is to refer to Rome instead as the "Italian Bamberg". The hills are Cathedral Hill, Kaulberg/Obere Pfarre, Jakobsberg, Altenburger Hill and Abtsberg. Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, there is adequate rainfall year-round; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb", with a certain continental influence as indicated by average winter
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Neustria, or Neustrasia, was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks. Neustria included the land between the Loire and the Silva Carbonaria the north of present-day France, with Paris, Orléans, Soissons as its main cities, it referred to the region between the Seine and the Loire rivers known as the regnum Neustriae, a constituent subkingdom of the Carolingian Empire and West Francia. The Carolingian kings created a March of Neustria, a frontier duchy against the Bretons and Vikings that lasted until the Capetian monarchy in the late 10th century, when the term was eclipsed as a European political or geographical term. Neustria was employed as a term for northwestern Italy during the period of Lombard domination, it was contrasted with the northeast, called Austrasia, the same term as given to eastern Francia. For this meaning of the term, see Neustria. Constant re-divisions of territories by Clovis's descendants resulted in many rivalries that, for more than two hundred years, kept Neustria in constant warfare with Austrasia, the eastern portion of the Frankish Kingdom.
Despite the wars and Austrasia re-united on several occasions, the first time under Clotaire I during his reign from 558 to 562. The struggle for power continued with Queen Fredegund of Neustria unleashing a bitter war. After his mother's death and burial in Saint Denis Basilica near Paris, Clotaire II continued the struggle against Queen Brunhilda, triumphed in 613 when Brunhilda's followers betrayed the old queen into his hands. Clotaire had Brunhilda put to the rack and stretched for three days chained between four horses and ripped limb from limb. Clotaire now ruled a united realm, but only for a short time as he made his son Dagobert I king of Austrasia. Dagobert's accession in Neustria resulted in another temporary unification. In Austrasia under the Arnulfing mayor Grimoald the Elder attempted a coup against his liege, Clovis II had him removed and again reunited the kingdom from Neustria, but again temporarily. During or soon after the reign of Clovis's son Chlothar III, the dynasty of Neustria, like that of Austrasia before it, ceded authority to its own mayor of the palace.
In 678, under Mayor Ebroin, subdued the Austrasians for the last time. Ebroin was murdered in 680. In 687, Pippin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of the King of Austrasia, defeated the Neustrians at Tertry. Neustria's mayor Berthar was assassinated shortly afterwards and following a marriage alliance between Pippin's son Drogo and Berthal's widow, Pippin became mayor of the Neustrian palace. Pippin's descendants, the Carolingians, continued to rule the two realms as mayors. With Pope Stephen II's blessing, after 751 the Carolingian Pippin the Short, formally deposed the Merovingians and took control of the empire, he and his descendants ruling as kings. Neustria and Burgundy became united under one authority and, although it would split once again into various eastern and western divisions, the names "Neustria" and "Austrasia" disappeared. In 748, the brothers Pepin the Short and Carloman gave their younger brother Grifo twelve counties in Neustria centred on that of Le Mans; this polity was termed the ducatus Cenomannicus, or Duchy of Maine, this was an alternative name for the regnum of Neustria well into the 9th century.
The term "Neustria" took on the meaning of "land between the Seine and Loire" when it was given as a regnum by Charlemagne to his second son, Charles the Younger, in 790. At this time, the chief city of the kingdom appears to be Le Mans, where the royal court of Charles was established. Under the Carolingian dynasty, the chief duty of the Neustrian king was to defend the sovereignty of the Franks over the Bretons. In 817, Louis the Pious granted Neustria to his eldest son Lothair I, but following his rebellion in 831, he gave it to Pepin I of Aquitaine, following the latter's death in 838, to Charles the Bald. Neustria, along with Aquitaine, formed the major part of Charles West Frankish kingdom carved out of the Empire by the Treaty of Verdun. Charles continued the tradition of appointing an elder son to reign in Neustria with his own court at Le Mans when he made Louis the Stammerer king in 856. Louis married the daughter of the King of Brittany and received the regnum from the Breton monarch with the consent of the Frankish magnates.
This unique relationship for Neustria stressed how it had shrunk in size to exclude the Île de France and Paris by this time, as it was distanced from the central authority of Charles the Bald and closer to that of Erispoe. Louis was the last Frankish monarch to be appointed to Neustria by his father and the practice of creating subkingdoms for sons waned among the Carolingians. In 861, the Carolingian king Charles the Bald created the Marches of Neustria that were ruled by officials appointed by the crown, known as wardens, prefects or margraves. There were two marches, one against the Bretons and one against the Norsemen called the Breton March and Norman March respectively. In 911, Robert I of France took the title demarchus, his family, the Capetians, ruled the whole of Neustria until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected to the kingship. The subsidiary counts of Neustria had exceeded the margrave in power by that time and the peak of Viking and Breton raiding had passed. After the Capetian Miracle, no further margraves were appointed and "Neustria" was eclipsed as a European political term (present, however, in some Anglo-Norman chronicles and revived as synonymous with Engli
Schmalkalden is a town in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district, in the southwest of the state of Thuringia, Germany. It is on the southern slope of the Thuringian Forest at the Schmalkalde river, a tributary to the Werra; as of 31 December 2010, the town had a population of 19,978. First mentioned in an 874 deed, Smalcalta in the Frankish duchy of Thuringia received town privileges about 1180; when Landgrave Henry Raspe of Thuringia died without issue in 1247, it passed to the House of Henneberg-Schleusingen, while the major part of the landgraviate fell to the House of Wettin in Meissen. To secure their acquisition the Counts of Henneberg allied with the Landgraviate of Hesse, including the conclusion of an inheritance treaty. In 1360, together with Landgrave Henry II of Hesse they paid off Frederick V, Burgrave of Nuremberg, son of Elisabeth of Henneberg. In 1531 the town hall of Schmalkalden was the site of the establishment of the Schmalkaldic League by Protestant princes under the lead of Landgrave Philip I of Hesse, in order to protect religious and political interests within their domains.
In 1537 the Smalcald Articles were drawn up by Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and other reformers. When the Counts of Henneberg became extinct in 1583, their share was inherited by William IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. William made the town a residence and had Wilhelmsburg Castle erected, finished in 1590; the Lordship of Schmalkalden remained an exclave of Hesse, from 1868 on it was part of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau until it was incorporated into the Province of Saxony in 1944 and in 1945 became part of the State of Thuringia. The town sustained heavy bomb damage in World War II. From 1949 on, with Thuringia, it formed part of East Germany. After reunification it attained its present political configuration. In July 2018 the former municipality of Springstille was merged into Schmalkalden. Christoph Cellarius, born 22 November 1638, died 4 June 1707 in Halle Christian Karl August Ludwig von Massenbach, born 16 April 1758, died 21 November 1827 at Białokosz Karl Wilhelm, choral director, born 5 September 1815, died 26 August 1873 in Schmalkalden Otto H. Schade, television pioneer, born 27 April 1903, died 28 April 1981 in West Caldwell, New Jersey Angela Steinmüller and science fiction author, born 1941 Frank Luck, born 5 December 1967 Sven Fischer, born 16 April 1971 Steffi Jacob, skeleton racer, born 30 September 1975 Kati Wilhelm, born 2 August 1976 Alexander Wolf, born 21 December 1978 Schmalkalden is twinned with: Fontaine, Isère, France Recklinghausen, Germany This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Schmalkalden". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press