Koblenz (kōˈblĕnts) [key], Eng. Coblenz, city (1994 pop. 109,810), Rhineland-Palatinate, W Germany, at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle (Ger. Mosel  ) rivers. Its manufactures include furniture, pianos, clothing, and chemicals, and the city serves as an important trade center for Rhine and Moselle wines. The merging rivers at Koblenz also make it a center for river traffic; the outlying countryside, with its abundance of forests and lakes, attracts many tourists. The city was founded (9 B.C.) as Castrum ad Confluentes by Drusus. It was prominent in Carolingian times as a residence of the Frankish kings and as a meeting place for churchmen. Koblenz was held by the archbishops of Trier from 1018 to the late 18th cent. In 1794 it was occupied by French troops and in 1798 was annexed by France and made the capital of the Rhine and Moselle department. The city passed to Prussia in 1815. After World War I it was occupied by Allied troops from 1919 to 1929. Noteworthy buildings in Koblenz include the Church of St. Castor (founded 836; rebuilt c.1200), the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, and an 18th-century castle. A famous statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I was destroyed in World War II and reproduced in 1993. Part of the state archives of the former West Germany are located in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.