Commercial and university city in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, at the junction of the rivers Rhine and Mosel, 59 km/37 mi northwest of Mainz; population (2005 est) 106,500. It has been a fortress city since Roman times, and an important communications centre. Industries range from barge-building and aluminium-rolling to the production of cigars and paper. The wine and brewing trades are also important.
Features The city has several old churches, including the the 12th-century St Florin's and the mainly 13th-century St Kastor's, which was consecrated in 836. The palace of the last elector was built in the 1780s, and the elector's fortress dates partly from the 13th century. Other notable buildings are the baroque Rathaus (town hall) and the 14th-century bridge over the Mosel. On the right bank of the Rhine is the great fortress of Ehrenbreitstein (1816–32), constructed on the site of an earlier fort of the electors of Trier. It now houses the Museum of Technology and the Rhine Museum.
History Koblenz stands on the site of the Roman fort of Confluentes. From 1018 until 1796 it belonged to the elector-bishops of Trier. In 1798 it was incorporated into France, but after the Congress of Vienna it was ceded to Prussia. From 1919 to 1930 it became the seat of the Inter-Allied Rhineland Commission. The city was heavily damaged in fierce fighting towards the end of World War II. In 1946 it became capital of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate in the French occupation zone, but it was superseded as capital by Mainz in 1950.