Fortress Ehrenbreitstein and the Deutsche Eck in Koblenz


Koblenz is one of German's oldest cities. Founded sometime by the Roman conquerers of the Rhineland, and now over 2000 years old, and derives its name from its location at the "confluence" of the Rhine and Mosel rivers. In my observation a somewhat sleepy, provincial municipality, Koblenz has an undeniably rich history and is an important administrative and educational hub in the northern region of the small German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, hosting three universities and the archives of Rhineland-Palatinate. Koblenz also hosts the imposing Fortress Ehrenbreitstein on a hill opposite and overlooking the river confluence point (called "Deutsches Eck" or "German Corner") where stands an imposing monument erected to commemorate German unity, symbolized by the German Emperor Wilhelm I on horseback.

The photo on the right shows a view of the Paffendorfer bridge over the Rhine and was taken in 1930. This photo and other historical photos of Koblenz, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, can be found here. Check out the official website of the city of Koblenz here and the 360-degree panoramas from various places in Koblenz.

I visited Koblenz on a number of occasions and, because I like visiting fortresses and being photographed in front of monumental statues or edifices, have usually landed up there at either Fortress Ehrenbreitsein or the Deutsches Eck. You can see these photos below.

On a more personal note, Koblenz has played an important role for my mother's family. Months after the second world war ended, my mother, her two sisters and my grandmother practically fled the eastern part of Germany and, after spending some time in the Frankfurt area, came to the Rhineland. They settled down in Höhr-Grenzhausen, a small town renowned for its ceramic industry and located hardly 15 kilometers outside Koblenz. My one Aunt still lives there today. My grandmother passed away in a Koblenz hospital in April 1975.       

The photos below were taken in 1999. I travelled to Koblenz in the company of my very dear friend Klaus Grütjen, who at the time was my future doctoral supervisor's right hand man and the official at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer  responsible for tutoring all foreign students, and my colleague and friend Christian Sissao from Burkina Faso in West Africa, who came to Speyer to study public administration. Among all foreign students enrolled in the masters programme, he qualified on first place. 


Photo of the great Fortress Ehrenbreitstein taken from a point near the German Corner. The Fortress, whose original structure was 1000 years, and was destroyed by the French at the end of the 18th century, is supposedly one of the largest and most imposing in Europe.     Me standing in front of a memorial to the German soldiers who died in wars. 
    My friends Klaus Grütjen (left) and Christian Sissao (right) pose for a photo at a vantage point at Fortress Ehrenbreitstein. In the background, the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers, and the German Corner, are clearly visible. Sadly, a streak of light has ruined the second photo. The photo on the right shows a fish-eye view of the Rhine-Mosel confluence and the German Corner from Fortress Ehrenbreitstein.  
  The monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I on horseback at the German Corner. It must be one of the most imposing structures of its kind in Europe. Don't leave Koblenz without paying it a visit.  


  Klaus, Christian and myself pose for this photo in front of the monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I. What a photo!



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