An abundance of fortress walls and towers, monuments and historical buildings can be found throughout Koblenz, one of the oldest cities in Germany. Situated at the confluence—the place where two rivers meet—of the Rhine and Mosel, the area was first fortified over 3,000 years ago. Julius Caesar conquered the region in 55 BCE, with the first Roman military posts established by politician and military commander Nero Claudius Drusus in 9 BCE. Today, with its population of over 100,000, Koblenz is the third largest city in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
In the past, rivers were important logistic routes. Their possession could determine who won or lost a war. Koblenz’s desirable strategic location along the two rivers has caused it to be fought over and conquered several times in the past. At one time, military castles and/or forts could be found on every side of the river, including Europe’s second-largest preserved fortress, Festung Ehrenbreitstein. Early fortifications at that site date back to about 1000 BC.
Koblenz’s large Militär Museum is located near the historic city center. Large military equipment as well as guns, mortars, uniforms and technical equipment are displayed throughout the museum. Koblenz is also well known for its headland, Deutsches Eck (German Corner), the piece of land that extends out into the area where the two rivers join together. An enormous equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I can be found there, which offers a spectacular view of the rivers and surrounding area.
Koblenz, Germany. Photo by Danny Steven S.