"Landau The Fortress: Military History" Landau in der Pfalz Things to Do Tip by Kathrin_E
Landau in der Pfalz Things to Do: 22 reviews and 85 photos
Laundau's history as a town begins in times of the Staufer dynasty who built a castle in what is now the northwestern corner of the town centre. After 1308 the castle was demolished and the material used to build a wall round the whole town. For a short time Landau obtained the privileges of a free imperial city. Only one tower is left of the medieval fortification, the so-called Galeerenturm.
Since France under Louis XIV annected Alsace in 1672/78 the area around Landau has been a border region. Being the largest town into the area Landau had quite some military significance. In 1689 Landau shared the fate of most towns and villages on both sides of the Upper Rhine: French troops burned it to ashes in the Palatinate Heritage War. Only a small quarter survived.
The left Rhine bank was then occupied and kept by France for some years. The French military engineer Vauban turned Landau into a huge baroque fortress of enormous extent. The stones of the medieval town walls were used in the construction. Not much is left of the ramparts and bulwarks, though. The impressive two gatehouses, French Gate and German Gate, give an idea of the measures the fortification had. It covered probably more ground than the town itself.
Landau was restituted to Palatine but conquered by France again in the Revolution Wars. Until 1813 the entire left Rhine bank remained French territory. A fresco in Kleiner Platz recalls the good news when the bailiff announces the victory of the German coalition over Napoleon.
Lanadau remained a military centre in the 19th century due to its location by the border and was again a significant base in the German-French War of 1870/71. In the 19th century the French baroque fortress was taken down and new military buildings were erected. Several of them are preserved, like the Red Casern which is now used by the university or the former barracks which have recently been turned into a shopping gallery and named Quartier Chopin .
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