Place:Coburg, Coburg, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany

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NameCoburg
Alt namesKoburgsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 193
Veste Coburgsource: Van Marle, Pittura Italiana (1932)
TypeIndependent City
Coordinates50.25°N 10.967°E
Located inCoburg, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany     (700 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Coburg is a town located on the Itz river in the Upper Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. Long part of one of the Thuringian states of the Wettin line, it joined Bavaria by popular vote only in 1920. Until the revolution of 1918, it was one of the capitals of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Through successful dynastic policies, the ruling princely family married into several of the royal families of Europe, most notably in the person of Prince Albert, who married Queen Victoria in 1840. As a result of these close links with the royal houses of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Coburg was frequently visited by the crowned heads of Europe and their families.

Coburg is also known as the location of Veste Coburg, one of Germany's largest castles. In 1530, Martin Luther lived there for six months during which he worked on translating the Bible into German.

Today, Coburg's population is close to 41,500. Since it was little damaged in World War II, Coburg retains many historic buildings, making it a popular tourist destination.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Coburg was first mentioned in a monastic document dated 1056, which marked the transfer of ownership to the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, although there was a settlement at the site that predates it called Trufalistat. The origin of the name Coburg is unclear; the first element may be kuh, which would give a literal meaning of "cow borough".

"Coburg" initially referred to a property centred on the hill where Veste Coburg was later built. Its oldest remains date to the 12th or 13th century. In 1248, the castle came into possession of the House of Henneberg and in 1353 it passed to the House of Wettin[1] with the marriage of Frederick III with Catherine of Henneberg and was initially regarded by them as a Saxon outpost within Franconia.

During the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 reformer Martin Luther spent six months at the castle (located at the southernmost point of the Saxon duchy) while his liege lord, John, Elector of Saxony, attended the Diet. Luther was forbidden to attend by the Elector, who feared that he would be imprisoned and burned as a heretic. While quartered at the castle Luther continued with his translation of the Bible into German.

In 1547, the princely residence was moved from the Veste to a former monastery, rebuilt as a Renaissance palace, the Ehrenburg.[1]

In 1596, Coburg was raised to the status of capital of one of the dynasty's splintered Saxon-Thuringian territories, the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Coburg under the leadership of Duke John Casimir (ruled 1596–1633). From 1699 to 1826, it was one of the two capitals of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and from 1826–1918 it was a capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Ernest Frederick, the fourth Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, moved his capital from Saalfeld to Coburg in 1764. Coburg then became capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and later of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

In the early 19th century, the town's medieval fortifications were demolished and replaced by parks. The duke also started the collection of copperplate engravings that is today part of the Veste Coburg museum. Under his son, Ernest, the with what is today the Landestheater Coburg was created. He also rebuilt the Ehrenburg in Gothic revival style.[1]

In the mid-19th century, Duke Ernest II supported national and liberal ideas and Coburg hosted the first meeting of the German National Association, the founding of the and the first (national sports festival).[1]

During the 19th century, dynastic marriages created ties with the royal families of Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal and Britain. This turned the ducal family from the rulers of a fairly obscure backwater duchy into one playing an influential role in European politics. The era of political influence peaked with Leopold Frederick; born Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, becoming the King of Belgium in 1831 and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, born in Schloss Rosenau, marrying his first cousin, Queen Victoria in 1840. The marriage between Albert and Victoria established the present British royal house, which renamed itself Windsor during World War I. This marriage in turn led to a union with Germany's ruling dynasty, the Hohenzollerns, when the couple's eldest child, Victoria, married the future Kaiser Friedrich III.

After her marriage, Queen Victoria said of Coburg:

Due to the royal connections among the royal houses of Europe, Coburg was the site of many royal Ducal weddings and visits. Britain's Queen Victoria made six visits to Coburg during her 63-year reign. In 1894 the wedding of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha brought together Queen Victoria, her son Edward (future Edward VII), her second son Alfred (Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), her daughter the German Dowager Empress Friedrich (Victoria), and many of her grandchildren, such as future Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia (Alix of Hesse), Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and the future King George V of the United Kingdom.



In November 1918, the last Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Charles Edward, abdicated. The Freistaat Coburg which now came into being had to decide whether to become part of Thuringia or Bavaria. In a November 1919 referendum, the locals voted to join Bavaria with an 88% majority. On 1 July 1920, Coburg joined Bavaria.[1]

In 1929, Coburg was the first German town in which the Nazi Party won the absolute majority of the popular vote during municipal elections. In 1932, Coburg was the first German town to make Adolf Hitler an honorary citizen.

After World War II, which Coburg survived largely undamaged, the town faced the challenge of integrating over 15,000 refugees. In addition, whilst the other Saxon-Thuringian principalities were incorporated into the German Democratic Republic, Bavarian Coburg became part of West Germany. As a result, the town spent the Cold War years lying right next to the Iron Curtain, surrounded by East German territory on three sides and cut off from much of its natural back country.[1]

In 1946, Polish ambassador Oskar R. Lange alleged that Coburg was a base for the Western Allies to organize a Polish armed insurgency led by Władysław Anders against the Soviet-backed communists in Poland.[2]

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