Palatinate (region)

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The Palatinate (German: Pfalz from Latin: Palātium, palace; Pfälzer dialect: Palz), historically also Rhenish Palatinate (German: Rheinpfalz), is a region in south-western Germany. It occupies more than a quarter of the German federal state (Bundesland) of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz).

Contents

Geography

The western and northern part of the Palatinate is densely forested and mountainous. The highest point is the Donnersberg (687 m) near Kirchheimbolanden. The Palatinate forest (Pfälzerwald) covers more than a third of the region and is the largest coherent forest in Germany.

The eastern part is lower, and is a well known wine region. The German Wine Route (Deutsche Weinstrasse) passes through the Palatinate wine region. Most of the cities of the Palatinate (Ludwigshafen, Speyer, Landau, Frankenthal, Neustadt) lie in the plain rhine rift in the east of the region, near the Rhine River, which forms the eastern border of the Palatinate.

Traditionally, the Palatinate is divided into the regions of Anterior Palatinate (Vorderpfalz), West Palatinate (Westpfalz), North Palatinate (Nordpfalz), and South Palatinate (Südpfalz).

The following administrative districts and independent cities are part of the Palatinate:

Districts:

Independent cities:

History

The former Celtic region was conquered by the Roman Empire under Emperor Augustus about 12 B.C., whereafter it was part of the Germania Superior province. During the decay of the Empire, Alamanni tribes settled here, their territory was conquered by Francia under King Clovis I about 496. From 511 onwards the area belonged to the eastern part of Frankish Austrasia, that - as Rhenish Franconia - became part of East Francia according to the 843 Treaty of Verdun.

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