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Rhineland-Palatinate (German: Rheinland-Pfalz) is one of the sixteen federal states of Germany. To the west, it shares borders with France, the Bundesland Saarland, Luxembourg and Belgium, to the north with the Bundeslaender North Rhine-Westphalia and to the east with Hesse.

The state was formed in 1947 out of parts from the former states of Prussia, Bavaria, Hesse-Darmstadt and even Oldenburg - a sign of the eventful history of this area.

Though the cities in Rhineland-Palatinate are not very big - the capital Mainz has 180,000 inhabitants, Ludwigshafen 160,000, Koblenz, Trier and Kaiserslautern each 100,000, Worms less than 90,000 - they often have an impressive history, rooted in the days of the Roman Empire: Trier was founded as Augusta Treverorum in 16 B.C., arguably the oldest city in Germany.

Mainz, Trier and Cologne (in North Rhine-Westphalia) were the seats of the three spiritual prince-electors from the 13th century until 1801 (Treaty of Lunéville).

Famous People

Paul-Henri Thiry (1723-1789) Early advocate for Atheism in Europe