Deutschhaus Mainz
The Deutschhaus or Deutschordenskommende (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 for "Commandry
Commandry (feudalism)
Commandry , or commandery , was the smallest division of the European landed estate or manor under the control of a commendator, or commander, of an order of knights...

 of the Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem , commonly the Teutonic Order , is a German medieval military order, in modern times a purely religious Catholic order...

") is a historical building in Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

, western Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, which is presently the seat of the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag
Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag
The Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag is the state diet of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate.Article 79, Section 1 of the Rhineland-Palatinate constitution provides: "The Landtag is the supreme organ of political decision-making, elected by the people...



The Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 was built from 1729 to 1740 for Francis Louis of Neuburg
Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg
Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg was bishop and archbishop of several dioceses, prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, and Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order....

, Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 and Archbishop of Mainz
Archbishopric of Mainz
The Archbishopric of Mainz or Electorate of Mainz was an influential ecclesiastic and secular prince-bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire between 780–82 and 1802. In the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, the Archbishop of Mainz was the primas Germaniae, the substitute of the Pope north of the Alps...

 from 1729 to 1732. Since he was at the same time Hochmeister
The grand master is the holder of the supreme office of the Teutonic Order. It is equivalent to the grand master of other military orders and the superior general in non-military Roman Catholic religious orders...

 of the Teutonic Knights, he built the Deutschhaus as his second residence for representative purposes in his duties as Hochmeister in the immediate neighborhood of the Electoral Palace, his other residence.

The building was constructed by Anselm Franz Freiherr von Ritter zu Groenesteyn
Anselm Franz von Ritter zu Groenesteyn
Anselm Franz Freiherr von Ritter zu Groenesteyn was a Chamberlain of Electoral Mainz, privy counsellor, Majordomo, temporarily Vitztum , High Director of Building and exceptionally gifted architect...

 in a style influenced by French Baroque architecture. It consists of a main building and two pavilion
Pavilion (structure)
In architecture a pavilion has two main meanings.-Free-standing structure:Pavilion may refer to a free-standing structure sited a short distance from a main residence, whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure. Large or small, there is usually a connection with relaxation and pleasure in...

s around a central court. One of the pavilions contained a chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

 with fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

es by Christoph Thomas Scheffler
Christoph Thomas Scheffler
Christoph Thomas Schaffler was a German painter of the rococo period. He is best known for his frescoes....

. Due to the Hochmeister's death in 1732, the building was never used for its intended function as Hochmeister's residence.

In the times of French occupation leading to the establishment of the Republic of Mainz
Republic of Mainz
The Republic of Mainz was the first democratic state on the current German territory and was centered in Mainz. A product of the French Revolutionary Wars, it lasted from March to July 1793.-Context:...

, it became the seat of the Rhenish-German National Convention. This earliest democratically elected parliament in Germany first met on March 17, 1793 in the Deutschhaus. On the next day, the Convention declared Mainz and all of the territory between Landau
Landau or Landau in der Pfalz is an autonomous city surrounded by the Südliche Weinstraße district of southern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is a university town , a long-standing cultural centre, and a market and shopping town, surrounded by vineyards and wine-growing villages of the...

 and Bingen
Bingen am Rhein
Bingen am Rhein is a town in the Mainz-Bingen district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.The settlement’s original name was Bingium, a Celtic word that may have meant “hole in the rock”, a description of the shoal behind the Mäuseturm, known as the Binger Loch. Bingen was the starting point for the...

 to be an independent state based on the principles of liberty and egality, and the Convention's president Andreas Joseph Hofmann
Andreas Joseph Hofmann
Andreas Joseph Hofmann was a German philosopher and revolutionary active in the Republic of Mainz. As Chairman of the Rhenish-German National Convention, the earliest parliament in Germany based on the principle of popular sovereignty, he proclaimed the first republican state in Germany, the...

 proclaimed the Rhenish-German Free State (Rheinisch-Deutscher Freistaat) from the balcony of the Deutschhaus. After this period had ended with the French capitulation after the Siege of Mainz on July 23, 1793, the building was used by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
Archduke Charles of Austria, Duke of Teschen was an Austrian field-marshal, the third son of emperor Leopold II and his wife Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain...

 until the territory was ceded to France again in the Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on 18 October 1797 by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of revolutionary France and the Austrian monarchy...

, and the Deutschhaus became the administrative seat of the French département Mont-Tonnerre
Mont-Tonnerre is the name of a département of the First French Empire in present Germany. It is named after the highest point in the Rhenish Palatinate, the Donnersberg. It was the southernmost of four départements formed in 1798, when the west bank of the Rhine was annexed by France...

. It was used as a palace by Napoleon during all of his 9 stays in Mainz, who planned to double the size of the building and use it as an imperial residence, as Mayence was intended to become one of the bonnes villes de l'Empire, the 36 most important cities of France.
In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, the building was used by the Dukes of Hesse-Darmstadt
Grand Duchy of Hesse
The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine , or, between 1806 and 1816, Grand Duchy of Hesse —as it was also known after 1816—was a member state of the German Confederation from 1806, when the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was elevated to a Grand Duchy, until 1918, when all the German...

, who obtained the territory of Mainz after the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

. In 1870, the building served as the headquarters of the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n army in the early stages of the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the building was heavily damaged, especially in the air raid of February 27, 1945, which destroyed most of the city. Of the Deutschhaus, only the exterior walls remained.

Reconstruction started after the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag decided to move from Koblenz
Koblenz is a German city situated on both banks of the Rhine at its confluence with the Moselle, where the Deutsches Eck and its monument are situated.As Koblenz was one of the military posts established by Drusus about 8 BC, the...

 to Mainz on May 28, 1950. It was completed in 1951, and the new building was used for the first time for the constituting session of the newly elected Landtag on May 18, 1951. It has been used as plenary building of the Landtag ever since. As the Deutschhaus has only very limited office space for the members of parliament, a new office building for them was constructed in 1999.


This article incorporates text translated from the corresponding German Wikipedia article as of July 6, 2006. The following additional sources were used: History of the Deutschhaus at the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag website , published by the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag, includes many pictures of destruction and reconstruction Parliamentary office building , in: Blätter zum Land 3/2001, published by the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Rheinland-Pfalz
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