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Cochem
Panorama Cochem.jpg
Coat of arms of Cochem
Coordinates 50°8′49″N 7°10′0″E / 50.14694°N 7.166667°E / 50.14694; 7.166667
Administration
Country Germany
State Rhineland-Palatinate
District Cochem-Zell
Town subdivisions 4
Mayor Herbert Hilken (CDU)
Basic statistics
Area 21.21 km2 (8.19 sq mi)
Elevation 83 m  (272 ft)
Population 5,116  (31 December 2005)
 - Density 241 /km2 (625 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate COC
Postal code 56812
Area code 02671
Website www.cochem.de

Cochem is the seat of and the biggest place in the Cochem-Zell district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. With just under 5,000 inhabitants it is Germany's second smallest district seat. It is a traditional German town with half-timbered houses and an exceptionally scenic location on the Mosel river in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

History

As early as Celtic and Roman times, Cochem was settled. Beginning in 1794, Cochem lay under French rule. In 1815 it was assigned to the Kingdom of Prussia at the Congress of Vienna.

In the Second World War, great parts of Cochem's old town were destroyed. Also during the war a Natzweiler concentration camp was located there, between the villages of Bruttig and Treis. At its height, 13,000 people were imprisoned. They provided labour for Bosch, which made spark plugs, ignition systems and glow plugs, which were important to the German war effort.

Since 1946, Cochem has been part of the then newly founded state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Culture and sightseeing

Few towns in Germany can match the charm of Cochem. Its picturesque beauty, makes it a favourite place for visitors. Legend, folklore and a rich web of history is woven into every street. Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Mosel river valley, between the Eifel and Hundsrück. It is surrounded by high elevations, steep vineyards and typical wine villages, offering tastings, festivals and genuine hospitality.

Cochem, itself, is a showpiece gem and rated as one of the prettiest villages along the Mosel. Little seems to have changed for centuries. The town has many fine buildings, quaint cottages, black & tan guild houses and winding streets. The town square, lined with its half-timbered houses, is particularly fine.

Panorama of Cochem with the Cochem Imperial Castle on the right side

Early in the 19th century the first real tourists came to Cochem. Mostly English artists, they recorded the romance and beauty of the Mosel Valley in their drawings and paintings. The development of Cochem into the first real tourist center on the Moselle came in the 1930s.

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