GERMERSHEIM, a fortified town of Germany in Rhenish Bavaria, at the confluence of the Queich and the Rhine, 8 m. S. W. of Speyer. Pop. (1905) 5914. It possesses a Roman Catholic and an Evangelical church, a synagogue, a progymnasium and a hospital. The industries include fishing, shipbuilding and brewing. Germersheim existed as a Roman stronghold under the name of Vicus Julius. The citadel was rebuilt by the emperor Conrad II., but the town itself was founded in 1276 by the emperor Rudolph who granted it the rights of a free imperial city.
From 1330 to 1622, when it was conquered by Austria, the town formed part of the Palatinate of the Rhine. From 1644 to 1650 it was in the possession of France; but on the conclusion of the peace of Westphalia it was again joined to the Palatinate. In 1674 it was captured and devastated by the French under Turenne, and after the death of the elector Charles (1685) it was claimed by the French as a dependency of Alsace. As a consequence there ensued the disastrous Germersheim war of succession, which lasted till the peace of Ryswick in 1697. Through the intervention of the pope in 1702, the French, on payment of a large sum, agreed to vacate the town, and in 1715 its fortifications were rebuilt. On the 3rd of July 1744 the French were defeated there by the imperial troops, and on the 19th and 22nd of July 1793 by the Austrians. In 1835 the new town was built, and the present fortifications begun.
See Probst, Geschichte der Stadt and Festung Germersheim (Speyer, 1898).
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