The German House - Deutschhaus
The Deutschhaus or
(German for "Commandry of the Teutonic Knights")
is the seat of the Rhineland-Palatinate
palace was built from 1729-1740 for Franz Ludwig von
and Archbishop of Mainz 1729-1732.
Since he was at the same time Hochmeister
of the Teutonic Knights,
he built the Deutschhaus as his second residence
purposes in his duties as Hochmeister in the immediate
of the Electoral Palace, his other residence.
The building was constructed by Anselm Franz
Freiherr von Ritter zu
Groenesteyn in a style influenced by French Baroque architecture. It
consists of a main building
and two pavilions around a central court.
One of the pavilions contained a chapel with frescoes by Christoph
Scheffler. Due to the Hochmeister's death in 1732, the building
was never used for its intended function as Hochmeister's
In the times of French occupation leading to the establishment
Republic of Mainz, 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
Mainz and all of the territory between Landau and
Bingen to be an independent state based on the principles of liberty
and egality, and the Convention's president Andreas Joseph Hofmann
proclaimed the Rhenish-German Free State (Rheinisch-Deutscher
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 until the
was ceded to France again in the Treaty of Campo Formio, and
the Deutschhaus became the administrative seat of the French
Mont-Tonnerre. 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
Dukes of Hesse-Darmstadt, who obtained the territory of Mainz after the
Congress of Vienna. In 1870, the
building served as the headquarters
of the Prussian army in the early stages of the Franco-Prussian War.
World War II, 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
to move from Koblenz 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.