Military


Coleman Barracks
Gelnhausen, Germany

Coleman Barracks [also known as Coleman Kaserne] in Gelnhausen [not Glenhausen], is renowned for its well-kept buildings and peaceful atmosphere. The housing areas there are currently being remodeled.

The Germans used the caserne for large-scale artillery maneuvers. Coleman was captured by the Allies in 1945. In the fall of 1995, the 6th Battalion of the 29th Field Artillery (Mechanized) deactivated leaving Coleman Barracks as a bedroom community for military personnel and their families.

The caserne is home to numerous 414th BSB family members. Although there is family housing at Armstrong, most married soldiers assigned to 1-1 Cav "The Blackhawk Squadron" live in the Gelnhausen Community (Coleman Barracks). This community is about 18 kilometers from Hanau and has family housing, a small commissary, and temporary billeting facilities. Most Single soldiers live in and around the Budingen community or in neighboring towns.

Gelnhausen's official history begins in the year 1170, when Friedrich I., called Barbarossa ("Redbeard") founded the "Nova Villa" ("."). The advantages of the town were obvious - it is seated close to the Kinzig-river, therefore vivid shipping was possible, and one of the main medieval trade routes went through the area. Three considerably older villages were united and widely enlarged to one new city.

In the southeast of the city on a Kinzig island, a representative residence for the emperor developed called the Kaiserpfalz ("Imperial Castle"). It is known that from 1180, when Gelnhausen was declared a free city at the Reichstag (Imperial Diet), until his death, the emperor resided here for some time every second year. His son, Henry V, called the castle his most beloved place. Although the castle had been neglected some time in the past, the ruins still bear witness to the impressive achievement in architecture and give an idea of medieval splendor.

The fact that Gelnhausen is seated close to the Kinzig-river as well as the important trade route from Frankfurt to Leipzig made it possible for Barbarossa to grant Gelnhausen privileges that supported Gelnhausen's development to a highly frequented trading center. Gelnhausen was amongst the richest cities in the empire and attracted wealthy merchants as if by magic.

The most important part of the city's image is the beautiful Marienkirche ("St. Mary's Church"). Formerly a small village church it was soon enlarged after the foundation of Gelnhausen. The western parts of the church are built in a simple

Romanesque style, whereas the cross-house, the eastern towers and the choir show important influences of the decorative French Gothic style. Soon after 1200 several modern Gothic master builders came to Gelnhausen.

The streets of Gelnhausen were a feature of massive stone buildings in former times. That saved the wares of the merchants from fire and theft. But in the 30 Years War the trade routes were used as military roads. Gelnhausen was raided and sacked, it was uninhabitable and depopulated. After the war the people came back only slowly, poor craftsmen and farmer took the place of the rich merchants of the past. They built their typical half-timbered houses on the ruins.

Today Gelnhausen has 23,000 residents and is the cultural and economical center of the Kinzig-Valley.



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