Stadt Bitburg


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Bitburg

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History

Bitburg, which was called Beda in celtic times, is located in the Südeifel. This region in the very West of Germany has a varied past.
Bitburg was part of the Roman protectorate until 400 A.D.. In the eight century A.D., the settlement was taken over by the Franconians and in 1262 it was given its own charter. In the early Middleages, Bitburg belonged to the earldom of Luxemburg, which became a dukedom in 1354.

BEDA on an ancient streetmap 300 A.D..Then in 1443, Bitburg turned Burgundian. In 1792 it was placed under French administration and in 1815 the town was passed on to the Prussian Rhine-province. Bitburg has been called a »Kreisstadt«, a district capital, ever since. During the years 1944 to 1945, Bitburg was 85 % destroyed by bombing and artillery and, thus, officially declared a »dead city«.

After the War:

Major Air Base of the American Military
Closed Down in 1994

There had always been a military presence in Bitburg, and this did not change after World War II. The French first set up their barracks in Bitburg. In 1985 the Americans took over.

From the early 50s the Americans maintained a military air base on the outskirts of the town. Up to 12500 people were stationed there. The air base was closed down on 1st October 1994 and has been promoted globally since by its proprietors, the German Republic. The neighbouring military base Spangdahlem took over the housing complex comprising some 1300 flats.

Visit of Ronald Reagan in 1985

Bitburg Becomes Focus of World Press for Several Weeks

There is another outstanding event in the town record: the visit of the former US President Ronald Reagan and the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1985. President Reagan and Chancellor Kohl laid down a garland at the commemorative site Kolmeshöhe, which proved highly controversial since 59 young members of the SS-combat troup had found peace there, too.

Bitburg Today

A Modern Town Known for its Beer and for the European Festival of Folklore

Today Bitburg displays a modern profile; with 14000 inhabitants plus about 3500 Americans, the Eifel-town has extremely increased in popularity. This can be accounted for mostly by the Bitburger Brauerei, the famous beer company, which has obtained a world wide reputation with its slogan »Bitte ein Bit!«. There is another attraction of international fame: the European Festival of Folklore, taking place every second weekend in July. This event, which ranks as the largest German festival of folklore, annually turns Bitburg into a meeting point of the nations.


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