KAISERSLAUTERN, a town in the Bavarian palatinate, on the Waldlauter, in the hilly district of Westrich, 41 m. by rail W. of Mannheim. Pop. (1905), 52,306. Among its educational institutions are a gymnasium, a Protestant normal school, a commercial school and an industrial museum. The house of correction occupies the site of Frederick Barbarossa's castle, which was demolished by the French in 1713. Kaiserslautern is one of the most important industrial towns in the palatinate. Its industries include cotton and wool spinning and weaving, iron-founding, and the manufacture of beer, tobacco, gloves, boots, furniture, etc. There is some trade in fruit and in timber.
Kaiserslautern takes its name from the emperor (Kaiser) Frederick I., who built a castle here about 1152, although it appears to have been a royal residence in Carolingian times. It became an imperial city, a dignity which it retained until 1357, when it passed to the palatinate. In 1621 it was taken by the Spanish, in 1631 by the Swedish, in 1635 by the imperial and in 1713 by the French troops. During 1793 and 1794 it was the scene of fighting; and in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 it was the base of operations of the second German army, under Prince Frederick Charles. It was one of the early stations of the Reformation, and in 1849 was the centre of the revolutionary spirit in the palatinate.
See Lehmann, Urkundliche Geschichte von Kaiserslautern ( Kaiserslautern, 1853), and E. Jost, Geschichte der Stadt Kaiserslautern (Kaiserslautern, 1886).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)