LANDAU, a town in the Bavarian Palatinate, on the Queich, lying under the eastern slope of the Hardt Mountains, 32 m. by rail S.W. from Mannheim, at the junction of lines to Neustadt an der Hardt, Weissenburg and Saarbrucken. Pop. (1905) 17,165. Among its buildings are the Gothic Evangelical church dating from 1285; the chapel of St Catherine built in 1344 the church of the former Augustinian monastery, dating from 1405; and the Augustinian monastery itself, founded in 1276 and now converted into a brewery. There are manufactures of rigars, beer, hats, watches, furniture and machines, and a trade n wine, fruit and cereals. Large cattle-markets are held here. Landau was founded in 1224, becoming an imperial city fifty years later. This dignity was soon lost, as in 1317 it passed to .he bishopric of Spires and in 1331 to the Palatinate, recovering ts former position in 1511. Captured eight times during the Thirty Years' War the town was ceded to France by the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, although with certain ill-defined reservations. In 1679 Louis XIV. definitely took possession of Landau. [ts fortifications were greatly strengthened; nevertheless it was twice taken by the Imperialists and twice recovered by the French during the Spanish Succession War. In 1815 it was given to Austria and in the following year to Bavaria. The 'ortifications were finally dismantled in 1 8 7 1 .
The town is commonly supposed to have given its name to ;he four-wheeled carriage, with an adjustable divided top for use either open or closed, known as a " landau " (Ger. Landauer). But this derivation is doubtful, the origin of the name being also ascribed to that of an English carriage-builder, Landow, who introduced this form of equipage.
See E. Heuser, Die Belagerungen von Landau in den Jahren 1702 und i/oj (Landau, 1894); Lehmann, Geschichte der ehemaligen freien Reichsstadt Landau (1851); and Jost, Interessante Daten aus der 6oojahrigen Geschichte der Stadt Landau (Landau, 1879).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)