CONSTANCE, Imperial Free City. KONSTANZ.
City of southern Germany, on the Rhine as it flows from Lake Constance (Bodensee) into the smaller lake, Untersee; the old city is on the southern bank of the river.
Constance was the seat of a Bishop, but had become an Imperial Free City by 1255 (some accounts say in 1192). The Bishop continued to reside there and was strongly influential, but he fled in 1526 when the city became Protestant.
When the Thurgau became Swiss in 1460, Constance, which had been given rights of jurisdiction there, was bitterly opposed to the change, with the result that it never joined the Swiss Confederation even though it stood on the left bank of the Rhine, which is otherwise Swiss between Bodensee and Basle.
In 1548, after the defeat of the Protestant alliance in Germany in 1547, the armies of the Emperor took the city and it lost its freedom, becoming part of outlying Austria (Vorderösterreich). In 1805 it was transferred to Baden.
It is now the administrative centre of the Landkreis of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg.