Bingen am Rhein
|Bingen am Rhein|
|Mayor||Thomas Feser (CDU)|
|Area||37.74 km2 (14.57 sq mi)|
|Elevation||89 m (292 ft)|
|Population||24,413 (31 December 2011)|
|- Density||647 /km2 (1,675 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
The settlement’s original name was Bingium, a Celtic word that may have meant “hole in the rock”, a description of the shoal behind the Mäuseturm, known as the Binger Loch. Bingen was the starting point for the Via Ausonia, a Roman military road that linked the town with Trier. Bingen is well known for, among other things, the story about the Mouse Tower, in which allegedly the Bishop of Mainz Hatto was eaten by mice. The town was in 2008, after Kaiserslautern and Trier, organizer of the third Rhineland-Palatinate State Garden Show.
Bingen is situated just southeast of the Rhine knee at the Bingen Forest (Binger Wald – actually a low mountain range), which rises west of the town. Rising to the north on the other side of the Rhine is the Rheingau range, the Taunus’s southwesternmost outcrop. In Bingen the river Nahe empties into the Rhine Gorge. Bingen forms the southern limit of the UNESCO Rhine Gorge World Heritage Site. The Rochusberg (mountain) is nearly completely surrounded by the town site.
Constituent communities 
Population development 
(each time at 31 December)
Even before the Romans came, people lived here, because the location favoured transport (confluence of the Nahe and Rhine, and the Rhine’s entry into the gorge), a Celtic (Gaulish) settlement by the name of Binge – meaning “rift”. In the early first century AD, Roman troops were stationed in Bingen on the Rhine Valley Road. They changed the location's name to Bingium. There the Romans erected a wooden bridge across the Nahe and constructed a bridgehead castrum. A Roman Mithraic monument, which included a mutilated sculpture representing the nativity of Mithra from a rock, was discovered in Bingen; one of its inscriptions is dated 236.
The presbyter Aetherius of Bingen founded sometime between 335 and 360 a firmly Christian community. Bearing witness to this time is Aetherius’s gravestone, which can still be seen in Saint Martin’s Basilica. After the fall of the Limes, the town became a Frankish royal estate and passed in 983 by the Donation of Verona from Otto II to Archbishop Willigis of Mainz. Under Otto III the Binger Kammerforst (forest) came into being. Under Willigis, some way up the river Nahe, the stone Drususbrücke (bridge) was built.
The inhabitants of Bingen strove time and again for independence, which led in 1165 through disputes between the Archbishop of Mainz and the Emperor to destruction. In the 13th century, Bingen was a member of the Rhenish League of Towns. The building of Klopp Castle (Burg Klopp) in the mid 13th century could well be seen as being tied in with this development. A last attempt was the town’s unsuccessful participation in the German Peasants' War in 1525. From the Archbishop the Cathedral Chapter of Mainz acquired the town in two halves in 1424 and 1438. Until the late 18th century Bingen remained under its administration. Like many towns in the valley, Bingen suffered several town fires and wars.
From 1792 to 1813, the town was, as part of the département of Mont-Tonnerre (or Donnersberg – both names meaning “Thunder Mountain”), French after French Revolutionary troops had occupied the Rhine’s left bank. In 1816, after the Congress of Vienna, the town passed to the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt while today’s outlying centre of Bingerbrück went to Prussia’s Rhine Province, making Bingen a border town until 1871, when the German Empire was founded.
On 7 June 1969, the formerly Prussian municipality of Bingerbrück was amalgamated. On 22 April 1972 came Dromersheim’s and Sponsheim’s amalgamation with Bingen. The epithet am Rhein has been borne since 1 July 1982.
For the State Garden Show in 2008 in Bingen, the Rhineside areas in the town underwent extensive modernization.
Jewish History 
Benjamin of Tudela mentioned a Jewish community in Bingen in the mid 12th century. Christian inhabitants attacked the small Jewish quarter on Rosh Hashanah in 1198 or 1199, and the Jews were driven from the city. Jews again lived in Bingen as moneylenders in the middle of the 13th century under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Mainz. In 1343, French Jews settled in Bingen. In 1405, the archbishop declared a moratorium on one-fifth of the debts owed to Jews by Christians, and subsequently the archbishops repeatedly extorted large sums. Noted rabbis who taught in the small community included Seligmann Oppenheim, who convened the Council of Bingen (1455–56) in an unsuccessful attempt to establish his authority over the whole of Rhineland Jewry. After the proposal was opposed by Moses Minz, the matter was referred to Isaac Isserlein, who rejected the project. The Jews were again expelled from Bingen in 1507, and did not return until the second half of the 16th century. The Jewish population was 465 in 1933, and 222 in 1939 due to flight and emigration. The 169 Jews who remained in Bingen in 1942 were deported, and only four ultimately returned. The synagogue was demolished in 1945, and the community was not reestablished after World War II.
Town council 
The council is made up of 36 council members. The mayor from 1996 to 2012 was the CDU politician Birgit Collin-Langen. After she took her seat in the European Parliament, she was succeeded by her deputy, CDU politician Thomas Feser. Seats are apportioned thus:
Coat of arms 
Main sights 
- Mouse Tower
- Former monastery church, the Basilica of St. Martin, from the 15th century with Romanesque crypt
- Klopp Castle (Burg Klopp)
- Drususbrücke (bridge) with Romanesque bridge chapel
- Old Rhine Crane
- Haferkasten (“Oat Shed”, from after 1689) with Stefan-George-Museum
- Puricellipalais, an Empire style building from 1780
- Old Graveyard from the 19th century with Napoleon monument
- Historical Museum on the theme “Hildegard of Bingen”
- Roman villa rustica in the Bingen Forest
- Rhine Floodplain Special Protection Area
- Bingerbrück Reiter Signal Box technological cultural monument
- A new concept was introduced with the Route der Industriekultur Rhein-Main (“Rhine-Main Industrial Culture Route”), along which industrial building works on the 160 km between Miltenberg and Bingen are linked together into an adventure route about the Industrial Age in southern Germany. Already 700 buildings are scientifically catalogued.
Bingen 2008 State Garden Show 
Bingen was from 18 April to 19 October 2008 host for the Rhineland-Palatinate State Garden Show. The event was held along a 2.8 km stretch of the Rhine waterfront on 24 ha of exhibition area. With 1.3 million visitors, the expected number of 600,000 was greatly exceeded.
Regular events 
- Bingen swingt – jazz festival
- Binger Open Air Festival – Alternative festival
- Breakpoint – worldwide, one of the demoscene’s biggest events
- Nacht der Verführung – (literally “Night of Seduction”) wine festival in the vines
- Rhein im Feuerzauber – great firework event
- Rochusfest (Saint Roch’s Festival) – church festival with folk character, Bishopric of Mainz pilgrimage
- Winzerfest (winemakers’ festival) – lasting 11 days, the longest wine festival on the Rhine
Economy and infrastructure 
The region is characterized economically by winegrowing, all the more so as in Bingen, three winegrowing areas (Rheinhessen, Mittelrhein and Nahe) meet. The town is also the winegrowing Bereich’s (Bereich Bingen) namesake in German wine law.
Other industries, which once did business in Bingen when there was a harbour, have left the town over the years. The service industries found here today are found mainly in the industrial park (Autobahn interchange Bingen-Ost / Kempten / Industriegebiet) and in the Scharlachberg commercial park.
Tourism also plays an important rôle.
Resident businesses 
- NSM-Löwen (slot machines)
- Oerlikon Balzers Coating Germany GmbH
Bingen (Rhein) Stadt station lies 2 km farther east, right across from the historical harbour crane. This station is only important for local transport. Furthermore, there is also a stop in Bingen-Gaulsheim. The reason that two railway stations arose in Bingen is historical. The main railway station was originally a Prussian border station built by the Rhenish Railway Company on its West Rhine Railway, while the station in town belonged to the Hessian Ludwig Railway.
Only private transport is still of importance today. The cargo harbour has been abandoned. The former winter harbour is now a marina.
There are landing stages of the tourist lines Köln-Düsseldorfer, Bingen-Rüdesheimer Fahrgastschifffahrt and Rösslerlinie. A passenger ferry and a car ferry link Bingen with Rüdesheim.
Until the late 1970s, Bingen was a piloting station.
- Fachhochschule Bingen
- Hildegardisschule, Bishopric of Mainz Catholic private school
- Rupertus Hauptschule
- Berufsbildende Schule Bingen (vocational school)
- Bingen town library
- Folk high school
Famous people 
- Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179), abbess and author, mystic, writer, composer, musician, and medic. After her the Bingen girls’ school (Gymnasium and vocational school), the Hildegardisschule (“Higa”), is named. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church.
- Bertha of Bingen (7th century)
- Joseph Albrecht von Ittner, b. 2 March 1754, d. 9 March 1825 in Konstanz, writer
- Philipp von Foltz, b. 11 May 1805, d. 5 August 1877 in Munich: painter
- Ferdinand Allmann, b. 1 August 1828, d. 11 May 1912 in Bingen: Mayor of Bingen and Member of the Landstände of the Grand Duchy of Hesse
- Heinrich Brück, b. 25 October 1831, d. 5 November 1903 in Mainz: Bishop of Mainz
- Johann Baptist Hilsdorf, b. 6 May 1835, d. 11 July 1918 in Bingen: photographer and father of Theodor and Jacob
- Karl Johann Brilmayer, b. 29 March 1843, d. 16 November 1905: Catholic priest, writer and Rhenish Hessian local historian
- Alice Bensheimer, b. 6 May 1864, d. 20 March 1935 in Mannheim: politician and feminist
- Theodor Hilsdorf, b. 18 June 1868, d.1944: photographer
- Stefan George, b. 12 July 1868, d. 4 December 1933 in Minusio: German poet
- Jacob Hilsdorf, b. 10 June 1872, d.1916
- Pankraz Blank, b. 30 April 1882, Member of the Landtag (Zentrum)
- Saladin Schmitt, b. 18 September 1883, d. 14 March 1951 in Bochum: German theatre researcher, producer and theatre manager
- Fritz Nathan, b. 1891, d. 3 November 1960 in New York, NY: leading Jewish architect who designed synagogues, department stores, and the first skyscraper in Mannheim 
- August Weimer, b. 27 June 1908, d. 20 January 1980 in Wiesbaden: trade unionist and politician (CDU), Member of the Bundestag
- Philipp Anton Brück, b. 16 April 1913, d. 15 December 1984 in Worms: ecclesiastical historian, librarian at the Martinus-Bibliothek
- Günter Duffrer, b. 13 July 1922: docent for pastoral liturgy at the Episcopal Seminary, diocesan president of church choirs in the Bishopric of Mainz
- Claire Marienfeld, b. 21 April 1940: German politician, former Bundestag Armed Forces Commissioner
- Mary Roos, b. 9 January 1949: German hit singer and actress
- Tina York, b. 29 April 1954, German hit singer
- Thomas Kling, b. 5 June 1957: d. 1 April 2005 in Dormagen: German lyric poet
- Peter Frey, b. 4 August 1957, German journalist
- Frank Schröder, b. 2 June 1964: singer and actor
- Dajan Šimac, b. 4 January 1982: German footballer
- Jan Schlaudraff, b. 18 July 1983: German footballer and first national player from Bingen
Town partnerships 
- Hitchin, United Kingdom, since 1958
- Nuits-Saint-Georges, France, since 1960
- Venarey-les-Laumes, France, since 1967 (originally with Bingerbrück, taken over by Bingen in 1969
- Prizren, Kosovo[a], since 1968
Notes and references 
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 99 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden am 31.12.2011". Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz (in German). 2012.
- http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/497748.pdf American Journal of Archaeology, by Sidney Deane, page 344
- Hans Ulrich Instinsky: Die Grabinschrift des Presbyters Aetherius von Bingen, in: JbBistumMainz 5, 1950, pages 305–309
- Ein alter Stein in regionalgeschichte.net
- Heinrich Gottfried Philipp Gengler: Regesten und Urkunden zur Verfassungs- und Rechtsgeschichte der deutschen Städte im Mittelalter, Erlangen 1863, S. 224.
- Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz – Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis 2006
- Kommunalwahl Rheinland-Pfalz 2009, Gemeinderatswahlen, Bingen am Rhein, verbandsfreie Gemeinde
- Neue Wege zur alten Industriekultur. Frankfurter Rundschau on 27 Nov. 2006
- Bingen 2008 State Garden Show page
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bingen am Rhein|
- Town’s official webpage (German)
- Tourist Information on Bingen am Rhein
- Information on Bingen
- Jewish History of Bingen (German)
- This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.