Wiesbaden

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For the ship, see SMS Wiesbaden.
Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden Montage.jpg
Flag of Wiesbaden
Flag
Coat of arms of Wiesbaden
Coat of arms
Wiesbaden is located in Germany
Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden
Coordinates: 50°05′N 8°14′E / 50.08°N 8.24°E / 50.08; 8.24Coordinates: 50°05′N 8°14′E / 50.08°N 8.24°E / 50.08; 8.24
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Darmstadt
District Urban districts of Germany
Founded 6 AD
Subdivisions 26 boroughs
Government
 • Lord Mayor Sven Gerich (SPD)
 • Governing parties CDU / SPD
Area
 • Total 203.9 km2 (78.7 sq mi)
Elevation 115 m (377 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 272,636
 • Density 1,300/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 65001 – 65207, 55240 – 55252
Dialling codes 0611, 06122, 06127, 06134
Vehicle registration WI
Website wiesbaden.de
Aerial view of Wiesbaden

Wiesbaden (German pronunciation: [ˈviːsˌbaːdn̩]) is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 273,000 inhabitants, plus approximately 19,000[2] United States citizens (mostly associated with the United States Army). Wiesbaden, together with the cities of Frankfurt am Main, Darmstadt and Mainz, is part of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region, a metropolitan area with a combined population of about 5.8 million people.

Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe. Its name translates to "meadow baths," making reference to the hot springs. It is internationally famous for its architecture, climate (also called the "Nice of the North"), and its hot springs.[3] At one time, Wiesbaden boasted 26 hot springs. Fourteen of the springs are still flowing today.[4]

In 1970, the town hosted the tenth Hessentag state festival.

Geographical Setting[edit]

Satellite view of Wiesbaden (north of Rhine river) and Mainz

Wiesbaden is situated on the right (northern) bank of the Rhine River, below the confluence of the Main, where the Rhine's main direction changes from north to west. The city is across the Rhine from Mainz, the capital of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Frankfurt am Main is located about 38 kilometres (23.6 mi) east. To the north of the city are the Taunus Mountains, which trend in a northeasterly direction.

The city center, the Stadtmitte, is located in the north-easternmost part of the Upper Rhine Valley at the spurs of the Taunus mountains, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the Rhine. The landscape is formed by a wide lowland between the Taunus heights in the north, the Bierstadter Höhe and the Hainerberg in the east, the Mosbacher Mountain in the south, and the Schiersteiner Mountain in the west, an offshoot of the Taunus range. The downtown is drained only by the narrow valley of the Salzbach, a tributary of the Rhine, on the eastern flanks of the Mosbacher Mountain. The city's main railway line and the Mainz road (Mainzer Straße) follow this valley. Several other streams drain into the Salzbach within the city center: the Wellritzbach, the Kesselbach, the Schwarzbach, the Dambach, and the Tennelbach, as well as the outflow of many thermal and mineral springs in the Kurhaus (spa) district. Above the city center, the Salzbach is better known as the Rambach.

View of Wiesbaden from the Topographia Hassiae by Matthäus Merian in 1655.

The highest point of the Wiesbaden municipality is located northwest of the city center near the summit of the Hohe Wurzel, with an elevation of 608 metres (1,995 ft) above sea level. The lowest point is the harbour entrance of Schierstein at 83 metres (272 ft) above sea level. The central square (the Schlossplatz, or palace square) is at an elevation of 115 metres (377 ft).

Wiesbaden covers an area of 204 km2 (79 sq mi). It is 17.6 kilometres (10.9 mi) from north to south and 19.7 kilometres (12.2 mi) from west to east. In the north are vast forest areas, which cover 27.4% of the urban area. In the west and east are vineyards and agricultural land, which cover 31.1% of the area. Of the municipality's 79 kilometres (49.1 mi)-long border, the Rhine makes up 10.3 kilometres (6.4 mi).

Climate[edit]

Wiesbaden has a temperate-oceanic climate with relatively cold winters and warm summers. Its average annual temperature is 9.8 °C (49.6 °F), with monthly mean temperatures ranging from 1.0 °C (33.8 °F) in January to 18.6 °C (65.5 °F) in July.

Climate data for Wiesbaden
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4
(39)
6
(43)
11
(52)
15
(59)
20
(68)
23
(73)
25
(77)
25
(77)
20
(68)
14
(57)
8
(46)
5
(41)
14.7
(58.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.0
(33.8)
2.2
(36)
5.5
(41.9)
9.4
(48.9)
13.8
(56.8)
17.0
(62.6)
18.6
(65.5)
18.0
(64.4)
14.6
(58.3)
10.0
(50)
4.9
(40.8)
2.1
(35.8)
9.76
(49.57)
Average low °C (°F) −1
(30)
−1
(30)
2
(36)
5
(41)
9
(48)
12
(54)
14
(57)
14
(57)
11
(52)
7
(45)
3
(37)
1
(34)
6.3
(43.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 48
(1.89)
41
(1.61)
46
(1.81)
41
(1.61)
55
(2.17)
68
(2.68)
66
(2.6)
63
(2.48)
49
(1.93)
49
(1.93)
57
(2.24)
55
(2.17)
638
(25.12)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 10 8 8 9 10 10 10 10 8 8 10 10 111
Source: Sonnenlaender.de[5]

History[edit]

The Heidenmauer ("Heathen Wall") is the last remnant of the Roman aqueduct of Aquae Mattiacorum[6]

Classical antiquity[edit]

While evidence of settlement at present-day Wiesbaden dates back to the Neolithic era, historical records document continuous occupancy after the erection of a Roman fort in 6 AD which housed an auxiliary cavalry unit. The thermal springs of Wiesbaden are first mentioned in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia. They were famous for their recreation pools for Roman army horses and as the source of a mineral used for red hair dye (which was very fashionable around the turn of BC/AD among women in Rome).[7]

The Roman settlement is first mentioned using the name Aquae Mattiacorum (Latin for "Waters of the Mattiaci") in 121. The Mattiaci were a Germanic tribe, possibly a branch of the neighboring Chatti, who lived in the vicinity at that time. The town also appears as Mattiacum in Ptolemy's Geographia (2.10). The line of Roman frontier fortifications, the Limes Germanicus, was constructed in the Taunus not far north of Wiesbaden.

The capital of the province of Germania Superior, Mogontiacum (present-day Mainz), base of 2 (at times 3) Roman legions, was just over the Rhine and connected by a bridge at the present-day borough of Mainz-Kastel (Roman "castellum"), a strongly fortified bridgehead.

The Alamanni, a coalition of Germanic tribes from beyond the Limes, captured the fort c. 260. Later, in the 370s, when the Romans and Alamanni were allied, the Alemanni gained control of the Wiesbaden area and were in charge of its defense against other Germanic tribes.

Middle ages[edit]

After the Franks under Clovis I defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac in 496, the Franks eventually displaced the Alamanni in the Wiesbaden area over the course of the 6th century. In the 8th century, Wiesbaden became the site of a royal palace of the Frankish kingdom. The first documented use of the name Wiesbaden is by Einhard, the biographer of Charlemagne, whose writings mention "Wisabada" sometime between 828 and 830.

When the Frankish Carolingian Empire broke up in 888, Wiesbaden was in the eastern half, called East Francia (which would evolve into the Holy Roman Empire). The town was part of Franconia, the heartland of East Francia. In the 1170s, the Counts of Nassau, Walram I, received the area around Wiesbaden as a fiefdom. When Franconia fragmented in the early 13th century, Nassau emerged as an independent state as part of the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1232 Wiesbaden became a reichsstadt, an imperial city, of the Holy Roman Empire. However, in 1242, during the war of Emperor Frederick II against the Pope, the Archbishop of Mainz, Siegfried III, ordered the city's destruction.

Wiesbaden returned to the control of the House of Nassau in 1270 under Count Walram II of Nassau-Weilburg. However, Wiesbaden and the castle at Sonnenberg were again destroyed in 1283 in conflict with Eppstein.

Walram's son and successor Adolf would later became King of Germany from 1292 until 1298. In 1329, under Adolf's son Gerlach I of Nassau-Weilburg the House of Nassau and thereby, Wiesbaden, received the right of coinage from Holy Roman Emperor Louis the Bavarian.

In 1355, the County of Nassau-Weilburg was divided among the sons of Gerlach. The County of Nassau's holdings would be subdivided many times among heirs, with the parts being brought together again whenever a line died out. Wiesbaden became the seat of the County of Nassau-Wiesbaden under Count Adolf I (1307–1370), eldest son of Gerlach. It would eventually fell back to Nassau-Weilburg in 1605.

Modern era[edit]

Due to its participation in the uprisings of the German Peasants' War of 1525, Wiesbaden lost all its privileges for over forty years. During this time, Wiesbaden became Protestant with the nomination of Wolf Denthener as first Lutheran pastor on January 1, 1543. The same day, the first Latin school was opened, preparing pupils for the gymnasium in Idstein. In 1566 the privileges of the city were restored.

The oldest remaining building of Wiesbaden, the old city hall, was built in 1609 and 1610. No older buildings are preserved due to two fires in 1547 and 1561. In 1648, at the end of the devastating 30 years war, chronicles tell that Wiesbaden had barely 40 residents left. In 1659, the Countship of Nassau-Weilburg was divided again. Wiesbaden became part of the Countship of Nassau-Usingen. In 1744, the seat of Nassau-Usingen was moved to Biebrich. In 1771, the Count of Nassau-Usingen granted a concession for gambling in Wiesbaden. In 1810, the Wiesbaden Casino (German: Spielbank) was opened in the old Kurhaus. Gambling was later outlawed by Prussian authorities in 1872.

As a result of Napoleon's victory over Austria in the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved. On July 12, 1806, 16 states in present-day Germany, including the remaining Countships of Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg, formally left the Holy Roman Empire and joined together in the Confederation of the Rhine. Napoleon was its "protector." Under pressure from Napoleon, both countships merged to form the Duchy of Nassau on August 30, 1806.

Memorial for Nassauers fallen at the Battle of Waterloo

At the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Duchy of Nassau joined the German Confederation. The capital of Nassau was moved from Weilburg to Wiesbaden, and the city became the ducal residence. Building activity started in order to give the city a magnificent appearance. Most of the historical center of Wiesbaden dates back to this time.

Marktkirche, designed by Carl Boos. Its neo-Gothic steeple dominates the center of Wiesbaden.

In the Revolutions of 1848, 30,000 citizens of Nassau assembled in Wiesbaden on March 4. They demanded a constitution from the Duke, which they received.

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Nassau took Austria's side. This decision led to the end of the duchy. After the Austrian defeat Nassau was annexed by Prussia and became part of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. The deposed duke Adolph of Nassau in 1890 became the Grand Duke of Luxembourg (see House of Nassau). This turned out to be a fortunate change for the city as it then became an international spa town. A rise in construction commenced after the aristocracy followed the lead of the Hohenzollern emperors who began annual trips to Wiesbaden.[8]

The period around the turn of the 20th century is regarded as the heyday of the city. Kaiser Wilhelm II visited the city regularly in summer, such that it became an unofficial "summer residence". The city was also popular among the Russian nobility. In the wake of the imperial court, numerous nobles, artists and wealthy businessmen increasingly settled in the city. Many wealthy persons chose Wiesbaden as their retirement seat, as it offered leisure and medical treatment alike. In the latter part of the 19th century, Wiesbaden became the German city with the most millionaires.[9]

In 1894, the present Hessian State Theater, designed by the Vienna architects Fellner and Helmer, was built on behalf of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Weimar Republic and Third Reich (1919 to 1945)[edit]

After World War I, Wiesbaden fell under the Allied occupation of the Rhineland and was occupied by the French army in 1918. In 1921, the Wiesbaden Agreement on German reparations to France was signed in the city. In 1925, Wiesbaden became the headquarters of the British Rhine Army until the withdrawal of occupying forces from the Rhineland in 1930.

In 1929, an airport was constructed in Erbenheim on the site of a horse-racing track. In 1936, Fighter Squadron 53 of the Luftwaffe was stationed here.

In the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 10, 1938, Wiesbaden's large synagogue on Michelsberg was destroyed. The synagogue had been designed by Phillip Hoffmann and built in 1869. Another synagogue in Wiesbaden-Bierstadt was also destroyed. During the Third Reich, a total of approximately 1,200 Wiesbaden Jews were deported and murdered.

General Ludwig Beck from Wiesbaden was one of the planners of the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler. Beck was designated by his fellow conspirators to be future Head of State (Regent) after elimination of Hitler. The plot failed, however, and Beck was forced to commit suicide. Today, the city annually awards the Ludwig Beck prize for civil courage in his honor.

Lutheran pastor and theologian Martin Niemöller, founder of the Confessing Church resistance movement against the Nazis, is an Honorary Citizen of Wiesbaden. He presented his last sermon before his arrest in Wiesbaden's Market Church.

World War II[edit]

In World War II, Wiesbaden was the Headquarters for Germany’s Wehrkreis XII. This military district included the Eifel, part of Hesse, the Palatinate, and the Saarland. After the Battle of France, this Wehrkreis was extended to include Lorraine, including Nancy, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The commander was General der Infanterie Walther Schroth.

Wehrkreis XII was made up of three subordinate regions: Bereich Hauptsitze Koblenz, Mannheim and Metz.

During the war, Wiesbaden was largely spared by allied bombing raids. But between August 1940 and March 1945, Wiesbaden was attacked by allied bombers on 66 days. In the attacks, about 18% of the city's homes were destroyed. During the war, more than 25% of the city's buildings were damaged or worse and 1,700 people were killed.[10]

Wiesbaden was captured by U.S. Army forces on March 28, 1945. The U.S. 317th Infantry Regiment attacked in assault boats across the Rhine from Mainz while the 319th Infantry attacked across the Main River near Hochheim am Main. The attack started at 0100 and by early afternoon the two forces of the 80th U.S.Infantry Division had linked up with the loss of only three dead and three missing. The Americans captured 900 German soldiers and a warehouse full of 4,000 cases of champagne.[11]

After the war's end, American pop artist Elvis Presley was stationed in Friedberg and often visited Wiesbaden.[10]

Cold War and contemporary history[edit]

After World War II, the state of Hesse was established (see Greater Hesse), and Wiesbaden became its capital, though nearby Frankfurt am Main is much larger and contains many Hessian government offices. Wiesbaden however suffered much less than Frankfurt from air bombing. There is a persistent rumour that the U.S. Army Air Force spared the town with the intention of turning it into a postwar HQ, but USAAF sources claim this to be a myth, arguing that Wiesbaden's economic and strategic importance simply did not justify more bombing.[citation needed] Wiesbaden was host to the Headquarters, U.S. Air Forces, Europe based at the former Lindsey Air Station from 1953 to 1973.

American armed forces have been present in Wiesbaden since World War II. The U.S. 1st Armored Division was headquartered at the Wiesbaden Army Airfield, just off the Autobahn toward Frankfurt, until the Division completed relocation to Fort Bliss, Texas in 2011. Wiesbaden is now home to the U.S. Army Europe Headquarters and Mission Command Center.[12]

Bathing and gambling[edit]

Wiesbaden has long been famous for its thermal springs and spa. Use of the thermal springs was first documented by the Romans. The business of spring bathing became important for Wiesbaden near the end of the Middle Ages. By 1370, sixteen bath houses were in operation. By 1800, the city had 2,239 inhabitants and twenty-three bath houses. By 1900, Wiesbaden, with a population of 86,100, hosted 126,000 visitors annually. Famous visitors to the springs included Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Wagner, and Johannes Brahms. In those years there were more millionaires living in Wiesbaden than in any other city in Germany.

Gambling followed bathing en suite and in the 19th century Wiesbaden was famous for both. Its casino ("Spielbank") rivalled those of Bad Homburg, Baden-Baden and Monaco. In 1872, the Prussian-dominated Imperial government closed down all German gambling houses. The Wiesbaden casino was reopened in 1949.

Demographics[edit]

Rank Nationality Population (2013)
1  Turkey 9,848
2  Poland 4,293
3  Italy 3,937
4  Greece 2,709
5  Serbia (incl. Montenegro) 1,902

Main sights[edit]

Panorama of Wiesbaden from the Neroberg

The Palace Square[edit]

Former Ducal Palace

The Schloßplatz ("palace square") is situated in the center of the city, surrounded by several outstanding buildings. The ducal palace was begun under William, Duke of Nassau. Its foundations were laid in 1837 and it was completed in November 1841 (two years after William's death). For the twenty-six remaining years of ducal authority it was the residence of the ruling family. It later served as a secondary residence for the King of Prussia 1866 to 1918. It was later used as a headquarters for French and British occupying forces after World War I, then as a museum. Since 1945, the building has served as Landtag (parliamentary building) for the federal state of Hesse. The site of the palace had been that of a castle, probably from the early Middle Ages, around which the city had developed. While nothing is known of the former castle, remains of it were uncovered during excavations after World War II.

The new town hall was built in 1887. Engraved in the paving in front of the town hall are the heraldic eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, the lion of Nassau, and the fleur-de-lis of Wiesbaden. The old town hall, built in 1610, is the oldest preserved building in the city center and now is used as a civil registry office.

The Protestant Marktkirche ("market church") was built from 1852 to 1862 in a neo-Gothic style. Its western steeple is 92 m (302 ft) in height, making the church the highest building in the city.

Kurhaus and Theater[edit]

Kurhaus with Fontain on the Bowling Green
Main article: Kurhaus, Wiesbaden

The monumental Neo-Classical Kurhaus ("spa house") was built at the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II between 1904 and 1907. Its famous Spielbank (casino) is again in operation.

In front of the Kurhaus is a lawn known as the Bowling Green. To one side of the Bowling Green is the Kurhaus Kolonnade. Built in 1827, the 129 meter structure is the longest hall in Europe supported by pillars. To the other side is the Theater Kolonnade, built in 1839. It is adjacent to the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, built between 1892 and 1894.

St. Bonifatius[edit]

St. Bonifatius, the first church for the Catholic community after the Reformation, was built from 1845 until 1849 by Philipp Hoffmann in Gothic Revival style and dedicated to Saint Boniface.

St. Elizabeth's Church[edit]

The Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Elizabeth was built on the Neroberg from 1847 to 1855 by Duke Adolf of Nassau on the occasion of the early death of his wife Elizabeth Mikhailovna, who died in childbirth. The architect was Philipp Hoffmann.

Other sights[edit]

Another building from the regency of Duke Wilhelm is the Luisenplatz, a square named for the Duke's first wife. It is surrounded by Neoclassicist buildings, and in the middle of the square is the Waterloo Obelisk, commemorating the Nassauers who died in the wars against Napoleon. Apart from the palace in the center, the ducal family had a large palace on the banks of the Rhine, known as Schloss Biebrich. This baroque building was erected in the first half of the 18th century.

North of the city is the Neroberg. From the top of this hill it is possible to view a panorama of the city. The Nerobergbahn funicular railway connects the city with the hill.

One of the three Hessian state museums, Museum Wiesbaden is located in Wiesbaden. Another church is the Lutherkirche.

The Warme Damm is a 4.5 hectare park on the east side of Wilhelmstrasse and south of the State theater and Kurhaus which features a lake, a fountain, various statues, and large grassy areas. The park was created in 1859–1860 and is named after the medieval fortifications around a pond into which the warm waters of the town's 26 warm springs flowed.[13]

Boroughs of Wiesbaden[edit]

The city of Wiesbaden is divided into 26 boroughs: five in the central city and 21 suburban districts. The 21 suburban districts were incorporated in four phases from 1926 to 1977. The former right Mainz suburbs Amöneburg, Kastel and Kostheim have belonged to Wiesbaden since 1945.

Boroughs of Wiesbaden

Inner boroughs[edit]

Borough Area Population Density Purchasing power
per inh.
Map
Mitte[14] 01.53 km² 020,797 013,593 019,707 € Wiesbaden Karte Mitte.PNG
Nordost[15] 019.44 km² 022,621 01,163 021,709 € Wiesbaden Karte Nordost.PNG
Rheingauviertel[16] 02.47 km² 019,802 08,017 017,461 € Wiesbaden Karte Rheingauviertel.PNG
Südost[17] 06.62 km² 018,835 02,845 024,370 € Wiesbaden Karte Südost.PNG
Westend[18] 00.67 km² 016,528 024,669 019,047 € Wiesbaden Karte Westend.PNG

Suburban boroughs[edit]

Borough Area Population Density Purchasing power
per inh.
Incorporated since Map
Auringen[19] 03.12 km² 03,399 01,079 022,114 € 0January 1, 1977 Wiesbaden Karte Auringen.PNG
Biebrich[20] 012.99 km² 036,896 02,840 018,779 € 0October 28, 1926 Wiesbaden Karte Biebrich.PNG
Bierstadt[21] 09.22 km² 012,109 01,313 022,807 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Bierstadt.PNG
Breckenheim[22] 06.53 km² 03,375 0517 022,074 € 0January 1, 1977 Wiesbaden Karte Breckenheim.PNG
Delkenheim[23] 07.43 km² 04,938 0665 020,908 € 0January 1, 1977 Wiesbaden Karte Delkenheim.PNG
Dotzheim[24] 018.27 km² 026,234 01,436 018,793 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Dotzheim.PNG
Erbenheim[25] 011.27 km² 09,258 0821 019,357 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Erbenheim.PNG
Frauenstein[26] 010.65 km² 02,359 0222 019,365 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Frauenstein.PNG
Heßloch[27] 01.54 km² 0695 0451 024,525 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Heßloch.PNG
Igstadt[28] 07.26 km² 02,090 0288 021,869 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Igstadt.PNG
Klarenthal[29] 06.13 km² 010,280 01,677 018,103 € 0September 1, 1964 Wiesbaden Karte Klarenthal.PNG
Kloppenheim[30] 05.39 km² 02,301 0427 021,592 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Kloppenheim.PNG
Mainz-Amöneburg[31] 03.71 km² 01,444 0389 017,267 € 0July 25, 1945 Wiesbaden Karte Amöneburg.PNG
Mainz-Kastel[32] 09.51 km² 012,021 01,264 019,874 € 0July 25, 1945 Wiesbaden Karte Kastel.PNG
Mainz-Kostheim[33] 09.53 km² 013,935 01,462 018,623 € 0July 25, 1945 Wiesbaden Karte Kostheim.PNG
Medenbach[34] 04.74 km² 02,501 0560 021,170 € 0January 1, 1977 Wiesbaden Karte Medenbach.PNG
Naurod[35] 010.99 km² 04,414 0402 021,865 € 0January 1, 1977 Wiesbaden Karte Naurod.PNG
Nordenstadt[36] 07.73 km² 07,896 01,021 021,503 € 0January 1, 1977 Wiesbaden Karte Nordenstadt.PNG
Rambach[37] 09.92 km² 02,175 0219 024,902 € 0April 1, 1928 Wiesbaden Karte Rambach.PNG
Schierstein[38] 09.43 km² 010,129 01,074 019,938 € 0October 28, 1926 Wiesbaden Karte Schierstein.PNG
Sonnenberg[39] 08.34 km² 07,972 0956 027,701 € 0October 28, 1926 Wiesbaden Karte Sonnenberg.PNG

Historical population[edit]

Population of Wiesbaden, 1521 to present
Year Population
1521 192
1629 915
1699 730
1722 1.329
1800 2.239
1 December 1840 11.648
3 December 1861 20.800
3 December 1864 26.600
3 December 1867 30.100
1 December 1871 35.500
1 December 1875 43.700
1 December 1880 50.238
1 December 1885 55.454
Year Population
1 December 1890 64.670
2 December 1895 74.133
1 December 1900 86.111
1 December 1905 100.953
1 December 1910 109.002
1 December 1916 90.310
5 December 1917 86.555
8 October 1919 97.566
16 June 1925 102.737
16 June 1933 159.755
17 March 1939 170.354
31 December 1945 172.083
29 October 1946 188.370
Year Population
13 September 1950 220.741
25 September 1956 244.994
6 June 1961 253.280
31 December 1965 260.331
27 March 1970 250.122
31 December 1975 250.592
31 December 1980 274.464
31 December 1985 266.623
25 March 1987 251.871
31 December 1990 260.301
31 December 1995 267.122
31 December 2000 270.109
30 September 2005 274.865
Year Population
31 December 2006 275.562
31 December 2007 275.849
31 December 2008 276.742
31 December 2009 277.493
31 December 2010 275.976

Mayors[edit]

  • 1849–1868: Heinrich Fischer
  • 1868–1882: Wilhelm Lanz
  • 1882–1883: Christian Schlichter
  • 1883–1913: Carl Bernhard von Ibell
  • 1913–1919: Karl Glässing
  • 1919–1929: Fritz Travers
  • 1930–1933: Georg Krücke
  • 1933–1937: Alfred Schulte
  • 1937–1945: Erich Mix
  • 1945–1946: Georg Krücke
  • 1946–1953: Hans Heinrich Redlhammer
  • 1951–1954: Georg Kluge
  • 1954–1960: Erich Mix
  • 1960–1968: Georg Buch
  • 1968–1980: Rudi Schmitt
  • 1980–1982: Georg-Berndt Oschatz
  • 1982–1985: Hans-Joachim Jentsch
  • 1985–1997: Achim Exner
  • 1997–2007: Hildebrand Diehl
  • 2007–2013: Helmut Müller
  • 2013– Sven Gerich

The information up to 2007 was retrieved from Die Wiesbadener Oberbürgermeister seit dem Bau des neuen Rathauses (1886) (The Wiesbaden Mayors since the construction of the new town mayor hall (1886) )[40]

Transport[edit]

Map of Wiesbaden with Autobahns, federal roads and main streets.

Roads[edit]

Wiesbaden is well conntected the German motorway (Autobahn) system. The Wiesbadener Kreuz is an Autobahn interchange eastwards the city where the Bundesautobahn 3 (A 3), Cologne to Würzburg, and the Bundesautobahn 66 (A 66), Rheingau to Fulda, meet. With approximately 190,000 cars daily it is one of the most heavily used interchange in Germany. The Bundesautobahn 66 (A 66) connects Wiesbaden with Frankfurt. The Bundesautobahn 643 (A 643) is mainly a commuter motorway which starts in the south of the city centre, runs through the southern part of Wiesbaden crosses the Rhine river via the Schierstein Bridge and connect in the northwestern part of Mainz to the A60. The Bundesautobahn 671 (A 671) is a very short motorway in the southeastern part of Wiesbaden which primarily serves as a fast connection between the city centre and tshe Bundesautobahn 60 to serve the cities like Rüsselsheim, Darmstadt and the Rhine-Neckar region (Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg).

The downtown area is bordered on the north side by Taunusstrasse, which features many antique stores.[41] The east side is constrained by Wilhelmstrasse, created by Christian Zais. This 1,000 meter-long street is named after Archduke Wilhelm, not Emperor Wilhelm II, as many mistakenly believe.[42]

The streets of central Wiesbaden are regularly congested with cars during rush hour. Besides some areas, especially the Ringroad and not directly in the centre, and the southern arterial roads like the Mainzer Straße, Biebricher Allee and Schiersteiner Straße.

Rail[edit]

Wiesbaden central station, built between 1904 and 1906.

Wiesbaden's main railway station and several minor railway stops connect the town with Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Mainz, Limburg and Koblenz via Rüdesheim. Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof is connected to the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line by a 13-kilometer branch line. Hamburg, München, Leipzig, Dresden, Stuttgart, Mannheim and Hanover are connected directly to Wiesbaden via long distance service of the Deutsche Bahn. More services to locations outside the immediate area connect through Mainz or Frankfurt Airport or Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Regional trains and bus services are coordinated by the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund.

Public transport[edit]

A Bus at Schierstein harbor
  • S-Bahn

Wiesbaden is connected to the Frankfurt S-Bahn network and served by three lines (S1, S8 and S9) which connect Wiesbaden with the densely populated Rhine Main Region. All routes have an at least 30 minute service during the day, in the rush hour partially every 15 minutes schedule. It provides access to nearby cities such as Mainz, Rüsselsheim, Frankfurt, Hanau and Offenbach am Main and smaller towns that are on the way.

  • Bus

The city's public transportation service ESWE Verkehr connects all city districts to downtown by 45 bus lines in the daytime and 9 bus lines in the night. Five more bus lines, operated by the public transportation service of the city of Mainz, connects Wiesbaden's districts Kastel and Kostheim to Mainz downtown.

Airports[edit]

Aerial view of Frankfurt Airport

The city can easily be accessed from around the world via Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt am Main) which is located 15 km (8 mi) east of Wiesbaden. The airport has four runways and serves 265 non-stop destinations. Run by transport company Fraport it ranks among the world's 10 busiest airports by passenger traffic and is the second busiest airport by cargo traffic in Europe. The airport also serves as a hub for Condor and as the main hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa. Depending on whether total passengers or flights are used, it ranks second or third busiest in Europe alongside London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport in 2011 was 56.5 million.

The airport can be reached by car or train and has two railway stations, one for regional and one for long-distance traffic. The S-Bahn lines S8 and S9 (direction Offenbach Ost or Hanau Hbf) departing at the regional train station take 30 minutes from the airport to Wiesbaden Central Station, the ICE trains departing at the long-distance railway station take also 30 minutes to the central station.

Despite the name, Frankfurt Hahn Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn) is not located anywhere near Frankfurt but is instead situated approximately 100 km (62 mi) from the city in Lautzenhausen (Rhineland-Palatinate). Hahn Airport is a major base for Low-cost carrier Ryanair. This airport can be reached by car or bus. The nearest train station is in Traben-Trarbach, it is ca. 17 km (11 mi) from the airport, on foot. The roads are not lit.

Port[edit]

There are small container port operations nearby on the Rhine and Main rivers.

Military[edit]

Lucius D. Clay Kaserne (Formerly Wiesbaden Army Airfield or WAAF) is located adjacent to Wiesbaden-Erbenheim and is home to the US Army in Europe (USAREUR) headquarters, the 5th Signal Command and the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade. Construction of a new computer center and access point have still to be completed. The airfield was one of the points of origin for flights to Berlin in support of Operation Vittles (the Berlin airlift) during the Soviet blockade of Berlin. General Clay, the commander of the US occupation zone in Germany, was the architect of the airlift.

Economy[edit]

Wiesbaden hosts a number of international companies, which have their German or European headquarters here, for example, Abbott, CSC, Ferrari, Federal-Mogul, Melbourne IT, Norwegian Cruise Line and SCA. Several German companies also have their headquarters in Wiesbaden, including SGL Carbon, Dyckerhoff, Kion and DBV-Winterthur and R + V Versicherung. Wiesbaden is also home to the "Industriepark Kalle-Albert", an industrial park in the southern quarter of Biebrich. It is one of the largest in Germany with over 80 companies from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, including Agfa-Gevaert, Clariant, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Shin-Etsu Chemical. The park was founded by chemical company Hoechst AG in 1997.

In addition, a large number of Hessian ministries are located in Wiesbaden.

At approximately €77,500, Wiesbaden has the second largest gross domestic product per inhabitant in Hesse, after Frankfurt, making it one of the richest cities in Germany.[43] The purchasing power per inhabitant is €22,500.[44]

Events[edit]

International May Festival[edit]

The International May Festival is an annual arts festival presented by the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden every May. Established in 1896, it is one of the most distinguished international theatre and music festivals in the world. The festival features performances of plays, musicals, operas, and ballets. Concerts from a wide array of music are featured, as are artistic circus acts and modern dance presentations. Lectures, recitals, cabaret performances, and readings are also featured.[45]

Rheingau Wine Festival[edit]

The wines and sparkling wines of the close Rheingau are presented annually at the ten-day festival in August, Rheingauer Weinwoche (Rheingau Wine Week) around the Wiesbaden City Hall, on the Schlossplatz (Palace Square), the square Dern’sches Gelände and in the pedestrian area. At 118 booths, Rheingau and Wiesbaden vintners offer their wine and sparkling wine and invite to discover the already well known and favored, but also new vintages. Every year thousands of visitors use this opportunity to get acquainted with Rheingau Riesling wines and all their various facets and flavors. Regional specialities compatible with the wines are offered as well. A diversified musical program entertains the wine festival guests. Initiated more than 30 years ago by the Rheingau vintners, this wine festival has a long tradition.

Shooting Star Market[edit]

Wiesbaden’s Sternschnuppenmarkt is located at the central Schlossplatz and the neighbouring streets of the parliamentary building, old town hall and market church. The Sternschnuppenmarkt takes place from the end of November until December 23 every year and is open from Monday until Thursday 10:30 – 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 10:30 – 9:30 pm, and Sunday 12:00 – 9:00 pm.

The market is related to the city arms of Wiesbaden: the colours blue and gold and the three lilies are characteristic. Four gates and an illuminated floral roof symbolizing Fleur-de-lis, consisting of twelve over ten metre high and twelve metre wide luminous lilies, emboss the Sternschnuppenmarkt.

Over 110 booths are decorated in oriental style, coloured blue and gold, offering Christmas style goods, arts and crafts as well as nostalgic carousels and a toy train. A Christmas tree more than 28 metres tall is decorated with 1000 blue and golden ties, 2500 electric bulbs and 30 flash bulbs. The nativity scene displays life-sized wooden figures.

Rheingau Musik Festival[edit]

From the beginning in 1988 the Rheingau Musik Festival has staged summer concerts in the Marktkirche and in the concert hall of the Kurhaus now named Friedrich-von-Thiersch-Saal.

Wiesbaden pedestrian zone 2005.

Sport[edit]

Since 2007 Wiesbaden has been home to SV Wehen Wiesbaden, an association football team that formerly played in nearby Taunusstein.

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Wiesbaden maintains official partnerships with 14 cities.[46] Town twinnings between Wiesbaden and other cities began with Klagenfurt in 1930, one of the first town-twinnings in Germany.

Coat of arms[edit]

Wiesbaden's coat of arms features fleurs-de-lys, stylized representations of the city's heraldic symbol, the lily. The blazon is: "Azure, two and one fleurs-de-lys Or".

Notable residents[edit]

Notable people born in Wiesbaden include:

Others who have resided in Wiesbaden include:

  • Richard Wagner settled in Biebrich (now part of Wiesbaden) in 1861, after the political ban against him in Germany was lifted. It was there that he began work on Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
  • Max Reger studied in Wiesbaden.
  • Priscilla Presley (Beaulieu at the time) lived in Wiesbaden with her parents (her father was an Air Force Officer stationed here). It was here that she met Elvis Presley – she was 14 years old at the time, Elvis was 24.
  • Reese Witherspoon lived in Wiesbaden with her parents (her father worked for the U.S. military here).
  • Peter Carl Fabergé, fled Russia to Germany, settled first in Bad Homburg and then in Wiesbaden.
  • Mickey Rourke resides in Wiesbaden at least part-time with his Russian-born girlfriend Anastassija Makarenko.
  • Debby Ryan, American actress, lived in Wiesbaden for three years (her father was in the military)
  • Schoolboy Q, American rapper, was born in Wiesbaden (parents were in the military).

Famous visitors[edit]

  • Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who suffered from an acute gambling compulsion, allegedly lost his travelling money in Wiesbaden's Spielbank casino in 1865. The experience became the inspiration of his 1866 novel The Gambler (Russian Игрок), set in the fictitious place "Roulettenburg". Some historians have disputed this account, saying that Bad Homburg was the location for Dostoyevsky's real-life misfortune.

Rivalry with Mainz[edit]

Mainz, on the opposite side of the Rhine river, is Wiesbaden's archrival – the two cities are the capitals of their respective Bundesländer, and citizens of both cities jokingly refer to those on the other one as "living on the wrong side of the river".

Fictional references[edit]

In the 1983 American television movie The Day After, Wiesbaden was the first city to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon during the escalating war between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces that eventually leads to a full scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union.

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Die Bevölkerung der hessischen Gemeinden". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). July 2013. 
  2. ^ By October 1, 2013 the complete US military community has 19.800 inhabitants: soldiers 3.100, US-civil employees 3.900, civil employees with german passport 1.200, otherwise family members and retirees. Col. David Carstens, cdr. Wiesbaden garrison, in a german local press release: http://www.wiesbadener-kurier.de/nachrichten/politik/hessen/13496600.htm
  3. ^ Heinrich-Verlag GmBH (2011). Wiesbaden: For Old Friends and New. Heinrich-Verlag GmBH. p. 4. ISBN 978-3-89889-167-7. 
  4. ^ Wiesbadener Tagblatt. September 18, 2008
  5. ^ "Weather Information for Wiesbaden". Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  6. ^ wiesbaden.de
  7. ^ Csysz, Walter: Wiesbaden in der Römerzeit. Aalen: Theiss editors, 2000
  8. ^ Heinrich-Verlag GmBH (2011). Wiesbaden: For Old Friends and New. Heinrich-Verlag GmBH. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-89889-167-7. 
  9. ^ Heinrich-Verlag GmBH (2011). Wiesbaden: For Old Friends and New. Heinrich-Verlag GmBH. p. 12. ISBN 978-3-89889-167-7. 
  10. ^ a b Heinrich-Verlag GmBH (2011). Wiesbaden: For Old Friends and New. Heinrich-Verlag GmBH. p. 80. ISBN 978-3-89889-167-7. 
  11. ^ The Last Offensive by Charles B. MacDonald, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 71-183070
  12. ^ "Wiesbaden ceremonies mark key milestones in U.S. Army Europe transition". Eur.army.mil. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  13. ^ Heinrich-Verlag GmBH (2011). Wiesbaden: For Old Friends and New. Heinrich-Verlag GmBH. pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-3-89889-167-7. 
  14. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Mitte, September 2009
  15. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Nordost, September 2009
  16. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Rheingauviertel, September 2009
  17. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Südost, September 2009
  18. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Westend, September 2009
  19. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Auringen, September 2009
  20. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Biebrich, September 2009
  21. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Bierstadt, September 2009
  22. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Breckenheim, September 2009
  23. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Delkenheim, September 2009
  24. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Dotzheim, September 2009
  25. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Erbenheim, September 2009
  26. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Frauenstein, September 2009
  27. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Heßloch, September 2009
  28. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Igstadt, September 2009
  29. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Klarenthal, September 2009
  30. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Kloppenheim, September 2009
  31. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Mainz-Amöneburg, September 2009
  32. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Mainz-Kastel, September 2009
  33. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Mainz-Kostheim, September 2009
  34. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Medenbach, September 2009
  35. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Naurod, September 2009
  36. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Nordenstadt, September 2009
  37. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Rambach, September 2009
  38. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Schierstein, September 2009
  39. ^ Landeshauptstadt WiesbadenOrtsbezirk Sonnenberg, September 2009
  40. ^ Die Wiesbadener Oberbürgermeister seit dem Bau des neuen Rathauses (1886)
  41. ^ Heinrich-Verlag GmBH (2011). Wiesbaden: For Old Friends and New. Heinrich-Verlag GmBH. p. 10. ISBN 978-3-89889-167-7. 
  42. ^ It features a wide variety of businesses from restaurants to hotels to banks.Heinrich-Verlag GmBH (2011). Wiesbaden: For Old Friends and New. Heinrich-Verlag GmBH. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-89889-167-7. 
  43. ^ wiesbaden.de
  44. ^ IHK Wiesbaden
  45. ^ "International May Festival". staatstheater-wiesbaden.de. 
  46. ^ "Wiesbaden's international city relations". Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  47. ^ "Association Suisse des Communes et Régions d’Europe". L'Association suisse pour le Conseil des Communes et Régions d'Europe (ASCCRE) (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  48. ^ "Ghent Zustersteden". Stad Gent (in Dutch). City of Ghent. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  49. ^ "Medmestno in mednarodno sodelovanje". Mestna občina Ljubljana (Ljubljana City) (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2013-07-27. 

External links[edit]