|Lord Mayor||Peter Jung (CDU)|
|Governing parties||CDU / SPD|
|Area||168.41 km2 (65.02 sq mi)|
|Population||349,470 (31 December 2011)|
|- Density||2,075 /km2 (5,375 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Wuppertal (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊpɐtaːl] ( listen)) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in and around the river Wupper valley, and is situated east of the city of Düsseldorf and south of the Ruhr area. With a population of approximately 350,000, it is the largest city in the Bergisches Land. Wuppertal is known for its steep slopes, its woods and parks, and its suspension railway, the Wuppertal Schwebebahn. Two-thirds of the total municipal area of Wuppertal is green space. From any part of the city, it is only a ten-minute walk to one of the public parks or woodland paths.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Wupper valley was one of the biggest industrial regions of continental Europe. The raising demand for coal from the textile mills and blacksmith shops laid roots for the expansion of the nearby Ruhrgebiet. Today, Wuppertal still is a major industrial centre, being home to industries such as textiles, metallurgy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, automobiles, rubber, vehicles and printing equipment.
The Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the European Institute for International Economic Relations are located in the city.
Wuppertal in its present borders was formed in 1929 by merging the early industrial cities of Barmen and Elberfeld with Vohwinkel, Ronsdorf, Cronenberg, Langerfeld, and Beyenburg. The initial name Barmen-Elberfeld was changed in a 1930 referendum to Wuppertal (“Wupper Valley”). The new city was administered within the Prussian Rhine Province.
Uniquely for Germany, it is a linear city, owing to the steep hillsides along the River Wupper. Its highest hill is the Lichtscheid, which is 351 metres above sea level. The dominant urban centres Elberfeld (historic commercial centre) and Barmen (more industrial) have formed a unified built-up area since 1850. In the following decades, “Wupper-Town” became the dominant industrial agglomeration of northwestern Germany. In the 20th century, this conurbation had been surpassed by Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr area, all with a more favourable topography.
During World War II, about 40% of buildings in the city were destroyed by Allied bombing, as were many other German cities and industrial centres. However, a large number of historic sites have been preserved, such as:
- Ölberg, literally “Oil mountain”, Germany’s largest original working class district, is protected as a historic monument. The name came about in the 1920s as the district continued using oil lamps while the surrounding bourgeois residential quarters were electrified. In traditional use, the name "Ölberg" refers to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
- Brill is one of Germany’s largest districts of Gründerzeit villas, i.e. middle class mansions built by industrial entrepreneurs in the second half of the 19th century.
The US 78th Infantry Division captured Wuppertal against scant resistance on 16 April 1945. After the last World War, the US held the intellectual ownership rights to Bayer and other German companies and organisations. Wuppertal became a part of the British Zone of Occupation, and subsequently part of the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia in West Germany.
Main sights include:
One of the city’s greatest attractions is the globally unique suspended monorail Wuppertaler Schwebebahn, which was established in 1901. The tracks are 8 m (26.25 ft) above the streets and 12 m (39.37 ft) above the Wupper River.
- Opera house Wuppertal (Opernhaus Wuppertal)
- Concerthall Stadthalle , a fine piece of turn-of-the-century architecture with outstanding acoustics (Stadthalle)
- Wuppertal Dance Theatre (Tanztheater Wuppertal), a world-famous centre of modern dance founded by the choreographer Pina Bausch
- Engels' house (Engels-Haus), 18th century-architecturally typical of the region, it houses a permanent display of materials associated with social entrepreneur and philosopher Friedrich Engels
- Wuppertal Zoo, a large, nicely landscaped zoo
- Botanischer Garten Wuppertal, a municipal botanical garden
- Arboretum Burgholz, an extensive arboretum
- Von der Heydt Museum is an important art gallery with works by 19th- and 20th-century artists. The first of Picasso’s works that ever appeared in public was displayed here.
- Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, a sculpture park with exhibition hall, founded by sculptor Tony Cragg
Wuppertal in the arts
- The play Die Wupper by Else Lasker-Schüler takes places in Elberfeld.
- The 2000 movie The Princess and the Warrior, by Tom Tykwer, was filmed in Wuppertal.
- In the 1974 Wim Wenders film Alice in the Cities, the main characters visit Wuppertal.
- A Lufthansa A340-600 D-AIHM (delivered 2006) is named after the city of Wuppertal. It primarily operates long-haul flights from Munich Airport.
- In the 2011 film Pina, several of the dance sequences take place in and around Wuppertal. In several sequences, the elevated tram is used as a setting, as well as a backdrop.
Notable people from Wuppertal
- Friedrich Engels, philosopher, historian, coauthor of the Communist Manifesto (with Karl Marx)
- Johannes Rau, former Federal President of Germany
- Alice Schwarzer, one of the leaders of the German second wave feminist movement
- Tom Tykwer, film director (Run Lola, Run, The Princess and the Warrior), cofounder of X-Filme syndicate
- Rita Süssmuth, former President of the German Parliament
- Horst Tappert, actor
- Linda Kisabaka, athlete
- Pina Bausch, choreographer
- Friedrich Bayer, founder of the Friedrich Bayer paint factory, later Bayer AG
- Arno Breker, sculptor
- Rudolf Carnap, philosopher of science
- Udo Dirkschneider, singer in heavy-metal band Accept
- George Dreyfus, bassoonist, composer
- Hermann Ebbinghaus, psychologist who studied memory
- Hans Knappertsbusch, orchestra conductor
- Hans Peter Luhn, computer scientist
- Else Lasker-Schüler, expressionist poet
- Harald Leipnitz, actor
- Ulrich Leyendecker, composer
- Reimar Lüst, astrophysicist
- Steffen Möller, satirist, soap-opera star and TV celebrity in Poland; the most popular German in Poland
- Tyron Montgomery, Oscar-winning film director
- Simone Osygus, swimmer
- Siegfried Palm, cellist, director of Hochschule für Musik Köln, Intendant of Deutsche Oper Berlin
- Julius Plücker, physicist
- Hans Singer, economist
- Helmut Thielicke, theologian
- Ferdinand Thun, American industrialist (Textile Machine Works of Wyomissing PA), born in Barmen
- Bettina Tietjen, television presenter
- Günter Wand, orchestra conductor
- Sulamith Wülfing, artist and illustrator
- Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald, noted innovators in modern improvised music
- Christoph Maria Herbst, actor
- Henrik Freischlader, blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer.
- Wolf Hoffmann, Metal guitarist,founder of Accept
In football, Wuppertal's most popular club is Wuppertaler SV, who currently play in the Regionalliga West, the fourth tier of the German football league system. Playing their home games at the Stadion am Zoo, the club, which was relegated from the 3rd Liga in 2009, looks back on a rich and eventful history, since it was established in a merger between the two leading Wuppertal clubs SSV Elberfeld 04 and TSG Vohwinkel 80 in 1954. The club spent a total of seven years in the first division of German football, three of which in the Bundesliga, which they were promoted to in 1972. In their first season in the nationwide first division, the club reached a remarkable fourth place and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first and only time in its history. After a first-round defeat by the Polish side Ruch Chorzow and another two widely unsuccessful Bundesliga campaigns, the club disappeared from the top flight again and has yet to return.
In handball, Wuppertal's currently most successful club is Bergischer HC playing in the 1st Bundesliga. BHC originates from a 2006 merge between LTV Wuppertal and rival SG Solingen from the nearby city of the same name. The club plays their home games at both Wuppertal's Uni-Halle (4,100 seats) and Solingen's Klingenhalle (2,600 seats).
Wuppertal's past most successful club are the aforementioned LTV Wuppertal. LTV spent most of their seasons in the 2nd and 3rd tier, before they merged with Wuppertaler SV's handball section in 1996, to form HSG LTV/WSV Wuppertal. The new handball combination promoted to the Handball-Bundesliga where they finished 8th, before dissolving again in 1998. However, the departure of Wuppertaler SV still allowed LTV Wuppertal, whose handball section were renamed HC Wuppertal, to play another three seasons in the Bundesliga, before returning to the 2nd division.
In volleyball, A!B!C Titans Berg. Land is the new name of Wuppertal's Volleyball-Bundesliga club, formerly the volleyball section of Bayer Wuppertal and briefly known as Wuppertal Titans. The club itself originated in Leverkusen and promoted to the Bundesliga in 1978. Reacting to low attendances, the eponymous Bayer AG decided to relocate the volleyball team to Wuppertal in 1992 where there also is a Bayer-funded club. Since the move, the club won various titles including the German championship in 1994 and 1997 and the German cup in 1995. Also, they finished as runner-up in the 1995-96 European Cup Winners' Cup, losing only to Greek side Olympiacos S.C. in the final. After the wide-reaching retreat of the Bayer AG from less popular professional sports in 2008, the club acquired its current name. There, however, still exists a cooperation between the former partners, especially in the amateur and youth sections.
Perhaps one of the most successful Wuppertal sports clubs was the women's basketball team of Barmer TV (known as BTV Wuppertal between 1994 and 2000 and BTV Gold-Zack Wuppertal between 2000 and 2002). The 11-time German champion and 12-time German cup winner won a remarkable nine back-to-back doubles between 1994 and 2002. In 1996, they also won the EuroLeague Women as the first and so far only German team, beating Italy's SFT Como in the final, and therefore even achieved a treble in that season. In 1997, they closely missed out on a back-to-back treble by losing to French side CJM Bourges in the EuroLeague final. In 2002, the club withdrew from the Bundesliga due to financial problems. One year later, the club's main sponsor Gold-Zack Werke filed for insolvency.
Wuppertal co-hosted the 1998 FIBA World Championship for Women as one of seven host cities.
In roller hockey, (also known as rink hockey) Wuppertal club RSC Cronenberg are current holders of the German championship and the German cup in both men's and women's competitions. In total, the men won eleven German championships and nine cups, the women nine championships and eight cups. The club plays its home games at the Alfred-Henckels-Halle.
Wuppertal hosted the 1997 Rink Hockey World Championship, the 2004 Ladies Rink Hockey World Championship, as well as the 1992 and 2010 Rink Hockey European Championship. In 2011, local club RSC Cronenberg are set to host the Ladies Rink Hockey European Championship.
Four institutions of higher education are in Wuppertal.
- University of Wuppertal (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
- FOM University of Applied Sciences
- Cologne University of Music, section Wuppertal
- College of Theology, Wuppertal/Bethel (Theologische Zentrum Wuppertal)
The privately financed Junior Uni is an in Germany uniquely initiative to educate youth from the age of 4 to 18 years in science outside the school program.
Wuppertal is well connected to the rail network. The town lies on the Cologne–Hagen and the Düsseldorf–Hagen railway lines, and is a stop for long-distance traffic. The central station is located in the district of Elberfeld. Regionalbahn trains and some Regional-Express trains also stop at Oberbarmen, Barmen, Ronsdorf and Vohwinkel. There are also S-Bahn stations in Langerfeld, Unterbarmen, Steinbeck, Zoologischer Garten and Sonnborn.
The rail services that operate on the mainline through the valley are the RE 4 (Wupper-Express), RE 7 (Rhein-Münsterland-Express), RE 13 (Maas-Wupper-Express), RB 47 (Der Müngstener), RB 48 (Rhein-Wupper Bahn) and three Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn services: the S 8, S 9 and S 68 (peak hours only). Every 30 minutes, it is served by a long-distance (Intercity-Express, InterCity, EuroCity or City Night Line) service in each direction.
With the exception of the line from Wuppertal to Remscheid (and continuing to Solingen and operated as the RB 47) and the Prince William Railway to Essen (now S-Bahn line S 9), all of the branch lines connecting to main line in the city of Wuppertal are now closed. This includes, among others, the Düsseldorf-Derendorf–Dortmund Süd railway (the Wuppertaler Nordbahn), the Burgholz Railway, the Wuppertal-Wichlinghausen–Hattingen railway, the Wupper Valley Railway and the Corkscrew Railway. Thus, there were once 31 stations in the Wuppertal area, including nine stations on the mainline.
There is also the Wuppertal Suspension Railway
Twin towns — sister cities
Wuppertal is twinned with:
Section of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway over the Wupper
Notes and references
- "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 31 December 2011.
- Marvin Brendel. "110 Jahre Aspirin" (in German). GeschichtsPuls. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "Official website Vorwerk - Kobold vacuum cleaners". Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "Official website European Institute for International Economic Relations". Retrieved 2013-03-02.
- Stanton, Shelby, World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939-1946, Stackpole Books (Revised Edition 2006), p. 147
- "Official website Junior Uni Wuppertal - Bergisches Land" (in german). Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- "Partnership towns of the City of Košice" (in Slovak). © 2007-2009 City of Košice Magistrát mesta Košice, Tr. SNP 48/A, 040 11 Košice. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Wuppertal|
- (German) Wuppertal official website
- Wuppertal travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Official website of the University of Wuppertal