Rhineland-Palatinate: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the German Bundesland Rhineland-Palatinate, or Rheinland-Pfalz. For the historical territory of the Elector Palatine, see Electoral Palatinate. For the 19th century territory, see Upper Palatinate (also known as Oberpfalz). For other uses, see Palatinate (disambiguation).
—  State of Germany  —


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 49°54′47″N 7°27′0″E / 49.91306°N 7.45°E / 49.91306; 7.45
Country Germany
Capital Mainz
 - Minister-President Kurt Beck (SPD)
 - Governing party SPD
 - Votes in Bundesrat 4 (of 69)
 - Total 19,847.39 km2 (7,663.1 sq mi)
Population (2007-09-30)[1]
 - Total 4,049,000
 - Density 204/km2 (528.4/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code DE-RP
GDP/ Nominal € 97 billion (2005)
Website rlp.de

Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of Germany. It has an area of 19,846 square kilometres (7,663 sq mi) and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz (pronounced [ˈʁaɪnlant ˈpfalts]).



The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate was established on 30 August 1946. It was formed from the northern part of the French Occupation Zone, which included parts of Bavaria (the Rhenish Palatinate), the southern parts of the Prussian Rhine Province (including the District of Birkenfeld which formerly belonged to Oldenburg), parts of the Prussian Province of Nassau (see Hesse-Nassau), and parts of Hesse-Darmstadt (Rhinehessen on the western banks of the Rhine); the new state was legally confirmed by referendum on 18 May 1947.


Situated in western Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate borders (from the north and clockwise) North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, France, Saarland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

The largest river in the state is the Rhine, which forms the border with Baden-Württemberg and Hesse in the southeast before flowing through the northern part of Rhineland-Palatinate. The Rhine Valley is bounded by mountain chains and forms a fascinating landscape containing some of the most historically significant places in Germany.

The Eifel and Hunsrück mountain chains are found on the west bank of the Rhine in northern Rhineland-Palatinate, while the Westerwald and Taunus mountains are found on the east bank. The hilly lands in the southernmost region of the state are covered by the Palatinate forest and the Palatinate.

These mountain chains are separated from each other by several tributaries of the Rhine: the Mosel, the Lahn and the Nahe.

See also List of places in Rhineland-Palatinate.


Catholic Church 45.7 %[2], Evangelical Church in Germany 31.4 %[3].


Every five years, all Germans residing in the State over the age of 18 elect the members of the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag. This regional parliament or legislature then elects the premier and confirms the cabinet members. Rhineland-Palatinate is the only German Bundesland to have a cabinet minister for winegrowing (Ministry of Economy, Traffic, Agriculture and Winegrowing)


List of Minister-presidents of Rhineland-Palatinate

Minister-presidents of Rhineland-Palatinate
No. Name Born-Died Party affiliation Begin of Tenure End of Tenure
1 Wilhelm Boden 1890–1961 CDU June 13, 1947 July 9, 1947
2 Peter Altmeier 1899-1977 CDU 1947 1969
3 Helmut Kohl *1930 CDU 1969 1976
4 Bernhard Vogel *1932 CDU 1976 1988
5 Carl-Ludwig Wagner *1930 CDU 1988 1991
6 Rudolf Scharping *1947 SPD 1991 1994
7 Kurt Beck *1949 SPD 1994 incumbent

See also: List of Rhineland-Palatinate Cabinet Members.

26 March 2006 state election

See also:Rhineland-Palatinate state election, 2006

Kurt Beck (SPD) remained Minister-President, winning an outright majority. Beck offered the FDP to continue the coalition ("red-yellow"). The FDP, however, declined and went into opposition. The Alliance '90/The Greens lost their representation in the State Parliament.

Party Party List votes Vote percentage Total Seats Seat percentage
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 750,390 45.2% 53 52.5%
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 668,610 32.8% 38 37.6%
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 134,709 8.0% 10 9.9%
Alliance '90/The Greens 86,255 4.98% 0 0.0%
Electoral Alternative for Labor and Social Justice (WASG) 47,352 2.7% 0 0.0%
All Others 45,010 2.6% 0 0.0%
Totals 1,732,326 100.0% 101 100.0%


Rhineland-Palatinate is divided into 24 districts, formerly grouped into the three administrative regions: Koblenz, Trier and Rheinhessen-Pfalz.

Since 2000, the employees and assets of the Bezirksregierungen form the Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion Trier (Supervisory and Service Directorate Trier) and the Struktur- und Genehmigungsdirektionen (Structural and Approval Directorates) Nord in Koblenz and Süd in Neustadt (Weinstraße). These administrations execute their authority over the whole state, i. e. the ADD Trier oversees all schools.

Rhineland p map (1).png
Map of the districts of Rhineland-Palatinate:

  1. Ahrweiler
  2. Altenkirchen
  3. Alzey-Worms
  4. Bad Dürkheim
  5. Bad Kreuznach
  6. Bernkastel-Wittlich
  7. Birkenfeld
  8. Bitburg-Prüm
  1. Cochem-Zell
  2. Vulkaneifel
  3. Donnersbergkreis
  4. Germersheim
  5. Kaiserslautern
  6. Kusel
  7. Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis
  8. Mainz-Bingen
  1. Mayen-Koblenz
  2. Neuwied
  3. Rhein-Hunsrück
  4. Rhein-Lahn
  5. Südliche Weinstraße
  6. Südwestpfalz
  7. Trier-Saarburg
  8. Westerwaldkreis

Every district is composed of numerous municipalities, which can consist of cities, villages, or groups of villages known as Verbandsgemeinden. Furthermore there are twelve urban districts which are identified on the map with letters:

  1. Frankenthal (F)
  2. Kaiserslautern (Ka)
  3. Koblenz Coblenz (Ko)
  4. Landau (La, the main city and an enclave)
  5. Ludwigshafen (Rheinpfalz-Kreis) (L)
  6. Mainz (M)
  7. Neustadt (Weinstraße) (N)
  8. Pirmasens (P)
  9. Speyer Spires (S)
  10. Trier (T)
  11. Worms (W)
  12. Zweibrücken (Z)


Agriculture and viticulture

Rhineland-Palatinate is Germany's leading producer of wine. In terms of grape cultivation as well as wine export Rhineland-Palatinate is the leading federal state. Its capital, Mainz, may be called the capital of the German wine industry, with the home of the German Wine Institute, the German Wine Fund in the Haus des Deutschen Weines (House of the German Wine), as well as the venue of the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter Wine Bourse, which brings together the top winemakers of Germany and the wine merchants of the world.

Six out of all thirteen wine regions for quality wine in Germany, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Mosel, Nahe, Mittelrhein and Ahr are located in Rhineland-Palatinate. Due to this fact 65% to 70% of the whole production output of wine grapes in Germany have their origin within this federal state. 13,000 wine producers generate 80% to 90% of the German wine export, which was 2.6 million hectoliters in 2003.

Traditional grape varieties as well as a wide range of varieties developed during the last 125 years are characteristic for the region. Classical white varieties are cultivated at 63,683 hectares (157,360 acres). These comprise the famous Rieslings 14,446 hectares (35,700 acres), Müller-Thurgau (8,663 hectares (21,410 acres)), Silvaner (3,701 hectares (9,150 acres)) and Kerner (3,399 hectares (8,400 acres)).

The share of red varieties grew constantly during the last decades and amounts to 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres). Dornfelder, a new breed, is the leading red grape cultivated on 7,626 hectares (18,840 acres), which is more than a third. Blauer Portugieser (4,446 hectares (10,990 acres)) and Spätburgunder (3,867 hectares (9,560 acres)) show also appreciable cultivated shares.[4]

Beside these Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay as white varieties and Regent and St. Laurent as red varieties are increasing their share throughout the years, as the growing conditions improve in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The land supports the wine industry by providing a comprehensive consultancy and education program in the service supply centers (German: DLR) of the land. The Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding and also the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute are fully or even partially financed by the land. Many well known new breeds like Morio-Muskat, Bacchus, Optima and Regent have been created in these institutes.

The world wide leader in sparkling wine production, producing 245 million bottles in 2006, is the renowned Schloss Wachenheim Group. This company has its roots and its operations at different places in Rhineland-Palatinate and is headquartered in Trier.[5]

Other renowned sparkling wine producers like Kupferberg, Deinhard and Henkell also had their roots in the land, but now belong to companies outside this federal state, due to business consolidation.


Important sectors are the chemical industry with the largest chemical company in the world (BASF), headquartered in Ludwigshafen, the pharmaceutical industry with Boehringer Ingelheim in Ingelheim am Rhein and the mechanical engineering for important car manufacturers like Opel (engines in Kaiserslautern) or the biggest European truck manufacturer Daimler-Truck-Group in Wörth am Rhein, as well as Stabilus, a manufacturer of shock absorbers and world market leader in pneumatic springs and Schottel for nautical engineering. Cookie and cracker specialist Griesson - de Beukelaer is one of the leading biscuit manufacturers in Germany. Bitburger is one of the major brewers in Germany and the Gerolsteiner Brunnen is also a leader in its sector, the mineral water bottlers. The 17th-century brewery Königsbacher is in Koblenz. The famous electronic organ manufacturer Wersi is headquartered in Halsenbach.

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is the only international passenger airport in RP.


Rhineland-Palatinate has supplied immigrants to many parts of the world. The names of the villages of New Paltz, Palatine Bridge and German Flatts, New York and Palatine, Illinois attest to settlements of Palatine Germans. The Hunsrückischen dialect in Brazil also bears testimony to an immigrant community.

The Pennsylvania Dutch spoken by the Amish people in the United States is (among other dialects) derived from the German dialect spoken in the Rhineland-Palatinate, which many Palatine refugees brought to the colony in the early decades of the 1700s.

Certain colonies in the United States were settled by major groups of poor Palatines—then refugees in England—passage paid for by Queen Anne of Great Britain to reduce the number of impoverished families who had taken refuge in London. In 1710 the English used ten ships to transport nearly 3,000 Germans to the colony of New York. Many died en route, as they had been weakened by disease. They were settled in work camps along the Hudson River, where they developed naval stores for the English to work off their passage. Churches set up in both the East and West Camps provided some of the earliest population records in New York. In 1723 the first hundred heads of families were allowed to acquire land west of Little Falls, New York along the Mohawk River, in what was called the Burnetsfield Patent after the governor. This became Herkimer County. The Germans and their descendants were important in the defense of the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolutionary War.

One of the most notable is New Bern, one of the earliest North Carolina colonies settled in 1710 by about 400 Palatines (650 left Germany, but about half died in passage) and 100 Swiss. This venture was orchestrated by the Swiss-born Christoph von Graffenried after purchasing more than 19,000 acres (7,700 ha) from the British Proprieters of Carolana (later called Carolina).

See also


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Central Europe : Germany : Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhine Valley
Rhine Valley

Rhineland-Palatinate (German: Rheinland-Pfalz) is a state of Germany. The largest wine producing area in Germany, it is home to 6 of the 9 wine-producing districts in Germany and is full of museums, exhibitions and castles.

  • Rhine Valley: famously scenic section of the Rhine, much of it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Moselle: The Moselle river glides peacefully through the Moselle valley, decorated with castles and romantic wine villages on its way.
  • Eifel: vulcanic landscapes and blue crater lakes makes the Eifel region a special experience.
  • Rheinhessen: is Germany`s largest wine-making region. The region has urban cities like Mainz and Worms within its borders, in addition to Mediterranean-like wine villages.
  • Ahr: Wine and a good health are close themes in a region where medicinal springs bubble up from the earth.
  • Pfalz: The weather treats this region particularly well, and pink almond blossom appears every spring to please the senses.
  • Hunsrück: offers the opportunity to follow the footsteps of the Romans and the Celts, exploring their ancient settlement sites in these hills.
  • Westerwald: The perfect region for hikers, with a new long-distance walking trail recently been opened, the "Westerwald-Steig".
  • Nahe: The Nahe region has been blessed with natural riches. The river Nahe passes a region whose fruity, aromatic wines fascinate lovers of the grape.
  • Mainz: The biggest city in the Rhineland-Palatinate. It was founded by the Romans and their legacy is still visible in many places around the town. It is also the home of Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, who also has his own museum in the city.
  • Koblenz: Famous for the "German Corner" (Deutsches Eck), the meeting-point of the two rivers Rhine and Moselle. Besides various churches and museums, the highlight-event every year is the "Rhine in flames", a spectacular firework that filles the sky with beautiful colors.
  • Ludwigshafen: With the biggest chemical factory in the world, Ludwigshafen is no health spa.
  • Kaiserslautern: offers good opportunities for leisure, sports and shopping, with a lively inner city. Its famous football-team also attracts football-fans from all over.
  • Neustadt an der Weinstrasse: is situated in the heart of the Palatinate region, including a number of vineyards, castles and the chance to taste some really good wine.
  • Speyer: largest romanesque Cathedral in the world, UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980. In Speyer you also find the Historical Museum and the Museum of Technology, both worth a visit.
  • Trier: In Roman times Trier had thermal baths, places of assembly and an amphitheatre; today the colossal Porta Nigra town gate, the imperial baths and the impressive basilica keep that history alive. Trier is also the largest Roman city north of the Alps.
  • Worms: Worms is every year the host of the "Backfischfest", Rhineland-Palatinate's biggest wine festival and fair. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city.

Get in

By Train If traveling into Germany by train, Rhineland-Palatinate is easily accessible from Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart.

By Plane The international Hahn Airport is situated in the Rhineland-Palatinate. Zweibrucken Airport also has regular scheduled flights to and from Berlin Schoenfeld and London Stansted.

Get around

The region has very good connections by train or bus, and all destinations and attractions are easily reachable. Koblenz, Ludwigshafen, Kaiserslautern, Speyer and the other romantic cities are easy to reach via train, and in the cities you can also move forewards with a bicycle, which is often as rental-bike available. You can also cruise up or down the Rhine between Koblenz and Mainz; see Rhine Valley for details. A boat trip that will be a memorable experience forever. Several car-rental opportunities are to be found in the region, also a practical possability to get around easily.


Palatinate Forest

The Palatinate Forest is the biggest coherent forest in middle Europe; it is a biospehere reserve.

Speyer Cathedral

The Speyer Cathedral is the biggest romanuesque church worldwide; its foundation stone was laid in 1030. It is the resting place of 7 salian emperors.


The Palatinate Forest hides over 50 castles and ruins that were mostly destroyed in the War of the Grand Alliance, for example:

Castle Trifels - Castle where Richard Lionheart of England was held as a hostage and the place where the imperial regalia was stored

Limburg Monastery

Castle Lindenbrunn

Castle Berwartstein

German Wine Route

The German Wine Route is the oldest wine route worldwide; it runs through the biggest winegrowing area in Germany, the Palatinate. The western side is protected by the Palatinate Forest, on the eastern side lies the Rhine rift.


The Rhineland-Palatinate region is ideal for outdoor activities like Hiking, Biking, Golf, Nordic Walking, Camping or whatever the heart desires. An important history gives the chance to experience old times, through a range of museums, castles, churches and different exhibitions. There are also the possability to sleep over in old castles, and live the life of the old empires. Special Events like for instance Rhine in flames, wine festivals, christmas markets and concerts are also to be mentioned.


Seehotel Maria Laach: www.seehotel-maria-laach.de, Zum Grünen Kranz: www.gruenerkranz.com, Pinger Hotels & Apartments: www.pingerhotels.de, Youtel - Jugendhotel Bitburg: www.youtel.de, Diehl`s Hotel: www.diehls-hotel.de, Hotel Karl Müller: www.hotel-karl-mueller.de, Moselromantikhotel Kessler-Meyer: www.hotel-kessler-meyer.de

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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Proper noun




  1. One of the component states of Germany according to the current administrative division of the nation.


See also


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