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Wiesbaden
Luisenplatz in Wiesbaden with the Bonifatiuskirche in the background
Luisenplatz in Wiesbaden with the Bonifatiuskirche in the background
Coat of arms of Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is located in Germany
Wiesbaden
Coordinates 50°5′0″N 8°15′0″E / 50.083333°N 8.25°E / 50.083333; 8.25
Administration
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Darmstadt
District Urban district
Town subdivisions 26 boroughs
Lord Mayor Helmut Müller (CDU)
Governing parties CDUFDPGreens
Basic statistics
Area 203.9 km2 (78.7 sq mi)
Elevation 115 m  (377 ft)
Population  275,422  (31 December 2008)[1]
 - Density 1,351 /km2 (3,498 /sq mi)
Founded 6 AD
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate WI
Postal codes 65001 - 65207, 55240 - 55252
Area codes 0611, 06122, 06127, 06134
Website wiesbaden.de
Location of the town of Wiesbaden within Hesse
Map

Wiesbaden is a city in southwestern Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens (mostly associated with the American military). Wiesbaden, together with the cities of Frankfurt am Main 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 literally means "meadow baths". At one time, Wiesbaden boasted 27 hot springs. Fifteen of the springs are still flowing today.[2]

Contents

Geographical Setting

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 lies about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the Rhine, in 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).

The Wiesbaden municipality covers an area of 204 square kilometers. 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).

History

The Heidenmauer ("Heathen Wall") is the last remnants of the Roman aqueduct of Aquae Mattiacorum. It was formerly seen as an uncompleted defense wall, hence the designation.

Classical antiquity

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 A.D. 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 very fashionable around the turn of BC/AD among women in Rome)[citation needed].

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 Alamanni gained control of the Wiesbaden area and were in charge of its defense against other Germanic tribes.

Middle ages

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

Due to its participation in the uprisings of the 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 granting a concession for gambling in Wiesbaden. In 1810, the Wiesbaden Casino (German: Spielbank) was opened in the old Kurhaus. Gambling would later be 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 12 July 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.

The Marktkirche's 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).

In the subsequent period, Wiesbaden experienced growth as a spa, convention city, and administrative seat. 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 choose Wiesbaden as their retirement seat, as it offered leisure and medical treatment alike. 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)

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 1200 Wiesbaden Jews were deported and murdered.

General Ludwig Beck of 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

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 Walter 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 and approximately 1,700 people lost their lives.

Wiesbaden was captured by U.S. Army forces on 28 March 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.[3]

Cold War and contemporary history

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 constant rumour that the U.S. Army Air Force spared the town due to its scheduled function as 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. Army's 1st Armored Division is still headquartered at the Wiesbaden Army Airfield, just off the Autobahn toward Frankfurt. Smaller supporting American kasernes and housing areas are scattered around the city. More Americans are moving in from bases scheduled to be closed such as Darmstadt and Heidelberg.[citation needed]

Bathing and Gambling

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.

Main sights

Panorama of Wiesbaden as seen from the Neroberg

The Palace Square

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

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 Hessian State Theater, built between 1892 and 1894.

St. Bonifatius

The first church for the catholic community was built from 1845 until 1849 by Philipp Hoffmann in Gothic Revival style and dedicated to St. Bonifatius.[4]

St. Elizabeth's Church

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

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.

Boroughs of Wiesbaden

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

Borough Population[1] Area (ha)
Mitte (Center) 21,427 153
Nordost (Northeast) 22,598 1,944
Rheingauviertel 19,504 247
Südost (Southeast) 18,832 662
Westend 16,497 67
Totals for inner boroughs 98,858 3,224

Suburban Boroughs

Borough Incorporation Date Population[1] Area (ha)
Biebrich October 10, 1926 36,792 1,299
Schierstein October 10, 1926 10,094 943
Sonnenberg October 10, 1926 7,948 834
Bierstadt April 1, 1928 12,319 922
Dotzheim April 1, 1928 26,114 1,827
Erbenheim April 1, 1928 9,238 1,127
Frauenstein April 1, 1928 2,373 1,065
Hessloch April 1, 1928 721 154
Igstadt April 1, 1928 2,094 726
Kloppenheim April 1, 1928 2,298 539
Rambach April 1, 1928 2,235 992
Mainz-Amöneburg August 10(11), 1945 1,464 371
Mainz-Kastel August 10, 1945 12,122 951
Mainz-Kostheim August 10, 1945 13,897 953
Klarenthal September 11, 1964 10,093 613
Auringen January 1, 1977 3,361 312
Breckenheim January 1, 1977 3,472 640
Delkenheim January 1, 1977 5,020 743
Medenbach January 1, 1977 2,535 447
Naurod January 1, 1977 4,441 1,099
Nordenstadt January 1, 1977 8,000 773
Totals for outer boroughs - 176,631 17,337
Totals for city - 275,489 20,390

Historical population

Population of Wiesbaden, 1521 to present
Year Population
1521 192 (village)
1629 915
1699 730
1722 1,329
1800 2,239
1840 11,648
1870 33,339
1900 86,086
1910 109,002
June 16, 1925 102,737
June 16, 1933 159,755
May 17, 1939 191,955
September 13, 1950 220,741
June 6, 1961 253,300
May 27, 1970 250,122
June 30, 1975 251,400
June 30, 1980 273,700
June 30, 1985 267,000
May 27, 1987 251,871
June 30, 1997 267,700
January 1, 2002 271,076
September 30, 2005 274,865

Mayors

  • 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- Helmut Müller

This information 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) )[5]

Transport

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 Hauptbahnhof or Frankfurt Airport long-distance station or Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Regional train and bus services are coordinated by the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund.

The city´s public transportation service ESWE Verkehr connects all city districts to downtown by 45 bus lines in the daytime and 10 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.

The A66, A671 and A643 autobahns directly service Wiesbaden, connecting to the nearby A3, A60 and A61.

The nearest airport is Frankfurt International Airport and discount airline flights are available at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport around an hour's drive to the southwest.

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

Military

The US Army Airfield, which is located in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, will be the new headquarters of the US Army in Europe. The US Army headquarters (now located in Heidelberg) will move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden-Erbenheim at the end of 2012. Many building and modernization projects started at the end of 2009. Construction of new housing area at the airfield began in December 2009. The groundbreaking for the new command center was in January 2010.

Events

Rheingau Wine Festival

Local wines and sparkling wine are the principal topics revolving around the Wiesbaden City Hall during this ten-day Rheingau Wine Festival in the month of August. The festival takes place in the immediate vicinity of the Wiesbaden palace square palace square, the square in front of the Marktkirche and the Market Square called “Dern’sches Gelände”. At 118 booths the 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 the Rheingau Riesling Wines with all its various facets and flavours. 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.

Twinkling Star Market

Wiesbaden’s Sternschnuppenmarkt is located at the central Schlossplatz and the neighbouring streets of the parliamentary building, old town hall and market church. The Sternschnuppen Markt takes place from the end of November until the 23rd December every year. opening hours: Monday till Thursday 10:30 – 9:00 pm, Friday – Saturday 10:30 – 9:30 pm, 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 an twelve metre wide luminous lily, emboss the Sternschnuppen Markt.

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. An over 28 metre high Christmas tree is decorated with 1000 blue and golden ties, 2500 electric bulbs and 30 flash bulbs. The nativity scene shows life-sized wooden figures.

Rheingau Musik Festival

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.

Sport

Since 2007 Wiesbaden has been home to the SV Wehen Wiesbaden football team, who formerly played in nearby Taunusstein.

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Wiesbaden is twinned with:

Coat-of-arms

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

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.
  • 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.

Famous Visitors

  • 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.
  • U.S. President John F. Kennedy visited Wiesbaden during a stay in Germany in June 1963.
  • U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited one of the U.S. military installations in Wiesbaden in July 1978 and again in January 1981 to visit with the former hostages of Iran. 444 days.
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his visit to Germany with a stay in Wiesbaden on May 28, 2003, meeting with Roland Koch, the state's Minister-President.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush made a stop in Wiesbaden during a visit to Germany on February 23, 2005 to talk to U.S. troops (U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division).

Rivalry with Mainz

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

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.

External links

References

Notes
  1. ^ a b c Bevölkerung in den Ortsbezirken am 31. Oktober 2008 (population statistics by borough, October 31, 2008). Official city government website. Source: Bestandsdatensatz "Einwohnerwesen", Bevölkerung am Ort der Hauptwohnung. Retrieved on 2008-12-11.
  2. ^ Wiesbadener Tagblatt. September 18, 2008
  3. ^ The Last Offensive by Charles B. MacDonald, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 71-183070
  4. ^ St. Bonifatius website, in German, pictured
  5. ^ Die Wiesbadener Oberbürgermeister seit dem Bau des neuen Rathauses (1886)
  6. ^ "Wrocław Official Website - Partnership Cities of Wrocław". Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg(in English and German) © 2007 Wrocław Municipality. http://www.wroclaw.pl/p/964/. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Wiesbaden [1] is the capital of the German State Hesse. Wiesbaden is a historic spa city which has catered to people from countries near and far for many centuries. Even the "old" Romans knew of the "Aquis Mattiacis".

Today it is part of the big Rhine Main area and profits from it's proximity to the Frankfurt Airport and the business center of Frankfurt. During peak times (trade fairs, conventions etc.) a lot of business travellers stay in Wiesbaden instead of Frankfurt and relax from the busy metropolis in this smaller city with a charming old city.

Get in

Wiesbaden is very well connected by many highways from Frankfurt, Cologne or Mainz. Trains travel frequently and are very enjoyable. Travel times by car are roughly 15 minutes (from Mainz), 30 minutes (from Frankfurt), or 2 hours (from Cologne / Köln).

From the Airport

A taxi from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to Wiesbaden costs around €60. Unless it's the middle of the night and you've missed the last train public transport (S-Bahn or Deutsche Bahn) is a much better deal at €3.70 one-way.

From the Terminal 1, follow the signs to the regional train train (Frankfurt(Main)Flughafen Regionalbahnhof) which is in the basement of the Airport building. Usually Wiesbaden is the terminal station for the S-Bahn/regional train so you can easily find the correct platform. Note: There are two train stations at the airport; in the basement the regioanl train station (S-Bahn & fast regional trains) and one for mid-/long-distance (Fernbahnhof) trains.

The long-distance train station is a longer walk (about an extra 7-12 minutes) and has much less frequent service to Wiesbaden.

Please see additional notes in the sections below regarding train tickets.

Buying RMV Tickets

Buying your ticket:

1. Look for the Blue-Green ticket machines labeled RMV. (Red machines are for long-distance DB trains). 2. Type the destination code first (ie 65 for Wiesbaden). Codes are fully listed on the machine, but for quick reference:

Wiesbaden 65 Frankfurt (City) 50 Frankfurt (Airport) 5090

3. Under or to the right of the number pad, look for the "Einzelfahrt" label. There are two buttons to the right of this label. 4. Press the left button for an Adult ticket; the screen should display €3.70 if you are at the Airport or €6.75 if you are in Frankfurt. 5. Insert € coins or bills. 6. Remove your ticket and change from the machine. The ticket is already validated and you can board the S8 or S9 for Wiesbaden. (S1 from Frankfurt city as well). 7. If you need to start over, press the red C button. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it!

By car

If you start in Frankfurt, take the A66 until Wiesbaden-Erbenheim (Exit 6). Here you follow the signs to Wiesbaden City Center and Wiesbaden Kurhaus.

If starting from the Frankfurt Airport follow signs for Wiesbaden, which takes you on the A3 until the Wiesbadener Kreuz, where you switch to the A66 until Exit 6.

Frankfurt-Wiesbaden

S-Bahns heading to Wiesbaden are S1, S8 and S9, all starting in Frankfurt. You can also take the Regionalbahn (regional train) or the ICE (which costs more). A one-way ticket from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden costs €6.75 (valid on S- and RB-trains). If you are travelling in a group, ask for group prices. Get to the train station a few minutes early to allow time to figure out the ticket machine; don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. On trains marked RB, IC, or ICE, you can buy a ticket from the conductor for a small additional charge compared to the ticket machine price. However, on S-trains (and other metro, regional, and intra-city trains) in Germany, there is no fare conductor, and you are expected to buy your ticket in advance from a machine. Such trains are patrolled regularly by fare auditors (sometimes plain-clothed, but always carrying identification). You will be fined €40 if found without a ticket on a train that doesn't have a fare conductor.

Cologne-Wiesbaden

If you are travelling to or from Cologne (Airport code CGN, also Köln) an unforgettable experience is the ICE high-speed train run. The direct Wiesbaden-Köln ICE reaches a top speed of nearly 300 kph. However, there are only two direct trains a day in both directions; the morning trains depart between 06:20 and 07:00, while the evening trains depart between 16:45 and 17:10. The direct trains have a travel time of between 1:04 and 1:16. There are several other indirect trains available with one connection; the travel times for these is between 1:36 and 2:16.

If you are able to buy a ticket three days or more in advance, you will get the best price on long-distance ICE trains with the "Savings Fare". Look for the red ticket machines at any big train station. Click the UK flag for English, then click on Savings Fare. More information and online purchase are available here: [2]

Train and Bus Links

Wiesbaden trains and busses operate under the RMV Travel Network (Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund). Full schedule and pricing details are available at [3].

Wiesbaden Bus information can also be found here: [4]

The German National railway, Deutsche Bahn, can be found at [5]

Get around

Once you are in the city centre it's pretty comfortable to just walk around. There's a main pedestrian area (Fußgängerzone) which is similar to an open-air mall, but more relaxed. Shops line the street and alleys, and it's mostly closed off to cars. Many shops, cafes and restaurants can be found in this area. Be sure to walk around the "Old City" (Altstadt) as well.

If you want to go further out of the city centre, you can use the developed bus system. Buses travel frequently, and on time! It is possible to buy tickets on the bus, just ask the driver (because of possible language-barrier issues, just say the name of the street you want to go to). Your trip will cost you a minimum of €1.40 (adult), but probably no more than €2.20 (one way). There's also a one day ticket, with which you can go wherever you want, available at the ticket machines for €5.50 and €3.25 for adults and children, respectively. Weekly tickets are available for €19, and have the added bonus of one other adult and all of your own children (up to 14 y.o.) travelling for free from 7PM weeknights, and all day Saturday and Sunday (and public holidays).

See

The Nerobergbahn is a water ballast funicular railway. It is the last and the one water ballast funicular in Germany. You can get tickets from the ticket controller

The most attractive building in Wiesbaden is the Kurhaus situated in the city center. Built for emperor Wilhelm around 1900 it serves as wellness and leisure time centre. It also offers a pretty garden where you can walk around or relax. Next to it are two further important buildings: the famous casino and the theatre.

The Bahá'í Temple or House of Worship [6] - While not located in Wiesbaden, it's in a small town called Langenhain, only about a 15 minute drive away through pleasant countryside and forest, and only one of eight such Temples around the world. It's open to the public every day of the week, with a service at 3PM on Sundays (also open to the public). The building is architecturally interesting, and has been likened to a lemon-squeezer :) If you're lucky the sun will shine through the 540 windows when you're inside - the effect can be quite breath-taking. There is also a small information centre with tea and coffee and welcoming hosts who speak English.

Do

Wiesbaden is famous for its spas. If you like saunaing and wellness you really have to plan one day for relaxing at the Kaiser-Friedrich Therme in the city center. This old spa (clothing free) lets you feel like Caesar with its old roman frescoes and its four saunas, swimming pool and whirlpools. Enjoy it!

Visit the "Red Baron" Manfred von Ricthofen's - and his brother Lothar's - grave. Von Richtofen flying a brilliant red Fokker Tri-plane made 80 aerial kills during WWI and became the leading fighter pilot of his age in the fledgling "art" of aerial combat. Recent forensic study indicates he was killed by an Australian soldier's rifle shot during a low-level dog fight. Von Richtofen is buried along with other family members in a cemetery in Wiesbaden. As a result of de-emphasizing Germany's militaristic history many locals do not know of von Richtofen's presence in their community. Enter the Sudfriedhof ("Southern") Cemetery on Siegfriedring Strasse. After you enter under the arches turn right on the gravel path. Just past the buildings on the right there is a semi-circlular gravel path that enters the Westhain Section. Follow the path counter-clockwise about 40 yards ( 35 meters ) to the most Northwestern point on the semi-circle (there is a map on the wall under the arched cemetery entrance - although the von Ricthofen family graves are not marked on it). Manfred, Lothar and other family members rest on the left side of the path - commemorated with a large stone family marker and individual stone markers in the ground. Manfred and Lothar both received the highest German military honor of its time - le pour le Merit.

Get a Massage [7]- Traditional Thai massage. A bit pricier than Thailand, but 17 EUR will buy you a half-an-hour back, neck and shoulder massage. Be prepared for a bit of back cracking! They have private "booths" separated only by hanging sheets, but you will find the atmosphere inside quiet and relaxing. It is imperative to tell them beforehand if you have any medical conditions. At the end of your massage they bring you a cup of jasmin tea and a hot cloth for your neck and shoulders which is very refreshing! You are also supplied with a clean set of clothes (loose-fitting pants and a t-shirt) to wear during the massage.

Visit the Nerotal Lookout - for a great view overlooking Wiesbaden. You can either drive up and park near the top, or take the Nerobergbahn [8](cable car) up to the top from Nerotal (Street off the end of Taunus St). Prices: Adults €2.20 one way, €3 return. Children €1.10 one way, €1.50 return. See their website for further details (timetable, group fares, etc).

See a Movie - There's only one cinema in Wiesbaden that plays English movies - and then only once a week (every Tuesday). It's one cinema company, but they have three cinemas across Wiesbaden, but the English movies usually play at the one in the centre of the city ("Hollywood"), just across from the McDonalds (opposite Karstadt). Their program is available online [9]. I believe prices are only €6 per ticket. Look out for posters with "O.V." on them - that stands for "Original Version" and means they're not dubbed! (All movies are dubbed in Germany so it's hard to find theatres that still play them in English)

  • Karstadt, Kirchgasse 35-43. A department store, the chain of which is found all throughout Germany. In addition to what you'd expect in such a store, there is also a restaurant cafe on one of the upper floors as well as a grocery store in the basement.  edit
  • Mall, Bahnhofsplatz (next to Wiesbaden's train station). An attractive mall with underground parking located right next to the Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof. Stores include Saturn (music, videos, electronics) and Lilien-Carré.  edit

Eat

1001 Nacht Persian food maybe a bit more expensive if you don't earn Euros, but definitely worth the extra cost. In the pedestrian area (main open shopping district in the centre of the city), street address: Langgasse 20-22

Vapiano[10] - An Italian restaurant chain that specialises in salad, pizza and pasta. Pasta is freshly made, and you can watch them prepare your food when you place your order. They have a set menu, but you are also free to "create your own" by choosing from the ingredients available. When you enter the restaurant each guest is presented with an electronic card which you hand over every time you order a dish or a drink - this is added to your tab and you pay upon leaving. Don't lose this card because you will be charged 50 EUR upon exit! Affordable dishes for around 7 EUR for pasta or pizza.

El Greco [11]- If you want to splurge and enjoy an amazing meal, this is the place to go! Highly recommended are their lamb dishes. Located at Sonnenberger St. 64.

Thai Express - located at the beginning of the Pedestrian, Langgasse 36. Affordable delicious Thai food for around €7-8 a dish. They also have the best homemade lemonade in town :)

  • Restaurant Zafferano (im Crowne Plaza Wiesbaden), Luisenstrasse 14-16 (65185 Wiesbaden), +49611 1620, [12]. Restaurant Zafferano  edit
  • Gestüt Renz, a nice Bar in the Nerostraße with events on the weekend Gestüt Renz
  • Motel One, next door to the Wiesbaden Hbf (Main Train Station) and reasonable at €49/night. [13]
  • Etap Hotel at €39/night
  • Gästehaus Veth, A small and welcoming Guesthouse starting with reasonable 40€ per night for a single room Pension - Gästehaus Veth
  • Hotel Drei Lilien, Spiegelgasse 3 (City Center), +49 (0)611 991780, [15]. Family run hotel with just 15 rooms right in the city center and within walking distance to the state theatre. Excellent fresh and hand made breakfast. Free wifi and own parking facilities  edit
  • Hotel Alexander [16]
  • Hotel Admiral [17]
  • Crowne Plaza Wiesbaden, Bahnhofstrasse 10-12 (65185 Wiesbaden), +49 611 1620, [18].  edit

(Part of Intercontinental Group which includes the Holiday Inn and Intercontinental Brands) "Business" Hotels such as Crowne Plaza are frequently empty at weekends. It is worth checking the hotel website for deals if you are visiting since although the rack rate at Crowne Plaza may be €300 B&B can be obtained for as little as €85

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

Proper noun

Wiesbaden

  1. The capital city of the state of Hesse, in Germany

German

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Wiesbaden

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Proper noun

Wiesbaden

  1. Wiesbaden

Simple English

Wiesbaden
Luisenplatz in Wiesbaden with the Bonifatiuskirche in the background

Wiesbaden
Coordinates 50°5′0″N 8°15′0″E / 50.083333°N 8.25°E / 50.083333; 8.25
Administration
Country Germany
State Hesse
Admin. region Darmstadt
District Urban district
Town subdivisions 26 districts
Lord Mayor Helmut Müller (CDU)
Governing parties CDUFDPGreens
Basic statistics
Area 204.1 km2 (78.8 sq mi)
Elevation 115 m  (377 ft)
Population  300,427  (30 July 2007)[1]
 - Density 1,472 /km2 (3,812 /sq mi)
Founded 6
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate WI
Postal codes 65001 - 65207, 55240 - 55252
Area codes 0611, 06122, 06127, 06134
Website wiesbaden.de
Location of the town of Wiesbaden within Hesse

Wiesbaden is a German city near Frankfurt am Main. It is the capital of the federal state of Hesse. Wiesbaden is situated on the right (north) bank of the Rhine (German: "Rhein"), near the city of Mainz (about 10 km (6.2 mi) away from Wiesbaden centre) the opposite side of the river, and a short distance, about 30 km (18.6 mi), from Frankfurt am Main, to the east. Wiesbaden has about 274,000 inhabitants (2005).

References

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