Mannheim is located at the confluence of the Rhine and the Neckar in the northwestern corner of Baden-Württemberg. The Rhine separates Mannheim from the city of Ludwigshafen, just to the west of it in Rhineland-Palatinate, and the border of Baden-Württemberg with Hesse is just to the north. Mannheim is downstream along the Neckar from the city of Heidelberg.
Mannheim is unusual among German cities in that its streets and avenues are laid out in a grid pattern, leading to its nickname "die Quadratestadt" ("The City of Squares"). The eighteenth century Mannheim Palace, former home of the Prince-elector of the Palatinate, now houses the University of Mannheim.
The city is home to major corporations including Daimler, John Deere, Caterpillar, ABB, Fuchs Petrolub, IBM, Roche, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, Phoenix Group, Siemens, and several other well-known companies. In addition, Mannheim's SAP Arena is not only the home of the German ice hockey record champions the Adler Mannheim, but also the well-known handball team, the Rhein-Neckar Löwen. According to the Forbes magazine, Mannheim is known for its exceptional inventive power and was ranked 11th among the Top 15 of the most inventive cities worldwide. The New Economy Magazine elected Mannheim under the 20 cities that best represent the world of tomorrow emphasizing Mannheim's positive economic and innovative environment. Since 2014, Mannheim has been a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and holds the title of "UNESCO City of Music". Mannheim is a Smart City; the city's electrical grid is installed with a Power-line communication network.
The name of the city was first recorded as Mannenheim in a legal transaction in 766, surviving in a twelfth-century copy in the Codex Laureshamensis from Lorsch Abbey. The name is interpreted as "the home of Manno", a short form of a Germanic name such as Hartmann or Hermann. Mannheim remained a mere village throughout the Middle Ages.
In 1606, Frederick IV, Elector Palatine started building the fortress of Friedrichsburg and the adjacent city centre with its grid of streets and avenues. On January 24, 1607, Frederick IV gave Mannheim the status of a "city", whether it really was one by then or not.
Mannheim was mostly levelled during the Thirty Years War around 1622 by the forces of Johan Tilly's troops. After being rebuilt, it was again severely damaged by the French Army in 1689 during the Nine Years' War.
After the rebuilding of Mannheim that began in 1698, the capital of the Electorate of the Palatinate was moved from Heidelberg to Mannheim in 1720 when Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine began construction of Mannheim Palace and the Jesuit Church; they were completed in 1760.
During the eighteenth century, Mannheim was the home of the "Mannheim School" of classical music composers. Mannheim was said to have one of the best court orchestras in Europe under the leadership of the conductor Carlo Grua. The royal court of the Palatinate left Mannheim in 1778. Two decades later, in 1802, Mannheim was removed from the Palatinate and given to the Grand Duchy of Baden.
In 1819, Norwich Duff wrote of Mannheim:
In 1819, August von Kotzebue was assassinated in Mannheim.
The climate crisis of 1816-17 caused famine and the death of many horses in Mannheim. That year Karl Drais invented the first bicycle.
Infrastructure improvements included the establishment of Rhine Harbour in 1828 and construction of the first Baden railway, which opened from Mannheim to Heidelberg in 1840. Influenced by the economic rise of the middle class, another golden age of Mannheim gradually began. In the March Revolution of 1848, the city was a centre for political and revolutionary activity.
In 1865, Friedrich Engelhorn founded the Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik (Baden Aniline and Soda Factory, BASF) in Mannheim, but the factory was constructed across the Rhine in Ludwigshafen because Mannheim residents feared air pollution from its operations. From this dye factory, BASF has developed into the largest chemical company in the world. After opening a workshop in Mannheim in 1871 and patenting engines from 1878, Karl Benz patented the first motor car in 1886. He was born in Mühlburg (now part of Karlsruhe).
The Schütte-Lanz company, founded by Karl Lanz and Johann Schütte in 1909, built 22 airships. The company's main competitor was the Zeppelin works.
When World War I broke out in 1914, Mannheim's industrial plants played a key role in Germany's war economy. This contributed to the fact that, on 27 May 1915, Ludwigshafen was the world's first civilian settlement behind the battle lines to be bombed from the air. French aircraft attacked the BASF plants, thereby killing twelve people. The precedent was set for this attack by Germany's repeated air raids against British civilian populations throughout southeastern Britain during the first half of 1915.
When Germany lost the war in 1918, according to the peace terms, the left bank of the Rhine was occupied by French troops. The French occupation lasted until 1930, and some of Ludwigshafen's most elegant houses were erected for the officers of the French garrison.
After the First World War, the Heinrich Lanz Company built the Bulldog, an advanced tractor, powered by heavy oil. As a result of the invention of the pre-combustion chamber by Prosper L'Orange, Benz & Cie. developed the world's first compact diesel-powered car at its motor works in Mannheim in 1923. In 1922, the Grosskraftwerk Mannheim (Mannheim large power station) was opened. By 1930, the city, along with its sister city of Ludwigshafen, which had developed out of the old Mannheim Rheinschanze, had a population of 385,000.
During the Third Reich, at least 2,262 of Mannheim's Jews were despatched for extermination. Air raids on Mannheim almost completely destroyed the city during the Second World War. Since Mannheim was an important industrial centre for Nazi Germany, Mannheim was heavily damaged during aerial bombing by the R.A.F. and the U.S. Air Force. In addition to bombing the important factories, the R.A.F. razed the city center of Mannheim with nighttime area bombing. Some sources state that the first deliberate "terror bombing" of the war occurred at Mannheim on December 16, 1940.
The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Mannheim in late March 1945, which was potentially well-defended by German forces, however, they suddenly abandoned the city and the U.S. 44th Infantry Division entered unopposed on 29 March 1945. There has been a large American military presence in the Mannheim area ever since (see United States military installations below).
Rebuilding of the city began laboriously. Mannheim Palace and the water tower (Wasserturm) eventually were rebuilt and the National Theatre was replaced by a new building at a new location. At the old location there is a monument to Friedrich Schiller and the Zum Zwischen-Akt pub. The housing shortage led to the development of many new residential areas.
In 1964, the City Hospital (Städtische Krankenhaus) became part of the Neckar Faculty of Heidelberg University for Clinical Medicine in Mannheim. In 1967, the University of Mannheim was established in the city.
In 1975, the Bundesgartenschau (Federal horticulture show) was celebrated in Luisen and Herzogenried parks. A number of pieces of infrastructure were developed for the show: the telecommunications tower and a second bridge across the Rhine were built, the pedestrian zone was established, the new Rosengarten conference centre was opened and the Aerobus was installed as a temporary transport system.
A number of major projects were completed in the 1980s and 1990s: a planetarium, an extension to the art gallery, the new Reiß Museum, Stadthaus, a new May Market ground, synagogue, mosque, State Museum for Technology and Work, Carl-Benz stadium and the Fahrlach tunnel were opened.
Mannheim has lost many industrial jobs, although in the recent past the city was economically dominated by manufacturing. The city tried in the past to prevent the establishment of service providers by designating some locations as industrial areas. A prime example of the current trend is the construction of the Victoria Tower (Victoria-Turm) in 2001, one of the tallest buildings in the city, on railway land.
Mannheim celebrated its 400th anniversary with a series of cultural and other events throughout 2007. The 400th anniversary proper was in 2006, since Frederick IV, Elector Palatine laid the foundations of Mannheim citadel on 17 March 1606. In preparation for the anniversary, some urban activities were implemented, beginning in 2000: the building of the SAP Arena with access to the city’s new eastern ring road, the rehabilitation of the pedestrian zone in Breite Straße, the arsenal and the palace, the complete transformation of the old fair ground, and the new Schafweide tram line. The concept of the anniversary of the city aimed at a diverse range of events without a dominant central event.
The following list shows significant minority groups in the city of Mannheim by nationalities.
Some important inventions were made in Mannheim.Karl Drais built the first two-wheeled draisine in 1817.
Karl Benz drove the first automobile on the streets of Mannheim in 1886. At his workshop in Mannheim he produced a lightweight three-wheeled vehicle powered by a single cylinder petrol/gasoline-fueled engine, first shown in public during 1886. This powered tricycle subsequently came to be widely regarded as the first automobile/motor car powered by an internal-combustion engine. Karl's wife Bertha Benz undertook the world’s first road trip by automobile from Mannheim to Pforzheim in August 1888.
The Lanz Bulldog, a popular tractor with a rugged, simple Diesel engine was introduced in 1921.
Karl Benz developed the world's first compact diesel-powered car at the Benz & Cie. motor works in Mannheim during 1923
Julius Hatry built the world's first rocket plane in 1929.
The council has 48 seats and is elected by direct suffrage for five years. In the local elections in Baden-Württemberg, voters are allowed to take advantage of cumulative voting and vote splitting. Since the Second World War the SPD, except in the elections of 1999 and 2004, has received more votes than the CDU. The next municipal election will take place in 2019.
The outcome of the local elections of 25 May 2014 and the current members of the council is as follows:
The SPD, CDU, Greens, Mannheim List and AfD have official party status.
The mayor is the head of the city council and chairman of the council, being selected by direct suffrage for a term of eight years. The current mayor is Peter Kurz (SPD), who was elected during 2007 with 50.53 percent on a turnout of 36.64 percent in the first round.
The city leaders since 1810 are:
The National Theatre Mannheim was founded in 1779 and is the oldest "Stage" in Germany. In 1782 the premier of Die Räuber, written by Friedrich Schiller, was shown.
Recently, more smaller stages have opened, such as the Oststadt-Theater, the TIG7 (Theater im Quadrat G7), the Theater Oliv, the Freilichtbühne, the Theater31, the Theater ImPuls, the Theater Felina-Areal, the Mannheimer Puppenspiele, the Kleinkunstbühne Klapsmühl', Schatzkistl, and zeitraumexit.
The University of Mannheim is one of Germany's younger universities. Although founded in 1967, it has its origins in the 1763-established Palatine Academy of Sciences and the former Handelshochschule. Situated in Mannheim Palace, it is Germany's leading university in business and economics and attracts students from around the world. Described by "Die Zeit" magazine as the 'Harvard of Germany' it is seen as the alma mater of German businessmen and women.
The university town also houses one of the medical schools of Heidelberg University, the Hochschule Mannheim, a branch of the Duale Hochschule of the State of Baden-Württemberg and several musical and theatrical academies, including the Pop Academy Mannheim, the Musikhochschule and the Theaterakademie. These institutions draw a large and diverse student body.
Dependents of U.S. military personnel attended Mannheim Elementary School until it closed in June 2012. In the 1980s the school had 2,200 students.
Mannheim is located in Germany's warmest region, the "Rhine shift". In summer, temperatures sometimes rise up to 35 °C (95 °F) and higher. The highest recorded temperature was 39.8 °C (104 °F) on August 7, 2015. The daily lows during heat waves can be very high by north European standards (around 25 °C / 77 °F). In comparison to other regions of Germany, Mannheim has a higher humidity in summer which causes a higher heat index. Snow is rare, even in the cold months. Precipitation occurs mostly during afternoon thunderstorms during the warmer period (average days of thunderstorms in a year is 40–50). Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).Fernmeldeturm Mannheim
Mannheim synagogue – Post World War II synagogue
Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque
Luisenpark – named one of the loveliest parks in Europe
Mannheim Palace (Mannheimer Schloss) – the city castle and main building of the University of Mannheim
Wasserturm – the town's landmark water tower
SAP Arena – multifunctional indoor arena, home of Mannheim's ice-hockey team "Die Adler" ("The Eagles")
Breite Strasse, Kunststrasse, and Kapuzinerplanken – Mannheim's main shopping destination
International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg
Wildpark and Waldvogelpark am Karlstern
The city centre, designed in squares (Quadratestadt)
Reißinsel, a natural area that an honorary citizen of Mannheim, Carl Reiß, bequeathed to the residents of Mannheim
Marktplatz (Market square) hosts a farmers' market every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers are sold
Mannheimer Messe (:the Mannheim-Fair): twice a year (spring & autumn) a big fair takes place on Neuer Messplatz-square.
The successor to the Karl Benz automobile manufacturing companies begun in Mannheim, Daimler AG, has had a large presence in Mannheim. Today, diesel engines and buses are assembled there. The Swiss Hoffmann–La Roche Diagnostic group (formerly known as Boehringer Mannheim) has its division headquarters in Mannheim. Additionally, the city also hosts large factories and offices of ABB, Alstom, BASF (Ludwigshafen), Bilfinger Berger, Bombardier, Fuchs Petrolub AG, John Deere, Siemens, SCA, Südzucker, and other companies.
A number of U.S. Army Europe installations were located in and near Mannheim during the Cold War. The following locations provided services to and housed the "U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim" and other units of the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim was formally deactivated on 31 May 2011.The Benjamin Franklin Village (Mannheim-Käfertal), housing. Also, it was the home of the Mannheim American High School and the Middle School, which closed on June 9, 2011. It will be vacated by 2014.
Coleman Barracks and Coleman Army Airfield (Mannheim-Sandhofen): The headquarters of the American Forces Network-Europe, and the home of the Army's 28th Transportation Battalion. Also, the location of the United States Army Corrections Facility-Europe. It was vacated in 2015.
Funari Barracks (Mannheim-Käfertal), vacated in 2014.
Spinelli Barracks (Mannheim-Feudenheim), vacated in 2015.
Sullivan Barracks (Mannheim-Käfertal): formerly the headquarters of the U.S. Army's 7th Signal Brigade and the 529th Military Police Honor Guard Company's 2nd Platoon; vacated in 2014.
Taylor Barracks (Mannheim-Vogelstang): formerly the headquarters of the U.S. Army's 2nd Signal Brigade; vacated in 2011.
Turley Barracks (Mannheim-Käfertal): in the early 1990s was home to the 181st Transportation Bn, with companies of 40th, 41st, 51st, 590th, TTP, and HHC transportation companies and also a light infantry unit called AMFL.
The following locations were part of the "U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg" but were within the area of the city of Mannheim; They were vacated in 2010 and 2011:Friedrichsfeld Service Center (Mannheim-Friedrichsfeld)
Hammonds Barracks (formerly Loretto Kaserne) (Mannheim-Seckenheim)
Stem Kaserne (Mannheim-Seckenheim)
All personnel of the U.S. Army military community left Mannheim by 2015, some of them moving to Wiesbaden. With the exception of four barracks, all other barracks formerly occupied by the U.S. military had been returned to the German state for conversion to civilian use in 2011.
The Mannheim/Ludwigshafen area is surrounded by a ring of motorways connecting it to Frankfurt in the north, Karlsruhe in the south, Saarbrücken in the west and Nuremberg in the east.
Mannheim Hauptbahnhof (central station) is at the end of the Mannheim-Stuttgart high-speed rail line and is the most important railway junction in the southwest of Germany, served by ICE high-speed train system with connections to Frankfurt am Main–Berlin, Karlsruhe–Basel, and Stuttgart–Munich. A new high speed line to Frankfurt also is planned to relieve the existing Mannheim–Frankfurt railway.
Mannheim Harbour is the second largest river port in Germany.
Although Frankfurt International Airport is only 65 km (40 mi) to the north, at various times over the years there were daily passenger flights from Mannheim City Airport (IATA code MHG) to London, Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Saarbrücken. Currently, scheduled commercial passenger flights serve the airports Berlin-Tegel and Hamburg.
Local public transport in Mannheim includes the RheinNeckar S-Bahn, eleven tram lines, and numerous bus lines operated by Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr (Rhine-Neckar transport) (RNV).
The RheinNeckar S-Bahn, established in 2003, connects most of the Rhine-Neckar area including lines into the Palatinate, Odenwald, and southern Hesse. All S-Bahn lines run through Mannheim Hauptbahnhof, except S5. Further S-Bahn stations are at present Mannheim-Rangierbahnhof, Mannheim-Seckenheim, and Mannheim-Friedrichsfeld-Süd.
The 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge integrated Mannheim/Ludwigshafen tramway network also extends to Heidelberg. It is operated by RNV, a company wholly owned by the three cities mentioned and a couple of municipalities in the Palatinate. RNV is the result of a merger on 1 October 2009 between the region's five former municipal transportation companies. Interurban trams are operated by RNV on a triangular route between Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Weinheim that was originally established by the Upper Rhine Railway Company (Oberrheinische Eisenbahn, OEG), and the company also operates interurban trams between Bad Dürkheim, Ludwigshafen, and Mannheim. In the 1970s a proposal to build a U-Bahn out of the Mannheim and Ludwigshafen tramways was begun, but only small sections were built due to lack of funds. The only underground station in Mannheim is the Haltestelle Dalbergstraße. U-Bahn planning now has stopped. All public transport is offered at uniform prices set by the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar transport union, VRN).
There are two nationally renowned football clubs in Mannheim, SV Waldhof Mannheim, who currently are playing in the 4th tier Regionalliga Südwest, but who have played in the top tier, the Bundesliga; and VfR Mannheim, winner of the German championship in 1949, now playing in the 5th tier Oberliga Baden-Württemberg.
The Adler Mannheim (formerly MERC, Mannheimer Eis- und Rollsport-Club) is an ice hockey team playing in the professional Deutsche Eishockey Liga, having won the championship a total of six times.
The city is home to the Mannheim Tornados, the oldest operational baseball and softball club in Germany. The Tornados play in the first division of the Baseball Bundesliga and have won the championship 11 times, more than any other club.
In 2003 the American football club MTG Rhein-Neckar Bandits was founded. The Bandits are playing in the first German Football League which is called GFL1. In the summer about 500 people watch each game.
Rhein-Neckar-Loewen (Lions) are a handball team (formerly SG Kronau-Oestringen) playing in the professional German Handball League.
The WWE visited Mannheim in 2008 and grossed more than half a million dollars with over 6,500 fans attending the event.
UFC fighter Dennis Siver lives and trains in Mannheim.
Mannheim hosted the European Show Jumping Championships in 1997, and the FEI European Jumping Championships in 2007 14–19 August, in the MVV-riding stadium.
2002 Hobby Horse Polo was invented in Mannheim, evoking the classical rivalry towards "polite society" in Heidelberg.
Mannheim is twinned with:
See also: List of notable people from Mannheim1748: Josepha von Heydeck, mistress of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria
1771: Johann Baptist Cramer, composer and violinist (24 February)
1821: Friedrich Engelhorn, founder of BASF
1856: Henry Morgenthau, Sr., U.S. politician and real estate investor
1887: Emmy Wehlen, musical comedy actress and silent screen star
1897: Sepp Herberger, coach of the German national soccer team 1936–1964 ("The Miracle of Bern", world champion with his team in 1954)
1905: Albert Speer, Nazi architect, Minister for Armaments and Munitions during World War II
1934: Wolf Wolfensberger, German-American psychologist, pioneering in the area of services to people with disabilities
1937: Rudi Altig, cyclist
1939: Christiane Schmidtmer, Hollywood actress
1946: Fred Breinersdorfer, writer
1960: Norbert Schwefel, musician
1962: Uwe Rahn, football player
1969: Steffi Graf, tennis player
1971: Xavier Naidoo, pop singer
1972: Christian Wörns, football player for Borussia Dortmund and formerly Germany
1974: Lexi Alexander, director
1976: Bülent Ceylan, German-Turkish comedian
1977: Jochen Hecht, Buffalo Sabres, National Hockey League
1990: Giulia Enders, medical researcher
1994: Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Turkish footballer