Ludwigshafen

Last updated
Ludwigshafen am Rhein
Ludwigshafenmitte ausderluft.jpg
April 2006 aerial view over Ludwigshafen
DEU Ludwigshafen COA.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Ludwigshafen am Rhein
Germany adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Ludwigshafen am Rhein
Rhineland-Palatinate location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Ludwigshafen am Rhein
Coordinates: 49°28′52″N8°26′07″E / 49.48111°N 8.43528°E / 49.48111; 8.43528 Coordinates: 49°28′52″N8°26′07″E / 49.48111°N 8.43528°E / 49.48111; 8.43528
Country Germany
State Rhineland-Palatinate
District Urban district
Subdivisions10 districts
Government
   Lord Mayor Jutta Steinruck (SPD)
Area
  Total77.68 km2 (29.99 sq mi)
Elevation
96 m (315 ft)
Population
 (2017-12-31) [1]
  Total168,497
  Density2,200/km2 (5,600/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
67059 - 67071
Dialling codes 0621, 06237
Vehicle registration LU
Website www.ludwigshafen.de

Ludwigshafen am Rhein (German pronunciation: [ˈluːtvɪçsˌhaːfn̩ ʔam ˈʁaɪ̯n] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the river Rhine, opposite Mannheim. With Mannheim, Heidelberg, and the surrounding region, it forms the Rhine Neckar Area.

Rhineland-Palatinate State in Germany

Rhineland-Palatinate is a state of Germany.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Mannheim Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Mannheim is a city in the southwestern part of Germany, the third-largest in the German state of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart and Karlsruhe with a 2015 population of approximately 305,000 inhabitants. The city is at the centre of the larger densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region which has a population of 2,400,000 and is Germany's eighth-largest metropolitan region.

Contents

Known primarily as an industrial city, Ludwigshafen is the home of chemical giant BASF and other companies. Among its cultural facilities are the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. It is the birthplace of the former German chancellor Helmut Kohl and the philosopher Ernst Bloch.

BASF German chemical company with worldwide reach

BASF SE is a German chemical company and the largest chemical producer in the world. The BASF Group comprises subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 80 countries and operates six integrated production sites and 390 other production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Americas and Africa. Its headquarters is located in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has customers in over 190 countries and supplies products to a wide variety of industries. Despite its size and global presence, BASF has received relatively little public attention since it abandoned manufacturing and selling BASF-branded consumer electronics products in the 1990s.

Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz orchestra

The Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz is the largest and leading symphony orchestra of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, based in Ludwigshafen am Rhein. It gives concerts in Rhineland-Palatinate as well as across Germany and abroad.

Chancellor of Germany Head of government of Germany

The title Chancellor has designated different offices in the history of Germany. It is currently used for the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the head of government of Germany.

The city is a global city with 'sufficiency' status.

Global city City which is important to the world economy

A global city, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center, is a city which is a primary node in the global economic network. The concept comes from geography and urban studies, and the idea that globalization is created, facilitated, and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade.

History

Early history

In antiquity, Celtic and Germanic tribes settled in the Rhine Neckar area. During the 1st century B.C. the Romans conquered the region, and a Roman auxiliary fort was constructed near the present suburb of Rheingönheim.

Ancient history Human history from the earliest records to the end of the classical period

Ancient history as a term refers to the aggregate of past events from the beginning of writing and recorded human history and extending as far as the post-classical history. The phrase may be used either to refer to the period of time or the academic discipline.

Germanic peoples A group of northern European tribes in Roman times

The Germanic peoples were an indigenous ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples, and identified in modern scholarship as speakers, at least for the most part, of early Germanic languages.

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

The Middle Ages saw the foundation of some of Ludwigshafen's future suburbs, including Oggersheim, Maudach, Oppau, and Mundenheim. Most of the area, however, remained swampland, with its development hindered by seasonal flooding of the Rhine.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

The Rheinschanze

Rheinschanze c. 1750 RheinschanzeMannheim.jpg
Rheinschanze c. 1750

The Rhine Neckar region was part of the territory of the Prince-elector of the Kurpfalz, or Electorate of the Palatinate, one of the larger states within the Holy Roman Empire. The foundation of the new capital of the Kurpfalz, Mannheim, was a decisive influence on the development of the area as a whole. Parallel to the foundation of Mannheim in 1606, a fortress (die Rheinschanze) was built by Frederick IV, Elector Palatine on the other side of the Rhine to protect the City of Mannheim, thus forming the nucleus of the City of Ludwigshafen itself.

Prince-elector members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire

The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor.

Holy Roman Empire Varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Frederick IV, Elector Palatine Elector Palatine

Frederick IV, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, only surviving son of Louis VI, Elector Palatine and Elisabeth of Hesse, called "Frederick the Righteous".

In the 17th century the region was devastated and depopulated during the Thirty Years' War, and also in King Louis XIV of France’s wars of conquest in the later part of the century.

It was only in the 18th century that the settlements around the Rheinschanze began to prosper, profiting from the proximity of the capital Mannheim. Oggersheim in particular gained some importance, after the construction of both a small palace serving as secondary residence for the Elector, and the famous pilgrimage church, Wallfahrtskirche. For some weeks in 1782, the great German writer and playwright Friedrich Schiller lived in Oggersheim, on flight from his native Württemberg).

War returned to the Ludwigshafen area with the armies of the French Revolution. The palace at Oggersheim was burned down, Mannheim besieged several times, and all the area west of the Rhine annexed by France from 1798 to 1813. The Electorate of the Palatinate was split up. The eastern bank of the Rhine with Mannheim and Heidelberg was given to Baden, while the western bank (including the Ludwigshafen area) was granted to Bavaria, following the Wars of Liberation (1813-1815), in which the French were expelled. The Rhine had become a frontier and the Rheinschanze, cut off politically from Mannheim, lost its function as the neighbouring city's military bulwark.

Foundation of Ludwigshafen

Ludwig I of Bavaria Ludwig I..jpg
Ludwig I of Bavaria

In 1808, during the French occupation, Carl Hornig of Mannheim purchased the fortress from the French authorities and turned it into a way station for passing river traffic. Later, the Rheinschanze with its winter-proof harbour basin (created by a flood in 1824) was used as trading post. Hornig died in 1819, but Johann Heinrich Scharpff, a businessman from Speyer, continued Hornig's plans, which were then turned over to his son-in-law, Philipp Markus Lichtenberger, in 1830. Their activities marked the beginning of the civilian use of the Rheinschanze.

The year 1844 was the official birth of Ludwigshafen, when Lichtenberger sold this property to the state of Bavaria (Bayern), and the military title of the fortress was finally removed. The Bavarian king, Ludwig I, set forth plans to rename the settlement after himself and to start construction of an urban area as a Bavarian rival to Mannheim on the opposite bank.

During the failed German revolution of 1848 rebels captured Ludwigshafen, but they were bombarded from Mannheim (rumours said the Mannheimers didn't aim at the revolutionaries, but on the rival harbour's infrastructure), and Prussian troops quickly expelled the revolutionaries. On December 27, 1852, King Maximilian II granted Ludwigshafen am Rhein political freedom and as on November 8, 1859, the settlement gained city status.

Industry and growth of population

BASF, 1866 BASF Werk Ludwigshafen 1866.JPG
BASF, 1866

At its founding Ludwigshafen was still a very modest settlement with just 1,500 inhabitants. Real growth began with industrialization, and gained enormous momentum in Ludwigshafen due to its ideal transport facilities. In addition to its excellent position and harbor facilities on the Rhine, a railway connecting Ludwigshafen with the Saar coalfields was completed in 1849. [2]

The year 1865 was an important date in the history of independent Ludwigshafen. After several discussions, BASF decided to move its factories from Mannheim to the Hemshof district, which belonged to Ludwigshafen. From then on, the city's rapid growth and wealth were linked to BASF's success and its expansion into becoming one of the world's most important chemical companies. Ludwigshafen also became home to several other rapidly growing chemical companies, including Friedrich Raschig GmbH, the Benckiser company (founded by Johann Benckiser), Giulini Brothers, Grünzweig&Hartmann AG, and Knoll AG  [ de ].

With more jobs available, the population of Ludwigshafen increased rapidly. In 1899 the city was governing more than 62,000 residents (compared to 1,500 in 1852).

This population explosion looked quite “American” to contemporaries; it determined Ludwigshafen's character as a “worker's city”, and created problematic shortages of housing and real estate. The solution was the expansion of the municipal area and the incorporation of the two nearest villages, Friesenheim and Mundenheim, in the years 1892 and 1899. In the area between the city centre and those two suburbs new quarters (“North” and “South”) were built after (then) modern urban development plans. Because the ground was marshy and too low to be protected from Rhine floods, all the new houses were built on raised ground, sometimes as high as 5 metres above the original ground. Visitors can see the original ground level in many backyards of Ludwigshafen, which are sometimes two floors below street level.

Population of Ludwigshafen
YearPopulation total
1840ca. 90
1848ca. 600
1852ca. 1,400
1858ca. 2,800
1871ca. 7,900
1885ca. 21,000
1895ca. 40,000
1900ca. 62,000
1914ca. 94,000
1925ca. 102,000
1939ca. 144,000
1945ca. 61,000
1950ca. 124,000
1956ca. 147,000
1970ca. 180,000
1985ca. 161,000
1995ca. 171,000
2000ca. 165,000
2004ca. 166,000
2006ca. 163,000

World War I through World War II

During World War I (1914-1918), Ludwigshafen's industrial plants played a key role in Germany's war economy, producing chemical ingredients for munitions, as well as much of the poison gas used on the Western Front. This contributed to Ludwigshafen having the dubious honour, on May 27, 1915, of being the target of the world's first strategic aerial bombardment. French aircraft attacked the BASF plants, killing twelve people and setting the precedent for the age to come.

When the war was lost by Germany in 1918, the left bank of the Rhine was occupied by French troops, in accordance with the terms of the peace agreement. The French occupation lasted until 1930, and some of Ludwigshafen's most elegant houses were erected for the officers of the French garrison.

The economic recovery of the 1920s was marred by one of the worst industrial explosions in history when, on Sept. 21, 1921, a BASF storage silo in Oppau blew up, killing more than 500 people, injuring a further 2,000, and destroying countless buildings.

Despite this setback, Ludwigshafen reached a population of 100,000 in 1922, thus gaining “City” status. It prospered until the worldwide economic crisis of 1929, which brought unemployment, labor trouble, political strife, and the rise of the Nazis.

The Nazi party had few followers and votes in working-class-dominated Ludwigshafen, after 1933, when they had come to power in Germany, the Nazis succeeded in enforcing their policies in Ludwigshafen. Many small houses with gardens were built, especially in the Gartenstadt. Further, similar to Nazi plans in other cities (e.g. Hamburg), they aimed at creating a ”Greater Ludwigshafen” by agglomerating smaller towns and villages in the vicinity. Thus Oggersheim, Oppau, Edigheim, Rheingönheim, and Maudach became suburbs of Ludwigshafen, raising its population to 135,000. The Ludwigshafen synagogue was destroyed in 1938 and its Jewish population of 1,400 [3] was deported in 1940.

During the Oil Campaign of World War II, the Allies conducted bombing of Ludwigshafen and Oppau. Thirteen thousand Allied bombers hit the city in 121 separate raids during the war, of which 56 succeeded in hitting the IG Farben plant. Those 56 raids dropped 53,000 bombs each containing 250 to 4,000 pounds of high explosives, plus 2.5 million 4-pound magnesium incendiary bombs (the bombers also dropped millions of leaflets warning the civilians to evacuate the city, plus counterfeit ration coupons). Repairs took longer and longer as spare parts became more difficult to find. By December 1944, so much damage had been done to vital utilities that output dropped to nearly zero. Follow-up raids every week ended production permanently. By war's end most dwellings were destroyed or damaged; 1,800 people had died, and 3,000 were injured. [4]

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Ludwigshafen in March 1945. The US 12th Armored Division and 94th Infantry Division captured Ludwigshafen against determined German resistance in house-to-house and block-to-block urban combat during 21–24 March 1945. [5]

Post-war rebuilding

Post-war, Ludwigshafen was part of the French occupation zone, becoming part of the newly founded Bundesland (state) of Rheinland-Pfalz and thus part of the Federal Republic of Germany. Reconstruction of the devastated city and revival of the economy was supported by the Allies, especially by American aid. In 1948, the “Pasadena Shares Committee” sent packages of blankets, clothing, food, and medicines to help the residents of post-war Ludwigshafen. Many friendships started to form, so that in 1956, Ludwigshafen am Rhein and Pasadena, California became sister cities.

Large parts of the city were literally ruined, which were rebuilt in the architectural style of the 1950s and 1960s. The most important projects were the Hochstraßen (highways on stilts), the revolutionary new main station (then the most modern station in Europe), several tower blocks and a whole new suburb, the satellite quarter Pfingstweide north of Edigheim.

The city's economic wealth allowed social benefits and institutions to be introduced. The population number reached its all-time climax in 1970 with more than 180,000 inhabitants, thus surpassing even the capital of Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz, for a while.

Financial crisis

In the early 1970s, a plan to reform the composition of the German Bundesländer, which would have created a new state around a united Mannheim-Ludwigshafen as capital with more than half a million inhabitants, failed.

Nevertheless, further ambitious projects were financed in Ludwigshafen, first of all the 15-floor city hall with its linked-up shopping centre ( Rathaus Center ). The last (up to now) new incorporated suburb was Ruchheim in 1974.

But then a process began that accelerated during the 1980s and 1990s and caused the financial near-collapse of Ludwigshafen. The enormous maintenance costs of the buildings and institutions introduced during the “fat time”, new tax regulations that cut down the trade tax profits from the local industries, and thousands of dismissals in BASF were the main causes for the city's crisis. Loss of population due to the loss of working places and general economic trends, such as the oil crises, further worsened Ludwigshafen's financial situation at the end of the 20th century.

The negative aspects of industrial success became obvious when examinations revealed the bad state of air and the Rhine due to pollution. There had always been some stench or dirt all over the city, caused by BASF and other plants, and as long as the industry had prospered, people had accepted it. Besides that, the concrete constructions that had been so modern after the war and had a formative influence on today's cityscape were increasingly considered as obsolete.

Contemporary Ludwigshafen

In recent years, many efforts have been made to enhance Ludwigshafen's image in the media. The city administration has cut down its deficit by cutting down social payments and maintenance, pollution has been (not least by BASF) restricted, the formerly rotten Hemshof quarter has been restored.

In 2008, a fire broke out in a building where many ethnic Turks lived. [6] 9 people died, all of them Turks and 5 of them children. It was believed to be an arsonist attack, however this was found to be not true. [7]

One of the most annoying faults[ citation needed ] of Ludwigshafen – at least for many of the city's inhabitants - was its comparative lack of high-quality shopping possibilities. It has attempted to repair this deficiency by creating a second large shopping mall on the southern tip of the city centre (the Walzmühle near Berliner Platz) with affiliated railway station (Ludwigshafen-Mitte). In addition, another shopping mall on the banks of the Rhine, the Rhein-Galerie, was completed in September 2010.

Ludwigshafen has enormous importance as an industrial city.

Largest groups of foreign residents [8]
NationalityPopulation (2016)
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 9,132
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 6,174
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 3,256
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 2,507
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 2,237
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 2,067
Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg  Serbia & Montenegro 1,977
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 1,655
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 1,537
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 1,448
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 768

Districts

Centre

The city centre of Ludwigshafen is comparatively small and dominated by post-war buildings. Its northern and southern boundaries are the Hochstraßen (highways on stilts), the Rhine is in the East and the main station is located in the West of downtown Ludwigshafen, at a walking distance of about 15 minutes from the central pedestrian precinct Bismarckstraße that forms, together with the shopping mile Ludwigsstraße, the main North-South Axis, connecting the so-called “North Pole” with the Rathaus Center and the “South Pole” with Berliner Platz, the Walzmühle shopping centre and Ludwigshafen (Rhein) Mitte station. The main east–west connections are the Bahnhofsstraße and Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straße. The Pfalzbau, Staatsphilharmonie, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum and the half-destroyed monument Lutherkirche are main features of downtown Ludwigshafen.

South

The Südliche Innenstadt or “southern city centre” (ca. 29,000 inhabitants) includes the real city centre as described above and the Stadtteil Süd or “South” quarter. “South” has some of the most attractive[ according to whom? ] residential areas, especially the Parkinsel area. Other sub-quarters of “South” are the Musikantenviertel or the Malerviertel. In a few years, there will be one more highly prized residential area (“Rheinufer Süd”) on the Rhine near the Walzmühle on former industrial estates.

North

The Nördliche Innenstadt (ca. 22,000 inhabitants) includes the Hemshof, “North” and “West” districts. Hemshof and “North” represent the “old town” of Ludwigshafen, they are known for their very high proportion of foreign inhabitants, making them culturally diverse. ”West” (also called Valentin-Bauer-Siedlung) is located between main station and main cemetery.

Friesenheim

Friesenheim (ca. 18,000 inhabitants) is located north of Hemshof and is one of the two (the other one being Mundenheim) “mother villages” of Ludwigshafen, because they were responsible for the administration of Ludwigshafen prior to its independence. Helmut Kohl was born in Friesenheim. Its western district, the Froschlache, boasts four impressive tower blocks.

Oppau

Oppau (ca. 10,000 inhabitants) in the North is dominated by the nearby BASF and had once been a town of its own prior to its incorporation into Ludwigshafen. In its history, it has been afflicted by several catastrophes like the explosion of 1921 and the flood of 1882.

Edigheim

Edigheim (ca. 9,000 inhabitants) had once been a part of Oppau in the South, today ist almost as large as Oppau.

The Pfingstweide (ca. 6,000 inhabitants) is Ludwigshafen's northernmost district; it is dominated by tower blocks and is located in close vicinity to Frankenthal.

Gartenstadt

The Gartenstadt (ca. 18,000 inhabitants), west of Mundenheim, is (as the name “garden city” suggests) a very green suburb, dominated by flat roofed houses and some tower blocks. Its sub-districts are Niederfeld, Hochfeld and Ernst-Reuter-Siedlung.

Mundenheim

Mundenheim (ca. 13,000 inhabitants) is a very old suburb, it boasts its own railway station, an extensive industrial area near the harbour. A sub-district is the Herderviertel in Mundenheim's North.

Oggersheim

Oggersheim (ca. 23,000 inhabitants) is one of the most important suburbs, being much like a town for itself (which it was in the Middle Ages). Helmut Kohl owned a bungalow in southern Oggersheim. The Wallfahrtskirche, a railway station, the important Unfallklinik (“accident hospital”), and several large residential blocks are to be found in Oggersheim. For the last few years, the northern subdistricts of Notwende and Melm have seen a large amount of building activities in their new housing estates.

Rheingönheim

Rheingönheim (ca 7,000 inhabitants), as the southernmost suburb of Ludwigshafen, is known mainly for its industry (Woellner) and its game enclosure Wildpark.

Maudach

Maudach (ca. 7,000 inhabitants), in Ludwigshafen's South-West, is a popular residential area, closely associated with the Maudacher Bruch park.

Ruchheim

Ruchheim (ca. 6,000 inhabitants), as the westernmost suburb, has long been a small agricultural village, but now it is growing rapidly due to new housing estates.

Transport

Tramway from the 60's in regular service Mh RHB GT6 mit gelenkbeiwagen.jpg
Tramway from the 60's in regular service

Although Ludwigshafen has no airfield, it is well connected with several airports in the region. There are small airfields near Speyer, Bad Dürkheim and Worms, a medium-sized regional airport in Mannheim, and the Frankfurt International Airport in about an hour's driving distance.

Ludwigshafen is the most important German harbour west of the Rhine. The local industry depends on shipping their raw materials and products on the river. The harbour of Ludwigshafen consists of several basins in the South of the city near Mundenheim (Luitpoldhafen, Kaiserwörthhafen, Mundenheimer Altrheinhafen), the wharfs along the river parallel to the city centre and the BASF, and, finally, of the Landeshafen basin in the North that connects the BASF.

Ludwigshafen has excellent Autobahn (motorway/highway) connections to all directions. Most important are the A 650 in west–east direction, the A 61 in north–south direction. But there are also A 6, A 65 and B 9 to be mentioned.

Ludwigshafen Hauptbahnhof is a huge station, its impressive pylon bridge pier serving as the city's landmark. The extraordinary architecture of the station complex is caused by the need to connect three joining tracks (to Frankenthal/Worms/Mainz, to Neustadt/Speyer and to Mannheim) and to work in the underground Straßenbahn station and the massive road bridge above the concourse. Other railway stations are at Oggersheim, Mundenheim, Rheingönheim, and, the new more central Ludwigshafen (Rhein) Mitte, near Berliner Platz. Since 2003, the S-Bahn Rhein-Neckar suburban train system runs successfully in the region.

Ludwigshafen's public transport system is run by the VBL (Verkehrsbetriebe Ludwigshafen) and the holding companies Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr (RNV) and VRN. There is an integrated Mannheim/Ludwigshafen tramway network; four tram lines (4,6,7,8) cross the Rhine bridges between the two cities and one other line (10) runs through Ludwigshafen only. In late 2008 Line 4 was extended and replaced Line 14 (also known as "Rhein-Haardt-Bahn"). Line 4 now serves as a long-distance line, which runs from Bad Dürkheim to Ludwigshafen, Mannheim and Heddesheim. The bus network consists of about ten municipal lines and further regional lines.

A rather strange feature of Ludwigshafen's public transport system is the existence of four underground tram stations (Rathaus, Danziger Platz (closed since late 2008), Hauptbahnhof, Hemshofstraße). They go back to the 1970s, when a common underground network in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen was planned. The rash construction of these first stations in Ludwigshafen became superfluous when Mannheim cancelled the project due to its enormous costs.

Region and neighbours

The twin cities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen closely cooperate in many areas; although they are separated by the Baden-Württemberg/Rhineland Palatinate boundary, this frontier is mainly an administrative one. Many Ludwigshafeners shop and go out in Mannheim's inner city, as it is within easy reach. In the reverse case, some Mannheimers work in Ludwigshafen and many University of Mannheim students choose Ludwigshafen as residence because of its cheaper rents.

The surroundings of Ludwigshafen on the left bank of the Rhine are called Pfalz and are the easternmost part of the Palatinate region. The administrative district around Ludwigshafen is called Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis. North of Ludwigshafen, there is the industrial town of Frankenthal. In the western vicinity of Ludwigshafen, there are several villages producing enormous amounts of vegetables, thus securing the Rheinpfalz the title of “Germany's vegetable garden”. The district south of Ludwigshafen is dominated by the Rhine and the Altrhein arms (lakes marking the earlier course of the river) and the ancient town of Speyer with its magnificent imperial cathedral, a noteworthy and remarkable city.

The regions with some more distance to Ludwigshafen include the beautiful German Wine Route region with Germany's biggest coherent winegrowing area and the Palatinate forest, the biggest coherent forest of Europe 50 kilometres (31 miles) in the West, the French region Alsace and the German Schwarzwald (Black Forest) hills in the South, Heidelberg and the Odenwald hills in the East and the Rhein-Main region with the city of Frankfurt about 100 kilometres (62 miles) in the North.

Culture

Miro mural, known as the Miro-Wand, on the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum. Miro-Wand in Ludwigshafen 07.jpg
Miró mural, known as the Miró-Wand, on the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum.

The Pfalzbau is a theatre and concert hall with regional importance. The Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz keeps its own symphonic orchestra, and there is a production company that stages operas 25 nights per year. [9] In the Hemshof district, there are smaller theatres playing regional dialect plays.

The Wilhelm-Hack-Museum is the municipal art museum, with collections spanning from ancient to contemporary art. It is known for the emblematic Miró mural covering an entire façade, called the "Miró Wall" (Miró-Wand in German). The mural is a work of art by the Spanish artist Joan Miró, with the collaboration of his long-time colleague, the ceramist, Joan Gardy Artigas, and is made of 7,200 ceramic tiles. It has been subject to degradation due to air pollution since it was installed in 1979.

Several small museums in Ludwigshafen focus on the city's history, first of all the Stadtmuseum in the Rathaus Center, but also the Schillerhaus Oggersheim, K.O. Braun-Museum in Oppau or the Frankenthaler Kanal Museum in the North.

The Fachhochschule Ludwigshafen (technical college) specialises in economics and has an affiliated Ostasieninstitut (East Asia Institute). There is also the Evangelische Fachhochschule Ludwigshafen, specialising in social sciences.

Economy

Although BASF is by far the most important industrial company in Ludwigshafen, there are many other firms. Trade and industry in Ludwigshafen have about 90,000 employees in total, with an annual total turnover of nearly 17 billion euros.

BASF is the world's leading chemical company, employing 110,000 people at all and about 35,000 (a few years ago, the employee total was about 55,000) of them in the Ludwigshafen plant, which is also the largest chemical plant in the world. The company's main products are fertilizers, dye, coolants and many other chemical substances. Among the other chemical companies with plants in Ludwigshafen rank BK Giulini, Abbott, Raschig and Benckiser. Other important branches of industry are mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, IT and brewery (Mayerbräu Oggersheim).

Sports

Sudweststadion Suedweststadion Ludwigshafen 05.JPG
Südweststadion

Ludwigshafen is one of the German cities that has never had a professional football club. This is all the more surprising, because Ludwigshafen is a typical "workers' city" and has quite a large stadium, the Südweststadion, built from debris from World War II with a capacity of around 40,000. Several international matches and some Bundesliga matches when 1. FC Kaiserslautern or Waldhof Mannheim used it as alternative stadium during the past decades have been held there.

Huddersfield Town left-back Dominik Werling was born in Ludwigshafen.

Formerly the most successful Ludwigshafen football club was FSV Oggersheim, whose team experienced short-term success when gaining promotion to the Regionalliga (3rd Division) at the end of the 2006-07 season. However, the club found itself outclassed, and as the financial situation grew worse after two poor seasons, the club withdrew to 11th tier local level play in 2010-11.

As of 2015, Arminia Ludwigshafen is the highest-classed football club from the city, competing in the Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar (V).

An athletics hall has been constructed near the Stadium a few years ago.

The TSG Friesenheim plays in the German 1st handball division since summer 2010.

Nature

Parkinsel Ludwigshafen Parkinsel Weg.jpg
Parkinsel

There are several municipal parks in Ludwigshafen: First of all the Ebertpark in the North quarter and Friesenheim. It was created for the South German Horticulture Exhibition in 1925 with the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, a multi-purpose hall.

The official Stadtpark, or municipal park, is somewhat remote from the city centre (yet easy to reach by the #10 tram), because it is situated on the Parkinsel, or park island, on a bank of the Rhine.

The Friedenspark is closer to the city centre, being located just north of the main station and west of the city hall. It is the youngest of Ludwigshafen's parks, having been created on a former industrial area.

Further, there are numerous smaller parks that are just a bit larger than a towel in the suburbs, for example the Stadtpark Oggersheim, Riedsaumpark, Alwin-Mittasch-Platz and Friesenpark in Friesenheim, Stadtpark Oppau, Bürgerpark Pfingstweide or Zedtwitzpark Mundenheim.

The Maudacher Bruch in the West between Maudach, Gartenstadt and Oggersheim, is a very extensive, horse-shoe shaped area, including the Michaelsberg (126m), a mountain built of debris and wreckage after World War II. Due to excessive extraction of ground water from chemical companies the ground water level drops and the diversity of nature is no longer preserved. The Kief´scher Weiher in the South is connected with the Rhine and serves as yacht harbour, being surrounded by weekend camping areas.

Notable natives

Kurt Biedenkopf, Leipzig 2006 Kurt Biedenkopf.jpg
Kurt Biedenkopf, Leipzig 2006

19th century

Ernst Bloch Berlin 1954 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-27348-0008, Berlin, Ernst Bloch auf Begegnung der Geistesschaffenden.jpg
Ernst Bloch Berlin 1954

20th century

1901-1920

1921-1940

1951-1970

1971-1990

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Ludwigshafen is twinned with: [10]

Related Research Articles

The Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis is a district (Kreis) in the east of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Rhine-Neckar Place in Germany

The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region, often referred to as Rhein-Neckar-Triangle is a polycentric metropolitan region located in south western Germany, between the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region to the North and the Stuttgart Region to the South-East.

Lingenfeld Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Lingenfeld is a municipality in the district of Germersheim, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated approximately 5 km north-west of Germersheim, and 10 km south-west of Speyer.

Böhl-Iggelheim Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Böhl-Iggelheim is a municipality in the Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It has about 8,200 inhabitants and is situated approximately 15 km southwest of Ludwigshafen, and 10 km northwest of Speyer.

Limburgerhof Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Limburgerhof is a municipality in the Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, 7 km southwest of Ludwigshafen.

Neuhofen Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Neuhofen is a municipality in the Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated approximately 7 km south of Ludwigshafen.

Birkenheide Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Birkenheide is a municipality in the Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany and is part of the Verbandsgemeinde Maxdorf.

Otterstadt Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Otterstadt is a municipality in the Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

The Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn(S-Bahn RheinNeckar) forms the backbone of the urban rail transport network of the Rhine Neckar Area, including the cities of Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen.

Mannheim–Saarbrücken railway railway line

The Mannheim–Saarbrücken railway is a railway in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and the Saarland that runs through Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Kaiserslautern, Homburg and St. Ingbert. It is the most important railway line that runs through the Palatinate. It serves both passenger and freight transport and carries international traffic.

Ludwigshafen (Rhein) Hauptbahnhof railway station in Ludwigshafen, Germany

Ludwigshafen (Rhein) Hauptbahnhof is a railway station at Ludwigshafen am Rhein in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. A combination of a wedge shaped station and a two-level interchange, the station is at the junction on the lines from Mainz and Neustadt an der Weinstrasse to Mannheim. It is classified by Deutsche Bahn as a category 2 station. The Ludwigshafen station was built in 1847 as a terminal station in the centre of modern Ludwigshafen. The current station was built in 1969 to the west of the city centre, but has not proved to be a success due to its poor location.

Schifferstadt–Wörth railway railway line

The Schifferstadt–Wörth railway or Speyer line or is a uniformly double track and electrified main line in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Between Schifferstadt and Germersheim it is part of the network of the Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn. Between Germersheim and Wörth am Rhein it is part of the network of the Stadtbahn Karlsruhe.

Bad Dürkheim station railway station in Bad Dürkheim, Germany

Bad Durkheim station is a terminal station in Bad Durkheim in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is on the Palatinate Northern Railway between Neustadt an der Weinstraße and Monsheim. It is classified by Deutsche Bahn as a category 5 station.

Trams in Mannheim/Ludwigshafen

The Mannheim/Ludwigshafen tramway network is a metre-gauge transport network of tramways focused on the cities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen am Rhein, and connected to Heidelberg and Weinheim via the Upper Rhine Railway Company (OEG), in the Rhine Neckar Area of Germany.

Landstuhl station railway station in Landstuhl, Germany

Landstuhl station is a station in the town of Landstuhl in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Deutsche Bahn classifies it as belonging to station category 3 and has three platforms tracks. The station is located in the network of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (VRN) and belongs to fare zone 844.

Limburgerhof station railway station in Limburgerhof, Germany

Limburgerhof station – called Mutterstadt until 1930 – is in the town of Limburgerhof in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Deutsche Bahn classifies it as a category 4 station and it has two platform tracks and two through tracks. The station is located in the network of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar and belongs to fare zone 123. Its address is Am Bahnhofsplatz 1.

Ludwigshafen-Mundenheim station railway station in Ludwigshafen, Germany

Ludwigshafen-Mundenheim station—originally called Mundenheim—is in the Ludwigshafen suburb of Mundenheim in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Deutsche Bahn classifies it as a category 5 station and it has three platform tracks and one through track without a platform. The station is located in the network of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar and belongs to fare zone 103. Its address is Wattstraße 126.

Sondernheim station railway station in Germersheim, Germany

Sondernheim station is a station in the Germersheim suburb of Sondernheim, in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Deutsche Bahn classifies it as a category 6 station and it has two platform tracks. The station is located in the network of the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund and belongs to fare zone 575. Since 2001, the station has also been part of the area where the fares of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar are accepted at a transitional rate. The address of the station is Germersheimer Straße 14. Its former entrance building is under heritage protection.

Jockgrim station railway station in Jockgrim, Germany

Jockgrim station is the only station in the town of Jockgrim in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Deutsche Bahn classifies it as a category 6 station and it has two platform tracks. It is located on the network of the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund and belongs to fare zone 555. Since 2001, the station has also been part of the area where the fares of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar are accepted at a transitional rate. Its address is Am Bahnhof 1.

References

  1. "Bevölkerungsstand 2017 - Gemeindeebene". Statistisches Landesamt Rheinland-Pfalz (in German). 2018.
  2. Oliver Zimmer, Remaking the Rhythms of Life: German Communities in the Age of the Nation-State (Oxford University Press; 2013) compares the city to Augsburg and Ulm.
  3. Where Once We Walked , first edition, p. 194
  4. United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division, "IG Farbenindustrie Ludwigshafen, Germany," vol. I, 2nd ed. (April 1947)
  5. 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), pp. 65, 170
  6. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,533293,00.html
  7. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,538341,00.html
  8. "Statistischer Jahresbericht 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  9. Gábor Halász. "Ludwigshafen". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  10. "Partnerstädte" (in German). Ortsvorsteher, Stadt Ludwigshafen am Rhein. Retrieved 2015-01-04.