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Schwetzingen Rathaus 20100622.jpg
Town hall
Wappen Schwetzingen.svg
Coat of arms
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Location of Schwetzingen within Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district
BavariaHesseRhineland-PalatinateHeidelbergHeilbronnHeilbronn (district)Karlsruhe (district)MannheimNeckar-Odenwald-KreisEberbachAltlußheimAngelbachtalBammentalBrühlDielheimDossenheimEberbachEberbachEberbachEdingen-NeckarhausenEdingen-NeckarhausenEpfenbachEppelheimEschelbronnGaibergHeddesbachHeddesheimHeiligkreuzsteinachHelmstadt-BargenHemsbachHirschberg an der BergstraßeHockenheimIlvesheimKetschLadenburgLaudenbachLeimenLeimenLobbachMalschMauerMeckesheimMühlhausenNeckarbischofsheimNeckargemündNeidensteinNeulußheimNußlochOftersheimPlankstadtRauenbergReichartshausenReilingenSandhausenSankt Leon-RotSchönauSchönbrunnSchriesheimSchwetzingenSchwetzingenSinsheimSpechbachWaibstadtWalldorfWeinheimWeinheimWiesenbachWieslochWilhelmsfeldZuzenhausenSchwetzingen
Coordinates: 49°23′N08°34′E / 49.383°N 8.567°E / 49.383; 8.567 Coordinates: 49°23′N08°34′E / 49.383°N 8.567°E / 49.383; 8.567
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Rhein-Neckar-Kreis
   Mayor René Pöltl
  Total 21.62 km2 (8.35 sq mi)
Elevation 100 m (300 ft)
Population (2015-12-31) [1]
  Total 22,335
  Density 1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 68701–68723
Dialling codes 06202
Vehicle registration HD

Schwetzingen ( Loudspeaker.svg   listen  ) is a German town situated in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg, around 10 km (6.2 mi) southwest of Heidelberg and 15 km (9.3 mi) southeast of Mannheim. Schwetzingen is one of the five biggest cities of the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district and a medium-sized centre near the higher ranked city of Mannheim.

Town settlement that is bigger than a village but smaller than a city

A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages but smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish them vary considerably between different parts of the world.

Baden-Württemberg State in Germany

Baden-Württemberg is a state in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the border with France. It is Germany’s third-largest state, with an area of 35,751 km2 (13,804 sq mi) and 11 million inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is a parliamentary republic and partly sovereign, federated state which was formed in 1952 by a merger of the states of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern. The largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Pforzheim, Reutlingen and Ulm.

Heidelberg Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a university town in Baden-Württemberg situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. In the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, with roughly a quarter of its population being students.



Schwetzingen is located in the Rhine-Neckar-triangle in the plain of the Rhine river, lying west of the Odenwald and in the east of the Rhine. A small stream, the Leimbach, runs through the city before joining the Rhine.

Rhine river in Western Europe

The Rhine is a European river that begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.

Neckar right tributary of Rhine river in Germany

The Neckar is a 362-kilometre-long (225 mi) river in Germany, mainly flowing through the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, with a short section through Hesse. The Neckar is a major right tributary of the Rhine. Rising in the Black Forest near Villingen-Schwenningen in the Schwenninger Moos conservation area at a height of 706 m (2,316 ft) above sea level, it passes through Rottweil, Rottenburg am Neckar, Kilchberg, Tübingen, Wernau, Nürtingen, Plochingen, Esslingen, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Marbach, Heilbronn and Heidelberg, before discharging into the Rhine at Mannheim, at 95 m (312 ft) above sea level.

Odenwald low mountain range in Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany

The Odenwald  is a low mountain range in the German states of Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

Neighbouring municipalities

The following municipalities, listed clockwise beginning in the north, border on the city limits of Schwetzingen: Mannheim, Plankstadt, Oftersheim, Hockenheim, Ketsch and Brühl. The municipal area of Schwetzingen is completely consolidated with Oftersheim. The limits of Plankstadt are only separated by one street from the limits of Schwetzingen.

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.

Plankstadt Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Plankstadt  is a municipality in the district of Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Oftersheim Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Oftersheim is a municipality in the district of Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 8 km southwest of Heidelberg.


Schwetzingen was mentioned as "Suezzingen" for the first time in 766, recorded in the late twelfth-century Codex Aureus of Lorsch, but there are already traces of settlement from the Stone Age. Originally it consisted of two settlements, Ober- and Unterschwetzingen, that grew together in the course of the 17th and 18th century. Originally the town belonged to the diocese of Worms, but later passed to the Counts of the Palatinate in the 12th century.

Codex Aureus of Lorsch

The Codex Aureus of Lorsch or Lorsch Gospels is an illuminated Gospel Book written in latin between 778 and 820, roughly coinciding with the period of Charlemagne's rule over the Frankish Empire. Both the manuscript and the carved ivory panels from the cover are rare and important survivals from the art of this period.

Stone Age broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make implements

The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted roughly 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking.

Worms, Germany Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Worms is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, situated on the Upper Rhine about 60 kilometres south-southwest of Frankfurt-am-Main. It had approximately 82,000 inhabitants as of 2015.

Schwetzingen Castle Schwetzingen BW 2014-07-22 16-51-11.jpg
Schwetzingen Castle

The moated castle of Schwetzingen is mentioned for the first time in 1350. It was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War and in the following War of the Palatinate Succession; it was rebuilt by count Johann Wilhelm and his predecessor. From 1720 it served temporarily as the residence of the Elector Karl III Philip (17161742) after he moved away from Heidelberg. Later on it served as a summer residence of the Elector of the Palatinate and their court.

Thirty Years War War between 1618 and 1648; with over 8 million fatalities

The Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but also from violence, famine, and plague. Casualties were overwhelmingly and disproportionately inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire, most of the rest being battle deaths from various foreign armies. In terms of proportional German casualties and destruction, it was surpassed only by the period January to May 1945; one of its enduring results was 19th-century Pan-Germanism, when it served as an example of the dangers of a divided Germany and became a key justification for the 1871 creation of the German Empire.

Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine Elector Palatine, Duke of Jülich and Berg and Count Palatine of Neuburg

Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine was a ruler from the house of Wittelsbach. He was Elector Palatine, Count of Palatinate-Neuburg, and Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1716 to 1742. Until 1728 Charles III Philip was also Count of Megen.

Court judicial institution with the authority to resolve legal disputes

A court is any person or institution with authority to judge or adjudicate, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all people have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court.

Schwetzingen Castle began as a simple aristocratic fishing retreat (much like Versailles and Karlsruhe which began as hunting lodges) and had an eventful architectural history, in several phases of construction, especially during the reigns of the Elector Karl III Philip and Karl IV Theodor (17421799) who, as their answer to Versailles, embellished the castle gardens with some of the finest and most elaborate formal water parterres in Germany gardens.

Palace of Versailles palace in Versailles, France and location of the Museum of the History of France

The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris.

Karlsruhe Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Karlsruhe is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg after its capital of Stuttgart, and its 309,999 (2016) inhabitants make it the 21st largest city of Germany. On the right bank of the Rhine, the city lies near the French-German border, between the Mannheim/Ludwigshafen conurbation to the north, and the Strasbourg/Kehl conurbation to the south. It is the largest city of Baden, a region named after Hohenbaden Castle in the city of Baden-Baden. Karlsruhe is also the largest city in the South Franconian dialect area, the only other larger city in that area being Heilbronn. The city is the seat of the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), as well as of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) and the Public Prosecutor General of the Federal Court of Justice.

Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria German nobleman and elector

Charles Theodore reigned as Prince-elector and Count Palatine from 1742, as Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1742 and also as prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria from 1777 to his death. He was a member of the House of Palatinate-Sulzbach, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach.

As it evolved, the high central Baroque block of the Castle was extended to either side (from 1747 onwards) in matching curved ranges of glazed arcades that were punctuated by pavilions which followed the arc of the vast garden circle. They partly enclose the circle bisected by a wide gravel axis flanked by parterres which centers on a spring-fed water-basin inspired by the bassin of Diana at Versailles, but here expressing the more appropriately water-centered Greek myth of the poet Arion and the dolphins.

On the other side at the entrance, a mulberry-tree allée stretched from the centre of the Castle to the city of Heidelberg, 10 km away on the horizon, truly a remarkable feat of autocratic landscaping.

The curving outbuildings of Schwetzingen inspired the smaller Rococo perfections of Schloss Benrath, with its quarter arcs of matching corps de logis embracing a formal sheet of water, built for Carl Theodor near Düsseldorf, 17561770.

In 1759 Schwetzingen received permission to host markets and was developed into a baroque city through the 18th century. In 1803 all the territories of the Palatine electorate east of the Rhine, including Schwetzingen were absorbed into the Grand Duchy of Baden and the castle became a residence of the Grand Dukes of Baden. In 1833 Schwetzingen was elevated to city status by Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden. The beginning of industrialization in Schwetzingen in the year 1850 made the city an important seat of cigar factories and canneries. Also, the cultivation of asparagus gained importance and has remained one of Schwetzingen's claim to fame.

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Population development

These figures are estimates only, official census results (¹) or statistics of the resident's registration office.

1. December 18713,862
1. December 1880 ¹4,649
1. December 1890 ¹5,116
1. December 1900 ¹6,432
1. December 1910 ¹7,876
8. October 1919 ¹9,146
16. June 1925 ¹9,341
16. June 1933 ¹10,016
17. May 1939 ¹10,983
December 1945 ¹11,129
13. September 1950 ¹14,068
6. June 1961 ¹14,992
27. May 1970 ¹16,508
31. December 197518,296
31. December 198018,384
27. May 1987 ¹17,729
31. December 199019,098
31. December 199521,872
31. December 200022,267
31. March 200422,635

¹ official census results


Local council

The local council of Schwetzingen has 26 members since the last elections in June 2009.

Elections in May 2014:

CDU: 7 seats
Schwetzinger Wähler Forum 97: 4 seats
SPD: 5 seats
Free voters: 5 seats
Alliance 90/The Greens: 4 seats
FDP: 1 seat


Coat of arms

The coat of arms of Schwetzingen consists of a divided shield with a golden lion on the upper half on a black background and on the lower half there is a silver ring on blue background. The city flag is white and blue. The lion symbolizes the Palatine Electorate, of which Schwetzingen was a member until 1803. The ring was originally a wheel originating from the seal of an inhabitant who had contacts to the castle of Schwetzingen.

Twin towns

Schwetzingen is twinned with:

Economy and Infrastructure


Schwetzingen lies relatively favourably between the two autobahns A 5 (with the junction Heidelberg/Schwetzingen) and A 6 (with the junctions Schwetzingen/Hockenheim and Mannheim/Schwetzingen). Schwetzingen station was opened in 1870 on the Rhine Railway, connecting Mannheim and Karlsruhe.

Between 1910 and 1938 there was a tramline connecting Schwetzingen and Ketsch, between 1927 and 1973 there was also a tramline connecting Heidelberg with Schwetzingen.


In Schwetzingen the daily newspaper is the "Schwetzinger Zeitung", which is a local newspaper published by the "Mannheimer Morgen".

Public institutions

In Schwetzingen there is a district court, a notary's office, an internal revenue service, a customs office and an employment office.


The city maintains the Hebel-Gymnasium, the Karl-Friedrich-Schimper-Realschule, the Hilda Hauptschule, four elementary schools (Grundschule Hirschacker, Johann-Michael-Zeyher Grundschule, Nordstadt-Grundschule and Südstadt-Grundschule) as well as a special school, the Kurt-Waibel-Förderschule. Furthermore there are two vocational schools (Carl-Theodor- and Erhart-Schott-School) and the Comenius-School for mentally handicapped. In the left wing of Schwetzingen's castle there is an advanced technical college for administration of justice, maintained by the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Schwetzingen Castle Schwetzingen BW 2014-07-22 16-43-37.jpg
Schwetzingen Castle

Main sights


The Schlosstheater Schwetzingen, which was built as the Schlosstheatre ("castle theatre") in 17511752 by Nicolas de Pigage, is located in the complex of Schloss Schwetzingen, which hosts, among other events, the annual opera and music festival, the Schwetzingen Festival . The theatre fell into disuse by the late 19th century, but was renovated in 1937 and given its present name after its Rococo style of architecture and used by the Festival since 1952. Between 1971 and 1974, it was modernized and re-opened with 450 seats for opera and 510 seats for drama. It is the oldest surviving theatre in Europe with boxless circles. [2]


The Mosque of Schwetzingen Castle Schwetzingen BW 2014-07-24 11-31-18.jpg
The Mosque of Schwetzingen Castle

Schwetzingen Castle is the city's most famous landmark. Its gardens are also notable, as there are elements of French Baroque and the English garden style, with statuary by Peter Anton von Verschaffelt. Also worth seeing are the theatre, the orangery, the bath and various follies, including the temples of Apollo, Mercury and Minerva, the Mosque (built 17781791) and the fountain of Arion.

The city hall was built in 1821 and expanded in 1889, 1912 and 1919.

There are four churches in Schwetzingen:

Regular events

Scenic byways

Schwetzingen is located on three major tourist or theme routes:

Sons and daughters of the town

Franz Danzi 1817 Franz Danzi.JPG
Franz Danzi 1817

Personalities associated with Schwetzingen

See also

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  1. "Gemeinden in Deutschland nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und Postleitzahl am 30.09.2016". Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2016.
  2. Historic Theatres in Germany brochure, Perspectiv, Association of Historic Theatres in Europe, www.perspectiv-online. 2009.