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Coat of Arms Map
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Wiesbaden's coat-of-arms.
Image:Wiesbaden in Germany.png
State: Hesse
Regierungsbezirk: Darmstadt
District: Independent City
Area: 204 km
Population: 271,351 (30. April 2004)
Population density: 1,325/km
Elevation: 115 m
Postal code: 65183-65207 (old: 6200)
Area/distance code: 0611, 061-22, 061-27
Location: Template:Coor dm
Municipal code: 06414000
Car designation: WI
Arrangement of the city: 26 districts
Address of the city administration: 6 Schlossplatz
Wiesbaden 65183
Website: www.wiesbaden.de

Wiesbaden is a city in central Germany. It is the capital of the Bundesland of Hesse. Wiesbaden is situated on the right (north) bank of the Rhine (German: "Rhein"), near the city of Mainz (spelled "Mayence" in older English documents, but generally spelled "Mainz" in English today) on the opposite side of the river, and a short distance, about twenty miles (thirty kilometers), from Frankfurt am Main, to the east. Wiesbaden has about 270,000 inhabitants (2002).



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Memorian for the German Hesse-Nassaus fallen at the Battle of Waterloo

Evidence of settlements at Wiesbaden dates back to the neolithic era.

Continuous occupancy began with the erection of a Roman fort in the year 6. The thermal springs of Wiesbaden were first mentioned in Pliny the Younger's Naturalis Historia. The Roman settlement is first mentioned by the name Aquae Mattiacorum (Latin for "Waters of the Mattiaci") in 121. This name refers to the Chattian tribe of the Mattiaci (German: "Mattiaker"), who were living in this area.

The Alamanni 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.

During the 6th century, the Franks displaced the Alamanni. In the 8th century the Franks built a royal yard ("Knigshof", "curtis regia"). Somewhere between 828 and 830, Einhard mentions "Wisabada". This was the first time that the name Wiesbaden is used.

In the 1170s the Dukes of Nassau received the area around Wiesbaden as fiefdom. They governed until in 1242 the archbishop of Mainz conquered Wiesbaden and burnt it down. Wiesbaden returned to the house of Nassau in 1270. In 1329 the house of Nassau and thereby Wiesbaden received the right of coinage from Louis the Bavarian.

Due to its participation in the uprisings of the Peasants' War Wiesbaden lost all its privileges in 1525 for over forty years. During this time, Wiesbaden built a new vineyard in 1526, 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 still existing building of the town, the Old City Hall, was built from 1609 to 1610. No older buildings are preserved due to two fires in 1547 and 1561.

In 1815 the capital of Nassau was moved to Wiesbaden, and the city became the ducal residence. Building activity started in order to give the city a magnificent look. The historical centre of Wiesbaden dates largely back to this time. In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Nassau decided to take 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.

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Wiesbaden railroad station built from 1904 till 1906

After World War II, the state of Hesse was established, and Wiesbaden became its capital.

American armed forces have been present in Wiesbaden since the war. The US Army's 1st Armor Division and 3rd Corps Support Command are both headquartered at the Wiesbaden Army Airfield, just off the autobahn toward Frankfurt.

Thermal springs and spa

Wiesbaden is famous for its thermal springs and spa. The thermal springs were first utilised by the Romans. The bathing business became important for Wiesbaden near the end of the Middle Ages. In 1370, sixteen bath houses were in operation. By 1800, there were 2,239 inhabitants and twenty-three bath houses. Among visitors to the springs were Goethe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Wagner, and Johannes Brahms. In 1900, there were 86,100 inhabitants and 126,000 visitors. In those years there were more millionaires living in Wiesbaden than in any other city in Germany.

Incorporations into Wiesbaden:

Year Place
October 10, 1926 Biebrich (Stadt)
October 10, 1926 Schierstein
October 10, 1926 Sonnenberg
April 10, 1928 Bierstadt
April 10, 1928 Dotzheim
April 10, 1928 Erbenheim
April 10, 1928 Frauenstein
April 10, 1928 Heloch
April 10, 1928 Igstadt
April 10, 1928 Kloppenheim
April 10, 1928 Rambach
Georgenborn (1939)
August 10, 1945 Mainz-Amneburg ¹
August 10, 1945 Mainz-Kastel ¹
August 10, 1945 Mainz-Kostheim ¹
January 1, 1977 Auringen
January 1, 1977 Breckenheim
January 1, 1977 Delkenheim
January 1, 1977 Medenbach
January 1, 1977 Naurod
January 1, 1977 Nordenstadt

Historical population:

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 ¹ 191,955
September 13, 1950 ¹ 220,741
June 6, 1961 ¹ 253,300
May 27, 1970 ¹ 250,122
June 30, 1975 251,400
June 30, 1980 273,700
June 30, 1985 267,000
May 27, 1987 ¹ 251,871
June 30, 1997 267,700
January 1, 2002 271,076

Mayors of Wiesbaden


Wiesbaden is twinned with:


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Wiesbaden pedestrian zone

The Schlossplatz ("palace square") is situated in the center of the city. There are two outstanding buildings around this square: the ducal palace and the new town hall. The palace was built by Duke Wilhelm of Nassau in 1840. For the twenty-six remaining years of ducal authority it was the residence of the ruling family. Today the building serves as Landtag (parliamentary building) for the federal state of Hesse. The New Town Hall replaced the old one in 1887. (The Old Town Hall, built in 1610, is the oldest preserved building of the city and is nowadays used as a civil registry office.) Engraved in the paving in front of the town hall there are the heraldic eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, the lion of Nassau, and the lilies of Wiesbaden.

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, being the highest building of the city. 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 there is the Waterloo Obelisk, commemorating the Nassauers who died in the wars against Napoleon.

The monumental Kurhaus ("spa house") (now containing a casino) and the Hessian state theater are from the time of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Apart from the palace in the center the ducal family had a huge 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 there is the Neroberg. From the top of this hill it is possible to get a panorama of the city. A funicular connects the city with the hill.


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 people born in Wiesbaden include American tennis star John McEnroe (who was born on a U.S. military base at Wiesbaden) and German film director Volker Schlndorff.

Mainz, which is 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 of the other one as "living on the wrong side of the river".

External links

Template:Commonsda:Wiesbaden de:Wiesbaden es:Wiesbaden eo:Wiesbaden fr:Wiesbaden it:Wiesbaden la:Aquae Mattiacae ja:ヴィースバーデン nl:Wiesbaden no:Wiesbaden pl:Wiesbaden pt:Wiesbaden sv:Wiesbaden


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