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Developed round a fan design

Karlsruhe - a young city in the heart of Europe

Karlsruhe, situated in the Rhine valley between the mountains of the Palatinate, the Vosges and the Black Forest, is a young and hospitable city in the heart of Europe. Joie de vivre, openness, Baden's traditional liberality and proverbial hospitality are among the most outstanding characteristics of its inhabitants. What used to be the capital and seat of the princes of Baden is now home to nearly 287,000 people. It also forms the centre of the Upper Rhine region and is known both in and even outside the Federal Republic as the "seat of justice". This last attribute is the result of its being home to Germany's highest courts, namely the Federal Supreme Court and the Federal Constitutional Court. This is why "taking a case to Karlsruhe" has long since become synonymous with the rule of law.

Karlsruhe is also known as the "green city". One quarter of its land area is covered by forest and this woodland penetrates just as deep into the city as the Zoological Gardens. Indeed, the uncluttered and spacious urban landscape is full of extensive, carefully cultivated parks with magnificent old trees and beautiful gardens.

Marktplatz mit Pyramide
Karlsruhe's most famous landmark:
the Pyramid in front of the town hall on the Marktplatz

Colourful mosaic with countless different facets

The margrave Karl Wilhelm of Baden-Durlach founded the city in 1715 along the star-shaped avenues emanating southwards from his palace. It was thus the plans of an absolutist house of princes which resulted in the world-famous fan that has continued to shape the city centre right up to this day. The neoclassical architecture which gives the inner city its special charm was the work of the architect, Friedrich Weinbrenner, in the early and mid-19th century. The towns and villages which have since been swallowed by the city, including some which are much older than the core city itself, also contribute to the colourful mosaic-like image Karlsruhe enjoys today. In 1938, for example, the town of Durlach, the first documentary evidence of which dates back to 1196, added its historical ensemble of buildings, narrow streets and squares as well as an oval-shaped town centre which can be traced back to the Middle Ages. This part of Karlsruhe still attracts countless visitors even today.

Arts and culture are a top priority

The Baden princes' appreciation of arts and culture gave rise to a tradition which has been perpetuated right up to this very day. Karlsruhe's reputation as a centre for arts and culture is still cultivated by the Badisches Staatstheater, several private theatres, the Academy of Fine Arts, the College of Music, State Art Gallery, Badischer Kunstverein, the City Museum in the Prinz-Max-Palais, the Ständehaus with the City Library and various monuments to Germany's first parliamentary democracy which was based in this city, as well as numerous other cultural institutions. "Das Fest", the largest, non-commercial open-air event in Germany which attracts well over 100,000 visitors every year, is held here, as is the Festival of European Culture, Händel Festival and countless other festivals, providing a wide range of cultural events throughout the year.

Unique symbiosis of computer technology and art

Of particular importance to the international art scene is Karlsruhe's Centre for Art and Media Technology (ZKM), Europe's largest producer of media art, which is housed in a 312-metre-long listed factory building. Among its special attractions for the public at large are the world's first media museum and a multimedia wonderland with all the cool charm of a Startrek set. The ZKM's neighbour inside this huge building on the Brauerstrasse boulevard is the City Art Gallery, which houses a number of treasures, including works by Hans Thoma and Markus Lüpertz.

Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie
A unique art factory:
The Centre for Art and Media Technology (ZKM)

Sport and congresses top of the hit parade

Karlsruhe has also made a name for itself as a sports city. The Europahalle, also known as the nerve centre for sports in Baden, is a regular venue for events of international renown. Its greatest challenge to date was in 1989, when it hosted the impressive World Games, the most important event for non-Olympic sports. At the heart of the Hardt Forest is the Wildpark Stadium, Karlsruher SC's home ground. The Congress and Exhibition Centre surrounding the Festplatz have made Karlsruhe one of Germany's top addresses for congresses and shows too. Karlsruhe's new trade fair, built at the old airfield in Forchheim with the support of partners throughout the region, is helping to promote the city as a venue for trade fairs.

High tech and high life are its trademarks

The fan-shaped city enjoys an excellent international reputation in the world of science and research too. A number of young entrepreneurs have done some very successful work at the Technology Factory, a model project set up by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The research and innovative potential of the university, which has over 20,000 students, as well as that of three other institutions of higher education and numerous other scientific institutions, above all the Karlsruhe Research Centre, have provided a solid basis for the top position the entire economic region now enjoys in the world of science and technology. It was in this city that the idea for the TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe was born - a region in which the surrounding towns and districts can present their very varied potential as a single body and avail themselves of the benefits for the good of all. Finally, Karlsruhe's role as one of the focal points of the PAMINA region, which embraces towns and municipalities in Northern Alsace, the Southern Palatinate and Middle Upper Rhine, takes it well beyond even these borders.

High tech, high life and the European way of thinking "Baden style" - this is the image Karlsruhe enjoys today. It is the image of a big, modern city which for all its dynamism, has lost nothing of its historical charm and appeal. It is a city worth living in and a city worth visiting.

The planning spirit which gave the city its face· From the seat of a court to a modern city · The cradle of democracy and seat of justice
A pioneer in science and research · Technology - the driving force behind business· It's always holiday time in Karlsruhe
Art combines the historical with the modern· Together with our partners into a European future· Milestones in Karlsruhe's history
Bild Abschlußleiste
Presse- und Informationsamt -BS-