- Lower Saxony
- North Rhine Westphalia
- Frisian Islands
- Harz Mountains
The second largest city in Baden-Württemberg, Mannheim is an important river port located at the intersection of the Rhine and Neckar rivers. The city is also an important trade and industrial center, home to many factories producing machinery, metal goods, chemical products, textile products and construction material. Mannheim exudes a unique elegance; the locals are friendly, hospitable with a cosmopolitan outlook.
Mannheim was founded by Palatine elector Frederic IV in 1606, and for many years the city served as refuge for Dutch protestant refugees. In 1689, the city was overcome by the French army, however just 10 years later it was rebuilt and fortified. Towards 1720 it was designated seat of the palatine electors. Mannheim was also one of the most famous musical and theatrical centers of Germany for many years; both composer W.A. Mozart and playwright Friedrich von Schiller resided here during some part of their lives.
This city has turned from a small village into a cosmopolitan city full of shopping districts, industrial and trade zones and recreational areas. Art and culture in general are very important to the locals, both in modern-day Mannheim and in the times when Mozart walked its streets.
The most important landmarks and tourist attractions include the 18th Century Baroque style castle, which today is the University of Mannheim; the Museum of Fine Arts - holding an exquisite 19th and 20th Century art collection; the "Luisenpark", a park where dramatic plays can be enjoyed from across the pond, and where the art gallery and several other museums can be visited; and the Reiss Municipal Museum with decorative art displays and exhibitions on local history.
It shouldn't be forgotten that Mannheim is the starting point of the almost 1000 km-long tour known as the "Castle Route", which passes through Heidelberg, Rothenburg and Nuremberg, ending in Prague. This tour passes some 70 castles and palaces together with other impressive witnesses from the past, such as medieval towns and cities and buildings from different stages in history.