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Darmstadt is an independent city in the south of Hesse, the administrative seat of the administrative district of Darmstadt and the district of Darmstadt-Dieburg. The city belongs to the Rhine-Main area and is one of the ten regional centers of the State of Hesse. Darmstadt has around 160,000 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest city in the state of Hesse after Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden and Kassel. The closest larger cities are Frankfurt am Main and Offenbach, about 30 km north, Wiesbaden and Mainz, about 40 km northwest, Mannheim, about 45 km and Heidelberg about 55 km south.

Darmstadt describes itself as a science city. This title was awarded to the city in 1997 by the Hessian Ministry of the Interior. It owes this status to a number of universities and research institutions, such as the Technical University founded in 1877, the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, the Protestant University and the Wilhelm Büchner University with a total of around 50,000 students. The GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, the European Space Flight Control Center (ESA / ESOC), the European Organization for the Use of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and three institutes of the Fraunhofer Society are among the more than 30 other research institutions. In addition, there are large companies and institutions in the communications and IT sector that conduct applied research and development.

Darmstadt's reputation as the “Center of Art Nouveau” goes back to the artist colony established by Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig on Mathildenhöhe in 1899. Darmstadt is home to the second division soccer club SV Darmstadt 98.

Darmstadt ranks 52nd among the largest cities in Germany.



The name "Darmstadt"
The origin of the name Darmstadt is unclear. The oldest surviving mention of the settlement under the name Darmundestat comes from the 11th century, several centuries after the settlement was founded. The attempts to explain the origin of the name are very different:

The local press prefers the explanation that Darmstadt was the fortified settlement of a royal wild boar named Darimund.
Another interpretation sees the name as a derivation of the terms darre for gate or obstacle and mouth for protection, so Darmundestat would be a settlement on a paved passage.
Another derivation wants to recognize the Celtic word stems dar for oak or tree and mont for mountain.
Furthermore, attempts are being made to see the origin of the name in the Darmbach. Following this theory, Darmstadt would be either the site on the torrent (Dam-unda-stat) or the site on the moor brook (Darm-unda-stat). However, what speaks against this thesis is that, according to current knowledge, the Darmbach was only called that later.
Darmstadt is the only German city after which an element, namely Darmstadtium, was named.

Historical forms of names
Historically documented mentions of the place are (in brackets the year of the mention):
Darmundestat (2nd half of the 11th century)
Darmistat (1234)
Intestinal stat
Gutestat (1315)
Darmstad (1377)
Darmbstadt (1451)
Darmstatt (1477)
Darmstait (1479)
Darmstadt (1488)
Darmbstadt (1555)
Darmstatt (1586)
Darmbstatt (1600)

The municipality of Bessungen was incorporated on April 1, 1888. On April 1, 1937, Arheilgen and Eberstadt and around 25% of Griesheims, including the military training area with the August Euler airfield, the Tann settlement and today's Sankt Stephan, were added. Wixhausen followed on January 1, 1977.

On January 1, 1977, the Sankt Stephans settlement, which had around 2,000 inhabitants at the time, was returned to the neighboring town of Griesheim.

From the 13th to the 15th century, Klappach was a hamlet south of the village of Bessungen near Darmstadt.

Population development
On April 1, 1937, the city's population exceeded 100,000 due to the incorporation of Arheilgen and Eberstadt. During the Second World War, the city lost around 40 percent (45,000) of its residents between 1939 (115,000 inhabitants) and 1945 (70,000 inhabitants). In 1953 the population had reached the pre-war level again. The population of Darmstadt reached its highest level to date on December 31, 2016 with 159,982 registered residents.

The following overview shows the population figures according to the respective territorial status. Up to 1833 it is mostly estimates, then census results (highlighted in color) or official updates by the respective statistical offices or the city administration itself. From 1843 onwards, the information relates to the “local population”, from 1925 to the resident population and since 1987 to the “population at the location of the main residence ”. Before 1843 the number of inhabitants was surveyed inconsistently.



Denomination statistics
According to the 2011 census, 33.1% of the population were Protestant, 19.3% Roman Catholic and 47.6% were non-denominational, belonged to another religious community or did not provide any information. The number of Catholics and Protestants has decreased since then. At the end of 2019, 25.6% of the residents were Protestant, 17.1% Roman Catholic and 57.3% had no denomination or belonged to another religious community. A year earlier (as of December 2018), 26.5% of Darmstadt's residents were Evangelical Lutheran Christians, 17.5% Catholics and 56.0% others (of a different or no denomination).

In 1526, Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous introduced the Reformation according to the Lutheran confession, so that Darmstadt remained a Lutheran city for a long time. The Christians of the Reformed Confession did not receive the right to hold church services until 1770/71. Since Darmstadt was the residential city, the consistory (church administration) of the Evangelical Church in Hesse was located here, which was united with the regional churches of Frankfurt and Nassau in 1934 and 1947 respectively. Furthermore, the seat of the superintendent or Propstei Starkenburg is located in Darmstadt. Today all Protestant parishioners in Darmstadt - provided they do not belong to an evangelical free church or a parish of the independent Evangelical Lutheran Church - are assigned to the Darmstadt-Stadt deanery within the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau.

Roman Catholic parishioners moved back to the city no later than the 18th century. They were allowed to hold services again from 1790. In 1827 the dome-roofed Ludwigskirche was completed. Darmstadt is the capital of the Darmstadt deanery in the diocese of Mainz.

Furthermore, there are various Christian free churches in Darmstadt, some of which are members of the Evangelical Alliance. These include, for example, the Christian Center Darmstadt (CZD), the Free Evangelical Community Darmstadt (FeG), the Free Christian Community (FCG), the Christian Community Ecclesia, the Christian Community (Brethren Movement) and numerous other Christian communities.

Orthodoxy is also represented in Darmstadt. The Russian Orthodox community celebrates services in the Russian Chapel (Church of St. Mary Magdalene) on Mathildenhöhe, the Greek Orthodox community in the Church of St. Nikolaos in Eberstadt.

There is also an active Jewish community life in Darmstadt. In 1988 the new synagogue was inaugurated.

In October 2003, the remains of the Liberal Synagogue, which had been destroyed on November 9, 1938, were uncovered during construction work on the grounds of the Darmstadt Clinic. Part of this former synagogue was destroyed in 1940 when an extinguishing water basin was built. In 1970, further foundations were removed due to new extensions to the clinic. The Liberal Synagogue was built from 1873 to 1876. In addition to the remains of the foundation, not only the remains of a circulating air heating system were found in the cellar, but also countless metal and glass fragments. The conservation concept of the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments, which has taken over the safeguarding of the finds, pursues an “unadorned and as unchanged as possible representation of the historical moment of destruction”. Since November 2009, visitors have been able to visit the site in a place of remembrance Liberal Synagogue. An employee of the Mathildenhöhe Institute completed a 1:50 scale model of the Liberal Synagogue by 2006. It has been in the community center of the Jewish community since 2010.

Darmstadt's Orthodox Synagogue on Bleichstrasse was also destroyed on November 9, 1938. In 2010 a memorial stone reminded of the location of the church.

For several years now, symbolic “stumbling blocks” by the artist Gunter Demnig can be found in the Darmstadt city area. These are set in the ground in front of buildings to commemorate their former Jewish residents and others such as Jehovah's Witnesses, communists or Zigans, as well as resistance fighters, who were expelled or murdered during the time of National Socialism.

Here is the list of stumbling blocks in Darmstadt.

There are several Muslim communities of different religious or ethnic groups in Darmstadt. The largest mosques are the Emir Sultan Mosque of the ATIB community, IRD (Islamic Religious Community Darmstadt eV), the Arabic-speaking Salam Mosque (Mesjid Issalaam) and, among others, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Nuur-ud-Din- Mosque. There are also several other prayer rooms, especially those of the Turkish state controlled DİTİB communities.


Geographical location

Four natural spaces meet in Darmstadt: The west of the urban area is in the Upper Rhine Plain. In the southern part of the city, to the east, the narrow edge of the mountain road, which begins here, connects. The south-east of the urban area is part of the Vorderen Odenwald up to about Mathildenhöhe. The northernmost point of the Odenwald is on the B 26 near the Institute for Botany and Zoology. The northeast of Darmstadt, on the other hand, is part of the Messeler Hügelland natural area. The city is traversed by the Darmbach and, in the southern district of Eberstadt, the Modau.

As a regional center, Darmstadt is also the central location for the districts of Darmstadt-Dieburg and Odenwaldkreis as well as the communities of the southern district of Groß-Gerau, an area with a total of around 650,000 inhabitants. Neighboring centers are Frankfurt am Main in the north, Aschaffenburg in the east, Heidelberg and Mannheim / Ludwigshafen in the south and Mainz in the north-west.

Neighboring communities
Darmstadt borders in the north on the Offenbach district and in the east, south and west on the Darmstadt-Dieburg district. It borders (clockwise from the north) on the municipality of Egelsbach, the cities of Langen and Dreieich (all three districts of Offenbach), the municipalities of Messel, Groß -zimmer and Roßdorf, the city of Ober-Ramstadt, the municipalities of Mühltal and Seeheim-Jugenheim, the Cities Pfungstadt, Griesheim and Weiterstadt as well as the community Erzhausen (all district Darmstadt-Dieburg).

City structure and districts
The urban area of ​​Darmstadt is divided into nine districts. For statistical reasons, they are divided into statistical districts, each of which is numbered. Of the total of nine districts, five are in the city center (districts 100 to 500) and four are in the outskirts (districts 600 to 900).

Darmstadt's social geography shows a relatively large gap between affluent and socially weaker districts, which has existed since the 19th century. In the core city (without outer districts) there is a clear east-west divide with the most affluent residential areas on the eastern edge of the city from the composer's quarter in the north to Rosen- and Mathildenhöhe, Lichtwiese and Paulusviertel to Ludwigshöhe in the south. The city center with its rebuilt post-war buildings is on average, while Johannesviertel and Martinsviertel in the north and Alt-Bessungen in the south are among the more sought-after residential areas in which gentrification processes have been taking place since around 1975 due to their partially preserved old buildings. In contrast, the west of Darmstadt is characterized by a strong mix of functions, commercial, residential and formerly military use, so that there are many conversion areas and the high pollution from industry and traffic as well as the lack of social infrastructure in some areas cause urban planning problems. On the other hand, the west is the only inner city area where new living space can be created to a significant extent in order to alleviate the general shortage in Darmstadt. This area along the Main-Neckar-Bahn, as a western city, has been in the focus of Darmstadt's urban planning since the turn of the millennium and is undergoing major change.



Darmstadt is located in the temperate climate zone. The average temperature is 10.1 ° C. The warmest month is July with an average of 19.3 ° C. The coldest month is January with an average of 0.9 ° C.

Darmstadt and the Rhine-Main area are located at the northern end of the Upper Rhine Plain, which is climatically one of the warmest regions in Germany. The annual mean temperature of 10.1 ° C (long-term mean for the reference period 1981-2010) is higher than that of other German metropolises (Berlin 9.0 ° C, Hamburg 9.1 ° C, Munich 7.7 ° C). The sun shines the longest in July with an average of 7.5 hours a day. In December, the sun shines the shortest with an average of 1.2 hours a day. The overall climate is therefore quite mild. In the period from November to January there is an average of only one to two hours of sunshine during the day. The average rainfall is 765 mm per year.

Snow averages about fifteen days in winter. The snow depth is rarely more than ten centimeters and the snow usually does not stay long. White Christmas is on average every 10 years.

The summer is quite warm with highs around 25 ° C (on an average of eleven days a year also over 30 ° C); It is also slightly changeable with occasional showers or thunderstorms, but this is also the sunniest time with seven to eight hours a day.


The extreme values are around −21 ° C in winter and around +39 ° C in summer. The highest temperature ever measured in Darmstadt was 39.5 ° C, measured on August 7, 2015. The lowest temperature ever measured in Darmstadt was −26.9 ° C, measured on January 19, 1940. The average annual temperature rose on average From 1981 to 2010 by approx. 0.4 to 10.1 ° C.

The mean annual rainfall was around 600–700 mm. Most of the precipitation falls in July, the lowest in April, averaging between 1981 and 2010. The average humidity is approx.

The prevailing wind direction is west.