10 largest cities in Germany
Frankfurt am Main
Wiesbaden is the capital of the State of Hesse and with its 15
thermal and mineral springs one of the oldest health spas in Europe.
Around 279,000 people lived in Hesse's second largest city after Frankfurt am Main at the end of 2019. The independent city is one of the ten regional centers of the state of Hesse and, together with the neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate state capital Mainz, forms a cross-border dual center with a total of around 507,000 inhabitants. Mainz and Wiesbaden are the only two capitals of German territorial states with a common city border. Alongside Frankfurt am Main, Mainz and Darmstadt, the city is one of the core cities of the Frankfurt / Rhine-Main metropolitan region. Some areas also belong to the Frankfurt metropolitan area.
In 2015, the state capital Wiesbaden ranked sixth among the wealthiest cities in Germany with over 200,000 inhabitants. In 2018, the city had an above-average purchasing power index of 110.3 percent of the national average or around 25,961 euros per person in employment and thus ranks 7th among the 56 largest German cities. In the future atlas 2019, the city of Wiesbaden was ranked 46th out of 402 districts and cities in Germany, making it one of the places with "high future opportunities".
Roman and Middle Ages
Wiesbaden was called "Aquae Mattiacorum" by the Romans. A first military post (earth fort) was built on the Heidenberg between 6 and 15 AD. A little later, with the expansion of the thermal baths, the development of a civil Roman settlement began. At the end of the 4th century, the Alemanni took over the security of Wiesbaden as the Mainz bridgehead, and a hundred years later the Franks began to settle. As early as 828/30 the place was first referred to as "Wisabada".
Today's Wiesbaden, as well as today's Offenbach, were also popular destinations for traders, as the Rhine-Main area developed into a central hub of trade in the 9-16th centuries.
In the 13th century it was temporarily an imperial city until it was destroyed by the Archbishop of Mainz in 1242. From 1690 the city with its 730 inhabitants was expanded and re-fortified. In 1744 Prince Karl von Nassau-Usingen moved his residence to Biebrich Castle. Wiesbaden now became the seat of the government of the principality, later of the Duchy of Nassau (1806 to 1866).
19th century - historicism - world spa town
In 1800 the city had 2,240 inhabitants, in 1905 there were 101,000. During this time, the city developed into an international health resort and attracted many wealthy spa guests and citizens. It was considered a "world spa town". The cure was an opportunity to see and be seen.
The cityscape was shaped by representative residential buildings, hotel palaces and elegant villas, which were then joined by the new Kurhaus and theater.
At the end of the 18th century, gambling spread and the economy continued to grow.
From around 1800 AD the great change occurred with Dyckerhoff and Fresenius. Other important personalities in Wiesbaden's industrial history are Heinrich Albert, Ludwig Beck, Otto Heinrich Adolf Henkell, Fritz Kalle, Wilhelm Kalle and Wilhelm von Opel. These gentlemen drove the industry forward between 1800 and around 1950 and made other people follow them.
20th and 21st centuries - congress and state capital
Only a small part of the city center was destroyed in World War II. The magnificent houses and squares still shape the city today. It no longer enjoys its reputation as a spa town, but as a congress and culture town.