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Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhinemarker River in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württembergmarker (state) of Germany.

It came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into different lines, which were unified in 1771. It became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Badenmarker through the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803–06 and remained a sovereign country until it joined the German Empiremarker in 1871, remaining a Grand Duchy until 1918 when it became part of the Weimar Republicmarker as the Republic of Baden. Baden was bounded to the north by the Kingdom of Bavariamarker and the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadtmarker; to the west and practically throughout its whole length by the River Rhinemarker, which separated it from the Bavarianmarker Rhenish Palatinate and Alsacemarker in modern Francemarker ; to the south by Switzerlandmarker, and to the east by the Kingdom of Württemberg, the Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringenmarker and partly by Bavaria.

After World War II in 1945, the French military government created the state of Baden (originally known as "South Baden") out of the southern half of the former Baden, with Freiburgmarker as capital. This southern half of Baden was declared in its 1947 constitution to be the true successor of the old Baden. The northern half of the old Baden was combined with northern Württembergmarker as part of the American military zone and formed the state of Württemberg-Baden. Both states became states of West Germanymarker upon its formation in 1949.

In 1952 Baden merged with Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollernmarker (southern Württemberg and the former Prussian exclave of Hohenzollernmarker) to form Baden-Württembergmarker. This is the only merger of states that has taken place in the history of the Federal Republic of Germanymarker.

The anthem of Baden is called "Badnerlied" ( ) and consists of usually four or five traditional verses. However, over the years, many more verses have been added - there are collections with up to 591 verses of the anthem.


At the beginning of the 19th century, Baden was only a margraviate, with an area of barely 1300 sq mi (3,400 km²) and a population of 210,000. Since then, the grand duchy acquired more territory so that, by 1905, it had 5823 sq mi (15,082 km²) and a population of 2,010,728, of whom 60% are Roman Catholics, 37% Protestants, 1.5% Jews, and the remainder of other religions. Of the population about half may have been said, at that time, to be rural, living in communities of less than 2,000, while the density of the rest is about .

The country was divided into the following districts:

The capital of the duchy was Karlsruhe, and among important towns other than the above, there are Rastattmarker, Baden-Badenmarker, Bruchsalmarker, Lahrmarker and Offenburgmarker. The population is most thickly clustered in the north and near the Swiss town of Baselmarker. The inhabitants of Baden are of various origins, those to the south of Murgmarker being descended from the Alemanni and those to the north from the Franks, while the Swabian Plateau derives its name from the adjacent German tribe (Schwaben) living in Württembergmarker.

Due to the traditional rivalry between the populations of Baden and Württembergmarker, there was a strong opposition in Baden (predominantly in the South) against the unification of the two initially independent Länder. In recent years patriotism in Baden has increased again, mainly due to discontent with the politics of the government in Stuttgartmarker (situated in Württemberg).


[[File:Map of Baden (1806-1945).png|thumb|left|Baden as it stood from 1806 to 1945:

The Grand Duchy had an area of and consisted of a considerable portion of the eastern half of the fertile valley of the Rhinemarker and of the mountains which form its boundary.

The mountainous part was by far the most extensive, forming, indeed, nearly 80% of the whole area. From Lake Constancemarker in the south to the river Neckarmarker in the north is a portion of the Black Forestmarker ( ), which is divided by the valley of the Kinzigmarker into two districts of different elevation. To the south of the Kinzig the mean height is ), and the loftiest summit, the Feldbergmarker, reaches about , while to the north the mean height is only , and the Belchenmarker, the culminating point of the whole, does not exceed . To the north of the Neckar is the Odenwaldmarker Range, with a mean of , and in the Katzenbuckelmarker, an extreme of . Lying between the Rhine and the Dreisammarker is the Kaiserstuhlmarker, an independent volcanic group, nearly 16 km in length and 8 in breadth, the highest point of which is .

The greater part of Baden belongs to the basin of the Rhine, which receives upwards of twenty tributaries from the highlands; the north-eastern portion of the territory is also watered by the Mainmarker and the Neckar. A part, however, of the eastern slope of the Black Forest belongs to the basin of the Danube, which there takes its rise in a number of mountain streams. Among the numerous lakes which belonged to the duchy are the Mummelseemarker, Wildersee, Eichenersee and Schluchseemarker, but none of them is of any size. Lake Constancemarker (Bodensee) belongs partly to the German federal states (Länder) of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, furthermore to Austriamarker and Switzerlandmarker.

Owing to its physical configuration Baden presents great extremes of heat and cold. The Rhine valley is the warmest district in Germany, but the higher elevations of the Black Forest record the greatest degrees of cold experienced in the South. The mean temperature of the Rhine valley is approximately 10°C and that, of the high table-land, 6°C. July is the hottest and January the coldest month.

The mineral wealth of Baden was not great, but iron, coal, lead and zinc of excellent quality were produced, and silver, copper, gold, cobalt, vitriol and sulfur were obtained in small quantities. Peat was found in abundance, as well as gypsum, china clay, potter's earth and salt. The mineral springs of Baden are still very numerous and have acquired great celebrity, those of Baden-Badenmarker, Badenweilermarker, Antogast, Griesbach, Friersbach and Peterthal being the most frequented.

In the valleys the soil is particularly fertile, yielding luxuriant crops of wheat, maize, barley, spelt, rye, beans, potatoes, flax, hemp, hop, beetroot, and tobacco; and even in the more mountainous part, rye, wheat and oats are extensively cultivated. There is a considerable extent of pasture-land, and the rearing of cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats is extensively practised. Of game, deer, boar, snipe and wild partridges are fairly abundant, while the mountain streams yield trout of excellent quality. Viticulture is increasing, and the wines continue to sell well. The Baden wine region is Germany's third largest in terms of vineyard surface. The gardens and the orchards supply an abundance of fruit, especially sweet cherrys, plums, apples and walnuts, and bee-keeping is practised throughout the country. A greater proportion of Baden than any other south German state is occupied by forests. In these the predominant trees are European Beech and Silver Fir, but many others, such as Sweet Chestnut, Scots Pine, Norway Spruce and the exotic Coast Douglas-fir, are well-represented. A third, at least, of the annual timber production is exported.


56.8% of the region's land mass is cultivated and 38% is forested, but the agricultural sector, which before 1870 yielded the bulk of the region's wealth, has been superseded by industrial production. The chief manufactures are machinery, woollen and cotton goods, silk ribbons, paper, tobacco, chinamarker, leather, glass, clocks, jewelry, and chemicals. Beet sugar is also manufactured on a large scale, as are wooden ornaments and toys, music boxes and organ.

The exports of Baden consisted mostly of the above goods, and were considerable, but the bulk of its trade consisted of transit. The country had many railways and roads, as well as the Rhinemarker for transporting good vis ship. Railways were run by the state. A rail-line ran mostly parallel with the Rhine, with oblique branches from East to West.

Mannheimmarker was the great emporium for export down the Rhine and has much river traffic. It was also the chief manufacturing town for the duchy, and an important administrative centre for the northern part of the country.

Note that the above info describes Baden industry ca. 1910.

Education and religion

The educational institutions of Baden are numerous and flourishing, and public education is entirely in the hands of the government. There are five universities, one traditionally Protestant in Heidelbergmarker, one traditionally Roman Catholic in Freiburg im Breisgaumarker, one each in Konstanzmarker and Mannheimmarker, and a well-known technical university in Karlsruhemarker. The grand-duke was a Protestant; under him, the Evangelical Church was governed by a nominated council and a synod consisting of a "prelate", 48 elected and 7 nominated lay and clerical members. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Freiburgmarker is Metropolitan of the Upper Rhine.


The Lords of Baden benefited from the break-up of Swabia and, raised to the dignity of Margrave in 1112, were able to take their place as one of the four most important dynasts in southern Germany (along with Habsburg, Wittelsbach and Württembergmarker). Baden was fragmented from 1190–1503, 1515–1620 and 1622–1771, though the eras of 1415–1503, 1604–20 and 1666–1771 saw only two active branches each.

After 1771 the only surviving branch retained full authority and in return for compliance with Napoleon, was raised to Electoral dignity in 1803, and then Grand Ducal status in 1806. Baden as a unified state was recognized as a sovereign member of the newly formed German Confederation by the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15.

Frederick I (1852 to 1907), mostly an ally of Prussia helped to found the German Empiremarker. The last grand duke of Baden, Frederick II, abdicated in 1918. In 1919 Baden ceased to be a Grand Duchy and became a Land of the German Reich.

Notable people

See also


  1. Bertha Benz Memorial Route

Further reading

  • Das Grossherzogtum Baden in geographischer ... Hinsicht dargestellt (Karlsruhe, 1885);
  • Wielandt, Des Staatsrecht des Grossherzogtums Baden (Freiburg, 1895);
  • F. von Weech Badische Geschichte (Karlsruhe, 1890);
  • op. cit. Die Zahringer in Baden (Karlsruhe, 1881);
  • Baden unter den Grossherzogen Karl Friedrich. Karl Ludwig (Freiburg, 1863);
  • op. cit. Geschichte der badischen Verfassung (Karlsruhe, I868);
  • op. cit, Baden in den Jahren 1852 bis 1877 (Karlsruhe, 1877);
  • Karl Friedrich Nebenius and Friedrich von Weech, Karl Friedrich von Baden (Karlsruhe, 1868);
  • L. H. Häusser, Denkwuerdigkeiten zur Geschichte der badischen Revolution (Heidelberg, 1851);
  • L. Muller, Badische Landgeschichte (Berlin, 1899-1902);
  • E. von Chrismar, Genealogie des Gesamthauses Baden 16. Jahrhundert bis heute (Gotha, 1892);
  • E. H. Meyer, Badische Volksleben im 19. Jahrhundert (Strassbourg, 1900);
  • F. J. Mone, Quellensammlng zur badischen Landesgeschichte (Karlsruhe, 1848-1867);
  • Badische Biographien, Ed. F. von Weech, (Karlsruhe, 1875-1891)

Publications in English

  • Linda Herrick & Wendy Uncapher, Baden: Atlantic Bridge to Germany, Origins, Janesville, WI, 2004.

External links

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