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Karlsruhe ( ; population 288,917 in 2007) is a city in the south west of Germanymarker, in the Bundesland Baden-W├╝rttembergmarker, located near the Frenchmarker-German border.

Founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palacemarker, the surrounding town became the seat of two of the highest courts in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germanymarker (Bundesverfassungsgericht) whose decisions have the force of a law, and the Federal Court of Justice of Germanymarker (Bundesgerichtshof) , the highest court of appeals in matters of civil law and criminal law. It therefore considers itself the home of justice in Germany, a role taken over from Leipzigmarker after 1933.


The city takes its name from Margrave Karl III Wilhelm, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, who founded the city on June 17, 1715 after a dispute with the citizens of his previous capital, Durlachmarker. The founding of the city is closely linked to the construction of the palacemarker. Karlsruhe became the capital of Baden-Durlach and in 1771 of the united Baden until 1945. Built in 1822, the "St├Ąndehaus" was the first parliament building in a German State. In the aftermath of the democratic revolution, a republican government was elected here.

Much of the central area, including the Schloss(castle), was reduced to rubble by Allied bombing during World War II but was rebuilt after the war.


The city's altitude is between 100 m (on the western shore of the river Rhinemarker) and 322 m (near to the TV Tower). Its geographical coordinates are ; the 49th parallel runs through the city center. Its course is marked by a stone and painted line in the Stadtgarten (city park).

MiRO oil refinery

The city was planned with the tower of the palace (Schloss) at the center and 32 streets radiating out from it like spokes on a wheel, or ribs on a folding fan, so that a nickname for Karlsruhe in German is the "fan city" (F├Ącherstadt). Almost all of these streets survive today.

The city center was the oldest part of town and lies south of the palace in the quadrant defined by nine of the streets. The central part of the palace runs east-west, and there are two wings of the palace, each at a 45┬░ angle to the center, so that they are pointing southeast and southwest (i.e. parallel with streets at the ends of the quadrant defining the city center).

The market place is on the street running south from the palace to Ettlingenmarker. The market place has the town hall (das Rathaus) to the west, the main Protestant church (Evangelische Stadtkirche) to the east, and the tombmarker of Margrave Karl Wilhelm in a pyramid in the center. The architect Friedrich Weinbrenner designed many of the most important buildings. That is why Karlsruhe is one of only three large German cities in which building ensembles exist in Neoclassicism style.

The area north of the palace is a park and forest. East of the palace there originally were gardens and more forest, some of which remain, but the Universitymarker, Wildparkstadionmarker, and residential areas have since been built there. West of the palace is now mostly residential.

700 px


Karlsruhe experiences an oceanic climate (K├Âppen climate classification Cfb) similar to much of Germany.



Karlsruhe is the seat of the German Federal Constitutional Courtmarker (Bundesverfassungsgericht) and the highest Court of Appeals in civil and criminal cases, the Bundesgerichtshofmarker. The court came to Karlsruhe when the provinces of Baden and W├╝rttembergmarker were merged. Stuttgartmarker, capital of W├╝rttemberg, became the capital of the new province, and Karlsruhe was given the high court in a compromise.

Public health

There are four hospitals: The municipal Klinikum Karlsruhe provides the maximum level of medical services, the St. Vinzenzius-Kliniken and the Diakonissenkrankenhaus, connected to the Catholic and Protestant churches, respectively, offer central services, and the private Paracelsus-Klinik basic medical care, according to state hospital demand planning.


Germany's largest oil refinery is located in Karlsruhe, at the western edge of the city, directly on the river Rhinemarker.

The Technologieregion Karlsruhe is a loose confederation of the region's cities in order to promote high tech industries; today, about 20% of the region's jobs are in Research and Development which gives a good basis for high tech.

Internet activities

Due to the University of Karlsruhemarker providing services until the late 1990, Karlsruhe became known as the internet capital of Germany. The DENIC, Germany's Network Information Centre, has since moved to Frankfurt, though, where DE-CIX is located.

Two major internet service providers, WEB.DE and schlund+partner/1&1, now both owned by United Internet AG, are located at Karlsruhe.

The City Wiki of Karlsruhe (Stadtwiki Karlsruhe) is the biggest City Wiki in the world.

The library of the University of Karlsruhemarker developed the Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog, the first internet site that allowed researchers worldwide (for free) to search multiple library catalogues worldwide.


Karlsruhe's rail system, the Stadtbahn Karlsruhe, is well known in transport circles around the world for pioneering the concept of operating trams on train tracks (tram-trains), to achieve a more effective and attractive public transport system. This concept makes it possible to reach other towns in the region, like Ettlingenmarker, W├Ârth am Rheinmarker, Pforzheimmarker, Bad Wildbadmarker, Brettenmarker, Bruchsalmarker, Heilbronnmarker, Baden-Badenmarker and even Freudenstadtmarker in the Black Forestmarker right from the city centre.

Karlsruhe is also the home of the Karlsruhe model tram-train system.

Karlsruhe is well-connected via road and rail, with Autobahn and InterCityExpress connections going to Frankfurtmarker, Stuttgartmarker/Munichmarker and Freiburgmarker/Baselmarker. Since June 2007 it has been connected to the TGV network, reducing travel time to Parismarker to only three hours (compared to 5 hours previously).

Oil port

Two ports on the Rhinemarker provide transport capacity on cargo ships, especially for petroleum products.

The nearest airport is part of the Baden Airparkmarker (officially Flughafen Karlsruhe/Baden-Badenmarker) about 45 km (28 miles) southwest of Karlsruhe, with regular connections to airports in Germany and Europe in general. Frankfurt International Airportmarker can be reached in about an hour and a half by car (one hour by InterCityExpress); Stuttgart Airportmarker can be reached in about one hour (about an hour and a half by train and S-Bahn).

Jewish community

Jewish cemetery of Gr├Âtzingen
Jews settled in Karlsruhe since its foundation. They were attracted by the numerous privileges granted by its founder to settlers, without discrimination as to creed. Official documents attest the presence of several Jewish families at Karlsruhe in 1717. A year later the city council addressed to the margrave a report in which a question was raised as to the proportion of municipal charges to be borne by the newly arrived Jews, who in that year formed an organized congregation, with Rabbi Nathan Uri Kohen of Metz at its head. A document dated 1726 gives the names of twenty-four Jews who had taken part in an election of municipal officers. As the city grew permission to settle there became less easily obtained by Jews, and the community developed more slowly. A 1752 Jewry ordinance stated Jews were forbidden to leave the city on Sundays and Christian holidays, or to go out of their houses during church services, but they were exempted from service by court summonses on Sabbaths. They could sell wine only in inns owned by Jews and graze their cattle, not on the commons, but on the wayside only. Karlsruhe was the seat of the central council of Baden Jewry. The first chief rabbi of the country Rabbi Asher Lowe was from (Durlach) Karlsruhe, Nethaneel Weil was a rabbi in Karlsruhe from 1750 until his death.
A memorable date in the annals of the Jews of Baden, especially memorable to the Jews of Karlsruhe, was the year 1783, when, by a decree issued by Margrave Carl Friedrich (1746-1811), the Jews ceased to be serfs, and consequently could settle wherever they pleased. The same decree freed them from the "Todfall" tax, paid to the clergy for each Jewish burial. In commemoration of these happy changes special prayers were prepared by the acting rabbi Jedidiah Tiah Weill, who, succeeding his father in 1770, held the office until 1805. In 1808 the government issued regulations concerning the administration of the spiritual affairs of the Jewish community, by which the chief rabbi of Karlsruhe became the spiritual head of the Jews of the country. Complete emancipation was given in 1862, Jews were elected to city council and Baden parliament, and from 1890 were appointed judges. Jews were persecuted in riots occurring in 1819 and anti-Jewish demonstrations were held in 1843, 1848, and the 1880s. The well-known German-Israeli artist Leo Kahn studied in Karlsruhe before leaving for France and Israel in the 1920s and '30s.
Today, there are about 900 members in the Jewish community, many of whom are recent immigrants from Russia, and a Chabad rabbi.

Karlsruhe has memorialized its Jewish community and notable pre-war synagogues with a memorial park.

Karlsruhe and the Holocaust

The new synagogue
In 1933, 3,358 Jewish Germans lived in Karlsruhe. The community owned buildings and property, such as two synagogues, one on Karl-Friedrich-Stra├če and one on Kronenstra├če, two elderly citizens' homes, a Jewish school, a hospital, welfare institutions and several Jewish cemeteries. During the first years of the Nazi regime, the community continued to function, particularly to prepare Jews for emigration. On October 28, 1938, all male Polish Jews living in Karlsruhe were deported to Poland. Synagogues were destroyed on Kristallnacht, 9ÔÇô10 November 1938. Most of the men were arrested and sent to Dachau concentration campmarker, but were released after they had furnished proof that they intended to emigrate. In October 1940, 895 Jews were expelled during Operation Wagner-B├╝rckel and interned by the French Vichy authorities in Gursmarker in southern France. Most of these were then deported from there to Auschwitzmarker (via the Drancy deportation campmarker, on the outskirts of Parismarker) between August and November 1942. Most of the 429 remaining Jews and other so-called "non-Aryans" were deported to the east between 1941 and 1944. In 1945 there were only 18 Jews in Karlsruhe. More than 1,000 of them had been killed between 1933 and 1945 . The Baden Central Jewish Council was reorganized in 1948. A new synagogue was built in 1969.

Historical population

Year Inhabitants
1719 2,000
1750 2,500
1815 >15,000
1901 >100,000
1933 155,000
2003 282,595
2007 288,917

Source: Karlsruhe City Archive (German).

Memorial for Baden troops in several wars, 1803ÔÇô1918

Famous people


Karlsruhe is a renowned research and study centre, with one of Germany's finest and worldwide renowned institutions of higher education, namely, the University of Karlsruhemarker (Universit├Ąt Karlsruhe-TH) - the oldest technical university in Germany. Karlsruhe is also the home of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Research Center Karlsruhe), at which engineering and scientific research is performed in the areas of health, earth and environmental sciences, and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciencesmarker (Hochschule Karlsruhe-HS), the largest university of technology in the State of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, offering both professional and academic education in engineering sciences and business. The Hochschule f├╝r Musik Karlsruhe is a music conservatory which offers degrees in composition, music performance, education and radio journalism. Since 1989 it is located in the Gottesaue Palace (see picture). The Merkur Internationale Fachhochschule Karlsruhe, University of Applied Science was founded in 2004. It is a private owned state approved business school focussing on international and intercultural management as well as service- and culture-related industries.


In 1999 the ZKMmarker (Zentrum f├╝r Kunst und Medientechnologie, Centre for Art and Media) was opened. Within a short time it built up a worldwide reputation as a cultural institution. Linking new media theory and practice, the ZKM is located in a former weapons factory. Among the institutes related to the ZKM are the Staatliche Hochschule f├╝r Gestaltungmarker (State University of Design), whose president is philosopher Peter Sloterdijk and the Museum for Contemporary Art.

Nancy fountain

International relations

Twin towns ÔÇö Sister cities

Karlsruhe is twinned with:

Gottesau Palace (now music college)

Local attractions

The Durlachermarker Turmbergmarker has a look-out tower (hence its name). It is a former keep dating back to the 13th century.

The Stadtgarten is a recreational area near the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) and was rebuilt during the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Garden Show) in 1967. It is also the site of the Karlsruhe Zoo.

The city has two botanical gardens: the municipal Botanischer Garten Karlsruhemarker which forms part of the schloss complex, and the Botanischer Garten der Universit├Ąt Karlsruhemarker which is maintained by the university.

The Marktplatz with the stone pyramid marking the grave of the city's founding father. The pyramid, built in 1825, is the symbol of Karlsruhe.The city is nicknamed Die F├Ącherstadt (the fan city) because of its deliberate layout, with straight streets running out fan-like from the palace.The Karlsruhe Schloss (palace) is an interesting piece of architecture; the adjacent Schlossgarten, including the Botanical Garden with its palm, cactus and orchid house, invites a walk in the woods stretching out to the north of it.

The so called Kleine Kirche (Little Church), built between 1773 and 1776, is the oldest church of Karlsruhe's city centre.

Another sight is the Rosdellplatz with its Constitution Building Columns (1826). It is dedicated to Baden's first constitution in 1818, which was one of the most liberal of this time. The M├╝nze (mint), erected in 1826/27, was built by Weinbrenner too.
St. Stephan
The St. Stephan parish church is one of the masterpieces of neoclassical church architecture in Southern Germany. Weinbrenner, who built this church between 1808 and 1814, orientated to the Pantheon, Romemarker.
Burial chapel
The neo-gothic Grand Ducal burial chapel, built between 1889 and 1896, rather a mausoleum than a church, is located in the middle of the forest.

The main cemetery of Karlsruhe is the oldest park-like cemetery in Germany. The crematory was the first to be built in a church-like style.

In Karlsruhe is the Museum of Natural History, an opera house (the Baden State Theatre), as well as a number of independent theatres and art galleries. The State Art Gallery, built in 1846 by Heinrich H├╝bsch, displays paintings and sculptures from six centuries, particularly from France, Germany and Holland. Karlsruhe's newly renovated art museum is one of the most important art museums in Baden-W├╝rttembergmarker. Further cultural attractions are scattered throughout Karlsruhe's various incorporated suburbs. The Scheffel Association or Literary Society for example is a literary organisation and was established in 1924. It is the largest literary organisation in Germany. Today the Prinz-Max-Palais, built between 1881 and 1884 in historism style, houses the organisation including the museum.
Breweries and art nouveau were predominant in the western city
Due to the growth in inhabitants, Karlsruhe has developed several Vorstadt areas in Gr├╝nderzeit and especially Art nouveau architecture, plenty of them preserved.

In Karlsruhe there is the only art-ceramics manufacture in Germany, called Majolika-Manufaktur. Founded in 1901, it is located in the "Schlossgarten". A blue streak (Blauer Strahl) consisting of 1645 ceramic tiles connects the manufacture with the palace. It is the world's largest ceramic artwork.

Another tourist attraction is the ZKM (Zentrum f├╝r Kunst und Medientechnologie) - Centre for Art and Media.Its collections are quite exceptional, since they combine art and modern technologies.The Centre is located in a converted ammunition manufactory.


Every year in July there is a huge free open air festival lasting three days called Das Fest ("The Festival")..

The Baden State Theatre has sponsored the H├Ąndel festival since 1978.

The city hosted the 23rd European Juggling Convention (EJC) in 2000 and 2008.

In July the African Summer Festival is held in the city's Nordstadt. Markets. Drumming workshops, exhibitions, a varied children's programme and musical performances take place during the three days festival.

In the past Karlsruhe has been the host of LinuxTag (the biggest Linux event in Europe) and til 2006 of the yearly Linux Audio Conference.

Visitors and locals watched the total solar eclipse at noon on August 11, 1999. The city was not only located within the eclipse path but was one of the few within Germany not plagued by bad weather.


Football (Soccer)Karlsruher SC (KSC), Bundesliga (second division)

BasketballBG Karlsruhe, Basketball-Pro-Liga A (second division)

TennisTC Rueppurr (TCR), [Tennis-Bundesliga] (women's first division)

Baseball and SoftballKarlsruhe Cougars, Regional League South-East (men's baseball), 1st Bundesliga South (women's softball I) and State League South (women's softball II)

American FootballBadener Greifs, currently competing in the Regional League Central but formerly a member of the GFL's 1st Bundesliga, lost to the Berlin Adler in the 1987 German Bowl (see also: German Football League)


  1. Chabad Karlsruhe
  3. Karlsruhe condolence book
  4. Karlsruhe City Archive, German language reference.
  5. German language reference
  6. [1]
  7. [2]

External links

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