Bundesautobahn 5
is a 445 km long Autobahn in Germany. Its northern end is the Hattenbach triangle intersection (with the A 7. The southern end is at the Swiss
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 border near Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

. It runs through the German states of Hessen and Baden-Württemberg and connects on its southern ending to the Swiss A 2
A2 (Switzerland)
The A2 is a motorway in Switzerland. It forms Switzerland's main north-south axis from Basel to Chiasso, meandering with a slight drift toward the east....


Construction for the first section (between Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 and Darmstadt
Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area.The sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation, prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat...

 was started on 23 September 1933 by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 personally. Propaganda celebrated the project as "the Führer's Autobahn" and "Germany's first Autobahn," however there is no truth in that statement. The AVUS
The Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungs-Straße, better known as AVUS, is a public road that was also used as a motor racing circuit. It is located in the south-western districts of Berlin, Germany, between Charlottenburg and Nikolassee, and is nowadays an important part of the public highway system, as...

 race track in Berlin was opened in September 1921. The first public Autobahn was the Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

 highway which was inaugurated August 1932 (later called A 555
Bundesautobahn 555
Bundesautobahn 555 , connecting the cities of Cologne and Bonn, was constructed between 1929 and 1932, and opened to traffic on August 6, 1932....

). It was downgraded to a state highway (German: Bundesstrasse) in order to let the Nazi propaganda proclaim that the Reichsautobahn Frankfurt-Darmstadt was the first ever built in Germany.

In 1926, a private association proposed a highway from Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 via Frankfurt to Basel (HaFraBa) - these plans were stopped in the Reichstag
Reichstag (Weimar Republic)
The Reichstag was the parliament of Weimar Republic .German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. Another organ deals with legislation too: in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat...

 by a coalition of Communists and Nazis. This didn't stop Hitler from using these plans after he came to power in 1933. Work progressed slowly, however, because Hitler favored east-west routes. The HaFraBa was renamed "Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung der Reichsautobahnen", which translates "Company for the preparation of the Reich highways".

After the war, plans to continue the A 5 to the north were abandoned for ecological reasons. Instead, an already completed section of the proposed A 48 near Gießen
Gießen, also spelt Giessen is a town in the German federal state of Hesse, capital of both the district of Gießen and the administrative region of Gießen...

was used to connect the A 5 to the A 7 from Hamburg. The HaFraBa route was finally completed in 1962, which led to the A 5 southern route Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Freiburg, Weil am Rhein, ending at the Swiss border near Basle. Near Frankfurt, the highway is one of the busiest in Germany with an average of 150,000 vehicles per day.

The part between Frankfurt and Darmstadt with a length of approx. 25 kilometers was the first and still is Germany's longest Autobahn section with 8 lanes.

External links

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