Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 (federal state) of Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

 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 of the Landgraves of Hessen-Darmstadt
Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was a member state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was formed in 1567 following the division of the Landgraviate of Hesse between the four sons of Philip I, the last Landgrave of Hesse....

 in the 16th century.

As the administrative centre of an increasingly prosperous duchy, the city gained in prominence during the following centuries. In the 20th century, industry (especially chemicals) as well as large science and electronics (later information technology) sectors became increasingly important, and are still a major part of the city's economy. Darmstadt also has a large tertiary education sector, with three major universities and numerous associated institutions.

Darmstadt is one of few cities (as opposed to smaller towns) in Germany which does not lie close to a river, lake or coast. It can also boast being the sunniest city in the state of Hesse. The chemical element Darmstadtium
Darmstadtium is a chemical element with the symbol Ds and atomic number 110. It is placed as the heaviest member of group 10, but no known isotope is sufficiently stable to allow chemical experiments to confirm its placing in that group...

 (atomic number 110) is named after it, having been synthetisized in the GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research
Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung
The GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research GmbH in the Wixhausen suburb of Darmstadt, Germany is a federally and state co-funded heavy ion research center. The current director of GSI is Horst Stöcker who succeeded Walter F...

 in Darmstadt-Wixhausen.


The name Darmstadt first appears towards the end of the 11th century, then Darmundestat. Literally translated, the current German name Darmstadt means "Intestine City." This is just a coincidence however, and the origins of the name are unknown. 'Dar-mund' in Middle Low German is translated as "Boggy Headlands", but it could be a misspelling in local dialect of another name. Even locals often believe, incorrectly, that the name derives from the 'Darmbach' (a small stream formerly running through the city). In fact the stream received its current name much later, after the city, not vice versa.

Darmstadt was chartered as a city by the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 Ludwig the Bavarian
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

 in 1330, at which time it belonged to the counts of Katzenelnbogen
County of Katzenelnbogen
The County of Katzenelnbogen was an immediate state of the Holy Roman Empire. It existed between 1095 and 1479, when it was inherited by the Landgraves of Hesse.The estate comprised two separate territories...

. The city, then called Darmstait, became a secondary residence for the counts, with a small castle being established at the site of the current, much larger edifice.
When the house of Katzenelnbogen became extinct in 1479, the city was passed to the Landgraviate of Hesse
Landgraviate of Hesse
The Landgraviate of Hesse was a Landgraviate of the Holy Roman Empire. It existed as a unity from 1264 to 1567, when it was divided between the sons of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse.-History:...

, and was seat of the ruling landgraves (1567–1806) and thereafter (to 1918) of the Grand Dukes of Hesse.

Industrial age

The city grew in population during the 19th century from little over 10,000 to 72,000 inhabitants. A polytechnical school, which later became a Technical University now known as TU Darmstadt
Darmstadt University of Technology
The Technische Universität Darmstadt, abbreviated TU Darmstadt, is a university in the city of Darmstadt, Germany...

, was established in 1877.

In the beginning of the 20th century Darmstadt was an important centre for the art movement of Jugendstil, the German variant of Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

. Annual architectural competitions led to the building of many architectural treasures of this period. Also during this period, in 1912 the chemist Anton Kollisch
Anton Kollisch
Anton Köllisch was the German chemist who, whilst working at Darmstadt for pharmaceutical giant Merck, first synthesized the chemical MDMA that would later come to be known as "ecstasy"....

, working for the pharmaceutical company Merck
Merck KGaA
Merck KGaA is a German chemical and pharmaceutical company. Merck, also known as “German Merck” and “Merck Darmstadt”, was founded in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1668, making it the world's oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company. The company was privately owned until going public in 1995...

, first synthesised the chemical MDMA (ecstasy) in Darmstadt. Darmstadt's municipal area was extended in 1937 to include the neighbouring localities of Arheilgen and Eberstadt, and in 1938 the city was separated administratively from the surrounding district (Kreis).

Nazi Germany

Darmstadt was the first city in Germany to force Jewish shops to close in early 1933, shortly after the Nazis took power in Germany (during this first incident, shops were only closed for a day, for "endanger[ing] communal order and tranquility") In 1942, over 3,000 Jews from Darmstadt were first forced into a collection camp located in the Liebigschule, and then later deported to concentration camps where most eventually died.

Some prominent members of the German resistance against the Nazis were citizens of Darmstadt (e.g. Wilhelm Leuschner
Wilhelm Leuschner
Wilhelm Leuschner was a social-democratic politician who opposed the Third Reich....

 and Theodor Haubach
Theodor Haubach
Theodor Haubach was a German journalist, SPD politician, and resistance fighter against the Nazi régime....

, both executed for their opposition to the regime).

Darmstadt's old city centre was largely destroyed in a British bombing raid on Darmstadt
Bombing of Darmstadt in World War II
Darmstadt was bombed a number of times during World War II. The most devastating air raid on Darmstadt occurred on the night of 11/12 September 1944 when No. 5 Group the Royal Air Force bombed the city....

 on 11 September 1944 (Darmstadt had first been raided on 30 July 1940, one of 35 attacks to come). This attack on Darmstadt was an early use of the firestorm technique – subsequently used on the city of Dresden in February 1945 – where a number of incendiary bombs are dropped around the city before explosive blast bombs are dropped to begin a self-sustaining combustion process where the winds generated by the fire are sufficient to ensure it continues to burn. Darmstadt was selected as the secondary target for the raid, but promoted to primary target after cloud over the primary would have obscured reconnaissance view of the after-effects. During this worst attack an estimated 11,000–12,500 inhabitants died, and 66,000–70,000 were rendered homeless. Over three quarters of Darmstadt's inner city area was destroyed in the raid, leading to a relatively architecturally plain style of post-war rebuilding, although a number of older buildings were rebuilt in their original styles.

Post-World War II

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Darmstadt became home to many technology companies and research institutes, and has been promoting itself as a "city of science" since 1997. It is well known as a high-tech centre in the vicinity of Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt International Airport
Frankfurt am Main Airport , or simply Frankfurt Airport, known in German as Flughafen Frankfurt am Main or Rhein-Main-Flughafen, is a major international airport located in Frankfurt, Germany, southwest of the city centre....

, with important activities in spacecraft operations (the European Space Operations Centre
European Space Operations Centre
The European Space Operations Centre is responsible for controlling ESA satellites and space probes. The centre is located in Darmstadt, Germany. It is Mission Control for most of the space projects of the ESA. Since its creation in 1967, the centre has operated 60 European space missions...

, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation created through an international convention agreed by a current total of 26 European Member States: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the...

), chemistry, pharmacy, information technology, biotechnology, telecommunications (substantial Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom AG is a telecommunications company headquartered in Bonn, Germany. It is the largest telecommunications company in Europe....

 presence) and mechatronics. In 2000, its region also scored Rank 3 amongst 97 German regions in the WirtschaftsWoche
Wirtschaftswoche is a German weekly business news magazine. “Wirtschaft” means economy and “Woche” is week. For many years, the magazine was published on Thursday, but since March 2006, this has been changed to Monday. The editorial office is at Düsseldorf....

test ranking Germany's high-tech regions.

The TU Darmstadt
Darmstadt University of Technology
The Technische Universität Darmstadt, abbreviated TU Darmstadt, is a university in the city of Darmstadt, Germany...

 is one of the important technical institutes in Germany and is well known for its research and teaching in the Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering disciplines. Together with other tertiary institutions, the TU is responsible for the large student population of the city, which stood at 33,547 in 2004.



Darmstadt is relatively typical for German cities in terms of its transport system, with the car being the main, but not overwhelmingly dominant mode of transport.


Darmstadt is connected to the surrounding areas with a number of major roads, primarily accessing the areas to the north, west and south, including two Autobahn links crossing just west of the city as well as a Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße , abbreviated B, is the denotation for German and Austrian national highways.-Germany:...

 also running north-south. The less settled areas east of the city in the Odenwald
The Odenwald is a low mountain range in Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany.- Location :The Odenwald lies between the Upper Rhine Rift Valley with the Bergstraße and the Hessisches Ried in the west, the Main and the Bauland in the east, the Hanau-Seligenstadt Basin – a subbasin of...

 are accessed by several lower-hierarchy roads.


Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof
Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof
is the Hauptbahnhof of the German city Darmstadt. After Frankfurt Hbf and Wiesbaden Hbf, it is the third largest station in the state of Hesse. It is the second busiest station in Hesse, servicing 35 000 passengers and 220 trains per day....

 is its main train station, located at the western end of the central city and connects to the rest of Germany and Europe with the Intercity-Express network. There is also a much-utilised S-Bahn
S-Bahn refers to an often combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark...

 link north to Frankfurt am Main and a number of suburban train stations along the high-speed connections and lesser local rail links (two towards the east and into the Odenwald, for example) that still provide passenger services.


Darmstadt has no airport with scheduled passenger services, with the historic role of such an airport having long been taken over by the Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport may refer to:Airports of Frankfurt, Germany:*Frankfurt Airport , the largest airport in Germany*Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport, a general aviation airport*Frankfurt-Hahn Airport , a converted U.S...


Trams and buses

Darmstadt started in 1886 with a steam tram system, that later evolved (with a short period of also including trolleybuses from 1944 to 1963) into a 36.2 km network by 2001. Darmstadt had not scrapped this comparatively extensive network after World War II as many other cities did, though some links were decommissioned in the 1960s and 1970s and replaced by bus lines of which the city also has an extensive network.

However, the 2000s brought a major tram renaissance in Darmstadt (where further reduction of the system had by now long since been stopped), partly thought to have been due to new low-floor trams strongly increasing patronage. A major new line was built to the Darmstadt-Kranichstein suburb, and track duplication and extension in Darmstadt-Arheilgen is ongoing as of 2010. A line to Weiterstadt, a northwestern suburb, is also in advanced planning stages. Substantial parts of the track system were also upgraded and in some cases incorporated in major new beautification works, such as in front of the Hauptbahnhof or the Schloss.

Buildings and attractions

The ducal palace of Darmstadt is located in the city centre. It was the residence of the counts of Hesse-Darmstadt
Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was a member state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was formed in 1567 following the division of the Landgraviate of Hesse between the four sons of Philip I, the last Landgrave of Hesse....

, later as Grand Dukes of Hesse by the grace of Napoleon. Its current look was established in the 18th century. The counts also owned a castle on the Langenberg above the city that was named Castle Frankenstein
Castle Frankenstein
Frankenstein Castle is a hilltop castle about 5 km south of Darmstadt in Germany. Modern claims of the castle having an influence on the work of Mary Shelley remain controversial.- History :...

. This castle dates back to the 13th century, but it was acquired by the counts of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1662.

The Luisenplatz, the largest square of the city, forms the centre of the city and is the main public transport hub. In 1844 the Ludwigsäule (called Langer Lui, meaning Long Ludwig), a 33-meter column commemorating Ludwig I, first Grand Duke of Hesse, was placed in the middle of the square. While the column still stands, the square is today surrounded by mostly modern buildings. The other large city square is the Marktplatz (see image) near the old city hall, only several hundred meters away.

Surviving examples of the Jugendstil period include the Rosenhöhe, a landscaped English-style rose garden from the 19th century, recently renovated and replanted, the Mathildenhöhe, with the Hochzeitsturm ('Marriage tower', also commonly known as the 'Five-Finger-Tower') by Joseph Maria Olbrich
Joseph Maria Olbrich
Joseph Maria Olbrich was an Austrian architect and co-founder of the Vienna Secession.-Life:Olbrich was born in Opava, Austrian Silesia .He was the third child of Edmund and Aloisia Olbrich. He had two sisters who died before he was born, and two younger brothers John and Edmund...

 and the Russian Chapel and large exhibition halls as well as many private villas built by Jugendstil architects who had settled in Darmstadt. The Russian Chapel was built as a private chapel by the last Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 of Russia, Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

, whose wife Alexandra
Alexandra Fyodorovna of Hesse
Alix of Hesse and by Rhine later Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova , was Empress consort of Russia as spouse of Nicholas II, the last Emperor of the Russian Empire...

 was born in Darmstadt.

The Waldspirale
The Waldspirale is a residential building complex in Darmstadt, Germany, built in the 1990s. The name translates into English as forest spiral, reflecting both the general plan of the building and the fact that it has a green roof. It was designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser,...

 ('Forest Spiral'), a residential complex by Austrian Friedensreich Hundertwasser, was built 1998–2000. An almost surreal
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 building, it is internationally famous for its almost absolute rejection of rectangular forms, down to every window having a different shape, the style being a trademark of Hundertwasser's work.

The Botanischer Garten der TU Darmstadt
Botanischer Garten der TU Darmstadt
The Botanischer Garten der TU Darmstadt , also known as the Botanischer Garten Darmstadt, is a botanical garden maintained by the Darmstadt University of Technology...

 is a botanical garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 and arboretum
An arboretum in a narrow sense is a collection of trees only. Related collections include a fruticetum , and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly, today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study...

 containing a fine collection of rare trees.

Darmstadt's central train station, Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof
Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof
is the Hauptbahnhof of the German city Darmstadt. After Frankfurt Hbf and Wiesbaden Hbf, it is the third largest station in the state of Hesse. It is the second busiest station in Hesse, servicing 35 000 passengers and 220 trains per day....

, built in 1912 is at the west end of the city. Both local and inter-city trains stop at the station. The station also serves as a stop for buses and streetcars.

Every year around early July the Heinerfest
Heinerfest is an annual festival in Darmstadt, Germany. Believed to be the second largest city festival in Germany, it is held annually in the first weekend of July. During the festival hundreds of food and beer vendors along with amusement rides and games surround the old city center and occupy...

 festival is held in the streets surrounding the old ducal palace. It is a traditional German festival with music acts, beer hall
Beer hall
A beer hall is a large pub that specializes in beer. Bavaria's capital Munich is the city most associated with beer halls; almost every brewery in Munich operates a beer hall...

s, amusement ride
Amusement ride
Amusement rides are large mechanical devices that move people to create enjoyment. They are frequently found at amusement parks, traveling carnivals, and funfairs.-Notable types:*Afterburner*Ali Baba*Balloon Race*Booster...

s and booths selling trinkets and food. The similar 'Schloßgrabenfest', which is more live music
Live Music
Live Music is a reggaeton company owned by DJ Giann.-Artists:* Jowell & Randy* Tony Lenta* Watussi* De La Ghetto* Guelo Star* Galante "El Emperador"-Producers:*DJ Blass*Dexter*Mr. Greenz*DJ Giann*Los Hitmen*Dirty Joe*ALX...

-oriented, is held in the same location every year in May.
These two festivals attract 700,000 and 400,000 visitors respectively.


Darmstadt is the site of the Technische Universität Darmstadt, renowned for its engineering departments, and of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences
Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences
The Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, in Darmstadt, Germany, plays a significant role among German Universities of Applied Sciences. It is internationally known for its outstanding achievements in the areas of engineering and computer science...

. Related institutes are four Institutes of the Fraunhofer Society
Fraunhofer Society
The Fraunhofer Society is a German research organization with 60 institutes spread throughout Germany, each focusing on different fields of applied science . It employs around 18,000, mainly scientists and engineers, with an annual research budget of about €1.65 billion...

, and the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung
Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung
The GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research GmbH in the Wixhausen suburb of Darmstadt, Germany is a federally and state co-funded heavy ion research center. The current director of GSI is Horst Stöcker who succeeded Walter F...

 (GSI, "Society for Heavy Ion
Heavy ion
Heavy ion refers to an ionized atom which is usually heavier than helium. Heavy-ion physics is devoted to the study of extremely hot nuclear matter and the collective effects appearing in such systems, differing from particle physics, which studies the interactions between elementary particles...

 Research"), which operates a particle accelerator
Particle accelerator
A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator. There are two basic types: electrostatic and oscillating field accelerators.In...

 at its Wixhausen
Wixhausen is a village in southern Hesse, Germany. Covering an area of 23.247 km², in 2006 it had 5,772 inhabitants and 1,310 houses. It is considered the northernmost suburb of the district-free city of Darmstadt. Its main claim to fame is the GSI heavy-ion research laboratory located...


The GSI, amongst other elements, discovered the chemical element
Chemical element
A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead.As of November 2011, 118 elements...

Darmstadtium is a chemical element with the symbol Ds and atomic number 110. It is placed as the heaviest member of group 10, but no known isotope is sufficiently stable to allow chemical experiments to confirm its placing in that group...

 (atomic number
Atomic number
In chemistry and physics, the atomic number is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom and therefore identical to the charge number of the nucleus. It is conventionally represented by the symbol Z. The atomic number uniquely identifies a chemical element...

: 110), named after the city in 2003. This makes Darmstadt one of only eight cities with an element named after it (the other cities being Ytterby
Ytterby is a village on the Swedish island of Resarö, in Vaxholm Municipality in the Stockholm archipelago.The name of the village means "outer village", implying that its location is its most noteworthy feature....

 in Sweden (four elements); Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 in Sweden (Holmium
Holmium is a chemical element with the symbol Ho and atomic number 67. Part of the lanthanide series, holmium is a rare earth element. Its oxide was first isolated from rare earth ores in 1878 and the element was named after the city of Stockholm....

); Strontian
Strontian is the main village in Sunart, an area in western Lochaber, Highland, Scotland, on the A861 road. It lies on the north shore of Loch Sunart, close to the head of the loch...

 in Scotland; Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 in Denmark (whose Latin name gives Hafnium
Hafnium is a chemical element with the symbol Hf and atomic number 72. A lustrous, silvery gray, tetravalent transition metal, hafnium chemically resembles zirconium and is found in zirconium minerals. Its existence was predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. Hafnium was the penultimate stable...

); Paris (whose Latin name gives Lutetium); Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

; and Dubna
Dubna is a town in Moscow Oblast, Russia. It has a status of naukograd , being home to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, an international nuclear physics research centre and one of the largest scientific foundations in the country. It is also home to MKB Raduga, a defence aerospace company...

 in Russia). Various other elements, including Meitnerium
Meitnerium is a chemical element with the symbol Mt and atomic number 109. It is placed as the heaviest member of group 9 in the periodic table but a sufficiently stable isotope is not known at this time which would allow chemical experiments to confirm its position, unlike its lighter...

 (atomic number: 109) (1982), Hassium
Hassium is a synthetic element with the symbol Hs and atomic number 108. It is the heaviest member of the group 8 elements. The element was first observed in 1984...

 (atomic number: 108) (1984), Roentgenium
Roentgenium is a synthetic radioactive chemical element with the symbol Rg and atomic number 111. It is placed as the heaviest member of the group 11 elements, although a sufficiently stable isotope has not yet been produced in a sufficient amount that would confirm this position as a heavier...

 (atomic number: 111) (1994) and Copernicium (atomic number: 112) (1996) were also synthesized in the Darmstadt facility.

The European Space Operations Centre
European Space Operations Centre
The European Space Operations Centre is responsible for controlling ESA satellites and space probes. The centre is located in Darmstadt, Germany. It is Mission Control for most of the space projects of the ESA. Since its creation in 1967, the centre has operated 60 European space missions...

 (ESOC) of the European Space Agency
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 is located in Darmstadt. From here, various deep-space exploration spacecraft and Earth-orbiting satellites are operated for the purposes of scientific research, and tecnnology development and demonstration.

EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, operates the principal European meteorological satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

s from its headquarters, including the first and second generations of Meteosat
The Meteosat series of satellites are geostationary meteorological satellites operated by EUMETSAT under the Meteosat Transition Programme and the Meteosat Second Generation program....

 geostationary satellites, and the polar-orbiting Metop
MetOp is a series of polar orbiting meteorological satellites operated by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. The satellites are all part af the EUMETSAT Polar System. It is intended to replace the soon to be retired TIROS network...


Darmstadt is a centre for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, with Merck, Röhm and Schenck RoTec
Carl Schenck
Carl Heinrich Johann Schenck was a German businessman who established in 1881 in Darmstadt, Germany the company Carl Schenck Eisengießerei & Waagenfabrik. Today Carl Schenck AG is a subsidiary of the global technology conglomerate DÜRR AG based in Stuttgart.The Carl-Schenck-Award by the TU...

 (part of The Dürr Group) having their main plants and centres here.


The 'Jazz-Institut Darmstadt' is Germany's largest publicly accessible Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...


The 'Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt', harboring one of the world's largest collections of post-war
A post-war period or postwar period is the interval immediately following the ending of a war and enduring as long as war does not resume. A post-war period can become an interwar period or interbellum when a war between the same parties resumes at a later date...

 sheet music
Sheet music
Sheet music is a hand-written or printed form of music notation that uses modern musical symbols; like its analogs—books, pamphlets, etc.—the medium of sheet music typically is paper , although the access to musical notation in recent years includes also presentation on computer screens...

, also hosts the biennial Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik
Darmstadt New Music Summer School
Initiated in 1946 by Wolfgang Steinecke, the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt , held annually until 1970 and subsequently every two years, encompass both the teaching of composition and interpretation and include premières of new works...

, a summer school in contemporary classical music
Contemporary classical music
Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s with the retreat of modernism. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 modern musical forms.-Categorization:...

 founded by Wolfgang Steinecke. A large number of avant-garde composers have attended and given lectures there, including Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex ; harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations...

, Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian composer. He is noted for his experimental work and also for his pioneering work in electronic music.-Biography:Berio was born at Oneglia Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (October 24, 1925 – May 27, 2003) was an Italian...

, Milton Babbitt
Milton Babbitt
Milton Byron Babbitt was an American composer, music theorist, and teacher. He is particularly noted for his serial and electronic music.-Biography:...

, Pierre Boulez
Pierre Boulez
Pierre Boulez is a French composer of contemporary classical music, a pianist, and a conductor.-Early years:Boulez was born in Montbrison, Loire, France. As a child he began piano lessons and demonstrated aptitude in both music and mathematics...

, Luigi Nono
Luigi Nono
Luigi Nono was an Italian avant-garde composer of classical music and remains one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century.- Early years :Born in Venice, he was a member of a wealthy artistic family, and his grandfather was a notable painter...

, John Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde...

, György Ligeti
György Ligeti
György Sándor Ligeti was a composer of contemporary classical music. Born in a Hungarian Jewish family in Transylvania, Romania, he briefly lived in Hungary before becoming an Austrian citizen.-Early life:...

, Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis was a Romanian-born Greek ethnic, naturalized French composer, music theorist, and architect-engineer. He is commonly recognized as one of the most important post-war avant-garde composers...

, Boris Porena
Boris Porena
Boris Porena is an Italian thinker, music composer and didactical expert. He is married to Paola Bučan, a famous Croatian cellist and teacher, who is a tenured professor at the Perugia Conservatory....

, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

 and Mauricio Kagel
Mauricio Kagel
Mauricio Kagel was a German-Argentine composer. He was notable for his interest in developing the theatrical side of musical performance .-Biography:...


The 'Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung' (German Academy for Language and Poetry) provides writers and scholars with a place to research the German language. The Academy's annual Georg Büchner Prize
Georg Büchner Prize
The Georg Büchner Prize is the most important literary prize of Germany. It was created in 1923 in memory of Georg Büchner and was only given to artists who came from or were closely tied to Büchner's home of Hesse...

, named in memory of Georg Büchner
Georg Büchner
Karl Georg Büchner was a German dramatist and writer of poetry and prose. He was the brother of physician and philosopher Ludwig Büchner. Büchner's talent is generally held in great esteem in Germany...

, is considered the most prestigious literary award for writers of German language.

United States Military presence

U.S. forces entered the city of Darmstadt on 25 March 1945. At the end of World War II, Darmstadt was among the 112 communities where U.S. Forces were stationed. Early units stationed here included elements of the U.S. Constabulary, Air Force units and a Quartermaster School.

Over the years, the U.S. military community Darmstadt — under a variety of designations — served as home for thousands of American soldiers and their families. It included six principal installations in Darmstadt and nearby Babenhausen, Griesheim and Münster, plus several housing areas, an airfield and a large number of smaller facilities as far away as Bensheim and Aschaffenburg. The military newspaper European Stars and Stripes
Stars and Stripes (newspaper)
Stars and Stripes is a news source that operates from inside the United States Department of Defense but is editorially separate from it. The First Amendment protection which Stars and Stripes enjoys is safeguarded by Congress to whom an independent ombudsman, who serves the readers' interests,...

also had its headquarters there. As of 1993, the Darmstadt military community also assumed responsibility for the remaining U.S. Army facilities in the Frankfurt area.

As part of the U.S. Army's ongoing transformation in Germany, the Darmstadt military community, by then designated U.S. Army Garrison Darmstadt, inactivated on 30 September 2008. Even after the garrison inactivation, however, there are two units still in Darmstadt until new facilities are constructed for them elsewhere: The 66th Military Intelligence Group at the Dagger Complex on Eberstädter Weg, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency on Nathan Hale Depot. They draw their support from the nearby U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.

Notable persons

  • Karl-Otto Koch, commandant of the Nazi concentration camps at Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen


Darmstadt has 9 official 'Stadtteile' (boroughs). These are, alphabetically:
  • Darmstadt-Arheilgen
  • Darmstadt-Bessungen
  • Darmstadt-Eberstadt
    Eberstadt is a borough of the urban district Darmstadt in Hessen, Germany with a population of 21,687 . It is Darmstadt's southernmost suburb.-Geography:...

  • Darmstadt-Kranichstein
  • Darmstadt-Mitte ('Central')
  • Darmstadt-Nord ('North')

  • Darmstadt-Ost ('East')
  • Darmstadt-West ('West')
  • Darmstadt-Wixhausen
    Wixhausen is a village in southern Hesse, Germany. Covering an area of 23.247 km², in 2006 it had 5,772 inhabitants and 1,310 houses. It is considered the northernmost suburb of the district-free city of Darmstadt. Its main claim to fame is the GSI heavy-ion research laboratory located...

Twin towns / Sister cities

Darmstadt is twinned with:
Alkmaar is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of Noord Holland. Alkmaar is well known for its traditional cheese market. For tourists, it is a popular cultural destination.-History:...

, Netherlands Brescia
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, Italy Bursa
Bursa, Turkey
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, Turkey Chesterfield
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, United Kingdom Graz
The more recent population figures do not give the whole picture as only people with principal residence status are counted and people with secondary residence status are not. Most of the people with secondary residence status in Graz are students...

, Austria
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 (Tolna County), Hungary Liepāja
Liepāja ; ), is a republican city in western Latvia, located on the Baltic Sea directly at 21°E. It is the largest city in the Kurzeme Region of Latvia, the third largest city in Latvia after Riga and Daugavpils and an important ice-free port...

, Latvia Logroño
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, Spain Płock, Poland Szeged
' is the third largest city of Hungary, the largest city and regional centre of the Southern Great Plain and the county town of Csongrád county. The University of Szeged is one of the most distinguished universities in Hungary....

, Hungary (since 1990)
Trondheim , historically, Nidaros and Trondhjem, is a city and municipality in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. With a population of 173,486, it is the third most populous municipality and city in the country, although the fourth largest metropolitan area. It is the administrative centre of...

, Norway (since 1968) Troyes
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, France Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod or Uzhgorod is a city located in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary. It is the administrative center of the Zakarpattia Oblast , as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Uzhhorodskyi Raion within the oblast...

, Ukraine Saanen
Saanen is a municipality in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is the capital of the Obersimmental-Saanen administrative district.-Geography:Saanen has an area of . Of this area, 52.8% is used for agricultural purposes, while 33.6% is forested...

, Switzerland Freiberg
Freiberg, Saxony
Freiberg is a city in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, administrative center of the Mittelsachsen district.-History:The city was founded in 1186, and has been a center of the mining industry in the Ore Mountains for centuries...

, Germany

External links

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