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Essen (;
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
: ''Assindia'') is the central and, after
Dortmund Dortmund (; Westphalian Westphalian may refer to: * The culture or people of the Westphalia region of Germany * Westphalian language, one of the major dialect groups of West Low German * Westphalian sovereignty, a concept in international relati ...

Dortmund
, second-largest city of the
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ( ...

Ruhr
, the largest urban area in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
. Its population of makes it the fourth-largest city of
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
after
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...

Cologne
,
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
and Dortmund, as well as the ninth-largest city of Germany. Essen lies in the larger Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region and is part of the cultural area
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
. Because of its central location in the Ruhr, Essen is often regarded as the Ruhr's "secret capital". Two rivers flow through the city: in the north, the
Emscher The Emscher () is a river, a tributary of the Rhine ), Surselva, Graubünden, Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct dem ...
, the Ruhr area's central river, and in the south, the Ruhr River, which is
dammed A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, whic ...
in Essen to form the Lake Baldeney (''Baldeneysee'') and Lake Kettwig (''Kettwiger See'')
reservoir A reservoir (; from French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not per ...

reservoir
s. The central and northern boroughs of Essen historically belong to the
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
(
Westphalian Westphalian may refer to: * The culture or people of the Westphalia region of Germany * Westphalian language, one of the major dialect groups of West Low German * Westphalian sovereignty, a concept in international relations * Westphalian (stage), ...
) language area, and the south of the city to the
Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling it "Low Frankish (or Netherlandish)".)Scott Shay ...

Low Franconian
( Bergish) area (closely related to
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
). Essen is seat to several of the region's authorities, as well as to eight of the 100 largest publicly held German corporations by revenue, including two
DAX Dax or DAX may refer to: Business and organizations * DAX Dax or DAX may refer to: Business and organizations * DAX, stock market index of the top 40 German companies ** DAX 100, an expanded index of 100 stocks, superseded by the HDAX ** TecDAX ...

DAX
corporations. Essen is often considered the energy capital of Germany with
E.ON E.ON SE is a European electric utility company based in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area a ...
and
RWE RWE AG is a German multinational energy company headquartered in Essen. It generates and trades electricity in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States. The company is the world's number two in offshore wind power and Europe's third largest in ...

RWE
, Germany's largest energy providers, both headquartered in the city. Essen is also known for its impact on the arts through the respected
Folkwang University of the Arts The Folkwang University of the Arts is a university for music, theater, dance, design, and academic studies, located in 4 German cities of North Rhine-Westphalia. Since 1927, its traditional main location has been in the former Werden Abbey in Essen ...
, its Zollverein School of Management and Design, and the
Red Dot The Red Dot Design Award is a German international design prize awarded by Red Dot GmbH & Co. KG. There are prize categories for product design, brands and communication design, and design concept. Since 1955, designers and producers can apply ...

Red Dot
industrial product design award. In early 2003, the universities of Essen and the nearby city of
Duisburg Duisburg () is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western Germany, German States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr (river), Ruhr rivers, Duisburg is one of the largest cities ...

Duisburg
(both established in 1972) were merged into the
University of Duisburg-Essen The University of Duisburg-Essen (german: link=no, Universität Duisburg-Essen) is a public research university in Duisburg and Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capi ...
with campuses in both cities and a
university hospital A teaching hospital is a hospital or medical centre that provides medical education and training to future and current health professionals. Teaching hospitals are almost always affiliated with one or more universities and are often co-located w ...
in Essen. In 1958, Essen was chosen to serve as the seat to a
Roman Catholic diocese As of May 31, 2018, the Catholic Church in its entirety comprises 3,160 ecclesiastical jurisdictions, including over 645 Diocese#Archdiocese, archdioceses and 2,236 dioceses, as well as apostolic vicariates, apostolic exarchates, apostolic admini ...
(often referred to as ''Ruhrbistum'' or ''diocese of the Ruhr''). Founded around 845, Essen remained a small town within the sphere of influence of an important
ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of ...
(
Essen Abbey Essen Abbey (''Stift Essen'') was a monastery of secular canonesses for women of high nobility in Essen, Germany. It was founded about 845 by the Saxony, Saxon Altfrid (died 874), later Bishop of Hildesheim and saint, near a royal estate called ...
) until the onset of industrialization. The city then—especially through the
Krupp The Krupp family (see pronunciation Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation w ...
family iron works—became one of Germany's most important coal and steel centers. Essen, until the 1970s, attracted workers from all over the country; it was the fifth-largest city in Germany between 1929 and 1988, peaking at over 730,000 inhabitants in 1962. Following the region-wide decline of heavy industries in the last decades of the 20th century, the city has seen the development of a strong
tertiary sector of the economy The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sector Image:Economic sectors and income.JPG, 250px, Percentages of a country's economy made up by different sectors. Countries with h ...
. The most notable witness of this ''Strukturwandel'' (structural change) is the
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (German Zeche Zollverein) is a large former industrial site in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , ...
, which has once been the largest of its kind in Europe. Ultimately closed in 1993, both the
coking plant Coke is a grey, hard, and porous Porosity or void fraction is a measure of the (i.e. "empty") spaces in a , and is a of voids over the total volume, between 0 and 1, or as a between 0% and 100%. Strictly speaking, some tests measure the "a ...
and the mine have been inscribed in the list of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Sites A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
since 2001. Notable accomplishments of the city in recent years include the title of
European Capital of Culture A European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as p ...

European Capital of Culture
on behalf of the whole Ruhr area in 2010 and the selection as the
European Green Capital European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...
for 2017.


Geography


General

Essen is located in the centre of the
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ( ...

Ruhr
area, one of the largest
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbat ...
s in Europe (see also:
megalopolis A megalopolis (), sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster or supercity, is a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, ur ...
), comprising eleven independent cities and four districts with some 5.3 million inhabitants. The city limits of Essen itself are long and border ten cities, five independent and five ''kreisangehörig'' (i.e., belonging to a district), with a total population of approximately 1.4 million. The city extends over from north to south and from west to east, mainly north of the River Ruhr. The Ruhr forms the
reservoir A reservoir (; from French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not per ...

reservoir
in the boroughs of Fischlaken, Kupferdreh, Heisingen and
Werden Werden is a southern borough of the city of Essen in Germany. It belongs to the city district ''IX Werden/Kettwig/Bredeney'' and has 9,998 inhabitants as of June 30, 2006. The borough occupies a space of and is situated at a median height of . __ ...
. The lake, a popular recreational area, dates from 1931 to 1933, when some thousands of unemployed
coal miner Coal mining is the process of from the ground. Coal is valued for its and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. and industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from and for cement production. In the and ...
s dredged it with primitive tools. Generally, large areas south of the River Ruhr (including the suburbs of Schuir and
Kettwig Kettwig is the southernmost borough of the city of Essen in western Germany and, until 1975, was a town in its own right. Kettwig is situated next to the Ruhr (river), Ruhr river, at a median height of 53 metres above sea level. It is the most re ...

Kettwig
) are quite green and are often quoted as examples of rural structures in the otherwise relatively densely populated central Ruhr area. According to the
Federal Statistical Office of Germany The Federal Statistical Office (german: Statistisches Bundesamt, shortened ''Destatis'') is a federal authority of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by bo ...
, Essen with 9.2% of its area covered by recreational green is the greenest city in
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
and the third-greenest city in Germany. The city has been shortlisted for the title of
European Green Capital European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...
two consecutive times, for 2016 and 2017, winning for 2017. The city was singled out for its exemplary practices in protecting and enhancing nature and biodiversity and efforts to reduce water consumption. Essen participates in a variety of networks and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve the city's resilience in the face of climate change. The lowest point can be found in the northern borough of Karnap at , the highest point in the borough of Heidhausen at . The average elevation is .


City districts

Essen comprises fifty boroughs which in turn are grouped into nine suburban districts (called ''
Stadtbezirk A ''Stadtbezirk'' (also called ''Ortsbezirk'' in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate) is a form of Germany, German city district, an administrative unit within a larger city. In Germany, ''Stadtbezirke'' usually only exist in a metropolis with more tha ...
e'') often named after the most important boroughs. Each Stadtbezirk is assigned a
Roman numeral Roman numerals are a numeral system A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system for expressing numbers; that is, a mathematical notation for representing numbers of a given set, using Numerical digit, digits or other s ...
and has a local body of nineteen members with limited authority. Most of the boroughs were originally independent municipalities but were gradually annexed from 1901 to 1975. This long-lasting process of annexation has led to a strong identification of the population with "their" boroughs or districts and to a rare peculiarity: The borough of
Kettwig Kettwig is the southernmost borough of the city of Essen in western Germany and, until 1975, was a town in its own right. Kettwig is situated next to the Ruhr (river), Ruhr river, at a median height of 53 metres above sea level. It is the most re ...

Kettwig
, located south of the Ruhr River, and which was not annexed until 1975, has its own
area code A telephone numbering plan is a type of numbering schemeThere are many different numbering schemes for assigning nominal numbers to entities. These generally require an agreed set of rules, or a central coordinator. The schemes can be considered ...
. Additionally (allegedly due to relatively high church tax incomes), the Archbishop of
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...

Cologne
managed to keep Kettwig directly subject to the
Archdiocese of Cologne The Archdiocese of Cologne ( la, Archidioecesis Coloniensis; german: Erzbistum Köln) is an archdiocese In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an orda ...
, whereas all other boroughs of Essen and some neighboring cities constitute the Diocese of Essen''.''


Climate

Essen has a typical
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen classification of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the deg ...
( Köppen: ''Cfb'') with cool winters and warm summers (different of
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
or
Stuttgart Stuttgart (; Swabian: ; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') ...

Stuttgart
). Without large mountains and the presence of inland seas, it ends up extending a predominantly marine climate is found in Essen, usually a little more extreme and drier in other continents in such
geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wor ...

geographical location
. Its average annual temperature is : during the day and at night. The average annual precipitation is . The coldest month of the year is January, when the average temperature is . The warmest months are July and August, with an average temperature of . The record high is and the record low is .


History


Origin of the name

In German-speaking countries, the name of the city Essen often causes confusion as to its origins, because it has the same form as the German
infinitive Infinitive (abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for exa ...
of the
verb A verb () is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''become''), or a state of being (''be'', ''exist'', ''stand''). In the usual description of E ...
for "eating" (written as lowercase ''
essen Essen (; Latin: ''Assindia'') is the central and, after Dortmund, second-largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany. Its population of makes it the fourth-largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dor ...
''), and/or the German
noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many l ...
for
food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, protein (nutrient), proteins, vi ...

food
(which is always capitalized as ''
Essen Essen (; Latin: ''Assindia'') is the central and, after Dortmund, second-largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany. Its population of makes it the fourth-largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dor ...
'', adding to the confusion). Although scholars still dispute the interpretation of the name, there remain a few noteworthy interpretations. The oldest known form of the city's name is ''Astnide'', which changed to Essen by way of forms such as Astnidum, Assinde, Essendia and Esnede. The name Astnide may have referred either to a region where many
ash tree ''Fraxinus'' , English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become th ...
s were found or to a region in the East (of the
Frankish Empire Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most popu ...

Frankish Empire
). The
Old High German Old High German (OHG, german: Althochdeutsch, German abbr. ) is the earliest stage of the German language German ( Standard High German: , ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Euro ...
word for fireplace, Esse, is also commonly mentioned due to the industrial history of the city, but is highly unlikely since the old forms of the city name originate from times before industrialization.


Early history

The oldest archaeological find, the '' Vogelheimer Klinge'', dates back to 280,000 – 250,000 BC. It is a
blade A blade is the portion of a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use tool use by animals, simple tools, only human beings, whose use of st ...

blade
found in the borough of in the northern part of the city during the construction of the Rhine–Herne Canal in 1926. Other artifacts from the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
have also been found, although these are not overly numerous. Land utilization was very high – especially due to mining activities during the Industrial Age – and any more major finds, especially from the
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
era, are not expected. Finds from 3,000 BC and onwards are far more common, the most important one being a
Megalithic tomb A megalith is a large pre-historic stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. There are over 35,000 in Europe alone, located widely from Sweden to the Mediterranean sea. The word ...

Megalithic tomb
found in 1937. Simply called Steinkiste (Chest of Stone), it is referred to as "Essen's earliest preserved example of architecture". Essen was part of the settlement areas of several Germanic peoples (
Chatti The Chatti (also Chatthi or Catti) were an ancient Germanic tribe This list of ancient s is an inventory of ancient Germanic cultures, tribal groupings and other alliances of Germanic tribes and civilisations in ancient times. The information c ...
,
Bructeri The Bructeri (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
,
Marsi Marsi is the Latin exonym for an Italic people of Roman Italy, ancient Italy, whose chief centre was San Benedetto dei Marsi, Marruvium, on the eastern shore of Fucine Lake, Lake Fucinus (which was drained for agricultural land in the late 19th ...
), although a clear distinction among these groupings is difficult. The castle in the south of Essen dates back to the 8th century, the nearby to the 9th century. Recent research into
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
's ''
Geographia The ''Geography'' ( grc-gre, Γεωγραφικὴ Ὑφήγησις, ''Geōgraphikḕ Hyphḗgēsis'',  "Geographical Guidance"), also known by its Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
'' has identified the ''polis'' or ''
oppidum An ''oppidum'' (plural ''oppida'') is a large fortified Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Pal ...

oppidum
'' Navalia as Essen.


8th–12th centuries

Around 845, Saint
Altfrid Saint Altfrid's relics on display in Essen Cathedral on his feast day Saint Altfrid (or Altfrid of Hildesheim) (died 15 August 874) was a leading figure in Germany in the ninth century. A Order of St. Benedict, Benedictine monk, he became Bishop o ...

Altfrid
(around 800–874), the later
Bishop of Hildesheim This list records the incumbents of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hildesheim (german: link=no, Bistum Hildesheim). Between 1235 and 1803 the bishops simultaneously officiating as rulers of princely rank (prince-bishop) in the Prince-Bishopric of H ...
, founded an abbey for women (''coenobium Astnide'') in the centre of present-day Essen. The first abbess was Altfrid's relative Gerswit (see also:
Essen Abbey Essen Abbey (''Stift Essen'') was a monastery of secular canonesses for women of high nobility in Essen, Germany. It was founded about 845 by the Saxony, Saxon Altfrid (died 874), later Bishop of Hildesheim and saint, near a royal estate called ...
). In 799, had already founded
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Be ...
Werden Abbey Werden Abbey (german: Kloster Werden) was a Benedictine monastery in Essen-Werden (Germany), situated on the Ruhr (river), Ruhr. The foundation of the abbey Near Essen Ludger, Saint Ludger founded a monastery in 799 and became its first abbot ...
on its own grounds a few kilometers south. The region was sparsely populated with only a few
smallholding A smallholding or smallholder is a small farm operating under a small-scale agriculture model. Definitions vary widely for what constitutes a smallholder or small-scale farm, including factors such as size, food production technique or technology ...
s and an old and probably abandoned castle. Whereas Werden Abbey sought to support Liudger's missionary work in the
Harz The Harz () is a highland area in northern Germany. It has the highest elevations for that region, and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is ...

Harz
region (
Helmstedt Helmstedt () is a town on the eastern edge of the German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also Ger ...

Helmstedt
/
Halberstadt Halberstadt is a town A town is a . Towns are generally larger than s and smaller than , though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" shares an origin w ...
), Essen Abbey was meant to care for women of the higher
Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxon
nobility. This abbey was not an abbey in the ordinary sense, but rather intended as a residence and educational institution for the daughters and widows of the higher nobility; led by an abbess, the members other than the abbess herself were not obliged to take vows of
chastity Chastity, also known as purity, is a virtue Virtue ( la, virtus ''Virtus'' () was a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carries connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strength ...

chastity
. Around 852, construction of the collegiate church of the abbey began, to be completed in 870. A major fire in 946 heavily damaged both the church and the settlement. The church was rebuilt, expanded considerably, and is the foundation of the present Essen Cathedral. The first documented mention of Essen dates back to 898, when
Zwentibold Zwentibold (''Zventibold'', ''Zwentibald'', ''Swentiboldo'', ''Sventibaldo'', ''Sanderbald''; – 13 August 900), a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was the illegitimate son of Emperor Arnulf.Collins 1999, p. 360 In 895, his father, then kin ...
, King of
Lotharingia Lotharingia (Latin: ''regnum Lotharii, regnum Lothariense, Lotharingia'', French: ''Lotharingie'', German: ''Reich des Lothar'', ''Lotharingien'', ''Mittelreich'') was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire The Ca ...
, willed territory on the western bank of the
River Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

River Rhine
to the abbey. Another document, describing the foundation of the abbey and allegedly dating back to 870, is now considered an 11th-century forgery. In 971, Mathilde II, granddaughter of Emperor
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
, took charge of the abbey. She was to become the most important of all abbesses in the history of Essen. She reigned for over 40 years, and endowed the abbey's treasury with invaluable objects such as the oldest preserved seven branched candelabrum, and the
Golden Madonna of Essen The Golden Madonna of Essen is a sculpture of the Virgin Mary Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also known by v ...
, the oldest known sculpture of the Virgin Mary in the western world. Mathilde was succeeded by other women related to the
Ottonian The Ottonian dynasty (german: Ottonen) was a Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguist ...
emperors: Sophia, daughter of
Otto II Otto II (955 – 7 December 983), called the Red (''der. Rote''), was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the ...

Otto II
and sister of
Otto III Otto III (June/July 980 – 23 January 1002) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as ...

Otto III
, and Teophanu, granddaughter of Otto II. It was under the reign of Teophanu that Essen, which had been called a city since 1003, received the right to hold markets in 1041. Ten years later, Teophanu had the eastern part of Essen Abbey constructed. Its
crypt A crypt (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in r ...

crypt
contains the tombs of St. Altfrid, Mathilde II, and Teophanu herself.


13th–17th centuries

In 1216, the abbey, which had only been an important landowner until then, gained the status of a princely residence when Emperor
Frederick IIFrederick II, Frederik II or Friedrich II may refer to: * Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1194–1250), King of Sicily from 1198; Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 * Frederick II of Denmark (1534–1588), king of Denmark and Norway 1559–1588 * Freder ...

Frederick II
called abbess Elisabeth I ''Reichsfürstin'' (''Princess of the Empire'') in an official letter. In 1244, 28 years later, Essen received its town charter and seal when
Konrad von Hochstaden Konrad von Hochstaden (or Conrad of Hochstadt) (1198/1205 – 18 September 1261) was Archbishop of Cologne from 1238 to 1261. Life Konrad was a son of Count Lothar of Hochstadt, canon of St. Maria ad Gradus and of the old Cologne Cathedral, and ...
, the
Archbishop of Cologne Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire ('' Codex Balduini Trevirorum'', c. 1340) The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepis ...
, marched into the city and erected a city wall together with the population. This proved a temporary emancipation of the population of the city from the princess-abbesses, but this lasted only until 1290. That year, King
Rudolph I Rudolf I (1 May 1218 – 15 July 1291) was the first king of Germany from the House of Habsburg. The first of the count-kings of Kingdom of Germany, Germany, he reigned from 1273 until his death. Rudolf's imperial election of 1273, election m ...
restored the princess-abbesses to full sovereignty over the city, much to the dismay of the population of the growing city, who called for self-administration and
imperial immediacy Imperial immediacy (german: Reichsfreiheit or ') was a privileged constitutional and political status rooted in German feudal law under which the Imperial state, Imperial estates of the Holy Roman Empire such as Free imperial city, Imperial cities, ...
. The title
free imperial city In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities (german: Freie und Reichsstädte), briefly worded free imperial city (', la, urbs imperialis libera), was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that ...
was finally granted by Emperor
Charles IVCharles IV may refer to: * Charles IV of France (1294–1328), "the Fair" * Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1316–1378) * Charles IV of Navarre (1421–1461) * Charles IV, Duke of Anjou (1446–1481) * Charles IV, Duke of Alençon (1489–1525) * C ...

Charles IV
in 1377. However, in 1372, Charles had paradoxically endorsed Rudolph I's 1290 decision and hence left both the abbey and the city in imperial favour. Disputes between the city and the abbey about supremacy over the region remained common until the abbey's dissolution in 1803. Many lawsuits were filed at the
Reichskammergericht Session of the Imperial Chamber Court in Wetzlar, 1750 The ''Reichskammergericht'' (; ; la, Iudicium imperii) was one of the two highest judicial institutions in the Holy Roman Empire, the other one being the Aulic Council in Vienna. It was found ...
, one of them lasting almost 200 years. The final decision of the court in 1670 was that the city had to be "duly obedient in dos and don'ts" to the abbesses but could maintain its old rights—a decision that did not really solve any of the problems. In 1563, the city council, with its self-conception as the only legitimate ruler of Essen, introduced the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abra ...
. The Catholic abbey had no troops to counter this development.


Thirty Years' War

During the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Weste ...
, the Protestant city and the Catholic abbey opposed each other. In 1623, princess-abbess Maria Clara von Spaur, Pflaum und Valör, managed to direct Catholic Spaniards against the city in order to initiate a
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic Church, Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation, also known as the Protestant Revo ...
. In 1624, a "re-Catholicization" law was enacted, and churchgoing was strictly controlled. In 1628, the city council filed against this at the Reichskammergericht. Maria had to flee to Cologne when the Dutch stormed the city in 1629. She returned in the summer of 1631 following the
Bavarians Bavarians ( Bavarian: ''Boarn'', Standard German Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German (german: Standarddeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standardized variety of the German language The German l ...

Bavarians
under
Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim Gottfried Heinrich Graf (male) or (female) is a historical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...

Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim
, only to leave again in September. She died 1644 in Cologne. The war proved a severe blow to the city, with frequent arrests, kidnapping and rape. Even after the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
from 1648, troops remained in the city until 9 September 1650.


Industrialisation

The first historic evidence of the important mining tradition of Essen date back to the 14th century, when the princess-abbess was granted mining rights. The first silver mine opened in 1354, but the indisputably more important coal was not mentioned until 1371, and coal mining only began in 1450. At the end of the 16th century, many coal mines had opened in Essen, and the city earned a name as a centre of the weapons industry. Around 1570,
gunsmith A gunsmith is a person who repairs, modifies, designs, or builds gun A gun is a designed to use a shooting tube () to launch typically solid s, but can also project pressurized (e.g. s/s, s for or , , and technically also s), (e.g. ) o ...

gunsmith
s made high profits and in 1620, they produced 14,000 rifles and pistols a year. The city became increasingly important strategically. Resident in Essen since the 16th century, the Krupp family dynasty and Essen shaped each other. In 1811, founded Germany's first cast-steel factory in Essen and laid the cornerstone for what was to be the largest enterprise in Europe for a couple of decades. The weapon factories in Essen became so important that a sign facing the welcomed visitors
Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...

Hitler
and to the "Armory of the
Reich ''Reich'' (; , English: ''Riche'') is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nati ...
" (german: Waffenschmiede des Reiches, link=no) in 1937. The Krupp Works also were the main reason for the large population growth beginning in the mid-19th century. Essen reached a population of 100,000 in 1896. Other industrialists, such as
Friedrich Grillo Friedrich Grillo (20 December 1825, Essen – 16 April 1888, Düsseldorf) was a prominent industrialist in the Ruhr area of Germany, particularly in Essen and Gelsenkirchen. Born the son of an Essen merchant, into a Protestant family of Italian o ...
, who in 1892 donated the
Grillo-Theater Grillo-Theater is a theatre in Essen, Germany. Named after the industrialist Friedrich Grillo, who made the building possible, it opened on 16 September 1892 with Lessing's drama ''Minna von Barnhelm ''Minna von Barnhelm or the Soldiers' Hap ...
to the city, also played a major role in the shaping of the city and the
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ( ...

Ruhr
area in the late 19th and early 20th century.


World War I and occupation

Riots broke out in February 1917 following a breakdown in the supply of flour. There were then strikes in the Krupp factory. On 11 January 1923 the
Occupation of the Ruhr The Occupation of the Ruhr (german: link=no, Ruhrbesetzung) was a period of military occupation Military or belligerent occupation, often simply occupation, is provisional control by a ruling power over a territory, without a claim of form ...
was carried out by the invasion of French and Belgian troops into the Ruhr. The French Prime Minister,
Raymond Poincaré Raymond Nicolas Landry Poincaré ( S: stress final syllable ; 20 August 1860 – 15 October 1934) was a France, French statesman who served three times as 58th Prime Minister of France, and as President of France from 1913 to 1920. Trained in ...

Raymond Poincaré
, was convinced that Germany failed to comply the demands of the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government ...
. On the morning of 31 March 1923, the culmination of this French-German confrontation occurred when a small French military command, occupied the Krupp car hall to seize several vehicles. This event caused 13 deaths and 28 injured. The occupation of the Ruhr ended in summer 1925.


Nazism, World War II

On the night of
Kristallnacht ''Kristallnacht'' () or the Night of Broken Glass, also called the November Pogrom(s) (german: Novemberpogrome, ), was a pogrom A pogrom is a violent riot aimed at the massacre or expulsion of an ethnic or religious group, particularly on ...

Kristallnacht
on 10 November 1938, the
synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches ...
was sacked, but remained through the whole war in the exterior almost intact. The
Steele Steele may refer to: Places America * Steele, Alabama, a town * Steele, Arkansas, an unincorporated community * Steele, Kentucky, an unincorporated community * Steele, Missouri, a city * Lonetree, Montana, a ghost town originally called Steele * St ...
synagogue was completely destroyed. During the Nazi era, tens of thousands of slave laborers were forced to work in 350 Essen forced labour camps. Here, they did mining work and worked for companies like Krupp and Siemens.
Alfried Krupp Alfried Felix Alwyn Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (13 August 1907 – 30 July 1967), often referred to as Alfried Krupp, was an industrialist, a competitor in Olympic yacht races and a member of the Krupp ThyssenKrupp HQ in Essen The Kr ...

Alfried Krupp
was convicted in the Krupp trial at
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...
for his role in this but was pardoned by the US in 1951. There were several subcamps in Essen in
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, such as the subcamps , , . As a major industrial centre, Essen was a target for
allied An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
bombing, the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
(RAF) dropping a total of 36,429
long tons Long ton, also known as the imperial ton or displacement ton,Dictionary.com - ''"a unit for measuring the displacement of a vessel, equal to a long ton of 2240 pounds (1016 kg) or 35 cu. ft. (1 cu. m) of seawater."'' is the name for the unit called ...
of bombs on the city. Over 270 air raids were launched against the city, destroying 90% of the centre and 60% of the suburbs. On 5 March 1943 Essen was subjected to one of the heaviest air-raids of the war. 461 people were killed, 1,593 injured and a further 50,000 residents of Essen were made homeless. On 13 December 1944 three British
airmen An airman is a member of an air force or air arm of a nation's armed forces. In certain air forces, it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank. He can also be referred as soldier in other definition. In civilian aviation usage, the term air ...
were lynched. The
Krupp decoy site The Krupp decoy site (German: Kruppsche Nachtscheinanlage) was a German decoy-site of the Krupp steel works in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Europea ...
(German: Kruppsche Nachtscheinanlage) was built in
Velbert Velbert is a town in the district of Mettmann (district), Mettmann, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The town is renowned worldwide for the production of locks and fittings. Geography Velbert is located on the hills of 'Niederberg' ( ...
to divert Allied airstrikes from the actual production site of the arms factory in Essen. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Essen in April 1945. The US 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the
17th Airborne Division The 17th Airborne Division was an airborne infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, d ...
, acting as regular infantry and not in a parachute role, entered the city unopposed and captured it on 10 April 1945. After the successful invasion of Germany by the allies, Essen was assigned to the
British Zone of Occupation Allied-occupied Germany (, literally "Germany in the occupation period") was the administration of Germany () upon defeat of Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. " ...
. On 8 March 1946, a German Army Officer and a civilian were hanged for the lynching of three British Airmen in December 1944.


Twenty-first century

Although weaponry is no longer produced in Essen, old industrial enterprises such as
ThyssenKrupp ThyssenKrupp AG (, ; stylized as thyssenkrupp) is a German multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate with focus on industrial engineering and steel production. It is the result of the 1999 merger of Thyssen AG ...
and
RWE RWE AG is a German multinational energy company headquartered in Essen. It generates and trades electricity in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States. The company is the world's number two in offshore wind power and Europe's third largest in ...

RWE
remain large employers in the city. Foundations such as the
Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Alfried Felix Alwyn Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (13 August 1907 – 30 July 1967), often referred to as Alfried Krupp, was an industrialist, a competitor in Olympic Olympic or Olympics may refer to Sports Events * Olympic Games, internatio ...
-
StiftungA stiftung is an institution/foundation which, with the aid of a property, pursues a purpose determined by the founder. A ''stiftung foundation'' exists to give effect to the stated, non-commercial wishes of its founder, as set out in a foundation d ...

Stiftung
still promote the well-being of the city, for example by supporting a hospital and donating €55,000,000 for a new building for the
Museum Folkwang Museum Folkwang is a major collection of 19th- and 20th-century art in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spo ...

Museum Folkwang
, one of the Ruhr area's major art museums.


Politics


Historical development

The administration of Essen had for a long time been in the hands of the
princess-abbess A Prince-abbot (german: Fürstabt) is a title for a clergy, cleric who is a Prince of the Church (like a Prince-bishop), in the sense of an ''ex officio'' temporal lord of a feudalism, feudal entity, notably a Imperial State, State of the Holy Ro ...
es as heads of the
Imperial Abbey Weissenau abbey, circa 1625 Princely abbeys (german: Fürstabtei, ''Fürststift'') and Imperial abbeys (german: Reichsabtei, ''Reichskloster'', ''Reichsstift'', ''Reichsgotthaus'') were religious establishments within the Holy Roman Empire T ...
of
Essen Essen (; Latin: ''Assindia'') is the central and, after Dortmund, second-largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany. Its population of makes it the fourth-largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dor ...
. However, from the 14th century onwards, the
city council A municipal council is the legislature, legislative body of a municipality or local government area. Depending on the location and classification of the municipality it may be known as a city council, town council, town board, community council, ...
increasingly grew in importance. In 1335, it started choosing two
burgomaster Manneken Pis dressed as a burgomaster from the Seven Noble Houses of Brussels. Burgomaster (alternatively spelled burgermeister, literally ''master of the citizenship, town'', ''master of the borough A borough is an administrative division ...
s, one of whom was placed in charge of the treasury. In 1377, Essen was granted
imperial immediacy Imperial immediacy (german: Reichsfreiheit or ') was a privileged constitutional and political status rooted in German feudal law under which the Imperial state, Imperial estates of the Holy Roman Empire such as Free imperial city, Imperial cities, ...
but had to abandon this privilege later on. Between the early 15th and 20th centuries, the political system of Essen underwent several changes, most importantly the introduction of the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abra ...
in 1563, the
annexation Annexation (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, ...
of 1802 by
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...
, and the subsequent
secularization In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytolo ...
of the principality in 1803. The territory was made part of the Prussian
Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg The Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg (german: Provinz Jülich-Kleve-Berg) was a Provinces of Prussia, province of Prussia from 1815 to 1822. Jülich-Cleves-Berg was established in 1815 from land annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia from First French Em ...
from 1815 to 1822, after which it became part of the Prussian
Rhine Province The Rhine Province (german: Rheinprovinz), also known as Rhenish Prussia (''Rheinpreußen'') or synonymous with the Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'' ...
until its dissolution in 1946. During the
German Revolution of 1918–19 German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = Ge ...
, Essen was the home of the Essen Tendency (Essener Richtung) within the
Communist Workers' Party of Germany The Communist Workers' Party of Germany (german: Kommunistische Arbeiter-Partei Deutschlands; KAPD) was an anti-parliamentarian and left communist party that was active in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px ...
. In 1922 they founded the
Communist Workers' International The Communist Workers' International (german: Kommunistische Arbeiter-Internationale, KAI) or Fourth Communist International was a council communist international International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". Inte ...
. Essen became one of the centres of resistance to
Social Democracy Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognit ...
and the
Freikorps (, usually translated to "Free Corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French , from the Latin "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organization. A military innovation by Napoleon, the formation was first named as such ...
alike. During the
Nazi Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...

Nazi
era (1933–1945), mayors were installed by the
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the military government of the British occupation zone installed a new mayor and a municipal constitution modeled on that of British cities. Later, the city council was again elected by the population. The mayor was elected by the council as its head and as the city's main
representative Representative may refer to: Politics *Representative democracy, type of democracy in which elected officials represent a group of people *House of Representatives, legislative body in various countries or sub-national entities *Legislator, someone ...
. The
administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the act of directing people towards accomplishing a goal ** Administration (government), management in or of government *** Administrative division ** Academic administratio ...
was led by a full-time ''Oberstadtdirektor''. In 1999, the position of Oberstadtdirektor was abolished in
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
and the mayor became both main representative and administrative head. In addition, the population now elects the mayor directly.


Mayor

The current Mayor of Essen is
Thomas Kufen Thomas Kufen (born 5 August 1973, in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as ...
of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2020. The most recent mayoral election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows: ! colspan=2, Candidate ! Party ! Votes ! % , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
Thomas Kufen Thomas Kufen (born 5 August 1973, in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as ...
, align=left, Christian Democratic Union , 115,415 , 54.3 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Oliver Kern , align=left,
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
, 43,093 , 20.3 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Mehrdad Mostofizadeh , align=left,
Alliance 90/The Greens Alliance 90/The Greens, often simply Greens (german: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen or '; ), is a green Green is the color Color ( American English), or colour ( Commonwealth English), is the characteristic of visual perception descr ...
, 25,924 , 12.2 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Harald Parussel , align=left,
Alternative for Germany Alternative for Germany (german: link=no, Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) is a German nationalist German nationalism is an ideological notion that promotes the unity of Germans The Germans (german: Deutsche) are a Germanic peoples, ...
, 12,695 , 6.0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Daniel Kerekeš , align=left, The Left , 5,414 , 2.5 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Annie Maria Tarrach , align=left,
Die PARTEI (''Party for Labour, Rule of Law, Animal Protection, Promotion of Elites and Grassroots Democratic Initiative''), or Die PARTEI (''The PARTY''), is a German political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates t ...
, 5,168 , 2.4 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Karlgeorg Raimund Krüger , align=left,
Free Democratic PartyFree Democratic Party is the name of several political parties around the world. It usually designates a party ideologically based on liberalism. Current parties with that name include: *Free Democratic Party (Germany), a liberal political party in ...
, 4,200 , 2.0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Peter Köster , align=left,
German Communist Party The German Communist Party (german: Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, ) is a minor communist party in Germany. The DKP supports left positions and was an observer member of the Party of the European Left, European Left. At the end of February 2016 ...
, 546 , 0.3 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Detlef Albert Fergeé , align=left, , 232 , 0.1 , - ! colspan=3, Valid votes ! 212,687 ! 99.1 , - ! colspan=3, Invalid votes ! 1,861 ! 0.9 , - ! colspan=3, Total ! 214,548 ! 100.0 , - ! colspan=3, Electorate/voter turnout ! 446,384 ! 48.1 , - , colspan=5, Source
State Returning Officer


City council

The Essen city council governs the city alongside the Mayor. The most recent city council election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows: ! colspan=2, Party ! Votes ! % ! +/- ! Seats ! +/- , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) , 73,206 , 34.4 , 3.0 , 30 , 2 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
(SPD) , 51,550 , 24.3 , 9.7 , 21 , 10 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
Alliance 90/The Greens Alliance 90/The Greens, often simply Greens (german: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen or '; ), is a green Green is the color Color ( American English), or colour ( Commonwealth English), is the characteristic of visual perception descr ...
(Grüne) , 39,569 , 18.6 , 7.4 , 16 , 6 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
Alternative for Germany Alternative for Germany (german: link=no, Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) is a German nationalist German nationalism is an ideological notion that promotes the unity of Germans The Germans (german: Deutsche) are a Germanic peoples, ...
(AfD) , 15,849 , 7.5 , 3.7 , 6 , 3 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, The Left (Die Linke) , 8,309 , 3.9 , 1.4 , 3 , 2 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
Free Democratic PartyFree Democratic Party is the name of several political parties around the world. It usually designates a party ideologically based on liberalism. Current parties with that name include: *Free Democratic Party (Germany), a liberal political party in ...
(FDP) , 6,476 , 3.0 , 0.2 , 3 , ±0 , - , , align=left, Essen Citizens' Alliance (EBB) , 6,209 , 2.9 , 1.4 , 3 , 1 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
Die PARTEI (''Party for Labour, Rule of Law, Animal Protection, Promotion of Elites and Grassroots Democratic Initiative''), or Die PARTEI (''The PARTY''), is a German political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates t ...
(PARTEI) , 5,282 , 2.5 , 1.7 , 2 , 1 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Human Environment Animal Protection (Tierschutz) , 4,396 , 2.1 , New , 2 , New , - , colspan=7 bgcolor=lightgrey, , - , , align=left, Social Liberal Alliance (SLB) , 760 , 0.4 , New , 0 , New , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
German Communist Party The German Communist Party (german: Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, ) is a minor communist party in Germany. The DKP supports left positions and was an observer member of the Party of the European Left, European Left. At the end of February 2016 ...
(DKP) , 463 , 0.2 , 0.1 , 0 , ±0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, (Volt) , 357 , 0.2 , New , 0 , New , - , bgcolor=, , align=left,
Pirate Party Germany The Pirate Party Germany (german: Piratenpartei Deutschland), commonly known as Pirates (German: ''Piraten''), is a political party in Germany founded in September 2006 at c-base. It states general agreement with the Swedish Piratpartiet as a p ...
(Piraten) , 86 , 0.0 , 1.8 , 0 , 2 , - ! colspan=2, Valid votes ! 212,512 ! 98.9 ! ! ! , - ! colspan=2, Invalid votes ! 2,327 ! 1.1 ! ! ! , - ! colspan=2, Total ! 214,839 ! 100.0 ! ! 86 ! 4 , - ! colspan=2, Electorate/voter turnout ! 446,384 ! 48.1 ! 2.8 ! ! , - , colspan=7, Source
State Returning Officer


Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the city of Essen is a heraldic peculiarity. Granted in 1886, it is a so-called ''Allianzwappen'' (
arms of alliance Arms of alliance are arms that families or private persons take up and join to their own to denote the alliances they have contracted by marriage. References ;Attribution * Heraldry {{Heraldry-stub ...
) and consists of two separate shields under a single crown. Most other coats of arms of cities use a
mural crown A mural crown ( la, corona muralis) is a crown '' File:서봉총 금관 금제드리개.jpg, The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasure of South Korea. It is basically following the standard type of Sil ...
instead of a heraldic crown. The crown, however, does not refer to the city of Essen itself, but instead to the
secularized In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empirical method, empi ...
ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of ...
of
Essen Essen (; Latin: ''Assindia'') is the central and, after Dortmund, second-largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany. Its population of makes it the fourth-largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dor ...
under the reign of the princess-abbesses. The dexter (heraldically right) shows the double-headed Imperial Eagle of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
, granted to the city in 1623. The sinister (heraldically left) escutcheon is one of the oldest emblems of Essen and shows a sword that people believed was used to behead the city's
patron Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists su ...
Saints Cosmas and Damian Saints Cosmas and Damian ( ar, قُزما ودميان, translit=Qozma wa Demyaan; grc-gre, Κοσμάς και Δαμιανός, translit=Kosmás kai Damianós; la, Cosmas et Damianus; died ) were two Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; sin ...
. People tend to connect the sword in the left shield with one found in the Cathedral Treasury. This sword, however, is much more recent. A slightly modified and more heraldically correct version of the coat of arms can be found on the roof of the ''Handelshof'' hotel near the main station.


International relations

The City of Monessen, Pennsylvania, situated along the
Monongahela River The Monongahela River ( , )—often referred to locally as the Mon ()—is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map accessed August 15, 2011 river on the Allegheny Plateau The Alleghen ...

Monongahela River
, was named after the river and Essen.


Twin towns – sister cities

Essen is twinned with: *
Changzhou Changzhou ( Changzhounese: ''Zaon Tsei'', ) is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), off ...

Changzhou
, China (2015) *
Grenoble Grenoble ( , ; , ''Grainóvol'', oc, Graçanòbol, ''Grasanòbol'') is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. ...

Grenoble
, France (1974) *
Nizhny Novgorod Nizhny Novgorod ( ; rus, links=no, Нижний Новгород, a=Ru-Nizhny Novgorod.ogg, p=ˈnʲiʐnʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), colloquially shortened to Nizhny, known as Gorky () between 1932 and 1990, is the administrative centre of Nizhny Novgo ...

Nizhny Novgorod
, Russia (1991) *
Sunderland Sunderland () is a port city and the administrative centre of the City of Sunderland metropolitan borough in Tyne and Wear, North East England. Sunderland is situated near the mouth of the River Wear which flows through the city and as well as ...
, England, United Kingdom (1949) *
Tampere Tampere ( , , ; sv, Tammerfors ; la, Tammerforsia) is a city in the Pirkanmaa Regions of Finland, region, located in the western part of Finland. Tampere is the most populous inland city in the Nordic countries; it has a population of 238,14 ...

Tampere
, Finland (1960) *
Tel Aviv Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ, ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ; ar, تَلّ أَبِيب - يَافَا, ''Tall ʾAbīb-Yāfā''), often referred to as just Tel Aviv, is the most populous city in the metropolitan area of . Locate ...

Tel Aviv
, Israel (1991) *
Zabrze Zabrze (; ; German: 1915–1945: ''Hindenburg O.S.'', full form: ''Hindenburg in Oberschlesien'', Silesian: ''Zŏbrze'') is an industrial city in Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas ...
, Poland (2015)


Cooperation agreements

Essen cooperates with: *
Kōriyama File:郡山市役所.JPG, Kōriyama city hall is a Cities of Japan, city in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. , the city has an estimated population of 322,996 people in 141760 households, and a population density of 430 persons per km2. The total are ...
, Japan (2017) *Qingdao, China (2008) *Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (2012)


Industry and infrastructure


Economy

Essen is home to several large companies, among them the
ThyssenKrupp ThyssenKrupp AG (, ; stylized as thyssenkrupp) is a German multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate with focus on industrial engineering and steel production. It is the result of the 1999 merger of Thyssen AG ...
industrial conglomerate which is also registered in
Duisburg Duisburg () is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western Germany, German States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr (river), Ruhr rivers, Duisburg is one of the largest cities ...

Duisburg
and originates from a 1999 merger between Duisburg-based ''Thyssen AG'' and Essen-based Krupp, Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp. The largest company registered only in Essen is Germany's second-largest electric utility RWE, RWE AG. Essen hosts parts of the corporate headquarters of Schenker AG, the logistics division of Deutsche Bahn. Other major companies include Germany's largest construction company Hochtief, as well as Aldi, Aldi Nord, Evonik Industries, Karstadt, Medion, Medion AG and Deichmann SE, Deichmann, Europe's largest shoe retailer. The Coca-Cola Company had originally established their German headquarters in Essen (around 1930), where it remained until 2003, when it was moved to the capital Berlin. In light of the Energy transition in Germany, Germany's largest electric utility
E.ON E.ON SE is a European electric utility company based in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area a ...
announced that, after restructuring and splitting off its conventional electricity generation division (coal, gas, atomic energy), it will move its headquarters to Essen in 2016, becoming a sole provider of renewable energy. The chemical distribution company Brenntag announced to move its headquarter to Essen end of 2017. Thyssen-Krupp-Quartier-Essen-2013.jpg,
ThyssenKrupp ThyssenKrupp AG (, ; stylized as thyssenkrupp) is a German multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate with focus on industrial engineering and steel production. It is the result of the 1999 merger of Thyssen AG ...
headquarters in Essen RWE Tower Essen 2014.jpg, RWE, RWE AG headquarters in the business district EON-Ruhrgas-Zentrale Essen.jpg,
E.ON E.ON SE is a European electric utility company based in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area a ...
headquarters Hochhaus Kruppstraße 5, Essen(2).jpg, RWE, RWE AG headquarters Hochtiefhaus Essen.jpg, Hochtief headquarters RellingHaus II, Essen.jpg, Evonik Industries headquarters Schenker AG Hauptsitz.jpeg, Schenker AG headquarters Postbank-Hochhaus Essen.jpg, Postbank Essen Ehem. Essener Creditanstalt, heute Deutsche Bank.jpg, Deutsche Bank branch in the financial district Emschergenossenschaft Essen.jpg, Emschergenossenschaft Essen


Fairs

The city's exhibition centre, Messe Essen, hosts some 50 trade fairs each year. With around 530.000 visitors each year, Essen Motor Show is by far the largest event held there. It has been described as "the showcase event of the year for the tuning community" and as the German version of the annual SEMA auto show in Las Vegas. As contrasted with the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Essen show is smaller and is focused on car tuning and racing interests. Other important fairs open to consumers include SPIEL, the world's biggest consumer fair for tabletop gaming, and one of the leading fairs for equestrianism, equestrian sports, Equitana, held every two years. Important fairs restricted to professionals include "Security" (security and fire protection), IPM (gardening) and E-World (energy and water). Messe-Essen-Logo.svg, Messe-Essen-Logo Essen-MesseSued3-Asio.jpg, Messe Essen south entrance Messe Essen, Osteingang.jpg, Messe Essen, east entrance Essen-MesseSued1-Asio.jpg, Messe Essen south entrance


Media

The Westdeutscher Rundfunk has a studio in Essen, which is responsible for the central
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ( ...

Ruhr
area. Each day, it produces a 30-minute regional evening news magazine (called ''Lokalzeit Ruhr''), a 5-minute afternoon news programme, and several radio news programmes. A local broadcasting station went on air in the late 1990s. The WAZ-Mediengruppe, WAZ Media Group is one of the most important (print) media companies in Europe and publishes the Ruhr area's two most important daily newspapers, ''Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung'' (WAZ; 580,000 copies) and ''Neue Ruhr/Rhein Zeitung'' (NRZ; 180,000 copies). In Essen, the WAZ Group also publishes the local ' and ', both of which had been independent weekly newspapers for parts of Essen. Additionally, Axel Springer AG, Axel Springer run a printing facility for their boulevard-style daily paper ''Bild'' in Essen.


Education

One renowned educational institution in Essen is the Folkwang University, a university of the arts founded in 1927, which is headquartered in Essen and has additional facilities in Duisburg, Bochum and
Dortmund Dortmund (; Westphalian Westphalian may refer to: * The culture or people of the Westphalia region of Germany * Westphalian language, one of the major dialect groups of West Low German * Westphalian sovereignty, a concept in international relati ...

Dortmund
. Since 1927, its traditional main location has been in the former
Werden Abbey Werden Abbey (german: Kloster Werden) was a Benedictine monastery in Essen-Werden (Germany), situated on the Ruhr (river), Ruhr. The foundation of the abbey Near Essen Ludger, Saint Ludger founded a monastery in 799 and became its first abbot ...
in Essen in the Ruhr area, with additional facilities in
Duisburg Duisburg () is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western Germany, German States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr (river), Ruhr rivers, Duisburg is one of the largest cities ...

Duisburg
, Bochum, and
Dortmund Dortmund (; Westphalian Westphalian may refer to: * The culture or people of the Westphalia region of Germany * Westphalian language, one of the major dialect groups of West Low German * Westphalian sovereignty, a concept in international relati ...

Dortmund
, and, since 2010, at the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Zeche Zollverein, a World Heritage Site also in Essen. The Folkwang University is home to the international dance company ''Folkwang Tanz Studio'' (FTS). In 1963 the Folkwang school was renamed ''Folkwang-Hochschule'' (Folkwang Academy). In 2010 the institution began offering graduate studies and was renamed Folkwang University of the Arts. This coincided with Ruhr.2010, the festival in which the Ruhr district was designated the
European Capital of Culture A European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as p ...

European Capital of Culture
for the year 2010. Essen_Kloster_Werden_Innenhof_2_2005.jpg,
Folkwang University of the Arts The Folkwang University of the Arts is a university for music, theater, dance, design, and academic studies, located in 4 German cities of North Rhine-Westphalia. Since 1927, its traditional main location has been in the former Werden Abbey in Essen ...
Zollverein School of Management and Design 3116754.jpg, Zollverein School of Management and Design Universität Essen Panorama.jpg, Universität Essen Essen Werden - Folkwang-Hochschule 08 ies.jpg, Folkwang University
The
University of Duisburg-Essen The University of Duisburg-Essen (german: link=no, Universität Duisburg-Essen) is a public research university in Duisburg and Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capi ...
, which resulted from a 2003 merger of the universities of Essen and Duisburg, is one of Germany's "youngest" universities with about 42,000 Students. One of its primary research areas is ''urban systems'' (i.e., sustainable development, logistics and transportation), a theme largely inspired by the highly urbanised Ruhr area. Other fields include nanotechnology, discrete mathematics and "education in the 21st century". Another university in Essen is the private ''Fachhochschule für Ökonomie und Management'', a university of applied sciences with over 6,000 students and branches in 15 other major cities throughout Germany.


Medicine

Essen offers a highly diversified health care system with more than 1,350 resident doctors and almost 6,000 beds in 13 hospitals, including a university hospital. The university hospital dates back to 1909, when the city council established a municipal hospital; although it was largely destroyed during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, it was later rebuilt, and finally gained the title of a university hospital in 1963. It focuses on List of ICD-9 codes 390-459: Diseases of the circulatory system#7. Diseases of the circulatory system (390–459), diseases of the circulatory system (West German Heart Centre Essen), oncology and organ transplant, transplantation medicine, with the department of bone marrow transplantation being the second-largest of its kind in the world. Elisabethkrankenhaus Essen.jpg, Elisabethkrankenhaus Essen Uniklinik Essen, 20071222.jpg, University Hospital Essen


Transport


Streets and motorways

The road network of Essen consists of over 3,200 streets, which in total have a length of roughly . Three ''German Autobahnen, Autobahnen'' touch Essen territory, most importantly the Bundesautobahn 40, Ruhrschnellweg (Ruhr expressway, A 40), which runs directly through the city, dividing it roughly in half. In a west-eastern direction, the A 40 connects the Dutch city of Venlo with Dortmund, running through the whole
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ( ...

Ruhr
area. It is one of the arterial roads of the Ruhr area (> 140,000 vehicles/day) and suffers from heavy congestion during rush hours, which is why many people in the area nicknamed it ''Ruhrschleichweg'' (Ruhr crawling way). A tunnel was built in the 1970s, when the then-Bundesstraße was upgraded to Autobahn, motorway standards, so that the A 40 is hidden from public view in the inner-city district near the . In the north, the Bundesautobahn 42, A 42 briefly touches Essen territory, serving as an interconnection between the neighboring cities of Oberhausen and Gelsenkirchen and destinations beyond. A segment of the Bundesautobahn 52, A 52 connects Essen with the more southern region around
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
. On Essen territory, the A 52 runs from the southern boroughs near Mülheim, Mülheim an der Ruhr past the fairground and then merges with the Bundesautobahn 40, Ruhrschnellweg at the Autobahndreieck Essen-Ost junction east of the city centre. With the A 40/A 52 in the southern parts of the city and the A 42 in the north, there is a gap in the motorway system often leading to congestion on streets leading from the central to the northern boroughs. An extension of the A 52 to connect the Essen-Ost junction with the A 42 to close this gap is considered urgent; it has been planned for years but not yet been realized – most importantly due to the high-density areas this extension would lead through, resulting in high costs and concerns with the citizens.


Public transport

As with most communes in the Ruhr area, local transport is carried out by a local, publicly owned company for transport within the city, the DB Regio subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn for regional transport and Deutsche Bahn itself for long-distance journeys. The local carrier, Ruhrbahn, is a member of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) association of public transport companies in the Ruhr area, which provides a uniform fare structure in the whole region. Within the VRR region, tickets are valid on lines of all members as well as DB's railway lines (except the high-speed InterCity and Intercity-Express networks) and can be bought at ticket machines and service centres of Ruhrbahn, all other members of VRR, and DB. , Ruhrbahn operates 3 U-Stadtbahn lines of the Essen Stadtbahn network, 7 Trams in Essen, Straßenbahn (tram) lines and 57 bus lines (16 of these serving as ''Nacht Express'' late-night lines only). The Stadtbahn and Straßenbahn operate on total route lengths of and , respectively. One tram line and a few bus lines coming from neighboring cities are operated by these cities' respective carriers. The U-Stadtbahn, which partly runs on used Docklands Light Railway stock, is a mixture of tram and full rapid transit, underground systems with 20 underground stations for the U-Stadtbahn and additional 4 underground stations used by the tram. Two lines of the U-Stadtbahn are completely intersection-free and hence independent from other traffic, and the U18 line leading from Mülheim main station to the ''Bismarckplatz'' station at the gates of the city centre partly runs above ground amidst the Bundesautobahn 40, A 40 motorway. The Essen Stadtbahn is one of the Stadtbahn systems integrated into the greater Rhine-Ruhr Stadtbahn network. EVAG (Essen) NF2-TW 1601.jpg, Essen Stadtbahn NF2-TW 1601 Essen Hbf 02 Empfangsgebäude.jpg, Essen Hauptbahnhof Essen Hauptbahnhof Freiheit.jpg, Essen Hauptbahnhof in the city centre U-bahnhof-essenhbf.JPG, Essen Hauptbahnhof subway station Stadtbahn Essen - Kaiser-Wilhelm-Park.jpg, Platforms at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Park On the same motorway, a long-term test of a guided bus system is being held since 1980. Many Ruhrbahn rail lines meet at the main station but only a handful of bus lines. However, all but one of the Nacht Express bus lines originate from / lead to Essen Hauptbahnhof in a star-shaped manner. All Ruhrbahn lines, including the Nacht Express lines, are closed on weekdays from 1:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Of the Rhein-Ruhr S-Bahn net's 13 lines, 5 lines lead through Essen territory and meet at the Essen Hauptbahnhof main station, which also serves as the connection to the Regional-Express and Intercity-Express network of regional and nationwide high-speed trains, respectively. Following Essen's appointment as
European Capital of Culture A European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as p ...

European Capital of Culture
2010, the main station, which is classified as a German railway station categories#Category 1, station of highest importance and which had not been substantially renovated over decades, will be redeveloped with a budget of €57 million until early 2010. Other important stations in Essen, where regional and local traffic are connected, are the (regional railway stations) in the boroughs of Altenessen, Essen-Borbeck-Mitte, Borbeck, Kray and Steele. Further 20 S-Bahn stations can be found in the whole urban area. In 2017 the public transport organization of Mülheim, the Mülheimer Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) and the Essener Verkehrsgesellschaft (EVAG) merged and became the ''Ruhrbahn''. All vehicles and staff were merged and are now operated together.


Aviation

Together with the neighbouring city of Mülheim, Mülheim an der Ruhr and the state of
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
, Essen maintains Essen/Mülheim Airport (IATA airport code, IATA: ESS, ICAO airport code, ICAO: EDLE). While the first flights had already arrived in 1919, it was officially opened on 25 August 1925. Significantly expanded in 1935, Essen/Mülheim became the central airport of the Ruhr area until the end of the Second World War, providing an asphalted runway of , another unsurfaced runway for gliding and destinations to most major European cities. It was heavily damaged during the war, yet partly reconstructed and used by the Allies of World War II, Allies as a secondary airport since visibility is less often fog, obscured than at Düsseldorf Airport. The latter then developed into the large civil airport that it is now, while Essen/Mülheim now mainly serves occasional air traffic (some 33,000 passengers each year), the base of a fleet of airships and Germany's oldest public flight training company. Residents of the region around Essen typically use Düsseldorf Airport (~ 20 driving minutes) and occasionally Dortmund Airport (~ 30 driving minutes) for both domestic and international flights.


Landmarks


Zollverein Industrial Complex

The
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (German Zeche Zollverein) is a large former industrial site in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , ...
is the city's most famous landmark. For decades, the coal mine (current form mainly from 1932, closed in 1986) and the coking plant (closed in 1993) ranked among the largest of their kinds in Europe. Shaft XII, built in Bauhaus style, with its characteristic winding tower, which over the years has become a symbol for the whole
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ( ...

Ruhr
area, is considered an architectural and technical masterpiece, earning it a reputation as the "most beautiful coal mine in the world". After
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
had declared it a World Heritage Site in 2001, the complex, which had lain idle for a long time and was even threatened to be demolished, began to see a period of redevelopment. Under the direction of an agency borne by the land of
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
and the city itself, several arts and design institutions settled mainly on the grounds of the former coal mine; a redevelopment plan for the coking plant is to be realised. On the grounds of the coal mine and the coking plant, which are both accessible free of charge while paid guided tours (some with former ) are available, several tourist attractions can be found, most importantly the ''Design Zentrum NRW''/Red Dot, Red Dot Design Museum. The ''Ruhrmuseum'', a museum dedicated to the history of the Ruhr area, which had been existing since 1904, opened its gates as one of the anchor attractions in the former coal-washing facility in 2010. File:Zeche Zollverein Essen Okt10 011.jpg, Coal mine Zollverein File:Zeche Zollverein abends.jpg, Shaft XII of Zollverein File:Essen - Zeche-Zollverein - Eingangstor - 2013.jpg, Zollverein entrance File:Rolltreppe Ruhrmuseum.jpg, Ruhrmuseum File:Ruhrmuseum Staircase.jpg, Ruhrmuseum staircase


Essen Minster and treasury

The former collegiate church of
Essen Abbey Essen Abbey (''Stift Essen'') was a monastery of secular canonesses for women of high nobility in Essen, Germany. It was founded about 845 by the Saxony, Saxon Altfrid (died 874), later Bishop of Hildesheim and saint, near a royal estate called ...
and nowadays cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Essen, Bishop of Essen is a Gothic art, Gothic hall church made from light sandstone. The first church on the premises dates back to between 845 and 870; the current church was constructed after a former church had burnt down in 1275. However, the important westwork and
crypt A crypt (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in r ...

crypt
have survived from Ottonian architecture, Ottonian times. The cathedral is located in the centre of the city which evolved around it. It is not spectacular in appearance and the adjacent church ''St. Johann Baptist'', which is located directly within the pedestrian precinct, is often mistakenly referred to as the cathedral. The cathedral treasury, however, ranks amongst the most important in Germany since only few art works have been lost over the centuries. The most precious exhibit, located within the cathedral, is the
Golden Madonna of Essen The Golden Madonna of Essen is a sculpture of the Virgin Mary Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also known by v ...
(around 980), the oldest known sculpture of the Madonna (art), Madonna and the oldest free-standing sculpture north of the Alps. Other exhibits include the alleged ''child crown'' of Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Otto III, the eldest preserved seven-branched Christian candelabrum and several other art works from Ottonian times. Essen muenster goldene madonna-4.jpg,
Golden Madonna of Essen The Golden Madonna of Essen is a sculpture of the Virgin Mary Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also known by v ...
Golden Madonna.jpg,
Golden Madonna of Essen The Golden Madonna of Essen is a sculpture of the Virgin Mary Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also known by v ...
Otto Mathilden Kreuz.jpg, Cross of Otto and Mathilde, 10th century Essen StLudger von NW1.jpg, St. Ludger Basilica Muenster Rathaus Essen.jpg, Essen Minster overshadowed by the town hall


Old Synagogue

Opened in 1913, the then-New Synagogue served as the central meeting place of Essen's pre-war Jewish community. The building ranks as one of the largest and most impressive testimonies of Jewish culture in pre-World War II, war Germany. In post-war Germany, the former house of worship was bought by the city, used as an exhibition hall and later rededicated as a cultural meeting centre and house of Jewish culture. Synagoge 1917.jpg, Synagogue, 1917 Synagoge 1922.jpg, Synagogue 1922 Alte Synagoge, Essen.jpg, Old Synagogue, 2010 Alte Synagoge Essen 2014.jpg, Old Synagogue, 2014 Essen - Alte Synagoge in 04 ies.jpg, Old Synagogue interior


Villa Hügel

Built in 1873 by industrial magnate Alfred Krupp, Villa Hügel, the 269-room mansion () and the surrounding park of served as the
Krupp The Krupp family (see pronunciation Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation w ...
family's representative seat. The city's land register solely lists the property, which at times had a staff of up to 640 people, as a single-family home. At the time of its construction, the villa featured some technical novelties and peculiarity, peculiarities, such as a central hot air heating system, own water- and gas works and electric internal and external telegraph- and telephone systems (with a central Electromagnetic induction, induction alarm for the staff). The mansion's central clock became the reference clock for the whole Krupp enterprise; every clock was to be set with a maximum difference of half a minute. It even acquired its own railway station, ''Essen Hügel'', which is still a regular stop. The Krupp family had to leave the Gründerzeit mansion in 1945, when it was annexed by the Allies of World War II, allies. Given back in 1952, Villa Hügel is now seat of the
Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Alfried Felix Alwyn Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (13 August 1907 – 30 July 1967), often referred to as Alfried Krupp, was an industrialist, a competitor in Olympic Olympic or Olympics may refer to Sports Events * Olympic Games, internatio ...
Foundation (major shareholder of Thyssen-Krupp) and was opened for concerts and sporadic yet high-profile exhibitions. Villa huegel.jpg, Villa Hügel Villa Hügel, Essen, 20071222.jpg, Villa Hügel Villa Hügel Terrassenseite.jpg, Villa Hügel Villa Hügel erster Stock.jpg, Great hall


Kettwig and Werden

In the south of the city, the boroughs of Kettwig and Werden exceptionally stand for towns once of their own, which have been annexed in 1929 (Werden) and 1975 (Kettwig), respectively, and which have largely preserved their pre-annexation character. While most of the northern boroughs were heavily damaged during the Second World War and often lost their historic town centres; the more southern parts got off more lightly. In Werden, St. Ludger founded
Werden Abbey Werden Abbey (german: Kloster Werden) was a Benedictine monastery in Essen-Werden (Germany), situated on the Ruhr (river), Ruhr. The foundation of the abbey Near Essen Ludger, Saint Ludger founded a monastery in 799 and became its first abbot ...
around 799, 45 years before St.
Altfrid Saint Altfrid's relics on display in Essen Cathedral on his feast day Saint Altfrid (or Altfrid of Hildesheim) (died 15 August 874) was a leading figure in Germany in the ninth century. A Order of St. Benedict, Benedictine monk, he became Bishop o ...

Altfrid
founded the later cornerstone of the modern city,
Essen Abbey Essen Abbey (''Stift Essen'') was a monastery of secular canonesses for women of high nobility in Essen, Germany. It was founded about 845 by the Saxony, Saxon Altfrid (died 874), later Bishop of Hildesheim and saint, near a royal estate called ...
. The old church of Werden abbey, ''St. Ludgerus'', was designated a pope, papal basilica minor in 1993, while the main building of the former abbey today is the headquarters of the Folkwang University of music and performing arts. Kettwig, which was annexed in 1975, much to the dismay of the population that still struggles for independence, was mainly shaped by the textile industry. The most southern borough of Essen is also the city's largest (with regard to area) and presumably greenest. Essen Werden - Werdener Markt 06 ies.jpg, Essen Werden Werden, zicht op stadsdeel vanaf de brug over de Ruhr foto62012-08-19 16.51.jpg, Essen Werden Essen Werden - Grafenstraße 01 ies.jpg, Essen Werden historic town centre Essen Werden - Heckstraße - Evangelische Kirche Werden 11 ies.jpg, Protestant church Essen Werden Essen Werden - Brandstorstraße 01 ies.jpg, Essen Werden WerdenerRathaus.JPG, Essen Werden, old town hall Essen Kettwig 1.jpg, Historic town centre of Kettwig Blick auf Kettwig mit Uferpalais im Herbst 2013.jpg, Essen Kettwig


Other important cultural sites

*
Museum Folkwang Museum Folkwang is a major collection of 19th- and 20th-century art in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spo ...

Museum Folkwang
: One of the Ruhr area's major art collections, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries. Major parts of the museum have recently been rebuilt and expanded according to plans by David Chipperfield & Co. The Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation is the sole funder of the €55 million project which was completed in early 2010. After its re-opening, it also hosts the collection of the ''Deutsches Poster, Plakat Museum'' (more than 340 000 exhibits). * Aalto Theatre: Opened in 1988 (the plans dating back to 1959), the asymmetry, asymmetric building with its deep indigo interior is home to the acclaimed Essen Opera and Ballet. *Saalbau Essen: Home of the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, completely renovated in 2003/2004. Critics have repeatedly voted the Essen Philharmonic as Germany's Orchestra of the Year. * Colosseum Theater: Situated in a former Krupp factory building at the fringe of the central pedestrian precinct, the has been home to several musical theatre productions since 1996. * Zeche Carl, a former coal mine, now a cultural centre and venue for Rock music, Rock concerts and home of Offener Kanal Essen. *
Grillo-Theater Grillo-Theater is a theatre in Essen, Germany. Named after the industrialist Friedrich Grillo, who made the building possible, it opened on 16 September 1892 with Lessing's drama ''Minna von Barnhelm ''Minna von Barnhelm or the Soldiers' Hap ...
, a theatre in the centre of the city. Saalbau Essen 01.jpg, Saalbau Essen Folkwang322.jpg,
Museum Folkwang Museum Folkwang is a major collection of 19th- and 20th-century art in Essen Essen (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spo ...

Museum Folkwang
Essen, Aalto-Theater, 2017-04 CN-03.jpg, Aalto Theatre Colosseum Theater Essen 2011.jpg, Colosseum Theater Grillo-Theater-2012.jpg,
Grillo-Theater Grillo-Theater is a theatre in Essen, Germany. Named after the industrialist Friedrich Grillo, who made the building possible, it opened on 16 September 1892 with Lessing's drama ''Minna von Barnhelm ''Minna von Barnhelm or the Soldiers' Hap ...
Grugahalle.jpg, Grugahalle concert hall Schloss-Borbeck-Komplettansicht-Sonnenuntergang-2012.jpg, Schloss Borbeck Hugenpoet-Wassergraben-2012.jpg, Hugenpoet castle


Other sites

* Garden city movement, Gartenstadt Margarethenhöhe: Founded by Margarethe Krupp in 1906, the garden city with its 3092 units in 935 buildings on an area of (of which 50 ha are woodland) is considered the first of its kind in Germany. All buildings follow the same stylistic concept, with slight variations for each one. Although originally designed as an area for the lower classes with quite small flats, the old part Margarethenhöhe I has developed into a middle class residential area and housing space has become highly sought after. A new part, Margarehenhöhe II, was built in the 1960s and 1970s but is architecturally inferior and especially the multi-storey buildings are still considered social hot spots. *Moltkeviertel (Moltke Quarter): from 1908 on, following reformative plans of the city deputy ''Robert Schmidt'', this quarter was developed just south-east of the city centre. Large green zones, forming broad urban ventilation lanes and incorporating sporting and playing areas and high quality architecture – invariably in the style of Reform Architecture, combine to create a unique example worldwide of modern town planning. It reflects reformative ideas and dates from the early part of the 20th century. The Moltkeviertel continues to be a much sought-after area for residential, educational, health care and small-scale commercial purposes. On the Moltkeplatz, the quarter's largest square, an ensemble of high quality contemporary art is maintained and cared for by local residents. *Grugapark: With a total area of , the park near the exhibition halls is one of the largest urban parks in Germany and, although entry is not free of charge, one of the most popular recreational sites of the city. It includes the city's botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten Grugapark. *: The largest of the six
reservoir A reservoir (; from French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not per ...

reservoir
s of the River Ruhr, situated in the south of the city, is another popular recreational area. It is used for sailing, rowing (sport), rowing and ship tours. The hilly and only lightly developed forest area around the lake, from which the Kettwig area is easily reachable, is popular with hiking, hikers. File:Orangerie mit Orion.jpg, Grugapark, Kranichwiese facing the Orangerie and the sculpture ''Orion'' File:Skulptur Joseph Enseling Trauer Essen Südwestfriedhof 2013.jpg, Grugapark, Sculpture "Trauer" by Joseph Enseling File:Reichsgartenschau 1938 Keramikhof Essen.jpg, Grugapark, Reichsgartenschau 1938, Keramikhof File:Parkleuchten 2015, Essen, Grugapark 46.JPG, Grugapark illuminated, 2015 File:Wasserfall Grugapark 2013 02.jpg, Grugapark, Waterfall File:BaldeneyseeVonWerden.jpg, Baldeneysee File:Baldeneysee Abends Essen.jpg, Baldeneysee File:Baldeneysee Segler 2 db.jpg, Baldeneysee File:Essen-Margarethenhöhe Markt.jpg, Marketplace of Margarethenhöhe I File:Marga haeuser1.jpg, Margarethenhöhe houses File:Moltkeviertel 0741 2.jpg, Sculptures by Friedrich Gräsel and Gloria Friedmann at the Moltkeplatz


Notable people


Honorary citizens

The city of Essen has been awarding honorary citizenships since 1879 but has (coincidentally) discontinued this tradition after the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. A notable exception was made in 2007, when Berthold Beitz, the president of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation received honorary citizenship for his long lasting commitment to the city. The following list contains all honorary citizens of the city of Essen: *1879 Otto von BismarckChancellor of Germany *1888 politician, lawyer and economist *1895 Roman catholic Theology, theologian *1896 Friedrich Alfred Kruppindustrialist ''(spouse of Margarethe Krupp, see below)'' *1901 Heinrich Carl Söllingtradesman and benefactor (law), benefactor *1906 Lord Mayor (1886–1906) *1912 benefactress ''(spouse of Friedrich Alfred Krupp, see above)'' *1917 Paul von HindenburgField Marshal (Germany), Generalfeldmarschall and army leader, later President of Germany (1919–1945), President of Germany *1949 Viktor Niemeyercouncilman ''(posthumous recognition)'' *2007 Berthold Beitzpresident of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation Today, the highest award of the city is the ''Ring of Honour'', which Berthold Beitz, for example, had already received in 1983. Other bearers of the Ring of Honour include Essen's former Lord Mayor and later President of Germany, Gustav Heinemann, as well as Franz Hengsbach, Franz Cardinal Hengsbach, the first Roman Catholic Diocese of Essen, Bishop of Essen.


Sport

The biggest association football clubs in Essen are Rot-Weiss Essen (Red-White Essen) and Schwarz-Weiß Essen (Black-White Essen). Stadion Essen, its home stadium, is located in the north of Essen. Rot-Weiss Essen is playing in the fourth tier of the German football league system, Regionalliga West, and Schwarz-Weiß Essen in the fifth tier, Oberliga Nordrhein-Westfalen. Other football clubs are BV Altenessen are TuS Helene Altenessen. In women's football, SGS Essen are members of top division Frauen-Bundesliga. The city's main basketball team is ETB Essen, currently called the ETB Wohnbau Baskets for sponsorship reasons. The team is one of the main teams in Germany's second division ProA and has attempted to move up to Germany's elite league Basketball Bundesliga. The Baskets play their home games at the Sportpark am Hallo. Essen hosted the 1955 nine-pin bowling World Championships and the final round of the FIBA EuroBasket 1971. The city is also home to the VV Humann Essen volleyball team.


References


Bibliography


External links

*
Essen city panoramas
panoramic views and virtual tours



sites-of-memory.de {{Authority control Essen, Rhine Province