The Schwebebahn floating tram in Wuppertal-Barmen
Sankt Laurentius church in Wuppertal
The Schwebebahn in Wuppertal-Elberfeld
Concert Hall (Stadthalle) Wuppertal
Engels House (Historisches Zentrum)
Wuppertal (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊpɐtaːl] ( listen))
is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in and around the Wupper
valley, east of
Düsseldorf and south of the Ruhr. With a population
of approximately 350,000, it is the largest city in the Bergisches
Wuppertal is known for its steep slopes, its woods and parks,
and its suspension railway, the
Wuppertal Schwebebahn. It is the
greenest city of Germany, with two-thirds green space of the total
municipal area. From any part of the city, it is only a ten-minute
walk to one of the public parks or woodland paths.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the
Wupper valley was one of the
largest industrial regions of continental Europe. The increasing
demand for coal from the textile mills and blacksmith shops encouraged
the expansion of the nearby Ruhrgebiet.
Wuppertal still is a major
industrial centre, being home to industries such as textiles,
metallurgy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, automobiles,
rubber, vehicles and printing equipment.
Aspirin originates from Wuppertal, patented in 1897 by Bayer, as is
the Vorwerk-Kobold vacuum cleaner.
Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the
European Institute for International Economic Relations are located in
2 Main sights
Wuppertal in the arts
4 Notable people from Wuppertal
5.1 Association football
5.2 Team handball
5.5 Roller hockey
9 International relations
9.1 Twin towns — sister cities
10 Photo gallery
11 Notes and references
12 External links
Wuppertal in its present borders was formed in 1929 by merging the
industrial cities of
Elberfeld with the communities
Vohwinkel, Ronsdorf, Cronenberg,
Langerfeld and Beyenburg. The initial
Elberfeld was changed in a 1930 referendum to Wuppertal
Wupper Valley”). The new city was administered as part of the
Prussian Rhine Province.
Uniquely for Germany, it is a "linear city", owing to the steep
hillsides along the river Wupper. Its highest hill is the Lichtscheid,
which is 351 metres above sea level. The dominant urban centres
Elberfeld (historic commercial centre) and
Barmen (more industrial)
have formed a continuous urbanized area since 1850. During the
succeeding decades, “Wupper-Town” became the dominant industrial
agglomeration of northwestern Germany. During the 20th century, this
conurbation had been surpassed by Cologne,
Düsseldorf and the Ruhr
area, all with a more favourable topography.
From July 5, 1933 to January 19, 1934, the Kemna concentration camp
was established in Wuppertal. It was one of the early Nazi
concentration camps, created by the
Third Reich to incarcerate their
political opponents after the
Nazi Party first gained power in 1933.
The camp was established in a former factory on the
Wupper in the
Kemna neighborhood of the
Barmen part of Wuppertal.
famous as an important place of resistance in Germany. The Barmen
Declaration or the Theological Declaration of
Barmen was a document
adopted by Christians in Nazi
Germany who opposed the Deutsche
Christen philosophy. In the opinion of the delegates to the Synod that
met in Wuppertal-
Barmen in May, 1934, the
German Christians had
corrupted church government by making it subservient to the state and
had introduced Nazi ideology into the German Protestant churches that
contradicted the Christian gospel.
During World War II, about 40% of buildings in the city were destroyed
by Allied bombing, as were many other German cities and industrial
centres. However, a large number of historic sites have been
preserved, such as:
Ölberg, literally “Oil mountain”, Germany’s largest original
working class district, is protected as a historic monument. The name
came about during the 1920s as the district continued using oil lamps
while the surrounding bourgeois residential quarters were electrified.
In traditional use, the name "Ölberg" refers to the Mount of Olives
Brill is one of Germany’s largest districts of
i.e. middle class mansions built by industrial entrepreneurs during
the second half of the 19th century.
The US 78th Infantry Division captured
Wuppertal against scant
resistance on 16 April 1945.
Wuppertal became a part of the British
Zone of Occupation, and subsequently part of the new state of North
Rhine-Westphalia in West Germany.
Wuppertal possesses over 4,500 buildings classified as
national monuments, most exemplifying styles such as Neoclassicism,
Eclecticism, Historicism, Art Nouveau/
Jugendstil and Bauhaus.
Main sights include:
Schwebebahn or floating tram. One of the city’s greatest attractions
is the globally unique suspended monorail Wuppertaler Schwebebahn,
which was established in 1901. The tracks are 8 m (26.25 ft)
above the streets and 12 m (39.37 ft) above the Wupper. In
1950, a young elephant named
Tuffi was forced to ride the Wuppertal
Schwebebahn (monorail), as a promotion for the Althoff Circus. The
swinging tram upset the elephant, and she trumpeted, charged, and
plummeted 40 feet into the river below.
Tuffi suffered minor injuries;
she lived until 1989. In 1999, the Schwebebahn had its thus far only
Wuppertaler Schwebebahn Kaiserwagen A guided tour of the suspension
railway in a special tram.
Wuppertal Opera (Opernhaus Wuppertal).
Concerthall Stadthalle , a fine piece of turn-of-the-century
architecture with outstanding acoustics. Home of the Wuppertal
Symphony Orchestra (Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal) (Stadthalle).
Wuppertal Dance Theatre (Tanztheater Wuppertal), a world-famous centre
of modern dance founded by the choreographer Pina Bausch.
Engels' house (Engels-Haus), 18th century-architecturally typical of
the region, it houses a permanent display of materials associated with
the co-founder of modern Communism, Friedrich Engels.
Wuppertal Zoo, a large, nicely landscaped zoo.
Botanischer Garten Wuppertal, a municipal botanical garden.
Arboretum Burgholz, an extensive arboretum.
Von der Heydt Museum
Von der Heydt Museum is an important art gallery with works from the
17th century to the present time. The first of Picasso’s works that
ever appeared in public was displayed here.
Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, a sculpture park with exhibition hall,
founded by sculptor Tony Cragg.
Wuppertal in the arts
In the 1974
Wim Wenders movie Alice in the Cities, the main characters
The play Die
Else Lasker-Schüler is set in Elberfeld.
The 2000 movie The Princess and the Warrior, by Tom Tykwer, was filmed
The 2001 movie No Regrets (Nichts Bereuen), by Benjamin Quabeck, was
filmed in Wuppertal.
In the 2011 movie Pina, several of the dance sequences take place in
and around Wuppertal. In several sequences, the elevated tram is used
as a setting, as well as a backdrop.
Notable people from Wuppertal
See also: Category:People from Wuppertal.
Helmut Thielicke in 1973
Else Lasker-Schüler 1875
Pina Bausch, one of the most significant choreographers of our time.
Born in Solingen, died in Wuppertal, she brought international fame to
Wuppertal Dance Theater.
Friedrich Bayer, (1825–1880), founder of the Friedrich
Greta Bösel (1908–1947), German concentration camp guard executed
for war crimes
Arno Breker, (1900–1991), German sculptor.
Peter Brötzmann, (born 1941), free jazz musician.
Rudolf Carnap, (1891–1970), philosopher of science.
Udo Dirkschneider, singer of heavy-metal band Accept and U.D.O.
George Dreyfus, bassoonist, composer.
Hermann Ebbinghaus, psychologist who studied memory.
Friedrich Engels, (1820–1895), philosopher, historian, coauthor of
The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto (with Karl Marx).
Kurt Franz (1914–1998), German Nazi SS commandant of Treblinka
Christoph Maria Herbst, (born 1966), German actor and comedian.
Carolina Hermann, (born 1988), figure skater
Felix Hoffmann, (1868–1946), German scientist born in Ludwigsburg,
Aspirin while working in
Wuppertal at Bayer.
Werner Hoyer, (born 1951), politician (FDP), President of the European
Linda Kisabaka, (born 1969), middle distance runner.
Hans Knappertsbusch, (1888–1965), orchestra conductor.
Peter Kowald, (1944–2002), free jazz musician.
Hans Peter Luhn, (1896–1964), computer scientist.
Else Lasker-Schüler, (1869–1945), expressionist poet.
Harald Leipnitz, (1926-2000), actor.
Kurt Franz, (1914–1998), former SS Officer, major perpetrator of
genocide during the Holocaust. Born in Düsseldorf, died in Wuppertal.
Ulrich Leyendecker, composer.
Reimar Lüst, astrophysicist.
Steffen Möller, satirist, and actor in Poland.
Sylkie Monoff, international singer-songwriter.
Tyron Montgomery, Oscar-winning movie director.
Simone Osygus, swimmer.
Siegfried Palm, cellist, director of Hochschule für Musik Köln,
Intendant of Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Julius Plücker, physicist.
Kolja Pusch, (born 1993), football player
Johannes Rau, (1931–2006), German politician (SPD), former Federal
President of Germany.
Hans Reichel, (1949–2011), German composer, recording artist, and
inventor of the Daxophone.
Emil Rittershaus (1834 – 1897), German poet.
Alice Schwarzer, (born 1942), one of the leaders of the German second
Hans Singer, economist.
Ilse Steppat, actress.
Rita Süssmuth, former President of the German Parliament.
Horst Tappert, (1923–2008), German actor.
Helmut Thielicke, theologian.
Bettina Tietjen, (born 1960), television presenter.
Tom Tykwer, (born 1965), movie director (Run Lola, Run, The Princess
and the Warrior), cofounder of syndicate X-Filme.
Günter Wand, (1912–2002), composer and orchestra conductor.
Henrik Freischlader, (born 1982), blues guitarist, singer, songwriter,
Wolf Hoffmann, (born 1959), metal guitarist, initiator of the musical
Armin T. Wegner
Armin T. Wegner (1886-1978), soldier, medic, human rights activist
In football, Wuppertal's most popular club is
Wuppertaler SV who
currently play in the Regionalliga West, the fourth tier of the German
football league system. Playing their home games at the city's Stadion
am Zoo, the club, which enjoyed its last season in a nationwide
division during the 2009–10 season, looks back on a rich and
eventful history since its establishment as the result of a 1954
merger between the two main
Wuppertal clubs SSV 04
Wuppertal and TSG
Vohwinkel 80. The club spent a total of seven seasons in the top
flight of German football, three of which in the Bundesliga, which
they were promoted to during 1972. In their first season in the
nationwide first division, the club reached a remarkable fourth place
and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first and only time in its
history. After a first-round defeat by Polish side
Ruch Chorzów and
another two widely unsuccessful
Bundesliga campaigns, the club
disappeared from the top flight again, though, and has yet to return.
During 2004, the club merged with local rivals SV Borussia Wuppertal
Wuppertaler SV Borussia, though the name change remained the
only visible attribute of the merger with the club's colours and crest
remaining unaltered. The additional "Borussia" was scrapped again
during 2013 due to fans' demand amidst a change of leadership which
was brought about to lead the club through necessary insolvency
proceedings which have been completed as of September 2014.
Wuppertal football club is Cronenberger SC from the
district of Cronenberg. Their greatest success to date is reaching the
German amateur football championship final which they lost 5–2
against VfR Schwenningen. Today, they play one tier below WSV in the
Famous players include
Günter Pröpper who scored 39 of WSV's 136
Bundesliga goals and West
Germany international Horst Szymaniak, as
well as Cronenberg's
Herbert Jäger who represented
Germany at the
1952 Summer Olympics
1952 Summer Olympics in
Helsinki during his stay with the club.
In handball, Wuppertal's most successful team is Bergischer HC,
playing in the top-tier Handball-
Bundesliga which they were promoted
to for the second time during 2013, reaching 15th place during the
2013–14 campaign and therefore staying among the top scorers for a
second consecutive season. BHC originates from a 2006 cooperation
between the management, squad and main sponsor of LTV
Solingen from the nearby city of the same name. The club
advertises itself as a representative of the entire Bergisches Land
region. The team plays its home games at both Wuppertal's Uni-Halle
(3,200 seats) and Solingen's Klingenhalle (2,600 seats).
Wuppertal's past most successful club are the aforementioned LTV
Wuppertal. LTV spent most of their seasons in the second and third
tiers, before they merged with Wuppertaler SV's handball section in
1996 to form HSG LTV/WSV Wuppertal. The handball combination was
promoted to the
Bundesliga after its inaugural season, finishing 8th
before dissolving again in 1998. However, the mere departure of
Wuppertaler SV still allowed LTV Wuppertal, whose professional team
were renamed HC Wuppertal, to play another three seasons in the
Bundesliga before returning to the 2nd division and re-introducing its
old name. After the establishment of BHC in 2006, LTV lost its
financial base and was relegated several times, currently playing in
the fifth-tier Verbandsliga.
In volleyball, SV
Wuppertal was one of Germany's leading men's
teams for many years during the 1990s and 2000s. The team was part of
the well-known mass-sports club originating in
Leverkusen and was
promoted to the
Bundesliga in 1978. Reacting to low attendances, the
Bayer AG decided to relocate the volleyball team to
Wuppertal in 1992, where there also was a Bayer-funded club. After the
move, the club won various titles, including the German championship
in 1994 and 1997 and the German Cup in 1995. In addition to that, they
finished runners-up to Greek side
Olympiacos S.C. in the 1995-96
European Cup Winners' Cup, losing the final in five sets.
After the wide-reaching retreat of
Bayer AG from less popular
professional sport during 2008, the club acquired the name Wuppertal
Titans and later A!B!C Titans Berg. Land. However, the loss of their
main sponsor eventually resulted in the team having to terminate
during 2012. Presently, they once more play by the name of Bayer
Wuppertal in the third-tier Regionalliga, unable to promote with their
current financial set-up.
Perhaps one of the most successful
Wuppertal sports clubs was the
women's basketball team of Barmer TV (known as BTV
1994 and 2000, BTV Gold-Zack
Wuppertal between 2000 and 2002 and
Wuppertal Wings internationally). An 11-time German champion and
12-time German Cup winner, they won a remarkable ten consecutive
doubles between 1993 and 2002. During 1996, they even won the European
Cup as the first and so far only German side, beating Italy's SFT Como
in the final. A year later, they narrowly missed out on back-to-back
trebles, losing to French side CJM Bourges in the newly christened
In 2002, the club withdrew from the
Bundesliga due to financial
troubles, their then-main sponsor Gold-Zack Werke filing for
insolvency a year later. After a decade-long stay in amateur
divisions, Barmer TV returned to the second-tier 2nd
Wuppertal co-hosted the
1998 FIBA World Championship for Women
1998 FIBA World Championship for Women as one
of seven host cities.
In roller hockey (also known as rink hockey),
Wuppertal club RSC
Cronenberg are one of the most successful German teams, having won the
German championship and the German Cup in both men's and women's
competitions. In total, the men won 13 German championships and nine
cups, the women ten championships and nine cups. Both teams play their
home games at Alfred-Henckels-Halle.
Wuppertal hosted several international tournaments, including the
World Championship in 1997 (men) and 2004 (women) and the European
Championship in 1992, 2010 (men) and 2011 (women).
Four institutions of higher education are in Wuppertal.
University of Wuppertal
University of Wuppertal (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
FOM University of Applied Sciences
Cologne University of Music, section Wuppertal
College of Theology, Wuppertal/Bethel (Theologische Zentrum Wuppertal)
The privately financed Junior Uni is an in
Germany uniquely initiative
to educate youth from the age of 4 to 18 years in science outside the
Wuppertal is well connected to the rail network. The town lies on the
Hagen and the Düsseldorf–
Hagen railway lines, and is a
stop for long-distance traffic. The central station is located in the
district of Elberfeld.
Regionalbahn trains and some Regional-Express
trains also stop at Oberbarmen, Barmen,
Ronsdorf and Vohwinkel. There
are also S-Bahn stations in Langerfeld, Unterbarmen, Steinbeck,
Zoologischer Garten and Sonnborn.
The rail services that operate on the mainline through the valley are
the RE 4 (Wupper-Express), RE 7 (Rhein-Münsterland-Express), RE 13
(Maas-Wupper-Express), RB 48 (Rhein-
Wupper Bahn) and four Rhine-Ruhr
S-Bahn services: the S 7, S 8, S 9 and S 68 (peak hours only). Every
30 minutes, it is served by a long-distance (Intercity-Express,
InterCity, EuroCity or City Night Line) service in each direction.
With the exception of the line from
Solingen (operated as
the S 7) and the Prince William Railway to
Essen (now S-Bahn line S
9), all of the branch lines connecting to main line in the city of
Wuppertal are now closed. This includes, among others, the
Düsseldorf-Derendorf–Dortmund Süd railway
Düsseldorf-Derendorf–Dortmund Süd railway (the Wuppertaler
Nordbahn), the Burgholz Railway, the
Wuppertal-Wichlinghausen–Hattingen railway, the
Railway and the Corkscrew Railway. Thus, there were once 31 stations
Wuppertal area, including nine stations on the mainline.
Nowadays only ten are serviced any more.
There is also the
Wuppertal Suspension Railway
In July, 2014, three Germans of Palestinian descent tried to burn down
Wuppertal synagogue with molotov cocktails. A year later, a court
found them guilty of attempted arson, but decided the crime was not
motivated by anti-Semitism, and sentenced the men to 200 hours of
community service. The court said the three men wanted to draw
“attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel. In January, 2017, a
regional appeals court upheld the decision, calling the arson attempt
a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies.
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Twin towns — sister cities
Wuppertal is twinned with:
Slovakia (since 1980)
South Tyneside, United Kingdom
Typical steep street in Wuppertal
Sculpturepark Waldfrieden -
Tony Cragg Points of View (2008)
View of Burgholz woods with typical Bergisches farmerhouse
Panoramic view of the Ölberg quarter in Wuppertal
City Hall Wuppertal-Barmen
The theatre - Das Wuppertaler Schauspielhaus
The swimming arena "Schwimmoper"
Special tours with the historical 'Kaiserwagen'
World's largest 'one day flea market'
Botanic garden and view over the city
The public park 'Hardt' in the center
The Schwebebahn near the Friedrich-Ebert-Straße
Wupper in the woods of Wuppertal
View from the Kiesberg woods
Notes and references
^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und
Technik NRW (in German). 18 July 2016.
^ Marvin Brendel. "110 Jahre Aspirin" (in German). GeschichtsPuls.
^ "Official website Vorwerk - Kobold vacuum cleaners". Retrieved
^ "Official website European Institute for International Economic
Relations". Retrieved 2013-03-02.
^ Stanton, Shelby,
World War II
World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic
Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division,
1939-1946, Stackpole Books (Revised Edition 2006), p. 147
^ "Official website Junior Uni
Wuppertal - Bergisches Land" (in
German). Retrieved 2013-03-14.
^ Benjamin Weinthal (February 7, 2015). "The
Jerusalem Post". January 13, 2017.
^ "Twin cities of the City of Kosice". Magistrát mesta Košice, Tr.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wuppertal.
Wuppertal official website
Wuppertal official website
(in German) (in English) Wuppertal, Information Photos
Wuppertal travel guide from Wikivoyage
Official website of the University of Wuppertal
Germany by population
Freiburg im Breisgau
Mülheim an der Ruhr
Offenbach am Main
cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants
Urban and rural districts in the state of
North Rhine-Westphalia in