Heppenheim

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Missing image
Heppenheimer_Dom_aerial.jpg
Aerial view of Heppenheim, with the cathedral of Saint Peter in the center

Heppenheim is a city in Hesse, Germany. It is situated at the edge of the Odenwald mountains and is the capital of the Bergstraße district. Its population is 25.400. It is accessed by routes 3 and 460 and autobahnen A5 and A67.

The city was founded about 755 in the vicinity of the then powerful monastery of Lorsch. The young town was ruled by the abbots of Lorsch during the early Middle Ages. In 1065 the Starkenburg was built, a castle above the city. Its purpose was to protect the town and the monastery from invaders; in 1066 it successfully resisted a siege by the bishop of Bremen. In the 13th century Lorsch and Heppenheim were acquired by the archbishop of Mainz, and Heppenheim became a part of the Palatinate.

Heppenheim severely suffered in the Thirty Years' War; it was conquered by Spanish troops in 1621, and by the Swedes in 1630; the plague decimated the population in 1635, and in 1645 the town was sacked by the French. After the end of the war French troops continued to devastate the region, due to their king's claim to the Palatinate. Two fires in 1689 and 1693 destroyed the city completely.

Rebuilding started in the beginning of the 18th century when the city acquired much of its present look. In 1803 the clerical states of Germany were abolished, and Heppenheim fell to Hesse-Darmstadt. The new province was called "Starkenburg", and this name is sometimes even today applied to the entire region.

The largest buildings of the city were built around 1900, among them the cathedral of Saint Peter (1904), the Protestant church (1888) and the synagogue (1900, destroyed in the pogrom night of 1938).

The Free Democratic Party of Germany was founded in Heppenheim (1949).

People from Heppenheim

External links

(in German)

fr:Heppenheim nl:Heppenheim (Bergstraße)

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