Mannheim is often called “die Quadratestadt”, meaning “city of squares” because it is one of the only cities in Germany to be laid out on a grid pattern, something more in common with cities in the United States. Mannheim began as a village, way back in AD 766. Its streets dates back to 1606, when it was laid by Frederick IV, Elector Palatinate, hence Mannheim’s streets are older than most of the grid streets in the United States.
Since the 17th century, Mannheim has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times. In 1622, it was devastated during the Thirty Years War. Then came the Nine Years War of 1689. Following the reconstruction of Mannheim in 1698, it was selected to be the capital of the Electoral Palatinate, taking over the role from
Being a major industrial city, Mannheim suffered heavy bombing during the Second World War. The British Royal Air Force razed the city center during one nightime bombing. After the war was over, Mannheim was under US military occupation, and the US military has ever since maintained a presence in Mannheim.
The Old Town of Mannheim, with its grid pattern, is encircled by a semi-circle ring road, called Luisenring on the northern crescent and Friedrichsring on the eastern crescent.
Visiting Mannheim, Germany
From Frankfurt, you can take the high-speed ICE train to Mannheim. The journey only takes 30 minutes and costs €25. Alternatively, Lufthansa Airport Shuttle Bus also plies the Frankfurt Airport-Mannheim route. The bus trip takes 60 minutes and costs €35. If you fly by Lufthansa, Condor, SAS or South African Airways, you can have the bus ticket added to your airfare, and your luggage checked directly to the final destination.
The city is sufficiently compact for you to explore on foot. For greater distances, Mannheim has a network of street cars and buses.
Places of Interest in Mannheim, Germany
- Christuskirche (Christ Church)
- Landesmuseum für Technik und Arbeit (Museum of Technology and Labor)
- Städtische Kunsthalle
- Wasserturm (Water Tower)