Ladenburg is a town in the district of Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Neckar, 10 kilometres (6 miles) east of Mannheim, and 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Heidelberg.

Coat of arms of Ladenburg
Coat of arms
Location of Ladenburg within Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district
BavariaHesseRhineland-PalatinateHeidelbergHeilbronnHeilbronn (district)Karlsruhe (district)MannheimNeckar-Odenwald-KreisEberbachAltlußheimAngelbachtalBammentalBrühlDielheimDossenheimEberbachEberbachEberbachEdingen-NeckarhausenEdingen-NeckarhausenEpfenbachEppelheimEschelbronnGaibergHeddesbachHeddesheimHeiligkreuzsteinachHelmstadt-BargenHemsbachHirschberg an der BergstraßeHockenheimIlvesheimKetschLadenburgLaudenbachLeimenLeimenLobbachMalschMauerMeckesheimMühlhausenNeckarbischofsheimNeckargemündNeidensteinNeulußheimNußlochOftersheimPlankstadtRauenbergReichartshausenReilingenSandhausenSankt Leon-RotSchönauSchönbrunnSchriesheimSchwetzingenSchwetzingenSinsheimSpechbachWaibstadtWalldorfWeinheimWeinheimWiesenbachWieslochWilhelmsfeldZuzenhausenLadenburg in HD.svg
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Ladenburg is located in Germany
Ladenburg is located in Baden-Württemberg
Coordinates: 49°28′N 8°37′E / 49.467°N 8.617°E / 49.467; 8.617Coordinates: 49°28′N 8°37′E / 49.467°N 8.617°E / 49.467; 8.617
Admin. regionKarlsruhe
SubdivisionsTown with hamlet
 • MayorStefan Schmutz (SPD)
 • Total19 km2 (7 sq mi)
106 m (348 ft)
 • Total11,537
 • Density610/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes06203
Vehicle registrationHD
Ladenburg in 1900.

The town's history goes back to the Celtic and Roman Ages, when it was called Lopodunum. Emperor Trajan elevated it to the status of a city ('civitas') in the year 98 AD. The historical city centre and its Fachwerkhäuser date back to the Late Middle Ages. Ladenburg lies on the Bertha Benz Memorial Route, which commemorates Bertha Benz, who was the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance.


Location and natural environmentEdit

The district lies on the Neckar alluvial cone at an altitude of 96 to 106 metres in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region in the Upper Rhine Plain. South of the built-up area the Kandelbach flows into the Neckar. The district extends over 1900 hectares. Of these, 24.7 percent are settlement and transport areas, 71.8 percent are used for agriculture and 2.8 percent are water areas.

The nearest major cities are each about eleven kilometres away, Heidelberg in the southeast and Mannheim in the northwest, with which there is no direct border.

Town divisionEdit

The hamlets of Neubotzheim and Neuzeilsheim and the Rosenhof district belong to the town of Ladenburg. In the town area are the Wüstungen of Botzheim, Meerhof and Zeilsheim.

Neighbouring townsEdit

Ladenburg's city area borders on Ilvesheim in the west down the Neckar river, Heddesheim in the north, the town of Leutershausen in Hirschberg follows in the northeast towards the Odenwald, south of Leutershausen lies the Bergstrasse town of Schriesheim followed by Dossenheim in the southeast. The course of the river Neckar forms the border to Edingen-Neckarhausen.


Ladenburg, like Heidelberg, belongs to the warmest area in Germany. The amount of precipitation on the district increases from west to east and fluctuates between 650 and 800 mm. The nearest climate station in Heidelberg measured an average temperature of 11.1 °C and a precipitation of 745 mm per year between 1971 and 2000. The warmest month is July with an average temperature of 20.1 °C, the coldest month is January with 2.5 °C.[2]

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Heidelberg 1971–2000
Jan Feb Mär Apr Mai Jun Jul Aug Sep Okt Nov Dez
Temperatur (°C) 2,5 3,6 7,3 10,5 15,2 17,8 20,1 19,8 15,9 11,1 6,0 3,6 Ø 11,1
Niederschlag (mm) 48 44 53 49 77 79 81 56 64 64 68 63 Σ 745



Ladenburg describes itself as the oldest town in Germany on the right side of the Rhine. The first settlement of the town took place sometime between 3000 and 200 B.C. Ladenburg initially existed as the Celtic settlement Lokudunom, which means sea castle. In 200 B.C. the Celtic centre of the Gaume was moved from Heiligenberg near Heidelberg to Ladenburg. In the year 40, the Romans settled Suebian Elbe Germans as a peasant militia. In the Roman sources they are called Suebi Nicrenses ("Neckarsueben"). In 74 A.D., the Romans founded an auxiliary fort there with a camp village (vicus), the nucleus of the later city. The garrison included an auxilian cavalry division of the germanic Cananefates, their name means "leek masters".

In 98 Emperor Trajan elevated the settlement of Lopodunum to civitas (city status) and to the capital of the Civitas Ulpia Sueborum Nicrensium; after the emperor's gentile name - Ulpius - the place received the epithet Ulpia. The settlement flourished in the second and early third century, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds.

Around the year 220 the Roman town had a forum with a market basilica, a weekly market, temples, a Roman theatre, thermal baths, palaces and a town wall. The public buildings were unusually large compared to other settlements in the region. The walled area was about 32 hectares, scattered finds even occupy a settlement area of about 45 hectares. Thus Ladenburg was the largest Roman town in today's Baden-Württemberg, even before Rottweil, Rottenburg, Bad Cannstatt, Bad Wimpfen, Heidenheim and Heidelberg.

In the year 260 or shortly before, apparently Alamanni destroyed the city after the imperial troops had abandoned the decumate land. However, some locals stayed and handed down the Roman place name. Emperor Valentinian I retook the settlement in 369 and had a country castle, a late antique harbour fortification, built, which could only be entered from the Neckar. Around the middle of the 5th century, probably in 454 after the collapse of the Hun Empire, the Roman rule in the Ladenburg area finally came to an end.

Ancient Roman glass vessel from the Lobdengau-Museum, Ladenburg, formerly Lopodunum

Migration Period and Middle AgesEdit

As early as 496 the Merovingians built a royal court in Ladenburg which has been handed down as a palace. Lobdenburg became the capital of the Lobdengau. In 628, the Frankish King Dagobert I "gave away" the town and the region to the diocese of Worms. In 874 King Ludwig the German documented Lobetenburg. In Carolingian times, Ladenburg was one of the few towns in the empire that were designated as Civitas Publica, which presupposes the continued existence of the royal court. Already in the 10th century the first medieval city walls were built. In 1006 King Heinrich II, the saint, confirmed to the bishop of Worms all possessions of the cathedral monastery of Ladenburg and five years later he granted the bishop the county of Lobdengau.

In 1253, the community made its first appearance with a Schultheiß, aldermen and citizens. In 1385 the dominion over Ladenburg was divided between Worms and the Palatinate after a bloody feud.

In 1400 the citizens of Worms disobeyed their bishop and expelled him, whereupon Ladenburg became the seat of the bishop. In 1412, Bishop Johann II von Fleckenstein had the south tower of St. Gallus Church built, "because he, as bishop, is entitled to two towers", thus a cathedral. Under Bishop Johann III von Dalberg (1455-1503) Ladenburg had its greatest flourishing. In 1512, on the threshold of modern times, his friend Emperor Maximilian visited the town.

View of Ladenburg in 1645

Modern TimesEdit

The later reformer Reuchlin was in charge of the book collection, which was taken over from the Lorsch Abbey and supplemented with Dalberg's holdings and is known today as Bibliotheca Palatina. On Christmas Eve in 1564, a brawl broke out between the Reformed priest Eckard and Bishop Bettendorf in St. Gallus. In the following year Bettendorf reconciled with the Wormsers and left Ladenburg, the secondary residence remaining. Thereupon, Frederick III, the Calvinist Elector of the Palatinate had the church of St. Gallus plundered on Good Friday and Catholic images destroyed (Kurpfälzer Bildersturm).

During the Thirty Years' War, the town was partially destroyed by Peter Ernst II of Mansfeld in 1622 and plundered by General Mélac during the Palatinate War of Succession (1689-1693). In 1705 the brothers Elector Johann Wilhelm and Bishop Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg agreed on a larger exchange of territory. Ladenburg, together with Neckarhausen, fell completely to the Electoral Palatinate, who established a Oberamt (senior office) in Ladenburg with the town as its seat.

After the French Revolution Ladenburg was occupied in the coalition wars of 1799 and Napoléon Bonaparte rearranged the political map of Europe. The Kurpfalz was dissolved and the town fell to Baden. It remained an official residence until 1863, when it was incorporated into the Mannheim District Office. When the Baden Revolution was suppressed in 1849, the Neckar Bridge in Ladenburg was fiercely contested.The revolutionaries succeeded in conquering the town occupied by the Prussians, thus covering the return march of the main forces.

Politically, the Social Democrats were the strongest force in Ladenburg since 1903. During the Weimar Republic, they were temporarily eclipsed by the Zentrum due to the fragmentation of the left-wing party spectrum. From 1930 the NSDAP was the strongest party, receiving 34.2 percent of the vote in the Reichstag elections in March 1933.

With the dissolution of the Landkreis Mannheim Ladenburg became part of the new Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in 1973. In 1974, the Altstadtfest (Old Town Festival) was held for the first time and has since developed into a visitor magnet. In 1979, the city was awarded the gold plaque by Federal President Walter Scheel in the federal competition "Stadtgestalt und Denkmalschutz im Städtebau" (urban design and monument protection in urban development). In 1998 the city celebrated its 1900th anniversary. In the same year, it hosted the "Heimattage Baden-Württemberg". In 2005, the Grünprojekt 2005 (Green Project), also known as the small Landesgartenschau, took place in Ladenburg.

Historical populationEdit

Year 1439 1577 1777 1852 1925 1950 1961 1967 1970 1991 1995 2005 2010 2015
Population[3] 1.175 1.330 1.472 2.930 4.993 7.125 8.338 8.280 9.799 11.791 11.801 11.510 11.513 11.420



List of mayors:[4]

  • 1914–1922: Wilhelm Fritsch
  • 1922–1931: Christian Koch (SPD)
  • 1931–1933: Hermann Hagen
  • 1933–1934: Alfred Reuther (NSDAP)
  • 1934–1945: Kurt Pohly (NSDAP)
  • 1945–1953: Adam Herdt (CDU)
  • 1953–1965: Hermann Hohn (FWV)
  • 1965–1993: Reinhold Schulz (SPD)
  • 1993–2001: Rolf Reble (CDU)
  • 2001–2017: Rainer Ziegler (SPD)
  • since 2017: Stefan Schmutz (SPD)

Notable personalitiesEdit

Karl Benz

International relationsEdit

Twin townsEdit

Ladenburg is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung nach Nationalität und Geschlecht am 31. Dezember 2018". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). July 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ bis 1967: Kreisbeschreibung Bd. 3 S. 640.
  4. ^ Ladenburg-Lexikon. Norderstedt 2007, ISBN 978-3-8334-6799-8.
  5. ^ "Jumelage Laval-Garango" (in French). Retrieved 2013-06-13.

External linksEdit