Offenbach am Main
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Offenbach am Main (German pronunciation: [ˈʔɔfn̩bax ʔam ˈmaɪn] (listen)) is a city in Hesse, Germany, on the left bank of the river Main. It borders Frankfurt and is part of the Frankfurt urban area and the larger Frankfurt Rhein-Main urban area. It has a population of 138,335 (December 2018).
Offenbach am Main
The downtown of Offenbach from above
|• Mayor||Felix Schwenke (SPD)|
|• Total||44.90 km2 (17.34 sq mi)|
|Elevation||98 m (322 ft)|
|• Density||2,900/km2 (7,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
63001 - 63075
In the 20th century, the city's economy was built on machine-building, leather-making, typography and design, and the automobile and pharmaceutical industries.
The inner city area of Offenbach is quite large and consists of the historic center of the city and its expansions of the 1800s. Three formerly independent suburbs were incorporated in the first half of the 20th century: Bürgel being the first in 1908, then Bieber and Rumpenheim in 1938 and 1942.
South of the inner city area are the suburbs Lauterborn, Rosenhöhe and Tempelsee. Kaiserlei is a commercial district in the far west of the city bordering Frankfurt. In the west Waldheim is a residential neighborhood on the city limits with Mühlheim am Main. In 2010 the eastern part of the city center was officially named Mathildenviertel, as the area was already unofficially called by the locals.
Unlike most larger cities in Germany, Offenbach was not completely divided into districts. Only the nine neighborhoods mentioned above were officially districts, leaving the largest parts of the city officially unnamed. Although specific names for neighborhoods and areas were already in use among the locals and residents.
In June 2019 the city council approved a new act that subdivides the city's area entirely into 21 districts. The nine existing districts largely remained the same, most of them were even expanded. The new districts were laid out after the already by locals commonly known neighborhoods, such as the Westend, the Nordend or Buchhügel. A completely new name was only needed to be found for one neighborhood south of the city center, which never had commonly used name before: Lindenfeld. The name derived from an old name of a land lot in this area, when it was still fields in agricultural use prior to the 1800s.
As of July 2019 there are the following 21 districts:
- Bieberer Berg
Offenbach experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) that borders on a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb). There are subtropical summers with warm to hot temperatures ranging from 27.2°C at daytime and 2.4°C at night. Winters are temperate cool and mild with temperatures ranging from 15.9°C at daytime and 0.9°C at night. Due to its location in the Upper Rhine Plain, the whole Rhein-Main Metropolitan Region generally experiences one of the warmest climates in Germany, making it possible to grow plants from the subtropics such as vineyards, palm trees and olive trees.
|Climate data for Offenbach-Wetterpark (2019-present)|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.2
|Average low °C (°F)||0.9
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||39.0
|Average rainy days||12.0||23.0||13.0||5.0||8.0||18.0||8.0||11.0||13.0||18.0||20.0||20.0||169|
|Average relative humidity (%)||86||80||75||69||69||69||68||71||77||83||86||86||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||53.9||69.4||190.2||302.8||282.4||210.6||260.3||239.1||171.9||85.8||31.8||54.6||1,952.8|
|Source: Data derived from Deutscher Wetterdienst|
The first documented reference to a suburb of Offenbach appears in 770. In a document of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II dating to 977 exists the first mention of the place of Offenbach. During the Middle Ages Offenbach passed through many hands. Only in 1486 could the Count Ludwig of Isenburg finally take control of city for his family, and 1556 Count Reinhard of Isenburg relocated his Residence to Offenbach, building a palace, the Isenburger Schloß (Isenburg Palace), which was completed in 1559. It was destroyed by fire in 1564 and rebuilt in 1578.
In 1635 Offenbach given to the Landgraves of Hesse-Darmstadt but it was returned to the Isenburg-Birstein Count (later Prince) in 1642 and remained in that Principality until 1815 when the Congress of Vienna gave the city to the Austrian Emperor, Francis I. A year later it was given to the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt.
Always very close to the city centre of Frankfurt, Offenbach was a popular location for business. The town has its own trade fair, and many companies have opened facilities here because there are fewer restrictions and no closed businesses. French Protestants (Huguenots) came in the 17th century and settled in Offenbach and contributed to making Offenbach a prosperous city, e.g., bringing knowledge of tobacco with them and turning Offenbach into a centre for rolling cigars. The town was more cosmopolitan than Frankfurt; famous people such as Goethe and Mozart visited it several times.
The Rumpenheim Palace and its park were a popular destination for monarchs in the 19th century. The city was thereafter ruled by Grand Dukes of Hesse and by Rhine until the monarchy was abolished in 1918. Offenbach became the center of the traditional design with figures such as the architect Hugo Eberhardt, the typographer Rudolf Koch, the bookbinder and designer Ignatz Wiemeler and Ernst Engel and the painter Karl Friedrich Lippmann.
During the Second World War a third of the city was destroyed by Allied bombing, which claimed 467 lives. With the new district Lauterborn the city was expanded to the south in the 1960s. On the border with Frankfurt, the office district Kaiserlei was built. Offenbach is a so-called ´Sozialer Brennpunkt`(= multiple social problems area) because of unemployment, poverty, gang related crime and migration.
Mayors from 1824–presentEdit
- 1824–1826: Peter Georg d'Orville
- 1826–1834: Heinrich Philipp Schwaner
- 1834–1837: Peter Georg d'Orville
- 1837–1849: Jonas Budden
- 1849–1859: Friedrich August Schäfer
- 1859–1867: Johann Heinrich Dick
- 1867–1874: Johann Martin Hirschmann
- 1874–1882: Hermann Stölting
- 1883–1907: Wilhelm Brink
- 1907–1919: Andreas Dullo
- 1919–1933: Max Granzin
- 1947–1949: Johannes Rebholz
- 1950–1957: Hans Klüber
- 1957–1974: Georg Dietrich
- 1974–1980: Walter Buckpesch
- 1980–1986: Walter Suermann
- 1986–1994: Wolfgang Reuter
- 1994–2006: Gerhard Grandtke
- 2006–2018: Horst Schneider
- 2018–: Felix Schwenke
Offenbach has a large non-German population. In 2016, foreign nationals made up 37% of the population. The largest communities are, in that order, from Turkey, Greece, Romania, Poland and Italy. According to census data, Offenbach and Duisburg had the highest share of Muslim migrants of all German districts in 2011.
Until the end of the 17th century, Offenbach remained a small town with less than a thousand inhabitants. With the coming into power of the count Johann Philipp in 1685, the city began to develop and the population rose steadily. In the 19th century the city became industrialized and the population increased even tenfold. Offenbach is one of the German cities where Germans without migrant background make up a minority of the population. As of 31 December 2012, approx. 44.3% of residents or 55,047 people had no foreign background. In contrast to that, there were 55.7% or 69,214 people with at least one non-German grandparent. The largest of those groups are:
Turks: 15,000 or 12.2%
Arabs: 8,000 or 6.5%
Italians: 8,000 or 6.5%
Greeks: 7,500 or 6.0%
Poles: 4,000 or 3.2%
Afghans: 3,600 or 3%
Pakistanis: 2,700 or 2.2%
Until the early 1970s Offenbach was dominated by the machine-building and leather industries. The city hosts the German Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies to this day. The Deutscher Wetterdienst, commonly abbreviated as DWD, (translated from German as German Meteorological Service), residing in the Westend district.
Offenbach was also the European center of typography, with Gebr. Klingspor and Linotype (inventors of Optima or Palatino typeface) moving to nearby Eschborn in the 1970s and MAN Roland printing machines still a major employer today. Typography and design still remain important with a cluster of graphic design and industrial design companies, as well as the university level Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main (HfG) design school and the Klingspor Museum.
In recent years Offenbach has become a popular location for a wide array of services, especially from the transport sectors. Offenbach is the host to the European headquarters of Honda, Hyundai Motors and Kumho Tires.
Arts and cultureEdit
In Offenbach there is no specific Old Town, but there are several buildings which survived bombing during the war and have been restored. One of them is the Neo-baroque palace Büsingpalais with the Büsingpark, reconstructed in the 1980s. Today it is used as a congress center close to the Sheraton hotel. Between the shopping area and the Main, is the Lilipark and the Lilitemple, named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's fiancée Lili Schönemann. The most important building is the Isenburger Schloss (Isenburg Palace), a renaissance palace from 1576. It is today used by the Offenbach Design University which is next to it. There is also a neoclassic palace in the borough Rumpenheim, the Rumpenheimer Schloss it now serves exclusively as domestic dwellings but the park is public.
- Isenburger Schloss, a Renaissance building, now used by the Offenbach Design University
- Büsingpalais with Büsingpark
- Wilhelmsplatz a square with coffee houses and three times a week a market.
- Buildings of the French Protestant Church and the French Protestant Community.
- Rumpenheim Palace.
- Former Synagogue "Capitol" (now a concert hall next to the new Synagogue).
- The Westend Quarter (19th century).
- Several art deco apartment houses.
- Buildings by early 20th century architect Hugo Eberhardt: "Heyne" Factory, main building of the Design University, AOK Insurance building.
- Prefabricated houses by Egon Eiermann in Lauterborn
There are several festivals in Offenbach, some of these are:
- Lichterfest im Büsing-Park (festival of lights in the park of the Büsing palais)
- Nacht der Museen (with Frankfurt)
- Cross Media Night
The streets of central Offenbach are usually congested with cars during the rush hour. Some areas, especially around the shopping streets, are pedestrian-only streets. There are numerous car parks located throughout the city. The Offenbacher Kreuz is an Autobahn interchange where the Autobahnen A 3 (Cologne-Würzburg) and A 661 meet. The A661 crosses the A 3 (Cologne-Würzburg) and A 5 (Basel-Hannover).
The city is connected by a major line of the S-Bahn railway system to Frankfurt. The station in the city center is Marktplatz. In general, six stations are located in Offenbach: Offenbach-Kaiserlei, Offenbach-Ledermuseum, Offenbach-Marktplatz, Offenbach-Ost, Offenbach-Bieber, Offenbach-Waldhof. Trains run every 5–10 minutes between Offenbach and Frankfurt. A 24 hours Service between both cities was introduced in 2013. The journey from Offenbach Marktplatz to Frankfurt Main Station takes 15 minutes, Frankfurt Airport can be reached within 26 minutes. Suburban trains run underground in downtown Offenbach. The city tunnel was opened in 1996. Services split up at Offenbach-Ost Station to Hanau (S8 and S9 trains), Rödermark (S1) and Dietzenbach (S2). An often-addressed problem is that there is no direct interchange between regional and suburban trains in Offenbach, since the lines were separated when the tunnel was built. Therefore, residents and city officials have proposed several times that platforms for regional trains should be added to the Offenbach-Ost Station.
The city's municipal public transportation services are operated by the "Offenbacher Verkehrsbetriebe" (OVB) and its subcontractors. Nine routes (numbered 101-108 and 120) connect all boroughs with the major train stations at Marktplatz, Offenbach-Ost and Kaiserlei as well as the Central Station. The bus network has a very good coverage and frequency of service. All routes except for number 102 and number 107 busses stop at Marktplatz station, making it the most important transit hub in the city. Buses usually run with a 15-minute headway on working days and a 30-minute headway on Sundays, public holidays and after 8:00 pm. Exemptions are routes 103, 107 and 120 which run every 30 minutes. Although number 103 and 120 buses share most of their route, creating a 15-minute headway on the shared section in downtown Offenbach. Those two routes also connect the city of Offenbach with its surrounding towns, Frankfurt am Main, Mühlheim am Main and Obertshausen. Out of all municipal bus services the number 101 bus is the most frequented route. It runs every 7 or 8 minutes Mondays through Fridays. Service on the other most frequented routes (104 and 105) is also increased to a 7/8-minute headway during rush hours. In addition to the municipal bus services there are regional buses that serve the city. Two express bus routes connect Offenbach to the city of Langen (route X83) and Bad Vilbel (X97). Other services are the number OF-30 bus to Heusenstamm, the 41 bus to Fechenheim as well as the 551 to Gravenbruch, Enkheim and Bad Vilbel.
Regional trains stop at the Offenbach Central Station in the city’s center. The station is on the Frankfurt-Hanau main line which is one of railway with the most traffic in Germany. Mostly hourly service for Wächsersbach, Fulda, Würzburg and Erbach call at the Offenbach Central Station. There is no long-distance train service at central station, although many high-speed trains pass through on their way from Frankfurt to Munich, Berlin or Hamburg. The station lost most of its importance when the suburban trains were re-routed through the newly build tunnel beneath Berliner Straße. Nonetheless a train ride from Offenbach Central Station to Frankfurt Central Station takes only ten minutes which makes it a much-appreciated route for commuters.
The city is accessed from around the world via the Frankfurt Airport, (Flughafen Frankfurt am Main) which is located 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from Offenbach. The airport can be reached by car or bus and has two train stations, one for regional and one for long-distance traffic. The S-Bahn lines S8 and S9 (direction "Offenbach Ost or "Hanau"), departing from the regional traffic station, take 25 minutes from the airport to get to Offenbach.
Notable people born in Offenbach include:
- Johann André (1741–1799), founder of the music publishing firm named after him
- Sven Beckert (born 1969) history professor at Harvard, winner of 2015 Bancroft Prize for Empire of Cotton
- Gottfried Böhm (born 1920) architect who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1986
- Moritz Wilhelm August Breidenbach (1796–1857) a German jurist
- Bernard von Brentano, (1901–1964) writer, essayist and journalist
- Ray Bumatai, (1952–2005), musician, actor and singer
- Heinrich von Brentano (1904–1964) a German conservative politician
- Christian Dell, (1882–1974) industrial designer, factory designer on Bauhaus
- Olli Dittrich, (born 1956), actor and comedian
- Siegfried Guggenheim (1873–1961) lawyer, notary and art collector
- Hans Halberstadt (1885–1966), German-born American Olympic fencer
- Richard Heyne, (1882–1961), member of Landtag and producer
- Hans Hotter, (1909–2003), opera singer
- Christian Lammert, (born 1969), politologist
- Philipp Mainländer in Offenbach, (1841–1876) born as Phillip Batz, poet and philosopher
- Prince Philipp of Hesse, (1896–1980), prince and governor
- Helene Mayer, (1910–1953), Olympic champion fencer
- Smudo (born 1968), musician and rapper
- Christian Sievers (born 1969), journalist
- Tarek Al-Wazir, (born 1971), politician, Deputy of the Hessian Minister-President
- Aykut Anhan (born 1985), musician and rapper
Others who have resided in Offenbach include:
- Rabbi Abraham Bing (1752–1841)
- Jacob Frank, (1726–1791), Jewish religious leader
- Rudi Völler, (born 1960), German football Player and -coach
- Cornelia Hanisch, (born 1952), German fencer, former world champion and 1984 Olympic gold medallist
- Heinrich Kaminski, (1886–1946), composer, worked here
- Friedrich Kellner, attended Goethschule here
- Karlgeorg Hoefer, calligrapher and typographer
- Regina Jonas, first female Rabbi, ordained in Offenbach
- Rudolf Koch, worked and taught here
- Fritz Kredel, studied here
- Philipp Mainländer, died here
- Götz Otto, (born 1967), German actor, born here
- Anthony Rother Electronic musician
- Snap!, German dance group
- Berthold Wolpe, notable typographer and type designer
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