Leverkusen (//, German: [ˈleːvɐˌkuːzn̩] (
Coat of arms
|Coordinates: 51°02′N 06°59′E|
|• Mayor||Uwe Richrath (SPD)|
|• Governing parties||CDU / SPD / Bürgerliste|
|• Total||78.85 km2 (30.44 sq mi)|
|Elevation||60 m (200 ft)|
|• Density||2,100/km2 (5,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Dialling codes||0214, 02171 & 02173|
|Vehicle registration||LEV and OP|
The heart of what is now Leverkusen was Wiesdorf, a village on the Rhine, which dates back to the 12th century. With the surrounding villages which have now been incorporated, the area also includes the rivers Wupper and Dhünn, and has suffered a lot from flooding, notably in 1571 and 1657, the latter resulting in Wiesdorf being moved East from the river to its present location.
During the Cologne War, from 1583 to 1588 Leverkusen was ravaged by war. The entire area was rural until the late 19th century, when industry prompted the development that led to the city of Leverkusen, and to its becoming one of the most important centres of the German chemical industry.
The chemist Carl Leverkus, looking for a place to build a dye factory, chose Wiesdorf in 1860. He built a factory for the production of artificial ultramarine blue at the Kahlberg in Wiesdorf in 1861, and called the emerging settlement "Leverkusen" after his family home in Lennep. The factory was taken over by the Bayer company in 1891; Bayer moved its headquarters to Wiesdorf in 1912. After asset confiscation at the end of the First World War, it became IG Farben. The city of Leverkusen proper was founded in 1930 by merging Wiesdorf, Schlebusch, Steinbüchel and Rheindorf, and was posthumously named for Carl Leverkus.
During the Second World War, the IG Farben factories were bombed by the RAF on 22 August 1943, again by the RAF during bombing campaigns on 19/20 November, the USAAF Eighth Air Force on 1 December 1943, and finally once again by the RAF on 10/11 December 1943.
In 1975, Opladen (including Quettingen and Lützenkirchen since 1930), Hitdorf and Bergisch Neukirchen joined Leverkusen. The present city is made up of former villages, originally called Wiesdorf, Opladen, Schlebusch, Manfort, Bürrig, Hitdorf, Quettingen, Lützenkirchen, Steinbüchel, Rheindorf and Bergisch-Neukirchen.
Coat of Arms
Main sights and places of interest
- BayArena is the home stadium of Bayer Leverkusen, with a capacity of over 30,000.
- The Bayer Cross Leverkusen is one of the largest illuminated advertisements in the world.
- Freudenthaler Sensenhammer is an industrial museum.
- Schloss Morsbroich – moated castle in the Baroque style, now a museum for contemporary art.
- Water Tower Leverkusen-Bürrig – 72.45-metre-high (237.7 ft) water reservoir containing an observation deck.
- Neuland Park – large park beside the Rhine.
- Japanese Garden – a 1913 garden extended by Carl Duisberg in 1923.
- Colony of workers – historical area in the form of houses and other buildings constructed for employees and families of the chemical works at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century.
- Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit – historical boat bridge next to the Rhine, between Wiesdorf and Rheindorf.
- Mausoleum of Carl Duisberg – mausoleum in the centre of the Carl Duisberg Park, next to the Casino.
- NaturGut Ophoven – educational centre for nature in Leverkusen-Opladen.
|Largest groups of foreign residents|
The city is home of the football team Bayer 04 Leverkusen and the basketball team Bayer Giants Leverkusen, which is the German record holder of national basketball championships . As of 2019, the team plays in the German ProA league and plays its home games in the Smidt-Arena.
Leverkusen is twinned with:
- Jörg Bergmeister (born 1976), racing driver
- Uta Briesewitz, (born 1967), cinematographer
- Ji-In Cho (born 1976), singer of Krypteria
- Bärbel Dieckmann (born 1949), politician (SPD), mayor of Bonn 1994-2009
- Danny Ecker, (born 1977), pole vaulter, son of Heidemarie Rosendahl
- Ileana Jacket, (born 1947), telenovela actress
- Paul Janes, (1912–1987), football player
- Heinrich Lützenkirchen (1909-1986), mayor of Leverkusen
- Dietmar Mögenburg, (born 1961), athlete
- Sabine Moussier, (born 1966), Mexican telenovela actress
- Lothar Rohde (1906–1985), scientist and founder of Rohde & Schwarz Messtechnik
- Ralf Schmitz, (born 1974) actor and comedian
- Detlef Schrempf (born 1963), former NBA basketball player
- Felix Sturm (born 1979), middleweight boxer
- Wolf Vostell (1932–1988), sculptor, painter and happening artist
- "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2018" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- "Leverkusen". Duden Online. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 17. ISBN 978-3866809703.
- Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 6. ISBN 978-3866809703.
- WW2 People's War - A Bedfordshire Bomb Aimer - Part Two. BBC. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
- 322nd Dailies from 1943 - 91st Bomb Group (H). 91st Bomb Group. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
- "Aktuelles". Stadtgeschichte Leverkusen (in German). Retrieved 2019-08-17.
- Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 12. ISBN 978-3866809703.
- Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 10-11. ISBN 978-3866809703.
- "Partner in aller Welt". leverkusen.de (in German). Leverkusen. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
- Blaschke, Stefan (1999): Unternehmen und Gemeinde: Das Bayerwerk im Raum Leverkusen 1891-1914 Cologne: SH-Verlag, ISBN 3-89498-068-0 (German)
- Archive of Leverkusen (2005): Leverkusen. Geschichte einer Stadt am Rhein. Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte, ISBN 3-89534-575-X (German)
- Franz Gruß (1987): Geschichte und Porträt der Stadt Leverkusen. Leverkusen: Verlag Anna Gruß, ISBN 3-930478-03-X (German)
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