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HESSE (/ˈhɛs/ or /ˈhɛsi/ ) or HESSIA (German : Hessen , Hessian dialect : Hesse
Hesse
) is a federal state (Land) of the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
, with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden
; the largest city is Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
. Until the unification of Germany, the territory of Hesse
Hesse
was occupied by the Grand Duchy of Hesse , the Duchy of Nassau , the free city of Frankfurt
Frankfurt
and the Electorate of Hesse
Electorate of Hesse
, known also as Hesse-Cassel. Due to divisions after World War II, the modern federal state does not cover the entire cultural region of Hesse, which includes both the State of Hesse
Hesse
and the area known as Rhenish Hesse (Rheinhessen) in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
.

The English name "Hesse" originates in the Hessian dialects . The variant "Hessia" comes from medieval Latin Hassia. The German term Hessen is used by the European Commission because their policy is to leave regional names untranslated (paragraphs 1.31 and 1.35). The term "Hesse" ultimately derives from a Germanic tribe called the Chatti , who settled in the region in the first century B.C. An inhabitant of Hesse
Hesse
is called a "Hessian" (German: Hesse
Hesse
(masculine) or Hessin (feminine)). The synthetic element hassium , number 108 on the periodic table , is named after the state of Hesse.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 19th century * 1.2 20th century

* 2 Geography

* 3 Administration of the State of Hesse
Hesse

* 3.1 Districts * 3.2 Rhenish Hesse

* 4 State symbols and politics

* 4.1 Head of State * 4.2 Most recent state election * 4.3 Foreign affairs * 4.4 Flag and anthem

* 5 Demographics

* 6 Culture

* 6.1 Language * 6.2 Religion * 6.3 Fine arts * 6.4 Sports

* 7 TV and radio stations * 8 Economy

* 9 Traffic and public transportation

* 9.1 Road transport * 9.2 Railway transport * 9.3 Air transport

* 10 References

* 10.1 Notes * 10.2 Bibliography

* 11 External links

HISTORY

Main article: History of Hesse

As early as the Paleolithic period, the Central Hessian region was inhabited. Due to the favorable climate of the location, people lived there about 50,000 years ago during the last glacial period, as burial sites show from this era. Finds of paleolitical tools in southern Hesse
Hesse
in Rüsselsheim suggest Pleistocene hunters about 13,000 years ago. The Züschen tomb (German: Steinkammergrab von Züschen, sometimes also Lohne-Züschen) is a prehistoric burial monument, located between Lohne and Züschen, near Fritzlar, Hesse, Germany. Classified as a gallery grave or a Hessian-Westphalian stone cist (hessisch-westfälische Steinkiste), it is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Central Europe. Dating to the late fourth millennium BC (and possibly remaining in use until the early third), it belongs to the Late Neolithic Wartberg culture.

An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse
Hesse
is indicated by a mid-fifth-century BC La Tène style burial uncovered at Glauberg . The region was later settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe around the first century BC, and the name Hesse
Hesse
is a continuation of that tribal name.

The ancient Romans had a military camp in Dorlar, and in Waldgirmes directly on the eastern outskirts of Wetzlar
Wetzlar
was a civil settlement under construction. Presumably, the provincial government for the occupied territories of the right bank of Germania was planned at this location. The governor of Germania, at least temporarily, likely had resided here. The settlement appears to have been abandoned by the Romans after the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest failed in the year 9 AD. The Chatti were also involved in the Revolt of the Batavi in 69 AD.

Hessia, from the early seventh century on, served as a buffer between areas dominated by the Saxons (to the north) and the Franks who brought the area to the south under their control in the early sixth century and occupied Thuringia
Thuringia
(to the east) in 531. Hessia occupies the northwestern part of the modern German state of Hesse; its borders were not clearly delineated. Its geographic center is Fritzlar
Fritzlar
; it extends in the southeast to Hersfeld on the Fulda
Fulda
river, in the north to past Kassel
Kassel
and up to the rivers Diemel and Weser. To the west, it occupies the valleys of the rivers Eder and Lahn
Lahn
(the latter until it turns south). It measured roughly 90 kilometers north-south, and 80 north-west.

The area around Fritzlar
Fritzlar
shows evidence of significant pagan belief from the first century on. Geismar was a particular focus of such activity; it was continuously occupied from the Roman period on, with a settlement from the Roman period, which itself had a predecessor from the fifth century BC. Excavations have produced a horse burial and bronze artifacts. A possible religious cult may have centered on a natural spring in Geismar, called Heilgenbron; the name "Geismar" (possibly "energetic pool") itself may be derived from that spring. The village of Maden, Gudensberg
Gudensberg
(de), now a part of Gudensberg
Gudensberg
near Fritzlar
Fritzlar
and less than ten miles from Geismar, was likely an ancient religious center: the basalt outcrop of Gudensberg
Gudensberg
is named for Wodan, and there is a two-meter tall quartz megalith called the Wotanstein in the center of the village.

By 650, the Franks were establishing themselves as overlords, which is suggested by archeological evidence of burials, and were building fortifications in various places including Christenberg . By 690 they were taking direct control over Hessia, apparently to counteract expansion by the Saxons, who built fortifications in Gaulskopf and Eresburg across the river Diemel, the northern boundary of Hessia. The Büraburg (which already had a Frankish settlement in the sixth century ) was one of the places the Franks fortified in order to resist the Saxon pressure, and according to John-Henry Clay the Büraburg was "probably the largest man-made construction seen in Hessia for at least seven hundred years". Walls and trenches totaling one kilometer in length were made, and they enclosed "8 hectares of a spur that offered a commanding view over Fritzlar
Fritzlar
and the densely populated heart of Hessia".

Following Saxon incursions into Chattish territory in the seventh century, two gau s had been established—a Frankish one, comprising an area around Fritzlar
Fritzlar
and Kassel
Kassel
, and a Saxon one. In the 9th century, the Saxon Hessengau also came under the rule of the Franconians. In the 12th, century it was passed to Thuringia
Thuringia
.

In the War of the Thuringian Succession (1247-1264), Hesse
Hesse
gained its independence and became a Landgraviate within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
. It shortly rose to primary importance under Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous , who was one of the leaders of German Protestantism
Protestantism
. After Philip's death in 1567, the territory was divided among his four sons from his first marriage (Philip was a bigamist ) into four lines: Hesse- Kassel
Kassel
(or Hesse-Cassel), Hesse-Darmstadt , Hesse-Rheinfels , and the also previously existing Hesse-Marburg . As the latter two lines died out quite soon (1583 and 1605, respectively), Hesse-Kassel and Hesse-Darmstadt were the two core states within the Hessian lands. Several collateral lines split off during the centuries, such as in 1622, when Hesse-Homburg split off from Hesse-Darmstadt. In the late 16th century, Kassel
Kassel
adopted Calvinism
Calvinism
, while Darmstadt
Darmstadt
remained Lutheran
Lutheran
and subsequently the two lines often found themselves on different sides of a conflict, most notably in the disputes over Hesse-Marburg and in the Thirty Years\' War , when Darmstadt
Darmstadt
fought on the side of the Emperor, while Kassel
Kassel
sided with Sweden
Sweden
and France
France
.

The Landgrave Frederick II (1720–1785) ruled as a benevolent despot, 1760-1785. He combined Enlightenment ideas with Christian values, cameralist plans for central control of the economy, and a militaristic approach toward diplomacy. He funded the depleted treasury of the poor nation by renting out 19,000 soldiers in complete military formations to Great Britain
Great Britain
to fight in North America during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
, 1776-1783. These soldiers, commonly known as Hessians , fought under the British flag. The British used the Hessians in several conflicts, including in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 . For further revenue, the soldiers were rented out elsewhere, as well. Most were conscripted, with their pay going to the Landgrave. Arms of Hesse- Kassel
Kassel
(1815–1866)

19TH CENTURY

The ruler of Hesse- Kassel
Kassel
was elevated to the status of Prince-Elector
Prince-Elector
in 1803, but this remained without effect, as the Holy Roman Empire was disbanded in 1806. The territory was annexed by Napoleon to the Kingdom of Westphalia
Westphalia
in 1806, but restored to the Elector in 1813. While other Electors had gained other titles, becoming either Kings or Grand Dukes, the Elector of Hesse-Kassel alone retained the anachronistic title. The name survived in the term Kurhessen, denoting the region around Kassel. In 1866, it was annexed by Prussia
Prussia
, together with the Free City of Frankfurt
Free City of Frankfurt
, the small Landgraviate of Hesse-Homburg , and the Duchy of Nassau , which were then combined into the province of Hesse-Nassau
Hesse-Nassau
. Arms of Grand Duchy of Hesse
Hesse

Hesse-Darmstadt was elevated by Napoleon to the status of a Grand Duchy in 1806, becoming the Grand Duchy of Hesse . In the War of 1866 , it fought on the side of Austria
Austria
against Prussia
Prussia
, but retained its autonomy in defeat because a greater part of the country was situated south of the Main River
Main River
and Prussia
Prussia
did not dare to expand beyond the Main line, as this might have provoked France. However, the parts of Hesse-Darmstadt north of the Main (the region around the town of Gießen , commonly called Oberhessen) were incorporated in the Norddeutscher Bund , a tight federation of German states, established by Prussia
Prussia
in 1867. In 1871, after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
, the rest of the Grand Duchy joined the German Empire . Around the turn of the 20th century, Darmstadt
Darmstadt
was one of the centres of the Jugendstil
Jugendstil
. Until 1907, the Grand Duchy of Hesse used the Hessian red and white lion as its coat-of-arms.

20TH CENTURY

The revolution of 1918 transformed Hesse-Darmstadt from a monarchy to a republic, which officially renamed itself " Volksstaat Hessen " (People's State of Hesse). The parts of Hesse-Darmstadt on the western banks of the Rhine
Rhine
(province Rheinhessen) were occupied by French troops until 1930 under the terms of the Versailles peace treaty that officially ended World War I in 1919.

After World War II
World War II
, the Hessian territory west of the Rhine
Rhine
was again occupied by France, whereas the rest of the region was part of the US occupation zone. The French separated their part of Hesse
Hesse
from the rest of the region and incorporated it into the newly founded state of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
(Rheinland-Pfalz). The United States, on the other side, proclaimed the state of Greater Hesse (Groß-Hessen) on 19 September 1945, out of Hesse-Darmstadt and most of the former Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau
Hesse-Nassau
. On 4 December 1946 Groß-Hessen was officially renamed Hessen.

GEOGRAPHY

See also: List of places in Hesse and List of mountains of Hesse The most important rivers, mountains, and cities of Hesse
Hesse

Situated in west-central Germany, Hesse
Hesse
state borders the German states of (starting in the north and proceeding clockwise) Lower Saxony
Saxony
, Thuringia
Thuringia
, Bavaria
Bavaria
, Baden-Württemberg , Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
, and North Rhine- Westphalia
Westphalia
.

Most of the population of Hesse
Hesse
is in the southern part in the Rhine Main Area . The principal cities of the area include Frankfurt
Frankfurt
am Main , Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden
, Darmstadt
Darmstadt
, Offenbach , Hanau
Hanau
, Gießen , Wetzlar
Wetzlar
, and Limburg . Other major towns in Hesse
Hesse
are Fulda
Fulda
in the east , and Kassel
Kassel
and Marburg an der Lahn
Marburg an der Lahn
in the north . The densely populated Rhine-Main region is much better developed than the rural areas in the middle and northern parts of Hesse.

The most important rivers in Hesse
Hesse
are the Fulda
Fulda
and Eder Rivers in the north, the Lahn
Lahn
in the central part of Hesse, and the Main and Rhine
Rhine
in the south. The countryside is hilly and the numerous mountain ranges include the Rhön , the Westerwald
Westerwald
, the Taunus
Taunus
, the Vogelsberg , the Knüll
Knüll
and the Spessart
Spessart
.

The Rhine
Rhine
borders Hesse
Hesse
on the southwest without running through the state, only one old arm – the so-called Alt-Rhein – runs through Hesse. The mountain range between the Main and the Neckar Rivers is called the Odenwald
Odenwald
. The plain between the rivers Main, Rhine, and Neckar, and the Odenwald
Odenwald
Mountains is called the Ried.

Hesse
Hesse
is the greenest state in Germany, as forest covers 42% of the state.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE STATE OF HESSE

Hesse
Hesse
is a unitary state governed directly by the Hessian government in the capital city Wiesbaden, partially through regional vicarious authorities called Regierungspräsidien. Municipal parliaments are, however, elected independently from the state government by the Hessian people. Local municipalities enjoy a considerable degree of home rule .

DISTRICTS

The state is divided into three administrative provinces (Regierungsbezirke): Kassel
Kassel
in the north and east, Gießen in the centre, and Darmstadt
Darmstadt
in the south, the latter being the most populous region with the Frankfurt Rhine-Main
Frankfurt Rhine-Main
agglomeration in its central area. The administrative regions have no legislature of their own, but are executive agencies of the state government.

State chancellery building in the capital city Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
Kassel
Kassel
Darmstadt
Darmstadt
Offenbach am Main

Hesse
Hesse
is divided into 21 districts (Kreise) and five independent cities, each with their own local governments. They are, shown with abbreviations as used on vehicle number plates:

* Bergstraße ( Heppenheim ) (HP) * Darmstadt-Dieburg ( Darmstadt
Darmstadt
) (DA, DI) * Groß-Gerau ( Groß-Gerau ) (GG) * Hochtaunuskreis
Hochtaunuskreis
( Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg
) (HG, USI) * Main-Kinzig-Kreis ( Gelnhausen
Gelnhausen
) (MKK, GN, HU, SLÜ) * Main-Taunus-Kreis
Main-Taunus-Kreis
(Hofheim am Taunus
Taunus
) (MTK) * Odenwaldkreis (Erbach ) (ERB) * Offenbach ( Dietzenbach ) (OF) * Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis ( Bad Schwalbach ) (RÜD, SWA) * Wetteraukreis
Wetteraukreis
(Friedberg ) (FB, BÜD) * Gießen ( Gießen ) (GI) * Lahn-Dill-Kreis ( Wetzlar
Wetzlar
) (LDK) * Limburg-Weilburg
Limburg-Weilburg
(Limburg ) (LM, WEL) * Marburg-Biedenkopf ( Marburg
Marburg
) (MR, BID) * Vogelsbergkreis (Lauterbach ) (VB) * Fulda
Fulda
( Fulda
Fulda
) (FD) * Hersfeld-Rotenburg (Bad Hersfeld ) (HEF, ROF) * Kassel
Kassel
( Kassel
Kassel
) (KS, HOG, WOH) * Schwalm-Eder-Kreis ( Homberg (Efze) ) (HR) * Werra-Meißner-Kreis
Werra-Meißner-Kreis
( Eschwege ) (ESW, WIZ) * Waldeck-Frankenberg
Waldeck-Frankenberg
( Korbach ) (KB, FKB, WA)

Independent cities:

* Darmstadt
Darmstadt
(DA) * Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
(F) * Kassel
Kassel
(KS) * Offenbach am Main (OF) * Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden
(WI)

RHENISH HESSE

The province of Rhenish Hesse (German : Rheinhessen) refers to the part of the former Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt located west of the Rhine
Rhine
. It has not been part of the State of Hessen since 1946 due to divisions in the aftermath of World War II. This province is now part of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
. It is a hilly countryside largely devoted to vineyards; therefore, it is also called the "land of the thousand hills". Its larger towns include Mainz
Mainz
, Worms , Bingen , Alzey , Nieder-Olm , and Ingelheim
Ingelheim
. Many inhabitants commute to work in Mainz, Wiesbaden, or Frankfurt.

STATE SYMBOLS AND POLITICS

Main article: Politics of Hesse

Hessen has been a parliamentary republic since 1918, interrupted by a 12-year episode from 1933 until 1945 during the Nazi dictatorship . The German federal system has elements of exclusive federal competences, shared competences, and exclusive competences of the federal states. Hessen is famous for having a rather brisk style in its politics with the ruling parties being either the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) or the center-left Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(SPD). However, due to the Hessian electoral laws, the biggest party normally needs a smaller coalition partner.

HEAD OF STATE

As Hesse
Hesse
is a federal state, its constitution combines the offices of the head of state and head of government in one office called the "Minister President" (German: Ministerpräsident) which is comparable to the office of a prime minister . In the framework of the German federation, the President of Germany
Germany
is de facto ' Hesse's head of state.

MOST RECENT STATE ELECTION

Although the government under Minister-President
Minister-President
Volker Bouffier (CDU) lost some votes in the 2014 state elections, he could form a government with the Green Party as the conservative CDU's coalition partner. Hesse
Hesse
is the first German state with a coalition government formed by the conservative CDU and the leftist Green party. In the current Hessian parliament (Hessischer Landtag) the conservative CDU holds a 47 seats, the centre-left SPD 37 seats, the leftist Green party 14 seats and the liberal FDP as well as the socialist party "Die Linke" each six seats. The Hessian parliament according to the 2014 elections

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

As a member state of the German federation, Hesse
Hesse
does not have a diplomatic service of its own. However, Hessen operates representation offices in foreign countries such as the USA, China, Hungary, Cuba, Russia, Poland, and Iran. These offices are mostly used to represent Hessian interests in cultural and economic affairs. Hesse
Hesse
has also permanent representation offices in Berlin
Berlin
at the federal government of Germany
Germany
and in Brussels
Brussels
at the European Union
European Union
.

FLAG AND ANTHEM

The flag colors of Hesse
Hesse
are red and white; its coat of arms shows a standing lion. These symbols are in line with the state symbols of the former Grand Duchy of Hesse. The official anthem of Hesse
Hesse
is called " Hessenlied " ("Song of Hesse") and was written by Albrecht Brede (music) and Carl Preser (lyrics).

DEMOGRAPHICS

SIGNIFICANT FOREIGN BORN POPULATIONS

NATIONALITY POPULATION (2014)

Turkey
Turkey
157,766

Poland
Poland
78,088

Italy
Italy
70,754

Romania
Romania
47,241

Croatia
Croatia
43,085

Greece
Greece
33,929

Bulgaria
Bulgaria
31,652

Serbia
Serbia
24,492

Spain
Spain
24,261

Syria
Syria
22,167

Afghanistan
Afghanistan
19,171

Bosnia 18,044

Morocco
Morocco
17,764

Russia
Russia
16,115

USA 16,113

CULTURE

The southern parts of Hesse
Hesse
were deeply influenced by the fact that they belonged to the Grand Duchy of Hessen, an independent state until 1871, while the northern region of what is today the State of Hessen came under strong Prussian influence. Darmstadt
Darmstadt
which was the capital city of Hessen until 1945, the city from which the Grand Dukes of Hesse
Hesse
ruled the country, was influenced by British and Russian imperial architecture due to close family ties of the Grand Duke's family to the reigning dynasties in London
London
and Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
.

LANGUAGE

The Hessian people speak a variety of German, a Rhine
Rhine
Franconian dialect known as Hessisch .

RELIGION

Religious affiliation in Hesse
Hesse
(2013) AFFILIATION PERCENTAGE OF HESSIAN POPULATION

Christian 67 67

EKD Protestant 40 40

Catholic 25 25

Other Christian 2 2

Muslim 4 4

Other 1 1

Unaffiliated 26 26

Don't know/refused answer 2 2

TOTAL 100 100

View of the Stadtpfarrkirche St. Blasius in Fulda
Fulda

In 2013 Christianity
Christianity
was the most widespread religion in the state (67%). 40% of the Hessians belonged to the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau or Evangelical Church of Hesse Electorate-Waldeck
Evangelical Church of Hesse Electorate-Waldeck
(members of the Evangelical Church in Germany
Germany
), 25% adhered to the Roman Catholic Church , while other Christians constituted some 2%. The remaining one third of the Hessian population were Muslims
Muslims
or belonged to other faiths, or were unaffiliated. Acknowledged as a legal entity under public law in Hesse, the Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
is the first Islamic community in all of Germany
Germany
to be recognized as such. The continental Baha\'i House of Worship for Europe is located in the village of Langenhain in the town of Hofheim near Frankfurt.

FINE ARTS

The former state capital, Darmstadt
Darmstadt
, has been a centre of art nouveau and modern architecture since 1914, Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
is cultural centre of international magnitude and the northern Hesse
Hesse
city of Kassel
Kassel
is home of the five-yearly documenta , a modern art exhibition. Hesse
Hesse
has four major opera houses, the most important being the Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
Opera House . Through its Cultural Investment Programme, Hesse
Hesse
supports the renovation and promotion of historical sites and it promotes the documenta , a world-wide art exhibition held every five years in Kassel. The Hessian Ministry of the Arts supports numerous independent cultural initiatives, organisations, and associations as well as artists from many fields including music, literature, theatre and dance, cinema and the new media, graphic art, and exhibitions. International cultural projects aim to further relations with European partners.

SPORTS

Frankfurt
Frankfurt
hosts the following professional sports teams or clubs:

* 1. FFC Frankfurt , Football (women) * Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt
, Football (men) * FSV Frankfurt , Football (men) * Rot-Weiss Frankfurt , Football * Frankfurter FC Germania 1894 , Football * Skyliners Frankfurt
Skyliners Frankfurt
, Basketball
Basketball
* Frankfurt Galaxy (1991–2007), American football * Frankfurt Universe (2007–present), American football * Frankfurter Löwen (1979–1984), American football * Frankfurt Sarsfields GAA , Gaelic football
Gaelic football
* Frankfurt Lions (until 2010), Ice hockey
Ice hockey
* Löwen Frankfurt (since 2010), Ice hockey
Ice hockey
* SC 1880 Frankfurt , Rugby union
Rugby union

Frankfurt
Frankfurt
is host to the classic cycle race Eschborn- Frankfurt
Frankfurt
City Loop (known as Rund um den Henninger-Turm from 1961 to 2008). The city hosts also the annual Frankfurt Marathon
Frankfurt Marathon
and the Ironman Germany
Germany
.

Outside Frankfurt, notable professional sports teams include SV Darmstadt
Darmstadt
98 , Marburg
Marburg
Mercenaries , Gießen 46ers , MT Melsungen and VfB Friedberg .

TV AND RADIO STATIONS

The Hessian state broadcasting corporation is called HR (Hessischer Rundfunk ). HR is a member of the federal ARD broadcasting association. HR provides a statewide TV programme as well as a range of regional radio stations (HR 1, HR 2, HR 3, HR 4, you fm and HR info). Besides the state run HR, privately run TV stations exist and are an important line of commerce. Among the commercial radio stations that are active in Hesse
Hesse
Hit Radio FFH, Planet Radio, Harmony FM, Radio BOB and Main FM are the most popular.

ECONOMY

With Hesse's largest city Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
being home of the European Central Bank
European Central Bank
(ECB), the German Bundesbank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange , Hesse
Hesse
is home to the financial capital of mainland Europe. Furthermore, Hesse
Hesse
has always been one of the largest and healthiest economies in Germany. Its GDP
GDP
in 2013 exceeded 236 billion Euros (about 316 bn US$). This makes Hesse
Hesse
itself one of the largest economies in Europe and the 38th largest in the world. According to GDP-per-capita figures, Hesse
Hesse
is the wealthiest State (after the City-states Hamburg
Hamburg
and Bremen
Bremen
) in Germany
Germany
with approx. $52.500 US.

The Rhine-Main Region has the second largest industrial density in Germany
Germany
after the Ruhr area
Ruhr area
. The main economic fields of importance are the chemical and pharmaceutical industries with Sanofi
Sanofi
, Merck , Heraeus , Messer Griesheim and Degussa . In the mechanical and automotive engineering field Opel
Opel
in Rüsselsheim is worth mentioning. Frankfurt
Frankfurt
is crucial as a financial center , with both the European Central Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank 's headquarters located there. Numerous smaller banks and Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank
, Commerzbank
Commerzbank
, KfW Bank , DZ Bank are also headquartered in Frankfurt, with the offices of several international banks also being housed there. Frankfurt
Frankfurt
is also the location of the most important German stock exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Frankfurt Stock Exchange
. Insurance
Insurance
companies have settled mostly in Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden
. The city's largest private employer is the R+V Versicherung , with about 3,900 employees, other major employers are DBV-Winterthur , the SV SparkassenVersicherung and the Delta Lloyd Group . The leather industry is predominantly settled in Offenbach . Frankfurt Airport is the largest employer in Germany
Germany
with more than 70.000 employees. Companies with an international reputation are located outside the Rhine-Main region in Wetzlar
Wetzlar
.. There the center of the optical, electrical and precision engineering industries Leitz , Leica , Minox , Hensoldt (Zeiss ) and Buderus and Brita with several plants in central Hesse. In the east Fulda
Fulda
there is the rubber plant ( Fulda
Fulda
Reifen ). In northern Hesse, in Baunatal , Volkswagen AG has a large factory that manufactures spare parts. Bombardier has a large plant that manufactures Locomotives in Kassel
Kassel
.

In August 2008 there were 199,573 people unemployed in Hesse. The unemployment rate is thus 6.4% (August 2007: 7.6%). With 3.8% the Hochtaunuskreis
Hochtaunuskreis
has the lowest rate, while the independent city of Kassel
Kassel
has the highest rate nationally with 12.1%.

TRAFFIC AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Hesse
Hesse
has one of the best transportation networks in Europe. Many trans-European and German motorways, high-speed train, and waterways lines cross Hesse. Frankfurt International Airport
Frankfurt International Airport
is Germany's largest and Europe's third-largest airport (after London
London
Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Paris-Charles de Gaulle
). Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof is Germany's second-busiest railway station by passengers but the busiest in terms of traffic.

ROAD TRANSPORT

Hesse
Hesse
has a dense highway network with a total of 24 motorways. The internationally important motorway routes through Hesse
Hesse
are the A3, A5, and A7. Close to the airport of Frankfurt
Frankfurt
is the Frankfurter Kreuz , Germany's busiest and one of Europe's busiest motorway junctions, where the motorways A3 (Arnhem-Cologne-Frankfurt-Nuremberg-Passau) and A5 (Hattenbach-Frankfurt-Karlsruhe-Basel) intersect. The A5 becomes as wide as four lanes in each direction near the city of Frankfurt
Frankfurt
am Main. During the rush-hour, it is possible to use the emergency lanes on the A3 and A5 motorway in the Rhine-Main Region . The effect is that the motorways have four lanes in each direction. Other major leading Hesse
Hesse
highways are the A4 , the A44 , the A45 , the Federal Highway A66 and the A67 . There are also a number of smaller motorways and major trunk roads, some of which are dual carriageways .

RAILWAY TRANSPORT

Hesse
Hesse
has access to many major rail lines, including the high-speed lines Cologne– Frankfurt
Frankfurt
and Hanover–Würzburg . Besides, other north-south connections traverse major east-west routes from Wiesbaden and Mainz
Mainz
to Frankfurt
Frankfurt
and from Hanau
Hanau
and Aschaffenburg to Fulda
Fulda
and Kassel. The Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Central Station is the most important hub for German trains.

The region around Frankfurt
Frankfurt
has the S-Bahn Rhein-Main with an extensive S-Bahn -network, which is complemented many regional train connections. In the rest of the country, the rail network is less extensive. In the northern part of Hesse
Hesse
exists since 2007 the RegioTram , a tram-train -concept similar to the Karlsruhe model .

AIR TRANSPORT

Frankfurt Airport is by far the largest airport in Germany
Germany
with more than 57 million passengers each year and among the world's ten largest. Not far from the Airport towards the south is the Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport which is frequented by general aviation planes. The DFS (German air traffic control ) has its headquarters in Langen . Situated in Northern Hesse
Hesse
Kassel
Kassel
Calden Airport , whose expansion is planned, has however only regional importance. There are also a number of sports airfields. Low-cost airlines , especially Ryanair , uses Frankfurt-Hahn Airport