[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_bundeslnder_2243.gif]]

UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic has sixteen states. The actual German plural is (Bundes)Länder, but that's not very Wiki friendly.

Many of the current German states are very different from their namesakes as they existed in the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany Imperial]] and/or [[UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic Weimar]] eras, when UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}} made up most of Germany. After UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the Allies first broke up Prussia into smaller units, then merged small states to larger continuous units within the four zones of occupation. (If you go back to before German unification in the 19th century, you'll need a bigger scorecard: there were ''[[AllTheLittleGermanies hundreds]]'' of tiny principalities and grand duchies, almost all of which were for practical purposes completely independent autocracies.[[note]]There were a few cities run by [[MerchantCity merchant oligarchies]].[[/note]])

Then the Allies split up, and the [[UsefulNotes/WestGermany two]] [[UsefulNotes/EastGermany Germanies]] were formed. The differences between then and now are that in the West what is now known as Baden-Württemberg was originally three separate states until their merger in 1952, and Saarland was a French protectorate until 1956, while in the East, the states were broken into districts and were only restored upon reunification.

Still, regional and local identities based on historic territories, some of them going back to the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire, abound.

The political terminology of Germany may be a bit confusing for strangers (especially Americans), so here is some help on how to talk correctly about it.
* Germany as a whole: The most used words are ''Bund'' (Federation) and ''Staat'' (State).
** The word ''Nation'' is only used in historical context for the ''Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation'' (Holy Roman Empire of German Nation).
** The word ''Republik'' is rarely used because of ambiguities towards the WeimarRepublic and the GDR. ''Land'' is also rarely used because of ambiguities towards federal states.
** From the Enlightment until WorldWarII, the word ''Reich'' (Empire, a cognate to "realm", so to speak) is used; this is also true for the WeimarRepublic in spite of its republican nature. For most of legal history, ''Reich'' and ''Bund'' were interchangable.
* The (Bundes-)Länder: ''Land'' is the most common and neutral word, often in the form of ''Bundesland'' to fully eliminate ambiguities. Using ''Staat'' is complicated.
** The states of ''Bayern'' (Bavaria), ''Sachsen'' (Saxony) and Thüringen (Thuringia) bear the title ''Freistaat'' (free state), meaning nothing else but having a pre-war legacy when almost any state of the WeimarRepublic was either called ''Freistaat'' or ''Volksstaat'' (literally "people's state", not yet bearing communist connotations) in contrast to the cookie-cutter states than came to prominence after the war under Allied occupation that are universally named ''Land [insert random state name here]''.
** Other than that, the title has absolutely no meaning, but its technically possible to call them state. Doing this is usually implies a seperatist attitude so it is usually done by conservative politicians. Calling any other country than those three "state" is generally wrong and also very confusing. It may also be seen as EaglelandOsmosis, which implies a lack of political knowledge (if you are German) or geographic knowledge (if you are a stranger). So bewareth, don't call them states.

This entry also covers the other major cities of Germany that aren't UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}} or UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}}.

In German language order

!Baden-Württemberg
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_baden-wurttemberg_2325.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Stuttgart\\
'''Area:''' 35,752km² (13,804mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 10,569,111

What is now known as Baden-Württemberg was actually three states -- Württemberg-Hohenzollern, (South) Baden, and Württemberg-Baden -- until their merger in 1952. Notable for precision mechanics, some famous universities, and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick banning Muslim female teachers from wearing headscarves]]. Used to be ruled consistently by the CDU (which often won absolute majorities), but in Spring 2011 it became the first state to have a ''Ministerpräsident'' from the Green Party.

Baden-Württemberg is noted for innovative businessmen, scientists, and engineers, and also for very thick accents. One of their business slogans some time ago was "Wir können alles. Außer Hochdeutsch" ("We can do anything. Except [speak] [[GermanLanguage Standard German]].")[[note]]According to the German-language chapter of TheOtherWiki, the ad agency behind the slogan first offered it to Saxony, which declined.[[/note]]

(Alemannic) Badeners and (Swabian) Württembergers tend to regard themselves as totally different people. There is also the small territory of Hohenzollern which used to belong to Prussia and contains the eponymous castle, which was the ancestral seat of the same-named royal family.

One of the state's best-known geographic features is the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), home of ''Kirschwasser'' (known as ''kirsch'' in English), ''Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte'' (a type of rich cake, made with ''Kirschwasser'') and cuckoo clocks. The latter were falsely credited to Switzerland by Orson Welles in the film ''Film/TheThirdMan''.
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* '''Stuttgart:''' State capital and former capital of the Kingdom of Württemberg. Where the four-wheeled automobile was invented, it is the home of Porsche and Mercedes. More recently the city gained attention for its train station to be rebuilt. [[note]]Due to the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement, let's just say you're welcome to google "Stuttgart 21".[[/note]]
* '''Freiburg im Breisgau:''' Literally, "free castle". Notable for its university, having the warmest regular temperature in Germany, and being a bastion of Catholicism. It already featured in Creator/JohnLeCarre's ''The Little Drummer Girl''.
* '''Heidelberg:''' Home of the oldest university in the country, Heidelberg was the capital of the Palatinate until the French burnt it down in one of Louis XIV's wars. The town is also strongly associated with the 19th-century image of boisterous German student life, thanks in large part to Wilhelm Meyer-Foerster's play ''Alt-Heidelberg'' (which was adapted into the operetta ''The Student Prince''). Popular with American tourists.
* '''Karlsruhe:''' Translates to "Karl's resting place". Former capital of Baden (grand duchy, then republic), now seat of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court), the national high judiciary. Karlsruhe is a planned city with a hybrid radial/grid pattern reminiscent of UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC (both being designed in the 18th century under the principles of the Enlightenment). Karlsruhe is also noted for the "Karlsruhe model" of transportation, a form of light rail in which trams run underground in the city center, at street level in other places, and on intercity tracks for nearly a hundred kilometers in every direction outside of the city, has become increasingly popular elsewhere (for instance, it's the model for the [[UsefulNotes/NorthEastEngland Tyne & Wear Metro]]).
* '''Mannheim:''' In its heyday a modern fortress-city, it became the new capital of the Palatinate after the sacking of Heidelberg. Was an important centre for music and theatre in the 18th century -- Friedrich Schiller's first plays were first performed at the city theatre, and Creator/WolfgangAmadeusMozart met his wife here. In the course of territorial redistributions during the wars of the French Revolution the city was allotted to Baden. Also nicknamed "the city where the streets have no names" because its inner city has a chessboard-like grid and its blocks are labeled by a letter and a number.
* '''Ulm:''' During the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire Ulm was the largest free city by area, and its cathedral features the tallest Gothic steeple in the world. AlbertEinstein was born here.

!Bayern (Bavaria)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_bavaria_9576.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Munich\\
'''Area:''' 70,549km² (27,239mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 12,519,571

Formally known as "Freistaat Bayern" ("Free State of Bavaria"). Home to Lederhosen, the real ''{{Oktoberfest}}'' and a certain [[ThePope Joseph Ratzinger]].

Historically a state on its own, it's been joked that it's not part of Germany[[note]]Though not to the separatist ''Bayernpartei''[[/note]]. Many [=NGOs=] have a separate branch in Bavaria, and the place has its own CDU, the CSU, which has ran Bavaria almost without interruption (there was an SPD-led government 1954-57) since ''1946'' -- usually with electoral ''majorities''.

A not inconsiderable part of the state only became Bavarian during the UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution and the UsefulNotes/NapoleonicWars (Bavarian rulers were made kings by Napoleon). The inhabitants of these regions are sometimes jokingly called "Beutebayern" (booty Bavarians) and retain distinct regional identities. After UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, many German emigrants from Czechoslovakia settled here, and thus in political rhethoric it is customary to speak of the "four tribes" of Bavaria -- Bavarians, Franconians, Swabians and Sudeten Germans.

BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke, or in English, Bavarian Motor Works), of course, comes from here.

Also home of one of Germany's [[EiffelTowerEffect most well known tourist attractions]], Neuschwanstein Castle, build by KingLudwigII.
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* '''München (Munich):''' Known to the rest of the world by its French name, Munich is the state capital and home to a powerhouse football club (winner of 24 national and 5 UEFA titles), and has the lowest crime rate of any major German city (although ironically it seems most German TV crime shows is set there). For the third most-populous city in Germany (behind Berlin and Hamburg), Munich is also pretty young, having grown on the back of its monopoly over the salt trade crossing the Isar River, ever since it was founded in 1158 around a Benedictine monastery. This was where Adolf Hitler made his first attempt to establish the National Socialists to power, and where Neville Chamberlain [[SarcasmMode accomplished]] "Peace for our time." [[WorldWarII In 1938]], years before it was discovered the nearby town of Dachau hosted a concentration camp. In 1972, Munich hosted the Summer Olympics, which was overshadowed by the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes in a terrorist attack. It also has the Bavaria Film Studios, where the original ''EnemyMine'' was filmed.
* '''Augsburg:''' The largest city in Bavarian Swabia, a former Free City founded by the Romans and named after the EmperorAugustus (Augusta Vindelicorum). Augsburg was home to the wealthy Fugger family (financiers to Emperor Charles V), important to the Protestant movement for the Augsburg Confession, which set in stone the tenets of the Lutheran Church, and other things, many of which happened at the Imperial Diets that were held here. Creator/BertoltBrecht came from here and spoke with a noticeable Augsburg accent all his life.
* '''Bayreuth:''' Former capital of a principality ruled by a branch of the Hohenzollerns, later home to Creator/RichardWagner and the festival he founded. In 2011, its (actually very young) university gained attention for a plagiarism affair about then defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (who, turns out, was heir to an old Franconian noble family and married to the great-great granddaughter of UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck...''very'' bad form...).
* '''Coburg:''' Former capital of the (Thuringian) duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and home to the ruling house of Belgium and the United Kingdom (now renamed "Windsor", after said branch's favorite castle in Berkshire, in response to anti-German sentiments at the wake of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI), this town by referendum opted to join Bavaria, not the new Thuringia in 1920 (which came into Soviet influence later in the century).
* '''Ingolstadt:''' An old university town (among whose famous fictional alumni was a certain [[Literature/{{Frankenstein}} Dr. Victor Frankenstein]]). Adam Weishaupt, lecturer in philosophy and church law, founded the ''[[TheIlluminati Illuminatenorden]]'' here in 1776, but was dissolved in 1785 by order of the Bavarian government. Also home to Audi, a sub-chapter of Volkswagen that provided a certain [[Film/IRobot Will Smith movie]] with a CoolCar prototype.
* '''Nürnberg (Nuremberg):''' The former Free City, the de facto capital of the Franconia region, is home to artist Albrecht Dürer, shoemaker and poet Hans Sachs, and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick Julius Streicher]]. Historically one of the major centers of German economy, being on a major trade route and mining region, Nürnberg was home to several banking institutions (including Fuggers and Welsers, who moved from Augsburg), and in the 16th century, was said to have citizens eating better than the King of Scotland.[[note]]Mind you, Scotland ''was'' a bit of a backwater then, but not ''that'' much...[[/note]] It has also long been a center for innovation -- the world's first watches appeared here around 1510, and the first German railway was built in 1835 leading to neighboring Fürth (Henry Kissinger's native town). UsefulNotes/WorldWarII buffs may also remember it as the site where the Nazis held their rallies, one of which enacted the infamous Race Laws, and where the victorious Allies later held their war crimes trials, chosen specifically, among other reasons, to serve as a symbolic KarmicDeath to Nazism. On a lighter note, it's also world famous for its Christmas market. ''[[Creator/RichardWagner The Mastersingers of Nuremberg]]'', ''Film/TriumphOfTheWill'', and ''JudgmentAtNuremberg'' are set here. Nuremberg also shares its university with nearby Erlangen (which hosts the bi-annual International Comic Salon).

!UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}}
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_berlin_3244.png
->'''Area:''' 892km² (344mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 3,415,091

''For more information, see the above entry.''

The capital and largest city of the modern German nation.

Until 1990, The eastern half was capital of UsefulNotes/EastGermany, while the other half, due to its ambiguous legal status, couldn't vote in West German elections (although its citizens, like Chancellor Willy Brandt, could stand elsewhere) and had 20 non-voting representatives in the Bundestag instead). Starting 1956, it did issue license plates in the standard (then-)West German format (B; sometimes Germans use these as a shorthand for city names in other places, like Internet forums, incidentally).

!Brandenburg
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_brandenburg_3827.png
->'''Capital:''' Potsdam\\
'''Area:''' 29,479km² (11,382mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 2,449,511

Entirely surrounding Berlin, it was recreated in 1990, having been broken up by East Germany.

Historically the Margraviate of Brandenburg, it was a major part of the Holy Roman Empire and became the core of Prussia; until WorldWarII, Brandenburg also extended to the eastern bank of the Oder. The southeastern corner of the state, ''Niederlausitz'' ("Lower Lusatia"), is home to the Sorbs, a Slavic minority with a language of their own.
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* '''Potsdam:''' The state capital, Potsdam was a park city built by Frederick William II amidst woods and lakes, and was a favored residence of Prussian royalty, who built several palaces there, amongst which was the one where [[UsefulNotes/HarryTruman Truman]], [[UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill Churchill]] and [[UsefulNotes/JosefStalin Stalin]] talked over the fate of post-WWII Germany. Potsdam is also home to the oldest large-scale film studios in the world, Babelsberg Studios, where ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' and ''Film/VForVendetta'' were filmed.
* '''Brandenburg an der Havel:''' A medieval cathedral which gave its name to the margravate.
* '''Cottbus:''' Known as "Chósebuz" in Sorbic, Cottbus is Brandenburg's second-largest city and center of Lower Lusatia.
* '''Frankfurt an der Oder:''' Not to be confused with the bigger and more important one in Hesse, Frankfurt an der Oder unsuccessfully applied to become Brandenburg's capital, and is divided by the Oder river from its eastern suburb, now the Polish city of Slubice. Brandenburg is home to an old university, which in 1810 was moved to Breslau (now Wroclaw) but which was founded anew in 1991. The dramatist Heinrich von Kleist was born here. And the boxer Henry Maske as well.
* '''Oranieburg:''' Just north of Berlin, it is home to a rather charming palace. Also home to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

!Bremen
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_bremen_4557.png
->'''Area:''' 408km² (158mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 660,999

One of the city-states of Germany, Freie Hansestadt Bremen ("Free Hanseatic City of Bremen"), as it is formally known, is actually two separate areas -- Bremen proper and the port city of Bremerhaven. Unlike Berlin, which only became a city-state after dismemberment of Prussia at the end of World War II, Bremen and UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}} were autonomous and self-ruled ''Reichsstädte'', even during the Holy Roman Empire, and thus have a republican tradition going back to the middle ages. From 1945 to 1949, Bremen was an American enclave in the British zone of occupation as, the American forces used Bremerhaven as their main port.

With "Literature/TheBremenTownMusicians", this city even has its own FairyTale. Well, sort of, considering that [[spoiler:the protagonists, who went on a journey to Bremen, actually never arrive there. (Don't worry, nothing bad happened to them, they just changed their plans.)]] At Bremen's town hall, there is a neat statue of those four intrepid animals.

!UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_hamburg_8330.png
->'''Area:''' 755km² (292mi²)\\
'''Population (2013):''' 1,751,775

Formally known as Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg ("Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg"), Hamburg is the second-largest German city. Its citizens are called Hamburgers, the word for the food item actually coming via the city's name.

Best known for its parks, being a major port and the Reeperbahn. The latter, a famous red-light district and the largest in Europe, was where Music/TheBeatles used to had their their gigs before they were global sensations. It is also the seat of the International Maritime Court.

As the largest seaport in Germany (and, according to the slogan, "Gateway to the World"), Hamburg has been considered the nation's most cosmopolitan city for centuries. It also has a long tradition of welcoming religious refugees, at least when Hamburgers believed they could help increase trade and industry. Thus the 16th century saw the immigration of Dutch Protestants, in the 17th, that of Sephardic Jews from Iberia and Huguenots from France, and in the 18th, exiles from Revolutionary France. Since Elizabethan times there has also been an English community after some Merchant Adventurers set up the ''English Court'' (closed by the French during the NapoleonicWars), giving Hamburg a strong Anglophile tradition. Its proximity to Hannover, which was [[TheHouseOfHanover ruled by the same king as Britain for over 120 years]], reinforced the cultural connection in the 18th-19th centuries. After World War II, Hamburg was taken by the British, and it still celebrates a "British Day" on 5-6 September, complete with their own take on the Proms. For a city well-known for its business edge, Hamburg hasn't lost its cultural life -- it has the oldest civic opera in Germany, which boasted Händel, Telemann, and Mahler in its staff.

Hamburg was a major setting in ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' and ''Backbeat'', and was the original starting point of Creator/JulesVerne's ''Voyage to the Centre of the Earth''.

!Hessen (Hesse)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_hesse_3610.png
->'''Capital:''' Wiesbaden\\
'''Largest City:''' Frankfurt am Main\\
'''Area:''' 21,100km² (8,100mi²)\\
'''Population (2012): 6,016,481

Hessen is the source of an alternative name for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burlap Burlap]], mercenaries from the area who fought for the British during the UsefulNotes/AmericanRevolutionaryWar. Home to Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and thus often associated with fairy tales to some degree.
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* '''Wiesbaden:''' State capital and home to the US 1st Armored Division, it's on the opposite side of the Rhine to Mainz, another state capital. Famous for its spas -- it does have "baden" (baths) in its name after all. This is also the first city to get nuked in ''Film/TheDayAfter''.
* '''Frankfurt am Main''': Largest city of the state and the center of German (and European) finance, being home to both a stock exchange and the European Central Bank. The city was also the last coronation site of Holy Roman emperors from the 16th century onwards, and was host to the national convention amidst the abortive republican revolution of 1848-1849. Frankfurt is also the only German city with a true skyline, and its airport is the country's largest.
* '''Darmstadt:''' Former capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse and one of the centers of Art Nouveau (''Jugendstil'') in Germany. Seat of a technical university with a physics institute specializing in heavy elements (element 110 is called Darmstadtium). Butt of many toilet-humour puns ("Darm" is German for "intestines").
* '''Kassel:''' Largest city in Northern Hesse and home to the Creator/TheBrothersGrimm.

!Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_mecklenburg-vorpommern_5528.png
->'''Capital:''' Schwerin\\
'''Largest City:''' Rostock\\
'''Area:''' 23,174km² (8,948mi²)\\
'''Population (2009):''' 1,652,000

Formerly in EastGermany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern ("Vorpommern" is "West Pomerania") once provided the East with a Baltic coastline, and is still a premier holiday destination. Vorpommern was part of Sweden from the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar to the Napoleonic Wars and includes Germany's biggest island, Rügen. Incumbent [[TheChancellorsOfGermany Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel]], who was raised in northern Brandenburg near the border with M-V, has represented the district Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rügen in the Bundestag since reunification.

Like most of Germany east of the Elbe, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern used to be populated by various Slavic nations until the Germans moved in during the Middle Ages, intermingling with locals and making it culturally their own. Of these regions Mecklenburg is perhaps the one that took the greatest pride in its Slavic roots. Its ducal house was that of the princes of the Obotrites; George III's consort Charlotte and Prussian Queen Louise both came from this house, specifically its Mecklenburg-Strelitz branch).
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* '''Schwerin:''' State capital, best-known for its castle, which once housed the Dukes of Mecklenburg, and now host of the state parliament.
* '''Rostock:''' Largest city in the state, home to one of the world's oldest universities, and a member of the UsefulNotes/HanseaticLeague. The most notable resident was aircraft designer Ernst Heinkel.
* '''Peenemünde:''' The town where the Nazis tested their missiles and where the world's first CCTV system was used for that purpose.

!Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_lower-saxony_812.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Hanover\\
'''Area:''' 47,62km² (18,388mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 7,774,253

Niedersachsen is the only part of the ancient region of Saxony to fall under West German rule. When "the Saxons" are mentioned in regard to DarkAgeEurope (as in the Anglo-Saxons), this is the land they are from. The later Kingdom and current state of Saxony (whose inhabitants are also called Saxons) is located in an entirely different part of Germany; however, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Saxony form a belt running northwest-southeast across northern Germany. VW is based in the Lower Saxon city of Wolfsburg.

The duchy, then electorate, then kingdom, then Prussian province of Hannover was integrated into this Land (that's where [[TheHouseOfHanover George I]] came from)
Also home to the Scorpions.

Contains Ostfriesen, the ButtMonkey of many German Jokes.
-> "''Why do all East Frisians have flat heads? Because the toilet seats always fall on them while they drink out of the toilet bowl.''"

Fun fact for nerds: Creator/JRRTolkien's ancestors moved from Niedersachsen to England in the 18th century. Their ancestral name "Tollkühn'" means "foolhardy" in the local dialect. There are still a fair number of Tolkiens (and variants) running around the area.
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* '''Hannover (Hanover):'' Spelt with one "n" in English, Hannover is home to philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (honoured in the name of a popular biscuit produced by the local Bahlsen factory), Dadaist artist/writer Kurt Schwitters, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and serial killer Haarmann]]. Noted for being the one place in Germany "without an accent," the local [[GermanDialects dialect]] being indistinguishable from Standard German. Also reputed to be boring. This leads to an old joke: "To learn true Standard German, you must go to Hannover. The problem is...you'd be in Hannover."
* '''Bodenwerder:''' A small place on the Weser River, home to [[TheMunchausen Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen]].
* '''Braunschweig (Brunswick):''' Braunschweig was the capital of the same-named Duchy. The Low German form of its name was used by the Guelph branch that ruled in Britain as the House of Hanover (officially the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, hence the name of the Canadian province of New Brunswick as well as other "New Brunswick"s in North America, e.g. the town in New Jersey where the main campus of Rutgers is). Brunswick was the first city in Germany where football was played according to the Association Rules ("Soccer"). Although [[GermanPeculiarities most German towns and regions have associated forms of sausage]], Braunschweig lends its name to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweiger a particularly internationally famous form of liver sausage]].
* '''Göttingen:''' Seat of a very famous university founded in 1737 by George II of Hanover and Great Britain. Many famous scholars and scientists lived, learned and taught here, including Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (mathematician and writer of aphorisms), Carl Friedrich Gauss (mathematician and inventor of a early electric telegraph), Philipp Reis (builder of the first telephone), and many others. In 1837 seven professors protested against King Ernst August abolishing the Hanoverian constitution and were subsequently relieved of their post -- among their ranks were [[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm]].
* '''Hameln (Hamelin):''' A small town known almost exclusively for [[ThePiedPiperOfHamelin a certain (fictional) musician who passed through there]].
* '''Wilhelmshaven:''' The main port of the German Navy on the North Sea was founded in the 19th century as a Prussian enclave in the Duchy of Oldenburg. Sailors gave it the uncomplimentary nickname "Schlicktaun" (mud town). After World War II it became a major tanker port.

!Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_north-rhine-westphalia_5135.png
->'''Capital:''' Düsseldorf\\
'''Largest City:''' Cologne\\
'''Area:''' 34,084km² (13,160mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 17,554,329

Nordrhein-Westfalen is is the most populous and, arguably, richest state in Germany. Although the Rhine-Ruhr Area is a massive conurbation (over 10 million residents), 52% of the state is actually agricultural.

The Peace of Westphalia that ended the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar and invented the modern concept of the sovereign state was signed here after a five-year PeaceConference; specifically, it consisted of two treaties, those of Münster and Osnabrück (later transferred to Niedersachsen).
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* '''Düsseldorf:''' The state capital and home to the world's largest digital clock. Two of its most famous natives are Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII, and fashion designer Claudia Schiffer. Close by is the Neandertal (Old Spelling: Neanderthal) where some very well-known prehistoric human fossils were found. ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' is also set in the city (most likely due to the fact that the city has one of the largest Japanese communities in Europe), as is ''Series/AufWiedersehenPet'' (first series).
* '''Aachen:''' Also known as "Aken" in Dutch, "Aix-la-Chapelle" in French, "Akwizgran" in Polish, and "Oche" in the local dialect, there seems to be a different name for Aachen in every language but English (which uses the Standard German version--except in older works, which might use the French). An old Imperial city, Aachen was a famous spa town since Roman times, was the favourite residence of Charlemagne, and site of coronation of most Holy Roman emperors until the 16th century. Sitting directly on the Dutch and Belgian borders, Aachen was the first city to be taken by the US Army in 1944. Nowadays tries to "break free" of the weight of all that history by wholeheartedly embracing the future, i.e. toting the banners of RWTH Aachen University as though the school already owns half the place. It's essentially supposed to be (and is advertised as) a German counterpart to MIT or the Russian MIPT -- while considered the best of all German universities in the various engineering fields and one of the best in the hard sciences, it's not quite there yet.
* '''Bielefeld:''' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bielefeld_Conspiracy Does not exist]]... or so the internet would like you to believe. The pharma watchdog group in ''TheConstantGardener'' is based on a real-life one based in Bielefeld.
* '''Köln (Cologne):''' The largest city in the state, and whose English name is the namesake of the perfume (the city still produces Eau de Cologne). Köln is famous for its carnival, intense rivalry with Düsseldorf, a large gay population and, above all, its cathedral, which largely survived Allied bombing at the end of World War II (most likely because the bombers used its tall twin spires for navigation), and home to what is claimed to be the bones of the ThreeWiseMen, enshrined in a gilded box behind the high altar. The city has its own dialect, Kölsch, which shares the same name as that of a local beer (thus jokes that Kölsch is the only language one can drink). ''[[AlarmFurCobra11 Alarm für Cobra 11]]'' is set in and around Köln, and is the host of the [=GamesCom=], the successor of the Leipziger Games Convention. Köln is also home to Konrad Adenauer, first [[TheChancellorsOfGermany Chancellor of West Germany]], who served as mayor during the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic.
* '''Münster:''' Centre of the rural Münsterland, deeply Catholic (although it briefly had an Anabaptist semi-communist regime in the 16th century), and said to be the most bicycle-friendly city in Germany. It has one of the largest universities with over 40,000 students. All in all Münster has over 50,000 students and 30,000 pupils, meaning that more than 25% of the population are either attending school or university.
* '''Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr Area)''': A conurbation of eleven cities -- Bochum, Bottrop, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Hamm, Herne, Mülheim an der Ruhr, and Oberhausen -- as well as a few smaller towns within the districts of Ennepe-Ruhr, Recklinghausen, Unna and Wesel (Phew! Forgot anyone?). Once the nexus of West Germany's coal mining industry, the Ruhr Area is currently seeking to redefine itself after mining went into decline through luring in newer industries and tourism: old [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasometer_Oberhausen gasometers]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zollverein_Schacht_12.jpg pit heads]] are treated as [[EiffelTowerEffect the Ruhr Area's answer to the Eiffel Tower or the Brandenburg Gate.]] Also, home of two famous [[TheRival (of course rivaling)]] football teams: ''Borussia Dortmund'' and ''Schalke 04'' (named after a district of Gelsenkirchen). The webcomic ''Webcomic/UnionOfHeroes'' is set in Dortmund.
* '''Wuppertal:''' A hotbed of Protestant work ethic amidst a normally Roman Catholic region, Wuppertal is home to Friedrich Engels, and is famous for the ''Wuppertaler Schwebebahn'', a unique suspended monorail system still in operation since 1901.
* '''UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}}:''' An otherwise quiet town simply known as the birthplace of Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven until 1949, when it was made "temporary" capital of UsefulNotes/WestGermany (a move partly influenced by being the birthplace of then-Chancellor Konrad Adenauer).

!Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_rhineland-palatinate_5450.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Mainz\\
'''Area:''' 19,853km² (7,665mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 3,990,278

Formerly the northern part of the French Zone of Occupation, Rheinland-Pfalz consists of territories that, before WorldWarII belonged to Prussia (Rhineland), Bavaria (Palatinate) and Hesse (Rheinhessen). Bordering France, Luxemburg and Belgium. Much agriculture and viticulture, offering a wide variety of and many good vines.
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* '''Mainz:''' Formerly commonly translated as its French name "Mayence", Mainz is the state capital and home to one of the biggest [[GermanTVStations German TV stations, ZDF]]. Also home of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. Until 1803 the chief of the ecclesiastical states of the Holy Roman Empire and seat of the Prince-Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, the "Primate of Germany".
* '''Kaiserslautern:''' Home to many US soldiers serving at Ramstein and especially famous [[TheBeautifulGame for its football club]]. West Germany couldn't have won its first World Cup title in 1954 without its fair share of guys from "Lautern".
* '''Ludwigshafen:''' One of the few major German cities founded in the 19th century, it was built on the opposite bank of the Rhine from Mannheim. Former Chancelor Helmut Kohl is from here, and the chemical company BASF is situated in Ludwigshafen.
* '''Nürburg:''' Known more for its famous racecourse, the Nürburgring (especially its northern section); the town itself is a nearby village and castle, surrounded by the 'ring.
* '''Ramstein and Spangdahlem:''' Hosts of large US Air Bases.
* '''Trier:''' Formerly commonly known by its French name "Treves", though pronounced "Treevz". Trier is ''the'' oldest city in Germany, founded around 16 BCE, which once served as a provincial capital of the Roman Empire. Until 1803 one of the ecclesiastical states of the HolyRomanEmpire and seat of the Prince-Archbishop and Elector of Trier. Birthplace of Creator/KarlMarx.
* '''Worms:''' Another old cathedral city on the Rhine. In the ''Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}}'', this is where the Burgundian kings lived. The city is famous for a 1521 imperial assembly where Martin Luther defended his reforms.

!Saarland
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_saarland_7078.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Saarbrücken\\
'''Area:''' 2,570km² (990mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 994,287

After the war, Saarland was actually placed under French control, but was handed back in 1957 (it had been under de facto French adminstration from 1920 to 1935). Smallest of the non-city states, French is the most common foreign language here. Tried to qualify for the 1954 World Cup, and came second in their group... to the West Germans. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Honecker Erich Honecker]], head of state of the GDR for most of its existance, was born and raised here.
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* '''Saarbrücken:''' The capital and largest city.

!Sachsen (Saxony)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_saxony_2056.png
->'''Capital:''' Dresden\\
'''Largest City:''' Leipzig\\
'''Area:''' 18,416km² (7,110mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 4,050,204

Formally known as Freistaat Sachsen (Free State of Saxony), the state is a former East German territory, and both the Left and Neo-Nazi NPD does well there[[note]]5% isn't exactly a stellar performance for the latter, yet for the party to enter the state Landtag with some members...[[/note]]. Until 1918 it was one of the four kingdoms of the German Empire. The easternmost part, Oberlausitz (Upper Lusatia), is home to the Sorbs, a Slavic minority speaking a language of their own, and includes the only part of the former Prussian province of Silesia that did not become Polish after WorldWarII.
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* '''Dresden:''' State capital and largest city. Infamous as the target of a controversial Allied air raid in 1945 with a high civilian death toll (albeit recent evidence not only dials down the death toll to at least 25,000, in contrast to 200,000 as propagandized by the Nazis -- basically inflating the count by a power of 10 -- but also shows that the raid was justified by the existence of actual military tragets), which is still commemorated annually (and, sadly, attracts a lot of Neo-Nazis). Having been part of East Germany, it took some decades longer than elsewhere to rebuild several famous sites that got bombed during the war. This is especially true for sites like the Semperoper and even more so for its Church Of Our Lady (Frauenkirche).
* '''Bautzen:''' Also known as "Budysin" in Sorbic, Bautzen, the center of Upper Lusatia, gained a sad notoriety after World War II as the site of a Soviet internment camp. It is also home to an old prison colloquially known as ''Gelbes Elend'' ("Yellow Misery"), where many political prisoners were kept under the Nazis, the Soviets, and the East Germans. Also known for its mustard.
* '''Chemnitz:''' The third-largest city in the state, renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt during the East German era despite having no proof that Marx has ever visited it. Home to a famous skating club that produced some of Germany's most famous ice skaters, like Katarina Witt and the skating pair of Robin Szolkowy and Aliona Savchenko.
* '''Görlitz:''' Germany's easternmost city... or half of a city, as it lies directly on the Neisse/Nysa river, with its eastern half claimed by Poland as Zgorzelec. (Despite appearances, the names are pronounced pretty similarly. [[UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} Polish is a strange language]].)
* '''Leipzig:''' Largest city in Saxony. Traditional host to the "Games Convention", now the "Games Convention Online". Leipzig places great importance on its city center. Has a long history as a judicial center, serving as the site for the German High Court under from 1879 to 1945, and current seat of the Federal Administrative Court. Also a major trading center since the Middle Ages, Leipzig is home of one of Germany's oldest universities and as a musical center. The ''Thomanerchor'', the boys' choir of St. Thomas' church, is the oldest in Germany and was led by Johann Sebastian Bach for a long time, while the ''Gewandhausorchester'' has been conducted by the likes of FelixMendelssohn and Kurt Masur. Creator/RichardWagner was born here. It's been here where [[HoleInFlag the protests against the Honecker regime]] really kickstarted.
* '''Meißen:''' Known for its medieval cathedral and porcelain manufacture (the first in the Western world, although its products are usually referred to as "Dresden china" in English).
* '''Zwickau:''' Saxony's automobile assembly center. Built Auto Union cars in the city during the interwar years. Auto Union would eventually evolve into Audi, long after the company left for Ingolstadt. During East German rule, it became the manufacturing center for the infamous [[AllegedCar Trabant]]. Today, Audi has a superficial relationship with the city, as parent company Volkswagen currently has a factory there.

!Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_saxony-anhalt_9949.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Magdeburg\\
'''Area:''' 20,448km² (7,895mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 2,259,393

Formed with the union between the Prussian province of Saxony and the Duchy of Anhalt. Not to be confused with Lower Saxony, though the are was formerly known as Obersachsen (Upper Saxony) or Saxony (on which parts of it was gained after the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, though some of it was eventually regained during the modification of borders in 1990).

Sachsen-Anhalt made up much of the Western border of East Germany. Continues to receive bad press for high unemployment and high concentration of Neo-Nazis; decried as the typical post-reunification un-success story. Also the location of Bitterfeld, once touted as "The Most Polluted Area in East Germany."
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* '''Magdeburg:''' State capital and largest city, which gave its name to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdeburg_rights the eponymous Rights]], which set city privileges. History buffs may remember Magdeburg from the siege by Tilly during the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar. Has a very large gothic cathedral. The city was mostly bombed to rubble during the tail end of World War II, requiring much rebuilding. Curious mixture of architectural styles, ranging from medieval churches to some surviving Weimar-era housing to Soviet-style Plattenbau neighbourhoods. Capital of the United States of Europe in the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, rebuilt following Tilly's sacking.
* '''Halle (an der Saale):''' Was briefly considered for state capital after reunification, but was passed over in favor of Magdeburg. Operates the largest regional airport in cooperation with Leipzig. German-British composer Georg Friedrich Händel/George Frederic Handel (the guy who wrote the ''Messiah'') was born in Halle, as was the longest-serving foreign minister of modern Germany, Hans-Dietrich Genscher. Halle also has a famous university which absorbed the older university of nearby ''Wittenberg''. Martin Luther taught in Wittenberg; Doctor Faustus, contrary to what Christopher Marlowe said, did not.
* '''Dessau:''' Officially known as "Dessau-Roßlau" after a merger with a neighboring town back in 2007. The capital of the Duchy of Anhalt, it is currently Saxony-Anhalt's third largest city. Once hosted to the famous Bauhaus school, the building that housed it still exists as a foundation of design.
* '''Wittenberg:''' Officially "Lutherstadt Wittenberg", the town is where the Lutheran movement began when a disgruntled Augustinian monk named Martin Luther posted his "95 Theses" on the doors of the town church, criticizing the Church for its mismanagement and corruption. Ironically, as a legacy of Communist rule, many of its inhabitants now consider themselves atheist.

!Schleswig-Holstein
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_schleswig-holstein_9138.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Kiel\\
'''Area:''' 15,763km² (6,086mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 2,806,531

Formerly Anglicized as "Sleswick-Holstein". Home of the famous Schleswig-Holstein question, a dispute over the relations of two duchies with Denmark and the German Confederation. Well and truly entering the farcical territory, this dispute was finally resolved by force of arms in favour of the Germans, but not before nearly tearing the [[TheHouseOfWindsor British royal family apart]] ([[QueenVicky the Queen]] and her eldest daughter Victoria, wife of the German Crown Prince, were pro-German, but Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, married to the Danish princess Alexandra, favoured Denmark; this seriously affected European politics, as it created no small amount of antagonism between the younger Victoria's son Wilhelm II and his British cousins). [[TheViscountPalmerston Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston]], better known as Lord Palmerston and British "[[UsefulNotes/TheMenOfDowningStreet Prime Minister]]" on two occasions (the title had not entered official use yet -- this was the subject of a ''Series/{{QI}}'' question):

-->"Only three people understood the Schleswig-Holstein Question. The first was Albert, the Prince Consort, and he is dead; the second is a German professor, and he is in an asylum; and the third was myself - and I have forgotten it."

Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost state and part of the Jutland peninsula, with the rest taken by Danish Jutland. Danish flags are not uncommon, as the land was both German and Danish; the question has much to do with how the King of Denmark[[note]]Since the Middle Ages, the Danish royal house is a branch of the German house of Oldenburg or Schleswig-Holstein, other branches of which ruled in the duchy of Oldenburg and, since Peter III, in Russia. TheHouseOfWindsor will technically be part of this House upon the death of Elizabeth II, as her husband, Prince Philip, is a member, and [[LineageComesFromTheFather house membership passes through the male line]]; however, nobody except royalty nerds really care.[[/note]] was also the Duke of Schleswig and Holstein and had a seat in the Holy Roman Empire as the latter. In the late Middle Ages Lübeck (then a free city) was the second-largest city in Germany and later the capital of the HanseaticLeague that controlled most trade on the Baltic Sea. Even today, Schleswig-Holstein has many cultural similarities with Denmark and Sweden, arguably even much more than other German states. This, however, is partly due to the considerable cultural influence of Northern Germany in particular on Scandinavia. Transport is a major function of the area. A canal goes between the Baltic and North Sea saving hundreds of miles going around Jutland.

The name of the canal depends on who you ask. Baltic Canal, Kieler Canal and Nord-Ostsee-Kanal are common names.

Apart from standard High German, Schleswig-Holstein has three more official languages: Low German, Frisian (spoken on the North Sea coast) and Danish. The Danish minority on the northern border has a special status, most notably in that the "Südschleswiger Wählerbund" (SSW), the South Schleswig Electors' Association, is exempt in state elections from the German law that admits only parties that receive at least 5% of the national vote or receive majority of votes in a constituency to state and federal parliaments. The SSW thus usually has one representative in the Landtag in Kiel. A similar status applies to the German-speaking minority in Northern Schleswig, which became part of Denmark due to a referendum after WorldWarI.

One other oddity of Schleswig-Holstein history is the region of Dithmarschen, which in the middle ages was a republic of self-governing farmers. In 1500 they managed to defend their independence against the army of the Danish king and the Holstein nobility in the battle of Hemmingstedt, capturing the original Dannebrog. However, the Danish tried again later and succeeded in conquering Dithmarschen and bringing home their "holy flag" in 1559.
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* '''Kiel:''' State capital and largest city, Kiel is a port city, and thus played a part in the end of World War I -- the German Navy was ordered on what was essentially a suicide mission, but refused to leave. It has the largest shipyard in Germany, which produces many of Germany's modern ships and submarines. Germany does some rather good diesel U-boats, in fact (they sell them around the world -- and occasionally donate them to the IsraelisWithInfraredMissiles, whom some claim have equipped them with [[NukeEm nuclear warheads]]). Also famous for the Kieler Woche (Kiel's Week) festival every year. A large presentation and parade of all kinds of ships, from modern military ones to old or reconstructed ones, often from around the world. Holds an annual festival, which incorporates a winnable wedding-engaged couples can enter to have their wedding as part of it.
* '''Lübeck:''' Formerly the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck, its old town was largely destroyed in one of the Royal Air Forces's first major air raids in World War II. Home of writing brothers Heinrich and Thomas Mann, and currently where Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass is based.
* '''Flensburg:''' The northernmost German city on the mainland (Westerland on Sylt is further north still) is known in Germany mainly for being the country's main entry port for rum, largest concentration of Danes in Germany, Beate Uhse (who opened Germany's first sex shop), the Flensburger brewery, and the central registry for traffic violations in Germany. If you have too many "points (''Punkte'') in Flensburg", you'll lose your driver's license. Interesting note: Flensburg is part of a region/sub-peninsula of S-W called ''Angeln'', which is where the "Angles" of the UsefulNotes/AngloSaxons came from, and is therefore the place England and English are named after. It was the site of the German government in the last few days of Nazi Germany as it was the location of the navy headquarters and Admiral Doenitz, who was appointed the president of Germany by now-dead Hitler, did not bother to relocate elsewhere (not that he could, as most of Germany was already being occupied by Allied forces).
* '''Neumünster:''' The fourth and smallest major city of Schleswig-Holstein, being famous for absolutely... nothing. It has no famous sights, no famous citizens, no important industry, never was even remotely involved in any historical events, and never shows up in fiction either.

!Thüringen (Thuringia)
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/de_thuringia_1475.png
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Erfurt\\
'''Area:''' 16,171km² (6,244mi²)\\
'''Population (2012):''' 2,170,460

Thuringia was formed in 1920 from eight minor monarchies (a grand duchy, three duchies, and four principalities), though one eventually chose not to enter the new state (see Coburg above for more details). Thuringia was occupied by US forces in 1945, but was soon traded in for West Berlin.

Known as the "[[GhibliHills Green Heart of Germany]]," the Thuringian landscape is dominated by mountains and forests which provide a sanctuary for wildlife, not to mention a handful of hiking trails and places catering for tourists looking for active leisure. Economy is once described as a combination of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt (a combination of manufacturing and agriculture). Has recently produced a lot of world-class athletes excelling in winter sports -- in fact, half of Germany's Winter Olympic gold medalists hail from here.

In legend, the [[HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor]] Frederick [[BadAssBeard Barba]][[RedheadedHero rossa]] is [[SealedGoodInACan asleep]] [[KingInTheMountain in the Kyffhäuser mountains]] near the village of Tilleda in this state.
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* '''Erfurt:''' The state capital and home to the third-oldest university in Germany; Martin Luther studied and received his master's degree here.
* '''Jena:''' Home of another famous university, where around 1800 Schiller, Hegel, Fichte, the Schlegels and other luminaries of the day were to be found. Also famous for a decisive battle of the UsefulNotes/NapoleonicWars in 1806 fought around the town and nearby Auerstadt; they say that Hegel finished his MagnumOpus, ''The Phenomenology of Spirit'', at the height of the battle. The Carl Zeiss firm is famous for its optical instruments and an early model of having employees participate in the business profits.
* '''Weimar:''' Former capital of the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar, famous for the ''Weimarer Klassik'', an era in the late 18th and early 19th century when [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Goethe]], Schiller, Wieland and Herder all lived at the "muses' court" of duke Charles August and his mother Anna Amalia (after whom the famous library is known). Goethe for a time served as the duke's minister and the director of the Weimar theater. Later Friedrich Nietzsche lived here and in 1918/19 the ''Deutsche Nationalversammlung'' (German National Convention) framed the constitution of the [[WeimarRepublic new republic]] in this city. The former concentration camp of Buchenwald is nearby.
* '''Eisenach:''' East Germany's westernmost city, near the border with Hesse. If Zwickau is Saxony's automobile manufacturing center, then this is the East German version. Formerly the location of a BMW assembly factory, it became famous for making the Wartburg automobile brand. After reunification, the factory was closed down while Opel built a brand new factory nearby to promote employment in the city. Eisenach is also where [[PachelbelsCanonProgression Johann Pachelbel (him of the Canon)]] once served as organist, and was a setting in the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series. Creator/JohannSebastianBach was born and grew up here in this state. Eisenach is also the town nearest to the famous Wartburg Castle, home of St. Elizabeth and Bl. Louis of Thuringia, where Martin Luther wrote much of his German translation of Literature/TheBible, the site of the famous Wartburg Festival for German unity in 1817, and where Creator/RichardWagner set his opera ''[[Theatre/{{Tannhaeuser}} Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg]]''.
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