People living along the Rhine and the Neckar rivers have long been in agreement that: Together we are stronger. The towns of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg and Viernheim and the districts of Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg founded the “Kommunale Arbeitsgemeinschaft Rhein-Neckar” (Rhine-Neckar municipal working-group) as early as 1951. Their cooperation became closer and closer over the years—across the boundaries of districts and federal states and with a common historical ground and beyond: The area of the Region is actually that of the centre of the former Electoral-Palatinate. In 2005 the Rhine-Neckar region was officially declared “European metropolitan region.”
The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region measures an area of about 5,600 square kilometres and comprises 290 towns and municipalities including the three large towns of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen am Rhein and Heidelberg. It is one of the most bustling hubs of German conurbation and a driving force of regeneration in Europe. The area is home to 2.4 million people, out of which, each September, 500,000 set off for the annual Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim, the largest wine festival in the world. Wine plays an important part anyway—after all, Rhine-Neckar is the only German region that unites four wine-growing areas. Vines grow over a total of about 25,000 hectares of land.
More than 230 museums, 110 theatres and innumerable concerts and festivals fill the region’s calendar of events. Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 120 castles, cathedrals and palaces bear witness to an eventful history.