Weststadt (Heidelberg)

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Coat of arms of Heidelberg
district of Heidelberg
Location of the Weststadt district in Heidelberg
Coordinates 49 ° 24 '7 "  N , 8 ° 41' 5"  E Coordinates: 49 ° 24 '7 "  N , 8 ° 41' 5"  E
surface 1.74 km²
Residents 12,649 (2011)
Population density 7270 inhabitants / km²
District number 004
  • Weststadt-East (004 1)
  • Weststadt-West (004 2)
  • Old City Nursery (004 3)
Source: City of Heidelberg (PDF; 124 kB)

The west city of Heidelberg largely arose in the 19th century when Heidelberg grew westward with the railroad during the Industrial Revolution . The development of the western city to the late nineteenth suburban neighborhood at the foot of the Gaisberg is closely related to the development of Heidelberg to the big city . The Heidelberg district of Südstadt emerged from its further expansion to the south . The western part of the district, in the past predominantly railway tracks, is to become part of a planned new district, the so-called Bahnstadt .

The central square is the Wilhelmsplatz for occasional parties, daily games and a weekly market on Mondays and Thursdays.

Location, development

Characteristic house on the outskirts of the Weststadt

A rich inventory of cultural monuments, green inner courtyards and front gardens make the Weststadt in the core area one of the most popular residential areas in Heidelberg.

The development consists partly of villas, partly of three- to five-story apartment buildings. Most of the houses were built before 1910 and are in very good structural condition.

The inner-city traffic axis Kurfürstenanlage separates the western city in the north from Bergheim (see also local traffic in Heidelberg ). Several uniformly designed judicial buildings and a tax office were built on this former railway system (old main station and apron) in the 1960s and were demolished in 2014.

In the east rises the Gaisberg , a secondary peak of the Königstuhl in the southern Odenwald . Rohrbacher Straße cuts off the smaller, uphill part of the hillside development from the rest of the western part of the city in a north-south direction.

In the north-western part and along Schillerstraße and Römerstraße (connection Römerkreis-Christuskirche-Südstadt), old block development predominates, west of Römerstraße up to the main train station modern block development with four to five-storey apartment buildings from the 1950s to 1970s.

The Deutsche Bahn main station, which opened in 1955, is the remaining structural contribution of the district to the city as a whole. The employment office , the freight station and the main post office of Heidelberg used to be located in the Weststadt area .

The southern border to Südstadt is formed by an old Deutsche Bahn freight train route from the Königstuhl Tunnel to the old freight yard, which was abandoned and renatured a few years ago. Right next to it are the still active tracks of the Neckar Valley Railway (Heidelberg- Neckargemünd - Eberbach ), where the Heidelberg-Weststadt / Südstadt stop of the Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn is located.

The Weststadt has two churches that date from the founding period. In addition to the Catholic Bonifatius Church, there is the Evangelical Christ Church , built by building officer Hermann Behaghel , which, with its 65 meter high tower, has become the landmark of the west of Heidelberg.

View of the apse of the Christ Church , seen from the north, Wilhelmstrasse
Detail, parsonage of the Christ Church

The freight train line, together with the old freight station, the main station, and the line from the main station to the Königstuhl tunnel, delimits the so-called "railway island". The railway island is primarily an industrial area. In the south is the new residential area “Im Sand”, built on with two to three-story single and multi-family houses. In the east, separated by the railway line from the main station to the south, there is a school center. The Weststadt / Südstadt train station of the RheinNeckar S-Bahn is also located at the school center .

Most of the Bahninsel will in future be part of Bahnstadt . The border will run along the main train station as well as the route from the main train station to the south, separating the commercial areas currently located there and the “Im Sand” residential area.


Overall, there is a good supply from numerous grocery stores as well as retail outlets , restaurants and craftsmen (except carpenters). The entire judicial and financial administration of the region is located on the northern border. The central department stores of Heidelberg in the Poststraße and Bismarckplatz area are directly connected to the northeast corner of the Weststadt.

There are enough kindergartens and schools . The brick building of the country house elementary school is particularly beautiful. It served as a hospital during World War I ; Ernst Jünger was one of his patients in 1915 . On the southern border with Südstadt there is a school center in the Weststadt area, consisting of the Pestalozzi elementary school, the Willy Hellpach commercial high school, and several buildings of the Julius Springer School commercial vocational school in Südstadt. In this area there is also a child and youth center , the House of Youth . In the southern part of the city, separated by an old railway line (which has been renatured for a few years), further buildings of the Julius Springer School and the Helmholtz High School are attached. Further grammar schools and secondary schools are located in the neighboring districts.

Main entrance of the St. Josef Hospital in Heidelberg

The St. Josef Hospital with Hospice is characterized by a regional catchment area. The geriatric special hospital Bethanien directly in the neighboring Südstadt with home places and day clinic is also of national importance.

Friedhof is the park-like mountain cemetery directly afterwards in the neighboring Südstadt am Gaisberg.

The District Advisory Board

The internal representation of the district is guaranteed by the district advisory board. Its purpose is to ensure that the city administration functions in close proximity to the citizens. The members of the district advisory council serve as contact persons for problems on site. You will be informed and involved in many questions by the city ​​administration .


See also: History of Heidelberg

The mountain Königstuhl and the upstream Gaisberg form the southern edge of the Neckar outlet into the Rhine plain . For a long time this was the expansion limit of the old town . Rohrbacher, Speyerer and Kirchheimer Straße ran south and south-west from this edge. An old urban escape route went south from the old town via the Gaisberg when there was a risk of war.

Hotel Schrieder (1885)

In 1840, the Mannheim - Heidelberg section of the Badische Hauptbahn opened the first railway line in Baden . The first train station was around today's Bismarckplatz. The construction of the first Heidelberg train station on Rohrbacher Strasse was completed in 1840. The first suburban hotel in Heidelberg, the Hotel Schrieder (today Crowne Plaza), was built here as early as 1838. In 1876/77, at a time when Heidelberg was developing into a fashionable travel destination for domestic and foreign travelers, the luxurious Grand Hotel was built on the corner of Rohrbacher Strasse and Seegarten (today the old police building on Adenauerplatz) with 100 beds.

With the construction of the new Neckar Valley Railway line required for the planned westward relocation of the main train station, as well as the associated Königstuhl Tunnel in 1909/10, not only the expansion of the western part of the city, but also the main section of the Wilhelminian development was largely completed. The railway line delimits to the south. In the square, all other streets were laid out at right angles along the Rohrbacher. Only a diagonal road cuts the grid.

The term “Weststadt” became common between 1924 and 1938 when, in connection with the planned relocation of the main train station to the west, the first planning steps were taken to redesign the residential and industrial suburbs of the expanding city.

At this point in time, the residential district already had the large buildings that were essential for its appearance: the country house school (1886), the St. Josef Hospital (1888), built according to a design by E. Krause, which was built in the neo-Romanesque style and decorated with colorful ceiling paintings Catholic St. Boniface Church (1898–1903). Just a year later, the huge Christ Church is dedicated. At 65 meters, its tower is one of the highest in Heidelberg and a landmark of the Weststadt. The bell of the church is considered to be a very good steel bell. The residents of the district whisper about "singing bells".

A post office was added opposite the train station after 1960. Only after two wars did the main station move two kilometers to the west in 1955. A striking modern hall construction is created. Its inauguration by Theodor Heuss is an event for the whole city.

Weststadt Heidelberg

At first there was a wide aisle between Weststadt and Bergheim, which was filled with administrative buildings and a multi-lane road.

The Fuchssche Waggonfabrik was the only industrial area in the growing residential area. Created as a result of the railway line, it was moved to Rohrbach shortly after the turn of the century.

In 1892 around 60 residents of Weststadt founded the “West Heidelberg” association, which set itself the task of promoting the interests of the district and protecting the community. The association has been celebrating its anniversary since 1973 with the Weststadt Festival on Wilhelmsplatz. The second district festival, the Heidelberg Summer Spectacle, has also been taking place there since 1983. The Gaisbergturm , one of several viewpoints, is a landmark of the district.

Flora and fauna


The Weststadt district advisory board is composed as follows:

Party / list 2019
Green 7th
The left 1
"The Heidelberg" 1
HiB 1
BL 1

Inhabitants with regional fame

  • Karl Weber, former MdL
  • Dietrich Hildebrandt (1944–2015), former member of the Bundestag (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen)
  • Angelika Köster-Loßack (* 1947), former Member of the Bundestag (Alliance 90 / The Greens)
  • Lothar Binding (* 1950), Member of the Bundestag (SPD) since 1998
  • Horst Hasselbach, local researcher and home restorer
  • The Stieber Twins , rappers



  • Elmar Mittler (Ed.): Heidelberg. History and shape. University Press C. Winter, Heidelberg 1996.
  • Heidelberg West. Development of a district. Festival book for the 70th anniversary of the West Heidelberg Association. Heidelberg 1962.
  • City of Heidelberg (Ed.): City district framework plan Weststadt / Südstadt. Inventory, forecast and evaluation. Heidelberg 1995.
  • Heidelberg History Association V. (Ed.): Heidelberg. Yearbook on the history of the city.
  • Timo Hagen, Daniel Keller: Complete system “Weststadt Heidelberg”. An exemplary example of Wilhelminian city expansion. In: Preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg. 41st year 2012, issue 4, pp. 200–206. ( PDF )
  • Wolf Deiseroth: The western city of Heidelberg. An example of urban development from the Wilhelminian era. In: Preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg. 9th year 1980, No. 2, pp. 37-50. ( PDF )

Web links

Commons : Weststadt (Heidelberg)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ City of Heidelberg - District Advisory Council Weststadt. Retrieved December 11, 2019 .