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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Wuppertal
Map of Germany, position of the city of Wuppertal highlighted

Coordinates: 51 ° 15 '  N , 7 ° 9'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Dusseldorf
Height : 160 m above sea level NHN
Area : 168.39 km 2
Residents: 355.100 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 2109 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 42103-42399
Primaries : 0202, 02058, 02053
License plate : W.
Community key : 05 1 24 000
City structure: 10 boroughs

City administration address :
Johannes-Rau-Platz 1
42275 Wuppertal
Website : www.wuppertal.de
Lord Mayor : Andreas Mucke ( SPD )
Location of the city of Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia and in the administrative district of Düsseldorf
Niederlande Belgien Niedersachsen Rheinland-Pfalz Hessen Essen Wuppertal Solingen Remscheid Hagen Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis Bochum Dortmund Herne Gelsenkirchen Bottrop Oberhausen Mülheim an der Ruhr Duisburg Kreis Mettmann Düsseldorf Rhein-Kreis Neuss Kreis Heinsberg Mönchengladbach Krefeld Kreis Viersen Kreis Wesel Kreis Kleve Rhein-Erft-Kreis Kreis Düren Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis Oberbergischer Kreis Kreis Recklinghausen Kreis Borken Kreis Unna Märkischer Kreis Kreis Olpe Hamm Kreis Soest Kreis Coesfeld Kreis Steinfurt Kreis Warendorf Leverkusen Köln Städteregion Aachen Bonn Rhein-Sieg-Kreis Städteregion Aachen Kreis Euskirchen Münster Kreis Siegen-Wittgenstein Hochsauerlandkreis Kreis Paderborn Kreis Gütersloh Kreis Höxter Kreis Lippe Kreis Herford Kreis Minden-Lübbecke Bielefeldmap
About this picture
View of the center of Elberfeld, north of the main train station
View of Wuppertal- Elberfeld in north direction
View of Wuppertal- Barmen in east direction
View of Wuppertal- Beyenburg with the monastery church
Wuppertal suspension railway in the Barmen district
"Big city in the country" - Botanical garden with a view over the city

With 355,100 inhabitants (December 31, 2019), Wuppertal is the largest city and the industrial, economic, educational and cultural center of the Bergisches Land in western Germany . The " big city in the country" is located south of the Ruhr area in the administrative district of Düsseldorf and, as the seventeenth largest city in Germany, is one of the regional centers of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . The city is part of the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhineland metropolitan regions , the Rhineland Regional Association and the Bergisch city triangle .

The first documented mentions of settlements come from the middle of the 11th century. For many centuries, today's urban area was divided by different domains. Until the 19th century, the region developed into a center of early German and European industrialization and contributed significantly to the rise of the Ruhr area; Above all, the textile industry brought wealth and growth to the region. The city was founded on August 1, 1929 as an independent city under the name Barmen-Elberfeld through the merger of the independent cities of Elberfeld (major city since around 1883) and Barmen (major city since around 1884) and the cities of Ronsdorf , Cronenberg and Vohwinkel and in 1930 renamed to Wuppertal after a public survey; This name was given to express the geographic location of the cities of Barmen and Elberfeld in the Wupper valley .

During National Socialism , the city was an important center of both the NSDAP and the resistance , both of the trade unions and political opposition and of the churches, which was not least expressed in the Barmer Declaration . The importance of the city decreased due to extensive destruction in World War II .

The topography is shaped by the valley of the Wupper , which winds around 20 km through the urban area and whose steep slopes are often wooded. Districts located on the northern and southern plateaus merge into the meadows and forests of the Bergisches Land and make Wuppertal, together with extensive green and forest areas such as the Barmer Wald , Scharpenacken or Staatsforst Burgholz , Germany's greenest city in a ranking from 2013. As the "cradle of industrialization in Germany" is the city but also rich in large residential areas and apartment buildings from the early days : Approximately 4,500 monuments are located in the urban area.

In addition to the suspension railway , which has existed since 1901, the university town is known for the internationally renowned dance theater Pina Bausch and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy , the Zoological Garden , the Historical City Hall , the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra , the Von der Heydt Museum for Fine Arts, the historical center with the Engels house , the sculpture park Waldfrieden , extensive parks and forests with Germany's largest arboretum and the largest variety of denominations in Germany. Well-known sports clubs are the former first division soccer and UEFA Cup participant Wuppertaler SV and the Bundesliga handball club Bergischer HC , as well as Bundesliga clubs in other sports with numerous national and international titles. In addition, numerous personalities are connected to the city through birth or work, such as Pina Bausch , Friedrich Bayer , Gerhard Domagk , Friedrich Engels , Hans-Dietrich Genscher , Else Lasker-Schüler , Johannes Rau and Hans Wolfgang Singer .


Typical for Wuppertal are steep, narrow streets like here in the Elberfelder Nordstadt
Map of the city of Wuppertal with districts and boroughs


Wuppertal lies in an arch of the Wupper along the border with the Niederbergischen in the north and the Oberbergisch plateau in the south. The south-eastern part of the urban area belongs to the Bergische plateaus with heights of up to about 350 m, which are cut through by deep notch valleys of water courses. The northern part of the urban area is part of the Niederbergisch-Märkisch hill country , which has terrain heights of up to about 322 m. The Wupper valley itself is naturally referred to as the Wuppertal Valley .

Due to the significant differences in height, there are numerous stairs and steep streets. Wuppertal is known as the city with the most public staircases in Germany and for film director Tom Tykwer - a native of Wuppertal - it is " Germany's San Francisco ".


Wuppertal lies on the edge of the Rhenish Slate Mountains , a German low mountain range, the rocks of which originate mainly from the Devonian period (approx. 416-360 million years ago) and the Carboniferous ( approx. 360-360 million years ago). In the southeastern parts of the city you can find slate , greywacke and conglomerates of the Lower Devonian, the oldest rocks in geological terms. To the north-west of it there are alternating sequences of medium-Devonian shale clay soils , silts and greywacke.

A lowering of the earth's surface and the seabed led to the formation of reef complexes in the later Middle to Upper Devonian, the mass of limestone extending across the Wuppertal city area in a northeast-southwest direction. It belongs to the Rhenish-Westphalian limestone range, which runs from the northern edge of the Sauerland and Bergisches Land from Düsseldorf via Wuppertal and Iserlohn to Brilon .

Already in the 9th century lime was won, in the district Dornap and neighboring cities Mettmann and Wülfrath there since the industrialization until today Kalktagebau . A lime funnel furnace from the 19th century has been preserved as an industrial monument in the Elberfeld-West district . In the Wichlinghausen district there are smaller deposits of the volcanic rock diabase (green stone) that were formed on the seabed in the Upper Devonian. In the north, the most recent layers of slate , quartzite and greywacke from the Carboniferous period are preserved.

The deposited rocks were folded and shifted against each other in the course of the earth's history , sometimes under increased pressure and high temperature. Therefore, often folded and steeply erected layers of rock can be observed, particularly well in the Barmer Nordpark .

In the Tertiary (approx. 65–2.6 million years ago) sand and gravel were deposited in some valleys. During the Ice Age , very fertile, yellow-brown loess was blown in the entire area . From school Sedanstraße over the Barmer North Park to the nature reserve of Dolinengebietes in Hölken the 9.5-kilometer geology trail "Geopath" leads.

Expansion of the urban area

The city limits have a length of 94.5 kilometers. The valley of the Wupper stretches with a length of 33.9 kilometers mainly from east to west and has expansions with widths of up to two kilometers, in which the city centers Barmen and Elberfeld are located.

The highest point is the Lichtscheid elevation at 350 meters above sea level, the lowest point at 101 meters above sea level is near Müngsten , where the Morsbach flows into the Wupper.

Neighboring communities

Of the cities and municipalities surrounding Wuppertal, Hattingen , Sprockhövel , Schwelm and Ennepetal belong to the Ennepe-Ruhr district and Radevormwald to the Oberbergisches Kreis . Remscheid and Solingen are independent cities , Haan , Mettmann , Wülfrath and Velbert belong to the Mettmann district .

Hattingen Sprockhövel
Mettmann Neighboring communities Schwelm
Remscheid Radevormwald

City structure

City districts and quarters

The urban area has been divided into ten urban districts since 1975 .

The city districts are divided into a total of 69 quarters for statistical purposes.

With almost 66,000 inhabitants, Elberfeld is the largest city district, Ronsdorf with around 21,000 inhabitants the smallest. The Herbringhausen residential area in the Langerfeld-Beyenburg district is the largest residential area in terms of area.

Urban structure

View from space

The urban structure as a typology is a special feature. The elongated east-west valley location results in an agglomeration band that has no urban parallels in the German area. All important functions of the city are strung together over a length of around 15 kilometers along an axis made up of the main road ( Bundesstraße 7 ), the main railway line and the river with the suspension railway.

Today's entire city emerged from several individual cities and villages, but at the same time organized in a decentralized manner. There is no clear center formation; With Elberfeld and Barmen, Wuppertal has two larger urban centers as well as five other districts (Beyenburg, Cronenberg, Langerfeld , Ronsdorf and Vohwinkel) with predominantly small-town elements and their own centers. The topographical location requires cohesion as an urban unit with a common industrial history and similar growth conditions. The great differences in altitude allow a wide view of the city in many places. The Wilhelminian style villa districts Brill , Zoo and Toelleturm , located on the hillside, are close to the centers.

The topography only allowed a limited expansion of commercial and industrial areas in the valley. The Bayer Group that was created here therefore had to give way at the end of the 19th century and expanded in Leverkusen . Since then, commercial areas have mainly been built in the urban outskirts.

The structural change that began at the end of the 20th century due to increasing deindustrialization resulted in a defunctionalization with dilapidated and empty areas in the city and a strong population decline that continued until 2012 . The medium-sized industrial structure, however, led to modernization effects such as the “Ideon Park” on the former Quante site and the “Engineering Park” on the site of the former Wuppertal barracks . Citizens' initiatives such as the Waldfrieden sculpture park , the “Pina Bausch Foundation”, the Junior Uni and the Nordbahntrasse also enrich the city. Companies and institutions, foundations and associations, citizens have donated and made extensive contributions in kind.

Green spaces

Typical for Wuppertal are the green areas and hillside forests, which in many places even in the inner-city area extend to a few hundred meters from the valley axis. With around a third of its green space, Wuppertal is Germany's greenest city in a 2013 ranking.

In terms of urban planning, there has been talk of a concentration of green residential areas on the Wuppertal heights, such as Scharpenacken, Nachbarebreck and Kleine Höhe, since the 2010s. Green spaces are being built on with houses or large shopping markets, the old trees, the local recreation areas and fresh air zones are being reduced, and biotopes are being destroyed.

The district government of Düsseldorf is planning a further development of green areas. The urban land-use planning of the city of Wuppertal weighs the effects as follows: "The likely considerable environmental impacts are taken into account due to the high demand for residential space in the course of planning considerations."


Wuppertal is located in the north-west of Germany, with the maritime , subatlantic, cool , temperate climate leading to generally cool summers and relatively mild winters. Influences of the relief (valley situation) and land use lead to locally different manifestations of the climatic parameters. At the heights of the Bergisches Land, humid Atlantic air masses encounter an obstacle for the first time with the prevailing western air currents and are dammed. As a result, the clouds rise to higher layers of the air, which are usually colder, condense and rain down as incline rain . In Elberfeld there is about 1100 mm of precipitation, this value increases to 1200 mm in Barmen / Oberbarmen.

The wettest months are September and July, while the most rainy days are in December. The average annual rainfall of 1116 mm in the valley and 1183 mm on the heights is among the highest in a German city. The saying "In Wuppertal children are born with an umbrella" reflects this fact in the vernacular.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: DWD, data: 2015–2020; WeatherOnline
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Wuppertal
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 5.6 7.7 10.7 15.3 19.0 23.0 24.5 23.9 20.2 15.0 9.8 8.0 O 15.3
Min. Temperature (° C) 0.6 0.7 2.0 4.1 7.9 12.1 13.0 12.7 9.6 7.2 3.5 2.9 O 6.4
Temperature (° C) 3.1 4.1 6.3 9.8 13.5 17.6 18.7 18.1 14.5 10.9 6.7 5.5 O 10.8
Precipitation ( mm ) 125 102 93 50 53 82 67 85 76 74 105 113 Σ 1,025
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.9 2.4 4.0 5.5 6.4 6.6 6.5 6.1 4.8 3.7 2.0 1.5 O 4.3
Rainy days ( d ) 21st 16 18th 15th 13 15th 14th 15th 15th 16 18th 20th Σ 196
Humidity ( % ) 82 74 75 70 67 70 69 70 70 72 79 77 O 72.9
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: DWD, data: 2015–2020; WeatherOnline

The temperature is in the annual average is about 11 ° C. During the growing season, when the temperature is more than 10 ° C on 150 to 180 days, the average temperature is 13 to 16 ° C. July is the warmest month with mean temperatures of 19.4 ° C, January is the coldest with 3.4 ° C. On average there are 26 summer days with maximum temperatures above 25 ° C and 62 frost days.

The mean annual sunshine duration is 1300 to 1400 hours, slightly below the German mean of 1550 hours. The mean annual wind speeds vary from around 2.9 m / s in the valley to around 3.8 m / s at higher altitudes. With these climatic characteristics, the natural vegetation has very favorable growth conditions, but due to the risk of heavy rain and late frost, the conditions for agriculture are rather difficult.

Air quality and environmental protection

Preserving or restoring clean air is the goal of a systematic air pollution control policy that has been pursued since 1956. The clean air plan for Wuppertal drawn up by the Düsseldorf district government dates from 2008 and is currently valid in the first update of 2013. Despite considerable efforts, the air quality in Wuppertal is still considerably polluted by nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ). The immission measurements continue to show that the NO 2 limit value (annual mean value) of 40 µg / m³ as defined in the ordinance on air quality standards and maximum emissions is clearly exceeded . The measured values ​​at the “Gathe” station, for example, were 55 µg / m³ in the annual mean for 2011, and at the “Briller Strasse” station for 2016 they were 64 µg / m³. In Wuppertal, around 194,000 citizens - 54% of the population - live in an NO 2 pollution area. In this respect, there is an urgent need for action to further reduce NO 2 pollution in the planning area.

Natural spaces

29% (corresponds to 4858 hectares ) of the urban area are forest and open spaces, 7.8% (corresponds to 1318 hectares) parks and green areas, 21% (approx. 3500 hectares) are used for agriculture. There are also around 8,000 allotment gardens on 380 hectares and 46 cemeteries on an area of ​​160 hectares. In Wuppertal there are 20 nature reserves and natural monuments managed by the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection North Rhine-Westphalia (LANUV) .

Some areas close to the city center were not built on because of the steep terrain. Some rock formations reach up to the Wupper and are still covered with trees today. Some of these areas have been turned into parks or landscaped gardens. Elsewhere, such as in Sonnborn at the level of the stadium or on the southern slope of the Hardtberg between Barmen and Elberfeld, the rocks along the main streets of the valley axis were slightly removed in favor of the extraction of building material and lighter development.


Burgholz with a typical Bergisch farm
The Wupper in the Burgholz State Forest

In the urban area as well as in the neighboring cities and communities there are numerous forest areas that make Wuppertal a city ​​in the green . The state forest of Burgholz in Cronenberg, with its nationwide unique collection of various trees, some of which are exotic, on an area of ​​almost 250 hectares, is the largest forest arboretum in Germany. Visitors can explore the stock on nature trails .

The Gelpetal nature reserve , together with the Saalbachtal, forms a wooded local recreation area in the south of the city, where iron and steel have been proto-industrialized since the 14th century . Along an industrial history trail you can see the remains of old hammer mills and grinding docks .

The local recreation area Scharpenacken bordering the Barmer Wald is characterized by extensive forest and open spaces with unobstructed views. It is under landscape protection and houses some valuable biotopes , such as the Schmalenhofer Bach , the largest rough meadows in the Niederbergisches Land and some small, species-rich wetlands near Erbschlö .

Other forests in the southern heights are the Christbusch and the Kothener Busch . In the southeast, near the village of Linde, there is an extensive forest area with the Marscheider Wald state forest, to which the Herbringhauser Wald and the Sondernbusch adjoin to the east .

Adjacent to the north, the Deilbachtal nature reserve and the Felderbachtal form the connection to the southern part of Essen . There is also a game reserve on the Ehrenberg between Langerfeld and Schwelm , and another in the Nordpark in Barmen.

The high recreational value of Wuppertal's forests is evident from the establishment of 650 kilometers of hiking trails, 50 kilometers of bridle paths, 18 weather shelters and 14 hiking parking spaces.


The more than 500 flowing waters (brooks and rivers) are particularly characteristic parts of the landscape with an average flowing water density of around 1.9 km body length per square kilometer. Furthermore, there are three larger standing waters with the Herbringhauser Talsperre , the Ronsdorfer Talsperre and the Beyenburger Reservoir . Many of the rivers flow into the Wupper or one of its tributaries in the urban area , which is why they only run above ground outside the outskirts of the city.


The city of Wuppertal only came into being in 1929, when, apart from a minor regional reform in 1975, it received its present form. The cities and municipalities that were then united to form Wuppertal have a long history of their own, which is detailed in the respective articles on the previous municipalities.

Early history and the Middle Ages

The first traces of human settlements and stays in the Wupper valley go back to 1000 BC. BC back. An approximately six square meter Bronze Age site with fragments of ceramics was discovered in 2003 during earthworks under the Deweerth garden in Elberfeld.

The relatively late and sparse settlement of the Wupper area by Germanic tribes took place from the 7th century . Individual farms in Barmen (Westkotten, Wichlinghausen) have been dated to a settlement by the Borchter, who were under Saxon rule in the 8th to 9th centuries , based on place name research, even without documentary evidence . For a long time, the region was a border area between the dominion of the Franks and Saxons, which prevented larger settlement structures.

Charlemagne had Franconian manors built to protect the Wupper area , including probably Elberfeld. The construction of a church in Sonnborn , where the main church stands today, is documented around 874. A church in Elberfeld can be proven up to before 931. The historian Widukind , who worked in Corvey, reported towards the end of the 10th century about the first gentlemen of a refuge in Elberfeld . This Fliehburg was owned by the Archbishop of Cologne from 955 and probably served as a supply station on Heerstraße to Soest .

Documents document the original predecessor settlements of today's city of Wuppertal mostly around the turn of the millennium. They were first mentioned in a document as follows: Cronenberg 1050, Barmen 1070, Elberfeld 1161, Schöller 1182, Ronsdorf 1246, Beyenburg 1298 (individual locations as early as 1189), Langerfeld 1304, Dönberg 1355 and Vohwinkel 1356.

After the establishment of the German Empire in the 10th century, the great clearing time began in the Wupper area, which lasted until the 16th century. Associated with this were many new settlements and the expansion of the manor houses into castles. In 1101 Adolf von Berg was first mentioned in a document as a count. The counts and later dukes of Berg acquired most of today's Wuppertal urban area through purchase, marriage, inheritance and pledging over the course of the next few centuries and administered it through Elberfeld Castle and Beyenburg Castle .

Era of early industrialization

The highly industrialized Barmen around 1870 (from Ehrenberg ), painting by August von Wille (detail)

The Wuppertal region, with Barmen and Elberfeld as its centers, was one of the largest economic centers on the European continent and one of the first industrial regions in Germany in the mid-19th century. The production of textiles and their bleaching has been documented in the Wupper valley since 1450. The bleaching of the yarns with Wupper water on the valley meadows and the subsequent dyeing established the development of a diverse textile industry. In 1549 a contract between Schwelm and Elberfeld mentioned "Lindtwiring" (weaving of ribbons). In 1527, Duke Johann III. from Jülich-Cleve-Berg to the Elberfeldern and Barmern the privilege of yarn food , i.e. the exclusive right to dye, weave and work yarns and cloths in the Herzogturm Berg. At the beginning of the 18th century, lace , lingettes and laces were made for this purpose. Mechanization followed around 1750 using the first hand-driven braiding machines, the so-called belt gears, which were operated with water power from 1780.

Early industrialization was based on the four industrial factors found in the area, iron ore , coal , wood and water . After acquiring the rights of use, water power was used to drive textile mills, bellows for racing ovens and forge fires , hammer mills, lace machines, ribbon and looms or other machines. The denominational character of the region should not be underestimated: the denominational policy of the rulers of the Duchy of Berg was relatively liberal. The Reformed denomination was able to establish itself in Elberfeld and Barmen and Calvinist families made up a large part of the entrepreneurship in the 18th century. They were characterized by a pronounced entrepreneurial spirit, entrepreneurial families from Elberfeld and Barmen looked all over Europe for new manufacturing technologies, secured the sale of their goods with a network of trading branches, while their investments were financed by a developing domestic banking sector (e.g. by the banking house von der Heydt-Kersten & Sons ). This willingness to innovate on the part of Wuppertal entrepreneurs gave the region a head start in development in Germany well into the 19th century - long before new (heavy) industrial centers emerged in the Ruhr area , Saxony , Berlin , Upper Silesia or the Rhine .

The Ruhr area owes a large part of its upswing to its function as a raw material supplier to the Wuppertal region and did not develop until later. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the cities of Barmen and Elberfeld were more important than Dortmund, Duisburg or Düsseldorf.

The mainstay in the Wupper valley was the textile industry , here weaving mills and production halls lined up. In the center of Elberfeld there was a permanent world textile fair for many decades, at which locally produced fabrics of all kinds were presented and negotiated. During this time, Wuppertal was one of the most important textile locations in the world. In the side valleys and on the heights, there were hundreds of handicraft businesses of all kinds, which, in addition to tape knitting , were mainly concerned with tool manufacture and the manufacture and processing of their preliminary products.

The textile industry, which was consistently mechanized from the beginning of the 19th century, was followed by supporting branches of industry such as the chemical industry, which initially devoted itself to the development of textile dyes, mechanical engineering (textile machines) and electrical engineering. The tool industry, the tradition of which goes back to the late Middle Ages, established itself primarily in what is now the Cronenberg district and is still the world market leader in its field. In addition, Elberfeld developed into a trading center with high turnover, mainly marketing local products ( Barmer items ) worldwide. The Bayer company was founded on August 1, 1863 in Barmen by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott and continues to produce in the main Elberfeld plant. The history of the Vorwerk company began in Barmen as the “Barmer carpet factory Vorwerk & Co” . The Ibach piano factory was also of international importance .

Friedrich Engels: statue in the angel garden. In the background: the house of the factory owner Friedrich Engels, today's Engels Museum.
The home and birthplace of the factory owner Friedrich Engels, father of the famous revolutionary Friedrich Engels. Today's Engels Museum is located in the former salon on the first floor.

The growth of the economy was followed by a considerable increase in the population, the growth of which consisted primarily of the immigrant workforce. Between 1830 and 1885 the population quadrupled and Barmen and Elberfeld each grew to become large cities. Due to the rapid industrialization in "German Manchester ", as Barmen and Elberfeld were also called in relation to the British industrial city, the social problems of pauperism appeared first. Slums arose such as in Elberfeld An der Fuhr . The resulting civic engagement (see also Elberfeld system ) against these social upheavals comes from the Barmer textile manufacturer's son Friedrich Engels , who, knowing the problems firsthand, developed the social and economic theory known as Marxism with his companion Karl Marx .

Numerous transport routes led to the city districts, such as the Bergische Eisenstrasse or several coal routes from the Ruhr area. In the Hardenstein district, for example, a horse-drawn coal railway was built in 1829 from the pits in Muttental to the Herbederholz area. It was about 6 km long and led from Witten to the main road to Elberfeld. The focus here was on the required transport capacity for raw materials and the worldwide shipping of products, so that traffic and transport flourished. Today's federal road 7 (B 7), coming from Hagen , was one of the first paved roads in Prussia .

The construction of the railway to Barmen-Elberfeld was promoted early on by Düsseldorf ( Düsseldorf-Elberfelder Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft ) with the first steam-powered railway line in western Germany and by Essen with the Prinz-Wilhelm-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, founded in 1831 . The route to Cologne and Hagen ( Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft ) followed in the middle of the 19th century. Several companies developed their own routes through the city.

In its full expansion stage, the railway network allowed the direct connection of Cronenberg ( Burgholzbahn ), Solingen ( corkscrew railway and Ronsdorf-Müngstener railway ), Remscheid ( railway line Wuppertal-Oberbarmen-Solingen and Ronsdorf-Müngstener railway ), Essen ( railway line Wuppertal-Vohwinkel-Essen-Überruhr ), Witten ( Elbschetalbahn ) Hattingen ( railway Wuppertal-Wichlinghausen-Hattingen ), Gevelsberg -Silschede ( railway Schee-Silschede ) Mettmann ( railway Dusseldorf-Derendorf-Dortmund South ), Velbert ( low Lift ), Ratingen ( Angertalbahn ), the Oberbergischen Land ( Wippertalbahn ) and the Brandenburg Sauerland ( Wuppertalbahn ) each with its own route.

The Barmen-Elberfeld tram network was one of the four largest in the German Reich and reached from today's Ennepetal in the east to Düsseldorf-Benrath in the west and from Essen in the north to Remscheid and Solingen in the south. A stock corporation founded by Adolf Vorwerk built the world's first electrically operated cog railway in 1894. The Barmer Bergbahn ran from the bottom of the valley to the Toelleturm . A power generation center was built especially for the mountain railway.

At the turn of the century 1900, ironmongery and the textile industry, with flourishing production and considerable trade, gave the cities yet another strong growth spurt. It made the construction of the suspension railway possible, but did not survive the First World War .

First World War, Kapp Putsch and growing together

Creation of Wuppertal

In 1861 Elberfeld and Barmen left the Elberfeld district and became independent cities. The remainder of the Elberfeld district was renamed the Mettmann district and from 1929 was called the Düsseldorf-Mettmann district . It was not until 1975 that the current name of the Mettmann district came about.

From 1885, only seven residential spaces were distinguished in the Barmen district : Stadt Barmen, Hatzfeld , Lichtenplatz , Westen , Heckinghausen , Heidt , Carnap. 1922 the incorporation of the communities Langerfeld and Nachbarebreck took place . In Elberfeld, a total of 20 residential spaces were distinguished in 1885: the city of Elberfeld, the hamlets of Arrenberg , Hahnerberg , Hipkenberg , Rutenbeck , Steinbeck , Stockmannsmühle , Theishahn , Uellendahl , Weinberg , Wolfshahn and Wüstenhof , as well as individual houses such as Funkloch . Later other goods were acquired, such as Buchenhofen , Evertsaue , Kirberg and Lüntenbeck Castle .

In 1920 the resistance to the Kapp Putsch started in Elberfeld, where representatives of the KPD , USPD and SPD met, called for resistance against the putschists by striking and gaining political power and thus set the Ruhr uprising in motion. The Ruhr uprising in Wuppertal also led to heavy fighting with many victims between the Freikorps and the police on the one hand and armed workers of the Red Ruhr Army on the other.

The union of Barmen and Elberfeld with Cronenberg, Ronsdorf and Vohwinkel took place with the law on the municipal reorganization of the Rhenish-Westphalian industrial area on August 1, 1929. However, Wuppertal has only had its current name since January 25, 1930, since it has since changed with great participation of the population of the cities and municipalities of that time, several proposals came up and were discussed for a long time. The name "Wuppertal" proposed by Oskar Hoffmann was awarded the contract before names such as Barmen-Elberfeld, Elberfeld-Barmen, Barmen-Elberfeld-Vohwinkel, Barmenelb, Elbbarmen, Wupperstadt, Wupperberg, Wupperhausen, Bergmark, Bergstadt, Talberg, Großwupp, Wupperalis, Bergland, Hungerstadt, Barmerfeld or Baelvort . The first-mentioned name combinations were particularly popular in the two cities of Elberfeld and Barmen, although no agreement was reached regarding the first-mentioned city name. The Hungerstadt proposal came from the ranks of the KPD and was quickly rejected. Baelvort turn should for Ba rmen- El Berfeld v ereinigter place standing. These numerous proposals were discussed above all against the background of maintaining respect for the history of the two industrial cities at the time, which is why the unification of the two cities met with great criticism.

National Socialism, Resistance and World War II

During the Nazi era (1933–1945), Wuppertal was on the one hand a West German center of the aspiring NSDAP early on, but on the other hand it was also an important city of political, trade union and ecclesiastical resistance . Adolf Hitler spoke on July 24, 1932 at an election rally of the NSDAP in Wuppertal.

In 1925/26 the later Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels worked and lived as a party functionary and agitator in Elberfeld. By the summer of 1933, 18 residents of the city had been killed by SA murder squads . The city councilor and particularly brutal SA leader Willi Veller was elected member of the Reichstag in 1930 and in July 1933 was appointed acting police president of the city. In the same month he had the Kemna concentration camp set up. This existed until the beginning of 1934 and is one of the notorious early concentration camps .

As early as April 1, 1933, in an action carried out by schools, works by the Jewish writer Else Lasker-Schüler, who was born in Wuppertal, were burned in public, as well as many other books , which was followed by a wave of further book burnings in more than 50 German cities.

On April 11, 1933, the pacifist writer Armin T. Wegner , whose works were also burned, protested against the persecution of the Jews in an open letter to Adolf Hitler. Wegner was arrested by the Gestapo , tortured and imprisoned for several months in prisons and concentration camps. Then he emigrated to Italy .

In the Bergisches Land, which was one of the germ cells of the socialist labor movement in Germany, the strong Nazi movement and the self-confident labor movement met each other particularly brutally. When the Gestapo finally succeeded in smashing the party and trade union organizations of the workers' movements in the Rhineland and in the Bergisches Land , an unprecedented series of mass trials began against more than 650 defendants, who also became known abroad as the Wuppertal union trials.

In 1934 Protestant resistance against Hitler was formed in the Barmen Confession Synod . Under the leadership of Karl Barth , the Confessing Church formed by Reformed, Lutheran and Uniate adopted the Barmer Declaration . Nationwide it is considered to be the most important document of Protestant rejection of Nazi rule .

The armament of the Wehrmacht by the Nazi regime also made itself felt in the cityscape. Wuppertal, which previously had no garrison , received four new barracks . They were continued to be used by the German armed forces after the Second World War and were all abandoned between 1993 and 2004.

During the Second World War, the inner city was largely destroyed by heavy attacks by the Allies (twice with several thousand dead). With only a few exceptions, the historical building fabric in the main urban centers was destroyed or so badly damaged that numerous prominent buildings from the early days had to be demolished. Culturally and historically significant buildings such as the Barmer Stadthalle and the world's second planetarium as well as hundreds of old town houses fell victim .

Overall, around 38 percent of the built-up urban area of ​​Wuppertal was destroyed in the war. The bottom of the valley, with its industry and the Bergisch-Märkische railway line in the south, was hit hardest , with the southern city close to the railway line suffering particularly badly. The banks of the Wupper , which were built very closely with half-timbered houses , were largely destroyed, and in the following years mostly wide streets were built there. In contrast, the extensive Wilhelminian-era districts along the Rhenish railway line in the north, which now became the main connecting route, were hardly affected. Significant buildings such as the entrance building of the main train station , the Elberfeld town hall , the historic town hall or the reformed cemetery church were only insignificantly damaged and could be preserved.

On April 16, 1945, the 78th Infantry Division of the US Army captured the city, which offered little resistance when it was captured . Three days earlier, anti-fascist workers and soldiers had arrested leading Nazis in bloody street battles and brought the city under their control. In the course of the division of Germany into zones of occupation , Wuppertal came to the British zone of occupation on June 16, 1945 .

Post war history

The central areas of Elberfeld and Barmens owe their appearance to this destruction and the modern building plans of the 1950s, which primarily focused on the rapid construction of functional and no-frills structures and the creation of wide street aisles for growing individual traffic. Considerations to tear down the heavily damaged suspension railway framework were quickly rejected.

Overall, the city was able to make a good fresh start. The textile industry was a major economic factor in the city well into the 1970s, when it lost its importance due to the globalization of the textile market. The decline of the textile industry began already after the First World War, a small boom followed in the Second World War due to the production of uniforms. The big textile companies like Baumsche Fabrik or Frowein no longer existed in the 1970s. The Glanzstoff – Enka-Bemberg Group has been producing exclusively special fabrics since the 1920s; production has been greatly reduced today. Today Wuppertal is still a world leader in the manufacture of hand tools.

The structural change made Wuppertal difficult as an industrial city, similar to the cities in the Ruhr area. While the Ruhr area had been provided with public funds since the 1980s, the Bergisch city triangle with the cities of Wuppertal, Solingen and Remscheid was not seen by the state as in need of funding for a long time. Only since the beginning of the 21st century has there been a rethink through the commitment of citizens, entrepreneurs and politicians in the form of political work and media-effective protest campaigns, and Wuppertal is now treated equally in promoting structural change.

In 2008 the city received the title “ Place of Diversity ” awarded by the federal government . In 2015, the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe awarded Wuppertal the 15th city the title “ Reformation City of Europe ”.


View from the south of the Reformed Church of Cronenberg

As early as 1807, Sonnborn was incorporated into Elberfeld, but was later outsourced and incorporated again in 1888. In 1922 Langerfeld and Next Breck came to Barmen. On August 1, 1929, due to the law on the municipal reorganization of the Rhenish-Westphalian industrial area Barmen, Elberfeld, Cronenberg , Vohwinkel, Ronsdorf and the district of Beyenburg of the then city of Lüttringhausen and parts of Haan, Wülfrath, Hardenberg-Neviges, Schöller, Gruiten merged and Gennebreck to the city of Barmen-Elberfeld.

On January 25, 1930, the new independent city was renamed Wuppertal, with which the geographical location of the city on the river valley was expressed. In the course of further regional reforms, parts of the towns of Haßlinghausen and Schwelm were added to the urban area in 1970. Finally, on January 1, 1975, as part of the North Rhine-Westphalian regional reform, the districts of Dönberg (previously the city of Neviges ) and Dornap (previously the city of Wülfrath) and the community of Schöller (previously the Gruiten district ), all of which had previously belonged to the Mettmann district . The urban area thus reached its present size.

History of Elberfeld

Elberfeld around 1855, lithograph by Wilhelm Riefstahl

There is no more detailed documentary evidence of the origin of Elberfeld, but there is an archaeological find that proves that there was a settlement before 931, as well as a predecessor building of the Old Reformed Church and a fortified manor. Widukind's chronicles speak of a Saxon lord of the castle named Droste Brüning, feudal man of King Konrad I. After his death, according to Widukind, Eberhard von Franken claimed the castle. Despite the siege, he could not enforce his claims. In 1161 a Schulte ( Villicus / Gutsverwalter) from the Elverfeldt Tafelhof was first mentioned in a document. The Archbishop of Cologne pledged Elberfeld to Count Engelbert von Berg in 1176 . After changing rulers, Elberfeld remained a permanent Bergisch property from 1428. Elberfeld was referred to as " freedom " from 1444 (1530 as a city) and thus had an urban council constitution.

However, the city ​​privilege was not granted until 1610 and expanded in 1623. On May 22nd, 1687, a city fire destroyed 350 houses and with it the entire town center; the town hall was not rebuilt until 1707. After the transition to Prussia in 1815, Elberfeld became the seat of a district that was formed from the mayorships of Elberfeld and Barmen. In 1820 the municipalities of the Mettmann district were affiliated to him.

The Elberfeld uprising of May 1849 was part of the imperial constitution campaign and broke out against the background of the non-recognition of the Frankfurt imperial constitution by the Prussian government and the final rejection of the German imperial title by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV . A security committee exercised control over the city for several days before the uprising collapsed.

History of Barmens

The name Barmen was mentioned for the first time in 1070 as a barmon in a tax list of the Werden monastery . In 1244 the goods in Barmen ("Bona de Barme") passed from the property of Count Ludwig von Ravensberg to that of Count von Berg. The accompanying contract document is the second documentary mention of Barmens. Barmen was initially the collective name for an area that consisted of a loose association of individual farms and settlement areas. In 1399, for the first time, it became clear that Barmen belonged to the newly founded Bergisches Amt Beyenburg . The main town was a district. In 1808 Barmen was raised to town and from 1815 belonged to the district of Elberfeld. The mayor's office in Barmen consisted of the town of Gemarke, the Wupperfeld patch (created from 1780), the villages of Heckinghausen , Rittershausen and Wichlinghausen , the hamlet of Carnap and 58 smaller villages and farms.

History of Vohwinkel

Vohwinkel is the third largest district of Wuppertal after Elberfeld and Barmen and was even an independent town until 1929. Before that, Vohwinkel belonged to the Mettmann district and was the administrative seat of the district from 1877 to 1929. In 1356 Vowynkele was sold by knight Heinrich von Schönrode to the Gräfrath monastery (near Solingen). The certificate of this purchase process is today considered the first documentary mention of Vohwinkel. With the expansion of the road construction and the steadily growing good railway connection, today's district of Wuppertal was undergoing a functional change. Vohwinkel increasingly became a business and carter hostel. With the construction of the railway line to Düsseldorf in 1841 and the railway line to Essen in 1847, Vohwinkel grew into an even larger settlement. After it originally belonged to the municipality of Sonnborn, Vohwinkel only became an independent rural municipality in 1888, after Sonnborn an Elberfeld was dissolved. In 1921 Vohwinkel was finally granted city rights.

Population development

Population development of Wuppertal from 1871 to 2018. Before the city was founded in 1929, the counts for Barmen and Elberfeld are given

With more than 12,000 inhabitants each, Barmen and Elberfeld in 1800, together with six other cities, belonged to the larger towns in the Prussian Rhine Province . In 1884 the populations of the two cities exceeded 100,000 each, making both large cities . In 1929 the following municipalities merged to form the town of "Barmen-Elberfeld" with 415,000 inhabitants (the population of the census of June 16, 1925 in brackets ): Barmen (187,239), Elberfeld (167,025), Vohwinkel (16,105), Cronenberg (14,039) and Ronsdorf (12,526). In 1963 the population reached its historic high of 423,453. On June 30, 2012, the population was 349,514 according to the State Office for Information and Technology in North Rhine-Westphalia . According to the results of the 2011 census, the number of inhabitants on May 9, 2011 was 342,661, around 7000 fewer than reported by the IT department .


Religions in Wuppertal (2006; Muslim proportion estimated)

Denomination statistics

In Wuppertal, the number of Protestant church members fell to 90,373 and the Catholic church members to around 72,500 in 2019. At the end of 2018, of 354,382 inhabitants, 92,704 (26.2%) belonged to the Protestant Church and 73,400 (20.7%) to the Roman Catholic Church . At the end of 2016, 28.5% (2012: 29.6%) of the population belonged to the Protestant and 21.3% (2012: 23.7%) to the Roman Catholic Church. 50.1% (2012: 46.7%) belonged to another denomination or religion or had no denomination. Wuppertal is considered the city of Germany with the most different religions, sects and communities. The village of Ronsdorf was founded for one by a religious group. According to various sources, there are around 80 to 90 different religious communities in the city.


The Elberfeld Bible (abbr. EB), named after the Wuppertal district, is an important German translation of the Bible that first appeared in 1855 ( New Testament ) and 1871 ( Old Testament ). The literal nature of the translation takes precedence over linguistic beauty. This made it the model for many other translations.


Old Reformed Church Elberfeld
Dutch Reformed Church

In the 16th century, the Reformation was introduced in Elberfeld (1566 by Peter Loh ), Barmen and most of today's Wuppertal districts according to the Reformed Confession . During the Spanish occupation, Protestant worship was banned between 1625 and 1627. From 1690 there were Lutheran congregations in Elberfeld, as in other places later . In Barmen, the Reformed parish in 1702 separated from the Schwelm parish . The Lutheran congregation of Wichlinghausen also separated in 1744, from which the Wupperfeld congregation separated in 1778 . In some smaller towns, reformed or Lutheran congregations emerged much later, for example in Beyenburg in 1854 and in Vohwinkel in 1886.

After the transfer of the city of Elberfeld to Prussia, the Reformed and Lutheran congregations were initially subordinate to the consistory in Düsseldorf (1814–1816, 1934–1947), Cologne (1816–1826; temporarily synchronous) and Koblenz (1822–1934), which was the sole seat in 1826 the entire Rhenish provincial church (today Evangelical Church in the Rhineland ) became the Evangelical Church in Prussia .

Elberfeld and Barmen became the seat of a district synod (today church district ), to which the Protestant parishes of Sonnborn , Vohwinkel, Cronenberg and Ronsdorf belong to this day, unless they are free churches . On January 1, 2005, the previously separate church districts of Elberfeld and Barmen merged to form the church district of Wuppertal, which, with the exception of the parishes of Dönberg and Schöller (both parishes of Niederberg), includes all Protestant parishes in the Wuppertal city area.

Although the union between Reformed and Lutheran congregations was introduced in Prussia in 1817, the perception of the respective congregations remained true to their previous traditions. Today in Wuppertal, for example, a distinction is still made between Reformed and Lutheran congregations within the uniate regional church. Some congregations were founded as "uniate" congregations right from the start, for example Unterbarmen and Küllenhahn , whereas in Ronsdorf Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran congregations still exist separately from each other, which today is unique in the Rhenish regional church for a district congregation . As a reaction to the Rhenish-Westphalian church order of 1835, which prescribed a unified liturgy for the Prussian Protestant churches, an old Lutheran parish and the Dutch Reformed parish separated from the Uniate Prussian Church for reasons of confession . Even today there are two Lutheran parishes: In Barmen and Elberfeld, which belong to the Rhineland parish of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church , and the Dutch Reformed Church, which has joined the Evangelical Old Reformed Church in Lower Saxony .


The area of ​​today's city belonged to the Archdiocese of Cologne , Elberfeld and Unterbarmen to the archdeaconate of the cathedral dean in Neuss , Oberbarmen to the archdeaconate of St. Georg in the dean's office Lüdenscheid . Around 1300 Elberfeld became a separate municipality after it had previously belonged to Richrath (today to Langenfeld (Rhineland) ). The few Catholics , six families in Elberfeld in 1658, three in Barmen in 1708, also belonged to the Archdiocese of Cologne after the Reformation. A new Catholic church was built in Barmen between 1708 and 1721, which was pastorized by Franciscans from the monastery in Wipperfürth . Around 1800 there were 2,000 Catholics there, and in the 19th century the proportion increased sharply in the entire Wuppertal. In 1830 there were almost 5,800 Catholics in Elberfeld. Several parishes sprang up in the cities. Both Elberfeld and Barmen became the seat of a deanery within the Archdiocese of Cologne. Both deaneries together form the “Stadtdekanat Wuppertal” today. The parishes of Cronenberg, Ronsdorf (formerly to Barmen) and Vohwinkel also belong to the Elberfeld dean's office, and the parishes of Langerfeld and Beyenburg to the Barmen dean's office. The main church of the Wuppertal Catholics is the classicistic St. Laurentius Church in Elberfeld, which has been a papal minor basilica since 2014 .

Free Churches

One of the early free church foundations was that of the first Baptist congregation by Julius Köbner . In 1854 the businessman Hermann Heinrich Grafe founded the first Free Evangelical Congregation in what was then the German-speaking area in Elberfeld, together with five other men . This laid the foundation stone for the foundation of the Association of Free Evangelical Congregations in Germany , which took place 20 years later . Around the same time, in 1875, the first German Seventh-day Adventist group was formed in Vohwinkel .

Jehovah's Witnesses

The “Christian special communities” include, among others, Jehovah's Witnesses (Bible Students until 1931), whose first German branch was in Elberfeld in 1902. For the time being, an office of the “Watch Tower Society” was opened here. A year later it was expanded to become the branch office ("Bethel") of the Watchtower Society. In 1905 the first German general assembly (today a congress) of the Bible Students was held in Elberfeld. The branch office moved to Barmen in 1908, where it remained until 1923. They too were subjected to severe persecution during National Socialism . Today the Jehovah's Witnesses are represented in Wuppertal with four German and more than ten foreign language assemblies (congregations) and groups. They hold their gatherings (church services) in two Kingdom Halls (meeting places) in Wuppertal.

Other churches

The New Apostolic Church is represented in Wuppertal with six congregations and a total of 1383 congregation members (December 2017).


The number of Muslims is officially estimated at around 28,000. Of these, an estimated 60% are of Turkish origin, around a quarter are likely to be immigrants from Morocco . They are predominantly Sunnis and organize themselves in different communities, which roughly represent the different groups of Turkish religious associations ( DİTİB , VIKZ , Milli Görüş ) in Germany. There are also two Alevis community centers , a Bosnian community center and some Arabic-speaking communities. The construction of the nationwide first Muslim cemetery with burials according to Islamic usage has been planned on Krummacherstrasse in Varresbeck since 2015.


New Bergische Synagoge

There were Jewish parishioners in Elberfeld only from 1694 after they had been expelled in 1595 on the orders of the Duke von Berg . In 1802, two families were counted in Barmen. In 1861, the Jews of both cities were able to found a joint Israelite community, which, however, perished during the Nazi era . The Old Synagogue Wuppertal meeting place has been commemorating the Jewish community at the former location of the Elberfeld Synagogue since 1994 , the members of which were almost completely expelled and murdered during the Nazi regime. As a result of the influx of Jews from the states of the former Soviet Union, the number of community members rose from 65 to over 2,000 in the 1990s, which corresponds to 0.6 percent of the population. On December 8, 2002, the Bergische Synagoge in Barmen was again inaugurated as a new synagogue building. With Moshe Katzav , an Israeli president took part in the opening of a synagogue in Germany for the first time. The construction was also supported by the cities of Remscheid , Solingen and Velbert .

Other religious communities

In the Buddhist Center Wuppertal , the Diamond Way Buddhism of the Karma Kagyu lineage is taught; there are also two groups of Mahayana - Zen Buddhism. Above all, Tamils ​​from Sri Lanka pray in the Hindu temple in under-mercy.

Interreligious Dialogue

The Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation in Wuppertal is dedicated to Judeo-Christian dialogue .

In the interreligious working group Runder Tisch Wuppertal, in which the Jewish religious community, the Protestant and Catholic Church and the local Islamic community participate, a Judeo-Christian-Muslim calendar is drawn up and published every year.

Confession Synod

During the time of National Socialism , Wuppertal became famous for the Confessional Synod , which took place in the Gemarker Church from May 29th to 31st, 1934 . It was convened by the Confessing Church and attended by Lutheran, Reformed and United MPs. This is where the so-called Barmer Theological Declaration came into being , which is considered to be one of the foundations of the Protestant Church's creed and theological foundation during the Nazi era.


The council chamber in the Wuppertal town hall

Political history

In Elberfeld there was a municipal council constitution from 1444 with a mayor, a council, a mayor and a lay judge . According to the official town status in 1610 led a ducal magistrate elections to the mayor, to the annual May 1 Council relatives (senators) and the Assistant Secretary. From 1807 the city administration was introduced according to the French model. From 1845 the Rhenish municipal code applied, from 1857 the Rhenish city code. In the following years the mayor was at the head of the city .

Barmen Town Hall , the headquarters of the city administration

In Barmen, after the city elevation in 1808, the municipal constitution was first introduced with a director at the head of the city. He was assisted by two aldermen and 20 municipal councilors. In 1809 a mayor ran the city, later a mayor and, at the latest, since 1861, when Barmen was elevated to the status of an independent city, a lord mayor. After the unification to form the new city of Barmen-Elberfeld, the previous mayor of Barmen headed the entire city. During the time of the Nazis , the Mayor of that was NSDAP used.

After the Second World War , the military government of the British zone of occupation appointed a new mayor and in 1946 introduced the local constitution based on the British model. Then there was a “city council” elected by the people, whose members are known as “city councilors”. The council initially elected the mayor from among its members as chairman and representative of the city. He was a volunteer. Furthermore, from 1946 the council also elected a full-time senior city director as head of the city administration. This regulation was in effect until 1996, since then there has only been a full-time Lord Mayor. He is chairman of the council, head of the city administration and representative of the city. He is directly elected by the people.

City council

The city ​​council is the main body of the city and is responsible for all basic local policy decisions. He lays down the principles and guidelines for the administration and decides on all matters of the city, unless the mayor is responsible. The council is to be informed by the mayor about all important matters of the city administration. The city council represents the citizens and consists in Wuppertal of 66 honorary members, who were elected in a personalized proportional representation in the municipal elections in Wuppertal in 2014 , and the full-time mayor as chairman. The council members use the designation "city councilors". The rights and obligations of the council members are laid down in the municipal code for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2014, the Council for the Improvement of the Fight against Corruption adopted an order of honor with an expanded code of honor.

The council delegated decisions on certain matters to committees and the mayor. The council regulates the composition of the committees and their powers. The council can take back delegated powers by simple decision. Resolutions by committees can be carried out if neither the mayor nor one fifth of the committee members have objected. The council decides on the objection. Within the framework of the general guidelines laid down by the Council, the Main Committee decides on the planning of administrative tasks of particular importance.

The 66 seats in the city council are distributed among the individual parliamentary groups and parties as follows (as of March 2015):

Election of the Wuppertal City Council in 2014
in percent
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p
+ 2.9  % p
-6.6  % p
-0.4  % p
+1.6  % p
-2.2  % p
+1.0  % p
+ 2.5  % p
+ 2.4  % p
-1.2  % p
Allocation of seats in the
Wuppertal City Council 2014
A total of 66 seats

Parties in factions SPD CDU GREEN The left FDP WfW Pro NRW / REP
19th 19th 10 5 4th 3 3
Parties without a parliamentary group AfD PIRATES
2 1

The CDU and SPD formed a coalition until mid-October 2018. The CDU and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen have been cooperating since the end of November 2018 after negotiations for a Jamaica coalition failed.

The next election is scheduled for 2020. The term of office of Mayor Andreas Mucke, who was newly elected in 2015, is to last from October 21, 2015 to October 31, 2020.

Lord Mayor - Mayor

The mayor is elected by the citizens in accordance with the provisions of the municipal code for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The mayor is responsible for the management and supervision of the administration. In addition, it prepares the decisions of the council, the district councils and the committees and implements these decisions under the control of the council. The city council elects up to three honorary deputies who are called “mayor”. In Wuppertal, the general representative of the Lord Mayor is called "City Director".

The Elberfeld town hall , today the administration building, with a fountain
The town hall in Vohwinkel

Lord Mayor of Barmen

Lord Mayor of Elberfeld

Lord Mayor of Wuppertal

District Representation

Wuppertal is divided into ten city districts, the district representatives are the district parliaments elected by the citizens and each consist of 15 to 19 members. The chairperson bears the designation of district mayor. The members of the district councils are elected for a period of five years.

In matters of the city district that are not part of the day-to-day administration and for which the city council is not exclusively responsible, the district representatives decide in accordance with the municipal code of North Rhine-Westphalia, taking into account the concerns of the entire city and within the framework of the general guidelines issued by the council.

City administration

The city ​​administration is entrusted with all public tasks of the city and is led by the mayor, under the control of the council. The five full-time councilors together with the mayor form the administrative board. The mayor presides and decides in the event of differences of opinion. The councilors report directly to the mayor, they represent him in their department. The councilors are municipal electoral officials. They are elected by the council for a term of eight years.

The administration runs the operative business and implements the political goals on its own responsibility. The predictability, continuity and uniformity of decisions and administrative action must be guaranteed. The heads of administration must be accountable to the elected city council. This right of self-administration is guaranteed in the Basic Law (Article 28, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law) and secured in the state constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia. The delimitation of competencies is laid down in the city constitution.

The Wuppertal administration is divided into five departments (departments). Various offices are assigned to the departments. The offices are the lowest organizational units of the administration.

The city administration (as of July 1, 2020)
Division 0 Division of the Lord Mayor
  • Divisional office
  • Citizen participation and engagement
  • Project office digital model region
  • Equality body, competence center
  • European office
  • Data protection officer
  • Mayor's office
  • Auditing Office
  • Press office
  • Building management Wuppertal
Lord Mayor Andreas Mucke ( SPD ) Andreas Mucke
Division 1 Urban development, building, transport, the environment
  • Divisional office
  • Project management Döppersberg
  • Surveying, land registry and geospatial data
  • Green spaces and forests
  • Roads and traffic
  • environmental Protection
Alderman Frank Meyer ( SPD ) Frank Meyer
Division 2.1 Social affairs, youth, school and integration
  • Divisional office
  • Social welfare office
  • Day care facilities for children - youth welfare office
  • Immigration and Integration
  • schools
  • Children, youth and family - youth welfare office
  • Health department
  • Residential groups for children and young people
  • Retirement and nursing homes
Alderman Stefan Kühn ( SPD ) Stefan Kühn
Division 2.2 Culture and sport & security and order
  • Divisional office
  • Culture office
  • citizen office
  • Sports and bathing office
  • Bergische Musikschule
  • Historical center
  • library
  • Zoological Garden
  • From the Heydt Museum
  • Public order office
  • fire Department
  • Bergische Volkshochschule (VHS)
  • Bergisches Veterinary and Food Surveillance Office (BVLA)
Alderman Matthias Nocke ( CDU ) Matthias Nocke
Division 3 Economy, urban development, climate protection, building and law
  • Divisional office
  • Climate protection
  • Legal Office
  • Urban development and urban planning
  • building and living
  • Economic Development Wuppertal
  • Job center Wuppertal
Alderman Arno Minas (Greens) Placeholder no text.svg
Business area 4 Central services
  • Divisional office
  • Central revision
  • Health, Occupational Safety and Health Unit
  • Europe promotion
  • Central Funding Management
  • Office for Information Technology and Digitization
  • Finances
  • Main office and personnel office
  • Stadtbetrieb ServiceCenter and Road Traffic Office
  • Water and wastewater Wuppertal
City Director (City Treasurer, Alderman) Johannes Slawig ( CDU ) Johannes Slawig

List of senior city directors in Wuppertal

This office was abolished in North Rhine-Westphalia between 1994 and 1999 and merged with that of the Lord Mayor.

coat of arms

City coat of arms on a flag of the city of Wuppertal

The coat of arms of the city of Wuppertal shows in silver a blue crowned, tongue and armored, two-tailed red lion standing on a ball of golden thread and holding a black rust in its paws. The design of this coat of arms comes from Wolfgang Pagenstecher . The city ​​colors are red and white. The coat of arms was awarded on June 29, 1934 by the Prussian State Ministry. The coat of arms symbols connect on the one hand the Bergischer Löwen , which had its origin in the Limburg Lion , with the rust as an attribute of St. Laurentius (former coats of arms of Elberfeld), on the other hand the Bergischer Löwen and the strands of yarn as a symbol of yarn production (former coat of arms of Barmens). These symbols can be traced back to the 14th century in the seals of both cities.

Town twinning

A signpost with the Wuppertal twin cities on the town hall forecourt in the
Barmen district
Coat of arms of South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council.png
The oldest town twinning is with the British urban region South Tyneside , with which contacts and friendships are maintained. With the contract signed in 1951, Wuppertal was one of the first German cities to be twinned.
Blason ville for Saint-Étienne.svg
In 1960 friendly contacts between former combatants from Saint-Étienne in France and Wuppertal were the cornerstone of the town twinning, which was officially closed on January 12, 1960 by a council decision. Contact is maintained today through a circle of friends in both cities.
Coat of arms of borough Tempelhof-Schoeneberg.svg
Wuppertal also maintains partnerships with German cities, for example with the Berlin district of Schöneberg (today Tempelhof-Schöneberg ). Because of the isolated location of West Berlin during the Cold War , a sign of solidarity and cohesion should be set. The contract was signed on February 17, 1964, and there had already been various contacts between the citizens beforehand.
Coat of arms of Beersheba.svg
On September 29, 1977, Wuppertal was the first major German city to seal a friendship agreement with a major Israeli city, Be'er Scheva . The contacts are organized on the German side by a circle of friends.
Kosice Coat of Arms.svg
When the partnership agreement was signed with the Slovak city ​​of Košice in 1980 , the representatives of Wuppertal broke new ground, as Wuppertal was the first major German city to establish partnership relationships with a city in what was then Czechoslovakia and was thus politically divided Europe is a model case for town twinning between East and West. The initiator and driving force behind this relationship was the Wuppertal city councilor Klaus Kriesche , born in Czechoslovakia. The multiple Lord Mayor Košices and temporary President of Slovakia, Rudolf Schuster , played a key role .
DEU Schwerin COA.svg
Wuppertal, again with Klaus Kriesche as organizer, was the first city in North Rhine-Westphalia to enter into an “East-West” partnership with a city in the former GDR before the fall of the Wall . In order to make an active contribution to good neighborly relations between the two parts of Germany, the contracts were signed on February 9, 1987 in Wuppertal and on February 26, 1987 in Schwerin .
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Another town twinning agreement was signed on December 14, 1987. There were already intensive relationships with the city of Matagalpa through the Nicaragua Information Office . This gave rise to the idea of ​​a bond to give humanitarian aid projects a perspective.
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The partnership agreement concluded on June 15, 1993 consolidated the sponsorship, which had existed since 1952 and which applied to the former residents of the former German city of Liegnitz, to the Polish Legnica . Here, too, a group of friends organizes the contacts.
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Since 1993 there have also been friendly relations with the Russian city of Yekaterinburg .

We also have friendly relations with Engels in Russia , Tabarka in Tunisia and Qingdao , Xinxiang and Dongguan in China .

Consular missions

In the years 1879 to 1913 several consulates , vice consulates and consular agencies were run in Elberfeld and Barmen .

Country designation Seat opening closure ladder
Brazil 1889Brazil United States of Brazil Elberfeld 1895
El Salvador 1898El Salvador El Salvador
Third French RepublicThird French Republic French Republic Vice consulate or a consular agency Elberfeld
Kingdom of GreeceKingdom of Greece Kingdom of Greece
PersiaIran Iran Elberfeld 1890
Greater Colombia 1819Greater Colombia Greater Colombia Elberfeld 1889
Portugal Kingdom 1830Portugal Kingdom of Portugal
Russian Empire 1883Russian Empire Russian Empire a Russian vice consulate subordinate to the consulate in Frankfurt am Main Elberfeld October 1909 April 1911 Vice Consul Carl (Charles) Frowein
Professional consulate November 30, 1913 ( Julian calendar ); Exequatur was issued in March 1914 Consul Mokeiev (Alexander Nikolajewitsch Mokeew, Коллежский советник ), formerly consul in Lisbon
United States 45United States United States of America consulate Barmen
Elberfeld 1900

Culture and sights


Wuppertal theater

In addition to the opera house in the Barmen district, which was built in 1907 and badly destroyed in World War II and rebuilt until 1956 and was closed for renovation from 2003 to 2009, the municipal theater in Wuppertal also includes the theater in the Elberfeld district, which was built in 1966. In addition to an opera and drama ensemble, the Pina Bausch dance theater, known worldwide for avant-garde choreographies, is located at the Wuppertal theaters. At the end of June 2013, the theater was closed due to unaffordable renovation and maintenance costs. In addition, the city has numerous smaller stage productions. So shows miller Puppet Theater already around 300 performances for children and adults every year, with guest performances by Russia or Japan invited. The Rex-Theater , founded in 1887, is the oldest still existing theater in the Bergisches Land and was one of the leading addresses in the Rhineland until the 1920s . After being converted into a cinema and temporarily used as a cabaret, the theater is now home to a cinema again. The theater in Cronenberg (TiC) runs four venues across the city with up to 99 seats and has produced well-known greats such as Axel Stein , Christoph Maria Herbst or Patrick Stanke . Also known beyond the city limits is The Full Playback Theater , which lip-synchronously re-enacts radio play cassettes as a play and has already been on tour in Germany. The TalTonTheater in Elberfelder Nordstadt is also broadly positioned , which not only holds plays, but also music and literary events and is currently located in the building of the former Gold-Zack works .

Other theaters in the city are the Leo Theater in Langerfeld, the Wuppertal Children's and Youth Theater and the Greek Theater in Wuppertal . The latter two, like the full playback theater, do not have their own venue. In addition, the city had the Thalia Theater from 1906 until its demolition in 1967, one of the most imposing theater buildings of the time.


Engels House (historical center)

The collection of the Von-der-Heydt Museum in downtown Elberfeld is mainly from private donations from the Wuppertal industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. It emerged in the 19th century and has an excellent collection of art from the 16th century to the present day. Here, among other things, paintings by Pablo Picasso were awarded and exhibited for the first time. It will be one of the richest museums in North Rhine-Westphalia, the extensive collection of works of modern but went into the era of National Socialism lost. For many years, the von der Heydt family provided the Prussian finance minister and partially financed Prussian military conflicts that otherwise might not have been carried out. An art expertise developed early in the family, which contributed to the steady growth of the high quality collection.

The Museum for Early Industrialization and the Engels House document the beginning of the European industrial revolution in the first half of the 19th century at the place where the Friedrich Engels family lived. A branch is the historic Manuelskotten , a still functional Schleifkotten in a side valley to the Wupper.

The sculpture park shows the works of the founder Tony Cragg as well as the works of other artists, who has since been gaining increasing interest and popularity from the regional environment.

The Museum auf der Hardt , a museum for ethnology and mission in the past and present as a new conception of the Völkerkundemuseum, houses cult and everyday objects from southern and eastern Africa, Indonesia, China and New Guinea such as masks, jewelry, weapons and statues. The exhibits are often of outstanding craftsmanship and creative quality.

The Bergische Museumsbahnen in Cronenberg- Kohlfurth house around 30 old meter-gauge trams that were on the road in the Wupper Valley, in the Bergisches Land and in the neighboring regions until 1970. The museum was able to preserve an approximately three-kilometer-long remnant of the earlier tram line 5, which ran between Wuppertal and Solingen and was shut down in 1969. The museum railway is one of the smallest tram companies in the world.

The Bible Museum shows, among other things, historical biblical finds, the history of writing and the German Bible, as well as Bibles in over 1200 languages. In the Botanical Garden on the Hardt , which was laid out in 1910, there are almost 4,000 different plant species on 2.5 hectares. The Old Synagogue meeting place offers a permanent exhibition on Jewish life in the region, in the past as well as in the present.

With the Fuhlrott Museum , which has been closed since 2008, Wuppertal had a regional natural history museum. The building, which has previously been partially used by the Fuhlrott Museum, is currently being renovated. After the renovation, full use by the VHS Wuppertal is currently planned. It is currently unclear whether and where the unique exhibits will be accessible to the public again.


The city of Wuppertal maintains the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra , which emerged in 1919 from the two orchestras from Barmen and Elberfeld. With numerous guest appearances in Paris , Rome and Tokyo , among others , it is one of the most respected orchestras in the world. Further nationally known orchestras and music associations are the accordion orchestra Wupperspatzen e. V., the Bundesbahn-Orchester Wuppertal, the Chamber Orchestra Wuppertal, the Mandolin Concert Society Wuppertal and the Orchesterverein Bayer Wuppertal .

There are also a large number of choirs, including the nationally known boys' choir Wuppertaler Kurrende , which has already won numerous prizes at national level and regularly performs abroad, including in Great Britain , France and the United States . In addition, the headquarters of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Police Orchestra is located on Lichtscheid . The church music activities by the Cantorei Barmen-Gemarke , the Wuppertal Organ Days and the Wupperfeld Evening Music are also known nationwide .

In addition, the largest rock-pop festival for young musicians in Germany, the student rock festival , has been held annually in the Wuppertal University Hall since 1987 and attracts thousands of visitors.

The U-Club in the former Küpper brewery is one of the most famous reggae clubs in Germany. Until the closure in 2018, the Butan Club was also one of the best techno clubs in Germany. The exchange and various student parties at the Bergische Universität, such as the Caipirinha Wiwi Party or the CampusBASH , are also well known beyond the region .

Wuppertal had a special reputation in the field of free jazz , as a force field could develop here in the 1960s that radiated far beyond Germany: Musicians around Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald are counted among the first generation of European free jazz and played all over Europe . Since the 1980s, they have also enjoyed recognition in the American "motherland of jazz" and in Japan . Even after that, the valley produced original improvisers such as Hans Reichel , Rüdiger Carl and Gunda Gottschalk . The place, the former studio of Peter Kowald, is now home to musicians and other artists in residence .

Movie and TV

In addition to a complex cinema and two arthouse cinemas, Wuppertal also has the Talflimmern open-air cinema in summer, with a program that has received many awards from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. In addition, the service center of the nationwide association of independent, medium-sized cinema companies Cineplex , one of the largest cinema groups in Europe , is located in Wuppertal . The WDR operates a regional studio in the Luisenviertel.

Wuppertal as a film set

Steep streets, factory walls, old Wilhelminian style villas and urban idylls make Wuppertal a popular production location for films. Since 1901, more than 60 cinema and TV productions as well as award-winning documentaries have been shot in whole or in part in Wuppertal.

In 1972 Rainer Werner Fassbinder shot the workers' television series Eight Hours Are Not a Day for WDR and in 1974 Wim Wenders shot the classic of German film history, Alice in the Cities, which was awarded the German Film Critics Prize . The Zabou crime scene from 1986 was partly filmed in Wuppertal. Tom Tykwer had the hit movie The Warrior and the Empress played in his hometown in 2000 . In addition, the successful films Manta, Manta (1991) and Knockin 'on Heaven's Door (1997) with Til Schweiger as well as Das Experiment (2001) with Moritz Bleibtreu and in the same year nothing to regret with Daniel Brühl or the film Week after Week with Tanja Wedhorn shot in Wuppertal. In July 2008 the film Freche Mädchen starring Anke Engelke was released . The drama Elli Makra, 42277 Wuppertal (2008) is set in the Greek community of Wuppertal. In February 2011, Wim Wenders created a monument to the choreographer Pina Bausch and Tanztheater Wuppertal with his 3D cinema film Pina . In the black comedy King Ping - Tappen Tödchen (alluding to the Wuppertal stairs tap-tap-tönchen ) with Christoph Maria Herbst from 2013, an investigator from the Wuppertal police in the Wuppertal zoo has to deal with shady characters and penguins (the zoo's heraldic animal) mess around.

The third season of the TV series Babylon Berlin (2018) was filmed in the Villa Amalia in the Briller district, among other places.

Furthermore, episodes or scenes of the entertainment program Comedystreet with the actor and comedian Simon Gosejohann are regularly filmed in Wuppertal's inner cities, primarily in the center of Elberfeld. For various shows such as Deutschland sucht den Superstar or The Voice of China , auditions are often held in the historic town hall .

The ARD-Degeto / WDR production Väter alone Zuhaus is set in Wuppertal, but many scenes were shot in Cologne.


Traditionally, Elberfeld's old town, with Luisenstrasse and little Friedrich Ebertstrasse, is the nightlife district for a wide range of people. Later the Neumarktstrasse in the city center and the Mirker Bahnhof area on the Nordbahntrasse were added. There are a few other places to go out, such as the Ada dance center , former contact point for Pina Bausch, Die Börse , the U-Club or the Wuppertaler Brauhaus .


Wuppertal is the seat of the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Gesellschaft , founded in 1990, which also holds its large international, political literary forums in Wuppertal.


"Swimming Opera" in Elberfeld

Despite the severe destruction in the inner city area during World War II, Wuppertal has the second largest portfolio in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with around 4500 monuments . The architecture of the 19th century is particularly represented with some outstanding buildings. The first city expansions left numerous examples of classicism in Wuppertal , from the historicism period there are several closed residential areas in addition to multi-storey residential developments. The Briller Quarter is one of the largest and most homogeneous residential areas in Germany, later the middle-class villa construction concentrated on the Zoo Quarter . Around 85% of the approximately 50,000 residential buildings were built before 1982. Large buildings from the turn of the century such as the Wuppertal suspension railway or the historic town hall on Johannisberg document the wealth of the cities of Elberfeld and Barmen during this time. The swimming opera from the post-war period is noteworthy.


From the Heydt Museum in the Elberfeld center

Wuppertal is best known for the suspension railway designed by Eugen Langen and officially opened in 1901 . The 13.3 kilometer long route is technically a suspension railway and soon after its opening became a landmark of the cities of that time. Since 1997, its supporting structure has been largely renewed true to the original; At the same time, all stops were rebuilt and modernized. The suspension railway is intended to remain a modern, safe and fast local transport system that is used by over 75,000 passengers every day. However, a large part of the original structure was lost due to the new construction of most of the stations and the two terminal stations. Only the Döppersberg station was kept true to the original. After all, the Werther Brücke, Völklinger Straße and Regional Court stations were rebuilt in the historical style and only cautiously supplemented with modern installations, e.g. B. with elevators. They alone give an impression of the historical appearance of the suspension railway stations. The story of the elephant Tuffi , who jumped from the suspension railway into the Wupper in 1950 and survived, is legendary .

Many buildings were built in the classicism style, for example the Barmer Ruhmeshalle (today's name: Haus der Jugend), the former Elberfeld town hall and today's Von der Heydt Museum , the old Landesbank and the regional court , especially its staircase. The stairwell of the district court, which is hardly less attractive, is not directly accessible due to the relocation of the entrance. Two other important monuments of this time are the station building of the main train station, the front of which is currently being dismantled to expose the original entrance, and the building of the former Federal Railway Directorate .

A variety of architectural styles have been implemented in the extraordinarily numerous villas from the Wilhelminian era . The large working-class neighborhoods with closed Wilhelminian style residential buildings to the north of the Elberfeld center show a similar mix of styles. The exhibition structures from the early days in the Hofaue near the Elberfeld center, at that time a permanent textile fair, where you could buy or order almost everything from the textile sector, are also interesting . A few representative villas in the Bauhaus style are to be mentioned from the interwar period, but above all a number of extraordinarily attractive and large-scale residential complexes. They were usually built by housing associations, the founders of which were mostly local industrialists.


Due to the many religious communities (see above) there are numerous churches. Since the Lutheran and Reformed congregations were only united in the 1980s, there are one Catholic and two Protestant churches in many parts of the city. This has led to the profanation of some buildings, such as the Immanuelskirche . The oldest church in Wuppertal is the Old Reformed Church , the architecturally most important church is the St. Laurentius Church , which bears the title basilica minor , in the Luisenviertel. Many churches, including the culturally important Old Church in Wupperfeld , were closed or sold.

Many churches do not tower above the surrounding residential buildings with their nave, only the towers are higher. They were mostly built in the middle of the 19th century in the midst of low half-timbered houses and lost their dominant status when the Wilhelminian style houses were built.

Elisenturm on the Hardt

There are numerous towers on the heights that line the Wupper, including five observation towers from the 19th and early 20th centuries: The Bismarck Tower is one of 173 still preserved towers worldwide and is located in the Hardt complex . The Elisenturm was built in the Botanical Garden in 1838 in honor of the king's wife Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria , today it is prepared for guided tours, exhibitions and weddings. In 1892, the banker August Freiherr von der Heydt donated the Von-der-Heydt Tower on the Elberfelder Kiesberg . The Toelleturm has been located on the edge of the Barmer Anlagen , one of the largest private parks in Germany , since 1888 . Another well-known tower is the Weyerbuschturm , the renovation of which was stopped in 2011 for cost reasons. In good weather, all towers offer a view of the Rhineland as well as the southern Bergisches Land and parts of the Ruhr area .

Various water towers also shape the image of the city. The Atadösken in the Uellendahl-Katernberg district is very well known and visible from many parts of the city .

The tallest structure is the 198 meter high chimney of the Elberfeld thermal power station . In addition, the Barmen thermal power station had the highest brick chimney in Germany at 137 meters, until it was dismantled in 2011 after eight years of downtime.


The residential areas of the 19th century were set up for pedestrians and are mostly located on slopes or mountains. There are 469 public stairs with a total of 12,383 steps, 23 stairs are listed. Probably the most famous staircase in Elberfeld is the tap-tap-tönchen , the longest straight staircase is the Jakobstreppe with 155 steps, which connects Friedrich-Ebert-Straße with the Nützenberg. With 168 steps, the aniline stairs are the largest of all Wuppertal stairs. The Vogelsau stairs and the Dicke Ibach stairs are architecturally interesting .

Sports facilities
Stadion am Zoo , home of Wuppertaler SV

The stadium at the zoo was opened in 1924 and is the largest stadium in the Bergisches Land. Various top sporting events in cycling , motorcycling , athletics , soccer and American football were held here. Among other things, it is the venue for the championship games of the regional soccer division Wuppertaler SV . The old cycling track in the stadium is still partially preserved today and is a listed building , but is currently being replaced by a new grandstand. After it was built, it was considered the fastest cycling track in the world.

Another large event center for sports and entertainment is the Uni-Halle , which was opened in November 1987. It is the largest multi-purpose hall in the Bergisches Land with around 3,000 seats. The Wuppertal indoor soccer championship is held here every January, and there are regular musical events.


Restaurants in the Zoological Garden

In an extensive park area with old trees on the slope of the Kiesberg you will find the third best German large zoo , Zoo Wuppertal , in which around 5000 animals of almost 500 species from all parts of the world are kept. In numerous animal houses he shows, among other apes , bears , big cats , birds , fish and reptiles . The four young elephants are popular and unique in Europe, a tapir house with underwater observation. In May 2007, the largest predator facility in Germany was opened; a bridge on the Burgholzbahn cycle path leads across it . The zoo also has one of the largest facilities for king penguins and the only one for little penguins in Europe.

In 2006 the Wuppertal Zoo celebrated its 125th anniversary with the Pinguinale . For this purpose, large, artistically processed penguin figures were set up throughout the city, many of which can still be seen in the city and in the zoo.

Barmer facilities and Vorwerkpark
Vorwerkpark on the Barmer Südhöhen

The Barmer Anlagen are a landscape park on the slope of the Barmer Südhöhen , which merges into a forest area and is one of the largest private parks in Germany. The world's first large planetarium stood in the complex until 1947 , but it was destroyed in World War II and not rebuilt afterwards for financial reasons. At the western end of the Barmer Forest is the Toelleturm villa district with the observation tower of the same name . South of the Barmer Forest is the Vorwerk Park , which was created from 1895 by the founding family of the company of the same name and only opened to the public in 2001.


The centrally located ridge, the Hardtberg , houses the Hardt facilities with various facilities such as an open-air stage on which music stars such as Seeed or Silbermond performed, the botanical garden , with more than 5,000 intercontinental (special) plants, and the Elisenturm and the Wuppertal Bismarck Tower . The park can be reached on foot from Elberfeld's city center within a few minutes. In 2013, Hardt was added to the European garden network as one of the oldest public parks in Germany.

Panorama of Wuppertal from the Bismarck Tower
North park

The Nordpark is located on a ridge in the Barmen district and comes to its highest point, the Wollspinnersberg , at a height of 273 meters. It is a park that, in addition to large areas of forest, also has meadows sloping towards the south. In addition to an excursion restaurant, there is a playground and a 3.6 hectare game reserve. It is also crossed by a geology nature trail.

Waldfrieden Sculpture Park
Sculpturepark Waldfrieden - Tony Cragg Points of View (2008)

The Waldfrieden sculpture park is a sculpture park by the English sculptor Tony Cragg , which opened in September 2008. After an expansion, the park is almost 20 hectares in size and has so far and in some cases continued to show works by Eduardo Chillida , one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, and John Chamberlain , the pioneer of Pop Art .

More parks

Other parks and smaller wooded areas are the Mirker Hain , the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Hain , the Ronsdorf plants , the area around the Weyerbuschturm , the Falken- and Hasenberg and the Vohwinkeler Stadtwald ( landscape protection area ).


Team sport

Around 80,000 people actively participate in popular sports in the numerous sports clubs . With around 2000 members, Barmer TV 1846 Wuppertal is one of the largest associations in the region. Within the city, only SV Bayer Wuppertal is larger with almost 8,000 members. The Wuppertaler SV has around 1200 members.


BTV Gold-Zack Wuppertal won national and international titles in women's basketball. The club was eleven times German champions , twelve times German cup winners and 1996 European cup winners . The success story ended in 2002 with the departure of the main sponsor Gold-Zack Werke .

Coat of arms of the Wuppertaler SV

The best-known football club is Wuppertaler SV , which played in the 1st Bundesliga from 1972 to 1975 and also played in the 2nd Bundesliga for seven years . In the 2008/09 season the club was a founding member of the 3rd league , in the "Eternal Table" of the DFB he is 38th. Since the WSV was relegated from the 3rd league in 2010, the city of Wuppertal was only fourth class in of the Regionalliga West , between 2013 and 2016 even only fifth class due to an application for bankruptcy in May 2013. In the 2015/16 season, the WSV was promoted to the fourth division.


The former first division club LTV Wuppertal merged in 2006 with SG Solingen to form Bergisch HC , which is currently back in the Bundesliga . The highest ranking women's team is TV Beyeröhde , which after a short interlude in the 1st Bundesliga is now also playing in the 2nd division .

Another team sport

With the A! B! C Titans Berg. Land (formerly SV Bayer Wuppertal and Wuppertal Titans ), the city was successfully represented in the 1st volleyball league for several decades until the club withdrew from professional sport in 2012 for financial reasons. The RSC Cronenberg roller hockey club in the south of the city is also known. Both men and women have already won several championship titles and cup victories in the roller hockey Bundesliga and are among the most successful teams in Germany. In the 1st Bundesliga, snooker plays with the Billard Sportverein Wuppertal 1929 , previously known as Barmer Billardfreunde, as well as another German series and record champion who has already achieved national successes in all three billiard divisions: pool , snooker and three cushion. The 1st DC Wuppertal became German Darts Master in 2002 . The water polo players of Wasserfreunde Wuppertal play in the 2nd Bundesliga West . Furthermore, both the women's and men's teams of ESV Wuppertal West play in the second fistball league. The city's only baseball club , the Wuppertal Stingrays , played in the Bundesliga baseball in 2006 . The now fourth class ESG 1851 is one of the oldest chess clubs in Germany and at the same time one of the most successful in women's sport.

Individual sport


The most successful international athletes since the beginning of the 21st century have been the swimmers of SV Bayer Wuppertal , who, with Sarah Poewe and Daniela Samulski, provided two participants in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing . Before that, Wasserfreunde Wuppertal had been one of the most successful German swimming clubs for decades . National and international swimming competitions are also held regularly in the Wuppertal Swimming Opera .


For many years the canoe racers of KSG Wuppertal were among the most successful in Germany and produced over 200 German champions and several Olympic participants - including the later Olympic champion Ulrich Eicke . The dragon boat team at VfK Wuppertal has been among the world's best since the mid-1990s .


There is also the successful dance sport club Grün-Gold Casino Wuppertal, which has already produced various title holders and even European champions. Other clubs also regularly achieve good placements in national and international competitions. In addition, dance events of an international dimension take place regularly in the historic town hall . The German Dance Sports Association regularly offers training camps there. In June 2013 ASV Wuppertal celebrated its first German championship with its jazz and modern dance formation Arabesque in front of the series champion Autre Chose from Saarlouis . In the same year the formation also became world champions in the small group and in ballet.


One of the most famous athletes is the show jumper Hans Günter Winkler , who was born in Barmen and who has won Olympic gold several times . With Walter Sirrenberg a multiple German Champion of 1960 in native 4-drawn carriages from Wuppertal.


The DAV climbing center Wupperwand has existed in Langerfeld since 2006, and it also functions as a state performance center in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to many national competitions, the European Youth Cup has also been held here. Juliane Wurm and Jonas Baumann , both multiple German champions in sport climbing and bouldering , belong to the Wuppertal section of the German Alpine Club and are also internationally successful.


The Bergisch Land Golf Club in the north of the city is one of the oldest golf clubs in Germany and was co-designed by the German golf pioneer Bernhard von Limburger . Due to its hillside location, the par 72 course is particularly challenging. The professional golfer Martin Kaymer from Mettmann began his professional career there and, as a former world number one, belongs to the international golf elite.


The largest parkour facility in Germany has been in the Wichlinghausen district on the site of the Wichlinghausen train station, which was closed in 1995, since January 2014 . The approximately 1,000 square meter site cost 370,000 euros and was largely financed by state subsidies.

Walking and cycling
The former north railway line converted into a footpath, bike path and skate path

A marked hiking trail , the Wuppertaler Rundweg , encircles the entire city with a length of 106 kilometers. A further 550 kilometers of marked local hiking trails open up almost all of the city's recreational areas and forests. In addition to the natural experience, many of the hiking trails are of cultural, historical and scientific importance, such as the 42-kilometer Eulenkopfweg of the Fuhlrott Museum , the allotment garden trails , the arboretum trails in the Burgholz state forest , the industrial history trail in the historic Gelpe Valley or the geological nature trail in the north of Barmer.

The nationally marked hiking trails cross the Jakobsweg , the Residenzenweg X7 ( Arnsberg –Düsseldorf– Gerresheim , 153 km), the Graf-Engelbert-Weg X28 ( Hattingen - Schladern ), the Bergische Weg X29 ( Essen - Uckerath , 133 km) and the Wupperweg (from the source of the Wupper to the mouth, 125 km) the urban area. The road to work begins in Wuppertal-Langerfeld.

In cooperation with the Wuppertal Movement e. V. and the city administration also succeeded in reactivating the northern railway line to a pedestrian and cycle path, with the simultaneous continued use of a remaining track for trolley traffic. As a result, the centers and northern districts of Wuppertal are accessed over 23 kilometers through tunnels and bridges, and it is possible to cycle from Langerfeld to Vohwinkel, where connections to the Ruhr area and Düsseldorf are already available, without climbing. The project was supported by the Jackstädt Foundation , which is primarily committed to cultural and social projects and activities, with around one million euros.

To go biking

There are also numerous hilly bike paths, some of which lead to Velbert , Wülfrath and Sprockhövel. Since around 2008, among other things, the former northern route of the Wuppertal Railway has been converted into a cycle and hiking trail. Since its completion in 2014, Wuppertal has had excellent connections to the cycle networks in the Ruhr area and in Schwelm. The Kaiser route ( Aachen - Paderborn ), which touched Wuppertal-Schöller , has not been operated since 2014.

Mountain bikers have completed a 1.3-kilometer downhill route in the Kothener Busch . This leads from the Lichtscheider edge of the forest to the vicinity of a local allotment garden.

In the course of the 2006 soccer World Cup , numerous stations were set up in 15 cities in North Rhine-Westphalia and connected to one another over a length of 550 km by the North Rhine-Westphalia soccer route. After Düsseldorf and before Duisburg , Wuppertal is the seventh station on the cycle path. Within the city, the stadium at the zoo , the university hall and the Barmen town hall are part of the route.

Overall, the geography of Wuppertal is unfavorable for bicycle traffic, since away from the valley axis along the Wupper, the ridges can only be reached via steep roads. With a share of 1.5 percent in passenger traffic, bicycle traffic is relatively low. However, the aim is to significantly increase the proportion of bicycle traffic by 2025 and to make Wuppertal a bicycle city. The potential of the Nordbahntrasse as a ground-level connection, as well as the increased number of pedelecs , should support this goal.


Regular events

  • The student-Rock Festival is held annually in January as the largest youth-rock festival in Germany in the university hall instead
  • The Wuppertal Tattoo Convention has been held annually since 2000
  • The Feuertal Festival , a two-day festival with medieval rock, takes place annually on the last weekend in August
  • At the Ölberg Festival, old streets with old buildings, cultural diversity, delicacies and fireworks in the northern part of the city shine. Repetition every 2 years at the end of April.
  • The Autonomous May Day is an annual, autonomous May Day demonstration at the Platz der Republik, followed by a street festival on Schusterplatz in the north of Elberfeld
  • The Luis hard place annually a flea market in the old town of Elberfeld and in May in the form Luisenviertel place
  • Barmen Live is a music festival in Barmer's pedestrian zone on the Ascension weekend
  • The bleacher festival in Heckinghausen attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year
  • The Elberfeld Cocktail is a street festival in downtown Elberfeld, initiated by IG-1 (interest group for Elberfeld)
  • Wuppertal - 24 hours live offers 100 events at 80 locations. A kind of "open day" in Wuppertal companies, facilities and historical buildings (every September)
  • The Vohwinkel flea market on the last Sunday in September is the world's largest one-day flea market with around 300,000 visitors
  • The Wuppertal Jazz Meeting takes place in the autumn in Café Ada, organized by Jazz AGe
  • The Cronenberger tool box is a folk festival based on the important tool industry in the district
  • The Ronsdorfer Liefersack is a folk festival in Ronsdorf
  • The European Club Trophy Ladies is a golf tournament that has been held at the Bergisch Land Golf Club since 2007.
  • The Lange Tisch has been a city festival that has been taking place since 1989, at which an almost 14-kilometer-long festival table - from Vohwinkel to Oberbarmen - is built and the Wuppertal people themselves equip them with tables and chairs. European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 used logo and idea. ( Still life on the Ruhrschnellweg / The longest table in the world ).
  • The annual carnival parade on Rose Sunday attracts around 100,000 visitors to the parade, which traditionally runs between Elberfeld and Barmen. Wuppertal is the seat of the Association of Rheinisch-Bergisch-Märkischer Carnival Societies e. V. and has - in contrast to the carnival strongholds in Düsseldorf and Cologne - its own carnival battle cry: Wuppdika!
  • Since October 2016 the " chocolART ", the largest chocolate festival in Germany, has been taking place regularly in Wuppertal-Barmen.

Major events


Originally, Wuppertal was on the linguistic border between Rhenish ( Ripuarian ), southern Lower Franconian and Upper Bergisch dialects . Today, High German prevails with little Rhenish-Lower Franconian substrate .

The culture of the dialect is cultivated in the so-called Plattkaller evening. The Striekspöen interpret their works around current topics in dialect.

Culinary specialties

Typically Bergisch: The Dröppelminna

Wuppertal specialties can be assigned to the Rhenish cuisine , but also show similarities with the cuisine of the neighboring Westphalia . As a typical regional cuisine, it still reflects centuries-old eating habits of the common people. The importance of the potato as the basis of many dishes is striking. A special feature of the Wuppertal area is the very early use of "exotic" ingredients such as coffee, cocoa, rice and sugar. Because the Wupper valley developed into one of the leading commercial and industrial regions as early as the 18th century, a wealthy bourgeois entrepreneurial class quickly emerged who placed increased value on such luxury goods. International trade relationships made it possible for local merchants to import such ingredients earlier than in other parts of Germany. In the 19th century, these luxury goods were able to establish themselves in large parts of the bourgeoisie.

The Bergische coffee table is an expression of the bourgeois eating habits of the time . In addition to waffles with cherries, vanilla ice cream and rice pudding with cinnamon sugar, this extensive meal includes various types of gray and black bread, yeast place or raisin mares, rusks, sausage, semi-hard cheese, honey, quark, butter, burger pretzels and apple cabbage . The coffee is from the so-called Dröppelminna , a Gelderland , served with pewter Ausgusskran.

Rivkooche ( potato pancakes ) are small, crispy fried potato pancakes . Traditionally, they are eaten with sugar beet syrup or a buttered slice of black bread , now more often with applesauce. The Bergische Pillekuchen , on the other hand, is a potato pancake the size of a pancake, which is often combined with bacon and served with apple sauce. It is a counterpart to the Swiss Rösti .

Kotten butter is the name given to a black bread topped with sausage and onion rings, which the blacksmiths in the Bergisches Land used to take with them as breakfast bread to work in the blacksmiths, grinding shops or small foundries known as Kotten .

The Rhenish Sauerbraten is also known , if possible as a horse sauerbraten, whose sauce is traditionally bound with Printen and seasoned with raisins and sugar beet syrup, sweet and sour.

The Panhas is similar to the Bavarian Leberkäse , but consists of blood, bacon, buckwheat flour , spices and small pieces of meat. It is cut into slices, fried in fat and can be served with fried onions.

Economy and Infrastructure

Economic history

The industrial development in the 18th and 19th centuries was shaped by the textile industry, which already points to the granting of the sovereign privilege of yarn food in 1527 and thus to the centuries-old processing of yarns, ribbons and cloths. The symbol of the bleachers has found its way into the city's coat of arms as a representative of textile finishing . The decline of the textile industry as a result of the relocation of production to low-wage countries took place in several phases, beginning in the interwar period, but mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. In the meantime, this branch of industry is largely meaningless in Wuppertal. Instead, chemistry , mechanical engineering and electrical engineering are predominant today. There are also publishing houses and agriculture . Several nationally and internationally leading companies in the tool industry are based in Cronenberg.

The industry in Wuppertal is largely based on the textile and metal industry, which has been developing since the 16th century. The extensive cable production initially used textile insulation, from which the electrical industry followed. Chemical, paint, plastics and pharmaceutical companies developed because of the dyeing and bleaching of yarns and fabrics, and automotive suppliers because of the textile components. Mechanical engineering initially concentrated on textile machines, for example at Barmag or "Hacoba". Tool manufacture has its roots in the old hammer mills and grinding cabins in the Bergisch valleys. So Remscheid with Wuppertal-Cronenberg known for tools and saws, Velbert for locks and Solingen for cutlery.

26 companies have joined forces with the city of Wuppertal to form "Wuppertal Marketing GmbH". Several company owners and executives advertise their city as Wuppertal ambassadors. In addition, 20 farmers have come together to form the “Farmers in Wuppertal” working group in order to offer their products and services together.

In 2016, Wuppertal achieved a gross domestic product (GDP) of € 13.061 billion within the city limits, making it 27th in the ranking of German cities by economic output . In the same year, GDP per capita was € 37,186 (North Rhine-Westphalia: € 37,416; Germany € 38,180) and was comparable to the regional and national average. In 2017, around 171,200 people were employed in the city.

The unemployment rate at the beginning of 2008 was 11.2%. In the wake of the continuing upswing in Germany, the rate fell to 8.5% in August 2018 and again to 8.1% in May 2019. At the beginning of 2010, the city had a debt of 1.8 billion euros. In 2014 the city had a debt of 2.35 billion euros. In 2016 it was 2.51 billion euros. The city ​​of Wuppertal's interest debt ratio (indicator of the interest rates paid) in 2016 was around 3.4% for investment loans and around 1.4% for liquidity loans.

In the Future Atlas 2016 , the urban district of Wuppertal was ranked 231 out of 402 districts, municipal associations and urban districts in Germany, making it one of the regions with a "balanced risk-opportunity mix" for the future. In the 2019 edition, it was ranked 189 out of 401.


Wuppertal has two large shopping areas in Barmen and Elberfeld. There are also smaller ones in the districts of Vohwinkel, Cronenberg, Ronsdorf and Langerfeld. Barmer Werth is considered the first pedestrian zone and one of the first shopping miles in Germany. The "Werther Brunnen" at the eastern end of the shopping area also represents the beginning of the Astro Path as "Sun" , which stretches over a length of 10.7 km through Wuppertal. The Wicküler City retail park is located in the west of Barmen on the border with Elberfeld .

The Elberfeld city center is the larger and much more frequented of the two large shopping areas. In addition to countless retailers, chain stores and catering areas, there are two large shopping centers, the Rathaus-Galerie with almost 50 and the City-Arkaden with over 80 shops. In addition to the Neumarkt, where groceries are traded every day, Elberfeld also has branches of large clothing chain chains. At the southern end is the Wuppertal main station , which was expanded from a pure traffic junction to an expanded inner-city center by 2017. In the west joins the Luisenviertel , which is also known locally as "Wuppertal Old Town".

The other parts of the city also usually have their own markets, although no larger retail chains can be found here, especially since the parts of the city mostly still have their own small-town characteristics.


Popular with tourists and locals: special trips in the historic Kaiserwagen

According to statistics, there are 1411 beds in 19 hotels (as of 2011). Together with the other accommodation establishments , including inns, privately run bed and breakfast hotels and guest houses, as well as a youth hostel, the total number of beds in the 46 accommodation establishments in 2011 was around 3,300 with almost 214,000 guests. The number of overnight stays was just under 493,000 in the same year. For the almost 34,000 foreign guests in 2011, there were just over 76,000 overnight stays.

The American television broadcaster CNN recommends Wuppertal as one of 20 locations worldwide and the only city in Germany as a travel destination for 2020 due to the unique suspension railway , the architectural diversity in the city and the northern railway route as a leisure activity. Other main tourist destinations are the Engels-Haus zoo in the historic center, as well as exhibitions from the Von der Heydt Museum .


Established businesses

Head office of Barmenia Insurance
E / D / E high-rise in the
Langerfeld district
  • Aptiv , formerly Delphi Corporation, is an American auto supplier and was spun off from General Motors Corporation in 1999 as an independently listed company . The company's German headquarters in the technology park in the south of Elberfeld emerged from the textile factory founded by C. Reinshagen in 1874 (later Kabelwerke Reinshagen GmbH). Aptiv operates a test track for autonomous driving on the southern heights of Wuppertal .
  • Axalta Coating Systems (from 1999 to 2012 DuPont Performance Coatings , until 1999 Herberts GmbH as a paint company of Hoechst AG ) is the world's largest manufacturer of automotive series paints and employs around 2500 people at the two locations on Märkische Strasse and Christbusch.
  • The Barmenia insurance with its headquarters at the Kronprinzenallee (now renamed Barmenia Avenue) was founded in 1904 as commercial health insurance to Leipzig and employ in Wuppertal about 1400 employees.
  • The Barmer health insurance company , whose headquarters have been in Berlin since 2010 , has one of its two administrative offices (next to Schwäbisch Gmünd ) on Lichtscheider Straße. It is one of the largest providers of national statutory health insurance . The name goes back to the Wuppertal district.
  • The Bayer AG was founded in Barmen by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott on 1 August. 1863 The Wuppertal-Elberfeld plant, founded a short time later, is the parent company of Bayer AG. Today around 1300 employees work at the two Wuppertal locations in the Aprath research center and in the Wupper plant.
  • Since splitting off from the parent company in 1959, Berning has specialized in the manufacture of buttons and rivets for the textile industry and is considered the European market leader. The company with customers such as Tommy Hilfiger , Gant and G-Star employs around 100 people at its Wuppertal headquarters.
  • The Brose GmbH & Co. KG , Coburg with a branch at the Otto-Hahn-Strasse in Ronsdorf is one of the largest providers of car-door locks in Germany. The family company Bomoro, which has been based in Ronsdorf since 1904, was initially bought up by Bosch and switched to Brose in 2002. The Wuppertal location is the headquarters of the locking systems division within the Brose Group and employs around 700 people.
  • The internationally operating company Coroplast has specialized in the manufacture and sale of adhesive tapes, cables and wires and wiring harness systems. With a turnover of 500 million euros and over 5700 employees worldwide, it is considered the market leader in its industry.
  • Credit- und Volksbank eG, local cooperative bank with headquarters in Wuppertal
  • The E / D / E Purchasing Office Deutscher Eisenhandel GmbH at EDE Platz is a purchasing and marketing association for around 1,500 medium-sized trading companies. The family company was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Trautwein and today employs over 700 people at the headquarters in Wuppertal.
  • The Enka GmbH & Co KG produces chemical fibers and specialty products for textile and medical applications.
  • The Erfurt & Sohn KG is the global market leader in the development and production of wall coverings and wallpapers . The company exports to over 40 countries.
  • The GEFA Bank (until May 2016 still GEFA company for sales financing and GEFA Leasing ) is Germany's leading bank in the field of sales and investment financing and is since 2001 part of the major banking giant Societe Generale .
  • The Gesco AG bundles medium-sized companies in the tooling and machinery, and plastics technology through Couching, consulting and controlling. The affiliated companies continue to operate independently.
  • GEPA - The Fair Trade Company (until February 2007 still gepa Fair Handelshaus ) is the largest importer of fair trade food and handicraft products in Europe with an annual turnover of around 62 million euros.
  • Happich GmbH is the main company of the Happich Group, an international automotive supplier that specializes primarily in the interior fittings of buses and trucks.
  • The HEINZ magazine is a free city magazine , which has a circulation of around 120,000 copies in ten major cities of the Rhine-Ruhr is represented.
  • Johnson Controls , a global automotive supplier and building technician, employs around 400 people in Wuppertal.
  • Johnson & Johnson is an international pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturers based in American New Brunswick .
  • In Cronenberg, Johann Hermann Picard produces the world's most extensive range of hammers and other hand tools for roofers, the building trade and plumbers.
  • Karl Deutsch Prüf- und Messgerätebau GmbH + Co KG on Otto-Hausmann-Ring in Elberfeld is an owner-managed company and has been involved in the development and manufacture of devices for non-destructive material testing since it was founded in 1949.
  • KNIPEX-Werk C. Gustav Putsch KG in Cronenberg was founded in 1882 as a family company by C. Gustav Putsch and is a manufacturer of pliers for industry and trade. Knipex employs more than 900 people in Wuppertal.
  • Kromberg & Schubert is a manufacturer of wiring systems for the automotive industry.
  • Riedel Funk- und Intercomtechnik is a communications company that manufactures and sells analog and digital radio devices. With 40,000 devices, the company operates one of the largest rental parks in the world and regularly equips major events such as world championships and the Olympic Games.
  • The Sachsenröder GmbH is the world leader in vulcanized fiber -manufacture and engaged on the premises in Barmen around 80 employees.
  • The Schaeffler Group (formerly FAG) is a German mechanical engineering company and automotive supplier with a worldwide turnover of 11 billion euros and is based in Herzogenaurach .
  • Schmersal manufactures safety systems and switching devices and operates worldwide. It has the three business areas of safety, automation and elevator technology.
  • The Wuppertal Savings Bank is a public-sector bank leader in universal banking business in the city.
  • Stahlwille is a company based in Wuppertal-Cronenberg and one of the leading German companies in the manufacture of hand tools.
  • The Storch-Ciret Group has been based in Wuppertal-Elberfeld since 1896 and has specialized in the production and sale of painting tools.
  • Vok Dams GmbH is the largest event agency in Germany and is one of the leading international agencies for events and live marketing . It employs around 150 people in 14 branches worldwide.
  • Vorwerk & Co. KG was founded in 1883 as Barmer Carpets Factory Vorwerk & Co by the brothers Carl and Adolf Vorwerk . The main focus of today's internationally active group of companies is the direct sale of various products via independent sales representatives. The product portfolio includes household appliances (especially vacuum cleaners), carpets, fitted kitchens and cosmetics.
  • Wagener & Simon WASI GmbH & Co. KG is a trading company for rustproof stainless steel fasteners. It has been part of the global Würth Group since 1978 .
  • The Walter Klein GmbH & Co. KG is a company for aluminum, steel and plastics processing. It employs 4,000 people in 21 branches worldwide.
  • Wedico manufactures truck and engineering models . Some of the fully equipped models have a purchase price of over 3000 euros.
  • The Wera Tools Hermann Werner GmbH & Co. KG is a specialized in the production of screwdrivers companies with headquarters and administration in the district of Wuppertal Cronenberg.
  • The Wupperverband was founded in 1930 and is one of the largest water associations in the country. The association works in the Wupper catchment area and looks after ten large reservoirs.
  • The Japanese group YKK Stocko is the world's largest manufacturer of zippers and has three locations in Germany, including a production plant in Wuppertal.

Company formerly based in Wuppertal

Many earlier textile companies still exist by name, but only manage real estate and assets. Others have been bought up by larger companies.


Motorways (red), federal  highways 
yellow) and railways  (black) in Wuppertal

The advantages of the Bandstadt can be seen in the simple traffic management, which is concentrated on the course of the valley and its parallels (like the A 46 on the north slope of the valley). This enables the flow of people to be efficiently bundled. The installation of a fast, autonomous means of transport such as the suspension railway and the parallel rail network thus leads to a highly frequented, functional offer.

Rail transport

View of the main station reception building during the renovation
Wuppertal-Vohwinkel train station in the west of the city

The city is connected to the rail network via the Düsseldorf – Elberfeld railway and the Elberfeld – Dortmund railway. The main station (until 1992 Wuppertal-Elberfeld) is a long-distance stop and is located in Elberfeld; the regional train trains and some regional express trains also stop in Oberbarmen , Barmen and Vohwinkel . There are also the S-Bahn stations Langerfeld , Unterbarmen , Steinbeck , Zoologischer Garten , Sonnborn and Ronsdorf .

The train stations and stops in the valley are served by the RE 4 “ Wupper-Express ”, RE 7 “ Rhein-Münsterland-Express ”, RE 13 “ Maas-Wupper-Express ”, RE 49 “ Wupper-Lippe-Express ”, RB 48 lines " Rhein-Wupper-Bahn ", S 7, S 8, S 9 and S 68 served, in addition, there is a four-hour connection to an ICE or alternatively an IC or EC at the main station .

With the exception of the route from Wuppertal to Remscheid (and on to Solingen, S 7) and the Prinz-Wilhelm-Bahn to Essen (S 9), all branches branching off the above-mentioned main route in the Wuppertal city area are closed and only partially used in the outer area. These include the Düsseldorf-Derendorf – Dortmund Süd railway line (“Wuppertaler Nordbahn”), the Burgholzbahn (“Sambatrasse”), the Barmer Kohlenbahn , the Wuppertalbahn and the corkscrew railway . Thus, of the 31 train stations and stops in the Wuppertal area, ten are still in operation, nine of which are on the main line. For some time now, the private association Wuppertal Movement e. V. is about making the Rhenish route usable for cyclists, pedestrians and skaters while at the same time protecting the numerous tunnels and viaducts from deterioration. This route stretches over the entire length of Wuppertal and is referred to as the northern railway line. It was completed in 2014, and the expansion of further branches is planned. The route now connects the cycle paths of the Rhineland with those of the Ruhr area.

There is also a transshipment station for freight containers in Langerfeld .

Road traffic

Typical residential area with tight serpentines

Numerous streets, intersections and squares in the city are among the region's major transport hubs. The central junction that connects the Elberfeld city center with the main train station is located on Döppersberg . The Hofaue was a global center of the textile industry until the middle of the 20th century. The old market with the suspension railway superstructure is the Barmer counterpart to the Döppersberg. The Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse and Friedrich-Engels-Allee in both districts part of the national highway 7 and are lined with a variety of listed and historically important buildings city.

Federal highways

The city is well connected to the German motorway network. Coming from Düsseldorf, the A 46 runs through the northern part of the city and meets the A 1 between Cologne and Dortmund at the Wuppertal-Nord motorway junction in the east of the city . At the motorway junction also via begins Recklinghausen after Münster leading A43 . In the west of the city, the A 535 branches off from the A 46 towards Velbert at the Sonnborner Kreuz . The Sonnborner Kreuz is one of the largest motorway junctions in Germany.

Federal highways

The B 7 , the B 224 and the B 228 , which have their eastern end in Vohwinkel, lead through Wuppertal on federal roads . The B 7 is the main traffic axis of the city, because it has been connecting the districts of Barmen and Elberfeld since 1788 and is lined with numerous listed and historically significant buildings. Until 2007, the B 51 ran through the city in a north-south direction, which was rededicated between Sprockhövel and Remscheid on January 1, 2008 as Landesstraße 58. Since then, the federal highways 43 and 1 have taken over their connection.

State roads

On the southern outskirts of the city, the state road L 418 has been running as a four-lane expressway since 2006 from the Sonnborner Kreuz to Ronsdorf. In the course of the L 418 is the longest road tunnel in North Rhine-Westphalia with a length of 1.8 kilometers. At Lichtscheid the L 418 changes into the L 419 , which will be connected directly to the A1 in the near future.

The Elberfeld city center is connected to the Sonnborner Kreuz via the L 70 through the Kiesberg tunnel , which is more than a kilometer long . The L 70 then continues to Sprockhövel. In the southwest, the four-lane L 74 coming from Remscheid leads along the Wupper through the Burgholz state forest to the Sonnborner Kreuz.

In the east of Wuppertal, the L 527 runs from Schwelm via Wuppertal-Beyenburg to Wuppertal-Oberbarmen. The L 414 runs along the Wupper from Radevormwald to Beyenburg. The L 411 also connects Beyenburg with Remscheid- Lennep on the old route of the medieval army route Cologne-Düsseldorf . At Wuppertal- Spieckern the L 81 crosses between Radevormwald and Remscheid- Lüttringhausen .

The L 427 runs from Solingen via Cronenberg to Elberfeld. Coming from Remscheid, the L 527 joins this at Cronenfeld . The L 417 runs from Elberfeld via Lichtscheid and Wuppertal-Ronsdorf to Remscheid-Lüttringhausen. The L 432 runs from Wuppertal- Hatzfeld to Sprockhövel- Haßlinghausen . The L 433 goes from Hatzfeld via Wuppertal- Dönberg to Velbert- Langenberg . The L 107 branches off from here via Wuppertal- Siebeneick to Velbert- Neviges .

The L 726 connects Wuppertal-Oberbarmen via Wuppertal- Langerfeld with Schwelm. The L 891 leads from Wuppertal- Einern via Wuppertal- Wichlinghausen and Wuppertal- Nachbarebreck to Gevelsberg .

Air traffic

Several airports can be reached within a short time. The airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne / Bonn can be reached in 30 to 40 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the Dortmund regional airport . These three airports offer national and international scheduled flights . The nearby Essen / Mülheim airfield specializes in business and training aviation . To all airport train stations you have to change trains at local train stations.


The suspension railway over the land line in the west of the city

In addition to the suspension railway, the Wuppertal public utilities operate a city ​​bus network with CityExpress , NachtExpress and normal city bus routes. City express buses also run to neighboring cities .

The current fleet of Wuppertaler Stadtwerke mobil GmbH consists of around 265 buses that run on around 60 lines. Every year new, modern low-floor buses of the current generation from the manufacturers MAN , Mercedes-Benz and, until 2004, Irisbus are purchased. In 2008, a total of eleven Mercedes-Benz O 530 G ( Citaro ) were put into service, replacing the 15-year-old articulated tram. Most of the buses are maintained in the Varresbeck depot in the west, but also in the Nachbarebreck depot in the northeast of the city. Since 2010, all new buses in the WSW fleet have been given a light blue color instead of white, as has been the case before. In 2019, the first fuel cell bus powered by hydrogen was delivered by the Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool . 10 hydrogen buses should go into operation by mid-2020. They are refueled in the Wuppertal waste incineration plant. The 10 buses cost 6.5 million euros, the refueling system 5.5 million.

The entire public transport system is to be used at uniform prices within the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR).

In the past century there was the Barmer Bergbahn, a cog railway that ran between Toelleturm and Am Clef street in Barmen. A trolleybus network had three lines from 1949 to 1972 and was the first German trolleybus operator to use one - and -a- half-decker trolleybuses (Krupp / Ludewig / Siemens) in the 1950s . The Vohwinkel district is still served by the Solingen trolleybus . Up until 1987 there were also tram lines in Wuppertal , but they were uninstalled for cost and operational reasons. Today only a few remaining rails are evidence of the once well-developed network.

The commitment of the association “Bergische Museumsbahnen e. V. ”with the Bergisches Straßenbahnmuseum and its museum tram company in Kohlfurth (Cronenberg) keeps the memory of the diverse history of this means of transport alive in Wuppertal and operates one of the smallest tram companies in the world.

Bicycle traffic

Steinweg viaduct of the northern railway line converted into a hiking and cycling path

Bicycle traffic is not a focus of urban development because the topography away from the valley axis often has steep inclines. In recent years, however, various projects have been implemented to increase the proportion of (pedelec) cycling. The aim is to turn Wuppertal into a bicycle city by 2025, above all by converting former railway lines into bicycle paths that enable a low-incline connection between different parts of the city. So far, the northern railway line has been converted , driven by the Wuppertal Movement Association , and the Samba race . At the same time, the promotion of cycling is increasingly made possible in the road space, z. B. by opening one-way streets in the opposite direction, opening residential streets, culverts at dead ends or bike-friendly reconstruction of crossings. Wuppertal now has a network of 210 km of cycle paths and took first place in the German Bicycle Climate Test 2014 by the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC) in the category “catch-up” for cities over 200,000 inhabitants.

Special projects for infrastructure and urban development since 1990

Relief collector Wupper

In relief collector Wupper collected since 2010, the surface water and rainwater and the sewage treatment plant supplied. This prevents contaminated parts of this water from entering the river. It is up to fifteen meters deep, runs parallel to the Wupper and crosses under it six times. It was created underground from 1990 to 2003 by pipe jacking on behalf of the city and the municipal utilities. The 60 connecting structures erected by 2010 required many construction pits.


The Döppersberg , the largest traffic junction in downtown Elberfeld, is being redesigned. Since the late 1990s, renovation work there had been reduced to a low level. After the initially unclear financing, the state's funding was approved in September 2006. Construction work on this major project began in April 2010. The old front of the station has already been demolished and is to be replaced by a new one in the form of a business arcade. The shell of an underground car park was completed in 2015. The new bus station will be built on it directly on the first platform. In addition, several streets will be lowered and the entire station forecourt will be rebuilt to suit the city, so that Bundesstraße 7 will in future be free of stops and passers-by can travel above ground between the city center and the train station.

Regional 2006

The Regionale 2006 was a project funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia that was carried out in Wuppertal together with the neighboring cities of Solingen and Remscheid. Since 2001, the three cities have jointly developed projects for the urban, cultural and economic further development of the Bergisch city triangle . The aim was to draw attention to the region and make it more future-proof. In the course of the project, a large network of experts from science, politics, administration and institutions has emerged.

In 2006, at the end of the program at the Bergische Expo '06 next to the stadium at the zoo in Wuppertal, the results as well as the achievements and qualities of the city triangle were presented to the public.

Cable car

In addition, the Council of the City of Wuppertal decided in March 2016 that the "viability of a cable car will be examined with an open pages of the city and this process should be accompanied by a participation of the citizens." The cable car should the Döppersberg with the campus Grifflenberg the university and the Hahnerberg . These axes are so heavily used that the handling of the passenger volume with the existing bus traffic is called into question and a more efficient means of transport is required. The project was abandoned in May 2019 after a public survey in which 61.59% of the participating citizens spoke out against the cable car.


Radio and television

The location of the Westdeutsche Zeitung in the center of Elberfeld

A Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) studio has been located in Wuppertal since 1983 , previously there was only one office for the Bergisches Land . In this studio the regional broadcasts for radio and television of the WDR are produced, which run under the names WDR 2 - Nachrichten für das Bergisches Land (on radio) and WDR Lokalzeit Bergisches Land (on television).

Furthermore, the local radio station Radio Wuppertal has been broadcasting since 1991 .

Print media

The only local daily newspaper to appear is the General-Anzeiger, the Wuppertaler edition of the Westdeutsche Zeitung (WZ), which operates a press house in Wuppertal in addition to Düsseldorf and Krefeld . In addition, there are or were a large number of regional advertising papers and weekly magazines , including the Wuppertaler Rundschau , talwaerts (discontinued in 2015), the Ronsdorfer Sonntagsblatt, the Ronsdorfer Wochenschau, the Cronenberger Woche, the Cronenberger Anzeiger and the Bergische Blätter .

A regional editors in Wuppertal operates next to the HEINZ magazine also coolibri , an urban cross-Magazine for the Rhineland, the Ruhr and Bergisches country with a circulation of over 200,000 copies. The Bergisches Geschichtsverein has published a 400 to 500 page magazine every two years since 1863 .

In addition to the newspapers, several book publishers have their headquarters in Wuppertal. For example Arco Verlag , which has been publishing and selling literature from East Central Europe, especially from the Bohemian countries , since 2002 . Edition 52 is a comic book publisher that publishes works of graphic and literary demanding draftsmen and authors. The Peter Hammer Verlag has existed since 1966 and publishes a large part of the African fiction published in Germany .

Online media

In February 2016, the online community Wuppertal totally started, which shows current affairs in Wuppertal with news, classifieds, events, police reports and current reports. In addition, the exclusively internet-based medium njuuz online has existed since December 2009 , which is mainly devoted to urban topics and publishes reports and news on a daily basis. In mid-2011, the independent campus newspaper blickfeld , initiated by students, was founded. In addition to university topics, the editorial team also deals with cultural and social life in the city of Wuppertal.

Public facilities

The historic building of the district court with a modern extension
Wuppertal regional court

Wuppertal is the seat of several public institutions, also of national importance. The Wuppertal District Court is subordinate to the Regional Court as part of the ordinary jurisdiction . It was founded in 1907 as the Elberfeld District Court . The building erected in 1848 was supplemented by a new building in 2005. The Wuppertal Regional Court is one of six regional courts in the district of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court . In addition to Wuppertal, the judicial district includes the cities of Solingen , Remscheid , Erkrath , Haan , Mettmann , Wülfrath , Heiligenhaus and Velbert . The courthouse, built in 1854, is one of the oldest in Germany. Together with the Wuppertal Labor Court, both courts are part of the island of justice and have a direct connection to the Wuppertal suspension railway and several bus routes.

Public institutions outside of the judiciary are also based in the city. For example, the representation of the interests of the economy of the urban triangle , the Bergische Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid . The original shape of the modern Chamber of Commerce was the Chamber of Commerce of Elberfeld and Barmen, the first focused on the principle of self-management of the economy Chamber of Commerce is true of Germany and founded in 1830 was. The Wuppertal Police Headquarters , as the district police authority, is also responsible for the city triangle. It is subdivided into the four directorates of security, crime, traffic and central tasks .

As a service agency subordinate to the Ministry of the Environment NRW , the Energy Agency NRW is responsible for public education, advice and further training on the subject of energy efficiency and renewable energies . It is part of the European Fund for Regional Development and coordinates projects at research institutes and educational institutions for North Rhine-Westphalian companies, municipalities and citizens, among other things.


The skyscraper on the Helios site

Wuppertal has several hospitals that are among the best-known and largest in the region. The Agaplesion Bethesda Hospital has existed in Elberfeld since 1886 and has seven specialist clinics, including a neurosurgical department and another for interventional vascular medicine. Every year around 40,000 outpatients and inpatients are treated. The largest hospital in the city and the Bergisches Land is the Helios Clinic in Barmen and Elberfeld with 26 specialist departments and 50,000 patients per year. It belongs to the network of Helios clinics and is a university clinic of the University of Witten / Herdecke . It emerged from two municipal clinics, which were founded in 1820 as the Ferdinand Sauerbruch Clinic Elberfeld and in 1907 as the Barmen Municipal Hospital .

Other larger hospitals are the St. Antonius and Sankt Josef Clinics, both of which belong to the St. Marien GmbH Hospital Association in Cologne. In addition, the city has ten other clinics, some of which are specialized in specialty areas, such as rheumatology or geriatric rehabilitation.

Social facilities

There are 179 day care centers for children in Wuppertal, 120 of which are run by independent youth welfare organizations.

The political committees of the city of Wuppertal are advised in their work by the citizens through an advisory board for the disabled, an advisory board for the elderly and by district youth councils. There is also an equality office for women and men and the regional office for the promotion of children and young people from immigrant families .

The main offices of the Blaues Kreuz in Deutschland e.V. association are located in Wuppertal . V. , a Christian organization providing help for addicts , and the German Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband, Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen .

There are around 200 self-help groups in the city on various illnesses, disabilities and psychological or social problems.

The Wuppertaler Tafel is a non-profit aid organization that distributes food, clothing, household items and furniture to those in need and offers free medical care. The association Help for Wuppertal in Need e. V. (WIN) is a campaign by local media that offers needy citizens from donations, unbureaucratic and uncomplicated, quick help.



Wuppertal has a total of 61 primary schools, twelve secondary schools, five comprehensive schools, for example the Erich Fried comprehensive school, eight secondary schools and eleven grammar schools, for example the Wilhelm Dörpfeld grammar school , the grammar school Sedanstraße , the Archbishopric St. Anna grammar school or the Carl-Fuhlrott -Gymnasium . There are also eight private schools, 13 vocational colleges and 14 special needs schools.

Community College

The adult education centers and family education centers of Wuppertal and Solingen have merged to form the Bergische Volkshochschule . Since 2006, a joint course program for both cities has been published twice a year. In addition to professional training, general training with cultural, political, economic and linguistic aspects is also offered. In addition, if desired, the participants are also supported with questions about family formation.


The main campus of the Bergische Universität
University of Wuppertal

The Bergische Universität Wuppertal (BUW) was established in 1972 as a comprehensive university in Wuppertal through the merger of the Wuppertal department of the Rhineland University of Education and the Wuppertal University of Applied Sciences . In 1983 it was expanded to become a comprehensive university. At the Bergische Universität, 250 professors teach in seven departments, and over 20,000 students are enrolled in the 2016 summer semester. In addition to the traditional engineering courses in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and civil engineering , the university is characterized by the rare course in safety engineering . The health economics course is also offered here in a very special way. It is also one of the best start-up locations in Germany. In addition to numerous bachelor's and master's degrees, there are well-known new research projects with a pronounced practical relevance, including Visionlabs and the BKG . Since 2008, the university has also been affiliated with the European Institute for International Economic Relations (EIIW), which was founded by university professor Paul JJ Welfens . Outside the main campus on Grifflenberg, there are two smaller campuses on Haspel and Freudenberg.

Church University of Wuppertal
The Wuppertal Church University

The Church University of Wuppertal was founded in 1935 as the "University for Reformation Theology" as a training center for the Confessing Church . It was immediately banned by the National Socialists , but could continue to work underground until 1941. It was reopened after the Second World War and has been an institution of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland since 1976 . It cooperates with the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Today the church university is part of the Theological Center Wuppertal , which focuses on training and further education for full-time and voluntary employees of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland.

Other universities

Around 220 students study in the small department of the Cologne University of Music on Sedansberg in Wuppertal. It emerged from the Wuppertal Conservatory, which was attached to the Cologne University in 1972. The only chair for mandolin in Europe is located here . In addition, Wuppertal is one of 24 locations nationwide of the privately run FOM University of Economics & Management , based in Essen .

In addition, from the end of 2009 to the end of 2012, Wuppertal had a provisional location for the Folkwang University of the Arts , based in Werden monastery in Essen . The communication design course at Bergische Universität expired in the winter semester 2009/2010, from then on freshmen enrolled directly at Folkwang University. In order to enable the 200 still enrolled students to continue their studies, six professors and research assistants remained at the Wuppertal location until the summer semester 2012, who have been teaching at the Essen location since the following winter semester.

Other educational and research institutions

Seminars, conferences and other training opportunities have been held at the Technical Academy in Wuppertal since 1948 . The TAW also houses the Administration Academy. It is one of the largest and oldest German further education institutes and teaches at five German and three other European locations. It is also an external institute of the renowned RWTH Aachen . The renowned Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy is also based in Wuppertal. It researches and develops models, strategies and instruments for transitions to sustainable development on a regional, national and international level. In 1985 the ASER e. V. was founded as a legally independent and non-profit ergonomic research institution in Wuppertal. The penal school in North Rhine-Westphalia is the central training center for medium-sized penal service in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia .

The Nature and Environment Station in Hahnerberg has existed since 1984 and is the largest municipal facility for environmental education and environmental education in the Bergisches Land. A forest pedagogical center in the arboretum in the Burgholz state forest and the zoo school in Wuppertal do further environmental pedagogical work.

The Junior-Uni Wuppertal is a private, non-profit educational institution with the aim of introducing young people between the ages of 4 and 18 to scientific and technical professions. The project, which is unique in Germany, started in December 2008 with initially more than 40 courses for 600 students from four age groups and aims to inspire around 4,700 children and young people every year in special events for nature and technology. Students also have the opportunity to teach here.


Honorary citizen

The city has given honorary citizenship to thirteen people since it was founded . In 1991, for example, the future Federal President Johannes Rau was honored for his many services to the city, especially the establishment of the Bergische Universität. The first three awards in 1933 to Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler , Reich President Paul von Hindenburg and SA Oberführer August Wilhelm von Prussia were revoked again after the Second World War, as in numerous other German cities.

In addition to the honorary citizenship, the city has been donating the city of Wuppertal's ring of honor since 1966 , which can be awarded to personalities who have made a special contribution to the well-being of the city. It has been awarded more than fifty times since then.

sons and daughters of the town

Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Bayer 1863
Federal President Johannes Rau 2004
Else Lasker-Schüler 1875

A number of people who have become famous beyond the city limits were born in Wuppertal and its predecessor cities. However, their sphere of activity was often outside the city. To mention is born in Barmen in 1820 Friedrich Engels , who together with Karl Marx to Marxism developed. The architect Wilhelm Dörpfeld , born in Barmen in 1853, was involved in the excavations of Troy , Tiryns and Pergamon as an employee of Heinrich Schliemann . Friedrich Carl Duisberg , born in 1861, was a chemist and industrialist who played a key role in the development of the chemical industry in Germany at the end of the 19th century, as did Friedrich Bayer , born in 1825 in what is now the Heckinghausen district, who founded the Friedrich Bayer paint factory in Elberfeld in 1863 today Bayer AG founded. Else Lasker-Schüler, born in 1869, made a name for herself in the field of poetry . Ferdinand Sauerbruch was born in 1875 , the most important surgeon of his time. The philosopher Rudolf Carnap was born in Ronsdorf in 1891 ; he was an important exponent of logical empiricism . In 1901 the famous illustrator Sulamith Wülfing was born in Elberfeld .

The actor Horst Tappert (1923-2008), who was born in the Elberfeld district, was popular as a television commissioner. Also the actors Harald Leipnitz (1926–2000), Ann-Kathrin Kramer (* 1966), Steffen Möller (* 1969), actor and comedian Christoph Maria Herbst (* 1966), parodist and entertainer Jörg Knör (* 1959), the comedian Axel Stein (* 1982), film director and producer Tom Tykwer (* 1965) and TV presenter Bettina Tietjen (* 1960) were born in Wuppertal, as were the musician Sascha Gutzeit (* 1972), the musical actor Patrick Stanke (* 1979) and the Children's book and novelist Tanya Stewner (* 1974). Sandy Mölling (* 1981) was a member of the pop band No Angels for three years .

Johannes Rau (1931–2006), who was born in Barmen, was Lord Mayor of Wuppertal for two years , later Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia for 20 years and the eighth German Federal President . Rita Süssmuth (* 1937), President of the Bundestag for many years, also comes from Wuppertal. Silvana Koch-Mehrin (* 1970) is an FDP politician and was a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2014 . Alice Schwarzer , a well-known representative of 20th century German feminism, was born in Wuppertal in 1942.

With Gonzalo Castro (* 1987), Daniel Keita-Ruel (* 1989), Serdar Kesimal (* 1989) and Richard Sukuta-Pasu (* 1990) four current professional footballers come from the city. Olympic swimmer Christian vom Lehn (* 1992) was also born here.

Wuppertal originals

Zuckerfritz monument

Fritz Pothen lived from 1830 to 1906. He transported luggage and goods with a wheelbarrow through the town of Elberfeld. As he particularly liked to transport confectionery, he was nicknamed Zuckerfritz . Today his monument stands opposite the former town hall in Elberfeld.

In addition to the Zuckerfritz , Minna Knallenfalls, Husch Husch and August Kallenbach are among the Wuppertal originals, which have achieved a high level of awareness among the local population through their unmistakable appearance or appearance.

Other personalities

A number of well-known people live and work (or lived and worked) in Wuppertal, who were not born in the city or the predecessor cities, but who became important beyond the city limits.

The Liverpool- born visual artist Tony Cragg lives and works in Wuppertal. Likewise, the London- born singer and rapper Neal Antone Dyer, who became known under the stage name Tony T. with projects such as Beat System and RIO . Gerhard Domagk received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1939 and became an honorary citizen of the city of Wuppertal in 1951 . He lived in the former Villa Schmidt, which was built right next to the Wuppertal Zoo.

Heinrich Carl Alexander Pagenstecher lived from 1799 to 1869. He was a doctor in Elberfeld and was a member of the Frankfurt National Assembly for the constituency of Barmen / Elberfeld until November 2, 1848. He was also a member of the Fifties Committee . Friedrich Senger (1886–1936) was a city councilor in Wuppertal and a resistance fighter against National Socialism. Sigrid Wylach (* 1941) is a designer who lives and works in Wuppertal. Hans-Dietrich Genscher (1927-2016) was an FDP member of the Bundestag for the constituency in the west of Wuppertal for 33 years.



  • Heinrich Silbergleit (ed.): Prussian cities. Memorandum for the 100th anniversary of the city ordinance from November 19, 1808. Heymann, Berlin 1908 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  • Erich Keyser (ed.): Rheinisches Städtebuch (= German city book. Volume 3: Northwest Germany. 3). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1956.
  • Walther Hubatsch (Hrsg.): Outline of the German administrative history. 1815-1945. Row A: Prussia. Volume 7: Rüdiger Schütz: Rhineland. Johann Gottfried Herder Institute, Marburg / Lahn 1978, ISBN 3-87969-122-3 .
  • Herbert Günther: Wuppertal (= time leaps ). Sutton, Erfurt 2002, ISBN 3-89702-517-5 .
  • Bettina Osswald (photos), Klaus Göntzsche (ed.): Wuppertals wa (h) re kings and shopkeepers . Wuppertaler Rundschau, Wuppertal 2004.
  • Volkmar Wittmütz: The emergence of the city of Wuppertal 1929. In: Romerike mountains . Journal for the Bergisches Land. Vol. 54, Issue 2, 2004, ISSN  0485-4306 , pp. 2-17.
  • E. Dieter Fränzel : sounds like whoopataal. Wuppertal in the world of jazz. Published by Jazz AGe Wuppertal. Klartext, Essen 2006, ISBN 3-89861-466-2 .
  • Peter Keller : Wuppertal on the ball. Amateur football 1945 to 1975. Sutton, Erfurt 2007, ISBN 978-3-86680-167-7 .
  • Ulrike Schrader : Torah and textiles. On the history of the Jews in Wuppertal. Sponsoring association for the Old Synagogue Wuppertal, Wuppertal 2007, ISBN 978-3-9807118-9-0 .
  • Wuppertal Railways Working Group: Wuppertal Transport Hub. From the beginning to the mid-seventies. EK-Verlag, Freiburg (Breisgau) 2008, ISBN 978-3-88255-249-2 .
  • Hermann J. Mahlberg , Hella Nussbaum (Ed.): The departure around 1900 and the modern age in the architecture of the Wuppertal. Afterglow of an epoch (= contributions from the Research Center for Architectural History, Monument Preservation and Industrial Culture of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Volume 15). Müller + Busmann, Wuppertal 2008, ISBN 978-3-928766-87-6 .
  • Michael Okroy : National community, hereditary index and Aryanization. A city guide during the Nazi era in Wuppertal. 2nd, revised and updated edition. Supporting association for meeting place Old Synagogue Wuppertal, Wuppertal 2008, ISBN 978-3-940199-00-3 .
  • Yuhym Shklovsky (Ed.): Bridges in Wuppertal. Regine Dehnel, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-9811352-5-1 .
  • Ursula Hüsgen (texts), Jörg Lange (photos): Wuppertal-Vohwinkel. Stadt-Bild-Verlag, Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-937126-79-1 .
  • Klaus Göntzsche (texts), Jörg Lange (photos): Elberfeld. A beautiful piece of Wuppertal. Stadt-Bild-Verlag, Leipzig 2010, ISBN 978-3-937126-80-7 .
  • Rescue resistance in Wuppertal during the National Socialism (PDF; 1.9 MB). Dissertation by Frank Friedhelm Homberg at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.
  • Volker Wittmütz: Small Wuppertal City History. Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-7917-2523-9 .
  • Stefan Gorißen, Kurt Wesoly and Horst Sassin (eds.): History of the Bergisches Land (= Bergische researches. Volume 31/32). 2 volumes. Publishing house for regional history Gütersloh 2014/15, ISBN 978-3-89534-971-3 .
  • Klaus Goebel, Bergischer Geschichtsverein, Dept. Wuppertal (ed.): Historical scenes in Wuppertal, Solingen and Remscheid (= contributions to the preservation of monuments and the cityscape of the Wuppertal. Volume 9). Born-Verlag, Wuppertal 1990, ISBN 3-87093-043-8 .
  • Tanja Heil, Ralf Putsch (ed.): Original from the valley. Wuppertal innovations and pioneering achievements. Wuppertal 2019, ISBN 978-3-939843-93-1 .

See also

Portal: Wuppertal  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Wuppertal

Web links

 Wikinews: Wuppertal  - in the news
Commons : Wuppertal  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Wuppertal  - Sources and full texts
Wikivoyage: Wuppertal  - Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. Population of the municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia on December 31, 2019 - update of the population based on the census of May 9, 2011. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), accessed on June 17, 2020 .  ( Help on this )
  2. Population of the municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia on December 31, 2019 - update of the population based on the census of May 9, 2011. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), accessed on June 17, 2020 .  ( Help on this )
  3. Kai Riedemann: HÖRZU ranking - Germany's greenest cities. In: Listen . September 21, 2013 (Source: Federal Statistical Office: Land according to the type of actual use: forest areas and green spaces without sports facilities and cemeteries. )
  4. Frank Becker: Barmen, an underrated city. Hans Joachim de Bruyn-Ouboter - 1200 years of Barmen. In: musenblaetter.de, March 24, 2010, accessed on January 26, 2013 (review).
  5. Handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany: Sheet 108/109: Düsseldorf / Erkelenz (Karlheinz Paffen, Adolf Schüttler, Heinrich Müller-Miny) 1963; 55 p. And digital version of the associated map (PDF; 7.4 MB).
  6. Susanne Weingarten, Martin Wolf: "Simply incomprehensible". Director Tom Tykwer, 34, on the German Film Prize, the success of “Run Lola Run” and the charm of Wuppertal . In: Der Spiegel . No. 24 , 1999, pp. 232 ( Online - June 14, 1999 ). Interview with Tom Tykwer. (No longer available online.) In: djfl.de. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010 ; accessed on June 5, 2018 .
  7. Soil adventure trail “From Hahnerberg to Gelpe Valley”. (PDF) (No longer available online.) In: wuppertal.de. Formerly in the original ; accessed on June 5, 2018 (no mementos).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.wuppertal.de
  8. Geology educational trail in Wuppertal-Barmen.
  9. GPS recording, property map.
  10. Kai Riedemann: HÖRZU ranking - Germany's greenest cities. In: Listen . September 21, 2013 (Source: Federal Statistical Office: Land according to the type of actual use: forest areas and green spaces without sports facilities and cemeteries. )
  11. ^ Decision on the construction of the prison in Wuppertal - Scharpenacken. Regional council abandons the natural oasis of destruction. In: stadtnetz-wuppertal.de. Accessed April 2019 .
  12. Start of construction for the Scharpenacken Drei project in Wuppertal. In: immobilienmanager.de. Accessed April 2019 .
  13. Klaus Koch: 52,000 square meters for Bauhaus on Lichtscheid. Development: In addition to the additional hardware store, Aldi should also be able to sell on 800 square meters. In: Westdeutsche Zeitung. September 6, 2011, accessed July 9, 2019 .
  14. Jeanette Nicole Wölling: Spelleken Park II - approval for construction. 64 residential units are to be built between Linderhauser and Rheinischer Strasse. In: Westdeutsche Zeitung. July 7, 2011, accessed July 15, 2019 .
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  16. Manual Praest, Nora Wanzke: Holländische Heide: Residents fear for the natural idyll. In: wz.de. Accessed April 2019 .
  17. Manual Praest: Housing development August-Jung-Weg: 16 new houses - and a lot of resistance. In: wz.de. Accessed April 2019 .
  18. Manuel Prast: development of Katernberger Schulweg: residents complain. In: Westdeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved July 9, 2019 .
  19. ^ District government Düsseldorf: More residential building land on the Rhine. In: Website district government Düsseldorf. Accessed June 2019 .
  20. District government Düsseldorf: More residential building land on the Rhine - Profile W-05 Asbruch. (PDF; 1.8 MB) In: Website District Government Düsseldorf. Retrieved June 2019 (PDF document may not be displayed correctly).
  21. ^ District government Düsseldorf: More residential building land on the Rhine - Profile W-21 north of Westfalenweg. In: Website district government Düsseldorf. Accessed June 2019 .
  22. ^ City of Wuppertal: Urban climate. The climate in the open landscape is largely dependent on natural conditions. In the city, a climate is formed which is influenced by buildings, the urban climate. In: wuppertal.de. Retrieved July 17, 2019 .
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  25. ^ WeatherOnline Ltd .: Climate information. In: weatheronline.de. Retrieved February 25, 2018 .
  26. ^ Landscape plan Wuppertal-West of the city of Wuppertal. Basic part. (PDF; 563 kB) As announced on March 29, 2005. In: wuppertal.de. City of Wuppertal, accessed on July 15, 2019 .
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  29. Questions and answers about the environmental zone. Why is an environmental zone necessary? In: wuppertal.de. City of Wuppertal, accessed on July 14, 2019 .
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  32. Tradition on Dönberg. (No longer available online.) In: doenberger.de. Archived from the original on October 17, 2017 ; Retrieved July 30, 2011 .
  33. Cf. Deductio historica… In terms of the Franckfurther Magistrate, Contra Die Elberfelder- and Barmer-Handels-Leuthe… In terms of the Franckfurther Leinwands-Haus . Caspar Proper Sons, Mülheim am Rhein 1726 ( Google Books ).
  34. ^ Klaus Tenfelde : The Ruhr Area! From the Stone Age to the Capital of Culture 2010. Part 2. Accessed in January 2011 .
  35. ^ A b Johann Rainer Busch, Hans Günter Deilmann: The mining and the Ruhr shipping. Extract from "Prinz-Wilhelm Eisenbahn". (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on July 19, 2011 ; Retrieved February 5, 2011 .
  36. ^ Karl Ottmann: Hansemann as a railway politician. In: Bernhard Poll (ed.): David Hansemann 1790–1864 - 1964. IHK Aachen, Aachen, 1964, pp. 65–79.
  37. Ursula Ringleben (accompaniment), B. Menke, S. Hähle: Barmen valley axis. BUGH Wuppertal.
  38. a b Chronicle of Wuppertal's city history ( Memento from May 10, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  39. ^ See Rescue Resistance in Wuppertal during National Socialism. Dissertation (2008, Uni Düsseldorf) by Frank Friedhelm Homberg ( PDF; 1.9 MB ).
  40. Armin T. Wegner: "Letter to Hitler" (1933) . In: Ronald Steckel (Ed.): Odyssey of the Soul . Selected works by Armin T. Wegner. Hammer, Wuppertal 1976, ISBN 3-87294-097-X , p. 237–245 ( exil-archiv.de [PDF; 45 kB ; accessed on July 15, 2018] - the authenticity was disputed by Margaret Lavinia Anderson in 2012).
  41. 70 years of the Wuppertal union processes. In: gewerkschaftsprozesse.de. Association for Research into Social Movements in Wuppertal e. V., July 12, 2006, accessed on July 16, 2018.
  42. ^ Shelby L. Stanton: World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to US Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939-1946. Revised edition. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pa. 2006, ISBN 0-8117-0157-3 , p. 147; on-line. (PDF) (No longer available online.) In: us.archive.org. Formerly in the original ; Retrieved June 5, 2018 (American English, no mementos).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / ia601505.us.archive.org .
  43. ^ Albrecht Lein: Antifascist Action 1945 . The "Zero Hour" in Braunschweig (=  Göttingen political science research . Volume 2 ). Musterschmidt, Göttingen a. a. 1978, ISBN 3-7881-1702-8 (Zugl .: Göttingen, Univ., Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Diss., 1978 and d. T .: Lein, Albrecht: The anti-fascist and socialist unit ).
  44. Kurt Schnöring: Between fear and hope. Zero hour in Wuppertal. End and new beginning 1945. Verlag Peter Pomp, Bottrop 1995, p. 135.
  45. Reformation city of Wuppertal. Germany. The Reformation and its history to this day. In: reformation-cities.org, accessed on May 19, 2018.
  46. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 292 .
  47. a b c WUPPERTAL. statistics info. Quarter III. 2006 ( Memento of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.2 MB). In: wuppertal.de, September 30, 2006, accessed on July 17, 2019 (statistics on, among other things, the religious affiliation of the city of Wuppertal).
  48. Statement | Church district. Numbers are not the be-all and end-all of the church In: evangelisch-wuppertal.de, Kirchenkreis Wuppertal, June 26, 2020, accessed on June 29, 2020.
  49. Facts and Figures 2019. Archdiocese of Cologne , accessed on June 29, 2020.
  50. Claudia Kasemann: Wuppertal churches recorded fewer members. Wuppertal churches: more exits, but also more entries. In: wz.de, Westdeutsche Zeitung , July 28, 2019, accessed on July 30, 2019 (registration required).
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  53. In Wuppertal, churchgoers are a growing minority on wz.de from December 5, 2019, accessed on April 15, 2020
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  56. Jump up ↑ Meetings - Jehovah's Witnesses. In: jw.org. Retrieved June 4, 2020 .
  57. ^ Municipalities in the district. In: nak-wuppertal.de, New Apostolic Church District Wuppertal, accessed on June 30, 2020 (see information on the individual parishes).
  58. The first Muslim cemetery in Germany. In: welt.de . February 26, 2015, accessed April 15, 2020.
  59. ^ Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation in Wuppertal e. V. In: deutscher-koordinierungsrat.de, accessed on May 19, 2018.
  60. Round table Wuppertal.
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  62. Applicable laws and ordinances (SGV. NRW.) As of July 5, 2019. Municipal Code for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (GO NRW), announcement of the new version. In: nrw.de. Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia, accessed on July 14, 2019 .
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  67. ^ Wuppertal city law. (182 kB) Rules of procedure for the Wuppertal City Council, the committees and the district representatives. In: wuppertal.de. City of Wuppertal, accessed on July 14, 2019 .
  68. Municipal ordinance NRW, § 61.
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