Information and Tourism
Hesse may be small in size, but it is most definitely not lacking in terms of economic influence. City living rules here as hard-working toil to make sure that this leviathan of a state continues to generate one of the highest incomes per head in Germany. The majority of Hesse's residents live in the Rhine-Main area, in cities such as Frankfurt Am Main and Wiesbaden.
High-rise Frankfurt is where Germany lives life in the fast lane. Home to some of Europe's largest financial institutions, including the influential Bundesbank, as well as acting as host to a plethora of important trade fairs, Frankfurt may not immediately strike you as a place that is particularly tourist-friendly. In recent years, though, Frankfurt has added city breaks to its portfolio, with museums and nightlife named as the top attractions.
By way of contrast in Hesse, to the west of Frankfurt is the provincial capital city of Wiesbaden, a place that is both easy on the eye and the mind. These days, several historic attractions, together with a thermal spa and green parks, bring in visitors. In years gone by, Wiesbaden also proved to be a draw for the likes of Goethe and Dostoevsky, although the opportunity to gamble at Wiesbaden's tables may have had something to do with the city's popularity.
Away from the lure of city life, the countryside of Hesse includes the Rhön mountains. Its highest peak, Wasserkuppe, became famous during the mid-20th century for its role in the development of gliders in civil aviation.
The natural beauty of the Lahn Valley has become more widely appreciated in recent years, particularly with the growing popularity of ecotourism. Dotted with historic towns and castles, the valley and its river offer plenty of walking and canoeing opportunities.
Hesse Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Germany
- Main city or administrative centre: Wiesbaden
- Population: approximately 6.3 million
- Language: German
- Area: 8,100 square miles / 21,000 square kilometres
- Height of highest point (Wasserkuppe): 950 metres / 3,117 feet
WORLD GUIDES TO HESSE
World Guide to Frankfurt, Germany
Known to Germans as Frankfurt Am Main, since the city actually lies either side of the Main River, Frankfurt is a city of finance, culture and tourism. Home to the Germany stock exchange, the skyline bears many similarities to Manhattan.