Darmstadt, with a population of around 161,700, is located in the south of the Rhine-Main metropolitan region in Hesse. After being granted city rights in 1330, Darmstadt assumed special importance as the residential city of Hesse’s landgraves and grand dukes. Historical buildings such as the Residence Palace right in the city centre bear witness to this function. After Wiesbaden was chosen as the new state capital following the creation of the state of Hesse after the Second World War, Darmstadt increasingly developed into a city of culture and science.
City of culture
Darmstadt has been a city of special cultural significance at least since the founding of the Mathildenhöhe artists’ colony in 1899. The architectural ensemble Mathildenhöhe, consisting of the Wedding Tower, a landmark of Darmstadt, numerous exhibition buildings, museums and artists’ houses in Art Nouveau style, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021. Today, Darmstadt is still characterised by a lively cultural scene with its numerous theatres, ensembles, museums, art and music academies and events.
City of Science
With its universities and a particularly high concentration of research institutions, Darmstadt is also of national and international importance in terms of science and research. This was recognised not least by the state of Hesse with the award of the title “City of Science” in 1997. In addition to its five universities, the Technische Universität Darmstadt, the Hochschule Darmstadt, the Evangelische Hochschule Darmstadt, the Wilhelm Büchner Hochschule and the Akademie für Tonkunst, with a total of over 41,000 students, Darmstadt is also home to several institutes of the Fraunhofer Society, the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, the European Space Flight Control Centre and the ATHENE National Research Centre for Applied Cyber Security, among others.
Finally, since winning the “Digital City” competition of the IT industry association Bitkom and the German Association of Towns and Municipalities in 2017, Darmstadt has been an innovative and lively experimental space for the design and testing of digital smart city technologies in the areas of administration, mobility, trade & tourism, education, society, environment, energy, security, IT infrastructure, cyber security, data platform, health, culture and Industry 4.0 with around 80 digitalisation projects.