Aerial view 2007
|o Mayor||Walter Jertz|
|o Total||7.09 km2 (2.74 sq mi)|
|Elevation||100 m (300 ft)|
|o Density||1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Oppenheim is a town in the Mainz-Bingen district of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The town is a well-known wine center, being the home of the German Winegrowing Museum, and is particularly known for the wines from the Oppenheimer Krötenbrunnen vineyards.
In 765, the first documented mention of the Frankish village was recorded in the Lorsch Codex, in connection with an endowment by Charlemagne to the Lorsch Abbey. Further portions of Oppenheim were added to the endowment in 774. In 1008, Oppenheim was granted market rights. In October 1076 Oppenheim gained special importance in the Investiture Controversy. At the princely session of Trebur and Oppenheim, the princes called on King Henry IV to undertake the "Walk to Canossa". After Oppenheim was returned to the Empire in 1147, it became a Free Imperial City in 1225, during the Staufer Emperor Frederick II's. At this time, the town was important for its imperial castle and the Burgmannen who lived there.
In 1621, the Oppenheim town chronicle reports a great fire in which the Oppenheim Town Hall was almost completely destroyed. The Electoral Oberamt archive, too, was lost in the fire, and so it was moved to Mainz. [the meaning here is not clear]
On 14 September 1620, Spanish troops overran the town in the Thirty Years' War. The Spaniards occupied Oppenheim until 1632. In 1688, French troops overran the town in the Nine Years' War (1688-1697). On 31 May 1689, Landskrone Castle and the town were utterly destroyed by the French under General Mélac. Until 1797, Oppenheim remained an Electoral Palatinate holding. After being in French hands, Oppenheim passed, in 1816, to the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. It remained Hessian until 1945.
The town's arms might be described thus: Or an eagle displayed sable.
All town seals up until 1925 showed a crowned king's head, but for one, from 1266, that showed the Emperor on his throne. Nevertheless, the town adopted arms with this composition while still using the king's head seal. The arms have not changed since their adoption.
The arms have been borne since 1609.
In Oppenheim, wine was given considerable publicity by Mayor Dr. Heinz Scheller after he took office in 1935: For Scheller, the only city worthy of sponsoring Oppehneim's wine was none other than the capital, Berlin. The town of Ansbach and the city of Osnabrück were also subsequently chosen. To revive this wine sponsorship and to give thanks for the commitment to the town of Oppenheim, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, was "knighted" on 11 March 2006 by Mayor Marcus Held, earning the title of "Wine Knight" (Weinritter).
The sponsorship has found active expression in, among other things, the town's participation in the estate festivals held by the Senate of Berlin in 2007 and 2008. At the invitation of Berlin's governing mayor, Klaus Wowereit, a citizens' delegation, under Mayor Marcus Held, took part in the festivities at the German Embassy in Paris on German Unity Day, as well as during the jubilee celebrations of the Berlin-Paris city partnership.
Worth seeing are:
Quite extraordinary is the Oppenheimer Kellerlabyrinth ("Oppenheim Cellar Labyrinth") under the Old Town. Underground passageways, stairways and rooms link the houses and facilities with each other on a number of levels. In the heart of Old Town, near the Town Hall, there are altogether roughly 650 m of cellar passageways open to visitors, which are largely preserved in their original state. It is believed, however, that what has been opened to the public is only about 3% of the total underground passages. The exact extent of the passageways is still not known with any great certainty, despite investigations commissioned by the town, but the length is estimated to be at least 40 km. Guided tours through this unique underground labyrinth are offered all year round by the town's Tourism and Festival Play Bureau. There are also town tours and night watchman tours.
Annually, between August and October, the Oppenheimer Theaterfestspiele ("Oppenheim Theatre Festival Plays") take place in the town's Kulturkeller ("Culture Cellar") and at Landskron Castle's ruins.
Particularly worth visiting, besides Saint Katherine's Church, the Town Museum and the underground labyrinth, is the German Viticultural Museum (Deutsches Weinbaumuseum) with the region's oldest wine press from the Geistermühle, a centuries-old mill in Flonheim. Everything worth knowing about wine can be found here.
In the Kultursommer ("Cultural Summer"), there are regular concerts in the town's historic marketplace in front of the Town Hall. The Oppenheim Trombone Choir also gives regular performances.
There are several sport clubs in Oppenheim, e.g., TC Rot-Weiß Oppenheim (Red-White Tennis Club)(tennis), FSV Oppenheim (Football Sport-Verein) (football), and one founded in 1846 that may well have the most members, TV Oppenheim. TV (Turn-Verein= gymnastics and sports association) Oppenheim is successful well beyond its home region in gymnastics, swimming, cycling sports and above all, basketball.
Each year in the town at Landskron Castle's ruins, Saint Katherine's Church, the Kulturkeller under the courthouse square and the marketplace, the Festspiele Oppenheim ("Oppenheim Festival Plays") take place.
An Easter Market also takes place annually early in the year and later in the year, the Saint Katherine's Market in the Old Town.
Other regular events in town are:
The administration of the Verbandsgemeinde of Nierstein-Oppenheim is based in Oppenheim.
Appearing in Oppenheim is the Allgemeine Zeitung, with local reporting and its own offices. Furthermore, there is the weekly Rheinhessisches Wochenblatt, likewise published by the Verlagsgruppe Rhein Main.
Oppenheim lies on Bundesstraße (Highway) 9, which leads from the Dutch border near Kleve to the French border near Kandel. Locally it serves foremost as a link to the nearby cities of Mainz and Worms and the Mainzer Autobahnring in the north and A 6 in the south.
Linking Oppenheim to rail transport is a railway station on the Mainz-Ludwigshafen line. Running on it is the RB 44 Mainz-Worms-Ludwigshafen-Mannheim. Furthermore, ORN regional bus routes run from Dalheim to Wörrstadt by way of Oppenheim and towards Guntersblum and Undenheim.