Darmstadt

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Hessen DA.png

Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area.

The sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation,[2] prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat of the Landgraves of Hessen-Darmstadt in the 16th century.

As the administrative centre of an increasingly prosperous duchy, the city gained in prominence during the following centuries. In the 20th century, industry (especially chemicals) as well as large science and electronics (later information technology) sectors became increasingly important, and are still a major part of the city's economy. Darmstadt also has a large tertiary education sector, with three major universities and numerous associated institutions.[3]

Darmstadt is one of few cities (as opposed to smaller towns) in Germany which does not lie close to a river, lake or coast. It can also boast being the sunniest city in the state of Hesse.[4] The chemical element Darmstadtium (atomic number 110) is named after it, having been synthetisized in the GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt-Arheilgen.

Contents

History

Origins

The name Darmstadt first appears towards the end of the 11th century, then Darmundestat; Literally translated, the current German name Darmstadt means "Intestine City". This is just a coincidence however, and the origins of the name are unknown.[5] Even locals often believe, incorrectly, that the name derives from the 'Darmbach' (a small stream formerly running through the city). In fact the stream received its current name much later, after the city, not vice versa.[5]

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