Worms, Germany

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Worms (German pronunciation: [ˈvɔɐ̯ms]) is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the Rhine River. At the end of 2004, it had 85,829 inhabitants.

Established by the Celts, who called it Borbetomagus, Worms today remains embattled with the cities Trier and Cologne over the title of "Oldest City in Germany." Worms is the only German member in the organization Most Ancient European Towns Network.

Today the city is an industrial centre and is famed for the original "Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück" epotoponym for the Liebfraumilch wine. Other industries include chemicals and metal goods.

Worms is one of the major sites where the events of the ancient German Nibelungenlied took place. A multimedia Nibelungenmuseum was opened in 2001, and a yearly festival right in front of the Dom, the Cathedral of Worms, attempts to recapture the atmosphere of the pre-Christian period.

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Etymology

Worms' name is of Celtic origin: Borbetomagus meant "settlement in a watery area". This was eventually transformed into the Latin name Vormatia that had been in use since the 6th century, which was preserved in the Medieval Hebrew form Vermayza (ורמיזא). Many fanciful variant names for Worms exist only upon the title pages of books printed when Worms was an early centre of printing: for instance William Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament was printed at Worms in 1526.

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