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Rhineland-Palatinate
Rheinland-Pfalz
—  State of Germany  —
Flag of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg
Flag
Coat of arms of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg
Coat of arms
Deutschland Lage von Rheinland-Pfalz.svg
Coordinates: 49°54′47″N 7°27′0″E / 49.91306, 7.45
Country Germany
Capital Mainz
Government
 • Minister-President Kurt Beck (SPD)
 • Governing party SPDWp globe tiny
 • Votes in Bundesrat 4 (of 69)
Area
 • Total 19,847.39 km2 (7,663.12 sq mi)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 • Total 4,003,745
 • Density 200/km2 (520/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code DE-RP
GDP/ Nominal € 102.53 billion (2009)
NUTS Region DEB
Website [1]

Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of 19,846 square kilometres (7,663 sq mi) and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz (pronounced [ˈʁaɪnlant ˈpfalts]).

History Edit

The state of Rhineland-Palatinate was established on 30 August 1946. It was formed from the northern part of the French Occupation Zone, which included parts of Bavaria (the Rhenish Palatinate), the southern parts of the Prussian Rhine Province (including the District of Birkenfeld which formerly belonged to Oldenburg), parts of the Prussian Province of Nassau (see Hesse-Nassau), and parts of Hesse-Darmstadt (Rhinehessen on the western banks of the Rhine); the constitution was legally confirmed by referendum on 18 May 1947.

Geography Edit

Situated in western Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate borders (from the north and clockwise) North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, France, Saarland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

The largest river in the state is the Rhine, which forms the border with Baden-Württemberg and Hesse in the southeast before flowing through the northern part of Rhineland-Palatinate. The Rhine Valley is bounded by mountain chains and forms a fascinating landscape containing some of the most historically significant places in Germany.

The Eifel and Hunsrück mountain chains are found on the west bank of the Rhine in northern Rhineland-Palatinate, while the Westerwald and Taunus mountains are found on the east bank. The hilly lands in the southernmost region of the state are covered by the Palatinate forest and the Palatinate.

These mountain chains are separated from each other by several tributaries of the Rhine: the Mosel, the Lahn and the Nahe.

The modern state consists of a conglomeration of the historic regions of southern Rheinland Province, Rheinhessen and the Palatinate.

See also List of places in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Religion Edit

Catholic Church 45.7 %,[2] Evangelical Church in Germany 35.3 %.[3]
The league of ShUM-cities in the later Rhineland-Palatinate comprised the Jewish communities of Mainz, Speyer and Worms which became the center of Jewish life during Medieval times. The Takkanot Shum (Hebrew: תקנות שו"ם‎ ), or Enactments of ShU"M were a set of decrees formulated and agreed upon over a period of decades by their Jewish community leaders.

The official web site for the city of Mainz states:

One of the most glorious epoches in Mainz’s long history was the period from the beginning of the 900's and evidently much earlier. Following the barbaric Dark Ages, a relatively safe and enlightened Carolingian period brought peace and prosperity to Mainz and much of central–western Europe.

For the next 400 years, Mainz attracted many Jews as trade flourished. The greatest Jewish teachers and rabbis flocked to the Rhine. Their teachings, dialogues, decisions and influence propelled Mainz and neighboring towns along the Rhine into world-wide prominence. Their fame spread, rivaling that of other post-Diaspora cities such as Bagdhad. Western European— Ashkenazic or Germanic— Judaism became centered in Mainz, breaking free of the Babylonian traditions. A Yeshiva was founded in the 10th century by Gershom ben Judah.[4]

PoliticsEdit

Elections for the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag are held every five years, with residents over age 18 eligible to vote. This regional parliament or legislature then elects the premier and confirms the cabinet members. Rhineland-Palatinate is the only German state to have a cabinet minister for winegrowing (Ministry of Economy, Traffic, Agriculture and Winegrowing)

Minister-presidents of Rhineland-PalatinateEdit

KurtBeck

Kurt Beck

Latest state election Edit

Template:Rhineland-Palatinate state election, 2011

AdministrationEdit

Mainz altstadt

Mainz

Altstadt Koblenz

Koblenz

Trier Steipe BW 0

Trier

Altpoertel

Speyer

Rhineland-Palatinate is divided into 24 districts, formerly grouped into the three administrative regions: Koblenz, Trier and Rheinhessen-Pfalz.

Since 2000, the employees and assets of the former administrative regions have been organized into the Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion Trier (Supervisory and Service Directorate Trier) and the Struktur- und Genehmigungsdirektionen (Structural and Approval Directorates) Nord in Koblenz and Süd in Neustadt (Weinstraße). These administrations execute their authority over the whole state, i.e., the ADD Trier oversees all schools.

Rhineland p map (1)
Map of the districts of Rhineland-Palatinate:

  1. Ahrweiler
  2. Altenkirchen
  3. Alzey-Worms
  4. Bad Dürkheim
  5. Bad Kreuznach
  6. Bernkastel-Wittlich
  7. Birkenfeld
  8. Bitburg-Prüm
  1. Cochem-Zell
  2. Vulkaneifel
  3. Donnersbergkreis
  4. Germersheim
  5. Kaiserslautern
  6. Kusel
  7. Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis
  8. Mainz-Bingen
  1. Mayen-Koblenz
  2. Neuwied
  3. Rhein-Hunsrück
  4. Rhein-Lahn
  5. Südliche Weinstraße
  6. Südwestpfalz
  7. Trier-Saarburg
  8. Westerwaldkreis

Every district is composed of numerous municipalities, which can consist of cities, villages, or groups of villages known as Verbandsgemeinden. There are also twelve urban districts that are identified on the map with letters:

  1. Frankenthal (F)
  2. Kaiserslautern (Ka)
  3. Koblenz Coblenz (Ko)
  4. Landau (La, the main city and an exclave)
  5. Ludwigshafen (Rheinpfalz-Kreis) (L)
  6. Mainz (M)
  7. Neustadt (Weinstraße) (N)
  8. Pirmasens (P)
  9. Speyer Spires (S)
  10. Trier (T)
  11. Worms (W)
  12. Zweibrücken (Z)

Economy Edit

Agriculture and viticultureEdit

Rhineland-Palatinate is Germany's leading producer of wine in terms of grape cultivation and wine export. Its capital, Mainz, may be called the capital of the German wine industry, being the home of the German Wine Institute, the German Wine Fund in the Haus des Deutschen Weines (House of German Wine), and the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter Wine Bourse, which brings together the top winemakers of Germany and the wine merchants of the world.

Of thirteen wine regions producing quality wine in Germany, six (Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Mosel, Nahe, Mittelrhein and Ahr) are located in Rhineland-Palatinate, with 65% to 70% of the production of wine grapes in Germany having their origin within the state. 13,000 wine producers generate 80% to 90% of the German wine export, which was 2.6 million hectoliters in 2003.

Traditional grape varieties and a wide range of varieties developed during the last 125 years are characteristic for the region.

Classical white varieties are cultivated at 63,683 hectares (157,400 acres). These comprise the famous Rieslings 14,446 hectares (35,700 acres), Müller-Thurgau (8,663 hectares (21,400 acres)), Silvaner (3,701 hectares (9,100 acres)) and Kerner (3,399 hectares (8,400 acres)).

The share of red varieties grew constantly during the last decades and amounts to 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres). Dornfelder, a new cultivar, is the leading red grape cultivated on 7,626 hectares (18,800 acres), which is more than a third. Blauer Portugieser (4,446 hectares (11,000 acres)) and Spätburgunder (3,867 hectares (9,600 acres)) show also appreciable cultivated shares.[5]

In addition, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay as white varieties and Regent and St. Laurent as red varieties have been increasing their share, as the growing conditions improve in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The state supports the wine industry by providing a comprehensive consultancy and education program in the service supply centers (German: DLR) of the land. The Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding and also the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute are fully or even partially financed by the state. Many well known new breeds, such as Morio-Muskat, Bacchus, Optima and Regent have been created in these institutes.

The world-wide leader in sparkling wine production, producing 245 million bottles in 2006, is the renowned Schloss Wachenheim Group. This company is headquartered in Trier, with operations in several locations in Rhineland-Palatinate.[6]

Other renowned sparkling wine producers, such as Kupferberg, Deinhard and Henkell, also had their roots in the region, but now belong to companies outside the state as a result of business consolidation.

IndustryEdit

Important sectors are the chemical industry, with the largest chemical company in the world (BASF), headquartered in Ludwigshafen, the pharmaceutical industry with Boehringer Ingelheim in Ingelheim am Rhein and the mechanical engineering for car manufacturers such as Opel (engines in Kaiserslautern) and Daimler-Truck-Group in Wörth am Rhein, as well as Stabilus, a manufacturer of shock absorbers and world market leader in pneumatic springs and Schottel for nautical engineering. Cookie and cracker specialist Griesson - de Beukelaer is one of the leading biscuit manufacturers in Germany. Bitburger is one of the major brewers in Germany and the Gerolsteiner Brunnen is also a leader in its sector, the mineral water bottlers. The 17th-century brewery Königsbacher is in Koblenz. The electronic organ manufacturer Wersi is headquartered in Halsenbach.

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is the only international passenger airport in RP.

Emigration Edit

Rhineland-Palatinate has supplied immigrants to many parts of the world. The names of the villages of New Paltz, Palatine Bridge and German Flatts, New York and Palatine, Illinois attest to settlements of Palatine Germans. The Hunsrückischen dialect in Brazil also bears testimony to an immigrant community.

The Pennsylvania Dutch spoken by the Amish in the United States is (among other dialects) derived from the German dialect spoken in the Rhineland-Palatinate, which many Palatine refugees brought to the colony in the early decades of the 18th century.

Certain colonies in the United States were settled by major groups of poor Palatines—then refugees in England—passage paid for by Queen Anne to reduce the number of impoverished families who had taken refuge in London. In 1710 the English used ten ships to transport nearly 3,000 Germans to the colony of New York. Many died en route, as they had been weakened by disease. They were settled in work camps along the Hudson River, where they developed naval stores for the English to work off their passage. Churches set up in both the East and West Camps provided some of the earliest population records in New York. In 1723 the first hundred heads of families were allowed to acquire land west of Little Falls, New York along the Mohawk River, in what was called the Burnetsfield Patent after the governor. This became Herkimer County. The Germans and their descendants were important in the defense of the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolutionary War.

New Bern is one of the earliest North Carolina colonies settled in 1710 by about 400 Palatines (650 left Germany, but about half died in passage) and 100 Swiss. This venture was orchestrated by the Swiss-born Christoph von Graffenried after purchasing more than 19,000 acres (7,700 ha) from the British Proprietors of the Carolinas.

In the 19th century, there was a substantial numbers of emigrants from the area around Trier, many of whom settled in Wisconsin.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Rhineland-Palatinate. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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