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Heilbronn (German pronunciation: [haɪlˈbʁɔn] (About this soundlisten)) is a city in northern Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is surrounded by Heilbronn District and, with approximately 123,000 residents, it is the sixth-largest city in the state.

The city on the Neckar is a former Imperial Free City and is the seat of Heilbronn District. Heilbronn is also the economic center of the Heilbronn-Franken region that includes most of northeast Baden-Württemberg. Furthermore, Heilbronn is known for its wine industry and is nicknamed Käthchenstadt, after Heinrich von Kleist's Das Käthchen von Heilbronn.

Geography

Heilbronn is located in the northern corner of the Neckar basin at the bottom of the Wartberg (308 m). It occupies both banks of the Neckar, and the highest spot inside city limits is the Schweinsberg with a height of 372 meters. Heilbronn is adjacent to Swabian-Franconian Forest Nature Park and is surrounded by vineyards.

Heilbronn (upper right) on the Neckar River, in southwest Germany.

Heilbronn and its surroundings are located in the northern part of the larger Stuttgart metropolitan area. The city is the economic center of the Heilbronn-Franken region and is one of fourteen such cities in the Baden-Württemberg master plan of 2002. It also serves Abstatt, Bad Rappenau, Bad Wimpfen, Beilstein, Brackenheim, Cleebronn, Eberstatt, Ellhofen, Eppingen, Flein, Gemmingen, Güglingen, Ilsfeld, Ittlingen, Kirchardt, Lauffen am Neckar, Lehrensteinsfeld, Leingarten, Löwenstein, Massenbachhausen, Neckarwestheim, Nordheim, Obersulm, Pfaffenhofen, Schwaigern, Siegelsbach, Talheim, Untergruppenbach, Weinsberg, Wüstenrot, and Zaberfeld as a regional economic centre.

Neighboring communities

Heilbronn shares a border with the following cities and towns, all part of Heilbronn County and listed here clockwise from the North: Bad Wimpfen, Neckarsulm, Erlenbach, Weinsberg, Lehrensteinsfeld, Untergruppenbach, Flein, Talheim, Lauffen am Neckar, Nordheim, Leingarten, Schwaigern, Massenbachhausen and Bad Rappenau.

Boroughs

The city is divided into nine boroughs:

Vineyards east of Heilbronn

Viticulture has a long tradition in Heilbronn and is an important part of its economy to this day. Its 514 ha, two thirds of it growing red grapes, is the third largest vineyard in Württemberg's vine-growing region after Brackenheim and In February the citizens of Heilbronn and the surrounding area have an opportunity to enjoy themselves at the Pferdemarkt. In May the Trollinger marathon takes place. July brings the Gaffenberg Festival and the Unterländer Volksfest takes the city from July into August. It is the largest festival of its kind in Heilbronn and takes place on the Theresienwiese. Each year it begins on the last Friday in July and ends on the second Monday in August. In September, patrons enjoy themselves at the Heilbronner Weindorf, in October at the Hafenmarkt and in November and December at the Weihnachtsmarkt by the Kilianskirche. Every other year the Neckarfest and Traubenblütenfest are added to this already full schedule.

Sport

FC Heilbronn is a football club based in Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg formed only recently – in 2003 – out of a merger between two former clubs with the elder dating back to 1896 and playing a five-year stint in the Regionalliga Süd (II) / 2nd Bundesliga Süd from 1969 to 1975.

Heilbronn hosts an annual tennis tournament Heilbronn Open (see Heilbronn Open website) which is part of the ATP Challenger tour.

Heilbronn is also the hometown of ice hockey team Heilbronner Falken (Heilbronn Falcons). The team currently plays in the second German ice hockey league

FC Heilbronn is a football club based in Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg formed only recently – in 2003 – out of a merger between two former clubs with the elder dating back to 1896 and playing a five-year stint in the Regionalliga Süd (II) / 2nd Bundesliga Süd from 1969 to 1975.

Heilbronn hosts an annual tennis tournament Heilbronn Open (see Heilbronn Open website) which is part of the Heilbronn Open (see Heilbronn Open website) which is part of the ATP Challenger tour.

Heilbronn is also the hometown of ice hockey team Heilbronner Falken (Heilbronn Falcons). The team currently plays in the second German ice hockey league. The Eisbären Heilbronn (Heilbronn polar bears) is the second ice hockey team, which is playing in the regional league South-West in Baden-Württemberg.

Viticulture has a long tradition in Heilbronn and is an important part of its economy to this day. Its 514 ha, two thirds of it growing red grapes, is the third largest vineyard in Württemberg's vine-growing region after Brackenheim and Lauffen am Neckar. In 1888, the vintners of the Heilbronn area combined and formed the Weingärtnergesellschaft Heilbronn, a cooperative. In 1933, that cooperative then merged with the competing cooperative Winzergenossenschaft Heilbronn that had formed in 1919 and that cooperative again merged with the Vintner cooperatives of Erlenbach and Weinsberg to form the Genossenschaftskellerei Heilbronn-Erlenbach-Weinsberg with seat just outside the city limits in Erlenbach. In addition to the cooperative, numerous independent vintners are also located here.

South of the steam power plant is located the conveyor tower of the Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG (SWS). The SWS runs a salt mine in the Heilbronn area. That mine was connected through a tunnel with the now shut-down (since 1994) salt mine Kochendorf in Bad Friedrichshall. Extraction had extended the Heilbronn mine far to the west so that in 2004 a new shaft, Konradsberg, was added — probably the last mining shaft that was constructed in all of Germany.

Infrastructure

Heilbronn/Karlsruhe Stadtbahn train pulling into the station outside of South of the steam power plant is located the conveyor tower of the Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG (SWS). The SWS runs a salt mine in the Heilbronn area. That mine was connected through a tunnel with the now shut-down (since 1994) salt mine Kochendorf in Bad Friedrichshall. Extraction had extended the Heilbronn mine far to the west so that in 2004 a new shaft, Konradsberg, was added — probably the last mining shaft that was constructed in all of Germany.

The city of Heilbronn is readily accessible by road courtesy of the Weinsberg Intersection just to the northeast of the city, the intersection of the Autobahn A 81 from Würzburg to Gottmadingen and the A 6 from Saarbrücken to Waidhaus. In addition to the Autobahns the city is connected via the Bundesstraßen B 27 from Blankenburg to Schaffhausen, B 39 from Frankenstein (Palatine) to Mainhardt and B 293 from Karlsruhe to Heilbronn that both run through the city itself.

Heilbronn is also a forerunner of right turn on red in Germany and 65 "Green arrow" signs have been installed at appropriate intersections since 1996.

Although Heilbronn Hauptbahnhof (central station) does not benefit from the Deutsche Bahn long-distance service, the city is well connected by train. The Franconia Railway (Frankenbahn) connects Stuttgart and Würzburg, the Neckar Valley Railway and Elsenz Valley Railway run from Heilbronn to Heidelberg and Mannheim, and the Hohenlohe Railway accommodates travel to Schwäbisch Hall via Öhringen.

The Heilbronn and Karlsruhe Stadtbahns provide a connection all the way to Karlsruhe on the right turn on red in Germany and 65 "Green arrow" signs have been installed at appropriate intersections since 1996.

Although Heilbronn Hauptbahnhof (central station) does not benefit from the Deutsche Bahn long-distance service, the city is well connected by train. The Franconia Railway (Frankenbahn) connects Stuttgart and Würzburg, the Neckar Valley Railway and Elsenz Valley Railway run from Heilbronn to Heidelberg and Mannheim, and the Hohenlohe Railway accommodates travel to Schwäbisch Hall via Öhringen.

The Heilbronn and Karlsruhe Stadtbahns provide a connection all the way to Karlsruhe on the Kraichgau Railway's tracks. Currently the S 4 takes travellers from Karlsruhe through the central train station past the centre of town all the way to the Öhringen borough of Cappel (since December 11, 2005). Because of massive delays in the construction of the S-Bahn tracks through Heilbronn's city limits and with the modernization

and electrification of the existing tracks from Heilbronn to Öhringen meant that the new section's official opening needed to be postponed several times. In the future, additional S-Bahn lines are planned to Neckarsulm, Lauffen am Neckar and Zaberfeld. As well a these new lines, additional stops will also be built in the inner city of Heilbronn. In 2014 the S-Bahn line to Neckarsulm was established.

Whilst the original Straßenbahn of Heilbronn, nicknamed the Spatzenschaukel (German for "sparrows' swing"), was discontinued on April 1, 1955, the city used electrically powered trolley buses until 1960. Today, public transportation is provided by the S-Bahn that runs through Heilbronn similar to the Karlsruhe model and this is complemented by buses run by the Stadtwerke Heilbronn (Verkehrsbetriebe) and several other enterprises. All now belong to the Heilbronner Verkehrsverbund.

Whilst the original Straßenbahn of Heilbronn, nicknamed the Spatzenschaukel (German for "sparrows' swing"), was discontinued on April 1, 1955, the city used electrically powered trolley buses until 1960. Today, public transportation is provided by the S-Bahn that runs through Heilbronn similar to the Karlsruhe model and this is complemented by buses run by the Stadtwerke Heilbronn (Verkehrsbetriebe) and several other enterprises. All now belong to the Heilbronner Verkehrsverbund.

The canal port on the Neckar is one of the ten largest German interior ports.

Power plant

In the industrial part of Heilbronn EnBW AG runs a large powerplant that is powered by coal. Its two chimneys (250 m tall) and cooling tower (140 m tall) are visible from afar, see Heilbronn Power Station

Transport

The public light rail and bus system is run by HNV (Heilbronner Hohenloher Haller Nahverkehr).

Media

Heilbronn is home to one of the studios of Südwestrundfunk (SWR). From here regional programmes like Frankenradio are broadcast on SWR4 Baden-Württemberg. The Heilbronn Power Station

Transport

The

The public light rail and bus system is run by HNV (Heilbronner Hohenloher Haller Nahverkehr).

Media

Heilbronn

Heilbronn is home to one of the studios of Südwestrundfunk (SWR). From here regional programmes like Frankenradio are broadcast on SWR4 Baden-Württemberg. The Heilbronner Stimme is a daily newspaper published in the city and the advertisers Neckar Express, echo am Mittwoch and echo am Sonntag are available weekly free of charge. Heilbronners also peruse the monthly city magazines Freizeit Journal and Moritz.

Public service

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