History of Wuppertal

Wuppertal in its present borders was formed in 1929 by merging the early industrial cities of Barmen and Elberfeld with Vohwinkel,Ronsdorf, Cronenberg, Langerfeld, and Beyenburg. The initial name Barmen-Elberfeld was changed in a 1930 referendum to Wuppertal (“Wupper Valley”). The new city was administered within the Prussian Rhine Province.

Uniquely for Germany, it is a linear city, owing to the steep hillsides along the River Wupper. Its highest hill is the Lichtscheid, which is 351 metres above sea level. The dominant urban centres Elberfeld (historic commercial centre) and Barmen (more industrial) have formed a unified built-up area since 1850. In the following decades, “Wupper-Town” became the dominant industrial agglomeration of northwestern Germany. In the 20th century, this conurbation had been surpassed by Cologne, Düsseldorf and theRuhr area, all with a more favourable topography.

During World War II, about 40% of buildings in the city were destroyed by Allied bombing, as were many other German cities and industrial centres. However, a large number of historic sites have been preserved, such as:

    Ölberg, literally “Oil mountain”, Germany’s largest original working class district, is protected as a historic monument. The name came about in the 1920s as the district continued using oil lamps while the surrounding bourgeois residential quarters were electrified. In traditional use, the name "Ölberg" refers to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

    Brill is one of Germany’s largest districts of Gründerzeit villas, i.e. middle class mansions built by industrial entrepreneurs in the second half of the 19th century.

The US 78th Infantry Division captured Wuppertal against scant resistance on 16 April 1945. After the last World War, the US held the intellectual ownership rights to Bayer and other German companies and organisations. Wuppertal became a part of the British