City history

Karlsruhe was founded more than 300 years ago by Margrave Charles William (Karl) of Baden. Legend tells that the vision of a star-shaped city came to him in his sleep. The dream of Karlsruhe (“Charles’ Repose”) was born!

The foundation stone of the new fan-shaped city of Karlsruhe was laid on June 17th of 1715. Standing at the centre of the ‘fan’, 32 ‘axes’ extend like rays from Karlsruhe Palace. This grand building, with its characteristic Baden-style architecture, has impressed many distinguished visitors – such as Voltaire, Goethe, Napoleon and Heinrich von Kleist.

A city without walls, which welcomes friends and guests – this is how Karlsruhe has always seen itself.


Unique layout, elite university and city of justice

The city’s unique fan-shaped layout has brought Karlsruhe global attention. And the city’s many neoclassical buildings designed by Friedrich Weinbrenner continue to attract visitors from every corner of the world.

The emblem of Karlsruhe – the Pyramid – was built in 1823, and the city’s technical university opened its doors two years later in 1825. Today the KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) is one of eleven elite universities in Germany. In 1950, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany was established in Karlsruhe, followed by the Federal Constitutional Court one year later. This made Karlsruhe the main residence of German jurisdiction.

Ever since the city hosted the German biennial federal horticulture show (Bundesgartenschau) in 1967, Karlsruhe has continued to build on its reputation as a ‘green city’ of parks and gardens.

With its more than 313,000 inhabitants, Karlsruhe is Baden’s main metropole and the second biggest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Its unique fan-shaped layout hints at the excellent weather here – residents and guests in Karlsruhe really enjoy the sunny side of life! With its Mediterranean climate, Karlsruhe has it all: chic lifestyle, gourmet cuisine, and a uniquely ‘green’ atmosphere with over 800 hectares of parks.


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