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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Corona Virus

Important Information

Due to the official measures implemented by the State of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Karlsruhe to limit the spreading of COVID-19, public life is currently facing severe restrictions. Shops, Restaurants, cultural institutions, hotels and events are closed or have been cancelled. Partial openings are possible depending on the local incidence value. Please refer directly to their individual websites for up-to-date information as the information on this website may vary.

Our tourist information office located on Kaiserstraße 72-74 also remains closed until further notice. You have the possibility for Click&Collect. You can also reach us via phone +49 721 602997580 or by mail

The city of Karlsruhe provides up-to-date information on the corona crisis at or by phone +49 721/133-3333.

On a lighter note: if you feel like clearing your mind, go ahead and continue exploring the beautiful aspects of Karlsruhe through our digital offers at (only available in German).

Stay healthy, and stay tuned!