Did you know that…


Photo collage Hessen

State and citizens

  • approx. 70 percent of the German cider (apple wine) production is consumed in Hessen?
  • cider has been vinificated in Hessen for many centuries and used to be a drink for the poor?
  • even the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was a fan of the Hessian national drink? The oldest cider producer, the Frankfurt-based Freyeisen Brothers (founded in 1817), delivered Hessian cider to the sultan.
  • Charles the Great, Charlemagne, produced cider on his estates?
  • Germans consume approx. 1.2 liters (2.5 pints) of cider per person per year, while the Hessians drink approx. 10 liters (2.6 gallons) annually
  • the chemical element Hassium was named after the Federal State of Hessen (Latin: Hassia) and that Hessen is consequently the only German State which is featured in the periodic table?


  • the Saalburg near Bad Homburg is the only reconstructed Roman fort worldwide?
  • ”Hessi” was first mentioned in 738, in a papal document addressed to the missionary Saint Boniface?
  • the University of Marburg, founded in 1527, is the oldest academic institution in Hessen?
  • St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt hosted the first German National Assembly in 1848/49?
  • the Hessian constitution is the oldest State constitution that is still in effect in a federal state in Germany? On December 1, 1946 it was adopted after a vote by the Hessian population.


  • that with a gross domestic product (GDP) of 71,843 Euro, Hessen is, economically, the strongest German territorial state?
  • Hessen’s economic performance surpasses that of some EU member states, such as Greece, Finland, Ireland and Portugal?
  • from the successful region of Northern Hessen, any item that is shipped takes no more than five hours by road to reach its actual destination in Germany?
  • Emperor Frederick II officially granted Frankfurt the trade fair privilege back in 1240, thus making it the very first trade fair city of the world?
  • Germany’s longest train tunnel, the Landrückentunnel, between the towns of Kalbach and Mottgers, south of Fulda, along the ICE train track to Würzburg, is a total of 10,780 meters (6.7 miles) long?

Arts and culture

  • the “Ottoneum” in Kassel, built in 1605, was the first permanent theater building erected in Germany?
  • Hessen has approx. 3,500 choirs with 110,000 singers and 500 music associations with 30,000 musicians?
  • Philipp Reis, the Hessian physicist from Friedrichsdorf, invented the telephone in 1859?
  • the Lullusglocke (Lullus Bell) of the Benedictine monastery in Bad Hersfeld is the oldest cast church bell in Europe?
  • Hessen’s oldest gothic organ, which can still be played, is located in Sankt Valentinus Church in Kiedrich?
  • the late vintage originates in Johannisberg in the Rheingau wine region?


  • the Vogelsberg Moutain is supposedly the oldest European volcano and Europe’s largest contiguous basalt massif?
  • with an overall surface of 2,370 hectares (5,856 acres) the “Kühkopf” is the largest nature reserve in Hessen?
  • Hessen’s widest and oldest tree is approx. 1,000 years old, has a crown with a diameter of 65 meters (213 feet) and is located in the Hessian municipality of Schenklengsfeld?
  • with 21,863 hectares (54,025 acres), the Hinterlandswald forest in the Rheingau-Taunus District is the largest connected forest area in Hessen, which is not dissected by state roads and highways?
  • with almost 6,000 hectares (14,826 acres), the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park protects the largest connected wood rush and beech forest complex in Central Europe?

Voluntary and sports activities

  • approx. 2 million people pursue voluntary activities in Hessen?
  • since 2009, the Hessian State Government has spent at total of 180 million euros in the new construction and modernization of communal sports facilities thanks to its special investment program?
  • Hessen systematically supports and funds top ranking sportspersons, e.g. by means of the joint foundation of the State Government and the Federal Sports Association “Sporthilfe Hessen”?