Hessian History

Founded in 1945, the Federal State looks back on a long history shaped by territorial division and a wide variety of cultural influences. Still today, many Hessian towns bear witness to important historical events.

Hessian History
Roman Fort Saalburg
From the Romans to the Middle Ages
The early inhabitants of the territory of the present-day State of Hessen were Celtic and Germanic tribes.
Philip the "Magnanimous"
The Birth of Hessen
Hessen came into being during the reign of the Staufer Dynasty, when Elizabeth of Hungary, the widow of the Landgrave of Thuringia Louis IV, moved her residence to Marburg in the summer of 1228.
Old map of Hessen
Hesse in the 19th Century
It took the French imperialist politics of Napoleon to rearrange the political map. In 1803, the Final Recess of the Reichsdeputation (Extraordinary Imperial Delegation) gave Hesse-Kassel the status of an Electorate.
Wilhelm Leuschner, Hessian Minister of the Interior from 1928 to 1933
The First Democracy
After the end of the Monarchy and with the foundation of the Weimar Republic, the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt became the People’s State of Hesse.
Frankfurt am Main 1945
National Socialist Tyranny
While the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) was able to obtain 27 of the 70 parliamentary seats thus becoming the strongest party in the State parliament, it was not able to oust the People’s State’s democratic government.
Proclamation No 2
Reconstruction Period after World War II
With the U.S. Military Government Proclamation No. 2, the state of Greater Hesse was founded on September 19, 1945. On October 12, 1945, Wiesbaden became the new state capital.
People crossing a street
A Changing Society
At the end of the 1960s, massive student protests took place in Germany and in other Western European countries.