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Hesse, right at the heart of the Federal Republic of Germany in geographical terms, prides itself on having one of the healthiest economies in Germany and is one of the most densely populated federal states. The banking metropolis of Frankfurt has certainly established Hesse’s international reputation.
The economic heartland is the Rhine-Main area, with Frankfurt am Main as the largest and most important city. Frankfurt Airport plays a key role here as one of the world’s largest air travel hubs. Boasting the Deutsche Börse (German stock exchange), the Bundesbank and the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as nearly 400 other banks, Frankfurt is one of the prime European financial centres. Frankfurt am Main hosts important international trade fairs, such as the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest. The capital of Hesse, Wiesbaden, is renowned both as a congress centre and for its spa facilities. Twelve state universities and a host of other universities are renowned for top-class research and education. Darmstadt, famed for its technical university, is the first German city to have received the “City of Science” accolade.
Many state, municipal and private theatres and museums thrive alongside the state art collections and the documenta exhibition. Hesse has the highest density of forests in Germany making the uplands such as the Rhön and Taunus Mountains into a popular leisure and holiday destination.
With kind permission of the Bundesrat (January 2013)