Number-one wine state
Located in the heart of Europe, Rhineland-Palatinate has the largest number of European neighbours out of all Germany's 16 Länder: France, Luxembourg and Belgium.
Rhineland-Palatinate, whose current boundaries were formally within the French Zone of Occupation, was founded on 18 May 1947 following a referendum on its constitution. Its capital is Mainz, situated on the River Rhine. With its maars (the funnel-shaped crater lakes found in the Eifel region), the steeply sloping vineyards running along the Moselle Valley, Europe’s highest concentration of castles in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, and the primeval beech forests in the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park, Rhineland-Palatinate has a wide range of very different landscapes to offer.
The National Park provides a home to the largest population of wild cats in Europe. The Palatinate Forest (Pfälzerwald) is the largest contiguous forest area in Germany. In fact, 42% of the Land’s surface area is covered in forest, which makes Rhineland-Palatinate the most densely forested Land in Germany.
An export-oriented economy
Many large German companies are based in Rhineland-Palatinate, including BASF, DaimlerChrysler and Boehringer Ingelheim. But, of course, there are also small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that form the backbone of Rhineland-Palatinate's economy. SMEs employ 75% of the working population and provide training for approximately 85% of the Land's apprentices.
The chemical industry also plays a central role in Rhineland-Palatine. It generates almost a third of Land's revenue in the manufacturing industry. The economy is export-oriented. With some 50% of produced goods exported, Rhineland-Palatinate is among the top Länder in terms of exports.
Welcome to the number-one wine-producing Land
The annual crowning of the German Wine Queen takes place in the town of Neustadt an der Weinstraße in Rhineland-Palatinate. The fact that the election of the highest representative for Germany's wine industry takes place here, of all places, is obviously no mere coincidence. With its six wine-growing regions – Palatinate, Nahe, Moselle and Saar, Middle Rhine and Ahr – Rhineland-Palatinate is the largest wine producer in Germany. Whether it is Riesling, Müller-Thurgau or Silvaner, 70% of Germany's entire wine crop is harvested here. In Rhineland-Palatinate, wine and joie de vivre go hand-in-hand. This is clear from the many wine festivals held throughout the Land, including the „Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt“, the world’s largest wine festival in Bad Dürkheim.
The Land of Gutenberg and Loreley
During the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in Mainz. To this day, the city is still home to many media companies. German public broadcaster ZDF, for example, is based here.
Rhineland-Palatinate has a very rich cultural heritage and is, with its 430 museums and over 50 cultural and music festivals, including the Nibelung Festival in Worms, an oasis of culture. Rhineland-Palatinate also has one of the most famous rocks in Germany – the Loreley (Lorelei). Towering 132 metres above the Rhine, it's become famous throughout the world. Loreley, the nymph from Germanic mythology - who enchanted boatmen on the Rhine with her singing, causing them to crash and sink their ships - has inspired numerous authors, including Heinrich Heine, who dedicated a special poem to her. During the 19th century, Rhine Romanticism inspired artists throughout Europe, including the English painter, William Turner.
A European region
Rhineland-Palatinate was the first Land to form a partnership with a region in France. In 1962, the former region of Burgundy became a partner region of Rhineland-Palatinate. In 2016, Burgundy merged with Franche-Comté. The Land also forms part of the Greater Region, which, in addition to Rhineland-Palatinate, includes Saarland, the Grand Est region, Luxembourg and Wallonia. It is the border region with the most commuters in the European Union (approx. 230,000 people daily).
To the state's official website: