Darmstadt (därmˈshtät) [key], city (1994 pop. 139,750), Hesse, central Germany. It is a commercial, industrial, and transportation center; its manufactures include chemicals, machinery, and pharmaceuticals. Darmstadt was first mentioned in the 11th cent. and was chartered in 1330. It passed to the landgraves of Hesse in 1479. The city was severely damaged during World War II. It is the site of a technical university and the seat of the Institute for Heavy Ion Research, the European Space Operations Center, and the European Organization for Weather Satellites.