Mannheim (mänˈhĪm) [key], city (1994 pop. 318,025), Baden-Württemberg, W central Germany, on the right bank of the Rhine River and at the mouth of the Neckar River. A bridge connects it with Ludwigshafen, on the opposite bank of the Rhine. It is a major inland port and an industrial center with an important trade in coal and iron. Manufactures include electrical products, chemicals, machinery, optics, and precision mechanics. Mannheim was mentioned in the 8th cent. as a small fishing village. It was fortified and chartered in 1606–7. In 1720 the city became the residence of the electors palatine (see Palatinate), who built (1720–60) a large palace and held a brilliant court there. Elector Charles Theodore made (late 18th cent.) Mannheim one of the great musical and theatrical centers of Europe. The famous Mannheim orchestra ranked first among 18th-century orchestras and became the model of many later symphonic groups. Mozart lived (1777–78) there and Schiller began (1782–83) his career at the Mannheim theater. Mannheim was awarded to Baden in 1802. Although many of the historic buildings were heavily damaged in World War II, the city has, since 1945, restored the château and the regularly laid-out 18th-century baroque buildings of the inner city, including the Jesuit church (1733–60) and the city hall (1700–1723). Carl Benz is credited with building (1885) the first motor-driven vehicle at Mannheim. There is a university in the city.
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