Solingen (zōˈlĭng-ən) [key], city (1994 pop. 166,064), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, on the Wupper River opposite Remscheid. It is a major center of the German cutlery industry. Solingen steel, used in making knives, scissors, razors, and surgical instruments, is world famous for its excellence. Solingen was chartered in 1374 and has been known for its fine blades since the Middle Ages. It belonged to the duchy of Berg until 1600 and passed to Prussia in 1815.