Hanau hä´nou [key], city (1994 pop. 89,160), Hesse, central Germany, on the Main and Kinzig rivers. It is an important rail and road junction and is a center of the German jewelry industry. Other manufactures include rubber goods and precious metal works. Hanau was chartered in 1303 and in the 16th cent. accepted refugees from the Low Countries who contributed significantly to the city's economic growth. Hanau passed to Hesse-Kassel in 1736, and with it to Prussia in 1866. The philologists Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm and the composer Paul Hindemith were born in Hanau. The town has been rebuilt with historical standards in mind, after near-complete demolition in World War II.
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