The German city of Wuppertal might be most famous for its monorail or “floating tram”, but it should be equally recognized for giving the whole world two of the most widely used products of today, namely the drug commonly known as Aspirin and the equally common household appliance known as the Kobold vacuum cleaner. In fact, the company that patented Aspirin has survived to this day, and is currently a huge pharmaceutical company, Bayer AG.
The city itself, located in North Rhine-Westphalia, cradled in the valley of the Wupper River, is no less impressive in size, counting about 350 thousand inhabitants and standing as the biggest urban settlement in the Bergisches Land. It is an incredibly green city, so rich in parks and woodlands that such green areas actually constitute approximately two-thirds of its total area. Which makes it very easy for anyone looking for a short respite from the world of concrete to reach any of the said green areas, as, from any point in the city, a park or woodland alley is only minutes away.
Surprisingly enough, though, the city also remains an important industrial unit, with companies operating in the field of metallurgy, textiles, electronics, printing equipment, and pharmaceuticals, among others. It is also home to institutes and institutions of note, such as the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, the University of Wuppertal, famous for being the second German university to receive a supercomputer (the ALiCEnext), and the European Institute for International Economic Relations.
The city provides both visitors and inhabitants with numerous attractions, ranging from technological wonders that are more than one hundred years old, to its 4500 buildings classified as national monuments, to famous cultural highlights such as museums and concert halls. Also worth mentioning are the municipal botanical garden and the extensive Burgholz arboretum, the city Zoo, an attractively landscaped park inhabited by over 4500 animals from all corners of the world, the XVIII century museum house dedicated to Friedrich Engels, a sculpture park, a dance theatre, as well as the Stadthalle concert hall, remarkable for both its architecture and its excellent acoustics. Last, but not least, is the suspended monorail that was set up in 1901 and still functions today, unparalleled in the whole world.
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image copyright: Damien Myer – http://bahn.startbilder.de/name/profil/fotograf_id/790.html