Introduction of Mannheim
City with one of Europe’s largest inland harbors, located on the Rhine River, across from Ludwigshafen am Rhein, at the confluence of the Neckar River, 44 mi S of Frankfurt am Main. First mentioned in a.d. 766, it was fortified and chartered in 1606–07. By the nature of its geographical location it was involved in many European wars; in 1622 it was taken by General Johannes Tilly in the Thirty Years’ War; it was completely destroyed by the French in 1689. Rebuilt in 1697, from 1719 to 1777 it served as the seat of the Rhineland -Palatinate. Captured by the French in 1795 and by the Austrians in 1799, it was awarded to Baden in 1802. Heavily damaged in World War II, the city’s palace and 18th-century buildings, including a Jesuit church built between 1733 and 1760 and the city hall of 1700 to 1723, have been restored. Carl Benz built the first internal combustion motordriven vehicle here in 1885. Mozart, who lived here in 1777–78, was much influenced by the style of the famous Mannheim orchestra, and Schiller began his career at the Mannheim theater in 1782.