The City of Mannheim
With a population of about 310,000, Mannheim is the second largest city in Baden-Wurttemberg and the economic and cultural center of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region.
The Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region is one of Europe's most dynamic economic regions and is home to, among others, the world's biggest chemical company, BASF AG, and software giant SAP AG. The best-known companies within Mannheim's city boundaries include Daimler, Roche, ABB, Fuchs Petrolub, and John Deere.
Having made history as the place where the bicycle was invented, and where Carl Benz' automobile circulated for the first time, it comes as no surprise that Mannheim today is an important transportation hub. With one of the largest river ports in Europe, and the most important railway station in southwestern Germany, boasting direct high-speed connections to Paris, Mannheim is exceedingly well connected. Add to that its close proximity to Frankfurt International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the world and located within 30 minutes travelling time from Mannheim, and you can imagine the number of people passing through Mannheim every day .
Maybe this constant influx of people has made Mannheim the open and welcoming place it is today. With the Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque, for example, Mannheim is home to Germany's biggest Muslim religious center. It is also the hometown of internationally acclaimed pop singer Xavier Naidoo, born to a South African mother and an Indian father, who became famous as the lead singer of "Söhne Mannheims" (= "Sons of Mannheim").
Moreover, Mannheim is widely recognized as a shopper's paradise. The city boasts a vibrant cultural life, including the pop academy , several museums and galleries, and the Luisenpark, arguably one of the loveliest parks in Europe.