Wuppertal is a lively, modern city in the middle of the Bergisches Land region. It was formed in 1929 by decree of the Prussian government, made up of the two cities at the Wupper river, Elberfeld and Barmen, the outlying towns of Vohwinkel, Ronsdorf, Cronenberg, and the district of Beyenburg. In 1975, Dönberg, Dornap and Schöller were also added. Today around 350,000 people live here. Take a stroll through the five city tours, some parts of which can be combined, and discover Wuppertal. Look for the blue information boards of the Bergischer Geschichtsverein history society on buildings along the way. And remember that Wuppertal's unique suspension railway is the most comfortable and fastest connection between the stations in the valley. The trip is hugely enjoyable every time!
Elverfelde was mentioned in writing for the first time in 1161, as a property of the Bishop of Cologne, and its first stone church was already there around the year 1000. Barmen was registered as "Barmon" in 1070. The Wupper Valley is one of the oldest industrial conurbations. By 1400, the first bleachers had been established. In 1527, the two Wupper towns were granted a monopoly on the processing and refinement of flax yarn. It was on this basis that the first major textile manufacturing businesses were established around 1750. In the 19th century, the Wupper Valley became an important industrial region. A clear sign of this economic power is the suspension railway, opened in 1901, a masterwork of engineering, and to this day the unmistakable landmark of the city.
Wuppertal is today a city of brands: aspirin, woodchip wallpaper and SympaTex products were developed here. Research and services are also strong mainstays of the economy. With around 4,500 listed buildings, Wuppertal is one of the most monumental cities in Germany. In Elberfeld there are classicist townhouses, the church of St. Laurentius, the Schwimmoper ("swimming opera") swimming pool, and the Historic City Hall. Traffic can be avoided by taking the suspension railway, Wuppertal's landmark feature, for the quick trip to Barmen, where one can find the monumental Town Hall, Bergisch Barock slate houses, and the Opera House. Structures with stucco ornaments from the Gründerzeit (period of promoterism) and Art Nouveau buildings from the beginning of the 20th century characterise the entire image of the city. The villa quarter by the zoo was designed in 1891, and offers an impressive variety of architecture due to the decades it was under construction. Its delightful location close to the Zoological Gardens, and on the doorstep of Elberfeld city centre, many prosperous bourgeois families lived there. The Briller district is one of the largest continuous villa quarters in Germany. Wuppertal's textile magnates built their prestigious houses there with generous gardens, starting at the end of the 19th century. In the northern district of the city, space-saving residential neighbourhoods were created between 1870 and 1914 for the working families of the textile industry. The four-storey structures around narrow backyards offered little in the way of comfort. Petroleum lamps were still being used there long after light bulbs had been installed in the Briller district, gaining part of the northern city the nickname "Ölberg" ("Oilhill"). With its comprehensive restoration, Ölberg and its Gründerzeit façades have since developed into a lively residential district.