Hesse is the 5th largest state of Germany, and is located fairly centrally. It has an approximate population of 6 million, spread over 21000 square kilometres. About 760000 non-Germans live in Hesse, making it the most "ethnic" state in Germany; there are 110000 Turks.

Hesse has four large industrial sectors: chemical manufacturing, automotive engineering, mechanical engineering, and electronics. It has the highest GDP of any German state, averaging 50000DM per person. The Rhine-Main airport is the region's largest employer, with around 60000 employees, and is a prime hub of international air transport, being the largest freight carrier and second-largest passenger airport in Europe. Hesse has over 400 banks, Germany's stock exchange, and Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank.

Hesse used to be formed of the city of Frankfurt, four duchies, and a county before Otto von Bismarck's wars of unification. The heraldic symbol of Hesse is a blue shield fronted by a red and silver striped lion, rearing up and showing its golden claws.

Cities:
Bad Hersfeld
Baunatal
Burg Greifenstein
Darmstadt
Erbach
Frankfurt
Fritzlar
Fulda
Gelnhausen
Gießen
Kassel
Marburg
Offenbach
Rheingau
Ruesselsheim
Sababurg
Thuringia
Wezlar
Wiesbaden

Universities:
Technische Universität, Darmstadt
Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt/Main
Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen
Universität Gesamthochschule, Kassel
Philipps-Universität, Marburg

People:
Fritz Bauer, a lawyer.
August Bebel, founder of the (German) Social Democrats.
Max Beckmann, a painter.
Bonifatius, a missionary.
Karl Ferdinand Braun, Nobel prizewinner, invented the electron tube in 1897.
Georg Büchner.
Konrad Duden.
Anne Frank, Nazi victim.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, great writer and thinker.
The Brothers Grimm (all three).
Michael Gross, olympic gold medallist swimmer.
Matthias Gruenewald, a painter.
Otto Hahn, Nobel prizewinner.
Paul Hindemith, a composer.
Wilhelm Leuschner, Nazi victim.
Martin Niemoeller, a theologian.
Johan Philipp Reis, introduced the first telephone in 1861.
Meyer Amschel Rothschild, a banker.
Elisabeth Selbert, a campaigner for women’s rights.
Karl vom und zum Stein, creator of local government.
Elizabeth of Thuringia, the "Holy Mother" of Hesse.

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