Infobox German Bundesland
Name = Rhineland-Palatinate
German_name = Rheinland-Pfalz
state_coa = Coat of arms of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg

capital = Mainz
area = 19847.39
area_source =
population = 4049000
pop_ref = [cite web |url=http://www.statistik-portal.de/Statistik-Portal/de_zs01_rlp.asp |title= State population |work= Portal of the Federal Statistics Office Germany |accessdate=2007-04-25]
pop_date = 2007-09-30
GDP = 97
GDP_year = 2005
GDP_percent = 4.3
Website = [http://www.rlp.de/ rlp.de]
leader_title =
leader = Kurt Beck
leader_party = SPD
ruling_party1 = SPD
ruling_party2 =
votes = 4
iso region = DE-RP

Rhineland-Palatinate ( _de. Rheinland-Pfalz) is one of the 16 federal states (German: "Bundesländer") of Germany. It has an area of convert|19846|km2|sqmi and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz.


The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate was established on 30 August 1946. It was formed from the northern part of the French Occupation Zone, which included parts of Bavaria (the Rhenish Palatinate), the southern parts of the Prussian Rhine Province (including the District of Birkenfeld which formerly belonged to Oldenburg), parts of the Prussian Province of Nassau (see Hesse-Nassau), and parts of Hesse-Darmstadt (Rhinehessen on the western banks of the Rhine); the new state was legally confirmed by referendum on 18 May 1947.


Rhineland-Palatinate borders (from the north and clockwise) North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, France, Saarland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

The biggest river of the state is the Rhine river, which forms the border with Baden-Württemberg and Hesse in the southeast before running through the northern part of Rhineland-Palatinate.The Rhine Valley is bounded by mountain chains and forms a fascinating landscape containing some of the most historically significant places in Germany.

The Eifel and Hunsrück mountain chains are found on the west bank of the Rhine in northern Rhineland-Palatinate, while the Westerwald and Taunus mountains are found on the east bank. The hilly lands in the southernmost region of the state are covered by the Palatinate forest and the Palatinate.

These mountain chains are separated from each other by the following tributaries of the Rhine: the Moselle ("Mosel"), the Lahn and the Nahe.

See also List of places in Rhineland-Palatinate.


Rhineland-Palatinate is a parliamentary democracy. Every five years, all Germans residing in the State over the age of 18 elect the members of the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag. This regional parliament or legislature then elects the premier and confirms the cabinet members. Rhineland-Palatinate is the only German Bundesland to have a cabinet minister for winegrowing ("Ministry of Economy, Traffic, Agriculture and Winegrowing")

List of Minister-presidents of Rhineland-Palatinate

*13 June 1947 – 9 July 1947: Wilhelm Boden, CDU
*1947–1969: Peter Altmeier, CDU
*1969–1976: Helmut Kohl, CDU
*1976–1988: Bernhard Vogel, CDU
*1988–1991: Carl-Ludwig Wagner, CDU
*1991–1994: Rudolf Scharping, SPD
*since 1994: Kurt Beck, SPD

See also: List of Rhineland-Palatinate Cabinet Members.

26 March 2006 state election

"See also:Rhineland-Palatinate state election, 2006"

Kurt Beck (SPD) remained Minister-President, winning an outright majority. Beck offered the FDP to continue the coalition ("red-yellow"). The FDP, however, declined and went into opposition. The Alliance '90/The Greens lost their representation in the State Parliament.


Rhineland-Palatinate is divided into 24 districts, formerly grouped into the three administrative regions: Koblenz, Trier and Rheinhessen-Pfalz.

Since 2000, the employees and assets of the Bezirksregierungen form the "Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion Trier" (Supervisory and Service Directorate Trier) and the "Struktur- und Genehmigungsdirektionen" (Structural and Approval Directorates) "Nord" in Koblenz and "Süd" in Neustadt (Weinstraße). These administrations execute their authority over the whole state, i. e. the "ADD Trier" oversees all schools.


# Ahrweiler
# Altenkirchen
# Alzey-Worms
# Bad Dürkheim
# Bad Kreuznach
# Bernkastel-Wittlich
# Birkenfeld
# Bitburg-Prüm
  1. Cochem-Zell
  2. Vulkaneifel
  3. Donnersbergkreis
  4. Germersheim
  5. Kaiserslautern
  6. Kusel
  7. Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis
  8. Mainz-Bingen
  1. Mayen-Koblenz
  2. Neuwied
  3. Rhein-Hunsrück
  4. Rhein-Lahn
  5. Südliche Weinstraße
  6. Südwestpfalz
  7. Trier-Saarburg
  8. Westerwaldkreis

Every district is composed of numerous municipalities, which can consist of cities, villages, or groups of villages known as Verbandsgemeinden.Furthermore there are twelve urban districts which are identified on the map with letters:

# Frankenthal (F)
# Kaiserslautern (Ka)
# Koblenz "Coblenz" (Ko)
# Landau (La, the main city and an enclave)
# Ludwigshafen (Rheinpfalz-Kreis) (L)
# Mainz (M)
# Neustadt (Weinstraße) (N)
# Pirmasens (P)
# Speyer "Spires" (S)
# Trier (T)
# Worms (W)
# Zweibrücken (Z)


Agriculture and viticulture

Rhineland-Palatinate is Germany's leading producer of wine. In terms of grape cultivation as well as wine export Rhineland-Palatinate is the leading federal state. Its capital, Mainz, may be called the capital of the German wine industry, with the home of the German Wine Institute, the German Wine Fund in the "Haus des Deutschen Weines" (House of the German Wine), as well as the venue of the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter Wine Bourse, which brings together the top winemakers of Germany and the wine merchants of the world.

Six out of all thirteen wine regions for quality wine in Germany, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Mosel, Nahe, Mittelrhein and Ahr are located in Rhineland-Palatinate. Due to this fact 65% to 70% of the whole production output of wine grapes in Germany have their origin within this federal state. 13,000 wine producers generate 80% to 90% of the German wine export, which was 2.6&nbps;million&nbps;hectoliters in 2003.

Traditional grape varieties as well as a wide range of varieties developed during the last 125 years are characteristic for the region.Classical white varieties are cultivated at convert|63683|ha|acre. These comprise the famous Rieslings convert|14446|ha|acre, Müller-Thurgau (convert|8663|ha|acre), Silvaner (convert|3701|ha|acre) and Kerner (convert|3399|ha|acre).

The share of red varieties grew constantly during the last decades and amounts to convert|20000|ha|acre. Dornfelder, a new breed, is the leading red grape cultivated on convert|7626|ha|acre, which is more than a third. Blauer Portugieser (convert|4446|ha|acre) and Spätburgunder (convert|3867|ha|acre) show also appreciable cultivated shares. [ [http://www.statistik.rlp.de/lan/tabellen/rebflaechen.html Cultivated grape varieties in Rhineland-Palatinate 2005] publisher: Statistical Office of Rhineland-Palatinate]

Beside these Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay as white varieties and Regent and St. Laurent as red varieties are increasing their share throughout the years, as the growing conditions improve in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The land supports the wine industry by providing a comprehensive consultancy and education program in the service supply centers ("German:" DLR) of the land. The Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding and also the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute are fully or even partially financed by the land. Many well known new breeds like Morio-Muskat, Bacchus, Optima and Regent have been created in these institutes.

The world wide leader in sparkling wine production, producing 245 million bottles in 2006, is the renowned Schloss Wachenheim Group. This company has its roots and its operations at different places in Rhineland-Palatinate and is headquartered in Trier. [ [http://www.schloss-wachenheim.com/upload/dokumente/10056.pdf annual report Schloss-Wachenheim Group 2005/2006] publisher: Schloss-Wachenheim Group]

Other renowned sparkling wine producers like Kupferberg, Deinhard and Henkell also had their roots in the land, but now belong to companies outside this federal state, due to business consolidation.


Important sectors are the chemical industry with the BASF largest chemical company in the world, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, the pharmaceutical industry with Boehringer Ingelheim in Ingelheim am Rhein and the mechanical engineering for important car manufacturers like Opel (engines in Kaiserslautern) or the biggest European truck manufacturer DaimlerChrysler-Truck-Group in Wörth am Rhein, as well as Stabilus, a manufacturer of shock absorbers and world market leader in pneumatic springs and Schottel for nautical engineering. Cookie and cracker specialist Griesson - de Beukelaer is one of the leading biscuit manufacturers in Germany. Bitburger is one of the major brewers in Germany and the Gerolsteiner Brunnen is also a leader in its sector, the mineral water bottlers. The famous electronic organ manufacturer Wersi is headquartered in Halsenbach.

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is the only international passenger airport in RP.


Rhineland-Palatinate has supplied immigrants to many parts of the world. The Hunsrückischen dialect in Brazil bears testimony to this fact, as do the names of the villages of New Paltz and Palatine Bridge in New York and Palatine, Illinois.The Pennsylvania Dutch spoken by the Amish people is (among other dialects) derived from the German dialect spoken in the Rhineland-Palatinate.

Certain colonies in the United States were settled by poor Palatines—then refugees in England—passage paid for by Queen Anne of Great Britain to reduce the number of impoverished families in London. One of the most notable is New Bern, one of the earliest North Carolina colonies settled in 1710 by about 400 Palatines (it was 650, but about half died in passage) and 100 Swiss. This venture was orchestrated by the Swiss-born Christoph von Graffenried after purchasing over convert|19000|acre|ha from the British Proprieters of Carolana (later called Carolina).

ee also

Mountain Erbeskopf


External links

* [http://www.rlp.de/ Official governmental portal]
* [http://www.flyhahn.com/ Tourist Information and Travel Guide to Rhineland-Palatinate]

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