Main Births etc
Morsbroich Museum
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Köln
District Urban district
First mentioned
 • Mayor Uwe Richrath (SPD)
 • Governing parties CDU / SPD / Bürgerliste
 • Total 78.85 km2 (30.44 sq mi)
Elevation 60 m (200 ft)
Population (2010-12-31)[1]
 • Total 160,772
 • Density 2,000/km2 (5,300/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 0214, 02171 & 02173
Vehicle registration LEV and OP

Leverkusen ( /ˈlvərkzən/, German: [ˈleːvɐˌkuːzn̩]  ( listen), also [leːɐˈkuːzn̩])[2] is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on the eastern bank of the Rhine. To the south, Leverkusen borders the city of Cologne and to the north is the state capital Düsseldorf.

With about 161,000 inhabitants, Leverkusen is one of the state's smaller cities. The city is known for the pharmaceutical company Bayer and its associated sports club Bayer 04 Leverkusen.


The heart of what is now Leverkusen was Wiesdorf, a village on the Rhine, which dates back to the 12th century.[3] With the surrounding villages which have now been incorporated, the area also includes the rivers Wupper and Dhünn,[4] and has suffered a lot from flooding, notably in 1571 and 1657, the latter resulting in Wiesdorf being moved East from the river to its present location.[3]

During the Cologne War, from 1583 to 1588 Leverkusen was ravaged by war. The entire area was rural until the late 19th century, when industry prompted the development that led to the city of Leverkusen, and to its becoming one of the most important centres of the German chemical industry.

The chemist Carl Leverkus, looking for a place to build a dye factory, chose Wiesdorf in 1860. He built a factory for the production of artificial ultramarine blue at the Kahlberg in Wiesdorf in 1861, and called the emerging settlement "Leverkusen" after his family home in Lennep. The factory was taken over by the Bayer company in 1891; Bayer moved its headquarters to Wiesdorf in 1912. After asset confiscation at the end of the First World War, it became IG Farben. The city of Leverkusen proper was founded in 1930 by merging Wiesdorf, Schlebusch, Steinbüchel and Rheindorf, and was posthumously named for Carl Leverkus.[4]

During the Second World War, the IG Farben factories were bombed by the RAF on 22 August 1943,[5] again by the RAF during bombing campaigns on 19/20 November, the USAAF Eighth Air Force on 1 December 1943,[6] and finally once again by the RAF on 10/11 December 1943.

In 1975, Opladen (including Quettingen and Lützenkirchen since 1930), Hitdorf and Bergisch Neukirchen joined Leverkusen. The present city is made up of former villages, originally called Wiesdorf, Opladen, Schlebusch, Manfort, Bürrig, Hitdorf, Quettingen, Lützenkirchen, Steinbüchel, Rheindorf and Bergisch-Neukirchen.[4]


Population development since 1832:[7]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1832 11,442
1871 15,507 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1900 24,974 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1910 44,088 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1925 61,404 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1933 67,260 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1939 75,171 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1946 84,646 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1950 98,867 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1961 137,516 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1970 161,808 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
1987 154,692 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
2000 161,426 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
2010 161,132 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".
2017 166,737 Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".

Coat of Arms[]

The coat of arms consists of the two-tailed rampant red lion of the Bergisches Land with a blue crown on a silver background and an embattled line in front.[4]

Main sights and places of interest[]

Japanese Garden in front of the Bayer tower

  • BayArena is the home stadium of Bayer Leverkusen, with a capacity of over 30,000.
  • The Bayer Cross Leverkusen is one of the largest illuminated advertisements in the world.
  • Freudenthaler Sensenhammer is an industrial museum.
  • Schloss Morsbroichmoated castle in the Baroque style, now a museum for contemporary art.
  • Water Tower Leverkusen-Bürrig – 72.45-metre-high (237.7 ft) water reservoir containing an observation deck.
  • Neuland Park – large park beside the Rhine.
  • Japanese Garden – a 1913 garden extended by Carl Duisberg in 1923.[8]
  • Colony of workers – historical area in the form of houses and other buildings constructed for employees and families of the chemical works at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century.[9]
  • Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit – historical boat bridge next to the Rhine, between Wiesdorf and Rheindorf.
  • Mausoleum of Carl Duisberg – mausoleum in the centre of the Carl Duisberg Park, next to the Casino.
  • NaturGut Ophoven – educational centre for nature in Leverkusen-Opladen.
Largest groups of foreign residents[10]
Nationality Population (2018)
 Turkey 3,776
 Italy 2,382
 Poland 2,159
Template:Country data North Macedonia 1,956
 Greece 1,254
 Croatia 1,015
Others: 12,096


The city is home of the football team Bayer 04 Leverkusen and the basketball team Bayer Giants Leverkusen, which is the German record holder of national basketball championships. As of 2019, the team plays in the German ProA league and plays its home games in the Ostermann-Arena.

The Ostermann-Arena, previously known as Wilhelm Dopatka Halle and Smidt-Arena, was one of the host arenas for the FIBA EuroBasket 1985 (the official European Basketball Championship).

International relations[]


Leverkusen is twinned with:[11]

  • Finland Oulu, Finland (since 1968)
  • United Kingdom Bracknell, United Kingdom (since 1975)
  • Slovenia Ljubljana, Slovenia (since 1979)
  • Israel Nof HaGalil, Israel (since 1980)
  • Nicaragua Chinandega, Nicaragua (since 1986)
  • Germany Schwedt, Germany (since 1989)
  • Poland Racibórz, Poland (since 2002)
  • France Villeneuve d'Ascq, France (since 2005)
  • People's Republic of China Wuxi, China (since 2014)

Notable people[]

  • Jörg Bergmeister (born 1976), racing driver
  • Uta Briesewitz, (born 1967), cinematographer
  • Ji-In Cho (born 1976), singer of Krypteria
  • Bärbel Dieckmann (born 1949), politician (SPD), mayor of Bonn 1994-2009
  • Danny Ecker, (born 1977), pole vaulter, son of Heidemarie Rosendahl
  • Andreas Hedwig, (born 1959), archivist
  • Ileana Jacket, (born 1947), telenovela actress
  • Paul Janes, (1912–1987), football player
  • Heinrich Lützenkirchen (1909-1986), mayor of Leverkusen
  • Dietmar Mögenburg, (born 1961), athlete
  • Sabine Moussier, (born 1966), Mexican telenovela actress
  • Lothar Rohde (1906–1985), scientist and founder of Rohde & Schwarz Messtechnik
  • Wilfried Schmickler (born 1954), comedian
  • Ralf Schmitz, (born 1974) actor and comedian
  • Detlef Schrempf (born 1963), former NBA basketball player
  • Felix Sturm (born 1979), middleweight boxer
  • Wolf Vostell (1932–1988), sculptor, painter and happening artist


  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. 31 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Leverkusen". Duden Online. 
  3. ^ a b Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 17. ISBN 978-3866809703. 
  4. ^ a b c d Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 6. ISBN 978-3866809703. 
  5. ^ WW2 People's War - A Bedfordshire Bomb Aimer - Part Two. BBC. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  6. ^ 322nd Dailies from 1943 - 91st Bomb Group (H). 91st Bomb Group. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  7. ^ "Aktuelles" (in de-DE). 
  8. ^ Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 12. ISBN 978-3866809703. 
  9. ^ Braun, Detlef (2012). Leverkusen. Erfurt: Sutton. p. 10-11. ISBN 978-3866809703. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Partner in aller Welt" (in de). Leverkusen. 


  • Blaschke, Stefan (1999): Unternehmen und Gemeinde: Das Bayerwerk im Raum Leverkusen 1891-1914 Cologne: SH-Verlag, ISBN 3-89498-068-0 (German)
  • Archive of Leverkusen (2005): Leverkusen. Geschichte einer Stadt am Rhein. Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte, ISBN 3-89534-575-X (German)
  • Franz Gruß (1987): Geschichte und Porträt der Stadt Leverkusen. Leverkusen: Verlag Anna Gruß, ISBN 3-930478-03-X (German)

External links[]

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