The federal state of Baden-Württemberg in Southwestern Germany is the country’s third-largest in terms of population and area. Bordering the neighboring countries of France and Switzerland, Baden-Württemberg is subdivided into 35 districts. Previously organized into three separate entities, Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Württemberg-Baden after World War II by the allies, these states merged following a public vote and became today’s federal state in 1952.
Baden-Württemberg comprises some of Germany’s most affluent regions and has a traditionally strong economy coupled with comparatively low unemployment rates, particularly in the rural parts of the state. While there are several areas primarily stamped by a strong agricultural tradition focusing on fruit-growing and viniculture, the more urban areas are the home of some of Germany’s largest companies. Stuttgart, where both Porsche and Daimler AG have their headquarters, is a center of the automotive industry, while other regions are important for the textile, engineering and electronics industries. The city of Walldorf is home to Europe’s largest software company, SAP and the town of Pforzheim has become famous for its jewelers and as such is one of the popular tourist destinations of the state. Of these, Baden-Württemberg has quite a number, ranging from the low mountain range of the Swabian Jura to the Alps foothills and the world-famous Lake Constance and Black Forest. In addition, the state’s cities attract many tourists from abroad. Among them are Heidelberg with its romantic castle and the luxurious spa town of Baden-Baden which is visited by thousands of international visitors every year.