Four equal sides, four right angles, four axles of symmetry – squares are such uncomplicated, concise objects. And such objects define the city of Mannheim, which takes its charm from its chessboard-esque city centre. The grid-like structure dates back to 1607, when Elector Friedrich IV and engineer Barthel Janson constructed the city and its
fortress. With 144 squares, there’s little chance of getting lost. But even beyond the borders of the squares, nothing is too far away; the train from Frankfurt airport takes just 30 minutes to reach Mannheim central station, Straßburg is 90 minutes away and it’s just three hours to Paris – with such a location, conditions are optimal for a strong economy.

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