The Rhine-Main region’s royal connections lead to Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt. It was here that Grand Duke Ernest Louis of Hessen, a grandson of Queen Victoria, married his second wife Princess Eleonore in 1905. The city’s wedding gift was a 48-metre wedding tower. The tower is the centre of the Mathildenhöhe, birthplace of German Art Nouveau.
Nowadays, Darmstadt has a population of 150,000 and many international companies and institutions are headquartered here – including the European Space Agency and the international chemical and pharmaceutical corporation Merck. In 2001, a public international school near Seeheim-Jugenheim was also opened in the area (www.schuldorf-bergstrasse.de).Quality of life is very high in Darmstadt due to the many leisure activities available near the city. The Odenwald is a well-known destination and the Bergstrasse, one of the smallest wine regions in Germany, has many wine festivals, culinary attractions and walking trails.