Facts and Figures
Leverkusen has existed for more than eighty years and yet it is in fact much older. Nine of today’s thirteen districts were documented as early as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The City of Leverkusen was born on 1 April 1930 when the communities Schlebusch, Steinbüchel and Rheindorf were merged into the then town of Wiesdorf. The population was 42,000.
Named after an entrepreneur
The city was named after the factory complex on the Rhine that Dr Carl Leverkus had established around his ultramarine factory from 1860 and that had become world famous since the settlement of the “Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co. AG” in 1891.
In 1955, Leverkusen was an autonomous town and, in 1963, had 100,000 inhabitants.
On 1 January 1975, Leverkusen merged with the district town of Opladen (town charter since 1858), the town of Bergisch Neukirchen (town charter since 1857), and the Monheim district of Hitdorf (town charter from 1857 to 1960).
The “old” Leverkusen became today’s modern city with about 160,000 inhabitants.
1107/1120 First documented evidence of Wiesdorf
1860/1861 Carl Leverkus builds his ultramarine factory in Wiesdorf and calls the complex Leverkusen
12 March 1921 Wiesdorf is granted its town charter
1 April 1930 Schlebusch, Steinbüchel and Rheindorf merge into Wiesdorf to form the town of Leverkusen with 42,619 inhabitants
1 April 1955 Leverkusen becomes an autonomous town with 78,623 inhabitants
17 November 1963 Leverkusen becomes a city with 100,000 inhabitants
1 January 1975 The towns Leverkusen-Opladen and Bergisch Neukirchen and the Monheim district Hitdorf merge to form the new autonomous city of Leverkusen with about 170,000 inhabitants
1168 The first documented evidence of Opladen
1858 Opladen is granted its town charter
1914 Opladen becomes a district town 1 January
1975 Opladen merges into Leverkusen
1223 First documented evidence of Neukirchen
1857 Neukirchen awarded its town charter
1904 Name changes to Bergisch Neukirchen following integration in the railway network
1 January 1975 Neukirchen merges into Leverkusen
1151 First documented evidence of Hitdorf
1356 Hitdorf is first documented as a Rhine harbour
1857 Hitdorf is awarded its town charter
1960 Hitdorf is incorporated within Monheim
1 January 1975 Incorporation into Leverkusen
The coat of arms displays a blue-crowned, langued, and unguled double-tailed red lion on a silver background, behind a black embattled bar. The new City of Leverkusen came into being on 1 January 1975. Until 1976, Leverkusen bore the Wiesdorf coat of arms, a reproduction of the Wiesdorf lay judge’s seal (1567) representing the Berg lion and the Rhine ferry. Since the coats of arms borne by the formerly autonomous towns of Bergisch Neukirchen (1929) and Hitdorf (1931) also depicted the Berg lion, this figure was chosen for the new coat of arms and the embattled bar adopted from the Opladen coat of arms (1883), the first coat of arms borne by the Count of Berg.
(Translated from Rolf Nagel’s “Rheinisches Wappenbuch”, Cologne, 1986)