by R. Beedgen, B. Stahl and R. Ziegler
After a period of leading a somewhat sleepy existence lasting until the middle of the 1920’s, the discoveries of more and more of the town’s historical substance starting in the 60’s were made. Ladenburg experienced a development that led to a complete restoration of the historic town.from the ground up. This was only possible with aid from the state of Baden-Württemberg and specific sponsoring from private and public initiatives. The national competition “Stadtgestalt und Denkmalschutz im Städtebau” (Urban Design and Historic Preservation in Urban Development) bestowed a golden plaque upon Ladenburg in 1978 for its efforts for a sustainable restoration of the historic town centre.
Ladenburg drew up an historic town statute, and the State Baden-Württemberg put the historic town under the protection of a total investment ordinance. Additionally, Ladenburg’s town centre was declared an archaeological site. The historical preservation office has always supported archaeological excavations and and the publication of further development of Ladenburg’s history, as well as the efforts of the State, the Archaeologist Dr. Heukemes, and the Heimatbund Ladenburg to preserve the past’s heritage and its references. For their services in discovering and and protecting its heritage, Ladenburg and the Heimatbund received the Baden-Württemberg Archaeology Award in 2010.
Within the well-kept historical town with its inviting streets, squares, and corners are attractive homes and stores, the Lobdengau Museum, which is dedicated to archaeology, popular culture and street history, art galleries and studios, novel gastronomies and hotels, and much more Even a visit to the the cluster of churches is well worth the time. The presence of the regionally significant educational centre, the Lobdengauhalle, the Roman stadium, as well as numerous institutions, such as the music school, the town library, the public pool, and all the other places that make this a wonderful town to live and recreate in, all prove that the preservation of tradition doesn’t exclude progress and that Ladenburg is not out of touch with the times.
Ladenburg offers more than a wonderful place to live and play in: it’s also a good place to work. There are still more people commuting to the town than from it to get to work. This many jobs in the various branches is the reason for this, whereas global technology and the chemical industry are the most significant.
The populated town and its public places with a glance to the future
Ladenburg has a population of almost 12;000 and has reached a good size which, it is hoped, will not grow too much more in order to preserve the personality and charm of the historical centre. Our town is what it is today thanks to over forty years of successful urban development policies. While the first three decades of restoration received special attention, at the beginning of the 21st century, it became important to focus also on the lawns and other recreational spaces, most of which were already there but in bad shape.
The greening project, with the motto “Live and Experience Ladenburg”, could be put into action after successfully vying for a small State Garden Show.
Up to 2005, the year for which the exciting green project event was planned, the existing green areas were renovated and completed with newly created qualitative recreational spaces, resulting in a belt of green. One could say the historic town jewel was set in a green ring.
A number of landscape design and urban development measures have been executed - riparian landscape, playgrounds (including a skate park), beautiful floral decorations throughout the historical centre, and an artistic construction on the Neckar shore as a new town landmark. The visual relationship between the town and the landscape was improved upon, the existing and rediscovered historic structures were restored, and Ladenburg’s enviable characteristic of being a town on the river was finally spotlighted.
The Urban development associated with the green project was another significant mile stone for the town, not only in the creative sense, but also in the sense that it amplified the already deserved recognition of civic engagement and community living in the town. Ladenburg’s complete renewal has made it and even more livable and exciting. You are heartily invited to take explore the unique atmosphere of the town.
These efforts earned the town much praise in the form of awards and prizes Among other things, the town won the title “Germany’s prettiest park” in 2006, and was awarded a gold meal in the national competition “Entente Florale – our town in full bloom”. At the ten-year anniversary of Entente Florale Germany in 2010, a special prize for “sustainable urban development” was offered for to the winner among the 250 participating communities taking part in the competition. Ladenburg was awarded the distinction, which was taken as a confirmation that the town was on the right track regarding urban development.
The town is grateful for these “views from the outside”. The honors and prizes are obligating as well as motivating distinctions to continue down the determined path of urban development and to shape the future with economic carefulness, ecological foresight, and social regard while respecting the past.