Mannheim is a charming city at the meeting point of the River Rhine and the River Neckar. Having retained a number of its classic architecture, the city is filled with many highlights, including the 'Wasserturm' (water tower), that are beautifully illuminated as darkness falls. Today, Mannheim is one of Europe's largest inland ports; its port has been hugely important throughout its history. It was a village in the 8th century, fortified by Elector Frederick IV, and chartered in 1607.
The town was twice destroyed in wars during the 17th century and was rebuilt when the Palatine electors moved their residence there in 1720. Destroyed again in 1795, the city was rebuilt and became a centre of the revolutionary movement in 1848. Mannheim is different from other German cities, because its central area is laid out in an organised grid pattern.