Wuppertal, with its population of 350,000, is the largest city in the Bergisches Land region. And with public green spaces covering one-third of its total area, Wuppertal is also the greenest city in Germany. Wuppertal is the birthplace of the Bayer Group. However, the city’s real claim to fame is its unique mode of public transportation. For over 100 years, the Wuppertal suspension railway has been carrying passengers along the Wupper river valley.
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The Wuppertal site at a glance:
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Frequently asked questions about the Wuppertal site
Bayer’s more than 150-year history has its origins in what is today the city of Wuppertal. Here in 1863, dye salesman Friedrich Bayer and master dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott established the general partnership “Friedr. Bayer et comp” to manufacture and sell synthetic dyes. The company grew rapidly and in 1881 was converted into a joint stock company, initially headquartered in Wuppertal-Elberfeld. However, because of the company’s steady expansion, the site there soon became too small. In 1891, therefore, Bayer purchased the alizarin red factory of Dr. Carl Leverkus & Söhne north of Cologne and later further tracts of land on banks of the Rhine. Bayer then relocated its headquarters in 1912 to what is now Leverkusen. However, Wuppertal remains a major production, research and training location for Bayer.
At the Wuppertal site, 3,000 employees of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division are engaged in the development and manufacture of innovative active ingredients for use in cardiovascular medicine and opthalmology. The Wuppertal site includes the Pharmaceuticals Research Center in Wuppertal-Aprath and the plant in Wuppertal-Elberfeld.
- Pharmaceuticals Research Center
At the Pharmaceuticals Research Center in Aprath, 1,400 scientists and laboratory technicians are engaged in researching and developing new active ingredients for treating eye disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Some 1,600 Pharmaceuticals employees work at the plant on the Wupper river. The site manufactures some 20 different active ingredients which are then processed into drug products at other Bayer locations and shipped around the world. In addition to producing active ingredients, the Bayer plant in Wuppertal is a hub of chemical and biotechnological process development, because before new substances from pharmaceuticals research can be manufactured in large quantities, chemists, biologists and engineers must design suitable processes for them.
The SV Bayer Wuppertal sports club has something for all age groups. Its recreational sports program ranges from beach volleyball and soccer, to judo, diving and table tennis. The club is continuously expanding its program, and now also offers rehabilitation exercise classes for people recovering from illness or injury.
The city of Wuppertal has a broad program of cultural events. Under the direction of famed choreographer Pina Bausch, who died in 2009, the Wuppertal Tanztheater gained international fame. Wuppertal’s various theaters, the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra and the Tanztheater are just a few of the city’s many cultural offerings.
Wuppertal is surrounded by the meadows and forests of the Bergisches Land, a region of low mountains. With public green spaces covering one-third of its total area, Wuppertal is the greenest city in Germany. One special highlight for people who nature and animal lovers is the Wuppertal Zoo. It is home to over 4,500 animals representing some 450 species, and is one of the world’s most beautifully landscaped zoos.
- Industrial monuments
The Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid region is among the oldest centers of industry and business in Europe. As an historic industrial city, Wuppertal has many places and significant landmarks that tell the story of the city’s industrial history. The lime kiln on Eskesberg hill, the Manuelskotten mill for grinding knives and cutlery and the railbed of the old Rheinische Eisenbahngesellschaft railway are just a few of the historic sites where visitors can experience the city’s industrial history.
An old saying in Wuppertal goes: “Ride the Wuppertal suspension railway once, and you won’t easily forget it; ride it twice and you’ll never forget!” The suspension railway in Wuppertal has achieved international fame over the last 100 years. Every day, 80,000 passengers board the cars to travel along the valley above the Wupper river. Covering 13.3 kilometers, the suspension railway is the main mode of public transportation for the people of Wuppertal.
Many employees enjoy the campus atmosphere of the Pharmaceuticals Research Center and the bustling activity at the site. There is an open and inspiring work culture. In addition, many employees meet outside of work for their sporting, cultural or recreational activities. The Pharmaceuticals Summer Festival, in the grounds of the Pharmaceuticals Research Center in Wuppertal-Aprath, has achieved almost cult status among Bayer employees and their families. The gathering attracts some 4,000 visitors every year, who enjoy the culinary diversity, the packed program of information and entertainment events and the street festival atmosphere. Maybe you’ll be joining them next time?