City in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr industrial district. Population (1990 estimate) 626,100.
The city is a railroad and manufacturing center, a chief industry being the manufacture of iron and steel. Other products include machinery, chemicals, glass, textiles, and building materials. Coal is mined nearby.
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Villa Hügel is a museum devoted to the Krupp family, who founded the iron-and-steel industry in the city in the early 19th century.
Essen was originally the seat of a Benedictine convent, and it became an ecclesiastical town, governed by the convent, in the mid-10th century. The city cathedral (begun 10th century).
The convent maintained control until 1803, when Essen was made a secular town under Prussia.
The city was severely damaged, and after 1945 it was rebuilt with technologically advanced factories and large parks.
Major cities near Essen:
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