A Medieval Place to see
SOLINGEN, Germany, in Westphalia, near the Rhine river, stands on a hill bordering the Wupper River, 20 miles northeast of Cologne. It has Catholic and Protestant churches, a synagogue, schools of various grades, hospital, electricity and all the conveniences of a modern town. It is a center of steel and iron industry in Germany.
The municipality was established in 1374 and the town became famous for its sword-blades. There are numerous metal factories which turn out fine cutlery, copper and brass-ware, and surgical instruments, etc., while several thousand workmen make small articles of cutlery at home. In addition, there are paper, linen, cotton, silk, soap and other factories. Solingen cutlery as been famous since medieval times and is supposed to have been introduced by crusaders from Damascus. Pop. 165,000 in 1997.
In the year of 1600, Solingen consisted of 188 houses with about 1200 inhabitants. This was the period when the medieval blade makers from Solingen became famous all over Europe and quite wealthy. The 30 Years War (1618-1648) put an end to Solingen's prominence and it was 100 years before it fully recovered from the effects of the War along with the rest of Germany