Wuppertal (vŏpˈərtäl) [key], city (1994 pop. 386,625), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, on the Wupper River. It is an industrial center, formed in 1929 by the merger of Barmen, Elberfeld, Vohwinkel, and several smaller towns. Manufactures include textiles, machinery, tools, chemicals, rubber, vehicles, printing equipment, and beer. Barmen was first mentioned in the 11th cent. and Elberfeld in the 12th cent. Elberfeld pioneered in legislation for poor relief with a system that it adopted in the mid-19th cent. and that was widely imitated (see poor law). As a major production center of ball bearings and chemicals in World War II, the city was heavily damaged by Allied bombing raids. Noteworthy buildings include the city hall (1912–22) and the opera house (1956). There is a museum of the history of clocks and watches.
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