In 1650, after just under 200 years of being pledged to the Electorate of the Palatinate, Bensheim was once again redeemed by the Archbishopric of Mainz.By the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss in 1803, Bensheim passed to the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, who joined the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806 and was raised to Grand Duke.She is put forth every year by the Bensheim Automobile Club and for decades has been Bensheim’s hallmark both within the country and abroad.
The district seat of Heppenheim lies roughly 5 km (3 mi) to the south.With about 39,000 inhabitants (2013), it is the district’s biggest town.The town lies at the eastern edge of the Rhine rift on the slopes of the western Odenwald on the Bergstraße.When the Katzenelnbogens died out in 1479, the Landgraviate of Hesse became a neighbour to the north.In 1532, the Erbachs were raised to counts and the County of Erbach became a neighbour to the east.
The town of Bensheim fosters almond tree cultivation, to name one example, in people’s front gardens.Each year in Bensheim, there is even a Blütenkönigin (“Blossom Queen”).In the 14th century, Bensheim was granted town rights.On 26 March 1945, much of the Old Town was destroyed by incendiary bombs. The many finds from archaeological digs stretch back to the time of the Linear Pottery and Corded Ware cultures (roughly 2500 to 1500 BC), peoples who raised crops and livestock.With the introduction of the Reformation in the Landgraviate of Hesse in 1526 and in the County of Erbach in 1544, Bensheim got not only a territorial border with these neighbours, but also a denominational one.
Then, to all positive developments the Thirty Years' War put an end.On 20 November 1644, Bensheim was occupied by French and Swedish troops, who were driven out again on 2 December by Bavarian units.Later, the legend of the Fraa vun Bensem arose (the “woman from Bensheim” is said to have led the Bavarians into town through a secret route).Mostly channelled underground and only coming above ground at the western edge of town is the Neuer Graben, or “New Channel”, which branches off the Lauter.Bensheim borders in the north on the town of Zwingenberg and the communities of Alsbach-Hähnlein und Seeheim-Jugenheim (both in Darmstadt-Dieburg), in the east on the community of Lautertal, in the south on the town of Heppenheim and in the west on the town of Lorsch and the community of Einhausen.