Essen ; Latin: Assindia) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Its population of approximately 589,000 makes it the ninth-largest city in Germany. It is the central city of the northern part of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area and seat to several of the region's authorities. Essen is seat to 13 of the 100 largest German corporations, including three DAX corporations, placing the city second only to Munich and on-par with Frankfurt am Main in number of corporate headquarters.
Founded around 845, Essen remained a small town within the sphere of influence of an important ecclesiastical principality until the onset of industrialization. The city then — especially through the Krupp family iron works — became one of Germany's most important coal and steel centers. Essen, until the 1970s, attracted workers from all over the country; it was the 5th-largest city in Germany between 1929 and 1988, peaking at over 730,000 inhabitants in 1962. Following the region-wide decline of heavy industries in the last decades of the 20th century, the city has seen the development of a strong tertiary sector of the economy.
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