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About 35 to 20 million years ago in the age of tertiary the whole region was lying under sea level. At that time it was covered by an ocean which was warm and not very deep. Lots of sediments sank to its bottom. Then the region rose again and the water left, leaving soil which is mostly sandy and poor.
The city consists out of the town Babenhausen and the 5 former independent villages Hergershausen, Harpertshausen, Harreshausen, Sickenhofen and Langstadt.
The neighbours of Babenhausen are:
- Rodgau, Seligenstadt and Mainhausen (North) (all Offenbach Rural District)
- Stockstadt and Großostheim (East) (all Aschaffenburg Rural District)
- Schaafheim and Groß-Umstadt (South)
- Münster and Eppertshausen (West)
Babenhausen has 16,066 inhabitants (2008).
The climate of the town is mild. There is less rain than in other parts of Germany.
Some local people are speaking a regional type (dialect) of the German language with a certain tone and special words. It is a Hessian dialect (German: Hessisch) spoken in the south of Hesse. This language type is related to other dialects in the south of Germany. In former times mostly every place had its own special dialect, sometimes hard to understand for people of other parts of Germany. Today the dialect speakers are a minority and the majority of them does not speak the real dialect. They rather speak a kind of regular German with a certain pronunciation.
Babenhausen and the former villages are early places where people lived. In the time of the 7th to the 9th century new places to live got name endings like -hausen and -stadt. But the names of the places were not written down.
In 1236 the name of Babenhausen was written down in a document for the first time. About 50 years later it got the town privileges (1295). During the Thirty Years' War the military made a lot of damages to the city. Many people died because of diseases and hunger (Bubonic plague).
Formerly the people in the Babenhausen area were mostly farmers and craftsmen but not tradesmen. Every family had land to grow their food. When the property was handed to the next generation it was divided within the children. Therefore, most families had only small farms and were poor. With the industrial revolution the Rhine-Main area got lots of factories and developed to a center for metal working, leather manufacturing and chemical processing. Many men became workmen and found a job in the factories and earned money. This increased living conditions partly.
In World War II Babenhausen was a central place for Russian soldiers, who where caught in the fights with the German. They lived here as war prisoners and had to work for the German people. After World War II it became a central place for Jewish people that were prisoners of the NAZI concentration camps.
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