Karlsruhe (; formerly Carlsruhe) is the second-largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany, near the Franco-German border. It has a population of 296,033. Karlsruhe Palace was built in 1715 and the town is now the seat of two of the highest courts in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Court of Justice.
It has been speculated that Karlsruhe was a model for Washington, D.C. as both cities have a centre from which the streets radiate outward.
According to legend, the name Karlsruhe, which translates as Charles’ repose, was given to the new city after a hunting trip when Charles III William, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, woke from a dream in which he dreamt of founding his new city.
Charles William founded the city on June 17, 1715, after a dispute with the citizens of his previous capital, Durlach. The founding of the city is closely linked to the construction of the palace. Karlsruhe became the capital of Baden-Durlach and in 1771 of the united Baden until 1945. Built in 1822, the "Ständehaus" was the first parliament building in a German State. In the aftermath of the democratic revolution of 1848, a republican government was elected here.
In 1860 the first ever international professional convention, the Karlsruhe Congress, was held in the city.
Much of the central area, including the palace, was reduced to rubble by Allied bombing during World War II but was rebuilt after the war. Located in the American zone of the post-war Allied occupation, Karlsruhe was home to an American military base, established in 1945. In 1995, the bases closed and their facilities were turned over to the city of Karlsruhe.