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Ingelheim am Rhein is the administrative centre of the Mainz-Bingen local government district, situated on the left bank of the Rhine. The town has approx. 25,000 inhabitants. The chemical/pharmaceutical concern "Boehringer Ingelheim" has its headquarters there. Otherwise, the region produces cherries, wine (most importantly the red burgundy - Pinot_Noir - variety) and white asparagus. The town was settled well before Roman times and reached its greatest importance during the reign of Charlemagne who built a palace there. Several diets of The_Holy_Roman_Empire, as it was known later, were held in Ingelheim by Charlemagne and his successors. Parts of the palace have been excavated and can be viewed. In later medieval times the significance of the palace declined but was briefly revived by Emperor Frederick_Barbarossa, who greatly admired Charlemagne. An important regional court was located in the town of Ober-Ingelheim throughout the late middle ages. Apart from the remnants of the Karolingian palace there are a number of other spectacular historical buildings, among them the "Burgkirche" church with its fortifications which allowed the townsfolk safe refuge from marauding troops during many wars over the centuries. The famous red wine festival is held in these picturesque surroundings each year in late September / early October. During Napoleonic times, the region was under French rule and Ingelheim became the administrative centre of the "Departement Mont-Tonnere". Following Napoleon's downfall it was designated part of the Grand-Duchy of Hesse and the Rhine. The dialect spoken in the area is indeed a mix of the South-Hessian and Palatinate tongues. The modern town was formed in 1938 by consolidating the formerly independent small towns of Ober-Ingelheim, Nieder Ingelheim, Frei-Weinheim and Sporkenheim. In the 1980's Groß-Winternheim was added during a state reform of municipalities. During the Nazi period, the same applied to Ingelheim as to all other German towns: its small but long-established Jewish minority and local Roma_and_Sinti were expelled or murdered, proven political leaders incarcerated and a great number of its young men killed in the war. However, the town was spared major destruction and accepted many German refugees expelled from the east. Today it is a striving small-to-medium town with a newly-built centre, which enjoys a good climate, interesting surroundings, many employment opportunities, a variety of schools and the vicinity of the busy Rhine-Main area with the Frankfurt airport as its hub.