Hilmessen / Hilmssen (Low German)
Clockwise from top: St. Mary's Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site), half-timbered houses at the Brühl street, St. Andrews Church, St. Michael's Church (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum and the Historic Market Place
Flag of Hildesheim
Coat of arms of Hildesheim
Location of Hildesheim within Hildesheim district
Hildesheim (district)Lower SaxonyHolzminden (district)Northeim (district)Goslar (district)Wolfenbüttel (district)SalzgitterHamelin-PyrmontHanover (district)Peine (district)FredenLamspringeBockenemAlfeldDuingenSarstedtAlgermissenHarsumGiesenNordstemmenHildesheimElzeGronauEimeDiekholzenDiekholzenSchellertenSchellertenSöhldeBad SalzdetfurthHolleSibbesse
Hildesheim is located in Germany
Hildesheim is located in Lower Saxony
Coordinates: 52°09′N 09°57′E / 52.150°N 9.950°E / 52.150; 9.950
StateLower Saxony
 • Lord mayor (2021–26) Ingo Meyer[1] (Ind.)
 • Total92.18 km2 (35.59 sq mi)
81 m (266 ft)
 • Total101,858
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes05121
Vehicle registrationHI, ALF
St Mary's Cathedral and St Michael's Church at Hildesheim
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ottonian architecture in St. Michael's Church
CriteriaCultural: i, ii, iii
Inscription1987 (11th Session)
Area0.58 ha
Buffer zone157.68 ha

Hildesheim (German: [ˈhɪldəsˌhaɪm] ; Low German: Hilmessen or Hilmssen; Latin: Hildesia) is a city in Lower Saxony, in north-central Germany with 101,693 inhabitants.[3] It is in the district of Hildesheim, about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Hanover on the banks of the Innerste River, a small tributary of the Leine River.

The Holy Roman Emperor Louis the Pious founded the Bishopric of Hildesheim in 815 and created the first settlement with a chapel on the so-called Domhügel.

Hildesheim is situated on the north–south Autobahn 7, and hence is connected with Hamburg in the north and Austria in the south.

With the Hildesheim Cathedral and the St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

In 2015 the city and the diocese celebrated their 1200th anniversary.


Early years

According to tradition, the city was named after its founder Hildwin.[4] The city is one of the oldest cities in Northern Germany, became the seat of the Bishopric of Hildesheim in 815 and may have been founded when the bishop moved from Elze to the ford across the River Innerste, which was an important market on the Hellweg trade route. The settlement around the cathedral very quickly developed into a town and was granted market rights by King Otto III in 983.[5] Originally the market was held in a street called Alter Markt (Old Market) which still exists today. The first marketplace was laid out around the church St. Andreas. When the city grew further, a larger market place became necessary. The present market place of Hildesheim was laid out at the beginning of the 13th century when the city had about 5,000 inhabitants.

Middle Ages

When Hildesheim obtained city status in 1249, it was one of the biggest cities in Northern Germany.[6] For four centuries the clergy ruled Hildesheim, before a town Hall was built and the citizens gained some influence and independence. Construction of the present Town Hall started in 1268.[7] In 1367 Hildesheim became a member of the Hanseatic League. A war between the citizens and their bishop cost dearly in 1519–23 when they engaged in a feud.

Reformation to 17th century

Hildesheim became Lutheran in 1542, and only the cathedral and a few other buildings remained in Imperial (Roman Catholic) hands. Several villages around the city remained Roman Catholic as well.

During the Thirty Years' War, Hildesheim was besieged and occupied several times: in 1628 and 1632 by imperial troops; and in 1634 by troops from Brunswick and Lüneburg.[8]

19th century

In 1813, after the Napoleonic Wars, the town became part of the Kingdom of Hanover, which was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia as a province after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. In 1868 a highly valuable trove of about 70 Roman silver vessels for eating and drinking, the so-called Hildesheim Treasure, was unearthed by Prussian soldiers.

Early 20th century and World War II

Hildesheim city square in April 1945

Early in World War II, Nazi roundups of the Jewish population began, and hundreds of Hildesheim's Jews were sent to concentration camps. Hildesheim was the location of a forced labour subcamp of the Nazi prison in Celle, and a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp.[9][10] After the dissolution of the latter, the surviving prisoners were sent on a death march to Ahlem.[10] The city was heavily damaged by British air raids in 1945, especially on 22 March. Although Hildesheim had little military significance, two months before the end of the war the historic city was bombed as part of Britain′s Area Bombing Directive in order to undermine German civilian morale. As a result, 29% of the houses were destroyed and 45% damaged, while only 26% of the houses remained undamaged. The centre, which had retained its medieval character until then, was almost leveled. Destruction in the city as a whole was estimated at 20 to 30 percent.[11] Around 200 out of 800 half timer framed houses survived.[12]

During the war, valuable world heritage materials had been hidden in underground cellars. After the war and its aftermath, priority was given to rapid building of housing, and concrete structures took the place of the wrecked historic buildings. Most of the major churches – two of them now UNESCO World Heritage sites – were rebuilt in the original style soon after the war.

Late 20th century and present

In 1978, the University of Hildesheim was founded. In the 1980s a reconstruction of the historic centre began. Some of the unattractive concrete buildings around the market place were torn down and replaced by replicas of the original buildings. In the autumn of 2007, a decision was made to reconstruct the Umgestülpter Zuckerhut (Upended Sugarloaf), an iconic half-timbered house famous for its unusual shape. In 2015 the city and the diocese celebrates their 1200 anniversary with the Day of Lower Saxony.


In 1542 most of the inhabitants became Lutherans. Today, 28.5% of the inhabitants identify themselves as Roman Catholics (Hildesheim Diocese) and 38.3% as Protestants (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover). 33.0% of the inhabitants are adherents of other religions or do not have a religion at all. Up until 2015 the Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Germany had his seat in Himmelsthür (a locality of Hildesheim), before the seat moved to Frankfurt and, in 2018, to Düsseldorf.

Main sights

Reconstructed market square at night

Other places of interest include the theatre, offering opera, operetta and musicals, drama, ballet and concerts.



Population history

On 31 Dec 2017 Hildesheim had 103,970 inhabitants.[16]

Historical population

Largest minority groups

The following list shows the largest foreign groups in the city of Hildesheim as of 2013:[17]

Rank Nationality Population (2016)
1  Turkey 2,395
2  Poland 764
3  Serbia 474
4  Italy 442
5  Iraq 299
6  Syria 268
7  Russia 254
8  Bulgaria 243

List of mayors of Hildesheim

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany

Hildesheim is twinned with:[18]

Events of international interest


Important and significant companies in the city of Hildesheim are:


Hildesheim has an efficient traffic infrastructure: it is a regional hub for national roads and railway (Hildesheim Hauptbahnhof is served by InterCityExpress services), is connected to the motorway (Autobahn), has a harbour on the Mittellandkanal (canal) and Hildesheim Betriebsgesellschaft Airfield.


There are many secondary schools (Gymnasiums, comprehensive schools and subject-specific secondary schools): Gymnasium Andreanum, Gymnasium Marienschule, Gymnasium Josephinum Hildesheim, Scharnhorstgymnasium Hildesheim, Goethegymnasium Hildesheim, Michelsenschule, Gymnasium Himmelsthür. Further: Freie Waldorfschule Hildesheim, Robert-Bosch-Gesamtschule. Friedrich-List-Schule (Fachgymnasium Wirtschaft), Herman-Nohl-Schule (Fachgymnasium Gesundheit und Soziales), Walter-Gropius-Schule (Berufsbildende Schule), Werner-von-Siemens-Schule (Fachgymnasium Technik), Elisabeth-von-Rantzau-Schule (Fachakademie für Sozialmanagement).

Tertiary Education can be achieved at the University of Hildesheim or Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst (HAWK), a co-operation with the cities of Holzminden and Göttingen.


The community has the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Frankfurt and all of Germany.[19]

Notable people

Ludolf van Ceulen
Ferdinand von Roemer
Adolf Hurwitz, ca 1885
Hans Adolf Krebs
Oskar Schindler, after 1945

Public service & public thinking

The Arts

Science & business



See also


  1. ^ "Direktwahlen in Niedersachsen vom 12. September 2021" (PDF). Landesamt für Statistik Niedersachsen. 13 October 2021.
  2. ^ "LSN-Online Regionaldatenbank, Tabelle A100001G: Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes, Stand 31. Dezember 2022" (in German). Landesamt für Statistik Niedersachsen.
  3. ^ https://www.hildesheim.de/pics/verwaltung/1_1549983673/Bevoelkerung_der_Stadt_Hildesheim_HW_31.12.2019.pdf [dead link]
  4. ^ Möglich wäre die Benennung nach Abt Hilduin von Saint-Denis: In seinem Kommentar zur „Fundatio“ und in Ergänzung einer schon früher geäußerten Annahme hat sich Berges auch um den Nachweis bemüht, den Namen Hildesheim, der zweifellos auf die Form ‚Hilduinesheim‘ zurückgeht, auf den bekannten Abt Hilduin von St. Denis, den Berater und (seit 818) Erzkanzler Ludwigs des Frommen, zurückzuführen. In der Tat ist wohl der mit dem Stammwort -heim verbundene Personenname fränkisch, und W. Berges hat darüber hinaus eine Reihe von Beispielen fränkischer Ortsbenennungen nach noch lebenden Personen beibringen können. So hat sein Vorschlag einige Wahrscheinlichkeit für sich, zumal darüber hinaus die Möglichkeit bestände, dass auch die in der erwähnten Fraternitätsliste des Hildesheimer Domkapitelsgedenkbuchs (…) unmittelbar auf die mater Reims folgende Verbrüderung mit einer (ecclesia) Parisiensis in Francia auf die Verbindung mit Hilduin zurückgehen könnte. Und daß Hilduin und Gunthar möglicherweise miteinander verwandt waren, wird nicht völlig ausgeschlossen werden können. Hans Goetting: Germania Sacra, Neue Folge 20, Berlin 1984, S. 40. Berges gibt auch die Möglichkeit zu bedenken, dass der in der Gründungslegende erwähnte capellarius Ludwigs des Frommen dieser Hilduin gewesen sein könne (ebd., Anm. 22).
  5. ^ Neigenfind, W.: Unsere schöne Stadt, p.46. Hildesheim 1964.
  6. ^ Neigenfind, W.: Unsere schöne Stadt, p.38. Hildesheim 1964.
  7. ^ Borck, Heinz-Günther: Der Marktplatz zu Hildesheim, p.24. Hildesheim 1989.
  8. ^ Gerhard Schön, Deutscher Münzkatalog 18. Jahrhundert, Hildesheim Stadt, Nr. 17
  9. ^ "Außenkommando des Zuchthauses Celle in Hildesheim". Bundesarchiv.de (in German). Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  10. ^ a b Megargee, Geoffrey P. (2009). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos 1933–1945. Volume I. Indiana University Press, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. 1147–1148. ISBN 978-0-253-35328-3.
  11. ^ http://archiv.nationalatlas.de/wp-content/art_pdf/Band5_88-91_archiv.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  12. ^ https://www.hildesheimer-geschichte.de/die-bauwerke/geb%C3%A4ude-und-bauwerke/
  13. ^ Segers-Glocke, Christiane: Baudenkmale in Niedersachsen, Band 14.1. - Hildesheim, p.109. Hameln 2007.
  14. ^ Segers-Glocke, Christiane: Baudenkmale in Niedersachsen, Band 14.1. - Hildesheim, p.108. Hameln 2007.
  15. ^ Stadtgeschichte auf dem Hinterhof. - Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung, 23 June 2009, p.9.
  16. ^ "Fläche und Bevölkerung".
  17. ^ "Stadt Hildesheim Statistische Daten 2014" (PDF). Stadt Hildesheim. Retrieved 2015-07-13.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Partnerstädte". hildesheim.de (in German). Hildesheim. Archived from the original on 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  19. ^ "Kontakdaten Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine." Diocese of Central Europe. Retrieved on 27 February 2011. "Obere Dorfstr. 12 D - 31137 Hildesheim-Himmelsthür"
  20. ^ "Ebeling, Christoph Daniel" . The American Cyclopædia. Vol. VI. 1879.
  21. ^ "Hornemann, Frederick" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 13 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 709.
  22. ^ "Marheineke, Philip Konrad" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 17 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 707.
  23. ^ "Brandis, Christian August" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 4 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 428.
  24. ^ "Roemer, Friedrich Adolph" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 23 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 452.
  25. ^ "Roemer, Friedrich Adolph" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 23 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 452, see para 2. His brother, Carl Ferdinand von Roemer (1818–1891), who........