City centre of Oldenburg including St Lamberti Church
Coat of arms
|Subdivisions||33 boroughs, separated into nine census tracts|
|• Lord mayor||Jürgen Krogmann (since 2014) (SPD)|
|• Total||102.96 km2 (39.75 sq mi)|
|Elevation||4 m (13 ft)|
|• Density||1,600/km2 (4,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
Oldenburg (German pronunciation: [ˈɔldn̩bʊʁk] (listen)) is an independent city in the district of Oldenburg in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. The city is officially named Oldenburg (Oldb) (Oldenburg in Oldenburg) to distinguish from Oldenburg in Holstein.
During the French annexation (1811–1813) in the wake of the Napoleonic war against Britain, it was also known as Le Vieux-Bourg in French. The city is at the rivers Hunte and Haaren, in the northwestern region between the cities of Bremen in the east and Groningen (Netherlands) in the west. It has a population of 170,000 (November 2019). Oldenburg is part of the Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region, with 2.37 million people.
The city is the place of origin of the House of Oldenburg. Before the end of the German Empire (1918), it was the administrative centre and residence of the monarchs of Oldenburg.
Archaeological finds point to a settlement dating back to the 8th century. The first documentary evidence, in 1108, referenced Aldenburg in connection with Elimar I (also known as Egilmar I) who is now commonly seen as the first count of Oldenburg. The town gained importance due to its location at a ford of the navigable Hunte river. Oldenburg became the capital of the County of Oldenburg (later a Duchy (1774- 1810), Grand Duchy (1815–1918), and Free State (1918–1946)), a small state in the shadow of the much more powerful Hanseatic city of Bremen.
In the 17th century Oldenburg was a wealthy town in a time of war and turmoil and its population and power grew considerably. In 1667, the town was struck by a disastrous plague epidemic and, shortly after, a fire destroyed Oldenburg. The Danish kings, who were also counts of Oldenburg at the time, had little interest in the condition of the town and it lost most of its former importance. In 1773, Danish rule ended. Only then were the destroyed buildings in the city rebuilt in a neoclassicist style. (German-speakers usually call the "neoclassicist style" of that period klassizistisch, while neoklassizistisch specifically refers to the classicist style of the early 20th century.)
After the German government announced the abdication of Emperor Wilhelm II (9 November 1918) following the exhaustion and defeat of the German Empire in World War I, monarchic rule ended in Oldenburg as well with the abdication of Grand Duke Frederick Augustus II of Oldenburg (Friedrich August II von Oldenburg) on 11 November 1918. The Grand Duchy now became the Free State of Oldenburg (German: Freistaat Oldenburg), with the city remaining the capital.
In the 1928 city elections, the Nazi Party received 9.8% of the vote, enough for a seat on the Oldenburg city council. In the September 1930 Oldenburg state elections, the Nazi Party's share of the vote rose to 27.3%, and on May 29, 1932, the Nazi Party received 48.4% in the state election, enough to put the Nazi party in charge of forming a state government and, significantly, making Oldenburg the first state in the country to put the Nazis in power based on electoral turnout. By that autumn, a campaign of Aryanization began, forcing the sale of formerly Jewish-owned properties at steep discounts.
In 1945, after World War II, the State of Oldenburg became part of the British zone of occupation. The British military government of the Oldenburg region resided in the city. Several displaced-persons camps were set up in the city that had suffered only 1.4% destruction during the bombing campaigns of World War II. About 42,000 refugees migrated into Oldenburg, which raised the number of residents to over 100,000. In 1946 the Free State of Oldenburg was dissolved and the area became the 'Administrative District' of Oldenburg (Verwaltungsbezirk Oldenburg) within the newly formed federal German state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). The city was now capital of the district. In 1978 the district was dissolved and succeeded by the newly formed Weser-Ems administrative region (Regierungsbezirk Weser-Ems), again with the city as administrative capital. The state of Lower Saxony dissolved all of the Regierungsbezirke by the end of 2004 in the course of administrative reforms.
|Population||~ 2,300||~ 4,300||~ 5,000||6,959||6,278||6,800||9,280||11,370||13,928|
Local elections take place every five years. The city council (Stadtrat) has 50 seats. The lord mayor (Oberbürgermeister) is elected directly by the citizens.
|CDU||Die Linke||Freie Wähler/
The city centre of Oldenburg is surrounded by a ring of freeways (autobahns) consisting of A 28, A 29 and A 293. Because of this, Oldenburg is connected to the nationwide network of federal autobahns, as well as to the international E-road network (German: Europastraßen).
Oldenburg Central Station, Oldenburg (Oldb) Hauptbahnhof, is at the intersection of the railway lines Norddeich Mole—Leer—Oldenburg—Bremen and Wilhelmshaven—Oldenburg—Osnabrück, with Intercity services to Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden and InterCityExpress services to Frankfurt and Munich.
Oldenburg is only about half an hour drive from Bremen Airport (about 50 km | 31 miles). Other international airports nearby are Hamburg Airport (160 km | 100 miles) and Hannover-Langenhagen Airport (170 km | 106 miles).
The small Hatten Airfield, (Flugplatz Oldenburg-Hatten ICAO airport code: EDWH), is located about 17 km south-west of Oldenburg. It serves to small aircraft (private planes, gliders, balloons, and helicopters). A flight training school is also located there, and small planes can be chartered. Scenic flights can be booked as well.
Oldenburg is connected to shipping through the Küstenkanal, a ship canal connecting the rivers Ems and Weser. With 1.6 million tons of goods annually, it is the most important non-coastal harbour in Lower Saxony.
Bicycles play a very important part in personal transport.
The city is surrounded by large agricultural areas, about 80% of which is grassland. There are farms near and even a few within city limits. Predominant agricultural activities of the region are the cultivation of livestock, especially dairy cows and other grazing animals, crops such as grains for food and animal feed, as well as asparagus, corn, and kale.
Sea salt production in the Oldenburg region has been used since the 15th century to supply the huge salt demand in the Baltic region. Peat extraction in the area continued for many centuries until it was replaced by coal mines.
Oldenburg is the seat of administration and bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg, whose preaching venue is the St Lamberti Church.
The history of the Jewish community of Oldenburg dates back to the 14th century. Towards and during the 19th century, the Jews in Oldenburg were always around 1% of the total population, and by that time had acquired their own synagogue, cemetery and school. Most of them were merchants and businessmen. On 1938 Kristallnacht, the town men were led to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, among them Leo Trepp, the community Rabbi who survived and later became an honorary citizen of Oldenburg and honored by a street named after him. Since 1981 an annual commemoration walk (Erinnerungsgang) has been held by Oldenburg citizens in memory of the deportation of the Oldenburg Jews on November 10, 1938. Those who remained after 1938 emigrated to Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Holland or Mandatory Palestine.
After World War II, a group of survivors returned to the city and maintained a small community until it was dissolved during the 1970s. Nevertheless, due to Jewish emigration from the former USSR to Germany in the 1990s, a community of about 340 people is now maintaining its own synagogue, cemetery and other facilities. The old Jewish cemetery, which is no longer active after the opening of a new one, was desecrated twice in 2011 and 2013.
There are two public universities in Oldenburg:
Privately managed institutions of higher education:
Oldenburg hosted the 2007 Fistball World Championship.
It has two football teams, VfB Oldenburg and VfL Oldenburg, who also have a handball section of the same name.
Moreover, Oldenburg is home to the basketball team EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
Datteln is twinned with:
See also: List of people from Oldenburg
See in particular the Counts, Dukes and Grand Dukes of Oldenburg for the rulers who were not born in Oldenburg.