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Bremerhaven, Germany

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Bremerhaven, Germany

Bremerhaven

Coat of arms
Bremerhaven
Bremerhaven

Coordinates: 53°33′0″N 8°35′0″E / 53.55000°N 8.58333°E / 53.55000; 8.58333Coordinates: 53°33′0″N 8°35′0″E / 53.55000°N 8.58333°E / 53.55000; 8.58333

Country Germany
State Bremen
District
Founded 1827
Subdivisions 2 boroughs with 9 districts
Government
 • Lord Mayor Melf Grantz (SPD)
Area
 • Total 78.867 km2 (30.451 sq mi)
Elevation 2 m (7 ft)
Population (2012-04-30)[1]
 • Total 112,895
 • Density 1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 27501-27580
Dialling codes 0471
Vehicle registration HB (with 1 letter and 4 digits)
Website bremerhaven.de

Bremerhaven (German pronunciation: [bʁeːmɐˈhaːfən], literally "Bremen's harbour", Low German: Bremerhoben) is a city at the seaport of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. It forms an enclave in the state of Lower Saxony and is located at the mouth of the River Weser on its eastern bank, opposite the town of Nordenham. Though a relatively new city, it has a long history as a trade port and today is one of the most important German ports, playing a crucial role in Germany's trade.

History

The town was founded in 1827, but settlements, such as Lehe, were in the vicinity as early as the 12th century, and Geestendorf, which was "mentioned in documents of the ninth century".[2] These tiny villages were built on small islands in the swampy estuary. In 1381, the city of Bremen established de facto rule over the lower Weser stream, including Lehe, later therefore called Bremerlehe. Early in 1653, Swedish Bremen-Verden's troops captured Bremerlehe by force.

The Emperor Ferdinand III ordered his vassal Christina of Sweden, then Duchess regnant of Bremen-Verden, to restitute Bremerlehe to Bremen. However, Swedish Bremen-Verden soon enacted the First Bremian War (March to July 1654) and in the following peace treaty (Recess of Stade; November 1654) Bremen had to cede Bremerlehe and its surroundings to Swedish Bremen-Verden. The latter developed plans to found a fortified town on the site, which only later used to become Bremerhaven, and in 1672—under the reign of Charles XI of Sweden, in personal union Duke of Bremen-Verden—colonists tried unsuccessfully to erect a castle (named Carlsburg after Charles XI) there, which was meant to protect, as well as control, shipping heading for Bremen.

Finally, in 1827, the city of Bremen under Burgomaster Johann Smidt bought the territories at the mouth of the Weser from the Kingdom of Hanover. Bremen sought this territory to retain its share of Germany's overseas trade, which was threatened by the silting up of the Weser around the old inland port of Bremen. Bremerhaven (literally in English: Bremener Haven/Harbour) was founded to be a haven for Bremen's merchant marine, becoming the second harbour for Bremen, despite being 50 km (31 mi) downstream. Due to trade with and emigration to North America, the port and the town grew quickly. In 1848, Bremerhaven became the home port of the German Confederation's Navy under Karl Rudolf Brommy.

The Kingdom of Hanover founded a rival town next to Bremerhaven and called it Geestemünde (1845). Both towns grew and established the three economic pillars of trade, shipbuilding and fishing. Following inter-state negotiations at different times, Bremerhaven's boundary was several times extended at the expense of Hanoveran territory. In 1924, Geestemünde and the neighbouring municipality of Lehe were united to become the new city of Wesermünde, and in 1939 Bremerhaven was removed from the jurisdiction of Bremen and made a part of Wesermünde, then a part of the Prussian Province of Hanover.

Bremerhaven was one of the important harbours of emigration in Europe.[3]

As a key base of the Kriegsmarine, most of the city was destroyed in the bombing of Bremen in World War II; however, key parts of the port were deliberately spared by the Allied forces to provide a usable harbour for supplying the Allies after the war. All of Wesermünde, including those parts, which did not previously belong to Bremerhaven, was a postwar enclave run by the United States within the British zone of northern Germany. In 1947 the city became part of the federal state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and was consequently renamed from Wesermünde to Bremerhaven. Today, Bremerhaven is therefore part of the city-state of Bremen, being to all intents and purposes a state comprising two cities, while also a city in its own right. This is complicated somewhat by the fact the city of Bremen has owned the "overseas port" within Bremerhaven since 1927. To further complicate matters, a treaty between the two cities (as mentioned in Section 8 of Bremerhaven's municipal constitution) makes Bremerhaven responsible for the municipal administration of those parts owned directly by Bremen (known as stadtbremisch).[4]

Trade

The port of Bremerhaven is the sixteenth-largest container port in the world and the fourth-largest in Europe with 4.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo handled in 2007.[5] In addition, more than 1,350,000 cars are imported or exported every year via Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven imports and exports more cars than any other city in Europe except for Rotterdam, and this traffic is also growing. In 2011 a new panamax-sized lock has been opened, replacing the 1897 Kaiserschleuse, then the largest lock worldwide.

Climate

Bremerhaven has a temperate maritime climate, severe frost and heat waves with temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) are rare. On average the city receives about 742 mm (29.2 in) of precipitation distributed throughout the year with a slight peak in the summer months between June and August. The hottest temperature ever recorded was 35.8 °C (96.4 °F) on 9 August 1992 and the coldest −18.6 °C (−1.5 °F) on 25 February 1956.[6]

Climate data for Bremerhaven
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.1
(55.6)
15.3
(59.5)
22.5
(72.5)
28.9
(84)
30.3
(86.5)
34.3
(93.7)
34.1
(93.4)
35.8
(96.4)
30.7
(87.3)
25.9
(78.6)
18.4
(65.1)
14.0
(57.2)
35.8
(96.4)
Average high °C (°F) 3.0
(37.4)
3.8
(38.8)
6.9
(44.4)
10.9
(51.6)
16.1
(61)
18.9
(66)
20.0
(68)
20.5
(68.9)
17.6
(63.7)
13.2
(55.8)
7.8
(46)
4.3
(39.7)
11.9
(53.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.1
(34)
1.6
(34.9)
4.1
(39.4)
7.5
(45.5)
12.3
(54.1)
15.4
(59.7)
16.8
(62.2)
16.9
(62.4)
14.2
(57.6)
10.3
(50.5)
5.6
(42.1)
2.5
(36.5)
9.0
(48.2)
Average low °C (°F) −1
(30)
−0.7
(30.7)
1.5
(34.7)
4.3
(39.7)
8.5
(47.3)
11.9
(53.4)
13.7
(56.7)
13.5
(56.3)
11.1
(52)
7.7
(45.9)
3.5
(38.3)
0.4
(32.7)
6.2
(43.2)
Record low °C (°F) −17.2
(1)
−18.6
(−1.5)
−14.6
(5.7)
−4.9
(23.2)
−1.1
(30)
3.0
(37.4)
7.1
(44.8)
7.5
(45.5)
3.6
(38.5)
−2.1
(28.2)
−10.2
(13.6)
−15.6
(3.9)
−18.6
(−1.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 56.0
(2.205)
36.1
(1.421)
50.3
(1.98)
47.8
(1.882)
56.3
(2.217)
73.1
(2.878)
78.7
(3.098)
71.7
(2.823)
67.9
(2.673)
65.3
(2.571)
71.4
(2.811)
66.9
(2.634)
741.5
(29.193)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 40.0 65.1 101.4 160.3 208.9 207.2 194.6 192.4 134.3 94.9 48.2 32.9 1,480.2
Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst [7]
Source #2: European Climate Assessment Dataset [8]

Transportation

Roads

Due to its unique geographic situation, Bremerhaven suffers from a few transportational difficulties. The city has been connected to the autobahn network since the late 1970s. The A 27 runs north-south, east of the city, connecting Bremerhaven to Bremen and Cuxhaven. Road connections to Hamburg, however, are poor. The Bundesstraße 71 and secondary roads therefore carry most of the heavy lorry traffic. A proposed solution is the construction of the A 22, the so-called Küstenautobahn (or "coastal motorway"), which would link Bremerhaven to Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven/Oldenburg (using the Weser tunnel). Roads leading to the overseas port are regularly overloaded with freight traffic, and solutions are presently being discussed, including a deep-cut road favoured by the city government and various interest groups.

Railway

Bremerhaven has three active passenger rail stations, Bremerhaven Hauptbahnhof in the city centre, Bremerhaven-Lehe north of the centre and Bremerhaven-Wulsdorf in the southern part of the city. A fourth station, Bremerhaven-Speckenbüttel near the border to Langen has been out of service since 1988, though it might reopen when the Bremen S-Bahn scheme becomes operational. Bremerhaven's central station lost its last long-distance train in 2001. Now only regional connections to Bremen, Cuxhaven, Osnabrück and Hamburg are available. The railways in Bremerhaven, however, still carry a heavy load of freight traffic, mostly new cars, containers and food.

Tourist attractions

Bremerhaven Radar Tower. On the left side the city including „Columbus-Center", some tourist attractions and the de:Havenwelten just under construction


Bremerhaven has only a few historical buildings, and the high street and city centre are almost entirely post-war. The main attractions for tourists are found at the Havenwelten and include the German Emigration Center (since August 8, 2005) and the German Maritime Museum (Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum) from 1975, featuring the Hansekogge, a vintage cog dating from 1380, excavated in Bremen in 1962, and the historical harbour with a number of museum ships, such as the Type XXI U-boat Wilhelm Bauer, the Seute Deern (a three-masted sailing vessel), and the seagoing tug Seefalke from 1924. The Bremerhaven Zoo reopened on 27 March 2004, after a lengthy renovation. It features Arctic wildlife, both terrestrial and marine. The latest addition is the Klimahaus from 2009, simulating travel adventure along the 8th line of longitude and dealing with climate issues. Two gazebos can be found on top of the Atlantic Hotel Sail City and the Radar Tower. Another tourist spot is the Fischereihafen (fishing port) in Geestemünde which also houses an aquarium (the Atlanticum). The Lloyd-Werft shipyard is renowned for building and renovating large cruise liners, for example the Norway.

Every five years Sail Bremerhaven is held, a large sailing convention that attracts tall ships from all over the world. The last time it was held was in 2010. In 2011 Bremerhaven set the record for the largest ever parade of boats, with 327 vessels in the parade. This record was broken in 2012 by the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, with 1,000 boats.[9]

Politics

Since the 2011 elections, the Bremerhaven government is a coalition between the Social Democrats and the Green Party. In the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, the city forms part of the Bremen II – Bremerhaven constituency.

Sport

The Fischtown Pinguins, also known as REV Bremerhaven, are a professional hockey team in Germany's 2nd Bundesliga league.

The Eisbären Bremerhaven (Polarbears), founded 2001, are a basketball team playing in the 1st division of the Basketball Bundesliga.

Education

Bremerhaven is home to the Alfred Wegener Institute, a national research institute which is concerned with maritime sciences and climate, and to the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences/Hochschule Bremerhaven, founded in 1975 and expanding since with more than 3.000 students in 2009.

Twin cities

Bremerhaven's twin cities include:

The three roads connecting the city of Bremerhaven to the Autobahn 27 consequently are named after the original three twin cities:

  • Cherbourger Straße (AS Bremerhaven-Überseehafen)
  • Grimsbystraße (AS Bremerhaven-Mitte)
  • Poristraße (AS Bremerhaven-Geestemünde)

In addition to that there are also streets which earlier had been named after Szczecin (Stettiner Straße) and Kaliningrad (Königsberger Straße).

References and notes

External links

  • Auswandererhaus
  • Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (in german)
  • Hochschule Bremerhaven
  • Alfred Wegener Institut (english)
  • 360 QTVR Panos
  • Fullscreen panos
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