Bremerhaven (German pronunciation: [ˌbʁeːmɐˈhaːfn̩] ; Low German: Bremerhoben) is a city on the east bank of the Weser estuary in northern Germany. It forms an exclave of the city-state of Bremen. The River Geeste flows through the city before emptying into the Weser.

Bremerhoben (Low German)
Bremerhaven in July 2013
Bremerhaven in July 2013
Flag of Bremerhaven
Coat of arms of Bremerhaven
Location of Bremerhaven
Bremerhaven is located in Germany
Bremerhaven is located in Bremen
Coordinates: 53°33′N 8°35′E / 53.550°N 8.583°E / 53.550; 8.583
Subdivisions2 boroughs with 9 districts
 • Lord mayorMelf Grantz (SPD)
 • Governing partiesSPD / CDU / FDP
 • Total93.82 km2 (36.22 sq mi)
2 m (7 ft)
 • Total115,468
 • Density1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0471
Vehicle registrationHB (with 1 letter and 4 digits)
Aerial view of Bremerhaven

Bremerhaven was founded in 1827 as a seaport for Bremen, and it remains one of the busiest ports in the country. It was historically rivalled by Geestemünde [de] on the opposite side of the Geeste, which belonged to Hanover (and later Prussia). Geestemünde united with neighbouring Lehe [de] to form the city of Wesermünde [de] in 1924, and Bremerhaven was itself annexed to Wesermünde in 1939, but the entire conurbation was restored to Bremen in 1947.

History edit

City founder Johann Smidt
Bürgermeister-Smidt-Gedächtniskirche [de] of the Evangelical Church of Bremen

The town was founded in 1827, but neighboring settlements such as Lehe were in the vicinity as early as the 12th century, and Geestendorf 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 began the First Bremian War (March – July 1654). In the subsequent peace treaty (First Stade Recess [de]; 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, and much later this location became the present-day city of Bremerhaven. 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; this fortified structure was meant to protect, as well as control shipping heading for Bremen.

Finally, in 1827, the city of Bremen under Bürgermeister 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: Bremer 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 Hanoverian territory. In 1924, Geestemünde and the neighbouring municipality of Lehe were united to become the new city of Wesermünde, and in 1939 Bremerhaven (apart from the overseas port) 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]

Bremerhaven on the east bank of the Weser

As possibly the most critical North Sea base of the Kriegsmarine, 79%[4] of the city was destroyed in the Allied air bombing of Bremen in World War II; however, key parts of the port were deliberately spared[citation needed] 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, separate to but within the British zone of northern Germany. Most of the US military units and their personnel were assigned to the city's Carl Schurz Kaserne. One of the longest based US units at the Kaserne was a US military radio and TV station, an "Amerikanischer Soldatensender", AFN Bremerhaven, which broadcast for 48 years. In 1993, the Kaserne was vacated by the US military and returned to the German government.

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 a city in its own right, but also part of the city-state of Bremen, which is for all intents and purposes a state comprising two cities. In addition to being part of the federal state, the city of Bremen has owned the "overseas port" within Bremerhaven since 1927. This and other parts of Bremerhaven owned by the city of Bremen are known as stadtbremisch. To 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.[5]

Trade edit

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[6] and 5,5 million in 2015.[7] The container terminal is situated on the bank of the river Weser opening to the North Sea. In the wet dock parts, accessible by two large locks, more than 2 million cars are imported or exported every year with 2,3 million in 2014. Bremerhaven imports and exports more cars than any other city in Europe. Another million tons of "High-and-Heavy" goods are handled with ro-ro ships. In 2011 a new panamax-sized lock has replaced the 1897 Kaiserschleuse, then the largest lock worldwide.

Climate edit

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 751 mm (29.6 in) of precipitation distributed throughout the year, with a slight peak in the summer months between June and August and a slightly drier season in late winter and early spring. Snow does fall in winter and early spring and, more rarely, in late autumn. However, it usually does not stay on the ground for long. The hottest temperature ever recorded was 35.9 °C (96.6 °F) on 20 July 2022, and the coldest was −18.6 °C (−1.5 °F) on 25 February 1956.[8]

Climate data for Bremerhaven (1991–2020 normals). Extremes 1949-2023
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.6
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0.5
Record low °C (°F) −17.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 62.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 18.4 16.1 15.8 13.1 14.0 15.9 15.8 16.6 15.6 16.6 18.0 19.3 194.4
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 3.4 3.7 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 3.0 11.3
Average relative humidity (%) 87.5 84.7 80.6 74.0 73.3 75.5 75.7 75.8 79.1 82.8 87.3 88.9 80.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 46.3 69.0 121.2 184.9 219.4 204.7 217.3 200.3 149.6 105.4 52.2 38.1 1,604.8
Source 1: NOAA[9]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst,[10] European Climate Assessment and Dataset,[11] and Dekadenrekorde deutscher Städte[12]

Transport edit

Roads edit

Due to its unique geographic situation,[clarification needed] Bremerhaven suffers from a few transportation 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 frequently overloaded with freight traffic, and solutions are presently[when?] being discussed, including a deep-cut road favoured by the city government and various interest groups.

Railway edit

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. All three stations are served by hourly Bremen S-Bahn trains on the line RS 2 as well as regional services to Cuxhaven and Buxtehude on the line RB 33. Additionally, Bremerhaven Hauptbahnhof is served by regional express trains to Hanover (RE 8) and Osnabrück (RE 9) and was reconnected to Deutsche Bahn's Intercity network in late 2021, after nearly 20 years without long-distance rail services in the city.[13]

A fourth station, Bremerhaven-Speckenbüttel near the border with Langen, has been out of service since 1988. Apart from passenger traffic, the railways in Bremerhaven carry a heavy load of freight traffic from and to the seaport, mostly new cars, containers and food.

Bus in Bremerhaven, Final stop Tiroler Str.

Bus edit

In 2020, Bremerhaven had a bus network with 19 bus routes operated by BREMERHAVEN BUS. Two of the bus routes are night routes that only run on weekends. In addition, there is the Schnellbus-Line S, which serves selected stops and is therefore faster.[14] BREMERHAVEN BUS operates up to 87 regular buses through the company Verkehrsgesellschaft Bremerhaven AG (VGB).[15] There are numerous regional buses operated by other companies that depart from Bremerhaven Central Station, to Bad Bederkesa, Beverstedt, Hagen, Nordholz and Otterndorf. In addition, Bremerhaven is also served by buses from Flixbus.

Tram edit

Timetable Tram 1911

Bremerhaven had a tram service from 1881 to 1982.[16] In its heyday, in 1949, there were six lines.[17] The last line was Line 2 from the north of the city to the main train station; but this was shut down on July 30, 1982.[18]

Tourist attractions edit

Panoramic view of Bremerhaven from Bremerhaven Radar Tower. On the left side the city including Columbus-Center are 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 an attraction about climate change, the Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost [de], the German Emigration Center (since August 8, 2005) and the German Maritime Museum (Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum) by Hans Scharoun from 1975, featuring the Hansekogge, a vintage cog dating from 1380, excavated in Bremen in 1962, and the historical harbour (Museumshafen) with a number of museum ships, such as the Type XXI U-boat Wilhelm Bauer (a museum of its own), and the salvage 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 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 2015 with over 270 vessels and 3,500 crew members.[19] 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.[20]

The passenger terminal Columbuskaje, built at the Weser bank in 1927 to avoid time-absorbing locking, has been transferred into a cruise terminal (Columbus Cruise Center Bremerhaven/CCCB). Also three marinas are available, the latest accessible through a new lock at Neuer Hafen.

Population edit

Historical population
Foreign residents
Nationality Population (31.12.2019)
  Syria 3,975
  Turkey 3,110
  Bulgaria 2,410
  Poland 2,290
  Portugal 1,485
  Romania 1,240
  Russia 765
  Serbia 570
  Greece 525
  Kosovo 420

Politics edit

Bremerhaven has a city council with 49 members. It also elects 15 members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen.

Sport edit

The Fischtown Pinguins, also known as REV Bremerhaven, are a professional ice hockey team in the DEL, Germany's top ice hockey league.

Eisbären Bremerhaven (Polar Bears), founded 2001, is a basketball team playing in the German second-tier level league ProA.

The American Football team is the Bremerhaven Seahawks which play in the German Regio Nord of the 3rd League. The Seahawks are the second oldest team in Germany.

Local association football clubs are Leher TS, SFL Bremerhaven and until 2012 FC Bremerhaven. TSV Wulsdorf and OSC Bremerhaven also have a football teams but as part of a multi-sport club.

Research and education edit

Bremerhaven is home to the Alfred Wegener Institute, a national research institute which is concerned with maritime sciences and climate and keeps a number of research vessels, amongst them the heavy research icebreaker RV Polarstern. It also runs the Neumayer Station III in the Antarctic.

The Fraunhofer Society Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology [de] maintains research laboratories in Bremerhaven for development and testing of Wind Power components.[21]

The German Maritime Museum is part of the German Leibniz Association.

The Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences [de] (Hochschule Bremerhaven) was founded in 1975 and is expanding since with more than 3.000 students in 2009. The university is attended by a large number of overseas students from all over the world. Among the courses offered are Process Engineering, Information Technology and the BA Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership programme, the first programme modelled after the Finnisch Team Academy format in a German language higher education institution.[22]

Twin towns – sister cities edit

Memorial to emigrants from Germany in Bremerhaven harbour

Bremerhaven is twinned with:[23]

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

  • 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).

Notable people edit

Gottfried Semper
Norman Paech, 2010
Corinna Harney, 2011

Sport edit

Felix Magath, 2011

References and notes edit

  1. ^ "Bevölkerungsentwicklung 2022 im Land Bremen" (PDF) (PDF) (in German). Statistisches Landesamt Bremen. June 2023.
  2. ^ Dierks, August, Dr.; von Garvens, Eugenie (1954), Bremerhaven: Busy – Breezy – Booming – Town, Bremerhaven: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) p. 8. Fourth revised edition. Translated into English from the original German edition titled Bremerhaven – tätige Stadt im Noordseewind
  3. ^ Evans, Nicholas J. (2001). "Work in progress: Indirect passage from Europe Transmigration via the UK, 1836–1914". Journal for Maritime Research. 3: 70–84. doi:10.1080/21533369.2001.9668313.
  4. ^ Archives, The National. "The National Archives – World War II – Western Europe 1939–1945: Hamburg – Why did the RAF bomb cities?". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^ Verfassung für die Stadt Bremerhaven (VerfBrhv Archived May 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine); § 8(1) Zum Stadtgebiet gehören alle Grundstücke, Fluß- und Hafenanlagen der ehemaligen Stadt Wesermünde. Gemeindeverwaltungsmäßig wird die Stadt Bremerhaven im Gebiet des stadtbremischen Überseehafens aufgrund eines Vertrages zwischen den Städten Bremen und Bremerhaven zuständig.
  6. ^ Van Marle, Gavin (2008-01-31). "Europe Terminals stretched to limit". Lloyds List Daily Commercial News. pp. 8–9.
  7. ^ " – Seehäfen & Seeschifffahrt: Bremische Häfen". Archived from the original on 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  8. ^ "Wetter und Klima – Deutscher Wetterdienst – Startseite".
  9. ^ "Bremenhaven Climate Normals 1991–2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 16 September 2023. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  10. ^ : Mittlere Sonnenscheindauer 1961–1990
  11. ^ "Indices data". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Extreme Temperatures". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Nach 20 Jahren fährt wieder ein IC ab Bremerhaven - buten un binnen". Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  14. ^ Paul Homann. "Bremerhavener Streckennetze - Tram and bus route networks since 1881" (PDF). p. 109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-08-28.
  15. ^ Paul Homann. "VGB-Linienbusse - Buses for the town bus network" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-01-01.
  16. ^ Paul Homann. "Bremerhavener Streckennetze - Tram and bus route networks since 1881" (PDF). p. 3 & 46. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-08-28.
  17. ^ "VGB Fahrplan 1949 - Original Timetable from the year 1949 // Book Archive from Paul Homann, Bremerhaven" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-06-25.
  18. ^ Paul Homann. "Bremerhavens Nahverkehr, Chronik - recent history since 1980 - German text" (PDF). p. 16. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-04-19.
  19. ^ "SAIL – Bremerhaven". Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  20. ^ "Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant cheered by crowds". BBC News. 3 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Fraunhofer IWES Laboratories". Archived from the original on April 19, 2012.
  22. ^ Studiengangs broschüre (in German)
  23. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften". (in German). Bremerhaven. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  24. ^ "Semper, Gottfried" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 632.

External links edit