Oldenburg (German pronunciation: [ˈɔldn̩bʊʁk] ; Northern Low Saxon: Ollnborg) is an independent city in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. The city is officially named Oldenburg (Oldb) (Oldenburg in Oldenburg) to distinguish from Oldenburg in Holstein.

City centre of Oldenburg including St Lamberti Church, Schloss Oldenburg (Oldenburg Palace) and the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (Oldenburg State Theatre; left image border)
City centre of Oldenburg including St Lamberti Church, Schloss Oldenburg (Oldenburg Palace) and the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (Oldenburg State Theatre; left image border)
Flag of Oldenburg
Coat of arms of Oldenburg
Location of Oldenburg (city)
Oldenburg is located in Germany
Oldenburg is located in Lower Saxony
Coordinates: 53°08′38″N 8°12′50″E / 53.14389°N 8.21389°E / 53.14389; 8.21389
StateLower Saxony
DistrictUrban district
Subdivisions33 boroughs, separated into nine census tracts
 • Lord mayor (2021–26) Jürgen Krogmann[1] (SPD)
 • Total102.96 km2 (39.75 sq mi)
4 m (13 ft)
 • Total172,830
 • Density1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0441
Vehicle registrationOL

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).[3] Oldenburg is part of the Northwest 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.

History edit

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.[4]

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.[4] (German-speakers usually call the "neoclassicist style" of that period klassizistisch, while neoklassizistisch specifically refers to the classicist style of the early 20th century.)

Schloss Oldenburg

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.

Climate edit

Climate data for Oldenburg (1991–2020 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −0.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 71.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 18.5 16.8 16.6 14.0 13.8 15.9 17.3 16.3 15.0 16.7 19.1 19.5 199.1
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 4.5 3.2 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.7 3.9 13.8
Average relative humidity (%) 86.2 83.5 78.6 71.0 70.4 72.0 73.2 75.1 79.8 83.5 87.4 88.5 79.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 45.3 63.0 117.1 172.8 213.2 200.5 209.1 191.1 143.8 110.0 48.0 40.1 1,562.1
Source: World Meteorological Organization[7]

City government edit

Local elections take place every five years. The city council (Stadtrat) has 50 seats. The lord mayor (Oberbürgermeister) is elected directly by the citizens.

Political parties in Oldenburg (Oldb) and their percentages of votes in past city council elections[8]
SPD Bündnis ’90/
Die Grünen
CDU Die Linke Freie Wähler/
FDP Piraten
2001 40.1 13.6 30.5 3.9 2.8 8.2
2006 32.7 21.2 26.0 7.2 5.4 6.3
2011 34.0 27.3 20.6 6.1 3.1 3.0 2.8 1.1
2016 32.68 19.13 22.21 9.88 1.53 4.84 1.17 0.62 1.19 4.76
Resulting distribution of seats in the city council
SPD Grüne CDU Linke FW FDP Piraten WFO NPD LKR AFD Total
2001 21 7 15 2 1 4 50
2006 16 11 13 4 3 3 50
2011 17 14 10 3 2 1 1 1 1 50
2016 16 10 11 5 1 2 1 1 0 1 2 50

Economy and infrastructure edit

Transport edit

Oldenburg Railway Station
Oldenburg Harbour

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 MoleLeer—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.

Agriculture edit

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.

Industry edit

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.

Demographics edit

Residents by foreign citizenship[9]
Nationality Population (2020)
  Iraq 3,635
  Syria 2,190
  Turkey 1,425
  Poland 1,275
  Romania 1,135
  Russia 550
  Italy 450
  Iran 445
  Afghanistan 410

As of 31.12.2019 Oldenburg had 169,960 residents. 24.8% of the population were first or second generation immigrants.[10]

Cultural life edit

"Hundehütten" (dog houses) typical architecture in Oldenburg

Recurring cultural events edit

  • Kultursommer (summer of culture), series of free musical and other cultural events in the city centre during summer holiday season in July.
  • CSD Nordwest (Christopher Street Day) parade of the regional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community in June, with up to 10,000 participants (since 1995).
  • Stadtfest, a three-day festival of the city centre in August/September, comprises gastronomical offerings and rock and pop music performances on various stages.
  • Oldenburg International Film Festival, a privately organised film festival in September, focused on independent film and film makers. The festival is funded through public subsidies and private sponsoring.
  • Kramermarkt, fun fair at the Weser-Ems Halle on ten days in September/October. The tradition of this annual volksfest dates back to the 17th century, when the Kramermarkt was a market event at the end of the harvest.
  • Oldenburger Kinder- und Jugendbuchmesse (KIBUM), an exhibition of new German language children's and youth literature, takes place over 11 days in November. A non-commercial fair organised by the city government in cooperation with the public library and the university library. In the course of the fair, a prize, the Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis, is awarded to a debuting author or illustrator.

Points of interest edit

  • Core city centre, large pedestrianized shopping destination for the region.
  • Oldenburg State Theatre, oldest mainstream theatre in Oldenburg, first opened in 1833.
  • Schloss Oldenburg in the city centre, until 1918 residence of the monarchic rulers of Oldenburg, today a museum. A public park, the Schlossgarten, is nearby.
  • Weser-Ems Halle, exhibition and congress centre with outdoor fair area, located in Oldenburg Donnerschwee.
  • Small EWE Arena and Large EWE Arena, two sports and event halls located near the main railway station, opened in 2005 and 2013, and seating up to 4,000 and 6,852 visitors respectively. The large arena is also home to the EWE Baskets Oldenburg basketball club.

Lutheran community edit

Oldenburg is the seat of administration and bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg, whose preaching venue is the St Lamberti Church.

Jewish community edit

Nathan Marcus Adler, chief Rabbi of the Oldenburg Jewish community in the 19th century

The history of the Jewish community of Oldenburg dates back to the 14th century.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

Media edit

Print edit

Radio and television edit

Online edit

Education edit

Tertiary education edit

There are two public universities in Oldenburg:

  • The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg was founded in 1973 based on a previous college for teacher training, the Pädagogische Hochschule Oldenburg, which had a history in Oldenburg dating back to 1793. The university was officially named after Carl von Ossietzky in 1991. As of 2014, it has almost 13,746 students, a scientific staff of 1,130, as well as 964 technical and administrative staff.[15] A new faculty of medicine and health sciences was established in 2012 as part of the newly founded European Medical School Oldenburg-Groningen, a cooperation with the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and local hospitals.[16]
  • The Jade University of Applied Sciences (Jade-Hochschule) The former Fachhochschule Oldenburg (until 1999) was founded in 1971, a merger of the previous engineering academy with the nautical college in Elsfleth. Oldenburg already had a history of construction engineering training dating back to 1882. Starting in 2000, the Fachhochschule had been part of multiple re-organisations involving several UAS (Fachhochschule) in the northwestern region. A relaunch under the name Jade-Hochschule took place in 2009 (previously: Fachhochschule Oldenburg/Ostfriesland/Wilhelmshaven). The Jade-Hochschule now comprises branches in three towns: Oldenburg, Elsfleth, and Wilhelmshaven. Based in Oldenburg are the departments of architecture, construction engineering and construction management, geodesy, as well as the institute of hearing aid technology and audiology. There are about 2,000 students in the Oldenburg branch.[17] (The Elsfleth branch offers bachelor's degree courses in nautical science, international logistics, and harbour management. The Wilhelmshaven branch offers courses in engineering, business management, and media management.)

Privately managed institutions of higher education:


  • The Oldenburg branch of the Lower Saxony police academy (Polizeiakademie Niedersachsen) maintains a study facility in Oldenburg preparing candidates for a career in higher-middle-level or higher-level police service.

Primary and secondary education edit

  • Gymnasium Graf-Anton-Guenther School
  • Wirtschaftsgymnasium Oldenburg
  • Cäcilienschule Oldenburg
  • Liebfrauenschule Oldenburg
  • Herbartgymnasium Oldenburg
  • Altes Gymnasium Oldenburg
  • Neues Gymnasium Oldenburg
  • Gymnasium Eversten
  • IGS Flötenteich
  • Helene Lange Schule Oldenburg (IGS)
  • Realschule Hochheider Weg
  • Real- und Hauptschule Osternburg
  • Realschule Ofenerdiek
  • Kath. Grundschule Lerigauweg

Sports edit

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.

Twin towns – sister cities edit

Oldenburg is twinned with:[18]

Notable people edit

Princess Cecilia of Sweden, 1835
Helene Lange, 1899
Karl Jaspers
Otto Suhr, 1958
Isaac Friedlander, 1878
Hans-Jörg Butt, 2016

Public servants and public thinking edit

Arts edit

Science & business edit

Sport edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Stichwahlen zu Direktwahlen in Niedersachsen vom 26. September 2021" (PDF). Landesamt für Statistik Niedersachsen. 13 October 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09.
  2. ^ "LSN-Online Regionaldatenbank, Tabelle A100001G: Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes, Stand 31. Dezember 2022" (in German). Landesamt für Statistik Niedersachsen.
  3. ^ "Einwohnerzahl steigt". Archived from the original on 2019-11-06. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  4. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Oldenburg". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 72.
  5. ^ Goldsmith, Martin (2014). Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance. Da Capo Press. pp. 44–46. ISBN 978-0306823220.
  6. ^ Ulrich Schneider: Niedersachsen 1945, p. 95. Hannover 1985
  7. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991–2020". World Meteorological Organization Climatological Standard Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 12 October 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  8. ^ Source: Official results of elections published on the official website of the city of Oldenburg. Archived 2011-12-14 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Ausländer nach Nationalität 2014 bis 2020" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-08-29. Retrieved 2021-08-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "OLDENBURG - JewishEncyclopedia.com". www.jewishencyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  12. ^ Oldenburg, Stadt. "1990: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Leo Trepp – Stadt Oldenburg". www.oldenburg.de. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Erinnerungsgang -". Erinnerungsgang. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Антисемиты осквернили еврейское кладбище в Ольденбурге » Центральный Еврейский Ресурс SEM40. Израиль, Ближний восток, евреи". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  15. ^ "Statistics published on the CvO University's web site, retrieved in 2014". uni-oldenburg.de. Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  16. ^ "VI. School of Medicine and Health Sciences". uni-oldenburg.de. 25 April 2018. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Statistics published on the Jade-Hochschule website, retrieved in January 2012". jade-hs.de. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Oldenburgs Partnerkommunen". oldenburg.de (in German). Oldenburg. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  19. ^ "Amalie, Marie Friederike" . New International Encyclopedia. Vol. I. 1905.
  20. ^ "Löwe, Sophie" . The American Cyclopædia. Vol. X. 1879.

External links edit