Wilhelmshaven: Wikis


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Naval museum
Naval museum
Coat of arms of Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven is located in Germany
Coordinates 53°31′0″N 8°8′0″E / 53.516667°N 8.133333°E / 53.516667; 8.133333
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Eberhard Menzel (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 106.91 km2 (41.28 sq mi)
Elevation 2 m  (7 ft)
Population 82,797  (31 December 2006)
 - Density 774 /km2 (2,006 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate WHV
Postal codes 26351–26389
Area codes 04421, 04423, and 04425 (each partially)
Website Nordsee Stadt Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven (GermanyWeser)
Wilhelmshaven -->
Wilhelmshaven in northwest Germany

Wilhelmshaven (German pronunciation: [vɪlhɛlmsˈhaːfən]) is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of Jadebusen, a bay of the North Sea.



The Sibetsburg castle, built before 1383, was occupied by pirates and destroyed in 1433 by the Hanseatic League. Four centuries later, the Kingdom of Prussia planned a fleet and a harbour on the North Sea. In 1853, Prince Adalbert of Prussia arranged the Jade Treaty (Jade-Vertrag) with the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, in which Prussia and the Grand Duchy entered into a contract: 3.13 km² of Oldenburgian territory at the Jadebusen should be ceded to Prussia. In 1869, King William I of Prussia (later also German Emperor) founded the town as an exclave of the Province of Hanover as a naval base for Prussia's developing fleet. All the hinterland of the city remained as part of the Duchy of Oldenburg.

A shipbuilders was established at Wilhelmshaven, the Kaiserliche Marinewerft (Emperor's Shipyard). On 30 June 1934, the "pocket battleship" Admiral Graf Spee was launched at Wilhelmshaven.

In 1937, Wilhelmshaven and Rüstringen merged[citation needed] and the united city, named Wilhelmshaven, became a part of the Free State of Oldenburg.


World War II

During World War II Alten Banter Weg (No. 1582 Wilhelmshaven) was a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp. Two thirds of the town's buildings were destroyed during bombing by the Allies of World War II.[citation needed]. On 5 May 1945, Polish forces under General Stanisław Maczek captured Wilhelmshaven and took the surrender of the entire garrison, including some 200 ships of the Kriegsmarine. They remained as part of the allied occupation forces.

Prince Rupert School

The Prince Rupert School (PRS), one of the first comprehensive, co-educational, boarding schools of the 1944 Education Act, opened in July 1947 for the children of the British Armed Forces and Control Commission personnel. The site had originally been a German Naval submarine base for two Training Flotillas, subsequently occupied by the Royal Navy post-war as HMS Royal Rupert. The site was handed over on 1 July 1947, and the school continued at Wilhelmshaven until moved to Rinteln in 1972. On 3 September 2007, former pupils and staff erected a memorial on a corner of the Wilhelmshaven site.[1]

Wilhelmshaven today

After the war the harbour was used not only for military purposes, but for economy and tourism as well. Today, Wilhelmshaven is the German navy's main base at the North Sea again. It is also the third largest German port (after Hamburg and the combined ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven) with mainly oil products being loaded and unloaded. Besides the military, chemical industries and a refinery are the main employers of Wilhelmshaven which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the western part of Germany. The oil terminal and the refinery are connected with other German industrial centres by pipelines. Wilhelmshaven also provides an Applied Sciences University (Fachhochschule) for engineering and business sciences.

Economic hopes rest in following major development projects:

  • the JadeWeserPort project for a deep water container port to be constructed 2006 - 2010, able to berth even the largest container vessels presently under construction
  • the construction of a 800 MW power plant; completion in year 2012
  • the further development of the chemical industry
  • the construction of an LNG-Terminal
  • the proposed coastal highway (Küstenautobahn) connecting north-western German industrial centres at the Elbe, Weser, and Ems rivers.


  • Aquarium Wilhelmshaven, an aquarium with native animals from the North Sea, the information centre of the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park.
  • The Botanischer Garten der Stadt Wilhelmshaven, a municipal botanical garden.
  • The Deutsches Marinemuseum (Navy Museum), whose main exhibits are the former German Navy] destroyer Mölders (D186), a submarine, and some smaller warships as well as an exhibition of German naval history from the 19th century onwards.
  • The Küstenmuseum (Coast Museum).
  • The Bontekai, city harbor jetty, featuring the former light vessel "Weser" and the steam engine powered buoy layer "Kapitän Meyer", an active museum ship. During the "Jade Weekend" (late June) it is berth of tall sailing ships, too.
  • As the town's landmark the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Brücke ("Emperor Wilhelm Bridge") is considered, which crosses an inlet of the Jadebusen. It was built in 1905 to 1907; with a length of 159 m it was once the greatest swing bridge of Europe.
  • The Town Hall (Rathaus), a large brick building, constructed in 1927-1929 by the architect Fritz Höger as the town hall of the city of Rüstringen.
  • The Christus-und-Garnisionskirche, the oldest church of the city. It was built in 1869 by the Prussian architect Friedrich Adler.
  • Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal at the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz, a monument erected in memory of emperor Wilhelm I of Prussia in 1896, who was one of the founder of the city. After the statue had been melted down in 1942, it was reconstructed in 1994.
  • The entrance building of the former Kaiserliche Marinewerft ("emperor's shipyard"), built in the 1870s.
  • The building of the former Kaiserliche Westwerft ("emperor's western shipyard"), completed in 1913.

People/ Celebrities

Rainer Fetting *1949, artist (modern painting)

Town twinnings


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WILHELMSHAVEN, or Wilhelmshafen, a town of Germany, and the chief naval station and war harbour of the empire on the North Sea, situated on the north-west shore of the Jade Busen, a large shallow basin formed by inundations and united with the sea by the Jade, a channel 3 m. long. Pop. (1885), 19,422; (1905), 26,012, of whom 8227 belonged to the navy or army. The ground on which it stands (4 sq. m.) was purchased by Prussia from the grand-duke of Oldenburg in 1853, when the Prussian navy was being formed. The construction of the harbour and town was begun in 1855, and the former was opened in 1869. Though reckoned a part of the Prussian province of Hanover it is completely surrounded on the landward side by Oldenburg territory. The town is laid out on a regular plan and ample scale, and the streets are wide and shaded with trees. The main thoroughfare is the Roonstrasse, which, running E. and W., passes the market-square, upon which stand the town hall and the post office. There are two Evangelical and two Roman Catholic churches, a gymnasium, schools for warrant officers and engineers and other naval educational institutions. The original harbour, constructed in 1855-1869, consists of an inner and outer basin. To the south-east of the inner harbour a large new harbour has been more recently constructed for war vessels in commission. This so-called new harbour (170 acres in area and 264 ft. deep) is connected by means of a lock (571 ft. long) with the new harbour entrance, which was completed in 1886. On the north it is connected with the fitting-out basin (3832 ft. long, 446 ft. wide), which again is connected by a lock (158 ft. long) with the outer basin (617 ft. long, 410 ft. wide), and so with the old harbour entrance. North of this the "third entrance" has been recently constructed, with two enormous locks, one of which in an emergency could be used as an additional dock. On the west side of the fitting-out basin lies the shipbuilding basin (1237 ft. long by 742 ft. wide), with three dry-docks (of which two are each 453 ft. long, 85 ft. wide and more than 30 ft. deep, whilst the third is 394 ft. long), and also with two slips of the largest size. Further new docks (each about 617 ft. by 97 ft.), capable of containing large battle-ships, were completed in 1906. A torpedo harbour lies to the south-east of the new harbour. The three entrances to the old and new harbours are sheltered by long and massive moles; and the whole complex of docks, building slips, machine shops, &c., forms the government dockyard, which is enclosed by a lofty wall with fourteen iron gates. The establishment is defended by strong fortifications. The commercial harbour lies on the south side of the town at the east end of the Ems-Jade canal. The industries of the place are almost exclusively connected with the requirements of the dockyard, and embrace machine shops, iron foundries and boiler works. Wilhelmshaven is visited for its sea-bathin g. It possesses depots for artillery and mines, a meteorological observatory and a signalling station. A battalion of marines is stationed here. Since 1900 the development of the naval establishment and of the town has been exceptionally rapid, coincident with the growth of the German navy, and with the shifting of political and naval activity from the Baltic to the North Sea.

See Eberhard, Fi%hrer durch Wilhelmshaven and seine Umgebung (Wilhelmshaven, 1906); L. v. Krohn, Vierzig Jahre in einem deutschen Kriegshafen (Wilhelmshaven, 1905).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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Proper noun


  1. Wilhelmshaven (independent city in Lower Saxony, Germany)


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