Oldenburg

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Oldenburg (Low German: Ollnborg) is an Independent City in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated in the western part of the state between the cities of Bremen and Groningen, The Netherlands, at the Hunte river. It has a population of 160,279 (as of 2008) which makes it the fourth biggest in Lower Saxony after Hanover, Braunschweig and Osnabrück. In German, the city is known officially as Oldenburg (Oldenburg) or Oldenburg (Oldb) to distinguish it from Oldenburg in Holstein.

Contents

History

The town was first mentioned in 1108, at that time known under the name of Aldenburg. It became important due to its location at a ford of the navigable Hunte River. Oldenburg became the capital of the County of Oldenburg (later a Duchy, Grand Duchy and Republic), 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, were not much interested in the condition of the town and it lost most of its former importance. In 1773, Danish rule ended. It was only then that the destroyed buildings in the city were rebuilt in a Classicist style.


In 1945 after World War II, Oldenburg grew to more than 100,000 inhabitants when refugees migrated into the city that was only sparingly bombed during World War II. In 1946, Oldenburg became part of the new German Land of Lower Saxony.  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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