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Hildesheim St MIchael von Andreas.jpg
View over Hildesheim, St. Mary's Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Historic Market Place, half-timbered houses at the Brühl street, Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum, St. Maurice Church on the Moritzberg, St. Michael's Church (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
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Coat of arms
Location of Hildesheim within Hildesheim district
Hildesheim in HI.svg
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Lower Saxony location map.svg
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Coordinates: 52°09′N09°57′E / 52.150°N 9.950°E / 52.150; 9.950 Coordinates: 52°09′N09°57′E / 52.150°N 9.950°E / 52.150; 9.950
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Hildesheim
   Mayor Ingo Meyer
  Total92.96 km2 (35.89 sq mi)
78 m (256 ft)
 (2018-12-31) [1]
  Density1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 05121
Vehicle registration HI, ALF
Website www.hildesheim.de

Hildesheim [ˈhɪldəsˌhaɪ̯m] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) (Eastphalian: Hilmessen) is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany with 104,230 inhabitants. [2] It is in the district of Hildesheim, about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Hanover on the banks of the Innerste River, a small tributary of the Leine River.

Eastphalian dialect Low German dialect

Eastphalian, or Eastfalian, is a West Low German dialect spoken in southeastern parts of Lower Saxony and western parts of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany.

Lower Saxony State in Germany

Lower Saxony is a German state (Land) situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2 (18,388 sq mi), and fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.


The Holy Roman Emperor Louis the Pious founded the Bishopric of Hildesheim in 815 and created the first settlement with a chapel on the so called Domhügel.

Holy Roman Emperor Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

Louis the Pious Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks and of Aquitaine

Louis the Pious, also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of the Franks and co-emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. He was also King of Aquitaine from 781. As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

Hildesheim is situated on autobahn route 7, and hence is at the connection point of the North (Hamburg and beyond) with the South of Europe.

Bundesautobahn 7 federal motorway in Germany

Bundesautobahn 7 is the longest German Autobahn and the longest national motorway in Europe at 963 km (598 mi). It bisects the country almost evenly between east and west. In the north, it starts at the border with Denmark as an extension of the Danish part of E45. In the south, the autobahn ends at the Austrian border. This final gap was closed in September 2009.

With the Hildesheim Cathedral and the St. Michael's Church Hildesheim has become a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

Hildesheim Cathedral Church in Hildesheim, Germany

Hildesheim Cathedral, officially the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary or simply St. Mary's Cathedral, is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral in the city centre of Hildesheim, Germany, that serves as the seat of the Diocese of Hildesheim. The cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list since 1985, together with the nearby St. Michael's Church.

St. Michaels Church, Hildesheim Church in Hildesheim, Germany

The Church of St. Michael is an early-Romanesque church in Hildesheim, Germany. It has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list since 1985. It is now a Lutheran church.

In 2015 the city and the diocese celebrates their 1200 anniversary.


Early years

The historic market square at night Hildesheim night.jpg
The historic market square at night

Hildesheim, one of the oldest cities in Northern Germany, became the seat of the Bishopric of Hildesheim in 815 and may have been founded when the bishop moved from Elze to the Innerste ford, which was an important market on the Hellweg trade route. The settlement around the cathedral very quickly developed into a town and was awarded market rights by King Otto III in 983. [3] Originally the market was held in a street called Old Market (Alter Markt) which still exists today. The first market place was laid out around the church St. Andreas. When the city grew further, a bigger market place became necessary. The present market place of Hildesheim was laid out at the beginning of the 13th century when the city had about 5,000 inhabitants.

Northern Germany is the region in the northern part of Germany which exact area is not precisely or consistently defined. It varies depending on whether one has a linguistic, geographic, socio-cultural or historic standpoint. The five coastal states are regularly referred to as Northern Germany. Though geographically in the northern half of Germany, Westphalia, Brandenburg, and the northern parts of Saxony-Anhalt are rarely referred to as Northern Germany and instead are almost always associated with Western Germany and the historic East Germany respectively.

Elze Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Elze is a town in the district of Hildesheim, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the river Leine, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Hildesheim. The municipality of Elze also comprises the villages of Esbeck, Mehle, Sehlde, Sorsum, Wittenburg and Wülfingen.

Innerste Sidestream of the river Leine

The Innerste is a river in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is a right tributary of the Leine river and 101 km (63 mi) in length.

Middle ages

When Hildesheim obtained city status in 1249, it was one of the biggest cities in Northern Germany. [4] For four centuries the clergy ruled Hildesheim, before a city hall was built and the citizens gained some influence and independence. Construction of the present City Hall started in 1268. [5] In 1367 Hildesheim became a member of the Hanseatic League. A war between the citizens and their bishop cost dearly in 1519–23 when they engaged in a feud.

Town privileges features of European towns during most of the second millennium

Town privileges or borough rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium. The city law customary in Central Europe probably dates back to Italian models, which in turn were oriented towards the traditions of the self-administration of Roman cities

Hanseatic League Trade confederation in Northern Europe

The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.


Hildesheim became Lutheran in 1542, and only the cathedral and a few other buildings remained in imperial (Catholic) hands. Several villages around the city remained Catholic as well.

19th century

In 1813, after the Napoleonic Wars, the town became part of the Kingdom of Hanover, which was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia as a province after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. In 1868 a highly valuable trove of about 70 Roman silver vessels for eating and drinking, the so-called Hildesheim Treasure, was unearthed by Prussian soldiers.

Early 20th century and World War II

The city was heavily damaged by air raids in 1945, especially on 22 March. Although it had little military significance, two months before the end of the war in Europe the historic city was bombed as part of the Area Bombing Directive in order to undermine the morale of the German people. 28.5% of the houses were completely destroyed and 44.7% damaged. 26.8% of the houses remained undamaged. The centre, which had retained its medieval character until then, was almost levelled. As in many cities, priority was given to rapid building of badly needed housing, and concrete structures took the place of the destroyed buildings. Most of the major churches, two of them now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, were rebuilt in the original style soon after the war. During the war, valuable world heritage materials had been hidden in the basement of the city wall.

Late 20th century and present

In 1978, the University of Hildesheim was founded. In the 1980s a reconstruction of the historic centre began. Some of the unattractive concrete buildings around the market place were torn down and replaced by replicas of the original buildings. In the autumn of 2007, a decision was made to reconstruct the Umgestülpter Zuckerhut ("Upended Sugarloaf"), an iconic half-timbered house famous for its unusual shape. In 2015 the city and the diocese celebrates their 1200 anniversary with the Day of Lower Saxony.


In 1542 most of the inhabitants became Lutherans. Today, 28.5% of the inhabitants self-identify as Roman Catholics (Hildesheim Diocese) and 38.3% as Protestants (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover). 33.0% of the inhabitants are adherents of other religions or do not have a religion at all. The Serbian Orthodox bishop of Frankfurt and all of Germany has his seat in Himmelsthür (a locality of Hildesheim).

Main sights

St. Michael's Church, UNESCO World Heritage St Michaels Church Hildesheim.jpg
St. Michael's Church, UNESCO World Heritage
Bakers' Guild Hall and Butchers' Guild Hall in the Market Place Casa Gremial.jpg
Bakers' Guild Hall and Butchers' Guild Hall in the Market Place
Historic Market Place with City Hall and market fountain PrefeituraHi 002.jpg
Historic Market Place with City Hall and market fountain
Saint Michael's Church and the tower of St. Andreas seen from St. Magdalena's Garden MichaeliskircheMagdalenengarten.jpg
Saint Michael's Church and the tower of St. Andreas seen from St. Magdalena's Garden
Tempelhaus in the historic Market Place PrefeituraHi 049.jpg
Tempelhaus in the historic Market Place
The Wernersches House (1606) is a half-timbered house with wood carvings in its facade Hildesheim Wernersches Haus 403-vtmd.jpg
The Wernersches House (1606) is a half-timbered house with wood carvings in its façade
Half-timbered houses in Lappenberg Street LappenBerg.jpg
Half-timbered houses in Lappenberg Street
Tower Kehrwiederturm (14th century) AmKehrwieder.jpg
Tower Kehrwiederturm (14th century)
Marienrode Priory Hildesheim-Marienrode Klosterkirche Teich.jpg
Marienrode Priory
Renaissance bay window in Alter Markt Street ErkerAlterMarkt.jpg
Renaissance bay window in Alter Markt Street
River Innerste and Saint Magdalena's Church 20.4.09.Innerste.jpg
River Innerste and Saint Magdalena's Church
Baroque park Magdalenengarten Magdalenengarten5.jpg
Baroque park Magdalenengarten
Vineyard in Magdalenengarten. MagdalenengartenWeinberg.jpg
Vineyard in Magdalenengarten.
Alte Kemenate, a medieval store house (15th century) HiKemenate.jpg
Alte Kemenate, a medieval store house (15th century)
St. Magdalena's Church Dom 096.jpg
St. Magdalena's Church
Half-timbered house (1981) built on the medieval city wall in Muhlenstrasse HiMuehlenstrasse.jpg
Half-timbered house (1981) built on the medieval city wall in Mühlenstraße

Other places of interest include the theatre, offering opera, operetta and musicals, drama, ballet and concerts.



Population history

On 31 Dec 2017 Hildesheim hat 103970 inhabitants. [9]

Historical population

Largest minority groups

The following list shows the largest foreign groups in the city of Hildesheim as of 2013: [10]

RankNationalityPopulation (2016)
1Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 2,395
2Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 764
3Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 474
4Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 442
5Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 299
6Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 268
7Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 254
8Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 243

List of mayors of Hildesheim

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Hildesheim is twinned with:

Events of international interest


Hildesheim is home to notable multinational corporations – besides many strong medium-sized companies – including Blaupunkt, Bosch, Krupp, Thyssen, Fairchild and Coca-Cola.


Hildesheim has an efficient traffic infrastructure: it is a regional hub for interstate roads and railway (Hildesheim Hauptbahnhof is served by InterCityExpress services), is connected to the motorway (Autobahn), has a harbour at the artificial waterway Mittellandkanal and Hildesheim Betriebsgesellschaft Airfield.


The community has the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Frankfurt and all of Germany. [13]

Notable residents


Ludolf van Ceulen Ludolf van Ceulen.jpeg
Ludolf van Ceulen
Adolf Hurwitz Adolf Hurwitz.jpg
Adolf Hurwitz


Ferdinand von Roemer Ferdinand Roemer 2.jpg
Ferdinand von Roemer

See also

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  1. Landesamt für Statistik Niedersachsen, LSN-Online Regionaldatenbank, Tabelle 12411: Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes, Stand 31. Dezember 2018.
  2. https://www.hildesheim.de/pics/verwaltung/1_1549983673/Bevoelkerung_der_Stadt_Hildesheim_HW_31.12.2018.pdf
  3. Neigenfind, W.: Unsere schöne Stadt, p.46. Hildesheim 1964.
  4. Neigenfind, W.: Unsere schöne Stadt, p.38. Hildesheim 1964.
  5. Borck, Heinz-Günther: Der Marktplatz zu Hildesheim, p.24. Hildesheim 1989.
  6. Segers-Glocke, Christiane: Baudenkmale in Niedersachsen, Band 14.1. - Hildesheim, p.109. Hameln 2007.
  7. Segers-Glocke, Christiane: Baudenkmale in Niedersachsen, Band 14.1. - Hildesheim, p.108. Hameln 2007.
  8. Stadtgeschichte auf dem Hinterhof. - Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung, 23 June 2009, p.9.
  9. "Fläche und Bevölkerung".
  10. "Stadt Hildesheim Statistische Daten 2014" (PDF). Stadt Hildesheim. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  11. "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-12-26.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. (unitary authority based in Weston-super-Mare)
  13. "Kontakdaten Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine ." Diocese of Central Europe. Retrieved on 27 February 2011. "Obere Dorfstr. 12 D - 31137 Hildesheim-Himmelsthür"