Last updated
Luftaufnahmen Nordseekueste 2013 05 by-RaBoe tele 46.jpg
City centre of Oldenburg including St Lamberti Church
Location of Oldenburg
Germany adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Lower Saxony location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 53°08′38″N8°12′50″E / 53.14389°N 8.21389°E / 53.14389; 8.21389 Coordinates: 53°08′38″N8°12′50″E / 53.14389°N 8.21389°E / 53.14389; 8.21389
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Urban district
Subdivisions33 boroughs, separated into nine census tracts
   Lord Mayor Jürgen Krogmann (since 2014) (SPD)
  Total102.96 km2 (39.75 sq mi)
4 m (13 ft)
 (2018-12-31) [1]
  Density1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 0441
Vehicle registration OL
Website www.oldenburg.de

Oldenburg (German pronunciation: [ˈɔldn̩bʊʁk] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is an independent city in the district of Oldenburg in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. The city is officially named Oldenburg (Oldb) (Oldenburg in Oldenburg) to distinguish from Oldenburg in Holstein.


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 situated 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). [2] Oldenburg is part of the Bremen/Oldenburg 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.


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. [3]

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. [3] ( 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 Schloss Oldenburg.jpg
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. [4]

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. [5] 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.


Historical population of Oldenburg
Population~ 2,300~ 4,300~ 5,0006,9596,2786,8009,28011,37013,928
RankNationalityPopulation (31.12.2017)
1Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 2,980
2Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 1,530
3Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 1,285
4Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 650

City government

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 [6]
SPD Bündnis ’90/
Die Grünen
CDU Die Linke Freie Wähler/
FDP Piraten
Resulting distribution of seats in the city council

Economy and infrastructure


Oldenburg Railway Station Bahnsteig(halle) des Oldenburger Hauptbahnhofs.jpg
Oldenburg Railway Station
Oldenburg Harbour Hafen Oldenburg mit Silos.jpg
Oldenburg Harbour


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.


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.

Cultural life

"Hundehutten" (dog houses) typical architecture in Oldenburg Oldenburger Hundehutten-20130723.jpg
"Hundehütten" (dog houses) typical architecture in Oldenburg

Recurring cultural events

Points of interest

Lutheran community

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

Nathan Marcus Adler, chief Rabbi of the Oldenburg Jewish community in the 19th century Young Nathan Marcus Adler.JPG
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. [7] 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. [8] 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. [9] 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. [10]



Radio and television



Tertiary education

There are two public universities in Oldenburg:

Privately managed institutions of higher education:


Primary and secondary education


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.

International relations

Oldenburg is twin towns with following cities and districts: [14]

Notable natives of Oldenburg

Isaac Friedlander IsaacFriedlanderPortrait-1878.png
Isaac Friedlander
Helene Lange 1899 Helene Lange vor 1899.jpg
Helene Lange 1899
Karl Jaspers Karl Jaspers Buste.JPG
Karl Jaspers

Wilfred Hans-Günther Wlochal (Born 1927-2018), Author

Notable personalities associated with Oldenburg

See in particular the Counts, Dukes and Grand Dukes of Oldenburg for the rulers who were not born in Oldenburg.

Princess Cecilia of Sweden in 1835 Peter Cecilia of Sweden.jpg
Princess Cecilia of Sweden in 1835

See also

Related Research Articles

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.

Wilhelmshaven Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Wilhelmshaven is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of the Jade Bight, a bay of the North Sea. Wilhelmshaven is the centre of the "JadeBay" business region and is Germany's main military port.

Wesermarsch is a Kreis (district) in the northwestern part of Lower Saxony, Germany. Neighboring are the districts of Cuxhaven and Osterholz, the city of Bremen in the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, the urban district of Delmenhorst, the district of Oldenburg and the urban district of Oldenburg, and the districts of Ammerland and Friesland.

Weser-Ems Regierungsbezirk in Lower Saxony, Germany

The Regierungsbezirk Weser-Ems was the most westerly of the four administrative regions of Lower Saxony, Germany, bordering on the Dutch provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel. It was established in 1978 by merging the former regions Osnabrück, Aurich, and Oldenburg. It was formally dissolved by the end of 2004 along with the other Regierungsbezirke of Lower Saxony as part of an effort to optimize the administrative system of the state.

The district of Oldenburg is a district in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Diepholz, Vechta, Cloppenburg and Ammerland, the city of Oldenburg, the district of Wesermarsch and the city of Delmenhorst.

Cloppenburg Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Cloppenburg is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany, capital of Cloppenburg District and part of Oldenburg Münsterland. It lies 38 km south-south-west of Oldenburg in the Weser-Ems region between Bremen and the Dutch border. Cloppenburg is not far from the A1, the major motorway connecting the Ruhr area to Bremen and Hamburg. Another major road is the federal highway B213 being the shortest link from the Netherlands to the A1 and thus to Bremen and Hamburg.

Bouches-du-Weser was a department of the First French Empire in present-day Germany. It was formed in 1811, when the region was annexed by France. Prior to the Napoleonic occupation, its territory had been divided between the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, the duchy of Oldenburg, and the Hanoverian duchies of Bremen and Verden, the latter of which had intermittently been incorporated into the Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807. Its territory is part of the current German states of Lower Saxony and Bremen. Its capital was Bremen.

Hunte river in Germany

Hunte is a 189-kilometre (117 mi) long river in north-western Germany, a left tributary of the Weser.

Elsfleth Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Elsfleth is a town in the district of Wesermarsch, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated at the confluence of the Hunte with the Weser, on the left bank of the Weser. It has a school of navigation, a harbour and docks.

Sande, Lower Saxony Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Sande is a municipality in the district of Friesland, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated near the Jade Bight, approximately 7 km west of Wilhelmshaven, and 12 km southeast of Jever.

Gauliga Niedersachsen

The Gauliga Niedersachsen was the highest football league in the Prussian Province of Hanover and the German states of Bremen, Brunswick, Schaumburg-Lippe and Oldenburg from 1933 to 1945. Shortly after the formation of the league, the Nazis reorganised the administrative regions in Germany, and the GaueSüdhannover-Braunschweig, Ost-Hannover and Weser-Ems de facto replaced the Prussian province and the German states in the region of Lower Saxony (German:Niedersachsen), although de jure the old states continued to exist.

The Landesliga Weser-Ems, called the Bezirksoberliga Weser-Ems from 1979 to 1994 and 2006 to 2010, is the sixth tier of the German football league system and the second highest league in the German state of Lower Saxony (German:Niedersachsen). It covers the region of the now defunct Regierungsbezirk Weser-Ems.

Oldenburg–Bremen railway railway line

The Bremen–Oldenburg railway is a 44.4 km-long mainline railway that connects Oldenburg in the northwest of the German states of Lower Saxony and Bremen.

NordWestBahn transport company

The NordWestBahn GmbH is a private railway company providing regional train services on several routes in northern and western Germany. It is a joint venture of Stadtwerke Osnabrück AG, Verkehr und Wasser GmbH in Oldenburg and Transdev Germany, Berlin. The head office of the company is in Osnabrück. NWB claims to be Germany's largest regional railway company.

Northwest Metropolitan Region metropolitan region in Germany

The European Northwest Metropolitan Region, formerly Metropolitan Region of Bremen/Oldenburg is one of the eleven metropolitan regions in Germany. It covers the area of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen with its cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven and parts of the state of Lower Saxony.

Carl Röver SS officer

Carl Georg Röver was a German Nazi Party official. His main posts were as Gauleiter of Weser-Ems and Reichsstatthalter of Oldenburg/Bremen.

The so-called Kwami-Affair has been caused by Carl Röver, Nazi-Gauleiter of Weser-Ems, and the Free State of Oldenburg, when he attempted to prevent a sermon held by the Ghanaian Pastor Robert Kwami September 20, 1932, in the St. Lamberti Church in the city of Oldenburg.

Wilhelmshaven–Oldenburg railway railway line

The Wilhelmshaven–Oldenburg railway is a predominantly double-track, non-electrified main line in the northwest in the German state of Lower Saxony. It runs to the south from the port city of Wilhelmshaven to Oldenburg. The line is being upgraded in connection with the construction of JadeWeserPort so that it will be continuously duplicated and electrified.

The Jade University of Applied Sciences is a university in Lower Saxony, Germany. It was founded in 2009 as a successor to the Fachhochschule Oldenburg/Ostfriesland/Wilhelmshaven. The university has campuses in Wilhelmshaven, Oldenburg and Elsfleth and around 6,700 students.

SSV Jeddeloh

Spiel- und Sportverein Jeddeloh II e.V., commonly known as SSV Jeddeloh or SSV Jeddeloh II, is a German association football club based in the community of Jeddeloh II in the municipality of Edewecht, located in the district of Ammerland, Lower Saxony.


  1. Landesamt für Statistik Niedersachsen, LSN-Online Regionaldatenbank, Tabelle 12411: Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes, Stand 31. Dezember 2018.
  2. https://www.oldenburg.de/startseite/politik/verwaltung-finanzen/statistik/einwohnerzahl-steigt.html
  3. 1 2 PD-icon.svg  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Anonymous (1911). "Oldenburg". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 72.
  4. Goldsmith, Martin (2014). Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance. Da Capo Press. pp. 44–46. ISBN   978-0306823220.
  5. Ulrich Schneider: Niedersachsen 1945, p. 95. Hannover 1985
  6. Source: Official results of elections published on the official website of the city of Oldenburg.
  7. "OLDENBURG - JewishEncyclopedia.com". www.jewishencyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  8. Oldenburg, Stadt. "1990: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Leo Trepp - Stadt Oldenburg". www.oldenburg.de. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  9. "Erinnerungsgang -". Erinnerungsgang. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. "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.
  12. "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.
  13. "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.
  14. Oldenburg, Stadt. "Internationales - Stadt Oldenburg". oldenburg.de. Retrieved 29 April 2018.