Wolfsburg

Last updated
Wolfsburg
111223 VW Kraftwerk WOB.jpg
VW power station at night
Flagge Wolfsburg.svg
Flag
DEU Wolfsburg COA.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Wolfsburg in Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony WOB.svg
Germany adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Wolfsburg
Lower Saxony location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Wolfsburg
Coordinates: 52°25′23″N10°47′14″E / 52.42306°N 10.78722°E / 52.42306; 10.78722 Coordinates: 52°25′23″N10°47′14″E / 52.42306°N 10.78722°E / 52.42306; 10.78722
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Urban district
Subdivisions16 Ortschaften,
40 Stadtteile
Government
   Lord mayor Klaus Mohrs (SPD)
Area
  Total204.02 km2 (78.77 sq mi)
Elevation
63 m (207 ft)
Population
 (2019-12-31) [1]
  Total124,371
  Density610/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
38400–38448
Dialling codes 05361, 05362, 05363, 05365, 05366, 05367, 05308
Vehicle registration WOB
Website www.Wolfsburg.de

Wolfsburg ( UK: /ˈvɒlfsbɜːrɡ/ VOLFS-burg, [2] US: /ˈwʊlfsbɜːrɡ,ˈvɔːlfsbʊərk/ WUULFS-burg, VAWLFS-boork, [3] [4] German: [ˈvɔlfsbʊʁk] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is the fifth largest city in the German state of Lower Saxony, located on the Aller River. It lies about 75 km (47 mi) east of Hanover and 230 km (143 mi) west of Berlin.

Contents

In 2013, Wolfsburg ranked as the richest city in Germany with a GDP per capita of $128,000 due to its thriving auto industry. [5]

Wolfsburg is famous as the location of Volkswagen AG's headquarters and the world's biggest car plant. The Autostadt is a visitor attraction next to the Volkswagen factory that features the company's model range: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, MAN, Neoplan, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, Škoda Auto and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Wolfsburg is one of the few German cities built during the first half of the 20th century as a planned city. From its founding on 1 July 1938 as a home for workers producing the "KdF-Wagen" (VW Beetle) until 25 May 1945, the city was called Stadt des KdF-Wagens bei Fallersleben. In 1972, the population first exceeded 100,000.

Geography

Wolfsburg is located at the Southern edge of the ancient river valley of the Aller at the Mittellandkanal ("Midland Canal"). It is bordered by the districts of Gifhorn and Helmstedt.

Climate

The total annual precipitation is about 532 mm (21 in) which is quite low as it belongs to the lowest tenth of the measured data in Germany. Only 7% of all observation stations of the Deutscher Wetterdienst (German weather service) record lower measurements. The driest month is October, most precipitation is measured in June where observation stations measure 1.9 times more precipitation than in October. Precipitation hardly diversifies and is constantly distributed all over the year. Only 17% of observation stations measure lower annual deviation.

History

Wolfsburg Castle Schloss Wolfsburg 2016-1.jpg
Wolfsburg Castle

The "Wolfsburg" castle was first mentioned in 1302 in a document as the domicile of the noble lineage of Bartensleben. Originally a keep next to the Aller, it was protected by a moat some centuries later. In 1372, the first documentary reference to the Burg Neuhaus ("castle of Neuhaus") near Wolfsburg appeared. After the extinction of the Bartensleben line in 1742, the property and its Schloss Wolfsburg (Wolfsburg castle) passed on to the Counts of Schulenburg. The communal manor was an important employer for the nearby settlements Rothenfelde and Heßlingen.

Some of today's urban districts, including Vorsfelde and the villages transferred to Wolfsburg from the county of Helmstedt, belonged to the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Fallersleben and other villages belonged to the Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, which later developed into the Kingdom of Hanover and became a Prussia n province in 1866. Other urban districts, including Heßlingen, belonged to the Prussian Duchy of Magdeburg. In 1932, these districts were detached from the Prussian Province of Saxony and integrated into the Province of Hanover.

Wolfsburg was founded on 1 July 1938 as the Stadt des KdF-Wagens bei Fallersleben, in English "City of the Strength Through Joy car at Fallersleben", a planned town centred around the village of Fallersleben, built to house workers of the Volkswagen factories erected to assemble what would be later known as the Volkswagen Beetle. During World War II, military cars, aeroplanes, and other military equipment were built there, mainly by forced workers and prisoners-of-war.[ citation needed ] In 1942, German authorities established the Arbeitsdorf concentration camp in the city for a few months. A minimum of six individuals died while working at this camp.

The city and Volkswagen factory were captured on April 11, 1945 by US troops and about 7,700 forced labourers were liberated from the Volkswagen factory. The US troops occupied the city until the end of June, during which time the city was renamed Wolfsburg on 25 May 1945, after the eponymous castle located there. The American occupation ended at the end of June 1945 when the region became part of the British occupation zone. In 1951, Wolfsburg was separated from the District of Gifhorn, and became an urban district.

In 1955, the one-millionth VW Beetle was manufactured in Wolfsburg. Postwar Beetle production ended in Wolfsburg in 1974, though Beetle production continued within Germany at Emden until 1978. The factories in Wolfsburg remain a key part of Volkswagen's production capacity.

During the German economic miracle Wolfsburg experienced a large influx of immigrant workers, especially from Italy.

In 1958, the city hall was built. In 1960 the Volkswagenwerk GmbH (limited partnership with a limited liability) was changed into an AG (public limited company).

In the course of a land reform in Lower Saxony in 1972, 20 localities were added to the city through the "Wolfsburg-Act". Wolfsburg gained the status of major city with nearly 131,000 inhabitants. The city's area grew from 35 to nearly 204 km2 (79 sq mi). In 1973, the city's population peaked at 131,971.

In 1982, the A39, a side road of the A2 (Oberhausen - Hannover - Werder), was built as a direct freeway to Wolfsburg.

In 1988, the city became a university town with the establishment of the University of Applied Science Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel. Today its name is Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences.

As a launch promotion for the 5th generation of the Volkswagen Golf the city of Wolfsburg welcomed visitors on the internet, on the official stationery, and on every city limit sign with the name "Golfsburg" from 25 August to 10 October 2003. This campaign gained the nationwide attention of press, radio, and TV broadcasting.

In the summer of 2009, Wolfsburg gained nationwide attention when their football team, VfL Wolfsburg, won the German football league. A party was held in the city centre with about 100,000 people, the first in the history of the city.

Culture and attractions

The Autostadt Autostadt, Wolfsburg Gelande.jpg
The Autostadt

The centre of Wolfsburg is unique in Germany. Instead of a medieval city centre, Wolfsburg features a new and modern attraction called the Autostadt. The old part of the city Alt Wolfsburg (de) shows some manor buildings in traditional framework style. Atop a hill by the River Aller is the Wolfsburg Castle.

The Autostadt is an open-air museum-theme park dedicated to automobiles owned and operated by Volkswagen. In the center of the park are the pavilions featuring Volkswagen's major brands: Volkswagen and Audi to the north, further south are SEAT, Škoda Auto, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti and the Premium Clubhouse. Right next to the lagoon is the Porsche pavilion. The striking Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles pavilion is in the south-east of the park. The Autostadt also includes: a planetarium; a Ritz-Carlton hotel; the Phaeno Science Center, the largest hands-on science museum in Germany; a water skiing resort; and a private art museum (Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg) specialised in modern and contemporary art.

Another major attraction is the Wolfsburg Water Show, the world's largest water-flame-laser-video fountain show with its up to 70 meter high fountains. [6]


Population development

From about 1,000 inhabitants in 1938, the population of the city increased to 25,000 in 1950 and doubled to 50,000 until 1958. On 1 July 1972, the population of Wolfsburg first went beyond the mark of 100,000 because of the suburbanization of several villages which made Wolfsburg a major city. In 1973, the population reached its highest level: 131,971. At the end of December 2010, 121,451 people were registered with their principal residence in Wolfsburg. Until the end of 2012, this number climbed to 123,144.

RankNationalityPopulation (31.12.2018)
1Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 5,506
2Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 1,469
3Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 1,349
4Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 682
5Flag of India.svg  India 563
6Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 521
7Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 475
8Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 450
9Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 450
10Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 403
11Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 326
12Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan 310
13Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 308
14Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 261
15Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 259

Organization

The city of Wolfsburg is organized into 40 districts. One or more districts make up one of the total of 16 localities which are represented by their own councils. Every council has a local official as its mayor.

First the councils were only established in the 11 localities suburbanized in 1972. They partly took over the functions of the former city councils of each of the districts. In 1991 and 2001 some of the localities were split into smaller areas so that today there are 16 localities, each with its own council which are directly voted by the citizens.

The only exception from this organization is the Allerpark (Aller Park), a local recreation area surrounding the Allersee lake, and the area of the Volkswagen factory which are both located in the central city area.

The administrative area of Wolfsburg includes six nature reserves. Five of them are located in the ancient Aller river valley.

Politics

The city hall Rathaus Wolfsburg.jpg
The city hall

Head of the young "Stadt des KdF-Wagens" became the government assessor Karl Bock on enactment #145 of the chief president of the government of Lüneburg effective from 1 July 1938. His followers were also deployed by the government.

In 1946, the military government of the British zone of occupation established a communal constitution following the British example. After this, citizens voted for a council which elected a volunteer mayor/ lord mayor as the city's leader and representative. After 1946, the council elected a full-time director to lead the city council. In 2001, the city council's dual leadership was abolished. It is led by a full-time lord mayor who is also the city's representative, Klaus Mohrs. Since 2001, citizens directly elect the lord mayor. The council still has its own chairperson elected by the council's constitutive conference after every local election.

The city has been described as a “social democratic utopia”. [7]

City council

The city council is made up of the fractions of the different parties (47 seats) and the lord mayor with one seat. The lord mayor is head of administration, thus the superior of all employees of the city council. The lord mayor is supported by four departmental heads that are voted by the council on his proposal. Together, they make up the board of directors of the city administration where the most important decisions concerning administration are deliberated weekly.

Results of the local elections on 11 September 2011: [8]

PartySeatsVotes (%)Votes
SPD 1737.7%53.355
CDU 1431.6%44.635
PUG511.9%16.769
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 59.9%14.026
PIRATEN 23.9%5.528
FDP 12.4%3.326
Wolfsburger Linke 11.5%2.106
WTZ11.2%1.673

Voter participations: 49.4%.

Emblems

Wolfsburg's emblem shows a silver two-tower castle with a closed gate on red ground over a green base with silver waved timbers. A golden wolf with a blue tongue paces over the castle's battlement. The city's flag is green and white.

Lower Saxony's Department of the Interior awarded the city of Wolfsburg's emblem in 1952 after it had been constituted in the association articles in 1947. In 1961, it was improved heraldically and newly awarded by the governmental executive committee of Lüneburg. The symbols of the wolf and the castle reflect the city's name (canting arm) and do not have a historical, directly conveyed reference. The flag was adopted in 1955.

Volkswagen used a modified version of the Wolfsburg coat of arms as its steering wheel emblem, (and occasionally as a hood ornament, on classic Beetles) until the early 1980s, when it was replaced by the VW roundel.

Regional authorities

The city of Wolfsburg is a member of the association Braunschweigische Landschaft e.V. with a registered office in Braunschweig and in the Lüneburgischen Landschaftsverband e.V. with a registered office in Uelzen. These associations were founded to foster cultural establishments of the regions.[ citation needed ]

Architecture

Alvar Aalto Cultural Centre (1958-62) Library Wolfsburg Alvar Aalto photo by Christian Ganshirt.jpg
Alvar Aalto Cultural Centre (1958-62)
Church of the Holy Spirit, Alvar Aalto (1958-62) Heilig Geist Kirche Wolfsburg Alvar Aalto 1958 62 photo by Christian Ganshirt.JPG
Church of the Holy Spirit, Alvar Aalto (1958-62)

Historical castles

Museums

Alvar Aalto designs

Sport

The Volkswagen Arena Wolfsburg stadion.jpg
The Volkswagen Arena

The most famous professional sports club in the city is VfL Wolfsburg, established in 1945. The men's football team won the Bundesliga in 2009, the DFB-Pokal in 2015 and the DFL-Supercup in 2015. The women's football team has been even more successful, winning six Bundesliga titles and seven DFB-Pokal titles. The women's team has also succeeded in winning the UEFA Women's Champions League in two consecutive years, 2013 and 2014.

Wolfsburg is also the home of the ice hockey team Grizzlys Wolfsburg, which since 2007 has made it to a leading position in the first-tier Deutsche Eishockey Liga, where it was runner-up in 2011, 2016 and 2017.

Also based in city is the tennis tournament Volkswagen Challenger, which has been held annually in Wolfsburg since 1993.

Twin towns – sister cities

Wolfsburg is twinned with: [9]

Friendly cities

Wolfsburg also has friendly relations with: [9]

Notable people

Hoffmann von Fallersleben painted by Schumacher 1819 Hoffmann von Fallersleben by Schumacher 1819.jpg
Hoffmann von Fallersleben painted by Schumacher 1819
Wolfsburgskyline2-2.jpg
Wolfsburg panorama at dusk, viewed from Schillerteich-Center. The red-lit chimneys left of the center belong to the Volkswagen plant.

See also

Related Research Articles

Volkswagen Automobile brand of the Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen, shortened to VW, is a German motor vehicle manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, known for the iconic Beetle and headquartered in Wolfsburg. It is the flagship brand of the Volkswagen Group, the largest car maker by worldwide sales in 2016 and 2017. The group's biggest market is in China, which delivers 40% of its sales and profits. Popular models of Volkswagen include Golf, Jetta, Passat, Atlas, and Tiguan. The German term Volk translates to "people", thus Volkswagen translates to "people's car".

Braunschweig City and district in Lower Saxony, Germany

Braunschweig or Brunswick, is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, north of the Harz Mountains at the farthest navigable point of the Oker River, which connects it to the North Sea via the Aller and Weser Rivers. In 2016, it had a population of 250,704.

Volkswagen Beetle Car model

The Volkswagen Beetle—officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in German the Käfer, in parts of the English-speaking world the Bug, and known by many other nicknames in other languages—is a two-door, rear-engine economy car, intended for five occupants, that was manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.

Ferdinand Porsche Austrian-German automotive engineer, inventor and Nazi who founded the Porsche car company

Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company. He is best known for creating the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle (Lohner-Porsche), the Volkswagen Beetle, the Auto Union racing car, the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK, several other important developments and Porsche automobiles.

Salzgitter Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Salzgitter is an independent city in southeast Lower Saxony, Germany, located between Hildesheim and Braunschweig. Together with Wolfsburg and Braunschweig, Salzgitter is one of the seven Oberzentren of Lower Saxony. With 101,079 inhabitants and 223.92 square kilometres (86.46 sq mi), its area is the largest in Lower Saxony and one of the largest in Germany. Salzgitter originated as a conglomeration of several small towns and villages, and is today made up of 31 boroughs, which are relatively compact conurbations with wide stretches of open country between them. The main shopping street of the young city is in the borough of Lebenstedt, and the central business district is in the borough of Salzgitter-Bad. The city is connected to the Mittellandkanal and the Elbe Lateral Canal by a distributary. The nearest metropolises are Braunschweig, about 23 kilometres to the northeast, and Hanover, about 51 km to the northwest. The population of the City of Salzgitter has exceeded 100,000 inhabitants since its foundation in 1942, when it was still called Watenstedt-Salzgitter. Beside Wolfsburg, Leverkusen and Eisenhüttenstadt, Salzgitter is therefore one of the few cities in Germany founded during the 20th century.

Volkswagen Schwimmwagen Motor vehicle

The Volkswagen Schwimmwagen was an amphibious four-wheel drive off-road vehicle, used extensively by German ground forces during the Second World War. The Schwimmwagen is the most numerous mass-produced amphibious car in history.

Strength Through Joy Large state-operated leisure organization in Nazi Germany

Kraft durch Freude was a state-operated leisure organization in Nazi Germany. It was a part of the German Labour Front, the national German labour organization at that time. Set up as a tool to promote the advantages of National Socialism to the people, it had become the world's largest tourism operator by the 1930s.

VfL Wolfsburg Sportsclub from Wolfsburg

Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg e. V., commonly known as VfL Wolfsburg or Wolfsburg, is a German professional sports club based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. The club grew out of a multi-sports club for Volkswagen workers in the city of Wolfsburg. It is best known for its football department, but other departments include badminton, handball and athletics.

Autostadt Museum

The Autostadt is a visitor attraction adjacent to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, with a prime focus on automobiles. The complex was designed by Henn GmbH.

Arbeitsdorf concentration camp

Arbeitsdorf ("work-village") was a concentration camp established by the Nazis in Stadt des KdF-Wagens bei Fallersleben 1942.

Automotive industry in Germany Overview of the automotive industry in Germany

The automotive industry in Germany is one of the largest employers in the world, with a labor force of over 857,336 (2016) working in the industry.

Fallersleben Castle

Fallersleben Castle is located in Wolfsburg in the German state of Lower Saxony and, together with Neuhaus and Wolfsburg Castles, is one of the most important historic buildings in the town. It is in the district of Fallersleben and forms an historic setting along with the castle lake, St. Michael's Church and the Old Brewery.

Wolfsburg Hauptbahnhof

Wolfsburg Hauptbahnhof is the main station of the city of Wolfsburg in the German state of Lower Saxony. It is on the Hanover–Berlin railway and it is the last Intercity-Express stop running east before Stendal or Berlin-Spandau.

Volkswagenwerk Braunschweig

Volkswagenwerk Braunschweig is a factory site for Volkswagen automobile parts in Braunschweig, Germany. Production started on 1938-02-23 for manufacturing steering components of „KdF-Wagen" and tools for Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke in Dessau. Until today, only components for vehicles of VW Group are produced, such as running gears, axles, shock absorbers, brake parts and all pedals.

Wolfsburg Castle

The Wolfsburg is medieval lowland and water castle in North Germany that was first mentioned in the records in 1302, but has since been turned into a Renaissance schloss or palace. It is located in eastern Lower Saxony in the town of Wolfsburg named after it and in whose possession it has been since 1961. The Wolfsburg developed from a tower house on the River Aller into a water castle with the character of a fortification. In the 17th century it was turned into a representative, but nevertheless defensible palace that was the northernmost example of the Weser Renaissance style. Its founder and builder was the noble family of von Bartensleben. After their line died out in 1742 the Wolfsburg was inherited by the counts of Schulenburg.

AutoMuseum Volkswagen Automobile museum

AutoMuseum Volkswagen is an automobile museum in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. Opened in April 1985, it is one of two museums in Wolfsburg devoted to the history of the Volkswagen brand; the other is at nearby Autostadt.

Anton Piëch was an Austrian-German lawyer and the son-in-law of Ferdinand Porsche. He headed Volkswagenwerk GmbH between 1941 and 1945, which produced the Volkswagen vehicles (KdF-Wagen) at the factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Wolfsburg Volkswagen Plant A Volkswagen Group manufacturing plant in Wolfsburg, Germany

The Wolfsburg Volkswagen Factory is the worldwide headquarters of the Volkswagen Group, and one of the largest manufacturing plants in the world, in terms of area at just under 6.5 million m². The Wolfsburg plant produced 815,000 cars in 2015. Volkswagen's currywurst is also produced at this facility.

Volkswagen currywurst Currywurst produced by Volkswagen

Volkswagen currywurst is a brand of sausage manufactured by the Volkswagen car maker since 1973. It is manufactured at the company's Wolfsburg plant and sold in restaurants in its six German factories. The currywurst are also sold externally at supermarkets and football stadiums and given away to Volkswagen customers. The sausage is branded as a "Volkswagen Original Part" and has been given the part number 199 398 500 A. The product has been described as the most produced of any of Volkswagen's parts, some 6.81 million sausages being manufactured in 2018. In many recent years the company has produced more sausages than cars. A Volkswagen ketchup is also produced and sold to accompany the currywurst.

References

  1. Landesamt für Statistik Niedersachsen, LSN-Online Regionaldatenbank, Tabelle 12411: Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes, Stand 31. Dezember 2019.
  2. "Wolfsburg". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press . Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  3. "Wolfsburg". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt . Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  4. "Wolfsburg". Merriam-Webster Dictionary . Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  5. DPA/The Local/jcw (29 July 2013). "Germany's Motown is country's richest city". The Local. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  6. "Water show Wolfsburg: A truly unique experience is provided by the world's largest mobile water-fountain show with its up to 70 meter high fountains. The show is being staged every night for a period of four weeks. Visitors can prepare themselves for an unforgettable spectacle. Every year, the show is being themed and staged differently and accompanied by a lavish play of colours and a laser show" . Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. J.C. (15 October 2017). "How to keep populists small and marginal". The Economist .
  8. Archived 2013-02-07 at the Wayback Machine (PDF-Datei, 200 kB), Nr. 37 vom 26. September 2011 (Jahrgang 7)
  9. 1 2 "Städtepartnerschaften". wolfsburg.de (in German). Wolfsburg. Retrieved 2021-02-17.