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Cuxhaven is an independent town and seat of the Cuxhaven districtmarker, in Lower Saxonymarker, Germanymarker. It is situated on the shore of the North Seamarker at the mouth of the Elbe River. Cuxhaven has a footprint of 14 km (east-west) by 7 km (north-south). It is a popular vacation spot on the North Seamarker and home to about 52,000 residents.

Cuxhaven is home to an important fisherman's wharf and ship registration point for Hamburgmarker as well as the Kiel Canalmarker until 2008. Tourism is also of great importance. The city and its precursor Ritzebüttel belonged to Hamburg from the 13th century until 1937. The Island of Neuwerkmarker, a Hamburg dependency, is located just northwest of Cuxhaven in the North Sea. The city's symbol, known as the Kugelbake is a beacon once used as a lighthouse; the wooden landmark on the mouth of the Elbe marks the boundary between the river and the North Sea and also adorns the city's coat of arms.


Water tower in Cuxhaven.

Ritzebüttel, today a part of Cuxhaven, belonged to the Land of Hadeln, first an exclave of the younger Duchy of Saxony and after its de facto dynastic partition in 1296 of the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, established de jure in 1260. In 1394 the city of Hamburgmarker conquered the fortress of Ritzebüttel and made it its stronghold to protect the estuary of the river Elbe, which connects that city with the open sea. On March 15, 1907 Cuxhaven gained city status within the state of Hamburg. In 1937 Cuxhaven became an urban district of the Stade Region within the Prussian Province of Hanovermarker by the Greater Hamburg Act. In 1972 some municipalities of the neighboured rural district of Land of Hadeln were incorporated into the urban district of Cuxhaven. In 1977 Cuxhaven lost the status as urban district and was integrated into the new rural District of Cuxhavenmarker, being its capital.

During the First World War Cuxhaven-Nordholz with its airship hangars was one of the major German naval airship stations.

Between 1945 and 1964 various experiments in rocketrymarker were performed near Cuxhaven.

Other information

Elbe estuary.
Elbe estuary.

A few kilometers off the Cuxhaven coast lies the island of Neuwerkmarker. At low tide the water recedes so far from the coast that the island can be reached either by mudflat hiking or by horse carriage.

A modern landmark of Cuxhaven is the Friedrich-Clemens-Gerke Towermarker, a telecommunication tower built of concrete, which is not accessible to the public. It is not really a landmark, for all the cities in Germany have a similar tower as that.The High test peroxide (HTP) Submarine U 1407, was raised from where she had been scuttled in Cuxhaven after WWII and rebuilt by the British, being commissioned as HMS Meteorite. It was the catalyst for a series of German-made Air-independent propulsion submarines such as the Type 212 submarine and Type 214 submarine.

Cruxhaven has been twinned with the Cornish district of PenwithmarkerSince 1974

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