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 is a city in Lower Saxonymarker, Germanymarker. It is located in the district of Hildesheimmarker, about 30 km southeast of Hannovermarker on the banks of the Innerstemarker river, which is a small tributary of the Leinemarker river. It may be reached from Autobahn A7, which links Kasselmarker, Göttingenmarker and Hannovermarker, and routes 1, 6, 243 and 494.


The town became the seat of the Bishopric of Hildesheim in 815 and may have been founded when the bishop moved from Elzemarker to the Innerstemarker ford, where it was an important market on the Hellweg trade route. For four centuries the clergy ruled Hildesheim, before a town hall was built and the citizens gained some influence. In 1367 Hildesheim became a member of the Hanseatic League. A war between the citizens and their bishop cost dearly in 1519-1523 when they engaged in a feud. Soon the town became protestant, and only the cathedral and a few other buildings remained in imperial (catholic) hands. In 1813, after the Napoleonic Wars, the town became part of the Kingdom of Hanover, which was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussiamarker after the Austro-Prussian Warmarker in 1866 as a provincemarker.

The city was heavily damaged by air raids in 1945, especially on March 22. Although it had little military significance, two months before the end of the war in Europe the historic city wasbombed 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 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. Fortunately, most of the major churches, two of them now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, were rebuilt soon after the war. During the war, valuable world heritage materials had been hidden in the basement of the city wall. In 1978, the University of Hildesheimmarker was founded. In the 1980s a reconstruction of the historic centre began. Some of the unattractive concrete buildings around the marketplace were torn down and replaced by replicas of the original buildings. In the fall of 2007, a decision was made to reconstruct the Umgestülpter Zuckerhut ("Upended Sugarloaf"), an iconic half-timbered house famous for its unusual shape. It is scheduled to be completed in 2009.

Main sights

Butchers' Guild Hall in the Market Place.
Marketplace with town hall and market fountain.
Saint Michael's Church and the tower of St. Andrew's Church seen from Magdalena's Garden.
The Wernersches House (1606)is a half-timbered house with wood carvings in its facade.
Half-timbered houses in Lappenberg Street.
Tower Kehrwiederturm (14th century).

  • The historic market place (Markt) was once considered one of the most beautiful market places in the world. It was reconstructed in 1984-1990 in its former splendour, after its destruction in the March 1945 air raid. The more noteworthy buildings in the square are:
    • The Knochenhauer-Amtshaus ("Butchers' Guild Hall"), known as a beautiful and fine specimen of half-timbered building. Originally built in 1529 and destroyed in 1945, it was reconstructed from 1987 to 1989 according to original plans. The façade is sumptuously decorated with colorful paintings and German proverbs. Today the building houses a restaurant and the City Museum.
    • The Town Hall, erected in the 13th century in Gothic style. Partly destroyed in 1945, it was rebuilt between 1954 and 1989.
    • The Tempelhaus, a late-Gothic 15th century patrician house, which today houses the tourist information office. It suffered some damage during the Second World War but was restored in 1952.
    • The Wedekindhaus, a 16th century patrician house, is characterized by its high, ornately carved storeys including their ledges with depictions of allegorical figures.
  • The Romanesque St. Mary's Catholic cathedralmarker, with its ancient bronze doors (Bernward's door) (c. 1015). The church was built in the 9th century, but almost completely destroyed in 1945; it was reconstructed soon after the war. It is listed as an UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site since 1985. The "Thousand-Year-Old Rosebush" is a reputedly 1,000 years old dog rose bush, allegedly the world's oldest living rose. It continues to flourish on the wall of the Cathedral apse.
    • Museum of the Cathedral: Cathedral Treasure.
  • St. Michael's Churchmarker (UNESCO World Heritage Site) – a noteworthy early Romanesque church in Germany and a unique example of Ottonian architecture. It was built from 1010 to 1022.
  • The Andreaskirchemarker (St. Andrew's Evangelical church), a 12th century church with the highest church steeple (120 m) in Lower Saxonymarker. From the top you get an interesting view of Hildesheim and its surroundings.
  • The Roemer-und-Pelizaeus-Museummarker, with significant collections from the ancient Egypt and Peru and spectacular special exhibitions organized every year.
  • The Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross) was originally a part of the medieval fortifications. It was converted into a church around 1079, severely damaged in 1945 and rebuilt after the war.
  • The Godehardikirche (St. Godehard's Church), built 1133-1172, a romanic Basilica minor which is scheduled to become an UNESCO World Heritage Site in the near future.
  • The Kehrwiederturm (Kehrwieder Tower), built around 1300, is the only remaining tower of the medieval fortifications.
  • Half-timbered houses which were not destroyed during World War II can be seen around St. Godehard's Church and the Kehrwieder Tower, in the streets Kesslerstrasse, Knollenstrasse, Am Kehrwieder, Gelber Stern, Lappenberg, Bruehl, Hinterer Bruehl, and Godehardsplatz. Some of them have beautiful wood carvings in their façades, e.g. the Wernersches Haus (1606) in Godehardsplatz and the Waffenschmiedehaus (weapon smith house, 1548) at Gelber Stern.
  • The Monument of the Synagogue (consecrated in 1849 and destroyed by the Nazis in 1938) was erected in 1988 in the old Jewish quarter on Lappenberg Street, one of the most beautiful streets in Hildesheim. The foundations were reconstructed and give you an idea of how big the synagogue was. The reddish brick building (built around 1840) opposite was the Jewish school.
  • Mauritiuskirche (St. Maurice's Church), a romanic church (11th century) on a hill in the west of the city in the district of Moritzberg with a beautiful cloister. The interior of the church is baroque and the tower was added in 1765. From the forest behind the church you get a beautiful view of Hildesheim with many different churches.
  • Kaiserhaus (Emperor's House): Renaissance building (1586) in Alter Markt, the oldest street of Hildesheim, rebuilt after the war. The façade is decorated with Roman statues and medallions.
  • St Magdalena's Church (Magdalenenkirche) is a small romanic church in the west of the city center which was consecrated in 1224 and enlarged in 1456. It houses a wooden altar (about 1520) with carvings and other works of art. The baroque park of Magdalena's Garden (Magdalenengarten) is close by. There are many different kinds of rose bushes, a rose museum, baroque statues, a well-preserved part of the medieval city wall and even a vineyard in it.
  • Steuerwald Castle (Burg Steuerwald) in the north of the city, about 3 km from the Market Place, was built 1310-1313. Its tower (25 m) was added in 1325. The chapel, dedicated to St Magdalena, was originally built in the Romanic style and transformed into a Gothic chapel in 1507. Today it is used for weddings and concerts.
  • Marienburg Castle, 'Burg Marienburg' is in the southeast of Hildesheim, about 6 km from the Market Place. It was built 1146-1349.
  • Marienrode Monastery (Kloster Marienrode) is in the southwest of Hildesheim, about 6 km from the Market Place. It was founded in 1125. The Gothic church was consecrated in 1462. The monastery was dissolved in 1806, but returned to the Catholic Church in 1986. Since 1988, it has again been operated by nuns. Near the monastery there is a beautiful lake and a tall windmill. The area is specially beautiful at cherry blossom time.

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



  • 1911: Moritzberg
  • 1912: Steuerwald
  • 1938: Drispenstedt and Neuhof
  • 1971: Ochtersum
  • 1974: Achtum-Uppen, Bavenstedt, Einum, Himmelsthür, Itzum, Marienburg, Marienrode and Sorsum

Population history

Year Population
1400 ca. 6,000
1450 ca. 8,000
1648 ca. 5,500
1803 11,108
1825 12,630
1849 14,651
1871 20,801
December 1, 1875 ¹ 22,581
December 1, 1890 ¹ 33,481
December 1, 1900 ¹ 42,973
December 1, 1910 ¹ 50,239
October 8, 1919 ¹ 53,499
June 16, 1925 ¹ 58,522
June 16, 1933 ¹ 62,519
May 17, 1939 ¹ 72,101
September 13, 1950 ¹ 65,531
June 6, 1961 ¹ 96,296
December 31, 1970 93,400
June 30, 1975 106,000
June 30, 1980 102,700
June 30, 1985 100,900
January 1, 1989 103,512
June 30, 1997 105,700
December 31, 2002 103,448
¹ census data

List of mayors of Hildesheim


Basilica of St. Godehard.

Events of international interest


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


Hildesheim has an efficient traffic infrastructure: it is a regional hub for interstate roads and railroad (InterCityExpress), is connected to the motorway (Autobahn), has a harbor at the artificial waterway Mittellandkanalmarker and an airport.

Notable residents


Knochenhauer-Amtshaus, ca. 1895
Half Timbered house (Umgestülpter Zuckerhut), ca. 1900; destroyed in 1945.
Reconstruction is planned for 2009.
Image:Hildesheim-St Michaels Church.outside.JPG|
St. Michael's Churchmarker, UNESCO World Heritage
St. Andreasmarker, 114 m high spire
Market Place (Markt) on an autumn evening

See also


External links

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