Wolfsburg

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Wolfsburg
Volkswagen Wolfsburg from above.
Volkswagen Wolfsburg from above.
Coat of arms of Wolfsburg
Coat of arms
Wolfsburg   is located in Germany
Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
Coordinates: 52°25′23″N 10°47′14″E / 52.42306°N 10.78722°E / 52.42306; 10.78722Coordinates: 52°25′23″N 10°47′14″E / 52.42306°N 10.78722°E / 52.42306; 10.78722
CountryGermany
StateLower Saxony
DistrictUrban district
Subdivisions16 Ortschaften,
40 Stadtteile
Government
 • Lord MayorKlaus Mohrs (SPD)
Area
 • Total204.02 km2 (78.77 sq mi)
Elevation63 m (207 ft)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total122,457
 • Density600/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes38400–38448
Dialling codes05361, 05362, 05363, 05365, 05366, 05367, 05308
Vehicle registrationWOB
Websitewww.Wolfsburg.de
 
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Wolfsburg
Volkswagen Wolfsburg from above.
Volkswagen Wolfsburg from above.
Coat of arms of Wolfsburg
Coat of arms
Wolfsburg   is located in Germany
Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg
Coordinates: 52°25′23″N 10°47′14″E / 52.42306°N 10.78722°E / 52.42306; 10.78722Coordinates: 52°25′23″N 10°47′14″E / 52.42306°N 10.78722°E / 52.42306; 10.78722
CountryGermany
StateLower Saxony
DistrictUrban district
Subdivisions16 Ortschaften,
40 Stadtteile
Government
 • Lord MayorKlaus Mohrs (SPD)
Area
 • Total204.02 km2 (78.77 sq mi)
Elevation63 m (207 ft)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total122,457
 • Density600/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes38400–38448
Dialling codes05361, 05362, 05363, 05365, 05366, 05367, 05308
Vehicle registrationWOB
Websitewww.Wolfsburg.de

Wolfsburg [ˈvɔlfsbʊʁk] is the fifth largest city in the German state of Lower Saxony. Located on the River Aller northeast of Braunschweig (Brunswick), it lies about 75 km (47 mi) east of Hanover and 230 km (143 mi) west of Berlin.

In 2013, Wolfsburg ranked as the richest city in Germany with per capita income of €92,600 (approx $130,000), thanks to its thriving auto industry.[2]

Wolfsburg is famous as the location of Volkswagen AG's headquarters and the biggest car plant in the world. The Autostadt is a visitor attraction adjacent to the Volkswagen factory featuring the company's model range: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT and Škoda Auto. Wolfsburg is one of the few German cities built during the first half of the 20th century. From its foundation 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[edit]

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[edit]

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 data. 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[edit]

The castle "Wolfsburg" 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) was passed on to the Earls of the Schulenburg. The communal manor was an important employer for the nearby settlements Rothenfelde and Heßlingen.

Some of today's urban districts, including Heßlingen, used to belong to the Duke of Magdeburg during the 18th century. In 1932 these districts were detached from the Prussian province Saxony and integrated in the administrative district of Lüneburg belonging to Hannover.

Other urban districts, like Vorsfelde and the villages transferred to Wolfsburg from the county of Helmstedt, belonged to the later Duke of Braunschweig (Brunswick) for centuries. Fallersleben and other villages belonged to the Electorate of Braunschweig - Lüneburg or the Kingdom of Hanover.

Wolfsburg was founded on 1 July 1938 as the Stadt des KdF-Wagens bei Fallersleben (English: City of the KdF Car at Fallersleben), a planned town centred around the village of Fallersleben, built to house workers of the Volkswagen (people's car) factories erected to assemble what was to become the Volkswagen Beetle.

During World War II military cars, aeroplanes and other military equipment was built there, mainly by forced workers and POWs at these factories.[citation needed] Though postwar Beetle production ended in Wolfsburg in 1974 (German Beetle production continued in Emden until 1978), the factories remain a key part of Volkswagen's production capacity.

At the urge of the British occupying power the city was renamed as Wolfsburg on 25 May 1945, after the eponymous castle located there. Ironically, 'Wolf' was Adolf Hitler's nickname amongst his closest colleagues and is also found in 'The Wolf's Lair' and his sister's adopted name. 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. During the years of the German economic miracle Wolfsburg experienced a large influx of immigrant workers, especially from Italy. In 1958 the city hall was inaugurated. 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 suburbanized to the city through the so-called "Wolfsburg-Act". Thus the population exceeded 100,000 and so Wolfsburg gained the status of major city with nearly 131,000 inhabitants. The expanse of the city grew from 35 to nearly 204 square kilometers. For the new suburbanized districts eleven directly voted councils with a mayor each were established. In 1973 the highest population of the city was reached with a number of 135,000.

With the A39, the city got a direct highway junction as a side road of the A2 (Oberhausen - Hannover - Werder) in 1982 and in 1988 the city became a university location for the University of Applied ScienceBraunschweig/ Wolfenbüttel(today: Ostfalia University of Applied Science) established a facility.

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 celebrated in the city centre with about 100,000 people and was a first in the history of the city.


Culture and attractions[edit]

The Volkswagen Autostadt

The centre of Wolfsburg is quite unique in Germany. Instead of a medieval town center, Wolfsburg features a new and modern attraction called the Autostadt. The old part of the town Alt Wolfsburg 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.

Wolfsburg Water Show, the biggest water show in the world.

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.[3]


Population development[edit]

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 up to 123,144.

RankNationalityPopulation (2013)
1 Italy5,143
2 Poland1,022
3 Turkey611
4 Portugal405
5 Russia401
6 Tunisia370
7 Syria278
8 Serbia272
9 China269
10 Brazil251

Organization[edit]

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 town 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[edit]

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, the citizens had to vote for a council which voted the mayor/ lord mayor as the leader and representative of the city who worked as volunteers. From 1946 on, the council voted a full-time city director as the leader of the city council. In 2001 the dual leadership of the city council was abolished. Currently it is led by a full-time lord mayor who is also the representative of the city, Klaus Mohrs. Since 2001 the lord mayor is directly voted by the citizens. The council still has its own chairperson who is voted by the constitutive conference of the council after every local election.

City council[edit]

The council of the city 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. In his job 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:[4]

PartySeatsVotes (%)Votes
CDU1431,6%44.635
SPD1737,7%53.355
PUG511,9%16.769
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen59,9%14.026
FDP12,4%3.326
Wolfsburger Linke11,5%2.106
PIRATEN23,9%5.528
WTZ11,2%1.673

Voter participations: 49,4%.

Emblems[edit]

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

The emblem of the city of Wolfsburg was awarded by the Department of the Interior of Lower Saxony in 1952 after it had already 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 name of the city (canting arm) and do not have a historical, directly conveyed reference. The flag was already 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[edit]

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]

Museums[edit]

Historical castles[edit]

Sport[edit]

The most famous professional sports club in the town is VfL Wolfsburg, a football club that was established in 1945. They won the 2009 Fußball-Bundesliga. Ice hockey team EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams, which since 2007 has made it to a leading position in the German ice-hockey league, is also based in the town. The Volkswagen Challenger tennis tournament has been held annually in the town since 1993.

International relations[edit]

Sister city - twin towns - associated cities[edit]

Wolfsburg is twinned with the following towns:

Wolfsburg has relationships with the following Association Cities:

Wolfsburg panorama at dusk, viewed from Schillerteich-Center. The red-lit chimneys left of the center belong to the Volkswagen plant.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]