Hamelin
Overview
 
Hamelin is a town on the river Weser in Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is the capital of the district of Hamelin-Pyrmont
Hamelin-Pyrmont
Hamelin-Pyrmont is a district in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Schaumburg, Hanover, Hildesheim and Holzminden, and by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia .-History:...

 and has a population of 58,696 (as at 2006).

Hamelin is also the gateway to the surrounding Weserbergland
Weserbergland
The Weser Uplands is a hill region in Germany The Weser Uplands (German: Weserbergland) is a hill region (Bergland = uplands, hills or hill region) in Germany The Weser Uplands (German: Weserbergland) is a hill region (Bergland = uplands, hills or hill region) in Germany (Lower Saxony, Hesse,...

 mountains, which can be visited by hikers and bikers.
The town is famous for the folk tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin , a medieval story that tells of a tragedy that befell the town in the thirteenth century.
Encyclopedia
Hamelin is a town on the river Weser in Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is the capital of the district of Hamelin-Pyrmont
Hamelin-Pyrmont
Hamelin-Pyrmont is a district in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Schaumburg, Hanover, Hildesheim and Holzminden, and by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia .-History:...

 and has a population of 58,696 (as at 2006).

Hamelin is also the gateway to the surrounding Weserbergland
Weserbergland
The Weser Uplands is a hill region in Germany The Weser Uplands (German: Weserbergland) is a hill region (Bergland = uplands, hills or hill region) in Germany The Weser Uplands (German: Weserbergland) is a hill region (Bergland = uplands, hills or hill region) in Germany (Lower Saxony, Hesse,...

 mountains, which can be visited by hikers and bikers.

History

The town is famous for the folk tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin , a medieval story that tells of a tragedy that befell the town in the thirteenth century. The version written by the Brothers Grimm
Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm , Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm , were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who collected folklore and published several collections of it as Grimm's Fairy Tales, which became very popular...

 made it popular throughout the world; it is also the subject of well-known poems by Goethe and Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Robert Browning was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.-Early years:...

. Although Hamelin has a fine medieval old town with some remarkable buildings, the main attraction is the tale of the Pied Piper. In the summer every Sunday, the tale is performed
Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer is an American actor and showman who has been living the role of the Pied Piper of Hamelin in Germany, for nearly 15 years now...

 by actors in the town centre.
Hamelin started with a monastery, which was founded as early as 851 AD. A village grew in the neighbourhood and had become a town by the 12th century. The incident with the Pied Piper is said to have happened in 1284 and may be based on a true event, although somewhat different from the tale. In the 15th and 16th centuries Hamelin was a minor member of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

.

In June 1634, during the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, Lothar Dietrich Freiherr von Bönninghausen, a General with the Imperial Army, lost the Battle of Oldendorf
Battle of Oldendorf
The Battle of Oldendorf on 8 July 1633 was a battle of the Thirty Years' War between the Swedish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire near Hessisch-Oldendorf, Lower Saxony, Germany...

 to Swedish General von Kniphausen, in the preface of which Hamelin was besieged by the Swedish army.

Hamelin was surrounded by four fortresses, which gave it the nickname "Gibraltar Of The North". It was the heaviest protected town of the Kingdom of Hanover. The first fort (Fort George) was built from 1760–1763, the second (Fort Wilhelm) and third were built 1774 and 1784, the last fort (called Fort Luise) was built 1806.

In 1808 Hamelin surrendered without fighting Napoleon, after the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt
Battle of Jena-Auerstedt
The twin battles of Jena and Auerstedt were fought on 14 October 1806 on the plateau west of the river Saale in today's Germany, between the forces of Napoleon I of France and Frederick William III of Prussia...

 was lost. All of the historic walls and guard towers were pulled down by Napoleon's forces. In 1843 the people of Hamelin built a sightseeing tower out of the ruins of Fort George onto the Klüt Hill. The sightseeing tower is called "Klütturm" and is a popular spot for tourists with an amazing view over the historic town.

The era of greatest wealth began in 1664, when Hamelin became a fortified border town of the Duchy of Brunswick-Calenberg. The town became part of Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 in 1867.

During the Second World War, Hamelin prison was used for the detention of Social Democrats, Communists and other political prisoners. Around 200 died here; more died afterwards, when the Nazis sent the prisoners on death marches in April 1945 fearing the Allied advance. Just after the war, Hamelin prison was used by British Occupation Forces for the detention of German war criminals. Around 200 of them were hanged there including Irma Grese
Irma Grese
Irma Ida Ilse Grese was employed at the Nazi concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, and was a warden of the women's section of Bergen-Belsen....

, Josef Kramer
Josef Kramer
Josef Kramer was the Commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Dubbed "The Beast of Belsen" by camp inmates; he was a notorious Nazi war criminal, directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people...

 and over a dozen of the perpetrators of the Stalag Luft III murders
Stalag Luft III murders
The Stalag Luft III murders was a war crime perpetrated by members of the Gestapo following the "Great Escape" of Allied prisoners of war from the German Air Force prison camp known as Stalag Luft III on March 25, 1944. Of a total of 76 successful escapees, 73 were recaptured, mostly within days of...

. It has since been turned into a hotel.

Pronunciation

The town's name can be pronounced in a number of different ways, e.g.: German – "Haameln", English – "Hamlin", on British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) radio – "Hammeln"

Subdivisions

  • Afferde
  • Hastenbeck
  • Halvestorf
  • Haverbeck
  • Hilligsfeld (including Groß and Klein Hilligsfeld)
  • Sünteltal (including Holtensen, Welliehausen and Unsen)
  • Klein Berkel
  • Tündern (pop. around 2,700), Official site (in German)
  • Wehrbergen
  • Rohrsen

Historical population

YearInhabitants
1689 2,398
1825 5,326
1905 21,385
1939 32,000
1968 48,787
2005 58,872

Famous citizens

  • Gluckel of Hameln
    Glückel of Hameln
    Glückel of Hameln was a Jewish businesswoman and diarist, whose account of life provides scholars with an intimate picture of German Jewish communal life in the late-17th-early eighteenth century Jewish ghetto...

  • Heinrich Bürger
    Heinrich Bürger
    Heinrich Bürger was a by birth German physicist, biologist and botanist employed by the Dutch government, and an entrepreneur. He was an important person for the study of Japanese fauna and flora.-Background:Bürger's exact birth date is unknown...

     (1806–1858)
  • Wilhelm Freiherr von Hodenberg
  • Heinz Knoke
    Heinz Knoke
    Heinz Knoke was a World War II Luftwaffe flying ace. He is credited with 33 confirmed aerial victories, all claimed over the Western theatre of operations, and claimed a further five unconfirmed kills in over 2000 flights...

     (1923–1993)
  • Karl Philipp Moritz
    Karl Philipp Moritz
    Karl Philipp Moritz was a German author, editor and essayist of the Sturm und Drang, late enlightenment, and classicist periods, influencing early German Romanticism as well...

  • Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden
    Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden
    Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden was a German pioneer in mining and metallurgy. He was born in Hamelin in the Electorate of Hanover and died in Michelsdorf in Prussian Silesia.- Life :...

  • Peter the Wild Boy
    Peter the Wild Boy
    Peter the Wild Boy was a mentally handicapped boy from Hannover in northern Germany who was found in 1725 living wild in the woods near Hamelin , the town of Pied Piper legend...

     (found 1725)
  • Susan Stahnke
    Susan Stahnke
    Susan Stahnke is a German TV presenter. She was born in Hamelin.- Career :Susan Stahnke was a presenter for the federal broadcaster NDR before she worked as a regular news reader for the national German news show Tagesschau for seven years.Currently she presents a TV format called where she has...

     (born 1967)
  • Saint Vicelinus
    Vicelinus
    Saint Vicelinus was a German bishop of Oldenburg in Holstein who was considered the apostle of Holstein.Orphaned at an early age, Vicelinus received his primary education at Hamelin, his birthplace...

     (1086–1154), born in the town
  • Electronic group Funker Vogt
    Funker Vogt
    Funker Vogt is a German electronic music project with an aggressive style, formed by vocalist Jens Kästel and programmer Gerrit Thomas in 1995. Other members of the band are keyboardist/manager Bjorn Bottcher, live guitarist Frank Schweigert and lyricist Kai Schmidt...

  • Johann Popken, founder of company that became Ulla Popken
    Ulla Popken
    Ulla Popken is a German clothing retailer with more than 320 stores across Europe.The company markets its products in the United States through a monthly 48-page catalog...

  • [(Kasia Borek]], German TV actress, currently playing 'Emma Müller' in the Sat1 telenova, 'Hand aufs Herz'.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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