is a city in southeast Lower Saxony
, located between Hildesheim
. Salzgitter is an independent city
. Together with Wolfsburg
and Braunschweig, Salzgitter is one of the seven Oberzentren
of Lower Saxony (roughly equivalent to a metropolitan area
). With 109,142 inhabitants and 223.94 km²
(as of 30 January 2004), its area
is one of the biggest in Germany
. The main shopping street of the young city is in the borough Salzgitter-Lebenstedt, and the central business district
is in Salzgitter-Bad. The city is connected to the Mittellandkanal
and the Elbe-Seitenkanal
by a distributary
. The nearest metropolises
are Braunschweig, about 23 km 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 (which made it a city in contrast to a town
by the German definition), when it was still called Watenstedt-Salzgitter
. Beside Wolfsburg, Leverkusen
, Salzgitter therefore is one of the few towns in Germany founded during the 20th century.
History of the name
Until 31 March 1942, "Salzgitter" was the name of a town where the borough Salzgitter-Bad now is. From then until 1951, "Salzgitter" was the name of a borough of the city Watenstedt-Salzgitter that existed at the time. In 1951, the borough Salzgitter was renamed Salzgitter-Bad; the name Salzgitter, having thus been freed up, became the new and more succinct name of the city that had been called "Watenstedt-Salzgitter" until then. (Nowadays, "Salzgitter-Watenstedt" is the name of a small borough with a few hundred inhabitants.)
Salzgitter is located in a bride dell coated with loess
, between the Oderwald Forest and the Salzgitter-Höhenzug
("Salzgitter Hills"). The largest extension of the city area is 24 km from north to south and 19 km from east to west. The highest point in it is the hill Hamberg
(275 m), located north-west from Salzgitter-Bad.
The following cities, towns and municipalities
border on the City of Salzgitter. They will be named clock-wise, beginning in the North East. (As the City of Salzgitter was founded on the area of the District (Landkreis
) Wolfenbüttel, that district borders on Salzgitter in the west and in the east; that is why it is named twice.)
- Braunschweig (independent city)
- in the Landkreis Wolfenbüttel: City of Wolfenbüttel, Cramme, Flöthe (both belonging to Samtgemeinde Oderwald), Gielde (Samtgemeinde Schladen)
- in the Landkreis Goslar: Liebenburg, Wallmoden, Samtgemeinde Lutter am Barenberge
- in the Landkreis Wolfenbüttel: Sehlde, Haverlah, Elbe, Baddeckenstedt, Burgdorf bei Salzgitter (all Samtgemeinde Baddeckenstedt)
- in the Landkreis Hildesheim: Söhlde
- in the Landkreis Peine: Lengede, Vechelde
The area of the City of Salzgitter consists of 31 quarters (often called villages): Bad, Barum, Beddingen, Beinum, Bleckenstedt, Bruchmachtersen, Calbecht, Drütte, Engelnstedt, Engerode, Flachstöckheim, Gebhardshagen, Gitter, Groß Mahner, Hallendorf, Heerte, Hohenrode, Immendorf, Lebenstedt, Lesse, Lichtenberg, Lobmachtersen, Ohlendorf, Osterlinde, Reppner, Ringelheim, Salder, Sauingen, Thiede, Üfingen, Watenstedt.
These 31 quarters are combined to 7 Towns. As a board, every Town has got a Town Council, elected by the population allowed to elect, with a Town Mayor.
The Towns with their quarters are:
- Norh Town: Lebenstedt, Salder, Bruchmachtersen, Engelnstedt
- North East Town: Thiede, Beddingen, Üfingen, Sauingen
- North West Town: Lichtenberg, Osterlinde, Reppner, Lesse
- East Town: Hallendorf, Bleckenstedt, Drütte, Immendorf, Watenstedt
- South Town: Bad, Gitter, Groß Mahner, Ringelheim, Hohenrode
- South East Town: Flachstöckheim, Barum, Beinum, Lobmachtersen, Ohlendorf
- West Town: Gebhardshagen, Calbecht, Engerode, Heerte
Salzgitter originated in the beginning 14th century around salt springs near the village Verpstedt (later Vöppstedt). 'The name developed from the neighbouring village Gitter (nowadays a quarter) as "up dem solte to Gytere", which means "Salt near Gitter"; the first mention was in 1347. After 200 years of saltern at various springs, the peasants
in the area, which is Salzgitter nowadays, were chartered around 1350, but, however, lost municipal law when being transferred to the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg
in the beginning 16th century. Later, Salzgitter belonged to the diocese Hildesheim
. When that was transferred to Prussia
in 1803, the municipal laws were reconfirmed, but were taken again in 1815, when Salzgitter became part of the Kingdom of Hanover
In 1830, a brine bath was established in Salzgitter.
After the Kingdom of Hanover was transferred to Prussia in 1866, Salzgitter became a Prussian municipality, which was chartered again in 1929. Before, the towns Vorsalz and Liebenhall had been incorporated (1926, 1928). Salzgitter belonged to the Landkreis (district) Goslar and included beside Salzgitter itself also some small settlements like Gittertor, which is part of Salzgitter-Bad nowadays. In 1936, Kniestedt, was incorporated; it is part of Salzgitter-Bad by now, too. In 1938, the neighbouring municipality Gitter was incorporated. With the village Gitter, which was already incorporated in 1938, the young city first had got 29 quarters from 1942 on.
Due to the large iron ore body in Salzgitter, which had been mentioned first in 1310, the National Socialists founded the "Reichswerke Hermann Göring" (Reich works Herrmann Göring) for ore mining and ironworks in 1937. As the smelting works were supposed to develop economically well, a unique administration structure in the whole area was necessary. Therefore the Order about the area settlement around the Hermann-Göring-Werke Salzgitter as from 1st April 1942 disposed to form a unique city district (Independent City). For this aim, the town of Salzgitter and the municipalities Beinum, Flachstöckheim, Groß-Mahner, Hohenrode, Ohlendorf and Ringelheim (7 altogether, all belonging to the Landkreis Goslar) and Barum, Beddingen, Bleckenstedt, Bruchmachtersen, Calbecht, Drütte, Engelnstedt, Engerode, Gebhardshagen, Hallendorf, Heerte, Immendorf, Lebenstedt, Lesse, Lichtenberg, Lobmachtersen, Osterlinde, Reppner, Salder, Thiede-Steterburg (nowadays Thiede) and Watenstedt (21 altogether, all belonging to the Landkreis Wolfenbüttel) were merged to the Stadtkreis Watenstedt-Salzgitter. Together with the remaining rest of the Landkreis Goslar, the new Independent municipality was integrated into the state of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In return, Braunschweig transferred the Landkreis Holzminden to the Prussian province of Hanover. In October, 1942, the SS established the Druette concentration camp, a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp, to provide slave labour for the Hermann Göring Works. This large subcamp held 2,800 inmates. There were three concentration camps located in Salzgitter. During the war, Salzgitter was damaged hard by several American and British bombings. After the war, the State of Braunschweig became part of the Land Lower-Saxony, and Watenstedt-Salzgitter became an Independent City in the "Administrative District of Braunschweig" (later Regierungsbezirk of Braunschweig).
On April 1st, 1942, the Independent City Watenstedt-Salzgitter (renamed in Salzgitter in 1951) was formed by uniting Landkreis Goslar, the town of Salzgitter (municipalities of Beinum, Flachstöckheim, Groß Mahner, Hohenrode, Ohlendorf and Ringelheim) and Landkreis Wolfenbüttel (municipalities of Barum, Beddingen, Bleckenstedt, Bruchmachtersen, Calbecht, Drütte, Engelnstedt, Engerode, Gebhardshagen, Hallendorf, Heerte, Immendorf, Lebenstedt, Lesse, Lichtenberg, Lobmachtersen, Osterlinde, Reppner, Salder, Thiede-Steterburg and Watenstedt).
On March 1st, 1974, the municipalities Üfingen and Sauingen (up to then Landkreis Wolfenbüttel) were incorporated.
In 1951, the city was renamed into "Stadt Salzgitter" (City of Salzgitter), the then-quarter Salzgitter was named "Salzgitter-Bad", referring to the brine bath there. In the course of the area reform of Lower-Saxony as from 1st March 1974, the municipalities Üfingen and Sauingen (Landkreis Wolfenbüttel) were incorporated. Since then, Salzgitter has got 31 quarters. Until 1982, Salzgitter was mined (iron); in the former mine Schacht Konrad, an ultimate disposal place for radioactive waste has been planned since 1975.
Population figures in order to the then area, i.e. until 1942 the contemporary quarter Salzgitter-Bad and from 1942 on the Independent City Watenstedt-Salzgitter and Salzgitter respectively.
|| Population figures
| 6 June 1961 ¹
| 25 May 1987
| 30 June 1997
| October 2003
| September 2004
| February 2005
The area of the contemporary city Salzgitter originally belonged to the diocese of Hildesheim
. In 1568, the Reformation
was established in Salzgitter. Two superintendencies came into existence. The southern part of the area where the city is nowadays (Superintendency Salzgitter) belonged to the Province of Hanover
and so to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover
in Hildesheim). The northern part (superintendency Lebenstedt), however, belonged to the state of Braunschweig and so to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Braunschweig
When the city Watenstedt-Salzgitter originated (1942), the whole city area was attached to the state of Braunschweig, both politically and ecclesiastically. Thus all parishes of Salzgitter belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Braunschweig nowadays. The two superintendencies are called Propstei today. However, the Propsteien Salzgitter-Bad and Salzgitter-Lebenstedt also comprise parishes that do not belong to the city of Salzgitter.
The Catholics, who moved into the city again afterwards, belonged - like before the Reformation - to the diocese of Hildesheim, which established a separate deanery in Salzgitter, to which all parishes of the city belong nowadays.
Beside the two big churches, there are parishes, too, that belong to Free Churches, for example a Baptist parish, the Church of God, the Plymouth Brethren and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In addition, there are several New Apostolic Churches in Salzgitter. Due to the immigration of foreign workers during the 1970s, there are some Islamic mosques and societies.
After the creation of Salzgitter a state commissar was set in place as provisional Mayer of the city of Watenstedt-Salzgitter. After World War II
, the military government of the British zone of occupation
installed the communal constitution
. Furthermore, there is an elected Council in place. The Council elects one of its members Mayor
) as leader and representative of the city. Besides, from 1946 on there was the Oberstadtdirektor
as the Chief Executive of the City Council. Since 2001, the office of the leader of the Council and the Chief Executive are merged into one, simply called Mayor. Being elected by the people, he represents the city and leads the Council.
Coat of arms
In Salzgitter's Coat of Arms
there is a silver furnace
visible behind a silver pinnacle
wall, on which there is a buckler
whose upper ground is green and adorned with two saltern instruments and whose lower ground is gold and adorned with a black sledge and black iron. On the red ground behind the furnace, there are two wheaten
The Coat of Arms stands for the agriculture, which is important for many villages of Salzgitter, on the one hand, and for the industry, which led to Salzgitter's foundation, on the other hand.
This Coat of Arms is from 1951. Before, Watenstedt-Salzgitter had got a different one. Also the former town Salzgitter had got various coats of arms from 1854 on.
Like many German cities, Salzgitter has used the city's logo for some years. It is a green field with a white snaking way that narrows towards the horizon.
The City of Salzgitter is twinned
to these cities and towns:
Economy and infrastructure
In the north of Salzgitter, there is an Autobahn
(A 39) from Braunschweig to the interchange
Salzgitter (where you can change to Autobahn 7 (Kassel-Hanover). Salzgitter has got five grade-separated
interchanges to this Autobahn. East from Salzgitter, there is the Autobahn 395 (Braunschweig-Goslar
), which can be reached from Salzgitter by four interchanges.
Moreover, two Bundesstraßen
) go through Salzgitter.
Salzgitter has six train stations
. The most important one is in the quarter Salzgitter-Ringelheim
, the most central one in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt. There is no Hauptbahnhof
(main train station or union station
) in Salzgitter. Salzgitter-Ringelheim's station is located at the lines Halle (Saale)
-Goslar-Salzgitter-Hildesheim-Hanover. Another line leads into the Harz
Mountains and to Braunschweig, passing Salzgitter-Bad
. Salzgitter-Lebenstedt is the end of a local line coming from Braunschweig and passing the other train stops of Salzgitter.
There are three bus companies in Salzgitter. The bus is quite important considering Salzgitter consists of many, spread villages.
In Salzgitter, the daily newspaper Salzgitter-Zeitung
and the Sunday newspaper Salzgitter-Woche am Sonntag
are published. There is the event calendar Salzgitter Szene
and the online
. Furthermore, the local TV channel TV 38
is broadcasted by cable television
Important companies in Salzgitter
Salzgitter is seat of these public institutions:
- Federal Radiation Protection Office of Germany, founded in 1989
- Central Registration Office of the State Judiciary Administration of Lower-Saxony
Since 1993, there is a site of the Fachhochschule Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
, where you can study
In addition, you can study after having completed a study in the past
and - by correspondence course -
- Quality and environment management
- Sale management.
The other sites of the Fachhochschule are Braunschweig, Wolfenbüttel and Wolfsburg.
Furthermore, there are several general-education schools (meaning that general knowledge is taught there in contrast to occupation-specific knowledge) and vocational schools, among them three grammar schools, the Gymnasium Salzgitter-Bad, the Gymnasium am Fredenberg and the Kranich-Gymnasium, the latter two located at Salzgitter-Lebenstedt.
For education outside school, there is the Volkshochschule Salzgitter with sites in Salzgitter-Bad and in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt.
Culture and sights
There are three public libraries in Salzgitter. The main-library is located in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt (155 000 media) with branch-libraries in Salzgitter-Bad (42 000 media) and Salzgitter-Fredenberg (25 000 media).
There is no theatre in Salzgitter nor any building used as one. Yet there are several representations at various places.
For example, in Salzgitter-Bad there is a society rooting in the students' theater of the local grammar-school that supports the amateur play. They act on various stages, with an auditory between 100 and 600 people. Furthermore, there are irregular performances of musicals
- Städtisches Museum Schloss Salder ("Municipal Museum in Salder Castle", including city history, Castle museum, changing expositions, ice age path from summer 2006 on)
- Städtische Kunstsammlungen Schloss Salder ("Municipal Art Collection in Salder Castle")
- In the quarter Salzgitter-Lebenstedt:
- City monument (Turm der Arbeit - "Tower of work", the city's emblem, constructed in 1995. The monument tells about the suffering of the forced workers and concentration camp prisoners while building up industry during the national socialism, about the flight from home beyond the rivers Oder and Neisse, about the fight against the removal of the iron works and about Salzgitter's people's will to live and to rebuild.)
- Town hall (built 1959-1963)
- Ice sports hall (in far-east style)
- In the quarter Salzgitter-Bad:
- Old Town
- Thermalsolbad ("hot-springs brine bath")
- Protestant church St. Mariae Jacobi; military defence church built in 1481
- Catholic church St. Marien
- Former Nicolai church (nowadays event room)
- Bismarck Tower (look-out)
- Former town hall at the market place
- Tilly house
- farm house in Kniestedt (now care for old people and music school)
- "Beamtensiedlung" (from 1930, dwellings of the employees of the smelting works)
- pilgrimage church in Salzgitter-Engerode, chapel built in 1236, one of Lower-Saxony's oldest pilgrimage churches with frescos laid open
- Wasserburg (castle), Salzgitter-Gebhardshagen, nearly 1000 years old
- Franzosenbrücke ("French bridge", stone arch bridge over the river Innerste near Salzgitter-Hohenrode
- Salzgitter-Lichtenberg: Castle ruins, once built by Henry the Lion, destroyed in 1552 and laid open again in the 1950s. Look-out and restaurant.
- Salzgitter-Ringelheim: Ringelheim Castle, former monastery, founded in the 10th century, secularised in 1803. Baroque church built in 1694, including a precious organ; crucifix from the workshop of Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim (around 1000); large castle park (Schlosspark)
- Salzgitter-Salder: Salder Castle with Municipal Museum, former emblem of the city; the castle built in the style of the "Weser renaissance" around 1600 was domicile of the noble family von Salder in the Duchy of Braunschweig, later domain of the duke; nowadays museum of local history; castle church Maria-Magdalena with a circular floor plan.
- Salzgitter-Thiede: Convent Steterburg, ladies' convent founded in 1003; there are still buildings from the 11th century. The house of the abbess was built in 1691. The church is from 1752. In 1938, the area was reconstructed to tenements.
- Salzgitter Bismarck Tower
- archeological excavation from the Stone Age in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt
- Farm house Salzgitter-Flachstöckheim with open-air stage and English Park (1756/1821)
- Salzgittersee ("Lake Salzgitter") in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt, beach, water-ski, boats, inliners, diving
- May: municipal sports week in Salzgitter-Lebenstedt
- May: museum festival in Salzgitter-Salder
- May/June: Schützenfest (German festival of a shooting club including shooting matches) in Salzgitter-Bad
- June/July: Old Town Festival in Salzgitter-Bad