Boizenburg

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Boizenburg
Town hall (2008)
Town hall (2008)
Coat of arms of Boizenburg
Coat of arms
Boizenburg   is located in Germany
Boizenburg
Boizenburg
Coordinates: 53°22′N 10°43′E / 53.367°N 10.717°E / 53.367; 10.717Coordinates: 53°22′N 10°43′E / 53.367°N 10.717°E / 53.367; 10.717
Country Germany
State Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
District Ludwigslust-Parchim
Government
 • Mayor Harald Jäschke (Ind.)
Area
 • Total 47.26 km2 (18.25 sq mi)
Elevation 15 m (49 ft)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 10,254
 • Density 220/km2 (560/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 19258
Dialling codes 038847
Vehicle registration LWL
Website www.boizenburg.de

Boizenburg is a municipality in the Ludwigslust-Parchim district, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Elbe, 53 km west of Ludwigslust, 25 km northeast of Lüneburg and 50 km east of Hamburg. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Boizenburg's historical old town stretches along the Elbe, has a harbour and offers heritage baroque timberframe and brick buildings.

As per the dictates of the Yalta Conference, Boizenburg was placed just a few kilometers behind the perimeter of the Iron Curtain, otherwise known as the 'Inner German Border'.

History[edit]

The German name Boyceneburg was first documented in 1158. The written form changed to Boiceneburg (1171) and then Boizeneburg (1195). The old Low German name for the town and river (Boize) likely stems from the Slavic boj for war (boj-burg = war-castle).

Boizenburg suffered during the Thirty Years' War and its old castle was burnt down by Swedish troops in 1628. In 1709 the church and 160 or more medieval dwellings were incinerated by a fire. The Town Hall was rebuilt in 1712 and the layout of the town was redesigned by Prussian architects sent from Schwerin. They focused on incorporating efficiency of movement with fire-resistance, better sanitation and public space.

During the Napoleonic Wars French troops were quartered in Boizenburg in 1807. A battle was fought with the retreating French army near Boizenburg in 1813.

From 1815 to 1918, Boizenburg was part of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In 1826 a highway was built, connecting Hamburg, Berlin and subsequently Boizenburg (Highway "B5"). In 1846 the railway between Berlin and Hamburg was constructed. Boizenburg was included with its own train station along this important route.

The shipbuilding yard Lemmsche founded in 1793 became highly industrialized in 1852 and produced many wooden and steel ships. The shipbuilders Thomsen & Co supported the German war effort during World War II. In 1973 the SED reactivated the shipbuilding facilities for the production of smaller inland ships for the USSR. After being privatized in 1989, the yard was declared bankrupt in 1997. Today smaller independent companies are active in the old ship yard.

The Boizenburg Tile Factory established by Hans Duensing in 1903, became Europe's largest tile manufacturer by 1937. After being re-established in 1991, it remains one of the town's main employers. Artistic impressions of the tile work produced in Boizenburg—particularly in the Art Nouveau style - can be found at the Erstes Deutsches Fliesen Museum.

During the communist East German era, residents of Boizenburg were kept under close scrutiny by the Stasi. Many deemed 'politically untrustworthy' had their property confiscated during a state-sponsored terror campaign code-named Operation Vermin (Aktion Ungeziefer).

Sightseeing[edit]

One of the advantages of Boizenburg's isolation during the Cold War, is the pristine natural landscape of the Elbe Valley region stretching to the North, South and East. Much of the architecture and infrastructure in the old city remained 'perfectly untouched' during the DDR regime. In addition to significant restoration projects, new installations such as the modern redesign of the harbor and the addition of a topiary garden have greatly added to the Old Town's charm.

Old Town[edit]

Impression of the Old Moat on the Bollenberg
Ship model along the Old Moat

Elbe Harbor[edit]

Boizenburg Harbor looking towards the Elbe and shipbuilding docks

Topiary Garden[edit]

Topiary garden
Topiary garden: water snail

Town Hall[edit]

St. Marien Church[edit]

View of the East wing of the St. Marien Church

Grave Yard[edit]

Mausoleum in Boizenburg's Graveyard
Path in Boizenburg's Graveyard

Miscellaneous[edit]

Until April 30, 1945 a Nazi concentration camp was established in Boizenburg. The camp was a subcamp to the Neuengamme concentration camp.[2]

On March 12, 1953 a RAF Avro Lincoln heading to Berlin was shot down over Boizenburg by two VVS MiG-15.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bevölkerungsstand der Kreise, Ämter und Gemeinden in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 31.12.2013". Statistisches Amt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (in German). 23 September 2014. 
  2. ^ The camp is listed as No. 150 Boizenburg, Kreis Hagenow in the official German list.