|• Mayor||Catherine Tanne-Roloff|
|• Total||74 km2 (29 sq mi)|
|Elevation||34 m (112 ft)|
|• Density||31/km2 (79/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
It is situated on a terminal moraine, stretching along the eastern bank of the Elbe River. The municipality is located about 70 km (43 mi) north of the state capital of Magdeburg, halfway between Stendal in the west and Rathenow in the east. Since 1 January 2010 Schönhausen includes the fomer municipality of Hohengöhren.
Schönhausen was founded by the Bishops of Havelberg, who had the Romanesque brick church erected in 1212. After the Protestant Reformation, the Schönhausen estate was secularized by the Electors of Brandenburg.
In 1562 the administrator of Havelberg, Joachim III Frederick of Brandenburg, gave Schönhausen to the Bismarck family from Stendal, who had to swap it against their estates at Burgstall in the Altmark. The village was devastated by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War. In 1680 it became part of the Brandenburgian Duchy of Magdeburg, a constituent land of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1701. The Bismarcks built two Baroque residences, the castles of Schönhausen I (about 1700) and Schönhausen II (from 1729). On 1 April 1815 the later German chancellor Otto von Bismarck was born at Schönhausen I, he nevertheless grew up at his family's estate in Kniephof, Pomerania.
After World War II, Schönhausen became part of the Soviet occupation zone and the Bismarcks were deprived of their property by the Soviet Military Administration in 1945. The Communist East German government had the castle of Schönhausen I demolished in 1958, denoting it a symbol of Prussian militarism. In 1998 a Bismarck museum was established in a preserved outhouse.
Schönhausen is twinned with:
- Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898), first Chancellor of Germany
- Otto Christian Archibald von Bismarck (1897–1975), politician and diplomat
- Annett Louisan (born 1977 in Havelberg), singer, grew up in Schönhausen.
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