Schwedt

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Schwedt
Old town
Old town
Coat of arms of Schwedt
Coat of arms
Schwedt   is located in Germany
Schwedt
Schwedt
Coordinates: 53°03′N 14°16′E / 53.050°N 14.267°E / 53.050; 14.267Coordinates: 53°03′N 14°16′E / 53.050°N 14.267°E / 53.050; 14.267
Country Germany
State Brandenburg
District Uckermark
Government
 • Mayor Jürgen Polzehl (SPD)
Area
 • Total 200.12 km2 (77.27 sq mi)
Elevation 6 m (20 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 31,042
 • Density 160/km2 (400/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 16303
Dialling codes 03332, 033336
Vehicle registration UM
Website www.schwedt.eu

Schwedt (or Schwedt/Oder; German pronunciation: [ˈʃveːt]) is a town in northeastern Brandenburg, Germany. With the official status of a Große kreisangehörige Stadt (major district town), it is the largest town of the Uckermark district, located near the Oder River close to the border with Poland.

Overview[edit]

The formerly agrarian town today has one of the largest oil refineries (PCK Raffinerie GmbH) in Germany, established in 1958 and connected to the Russian Druzhba pipeline network, and is the largest location of paper industry (UPM) in Europe. Most industries were located in the remote area during socialist rule in the 1960s and 1970s.

Large residential areas were built for the workers moving to Schwedt. About 9% of the town's flats are in prefab concrete buildings (Plattenbau) dating from the era. As many jobs were lost after German reunification and the return to market economy, Schwedt has lost a quarter of its population since 1990. In recent decades, Schwedt became a model town for the demolition of Plattenbau housings in order to fight flat vacancies and urban decay.

Geography[edit]

Schwedt is situated in the east of the historic Uckermark region stretching from the Oder to the Havel River. It is situated on an sandur at the western edge of the Oder floodplain running along the German-Polish border, which in 1995 was declared as the Lower Oder Valley National Park nature reserve. Across the river and the border, about 10 km (6.2 mi) to the southeast, is the Polish town of Chojna (formerly Königsberg in der Neumark). The nearest German towns are Angermünde (about 18 km (11 mi) to the west) and Gartz (18 km (11 mi) down the Oder).

Local districts[edit]

In a 1974 municipal reform, the neighbouring village of Heinersdorf was incorporated into Schwedt, followed by Blumenhagen, Gatow and Kunow in 1993, by Kummerow in 1998, by Criewen and Zützen in 2001, Stendell in 2002, and the former town Vierraden in 2003. With 200.12 km2 (77.27 sq mi) Schwedt is among the 100 largest German municipalities by area.

Nearest cities and towns[edit]

Gartz (Germany), Penkun (Germany), Szczecin (Poland), Gryfino (Poland), Cedynia (Poland), Chojna (Poland), Mieszkowice (Poland), Moryń (Poland), Trzcińsko-Zdrój (Poland), Myślibórz (Poland), Pyrzyce (Poland)

History[edit]

Schwedt Castle, destroyed in 1945.

After the Migration Period, the area had been settled by Polabian Slavs. From 937 onwards the lands of the Slavic Ukrani tribes in the west were subued by the Saxon forces of Margrave Gero and incoprporated into his vast Marca Geronis', while the lands east of the Oder were held by Pomeranian tribes under pressure by the Polish forces of Duke Mieszko I. The Saxon Northern March was lost in the Great Slav Rising of 983, and not before 1147 the Saxon count Albert the Bear again invaded the lands on the Oder river, which remained disputed between the newly established Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Pomeranian dukes.

The settlement of Schwedt was first mentioned in a 1265 deed. In the course of the Brandenburg–Pomeranian conflict, the Brandenburg margrave Louis II the Roman ceded it to Duke Barnim III of Pomerania in 1354. It was again besieged by the first Hohenzollern margrave Frederick I in 1434, but to no avail. In 1481 the Thuringian counts of Hohnstein acquired the estates, they granted town privileges to Schwedt as well as to neighbouring Vierraden and introduced the Protestant Reformation.

The rise of Schwedt came to an end with the extinction of the Hohnstein counts in 1609 and the disastrous Thirty Years' War, when the town on the road from Stettin to Berlin was plundered several times. In 1631 King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden after landing in Pomerania camped here on his way to the Battle of Breitenfeld, six years later the Swedish field marshal Johan Banér set the town on fire, after its citizens refused capitulation.

During the Great Northern War, the Treaty of Schwedt was signed in the town.

Near the end of World War II, over two months of heavy fighting destroyed an estimated 85 percent of the town, including its castle, the Schwedter Schloss. The Soviet Army occupied Schwedt on April 26, 1945, two weeks before the final defeat of Nazi Germany.[2]

Demography[edit]

Schwedt/Oder:
Population development within the current boundaries
[3]
Year Population
1875 15 127
1890 14 709
1910 14 125
1925 13 640
1933 13 683
1939 13 512
1946 11 332
1950 12 418
1964 23 441
1971 38 211
Year Population
1981 54 933
1985 54 142
1989 55 082
1990 53 628
1991 51 923
1992 52 188
1993 51 606
1994 50 684
1995 49 371
1996 48 138
Year Population
1997 46 723
1998 45 117
1999 43 707
2000 42 261
2001 40 685
2002 39 381
2003 38 691
2004 37 940
2005 37 259
2006 36 677
Year Population
2007 35 881
2008 35 162
2009 34 586
2010 34 035
2011 31 515
2012 31 042

Detailed data sources are to be found in the Wikimedia Commons.[4]

Notable people[edit]

  • Jörg Hoffmann – Freestyle swimmer
  • Britta Steffen – Freestyle swimmer - a current holder of the world record in women's 50 and 100 metre freestyle.

Julia Brendler - Actress

International relations[edit]

Schwedt is twinned with:

References[edit]

External links[edit]