Wittstock

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For Charlene Lynette Wittstock, see Charlene, Princess of Monaco.
Wittstock
Town centre
Town centre
Coat of arms of Wittstock
Coat of arms
Wittstock   is located in Germany
Wittstock
Wittstock
Coordinates: 53°9′49″N 12°29′8″E / 53.16361°N 12.48556°E / 53.16361; 12.48556Coordinates: 53°9′49″N 12°29′8″E / 53.16361°N 12.48556°E / 53.16361; 12.48556
Country Germany
State Brandenburg
District Ostprignitz-Ruppin
Subdivisions 19
Government
 • Mayor Jörg Gehrmann (CDU)
Area
 • Total 417.20 km2 (161.08 sq mi)
Elevation 65 m (213 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 14,708
 • Density 35/km2 (91/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 16909
Dialling codes 03394
Vehicle registration OPR, KY, NP, WK
Website www.wittstock.de

Wittstock/Dosse is a town in the Ostprignitz-Ruppin district, in north-western Brandenburg, Germany.

Geography[edit]

It is located in the eastern Prignitz region on the Dosse River near the confluence with its Glinze tributary, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Pritzwalk and 95 kilometres (59 mi) northwest of Berlin. Wittstock is situated in a terminal moraine landscape south of the Mecklenburg Lake District.

Town structure[edit]

After the incorporation of several suburban villages in December 1993 and again in October 2003, Wittstock became the 6th largest town in Germany by area. However, the former independent districts Herzsprung and Königsberg, which were forced to be integrated in 2003, regained their independence in 2004, claiming that the compulsive integration was void because of a clerical error. Both districts were still under the overview of the department of Wittstock. Since 2005, Herzsprung and Königsberg are parts of the commune Heiligengrabe, so the size of the town decreased.

The current districts of Wittstock/Dosse:

  • Babitz
  • Berlinchen
  • Biesen
  • Christdorf
  • Dossow
  • Dranse
  • Fretzdorf
  • Freyenstein with commune part Neu Cölln
  • Gadow
  • Goldbeck
  • Groß Haßlow with commune parts Klein Haßlow and Randow
  • Niemerlang with commune parts Tetschendorf and Ackerfelde
  • Rossow
  • Schweinrich
  • Sewekow
  • Wittstock (Kernstadt)
  • Wulfersdorf
  • Zempow
  • Zootzen

Demography[edit]

Wittstock/Dosse:
Population development within the current boundaries
[2]
Year Population
1875 15 434
1890 15 366
1910 14 873
1925 15 045
1933 15 802
1939 16 538
1946 19 901
1950 20 700
1964 17 717
1971 17 912
Year Population
1981 19 022
1985 19 903
1989 20 447
1990 20 056
1991 19 275
1992 20 561
1993 19 977
1994 19 885
1995 20 164
1996 19 750
Year Population
1997 19 759
1998 19 464
1999 18 584
2000 17 985
2001 17 674
2002 17 305
2003 17 039
2004 16 687
2005 16 363
2006 16 108
Year Population
2007 15 892
2008 15 650
2009 15 407
2010 15 235
2011 14 801
2012 14 708
2013 14 631

History[edit]

Wittstock resulted from a Slavic settlement and was first mentioned in the deed of formation for the Bishopric of Havelberg in 946. The name is possibly derived from vysoka ("high-lying") in the language of the local Polabian tribes, it was later Germanized into Wiztok (1271), Witzstock (1284) and Witstock (1441), adapted folk-etymologically to Low German witt ("white") and stock ("rootstock").

Bishop's Castle

Obtaining the Stendal town charter on 13 September 1248 from the hands of the Havelberg Prince-bishop Henry I, it is one of the oldest towns of Brandenburg. In 1251, Wittstock received an imprint of the town seal, which was one of the oldest in Brandenburg, too. Wittstock Castle, which had been built from 1244 onwards onto a Slavic foundation, served as the residence of the Havelberg Prince-bishops from 1271; it is therefore also designated Old Bishop Castle (Alte Bischofsburg). The Havelberg eraa ended with the Protestant Reformation and the death of the last Catholic Prince-bishop Busso von Alvensleben at Wittstock Castle in 1548.

Up to the Thirty Years' War, the fortress was a secure stronghold—until it became the site of the 1636 Battle of Wittstock, when the troops of the Swedish Empire under Field Marshals Johan Banér and Alexander Leslie defeated the allied Imperial and Saxon forces under Elector John George I of Saxony. Followed by the outbreak of a plague epidemic two years later, Wittstock remained devastated and lost about the half of its population.

The redevelopment of the town was launched by the "Great Elector" Frederick William in 1658. About 1750, numerous colonists descending from Württemberg and the Palatinate settled the region.

Politics[edit]

Town hall

Seats in the town's assembly (Stadtverordnetenversammlung) as of 2008 local elections:

Twin town[edit]

Wittstock is twinned with:

Sights[edit]

St Mary's Church

The town's main historic monument is the Brick Gothic St Mary's Church, dating back to c. 1240. Significantly enlarged as a hall church in the late 13th century and repleted with a carved altar by Claus Berg, it was used as a cathedral by the Havelberg bishops.

The Bishop's Castle was greatly restored in the 1990s and today houses a Thirty Years' War museum. Much of the elaborate late medieval defences still surround the old centre, including a 13th-century gate tower, the Daberburg bergfried north of the town, and a 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) long city wall. The wall's height, originally 11 metres (36 ft), today is about 4 to 7 metres.

References[edit]

External links[edit]