|• Mayor||Hans-Joachim Jaap (CDU)|
|• Total||73.9 km2 (28.5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||24 m (79 ft)|
|• Density||180/km2 (470/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Zeven is a town in the district of Rotenburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It has a population of around 14,000. The nearest large towns are Bremerhaven, Bremen and Hamburg. It is situated approximately 22 km northwest of Rotenburg, and 40 km northeast of Bremen. Zeven is also the seat of the Samtgemeinde ("collective municipality") Zeven.
In 986 Zeven was first mentioned in a document of the monastery in Heeslingen, then giving its name as kivinan à Heeslingen (Kivinan near Heeslingen). In 1141 the monastery was relocated to Zeven. The monastery played a determining role in Zeven's history. Zeven belonged to the old Duchy of Saxony and at its dissolution in 1180 Zeven became a part of the newly founded Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen, the princely territory of imperial immediacy ruled by the respective holder of the archiepiscopal see of Bremen. During the Protestant Reformation the majority of the nun clung to Catholicism, while most laymen adopted Lutheranism.
In the course of the Thirty Years' War troops of the Catholic League under Johan 't Serclaes, Count of Tilly conquered the Prince-Archbishopric in 1627/1628. The Leaguist takeover enabled Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, to implement the Edict of Restitution, decreed March 6, 1629, within the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen and the Prince-Bishopric of Verden. The monastery of Zeven - still maintaining Roman Catholic rite - became the local stronghold for a reCatholicisation within the scope of Counter-Reformation. The nuns, who had converted to Lutheranism, were then expelled from the monastery.
In 1632 troops of the legitimate ruler of the Prince-Archbishopric, Administrator John Frederick, helped by troops from Sweden and the city of Bremen, reconquered the Prince-Archbishopric. The monastery was dissolved. By the Peace of Westphalia the Prince-Archbishopric was transformed into the Duchy of Bremen in 1648, which - together with the Principality of Verden - was first given as a prey for its participation in the Thirty Years' War to be ruled in personal union by the Swedish Crown. These two imperial fiefs to the Swedes are thus colloquially called Bremen-Verden. The queen regnant Christina of Sweden, in personal union Duchess of Bremen and Princess of Verden installed in the two latter functions her residence in today's Queen Christina House in Zeven, the oldest remaining profane building in town.
As in Sweden proper, the constitutional and administrative bodies in the Swedish dominions gradually lost de facto importance due to ever growing centralisation. Bremen-Verden's Estates lost more and more influence, and were less frequently convened. After 1692 the Estates' say had almost vanished. This led to considerable unease among the Estates, so that in May 1694 representatives of Swedish Bremen-Verden's general government and the Estates met at the former monastery of Zeven to confer on the status of the Duchies.
After a Danish occupation (1712-1715) the Duchy of Bremen was sold to the House of Hanover, and thus became ruled in personal union with the Electorate of Hanover and the Kingdom of Great Britain. In the course of the Anglo-French and Indian War (1754–63) on North American colonies Britain feared a French invasion in Hanover. Thus George II Augustus formed an alliance with his Brandenburg-Prussian cousin Frederick II,the Great combining the North American conflict with the Austro–Brandenburg-Prussian Third Silesian or Seven Years’ War (1756–63). In summer 1757 the French invaders defeated George II Augustus' son William Duke of Cumberland, leading the Anglo-Hanoverian army, and drove him and his army into remote Bremen-Verden, where in the former cloister of Zeven he had to capitulate on September 18 (Convention of Klosterzeven). But George II Augustus denied his recognition of the convention.
With British Hanover's defeat in the Napoléonic Wars the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia annexed the Duchy of Bremen in 1807, including Zeven, before France annexed it in 1810. In 1813 the Duchy was restored to the Electorate of Hanover, which - after its upgrade to the Kingdom of Hanover in 1814 (and still ruled in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) - incorporated the Duchy in a real union and the ducal territory, including Zeven, became part of the Stade Region, established in 1823. In 1824/1825 Carl Friedrich Gauß carried out the trigonometric geodetic surveying of the Stade Region, as commissioned by King George IV of Hanover and the United Kingdom. Gauß used the tower of the Lutheran Church of St. Viti as a benchmark for his triangulations.
Local businesses include the head office of the recently created DMK dairy combine (before 2011 Nordmilch), producing milk based products such as quark under the well known (throughout Germany) "Milram" label.
- Christina of Sweden Monument
- Fire Brigade Museum (German: Feuerwehrmuseum)
- Gauß Memorial Room
- Museum Kloster Zeven in the former monastery
- Queen Christina House (German: Königin-Christine-Haus or Christinenhaus)
- Saint Viti Lutheran Church
- Vitus-Brunnen, fountain named after Saint Vitus
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zeven.|
- Landesbetrieb für Statistik und Kommunikationstechnologie Niedersachsen, Fortgeschriebene Einwohnerzahlen zum 31. Dezember 2012
- Beate Christine Fiedler, 'Die Entwicklung der schwedischen Staatsform im 17. Jahrhundert und ihre Auswirkung auf die deutschen Provinzen Bremen und Verden', In: Landschaft und regionale Identität: Beiträge zur Geschichte der ehemaligen Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden und des Landes Hadeln, Heinz-Joachim Schulze (ed.), Stade: Landschaftsverband der ehemaligen Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden, 1989, (Schriftenreihe des Landschaftsverbandes der ehemaligen Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden; vol. 3), pp. 84–96, here p. 92.
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