Juleum Novum, building of the former University of Helmstedt
|• Mayor||Heinz-Dieter Eisermann (Ind.)|
|• Total||46.97 km2 (18.14 sq mi)|
|• Density||490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Helmstedt (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛlmˌʃtɛt]) is a town on the eastern edge of the German state of Lower Saxony. It is the capital of the District of Helmstedt. The historic university and Hanseatic city conserves an important monumental heritage of Romanesque and Renaissance buildings, as well as numerous timber framed houses. During the German partition the nearby Bundesautobahn 2 was the site of the Helmstedt–Marienborn border crossing, the most important on the former inner German border as starting point of the shortest land route between West Germany and West Berlin.
Helmstedt is situated in a basin between the Elm and Lappwald hill ranges, at the transition area between the northern foothills of the Harz mountains and the North German Plain. It is surrounded by the Elm-Lappwald Nature Park. The town centre is located about 36 kilometres (22 mi) east of Braunschweig, 45 kilometres (28 mi) west of Magdeburg, and 90 kilometres (56 mi) east of the state capital Hanover.
The municipal area includes the localities of Barmke and Emmerstedt, both incorporated by a 1974 administrative reform, as well as the resort town of Bad Helmstedt, about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) east of the town centre. Helmstedt currently has about 23,000 inhabitants (2013).
The settlement in the Duchy of Saxony was first mentioned as Helmonstede in a 952 deed issued by the German king Otto I. In former times also called Helmstädt, the town developed in the vicinity of the Benedictine St. Ludger's Abbey that was founded around 800 by Saint Liudger as a mission station. Helmstedt's town privileges were documented in 1247. It belonged to the Abbacy of Werden until 1490, when it was bought by the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg. From 1576 to 1810, the University of Helmstedt was located here.
From the late 1940s to 1990, the town was the site of a major border crossing between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. The main rail and autobahn route between West Germany and Berlin, across the GDR, began at the Helmstedt–Marienborn border crossing, also known as Checkpoint Alpha. Official military traffic from NATO countries to West Berlin was only allowed to use this route.
- Franz Heinrich Ludolf Ahrens, classicist
- Bibiana Beglau, actress
- Victor von Bruns, physician
- Hans Krebs, military officer
- Rudolf Leuckart, biologist
- Anton August Heinrich Lichtenstein, zoologist
- Andree Wiedener, footballer
- Johann Christian Freidrich Heyer, Lutheran minister in America, First Lutheran Missionary from America to India (1841)
- Johann Andreas Graeffer (1 January 1746 —7 August 1802) botanist and nurseryman remembered by garden historians as having introduced a number of exotic plants to British gardens and to have worked for the king of Naples at the Palace of Caserta.
In addition, see the list of famous students and professors of the University of Helmstedt.
- Vitré, France since 1978
- Chard, United Kingdom since 1980
- Albuquerque, United States since 1983
- Fiuggi, Italy since 1986
- Haldensleben, Germany since 1990
- Svetlahorsk, Belarus since 1991
- Orăştie, Romania since 2002
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Helmstedt". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Landesbetrieb für Statistik und Kommunikationstechnologie Niedersachsen, 102 Bevölkerung - Basis Zensus 2011, Stand 31. Dezember 2013 (Tabelle K1020014)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Helmstedt.|
- Official site (in German)
- District Emmerstedt (in German)
- Helmstedt-CITYTOUR (photo-gallery)
- Map of Helmstedt
- Photos and information on Helmstedt's role in Allied military rail operations in 1969-70
- Riding with the locomotive engineer (engine driver) across the former intra-German frontier in 2005