1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Oldenburg (town)

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OLDENBURG, a town of Germany, and capital of the grand duchy of Oldenburg. It is a quiet and pleasant-looking town, situated 27 m. by rail W. of Bremen, on the navigable Hunte and the Hunte-Ems canal. Pop. (1905), including the suburbs, 28,565. The inner or old town, with its somewhat narrow streets, is surrounded by avenues laid out on the site of the former ramparts, beyond which are the villas, promenades and gardens of the modern quarters. Oldenburg has almost nothing to show in the shape of interesting old buildings. The Evangelical Lambertikirche, though dating from the 13th century, has been so transformed in the last century (1874–1886) as to show no trace of its antiquity. The palaces of the grand-duke and the old town-hall are Renaissance buildings of the 17th and 18th centuries. Among the other prominent buildings—all modern—are the palace of the heir apparent, the new townhall, the theatre, the law-courts, the gymnasium, the commercial school, the three hospitals and the new Roman Catholic church. The grand-ducal picture gallery in the Augusteum includes works by Veronese, Velasquez, Murillo and Rubens, and there are collections of modern paintings and sculptures in the two palaces. The public library contains 110,000 volumes and the duke's private library 55,000. There is also a large natural history museum and a museum with a collection of antiquities. The industries of Oldenburg, which are of no great importance, include iron-founding, spinning and the making of glass, tobacco, gloves, soap and leather. A considerable trade is carried on in grain, and the horse fairs are largely frequented. According to popular tradition Oldenburg was founded by Walbert, grandson of the Saxon hero, Widukind, and was named after his wife Altburga, but the first historical mention of it occurs in a document of 1108. It was fortified in 115s, and received a municipal charter in 1345. The subsequent history of the town is merged in that of the grand duchy.

See Sello, Historische Wanderung durch die Stadt Oldenburg (Oldenburg, 1896); and Alt-Oldenburg (Oldenburg, 1903); and Kohl, Die Allmende der Stadt Oldenburg (Oldenburg, 1903).