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Hildesheim facts for kids

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Coat of arms of {{{official_name}}}
Coat of arms
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Hildesheim
78 m (256 ft)
 • Total 103,249
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 05121
Vehicle registration HI

Hildesheim is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is in the district of Hildesheim and is about 30 km southeast of Hannover. The city is on the banks of the Innerste river, which is a smaller river that flows into the Leine river. It can be reached from Autobahn A7, which links Kassel, Göttingen and Hannover.

It has about 110,000 people living there.


Hildesheim um 1900
Hildesheim Town Hall, c.1895

Hildesheim is one of the oldest cities in North Germany. The city may have been founded when the bishop moved from Elze to the Innerste ford, where it was an important market on the Hellweg trade route. The settlement soon grew into a town which was awarded market rights by King Otto III in 983. Originally the market was held on a street called Old Market (Alter Markt), which still exists today. The first market place was laid out around Saint Andrew's Church. As the city grew larger, a bigger market place became more important. The current market place of Hildesheim was made at the start of the 13th century when the city had about 5,000 people living there. When Hildesheim got city rights in 1249, it was one of the biggest cities in Northern Germany. For four centuries the clergy ruled Hildesheim, before a city hall was built and the citizens gained some influence and independence. Construction of the present City Hall started in 1268, and in 1367 Hildesheim became a member of the Hanseatic League. A war between the citizens and their bishop cost dearly in 1519-1523 when they engaged in a feud. Hildesheim became Protestant in 1542, and only the cathedral and a few other buildings remained in imperial (catholic) hands. Several villages around the city remained catholic as well. In 1813, after the Napoleonic Wars, the town became part of the Kingdom of Hanover, which was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866 as a province.

The city had bombs dropped on it in World War II, but the bombing had little importance in the war. 28.5% of the houses were destroyed and 44.7% damaged. 26.8% of the houses had no damage. The center, which still had its medieval character until then, was almost levelled. As in many cities, priority was given to rapid building of badly needed housing, and concrete structures took the place of the destroyed buildings. Fortunately, most of the major churches, two of them now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, were rebuilt in the original style soon after the war. During the war, valuable world heritage materials had been hidden in the basement of the city wall. In 1978, the University of Hildesheim was founded. In the 1980s a reconstruction of the historic center began. Some of the new concrete buildings near the marketplace were torn down. Replicas of the original buildings were built in their place.

Population history

Year Population
1400 around 6,000
1450 around 8,000
1648 around 5,500
1803 11,108
1825 12,630
1849 14,651
1871 20,801
December 1, 1875 ¹ 22,581
December 1, 1890 ¹ 33,481
December 1, 1900 ¹ 42,973
December 1, 1910 ¹ 50,239
October 8, 1919 ¹ 53,499
June 16, 1925 ¹ 58,522
June 16, 1933 ¹ 62,519
May 17, 1939 ¹ 72,101
September 13, 1950 ¹ 65,531
June 6, 1961 ¹ 96,296
December 31, 1970 93,400
June 30, 1975 106,000
June 30, 1980 102,700
June 30, 1985 100,900
January 1, 1989 103,512
June 30, 1997 105,700
December 31, 2002 103,448

¹ census data

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Hildesheim para niños

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