|In search of a suitable naval base on the North Sea Coast of Prussia, which at that time had grown strong, acquired 313 hectares of the Jade area from the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg in 1848 for the purpose of setting up its own "Naval Establishment". |
On 17th June 1869 King Wilhelm 1, who later became the German Kaiser, inaugurated the port and gave the settlement around the naval installations its name. In 1873 Wilhelmshaven, which had in the meantime grown by 109 hectares, was given the rights of a town.
In the vicinity of Wilhelmshaven the town of Rustringen was formed from the Oldenburg communities of Bant, Heppens and Neuende in 1911. On 1st April 1937 the towns of Wilhelmshaven and Rustringen merged to become the large town of "Wilhelmshaven". Due to the inclusion of other surrounding areas Wilhelmshaven became a city in 1938.
After the Second World War, in which Wilhelmshaven suffered considerable destruction, those with responsibility sought a new leading role for the Jade city. Consequently, within four decades a city grew up which carefully conserves and visibly maintains the witnesses of its past, but the future of which is based on clear new objectives. Naturally Wilhelmshaven, in its capacity as the largest naval base in Germany, is today still considerably influenced by the German Navy. However, the former image is long since out of date.
Nowadays the Jade city is a major economic and cultural centre on the North Sea coast with plenty of amenities.
Wilhelmshaven has the only deep-water port in Germany so the future prospects for the city lie particularly in the port and commercial sectors, but also in developing advanced energy technologies as well as further development as a centre of a culture and leisure activities.
With the "Pumpwerk" cultural centre, which is appreciated well beyond the borders of the region, the City Theatre, Municipal Hall, Art Gallery, Coast Museum, Marine Aquarium, private galleries, superb celebrations and festivals , modern Wilhelmshaven offers its guests a range of cultural activities unparalleled in this region.
Throughout the city one can perceive the close connections with the sea. South beach, which is the only one on the German North Sea Coast, is the most popular attraction. Departing from the quay here MS Wilhelmshaven sets sail on its impressive voyage to the high-sea island of Heligoland and it is from here that port sightseeing tours and romantic evening voyages depart.
The beach promenade, which remind one of southern Europe, invites you to stroll in salty North Sea air and relax in the cozy cafes and restaurants. Water sport fans find numerous activities and amateur sailors can tie up at any of a number of clubs. Wilhelmshaven is a lively and lovely city and is always a resort worth visiting.