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History of Geestemünde

Around 1850, the Kingdom of Hanover (surrounding Bremerhaven) was interested in developing trade and shipping and had impressive port installations built at Emden, Leer and Harburg. This was also the background of the foundation of the city of Geestemünde on June 10th 1845. Competition with neighbouring Bremerhaven (founded in 1827) was the main reason. In 1847, the new settlement at the mouth of the River Geeste was given the name Geestemünde by the Hanover king Ernst August II. In 1857, the Hanover government started the construction works. In July 1863, a first artificial basin, the Handelshafen, was inaugurated.

Following the short Prussian-Austrian War in 1866, Geestemünde was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia along with the whole former Hanover kingdom. The young port city boomed, some shipyards moved from Bremerhaven to Geestemünde, others such as the Seebeck yard were founded there (in this case in 1876). From 1875 on, Geestemünde became a significant port for American petroleum; the timber handling port went into service in 1877. The fish industry became more and more dominant after the 1880s. In 1889, neighbouring Geestendorf was incorporated. In 1908, about 25,000 inhabitants lived in Geestemünde.

Legally raised to the status of an urban community in 1913, the town was united with Lehe in the north and renamed Wesermünde. Since 1947, Geestemünde has formed a part of the city of Bremerhaven.

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