On the other bank of the River Weser: Nordenham and Blexen

Looking over the Weser estuary, the town of Nordenham together with downriver Blexen can easily be seen from Bremerhaven on a clear day. That part belonged to the state of Oldenburg until 1946 and, since then, to the state of Lower Saxony. Nordenham(m) was the name for a local estate in the 18th century. But in the 19th century, it began to include a number of villages growing in population, comprising also the villages of Einswarden and Atens. These all merged finally to form an important regional industrial site on the Weser estuary. In 1864, the first piers were constructed, mainly for cattle export to England. In 1875, the railway network reached Nordenham. From 1890 to 1897, North German Lloyd steamers sailed from Nordenham for their transatlantic destinations while the port facilities at Bremerhaven were being enlarged.

The most important enterprises located in Nordenham were:

  • Deutsche Dampffischereigesellschaft „Nordsee“ AG (1896-1934) – a fish factory
  • Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke AG (since 1899) - cable works
  • Midgard-Deutsche Seeverkehrs AG, heute Rhenus-Midgard (since 1905) – transportation
  • Schiffswerft Frerichs & Co. AG (1905-1935) – a shipyard
  • Metallwerke Unterweser AG, heute Metaleurop GmbH (since 1906) –metal works
  • Superphosphatfabrik AG Nordenham, later Guano Werke AG (1906-1988) – a super phosphate plant
  • Weserflug, today Airbus (since 1935) – aircraft works
  • Yard of Gutehoffnungshütte Sterkrade AG (1956-1990) – a special yard for floating docks

In 1908, Nordenham was legally raised to the status of an urban community. Downriver Blexen was integrated in 1933, but this village has much older roots. It is mentioned as far back as 850 and existed about a hundred years earlier. A notable historical building is the St. Hippolyt church in Blexen, dating from the 12th/13th century with a clock tower from the 17th century. But an important landmark today is the neighbouring titanium production plant of Kronos-Titan GmbH, which began operations in 1969.

Local history is displayed in the Nordenham museum.

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