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Cuxhaven is located at the mouth of the Elbe in Lower Saxony. The tip marks the ball beacon. To the west of this are the spa areas Döse, Duhnen and Sahlenburg, to the east of which is the city center with the ferry port, fishing port, packaging industry (canned fish, e.g. Husmann & Hahn). With around 48,000 inhabitants, Cuxhaven is not a particularly large city, but with 3 million overnight stays per year, it is one of the largest North Sea spas in Germany.

To this day, urban development has been in the area of ​​tension between tourism, the port industry and industrial settlement. The discussion about the deep water port e.g. is unforgotten. However, the development in tourism has proven to be more constant. The production of components for offshore wind turbines has been added as a new branch of industry.

Until 1937 Cuxhaven belonged to Hamburg. During the reorganization, the city was ceded to Prussia as an exchange for two cities located near the Hanseatic city. From 1945 to 1964, numerous rockets were launched near Cuxhaven. The only traces of this are a hollow in the ground along the forest path between Arensch and Sahlenburg and some remains of bunkers nearby.

Cuxhaven is a mostly quiet city. If you're looking for big activities and parties, the city is an unsuitable destination.

Neighboring communities are Nordholz, with a share on the North Sea coast, location of the Nordholz / Cuxhaven airfield, with a direct rail connection, Wanna, Nordleda, Neuenkirchen (Hadeln), Otterndorf on the Lower Elbe, with a direct rail connection. In addition, Cuxhaven joins the Hamburg area of ​​Neuwerk.



Place name
The name Cuxhaven, which was handed down only late, is traditionally traced back to the Low German word koog, "dyed-in land". However, the historical forms of name such as Kuckshafen (1570), Kukeshaven (1577) and Kuxhaven (1594) - Koogshaven did not appear until around 1700 - whose -u and -k- hardly allow such a derivation, speak against this. The defining word is therefore based much more on Germanic * kuk- from Indo-European * gug- "ball, hump, hill"; Namely, the elevated location on the alluvial shore should have been. It is also questionable whether the basic word actually contains “port”; A reinterpretation from Middle Low German hove "yard, garden, fence" or Middle Low German hāge (n) "fenced land" is also possible.

Middle age
While urn finds and an on 4000 BC. The large stone grave dated to the 3rd century BC shows a long history of settlement in the area, the city of Cuxhaven is still relatively young compared to other cities in Germany.

In 1394 Messrs Lappe ceded Ritzebüttel Castle to Hamburg. In the following centuries Ritzebüttel was a Hamburg base against piracy and a safe haven. In 1530 and 1570 two kays were diked, which were expanded in the 17th century, but were then completely lost again by the Elbe river by 1785.

Development of the urban area
On December 4, 1872, the Ritzebüttel area was united with the port settlement of Cuxhaven to form the hamburg rural community of Cuxhaven.

To enforce the continental barrier, Fort Napoleon and Fort du Phare near Cuxhaven were built in 1812. After the unification of the empire, Cuxhaven also became important militarily. In 1883 the first naval units were stationed. Fort Kugelbake (1869 and 1879) and Fort Thomsen (1905/08) were supposed to secure the mouth of the Elbe and the access to the new Kiel Canal.

In civil shipping, a system on the Hamburg-America Line was important from 1889, from which not only liner traffic led across the Atlantic, but also started the world's first cruise on the Augusta Victoria in 1891.

With the incorporation of Döse (1905) a population of 10,000 was reached. On March 15, 1907, Cuxhaven received city rights (for the history of Ritzebuettel from 1394 to 1937, see there). In 1907 the sea fish market was built according to plans by Friedrich Duge and Duge was a fisheries inspector until 1919.

During the First World War, British air forces flew from makeshift aircraft carriers and, with the support of the Royal Navy, flew the so-called Christmas attack on December 25, 1914 to hit the naval base in Cuxhaven and the airships and hangars at Nordholz Air Base. Due to unfavorable weather and early detection and defense, the damage remained minor.

In 1925, the Cuxhavener Omnibusgesellschaft (COG) was founded by Walter Reineke with its headquarters in the residential and commercial building on Deichstrasse 9.

In 1922 the housing construction company Cuxhavener Bauhütte was founded by the labor movement. The Bauhütte with its managing director Karl Olfers (1888–1968) (SPD) built many residential buildings with the clinker facades that characterize Cuxhaven.

With the introduction of the Hamburg City Code on January 2, 1924, Cuxhaven left the Ritzebüttel rulership and was thus, together with Hamburg, Geesthacht and Bergedorf, an independent city in the Hamburg state. With the Greater Hamburg Law of 1937, Cuxhaven passed from Hamburg to the Prussian province of Hanover. However, Hamburg retained some rights to the ports. Until January 1, 1993, the Amerika-Hafen and the Steubenhöft were owned by Hamburg, although they belong to the city of Cuxhaven. A district watch of the Hamburg water protection police is still in Cuxhaven. From 1933 to 1945 the district house of the NSDAP with the name Karl-Kaufmann-Haus (Hamburg Gauleiter) was in the Villa Marienstraße 50.

In 1969 the islands of Neuwerk and Scharhörn, together with the mudflats, returned to the ownership of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, which planned to build a deep-water port there. In return, Lower Saxony received smaller areas for the expansion of the Cuxhaven fishing port. On October 28, 2005, Lower Saxony's Minister of Economic Affairs, Walter Hirche, and Hamburg's Senator for Economic Affairs, Gunnar Uldall, signed the State Treaty on the lifting of the container blocking clause in the Hamburg City Hall. This paved the way for unrestricted further development of the Cuxhaven port.


Between 1945 and 1964 various experimental rocket launches were carried out near Cuxhaven.

Until 1977 Cuxhaven was an independent city; today it belongs to the newly formed district of Cuxhaven and is the seat of the district administration. Its current area of ​​162 km², with approx. 21 km east-west and 14.5 km north-south, the city achieved through numerous incorporations between 1935 and 1972.

The Lower Saxony day with more than 300,000 guests took place in 2007 from July 6th to 8th in Cuxhaven.

The rural community of Cuxhaven emerged on December 4, 1872 from the Ritzebüttel area and the port settlement of Cuxhaven. In 1905 Döse was incorporated and Cuxhaven became a town on March 15, 1907.

When the law on the incorporation of the rural communities of Groden, Westerwisch, Süderwisch, Stickenbüttel, Duhnen and Neuwerk with Scharhörn came into force on February 6, 1935, these communities, which at that time also belonged to the state of Hamburg, were assigned to the area of ​​the city of Cuxhaven with effect from March 1, 1935.

The communities Holte-Spangen and Sahlenburg were incorporated on June 1, 1970 and Berensch-Arensch on February 1, 1971. Altenbruch, Altenwalde and Lüdingworth followed on July 1, 1972. All of these incorporated places come from the Landkreis Hadeln.



Cuxhaven is located on the northern tip of Lower Saxony and is surrounded by water on two sides. The northernmost point of Lower Saxony is located in the district of Döse. This geographical location gives the city a special attraction for tourism, but also gives it special problems with regard to the economic connection to the hinterland.

The highest point in the city is the Altenwalder Höhe (37.5 m above sea level); former location of Altenwalder Castle on an old Saxon burial ground.

Due to the peripheral location and the historical affiliation of the city to Hamburg, two economic focal points developed: fishing and tourism. In addition to the core city, Cuxhaven includes a number of incorporated villages that are spread over a comparatively large area. While the port developed from the old Cuxhaven center around the Lotsenviertel and Ritzebüttel Castle, the health resorts of Döse, Duhnen and Sahlenburg, which are located to the west of this center and belong to the urban area, form the focus of tourism.