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Neustadt in Holstein is situated at the Bay of Lübeck of the Baltic Sea. The harbour town has a population of about 16,200 (2004).
Neustadt was founded in 1244 as the 'new town' of the older town of Altenkrempe. The fishermen's union of Neustadt was founded in 1474 and is the oldest in Germany. During the Middle Ages the town was destroyed several times by fires and wars. The railway line from Kiel via Plön to Eutin and Neustadt (Ostholsteinische Eisenbahn) was opened in 1866. Since the late 19th century Neustadt is also a popular tourist resort. The predicate 'Ostseebad', which had always been popular, was officially recognized in 1973.
The Town Church [left] was built in the 13th century in Gothic style. Its oldest part is the choir which was begun in 1238/1244. The three naves date from the last quarter of the 13th century. The west tower was begun in 1334; the upper part of the tower with its steeple roof, however, was only built in 1844–1846. The frescoes in the interior are dated to 1334 and only were rediscovered in 1957. Since the Reformation, the church is used by the Lutheran community. The Baroque altar was created in 1643 by the Hamburg sculptor Zacharias Hübener for the cathedral of Schleswig and was brought to Neustadt in 1666.
The Kremper Tor [left] is the only town gate that has remained from the medieval fortifications. Its lower parts date from the time of the town's foundation in 1244. Since 1908 the Kremper Tor is home of the Ostholstein museum.
On the 3rd of May 1945 the 'Cap Arcona', a former luxury liner of the HamburgSouth America Line, was sunk in the waters off Neustadt. From 1940 on the liner had been used by the German Navy and remained in the Baltic Sea. In late 1944 and early 1945 the ship was used to evacuate refugees from East Prussia. On the 14th of April it was abandoned by the Navy because it was no longer manoeuvrable. On the 26th of April 1945 prisoners of the concentration camps at Neuengamme near Hamburg, Stutthof (Sztutowo) near Danzig (Gdańsk) and Mittelbau-Dora near Nordhausen were forced onto the 'Cap Arcona' and two smaller ships, the 'Thielbek' and the 'Athen', with the intention to sink the ships as an operation to cover up the crimes committed in the camps. The 'Cap Arcona' and the 'Thielbek' were anchored off-shore, the 'Athen' luckily remained in Neustadt harbour. On the 3rd of May 1945 all three ships were hit by Allied air forces who had mistaken the unmarked ships for vessels of the German Navy. About 7,500 prisoners drowned or were shot by the SS or by British airplanes when they tried to reach land. Only about 500 inmates survived. The 'Athen' escaped the disaster. A memorial on the island of Poel and another memorial at Haffkrug commemorate this incident. A part of the Ostholstein museum in Neustadt is also devoted to this disaster. The wreckage of the 'Cap Arcona' was recovered in 1950 and the steel parts were scrapped. The 'Thielbek' was refloated, repaired and returned to service under the name 'Reinbek'. Under the names 'Magdalene' and 'Old Warrior' it stayed in use until it finally was scrapped in 1974 in Split. The 'Athen' was acquried by the Soviet Union as part of reparations and was renamed 'General Brusilov'. In 1947 the ship was presented to Poland and as 'Waryński' sailed until 1973. Since then it is used as a floating warehouse in the harbour of Szczecin.
Further places called Neustadt, of which glasses are in this collection, are: