|Bundesland: Freie Hansestadt Bremen
• alt: Wesermünde
• lt: Brėmerhafenas
• lv: Brēmerhāfene
• el: Μπρεμερχάφεν
• bg, mk, ru, sr, uk: Бремерхафен
• be: Брэмэргафэн, Брэмергафен
Bremerhaven is situated on the mouth of the Weser river and is Germany's biggest North Sea coastal town.
It is part of the state of the Free Hanseatic town Bremen (although separated from it by a distance of 60 km).
Bremerhaven was founded in 1827 as a new outer port of Bremen on water deep enough for ocean-going ships. The port was chartered as a city in 1851.
The neighbouring towns of Lehe and Geestemünde were united in 1927 under the name Wesermünde. In 1939 Bremerhaven was annexed to
Wesermünde and thus became part of the Prussian Province Hannover (only the sea port remained with Bremen).
During World War II Wesermünde and the port Bremerhaven were severly destroyed by allied bombings.
After the war Wesermünde and Bremen (with the port Bremerhaven) were part of the American occupation zone and formed an enclave within the British zone
(see map of the allied occupation zones in 1945).
In 1947 Wesermünde and the port Bremerhaven were united under the name Bremerhaven and the united city was transferred back to Bremen.
Today Bremerhaven has a population of about 130,000 people and is Europe's biggest car transhipment centre with
more than 750,000 vehicles exported and imported through it per year.
Glasses no. 2204 [left] and 3488 [right] show the
harbour entrance; both images are identical as they were mounted on the glasses
as thin transfer prints, but the colouriing, which was done by hand, is slightly different. (Further examples of such
glasses in this collection are listed here.)
The Bremerhaven lighthouse [right, no. 3488: left],
also known as the Simon Loschen tower or Loschen-lighthouse, is the rear light of a pair of Leading lights at
the "New Harbour" of Bremerhaven. It is the oldest operative lighthouse on the mainland along Germany's North Sea shore and
is counted among the city's landmarks. From 1853 to 1855 the lighthouse was built in the style of northern German Brick
Gothic at the northern side of the harbour's lock from 1852, using plans by architect Simon Loschen from
Bremen. It went operational in 1856. Next to the lighthouse there is another brick house that used
to serve as a quarters and service building for the lighthouse and lock keepers and was partially destroyed during World
War II. The fire was first lit by a gas flame and was later electrified in 1925. It was automated in 1951.
The original range of leading lights pointing down the river Weser was replaced by another lighting in 1959. For the
upstream range that is still in use today, the tower still serves as the rear light. The corresponding front light is
situated in a small red and white lighthouse on the southern pier of the lock, also called "the minaret" by locals.
Geestemünde was first mentioned in 1139. When Bremen founded its new sea port Bremerhaven
to the north of the mouth of the river Geeste into the Weser, the Kingdom of Hannover also built a new port,
Geestemünde, on the southern bank of the Geeste in 1845/47. The port was enlarged and modernized in 1856–1863. With Hannover,
Geestemünde became part of Prussia (Province Hannover) in 1866. In 1927 Geestemünde and Lehe were united under the new name Wesermünde.
Bremerhaven was annexed to Wesermünde in 1939. After World War II Wesermünde was renamed Bremerhaven and was returned to the state of Bremen (see above).
The Fischereihafen I (fishing harbour I) [left, no. 1486] was built in 1891–1896 in
Geestemünde. At the same time a sailor's home was opened. The Royal Prussian Nautic Engineers' School (Königlich Preussische Seemaschinistenschule)
opened in 1899. In 1908 the Fischereihafen-Betriebsgenossenschaft (FBG; Fishing Port Operation Cooperative)
became in charge of unloading the fishing trawlers. The fishing port grew rapidly and as a consequence the village of Geestemünde obtained
the status of a town in 1913. The Institut für Seefischerei (Institute for Sea Fishing), founded in 1919, became the precursor of the
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (formed in 1980). After the incorporation in 1920 of Wulsdorf into Geestemünde,
the Fischereihafen II was built in 1921–1925. Around 1938, the fishing port was the most important of its kind in continental Europe,
with 21 shipping companies operating 193 fish trawlers and 194 fish wholesalers and 56 factories processing some 280,000 tons of fish.
After 1960 the port lost much of its former importance. In 1971 Fischereihafen became a city district of Bremerhaven.
The former Bremer Landstraße was renamed Georgstraße in 1860. The former country road was developed to become the
main street of Geestemünde.
The lower left picture on glass no. 2884 shows the restaurant in the
Bürgerpark ('Citizens' Park'). Plans for a park were made already in 1899 by a private
association. However, it took until 1906 that the association had raised enough money to start the project. The park was finally inaugurated
on 1 June 1908.
The bilding depicted on the lower rightpicture of glass no. 2884 is labeled
Fischerei Restaurant (fishing restaurant) "Hollmeyer".
The building was created in 1896/1897 and also housed the sailors' home (until 1913) and a post office.
The building was destroyed during an air raid in 1944.
The picture on glass no. 1425 [left] shows the
steamship "Kronprinz Wilhelm" of the Norddeutscher Lloyd company.
It was built in 1901 in the Vulcan shipyards of Stettin (now Szczecin, PL). Like the older "Kaiser Wilhelm der Große",
the first four-funnel steamship built in 1897, it was a four-stacker, with the four funnels chracteristically grouped in two pairs.
The Norddeutscher Lloyd had commissioned the ship because the "Deutschland" of the
Hamburg-Amerika (HAPAG) Line took the Blue Riband from her rival in 1900. Somewhat larger (length 203 m, tonnage 14,908 gross tons) than the "Kaiser Wilhelm der Große", the
"Kronprinz Wilhelm" outmatched the older ship when it came to the interiors. Although the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" (service speed 22 knots)
could win back the Blue Riband for the westbound journey in 1902, the "Deutschland" soon regained the prize in the following year.
At the beginning of World War I, the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" was
transformed into a merchant cruiser. After eight months at sea she had captured and sunken 14 ships with a combined tonnage of 58,201.
The ship, however, was in a terrible condition by then and in 1915 managed to make it into American (then still neutral) waters,
where she and her crew were interned at Newport News by the US authorities. When the US entered the war in 1917 the ship was confiscated
to be as a troopship, now renamed "USS Von Steuben". After the war the "Von Steuben" was handed over to the United States Shipping Board.
As a result of her poor condition she remained laid up until 1923 when she was finally sold for scrap to the Boston Metal Company.
The picture on glass no. 1394 [right] shows the
steamship "Kaiser Wilhelm II" of the Norddeutscher Lloyd company.
The ship was built in 1902 and was considerably larger (length 216 m, tonnage 19,361 gross tons) than her older sister ships,
the "Kaiser Wilhelm der Große" and the "Kronprinz Wilhelm".
Its interiors were so lavishly decorated that it outmatched even those of the "Kronprinz Wilhelm". However, she still could not match the "Deutschland"
for speed and also had a tendency to vibrate when steaming at high speed. Only after new propellers were fitted she managed to win the Blue Riband for
the eastbound Atlantic crossing in 1904 with an average speed of 23.6 knots and held this record until 1907.
In 1907 a fourth ship, the "Kronprinzessin Cecilie", was delivered from the Vulcan shipyards and the quartet soon had won
a reputation of grandeur, reliability and speed. It did not take long before they were commonly known as "The Four Flyers".
At the outbreak of World War I, the "Kaiser Wilhelm II" was on her way to New York and she
was immediately interned by the US authorities at her pier in Hoboken. Like the "Kronprinz Wilhelm", she was confiscated to become a
troop transporter in 1917, now renamed "USS Agamemnon". She had much less luck and was involved in several collisions and mishaps
including a collision in 1917 with the "USS Von Steuben" (the former "Kronprinz Wilhelm") and a near-collision in 1918 with the
"USS Mount Vernon" (the former "Kronprinzessin Cecilie"). After the war the ship was used for repatriation voyages until 1920.
After that she was laid up together with the "Mount Vernon" in the Patuxent River, in the backwaters of Chesapeake Bay.
Renamed "Monticello" she remained laid up until 1940 when the two ships were offered to Great Britain for use as troop transports.
Due to their bad condition the British declined to put the ships in use again. Instead, the two former ocean liners were sold to
the Boston Iron & Metal Co. of Baltimore for scrapping the same year.
The steamship "Kronprinzessin Cecilie" [left, no. 1758]
was the fourth of the famous "Four Flyers" of the Norddeutscher Lloyd company. The ship, a virtual copy of the "Kaiser Wilhelm II", was built
in 1907, again at the Vulcan shipyards of Stettin (Szczecin). The ship should have left on her maiden voyage
from Bremerhaven in July 1907, but unfortunately she sank when still in Bremerhaven harbour. Only on the 6th of August she was finally
pumped out and repaired. The lavish interiors made her a popular ship for millionaires, but she also carried many emigrants. Tickets were
sold from $2,500 for first-class passengers down to a mere $25 for the cheapest accomodation. At the beginning of World War I
the "Kronprinzessin Cecilie" was in mid-Atlantic heading for Germany. In order to avoid being confiscated when trying to enter the
Baltic Sea, her captain decided to turn back for the still neutral United States. In America the ship and her crew were interned at Boston.
When the United States entered the war in 1917 the ship was confiscated like both of her remaining sister ships (the "Kaiser Wilhelm der Große"
had been sunk in 1914). The "Kronprinzessin Cecilie" was renamed "Mount Vernon" for military purposes, and several war-time
changes were made. In September 1918 the ship was hit by a German torpedo in her aft engine room while she was transporting wounded
soldiers back to America. Although the explosion killed 37 men the ship managed to return to Brest, France, at a speed of 15 knots.
After the war the ship remained under American authority and served as troop transporter. When World War II broke out in 1939
the Americans offered the ship to the British, but she was considered too old then. The ship remained in
Chesapeake Bay until 1940, when she was finally towed away and was scrapped at Baltimore.
The lighthouse "Roter Sand" ('Red Sand') [far left, barely visible]
is located in the North Sea 6 nautic miles northeast of the island of Wangerooge, about three hours off the estuary of the Weser river.
At the time of its construction in 1882–1885 it was the world's first off-shore building.
The total height of the tower including its underwater foundation is 52.5 m; at low tide it rises almost 31 m above the water.
For 79 years the lighthouse guided the ships to the port of Bremerhaven and also warned them from the dangerous shoal Roter Sand.
For thousands of German emigrants it also was the last greating of the country they left.
Because the weak foundations precluded a modernisation the new lighthouse 'Alte Weser' went on duty in 1965.
Original plans to leave 'Roter Sand' to the forces of the sea were abandoned since the tower was a beloved off-shore landmark of Bremerhaven.
In 1982/83 the lighthouse was protected as a historical monument.
The foundations were secured in 1987, the tower was newly painted in 1989 and further restoration works were carried in the following years.
Since 1999 the former lighthouse is used as a romantic lodge.
Several glasses of this collection show other ships.