Port in Prussian times
04.07.2009 - 25.10.2009
Today, one knows Geestemünde on the North Sea coast as a part of the town of Bremerhaven. Only a few traces remind you of the fact that Geestemünde was once an independent port. The Kingdom of Hanover originally established the harbour in 1845 to compete with neighbouring Bremerhaven.
From 1866 in Prussian times Geestemünde experienced urban and economic growth and developed an independent profile as a port. Geestemünde was the biggest paraffin harbour in Germany in the 1880s. The fishing port, opened in 1896, became the biggest on the European continent. With the expanding shipyards of Tecklenborg, Rickmers and Seebeck there were important international shipbuilding companies in Geestemünde.
From the 1880s Geestemünde developed into a municipality with its own character. Power stations, a hospital, a town museum, and a cinema were opened. The economic crisis as a result of the First World War ended Geestemünde’s economic prosperity. In 1924 the town merged with neighbouring Lehe to form the city of Wesermünde.
For the first time, a special exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Geestemünde as a port in Prussian times. As a supplement to the permanent exhibitions in the Historisches Museum Bremerhaven this special exhibition presents the almost forgotten port in a photographic tour. In theme rooms, impressive historical photographs bring to life the heyday of the Prussian port.
Guided tours and a museum educational program accompany the special exhibition. The "Geestemünde historical workshop" is aimed at school classes in particular. Pupils are introduced to the history of Geestemünde in a variety of ways and can actively search for traces of the past.