Spandau

From Academic Kids

Spandau is the westernmost borough (Bezirk) of Berlin, situated at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers and along the western bank of the Havel. It encompasses an area of 91.91 kmē and has (as of 2003) about 226.100 inhabitants. Its current mayor is Konrad Birkholz (CDU).

History

The history of Spandau begins in the 7th or 8th century, when the Slav Heveller first settled in the area and later built a fortress there. It is conquered in 928 by the German King Henry I, but returns to Slavic rule later in the 10th century.

In 1156, the Ascanian Earl Albrecht von Ballenstedt ("Albrecht the Bear") takes possession of the region. 1197 marks the first mention of Spandau in a document - then called Spandowe. It is given City rights in 1232. During the Ascanian Rule the construction of the Spandau Citadel begins, which is completed between 1559 and 1594 by Joachim II of Brandenburg. The city was surrendered to the Swedes in 1634.

In 1806, after the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt, French troops under Napoleon take possession of the city and stay there until 1807. In 1812, Napoleon returns and the Spandau Citadel is sieged in 1813 by Prussian and Russian Troops.

In 1920, Spandau (whose name had been changed from Spandow in 1878) is incorporated into Berlin as a borough. Before World War I, the city was a seat of large government cannon foundaries, factories for making gunpowder and other munitions of war.

After World War II, it was part of the British Occupation Zone in West Berlin and the Spandau Prison was built to house Nazi war criminals who were sentenced to imprisonment at the Nuremberg Trials. After the death of Rudolf Hess, the prison's last inmate, it was completely destroyed by the allied powers.

Places of interest

External links

de:Spandau

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