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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Otterndorf
Map of Germany, position of the city of Otterndorf highlighted

Coordinates: 53 ° 48 '  N , 8 ° 54'  E

Basic data
State : Lower Saxony
County : Cuxhaven
Joint municipality : Land Hadeln
Height : 0 m above sea level NHN
Area : 33.54 km 2
Residents: 7311 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 218 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 21762
Area code : 04751
License plate : CUX
Community key : 03 3 52 046

City administration address :
Marktstrasse 21
21762 Otterndorf
Website :
Mayor : Thomas Bullwinkel ( CDU )
Location of the city of Otterndorf in the district of Cuxhaven
Nordsee Schleswig-Holstein Bremerhaven Landkreis Osterholz Landkreis Rotenburg (Wümme) Landkreis Stade Landkreis Wesermarsch Armstorf Armstorf Belum Beverstedt Bülkau Cadenberge Cuxhaven Geestland Hagen im Bremischen Hechthausen Hemmoor Hollnseth Ihlienworth Lamstedt Loxstedt Mittelstenahe Neuenkirchen (Land Hadeln) Neuhaus (Oste) Nordleda Oberndorf (Oste) Odisheim Osten (Oste) Osterbruch Otterndorf Schiffdorf Steinau (Niedersachsen) Stinstedt Stinstedt Wanna Wingst Wurster Nordseeküstemap
About this picture
View from the southeast of Osterbruch
Empty inn at the lock (2014)

Otterndorf ( Low German Oterndorp ) is a small town in Lower Saxony , which is located both at the mouth of the Elbe and the Medem, which flows into the river here, and the Elbe-Weser shipping route . The North Sea resort of Otterndorf belongs to the combined municipality of Land Hadeln and the district of Cuxhaven . Its historical half-timbered old town is one of the special features .



Otterndorf is located on the northern Lower Elbe side of the district of Cuxhaven in Lower Saxony as part of the historic Land Hadeln in the Elbe-Weser triangle.

City structure

  • Otterndorf (main town)
  • Osterende Otterndorf
  • Westerende Otterndorf

Neighboring communities

Cuxhaven - Altenbruch district Neighboring communities Belum
Neuenkirchen Easter break



The first documentary mention of Otterndorf comes from 1261, when "Godefridus, plebanus ( pastor ) in Otterentorpe" is mentioned in a document. Otterndorf was the main town in Hadeln . In 1400 it received city ​​rights from its sovereign, Duke Erich von Sachsen-Lauenburg . The first Latin school can be traced back to the 15th century. From 1778 to 1782 Johann Heinrich Voß was the principal of the Latin School. In 1521 the preacher Gerhard first announced the new teaching of Martin Luther in Otterndorf.


On August 1, 1929, the previously independent communities Osterende Otterndorf and Westerende Otterndorf were incorporated into the community of Otterndorf.

Population development

Population development of Otterndorf from 1910 to 2017 according to the adjacent table
year Residents source
1910 1937 1
1925 19020
1933 38690
1939 40620
1950 71660
1956 66950
1961 5624 2
1970 5363 3
1973 62670
1975 6106 4
year Residents source
1980 6169 4
1985 6338 4
1990 6142 4
1995 6244 4
2000 6817 4
2005 7102 4
2010 7093 4
2015 7230 4
2018 7238 4
0 0 0

1 Information on the towns incorporated in 1929: Osterende Otterndorf (= 1280 inh.) And Westerende Otterndorf (= 997 in.)
2 Census results from June 6th
3 Census results from May 27th
4 on December 31st


City council

The council of the city of Otterndorf consists of 20 council women and councilors. This is the specified number for the member municipality of an integrated municipality with a population between 7001 and 8000 inhabitants. The council members are elected for a five-year term by local elections. The current term of office began on November 1, 2016 and ends on October 31, 2021.

The honorary mayor is also entitled to vote and sit on the city council.

The last local election on September 11, 2016 resulted in the following:

Political party Proportional votes Number of seats
SPD 45.05% 9
CDU 42.77% 9
FDP 12.16% 3

The turnout in the 2016 local elections was 61.85%, above the Lower Saxony average of 55.5%.

Two parliamentary groups were formed in the current term of office, the SPD parliamentary group and the CDU / FDP parliamentary group. The latter provides the mayor with Thomas Bullwinkel.

The 20 city councilors and the mayor meet in the following committees: management committee, building and old town renovation committee, culture and sports committee, economic committee, tourism committee and the finance committee.


The city council elected council member Thomas Bullwinkel (CDU) as honorary mayor for the current electoral term. His deputies are norms Herting (CDU) and Carsten Nickel (FDP).

Chronicle of the mayor

  • 2016 – to date: Thomas Bullwinkel (CDU)
  • 2011–2016: Claus Johannßen (SPD)
  • 1972–2011: Hermann Gerken (FDP)
  • 1950–1972: Carl Bortfeldt (CDU)
  • 1948–1950: Heinrich Himmelreich
  • 1946–1948: Carl Bortfeldt (CDU)
  • 1945–1946: Emil Dantze
  • 1942–1945: Carl Johannßen
  • 1936–1942: Adalbert Herwig (NSDAP)
  • 1933–1936: Albert Rodegerdts (NSDAP)
  • 1929–1933: Alfred Oest
  • 1903–1929: Wilhelm Haasemann
  • 1902–1903: August Billeb
  • 1901–1902: Ludolf Paysen
  • 1874–1901: Wilhelm Hüpeden
  • 1873–1874: Hesse
  • 1865–1873: Alexander Plato Sostmann
  • 1864-1865: Wilms
  • 1862–1864: Petersen
  • 1861-1862: Meyer
  • 1855–1861: Gustav Adolf Lindenhan
  • 1838–1855: Heinrich Friedrich Otto Henrici
  • 1806–1838: Johann Nicolaus Goetze
  • 1789–1806: Hinrich Matthias Goetzecke
  • 1781–1788: Hinrich Wilhelm Schmeelke
  • 1766–1781: Johann Hinrich Brütt
  • 1759–1766: Johann Jacob Mühlenhoff
  • 1727–1759: Sebastian Hackmann
  • 1723–1727: Otto Friedrich Vollhagen

Chronicle of the City Directors

coat of arms

The original design of the Otterndorf municipal coat of arms is historical. It most likely dates from the early years of the 15th century because it contains part of the ducal coat of arms and because the state of Hadeln had been pledged to the city of Hamburg for decades since 1407.

In 1948 the Lower Saxony State Archives agreed to the current coat of arms after some discrepancies in the color scheme. The coat of arms was approved by the Otterndorf Council in the main statute on September 20, 1955.

Otterndorf coat of arms
Blazon : Split ; in front: divided nine timesby black and gold , covered with an inclined and curved green diamond ring ; back: in blue on a green ground an upright golden otter . "
Justification of the coat of arms: The bar shield with the diamond wreath is the coat of arms of the historic city lord, the Duke of Saxony-Lauenburg . The otter symbolizes the place name as a speaking coat of arms . The city coat of arms goes back to the image in the seals that were used after the city charter was granted in 1400. The order of the shield halves changed at times.

Town twinning

Culture and sights


Witch broom

In some old houses these “witch brooms” are bricked up

Many of these houses have stones in the walls of the gables that are patterned like a broom; According to the superstition of the Otterndorfers, these "thunderbrooms" should ward off evil forces.

St. Severi Church

In the heart of Otterndorf's old town is the St. Severi Church , the largest and colorfully designed peasant cathedral in the Hadeln region. The Gloger organ in this church is the most important baroque organ in the historical organ landscape between the Elbe and Weser rivers.

Crane house

Crane house

The oldest parts (vestibule) date from 1585; with its baroque facade it is based on the brick buildings in Hamburg. The very large warehouse (rear building) was added around 1735. Today the "Museum of the old country of Hadeln" is housed there, it shows the life in the country, the living culture up to around 1850. Above all, scenarios and objects of the large-scale and bourgeois "representative life" are exhibited. The crane house is one of the most important architectural monuments on the left of the Lower Elbe , which got its present appearance around 1760. The baroque stone facade and the magnificent stucco ceilings were made by Elisabeth Radiek, b. Jacobsen (1714 to 1788) build. After the death of her husband, she successfully ran the spice, salt and wine trade in the Kranichhaus for over 40 years. She gave the house its current name when she had the crane set up on the roof ridge.

The crane, namesake of the house, is a symbol of vigilance. “The crane holds the stone to fight off sleep. He who surrenders to sleep never gets good and honorable. ”He stands lofty on the roof and still watches today.

The people of Otterndorf tell each other different stories about this bird on the roof ridge. Here are two examples:

“A rich Hamburg merchant who had opened a second shop in Otterndorf wanted to clarify his name with a picture. He chose the secretary bird as a symbol of his name and character. Therefore it is not a crane that stands there on the roof ledge, but a secretary bird that watches over the house and the street. "
“The other story tells that the bird the size and shape of a crane wakes up at night. With the first ring of the old bell at midnight, he opens his eyes and throws the ball held by his claws to his little brother over the door of the house. This catches the ball and throws it back almost at the same time. The big bird has been cleverly catching the ball for a year and a day in order to close its eyes at the last stroke of the bell and wait for the next midnight. "

The Kranichhaus-Gesellschaft was founded in 1957 in order to maintain the Kranichhaus together with the Cuxhaven district. The 400-member community is committed to equipping and using the house as a museum for the state of Hadeln and as an archive for the district. It also supports research and publications on cultural studies and monument preservation in cooperation with the various museums in the district. In lectures on the history of the country, local history and on excursions, the Kranichhaus Society tries to bring interested guests and locals closer to the life of the past in the Hadelner Land. Special tours are offered for children.

Yellow baroque gable house

Baroque house

This house was inhabited by the respective court director until 1768. The plastered gable only seems to be in front, as the large-format bricks can be seen in block formation on the long side.

town hall

town hall

Was built in 1583 on the ducal order: "A cellar is to be laid out and a house suitable for the town hall to be built over it". Some objects from Otterndorf's history are on display in the foyer. Oil paintings by Karl Otto Matthaei , Carl Langhein and Karl Krummacher show old city views of Otterndorf. The baroque half-timbered extension from 1685 with its wall and ceiling paintings was professionally restored in 1994/1995. The city council's meetings are still held in the town hall.

Latin school

This half-timbered house was built around 1614 using the frame construction that was common at the time . The house expands upwards in the individual floors. Since taxes had to be paid on the developed land, the usable area could be increased without changing the tax burden. The wooden lattice windows in the block frames are partly still fitted with old glass. For the infilling of the framework were bricks of various sizes used. In the roof turret originally hung a bell, but was unfortunately lost.

For many years this school was the only possibility for the rural youth, Hadler farmers and the Otterndorf citizens who could afford to acquire a general education in order to then study in the universities.

The poet and translator Johann Heinrich Voss was the rector of the Latin School from 1778 to 1782.

Gatehouse (museum)


Today the gatehouse is a local museum of the Labiau godfather circle, it was built in 1641 as a brick building and served with the castle pond as a protection system for the castle. It was mentioned as part of the old castle complex in the northwest of the Otterndorfer Dorfwurth as early as 1390. Since 1988, the museum has been showing interesting objects from East Prussian culture and history, which has become homeless. In 1952, the then district of Hadeln took on a sponsorship with the Labiau district and set up a home office in the Lamstedt agricultural school. As the successor to the Hadeln district, the Cuxhaven district renewed the sponsorship and made the larger rooms of the gatehouse available as a new museum. The inscription in the archway means: August (married to Catharina) Duke of Saxony, Engern and Westphalia.

A memorial stone of the Labiauer Landsmannschaft in a roundabout not far from the gatehouse is also intended to remind of the story. Admission is free, the opening times vary according to the season or only by appointment.

Castle, today district court

The first castle in Otterndorf existed before 1400, but it was destroyed in the armed conflict around 1400, and another was demolished before 1773 because it was in disrepair. Today's castle, located in a small park with very old trees, dates from 1773 and today houses the Otterndorf District Court .

On the big bacon

The name comes from the bank fortification. A fascine dam was built from bush and thatch to get dry feet to the landing stage for the ships (formerly flutes = flat-bottomed boats and ewer = gliders). The bank was "peppered".

The timber crane, a 5 m high, small wheel and axle - harbor crane , 6.70 m above the Medem (no Tretradkran , shaft with two-sided drive wheels under the canopy, driven by two endless ropes, reproduction from the 2nd half of the 20th century original from the time around 1750, broken off in 1942) still reminds of the brisk cargo handling of bygone times. The weekly market used to take place there every Friday. In addition, the excursion boats MS "Jens" and MS "Onkel Heinz" start their Medem cruises there.

Hadler house and town barn

Hadler house

In the middle of the village there is an impressive brick building on Marktstrasse. This big red house was built in 1792 as a merchant's house and granary, served as a hotel in the 19th century, then as a tax office. Since 1982, it is the office building of the hadeln respectively since 2011 the land hadeln . In the middle of the house there is a pressure corridor, the inner courtyard is connected to the town barn from the late 18th century on the left: It was originally used as a coach house and is now a popular and popular venue.

With the construction of the B 73a bypass road in 2009 and the completed redesign of the Otterndorf city center, which was renovated in 2013, the traffic load around these two buildings has decreased significantly, so that urban life is more popular again thanks to the greater tranquility and the use of outdoor areas could.

Ulrike Schick, who holds a doctorate in art history, has directed the museum since 1991. Four temporary exhibitions are curated annually, most of which are accompanied by a catalog. The international loans from the temporary exhibitions are complemented by selected parts of the collection and presented on the two floors of the building. As the sponsor of the museum, the district of Cuxhaven purchases works of art from the respective changing exhibitions, which contribute to the quality and completion of the collection in terms of content. The Association of Friends and Supporters of Studio A (now: Museum of Subject-Free Art), the Lower Saxony Sparkasse Foundation , the Hannover Insurance Group VGH and private individuals contribute to the further development of the collection with permanent loans.

Speicherstadt and Bullsche Speicher

Bull's memory

In Otterndorf there are many small and large storage facilities with cranes in the roof ridge. Behind the church on the Medem is the Bullsche Speicher, one of the largest brick and half-timbered warehouse buildings. Today most of the warehouses are used as residential and commercial buildings.

court House

Across from the town hall is a brick building built in 1754. This original merchant's house was used as a district office for a long time and now serves as the archive for the district of Cuxhaven. Because of the widening of the B 73, the north gable had to be taken back several times.

Voss house (museum)

Voss lived in the right house

The rectors of the Latin school once lived in the beautiful half-timbered house at Johann-Heinrich-Voss-Straße No. 8, including rector Johann Heinrich Voss in the 18th century. The street has only recently been named after him. Today the house houses an exhibition on the life and work of the poet and translator as well as a bookstore with other changing exhibitions.

Museum of non-representational art

The Cuxhaven district's museum of non-representational art has been publicly funded since 1976. Since its inception, art after 1945 has been  collected and exhibited here - initially with a focus on concrete / constructive works and Informel . In 1999 it was decided to expand the collection activities, which opened the museum to all non-objective directions of modern art. In addition to works from the collection, the house shows four high-quality temporary exhibitions every year.

De Utröper

De Utröper

This bronze sculpture by Frijo Müller-Belecke shows the Utröper, the crier who in earlier times was employed by city leaders to make news and decisions of the authorities known. In addition, the Otterndorf business people could rent the Utröper to advertise their new goods. The fishermen with fresh fish and crabs, also called “garnets” here, or traveling traders: everyone liked to ring the bell through the city.

Dike monument at the pumping station

Keen nich wants to die, de mutt wieken

Another bronze sculpture by Frijo Müller-Belecke shows a group building a dike with a cart and pulling rope. The group at the original location gives a good impression of the hardship of building the dike in earlier times. The sculpture was set up in 1996 as a donation from the water and soil associations. In 2010 the front figure was sawed off just above the boots and stolen. In April 2012, the original condition was restored with a new cast.

Leisure center lake aft Diek

Otterndorf has an extensive leisure facility on the North Sea directly behind the dike, just aft Diek . The facility offers several lakes for various water sports, a campsite with around 500 places, a holiday home area, large sunbathing lawns, a tennis facility and the "play & fun barn", in which the children have a large playground in a heated hall even in bad weather find.

Hadler legend trail

The legends from Hadler Land are presented on a cycle path in 32 stations .

Summer camp

The Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf summer camp of the state capital of Hanover is located in the Müggendorf district . There are many tented villages directly behind the dike, all of which bear the names of Hanover city districts. During the summer months, up to 700 children live and play here at the same time, who use the opportunity with their sports clubs, school classes, the youth care measures in their places of residence or as part of international youth exchanges.

Dollhouse (museum)

At Marktstrasse 12 there is a doll exhibition with around 1300 dolls from 1890 to today; In addition to dolls, dollhouses and stuffed animals are shown.

Wrecks off Otterndorf

Stern of the Kaffraria

Many ships sank or stranded on the Elbe near Otterndorf. One of these ships is the English steamer Kaffraria . He stranded on January 7, 1891 on the way to Hamburg near Otterndorf at the Glameyer Stack . His cargo consisted of glass and earthenware, household and kitchen utensils, children's toys, wool as well as tools of all kinds and domestic coal from Hull / England. The valuable cargo was unloaded quickly, partly legally, but also illegally, by the residents of the stranding site before the ship sank a little later in the Elbe. In 1984 it was cleared on the instructions of the Cuxhaven Waterways and Shipping Office, as it was a danger to small ships. The stern section with the rudder blade and the screw was set up on the beach area See aft Diek . Information about wrecks, which were also exposed again by the last deepening of the Elbe and the associated mudflat degradation before Otterndorf, are described in the wind force 10 - Wreck- und Fischereimuseum Cuxhaven .

Memorial for 14 children

Memorial for the 14 children

In 1944/45, 14 babies of Eastern European forced laborers were “killed” in a shed in the Otterndorf district hospital in Otterndorf. “The 'killing in a roundabout way' was based on targeted malnutrition, neglected hygiene, neglected medical care.” The chairman of the association Zukunft durch Ernenern , Reinhard Krause, states that this was a dark chapter that nobody wanted to hear: “The graves of 14 children in the Otterndorfer Friedhof were dissolved and leveled in 1968. ... It was only 35 years later that Otterndorf made an attempt to publicly revive memory. On Memorial Day 2003, after a long political struggle, a memorial stone was inaugurated in the cemetery with the inscription »In memory of all children who lost their lives through war and violence«. “The 14 children remained nameless. On May 8, 2009, a brass memorial with the names of the dead forced laborers was inaugurated: a sculpture by the artist Rachel Kohn - a dark cloud over a cot and below the plate with the 14 names. "With the memory of the fate of the 14 children we can hopefully awaken the critical spirit in the children and young people of today."


Spielmannszug Otterndorf (2008)

Many different music genres are represented in Otterndorf. In addition to various rock, metal and crossover bands that perform at the Hadeln Rocks rock festival or the Altstadtfest, Otterndorf is home to many local musical groups. The gospel choir The Cheerful holds a New Year's concert in St. Severi Church every year, which has grown in popularity in recent years. In addition to the Otterndorfer Shanty Choir, the Otterndorf minstrel train is also very popular. With over 60 minstrels, the club is one of the largest musical groups in the region. The marching band is constantly represented at rifle festivals in the area in the summer.

More Attractions

Süderwall in Otterndorf


The copper engraving

The oldest view of the city can be found in the district archive of the Cuxhaven district in Otterndorf. This copper engraving from 1747 by the doctor Johann Nicolaus Grimmann, who died in the same year, shows Otterndorf from the south. You can see the Eschweide, where cows grazed until the 19th century, the Kulemühle on the left and the Medem on the right. The east gate from 1580 with the ridge turret from 1615, the old church tower, demolished in 1804, and other windmills and townhouses in the background can be seen. The city was surrounded by a wall and a moat, which were leveled and planted with linden trees in the middle of the 18th century.

Otterndorf silver

Silver box by Peter Nicolaus Meyer, made in 1786

Two goldsmiths from the 18th century made what are probably the most valuable objects in the country of Hadeln. Peter Meyer (1697 to 1760) and Peter Nicolaus Meyer (1737 to 1794) are among the most skilful masters in their field in Europe. Her goldsmith's work was very popular with the rich and not puritanical citizens of Hadler. Their relative freedom quickly brought the inhabitants of the region on the Lower Elbe a high level of prosperity, which was not only reflected in the houses and courtyards of the Lower Elbian March, but also in the education and the table culture of the people. In Otterndorf alone, there are over 45 goldsmiths' workshops between 1550 and 1900. In the life span of Peter Nicolaus Meyer there were 8 workshops at the same time. Since 1995 the Museum of the Land Hadeln in the Kranichhaus has collected a large number of rare gold and silver works. The exhibition shows, among other things, silver tumblers, a brandy bowl that also served as a baptismal bowl, coffee pots, cutlery and other treasures of the food culture in silver and gold from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Regular events

Old town festival

The old town festival always takes place on the first weekend in August, it begins on Friday with the “hen party”. For the locals in the area there is a good opportunity to meet friends again who have to work on Saturday, or since many foreigners only come on Saturday, you are more "among yourself". On Saturday morning it starts with a flea market, various events follow throughout the day, and in the evening many music groups and artists perform. The old town festival ends on Sunday at sunrise, when the last song has faded away and the last drinks stand has been successfully ordered to close by the police. Since there is no historical city center and no comparable old town festival in the neighboring city of Cuxhaven , thousands of Cuxhaven residents make a pilgrimage to Otterndorf every year. The Cuxhaven bus companies use special buses for the "party commuters".

Night tour

Three times a year, on the 13th of the summer months of June, July and August, there is a night tour in Otterndorf with the “night watchman” Vera Dieckmann. Every time hundreds of people make the pilgrimage to this event, who take part in extraordinary contributions, such as B. delight the opera singers or the ghosts.

Other Events

  • Award of the u. a. Johann Heinrich Voss Prize for Literature and Politics donated by the city every three years
  • Shooting and folk festival of the Hadler rifle corps from 1863 e. V.
  • The Germanic pentathlon takes place annually on the third weekend in July, the last time in 2016
  • Bacon proof
  • Rowing competitions on the Hadelner Canal
  • Otterndorf organ summer from the beginning of June to the end of August
  • Coastal marathon of the savings banks
  • Volksbank Triathlon
The launch MS "Jens" (in front) and MS "Onkel Heinz", on the bank of the wooden crane

In the summer months, trips on the Medem are offered on two former Hamburg harbor launches . With the MS “Jens” or the MS “Onkel Heinz” trips of different lengths can be undertaken from the pier at Specken or the pier at the Schleuse to Neuenkirchen , Pedingworth or Ihlienworth . Since the banks of the Medem are not paved, you are only allowed to drive at 6 km / h. This creeping trip serves to protect the embankment and leaves plenty of time to observe the various banks and their vegetation. The flora and fauna of the various bank zones are explained, the past of the river from the priel to the important farm road before the construction of paved roads, and it is explained which historical and current companies and historically relevant buildings are on the bank.

Public facilities


  • Joint municipality of Land Hadeln, Marktstrasse 21
  • Police station Otterndorf, Am Großer Specken 7
  • Land registry office Otterndorf, Am Großen Specken 7
  • District court Otterndorf, Am Großen Specken 6
  • Otterndorf City Library


Latin school

As early as the Middle Ages, Otterndorf attached importance to a Latin school for the townspeople and the farmers in the area.

Today's schools in Otterndorf:

  • Otterndorf primary school
  • Wittmackschule - school for learning assistance
  • secondary schools
  • Johann Heinrich Voss Secondary School
  • Otterndorf High School
  • Agricultural school
  • Adult Education Center in the District of Cuxhaven e. V.

Social facilities

  • Hadeln welfare station
  • Haus am Süderwall , retirement and nursing home
  • DRK - youth welfare station
  • Ev.-luth. kindergarten
  • DRK kindergarten
  • Otterndorfer nursery , day care
  • Ambulance service Cuxhaven / Hadeln


Economy, transport and infrastructure


Otterndorf is now a popular tourist destination and takes i. S. of the regional spatial planning was the function of a basic center with a central sub-function . There are several bathing lakes near the beach, camping facilities , many holiday apartments and a youth hostel in and around Otterndorf. The city is one of the centers of tourism in the so-called Cuxland .


Otterndorf transmission tower
  • The NDR operates the Niederelbe correspondent office in Otterndorf
  • The Otterndorf telecommunications tower is located in Otterndorf
  • The Niederelbe-Zeitung , the local paper for the old district of Hadeln, appears in Otterndorf
    • The supraregional part of this paper is taken over by the Nordsee-Zeitung published in Bremerhaven


Otterndorf is on the B 73 Cuxhaven - Hamburg and the Niederelbebahn Cuxhaven - Hamburg-Harburg. Otterndorf train station was opened in 1881 and is now only a stopping point. The stop is served by the transport company Start Unterelbe mbH .

The construction of a bypass road in the south of the city began in 2007 to relieve the through traffic. It opened on December 11, 2009. The Elbe-Weser cycle path begins in Otterndorf .


The port at low tide, it sucks more and more

The small port on the Elbe is increasingly threatened by the silting up due to the last deepening of the Elbe . The subsurface of the port and the entrance has changed since around 1999. Since the port is rarely used by fishermen, the Otterndorfer Sailing Association is responsible for the port as a sports boat port. Dredging the driveway to restore the state before 1999 would cost around 1 million euros. However, these funds are not provided by the state of Lower Saxony, nor by those responsible for the Elbe deepening in 1999, the Cuxhaven Waterways and Shipping Authority , or the so-called Hamburg Economic Authority (equivalent to the Ministry of Economics in the territorial states), which the Hanseatic city increased to 10 million euros in 2007 "Schlickfonds" carried.

Schlickfonds The Schlickfonds was set up to help the 80 or so sport boat harbors left and right of the Elbe in Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein to remove silting up suddenly. The three neighboring countries should each pay a third of the total of 15 million euros. With a calculated annual interest income of 300,000 to 400,000 euros, various measures could be supported.

No funds are earmarked for the Otterndorf harbor, since in this particular case it is not just silt deposits, but also silting that has nothing to do with the deepening. The now stronger current in the Otterndorf area carries away not only the Otterndorfer Watt in the area of ​​the recreation area "See aft Diek", but also the sandy beach in this area, which was washed up with the construction of the new dike, and the sandy subsoil of the fairway. Removing this sand-silt mixture from the port area would cost around 20,000 euros a year once it had reached the level prior to 1999. This money cannot be raised by the sailing club. Therefore, a further increase in the risk to recreational shipping in Otterndorf cannot be ruled out in the future. For comparison: The Hamburg marina community, which consists of 53 clubs, incurs dredging costs of around 150,000 euros per year.

The small port in Otterndorf

Pumping station

Otterndorfer pumping station

Before 1850, the entire land of Hadeln and the Bederkesa office were only drained by the Medem River. Especially the Hadler Sietland, which is below sea level, had major problems with the water in the rainy months. The drainage canal was built around 1853, see: History of Hadeln and Wursten . Now the water flowed away faster, but since the Sietland was still the deepest point, the other, higher-lying areas had the advantage of rapid natural drainage. In 1928 the Otterndorf pumping station was built. It has the largest centrifugal pump in Europe. With a diameter of 4.40 m, it is unsurpassed as a single pump in Europe (as of 1980).

Otterndorf lighthouse

Upper and lower fire

The lighthouses in Otterndorf are also part of the lighting of the Elbe and the North Sea. In 1917 a beacon was lit for the first time near Otterndorf. In 1936 a new building was built, which was demolished in 1973 as part of the redesign of the leading light line. Today's so-called leading light line consists of an Otterndorf lower fire and Belum lower fire, a thin, red and white striped 25 meter high tower with an inverted conical roof. The Oberfeuer Otterndorf is of the same design, but 52 meters high and is 2660 meters away. Both lighthouses can be seen 18 nautical miles away.

Glameyer Stack

Otterndorf Glameyer Stack
A wind turbine behind the Elbe dike between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf

The dike section in the Müggendorf district is seen as the weak point between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf. In the event of a strong storm surge in the southern North Sea, there is a risk of a dike breach .

Myths and legends

  • The crane house
  • The sword of Otterndorf
  • The enchanted governess
  • The sausage mill
  • The ham farm
  • The dance of death
  • The ghost ship
  • The copper sewer


Honorary citizen

  • 1922: Friedrich Bayer, District Administrator of the Land Hadeln district 1897–1928
  • 1926: Otto Hencke, mayor and senator
  • 1950: Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf (1893–1961), politician (SPD), District Administrator of the Hadeln district 1928–1932 and first Prime Minister of Lower Saxony
  • 1967: Richard Tiensch, rector and local researcher in Otterndorf
  • 2018: Hermann Gerken (* 1931), mayor of the city of Otterndorf from 1972 to 2011, since 2011 honorary mayor of the city of Otterndorf
Bust of Johann Heinrich Voss by the sculptor Frijo Müller-Belecke , in the background on the right the Johann Heinrich Voss House

sons and daughters of the town

Persons who are connected to Otterndorf

  • Elisabeth von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1567–1618) , Countess of Holstein-Schauenburg and Duchess of Braunschweig-Harburg
  • Antonius Wilde (also Anthonius Wilde ; before 1575 – around 1618), organ builder in Otterndorf
  • Jürgen Heydtmann (1627–1671), famous carver of his time in Hadeln (1660)
  • Johann Heinrich Voss (1751–1826), a. a. Translator and philologist
  • Carl Langhein (1872–1941), painter and graphic artist, professor
  • Albert de Badrihaye (1880–1976), Flemish painter / graphic artist, professor, heraldist
  • Raimund Hirsch (1887–1975), stonemason, trade unionist, communist, lived in Otterndorf from 1909 until his death
  • Julie Kähler b. Gottschalk (1888–1957), Jewish woman who converted to the Protestant faith, sexton of the St. Severi Church (1941–1947)
  • Elisabeth Rühmkorf (1895–1989), teacher, local poet and writer
  • Johann Pieper (1903–1985), politician (SPD), MdL
  • Heiko Völker (* 1943), board member and secretary of the men from Morgenstern , since 1990 local home nurse of Otterndorf
  • Lena Petermann (* 1994), soccer player, played for TSV Otterndorf in her youth

Town clerk

Summer residence of the town clerk on the Süderwall

Every year Otterndorf finances a so-called city ​​clerk , who writes both city documents and his own works. The following town clerks existed in Otterndorf so far:


  • Oskar Kiecker , Wilhelm Lenz, Heinrich Rüther: The art monuments of the district of Hadeln and the city of Cuxhaven . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 1956, p. 300 (Otterndorf).
  • Rudolf Lembcke (Hrsg.): District Land Hadeln - Past and present . Günter Hottendorff Verlag, Otterndorf 1976.
  • Rudolf Lembcke (ed.): Otterndorf - Small town on the big river . Hans Christians Verlag, Hamburg 1978, ISBN 3-7672-0551-3 .
  • Ludwig Badenius (arrangement), u. a .: Hadeln field names collection. The field names of the property tax cadastre from 1876 for the Prussian offices of Neuhaus a. d. Oste, Osten and Otterndorf as well as the city of Otterndorf, and the field names of the Hamburg land registry for the Ritzebüttel office . Ed .: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund at the mouths of the Elbe and Weser (=  special publications of the Heimatbund of the men from Morgenstern . Volume 30 ). Self-published, Bremerhaven 1998, ISBN 3-931771-30-X .
  • Eberhard Michael Iba (Ed.): Hake Betken siene Duven. The saga of the Elbe and Weser estuaries (=  special publications by the men from Morgenstern , Heimatbund at the Elbe and Weser estuaries . Volume 16 ). 3. Edition. Men from Morgenstern Verlag, Bremerhaven 1999, ISBN 3-931771-16-4 .
  • Axel Behne (ed.): Otterndorf. 600 years of city history on the North Sea. Twenty-seven essays on the 600th anniversary of the city charter on October 9, 1400 . Self-published, Otterndorf 2000, ISBN 3-934100-00-7 .

Publications in the Niederdeutschen Heimatblatt

  • Rudolf Lembcke: Hadeln's District Administrator Alexander Sostmann and his time: From the horse of the welfen to the Prussian eagle . Jahrbuch der Männer vom Morgenstern 61 (1982), pp. 241-283.
  • Heiko Völker: Otterndorf - a historical overview. The venue of the Weser-Elbe-Heimattag introduces itself . In: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund an Elbe and Weser estuary e. V. (Ed.): Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt . No. 809 . Nordsee-Zeitung GmbH, Bremerhaven May 2017, p. 1–3 ( digitized version [PDF; 7.1 MB ; accessed on July 16, 2019]).
  • Heiko Völker: Manorial courts in the Hadeln district. The stately Osterhof in Otterndorf . In: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund an Elbe and Weser estuary e. V. (Ed.): Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt . No. 812 . Nordsee-Zeitung GmbH, Bremerhaven August 2017, p. 2–3 ( digitized version [PDF; 8.1 MB ; accessed on July 13, 2019]).
  • Heiko Völker: Troubled times for the population. End of war and November Revolution in the country of Hadeln . In: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund an Elbe and Weser estuary e. V. (Ed.): Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt . No. 828 . Nordsee-Zeitung GmbH, Bremerhaven December 2018, p. 1–2 ( digitized version [PDF; 3.1 MB ; accessed on July 5, 2019]).

Web links

Commons : Otterndorf  - Collection of Images
Wikivoyage: Otterndorf  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. State Office for Statistics Lower Saxony, LSN-Online regional database, Table 12411: Update of the population, as of December 31, 2019  ( help ).
  2. Overview map of the Cuxhaven district. In: November 2016, accessed March 24, 2020 .
  3. ^ Ulrich Schubert: Register of local authorities in Germany 1900 - Hadeln district. Information from December 1, 1910. In: January 5, 2020, accessed March 24, 2019 .
  4. a b c Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. Landkreis Land Hadeln ( see under: No. 46 ). (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  5. a b Statistisches Bundesamt Wiesbaden (ed.): Official municipality register for the Federal Republic of Germany - 1957 edition (population and territorial status September 25, 1956, for Saarland December 31, 1956) . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1958, p.  188 ( digitized version ).
  6. a b c d e f g h Population statistics for the municipality of Hadeln (1939–2010). (No longer available online.) In: Website Nordseebad Otterndorf. December 31, 2010, archived from the original on September 5, 2012 ; accessed on March 24, 2020 .
  7. Lower Saxony State Administration Office (ed.): Municipal directory for Lower Saxony . Municipalities and municipality-free areas. Self-published, Hanover January 1, 1973, p. 44 , Landkreis Land Hadeln ( digitized version ( memento from August 7, 2019 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; 21.3 MB ; accessed on June 14, 2020]).
  8. a b c d e f g h i j community directory - archive - regional structure - annual editions - Lower Saxony. (All politically independent municipalities in EXCEL format). In: Destatis website. Federal Statistical Office, accessed on March 24, 2020 .
  9. ^ Lower Saxony Municipal Constitutional Law (NKomVG); Section 46 - Number of Deputies. In: Lower Saxony Regulations Information System (NI-VORIS). December 17, 2010, accessed March 24, 2020 .
  10. a b City Council Otterndorf. In: Ratsinfomanagement Samtgemeinde Land Hadeln. Retrieved March 8, 2018 .
  11. a b City of Otterndorf - overall result of the municipal council election. In: Website Zweckverband Kommunale Datenverarbeitung Oldenburg (KDO). September 16, 2016, accessed March 8, 2018 .
  12. The CDU gets the most votes nationwide. In: Website Norddeutscher Rundfunk . September 12, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2017 .
  13. a b Rudolf Lembcke (Ed.): Otterndorf - Small town on the great river . Hans Christians Verlag, Hamburg 1978, ISBN 3-7672-0551-3 , p. 78 .
  14. ^ Rudolf Lembcke: Land Hadeln district. Past and present . Ed .: District of Hadeln. Buchdruckerei Günter Hottendorff, Otterndorf 1976, p. 58 (coat of arms).
  15. Organ by Dietrich Christoph Gloger (1741/42). In: Website North German organ music culture in Lower Saxony and Europe. Retrieved October 14, 2017 .
  16. ^ Oskar Kiecker, Wilhelm Lenz, Heinrich Rüther: The art monuments of the district of Hadeln and the city of Cuxhaven . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 1956, p. 300 (Otterndorf).
  17. Wiebke Kramp: Shocked about the atrocities. (PDF; 2.3 MB) In: Website Niederelbe-Zeitung . May 10, 2012, accessed on October 25, 2017 (report on commemoration by the association “Future through Remembrance”).
  18. Shocked at the atrocities . In: Nordsee-Zeitung . Bremerhaven November 17, 2014, p.  18 .
  19. ^ Otterndorfer Volksbank Triathlon. In: Retrieved March 24, 2020 .
  20. ^ Frauke Heidtmann: Great day for Otterndorf. (No longer available online.) In: Website Niederelbe-Zeitung. December 12, 2009, archived from the original on September 4, 2012 ; accessed on March 24, 2020 .
  21. ↑ The bypass road is too narrow for heavy loads. In: Welt online. March 10, 2010, accessed October 25, 2017 .
  22. ^ Heiko Völker: Christoph Lange, an Otterndorfer benefactor. The foundation of the Otterndorf primary schools in Müggendorf and Schmeelweg . In: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund an Elbe and Weser estuary e. V. (Ed.): Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt . No. 823 . Nordsee-Zeitung GmbH, Bremerhaven July 2018, p. 3 ( digital version [PDF; 10.3 MB ; accessed on June 21, 2019]).
  23. Ursula Holthausen: stonemason, trade unionist, communist. The Otterndorfer Raimund Hirsch, persecuted by the National Socialists . In: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund an Elbe and Weser estuary e. V. (Ed.): Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt . No. 839 . Nordsee-Zeitung GmbH, Bremerhaven November 2019, p. 3 ( digital version [PDF; 4.2 MB ; accessed on December 18, 2019]).
  24. Ursula Holthausen: A Jewish fate in Otterndorf. The life path of Julie Kähler (1888–1957) . In: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund an Elbe and Weser estuary e. V. (Ed.): Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt . No. 832 . Nordsee-Zeitung GmbH, Bremerhaven April 2019, p. 2 ( digital version [PDF; 3.2 MB ; accessed on June 14, 2019]).
  25. Hans-Walter Keweloh: Golden Ring of Honor of the City of Otterndorf for Heiko Völker. Award of the board member of the men from Morgenstern on his 75th birthday . In: Men from Morgenstern, Heimatbund an Elbe and Weser estuary e. V. (Ed.): Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt . No. 825 . Nordsee-Zeitung GmbH, Bremerhaven September 2018, p. 3 ( digitized version [PDF; 4.1 MB ; accessed on June 20, 2019]).