Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3004


English Brunswick

City, Lower Saxony Land (state), northern Germany, on the Oker River, some 38 miles (60 km) southeast of Hanover. Legend says that it was founded about 861 by Bruno, son of Duke Ludolf of Saxony, but it probably originated at a much later date. It was chartered and improved by Heinrich the Lion (1129/30-1195), duke of Saxony, in the 12th century and became a leading member of the Hanseatic League in the 13th century; it later declined as a result of civil and external discords. An early supporter of the Reformed faith, Braunschweig belonged to the Protestant Schmalkaldic League. It was capital of the duchy of Brunswick before 1918 and of the Land of the same name until incorporated into the new Land of Lower Saxony in 1945. Captured by Allied forces in 1945 after suffering heavy damage, it has been rebuilt. Surviving medieval buildings include the 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral of St. Blasius, which contains the tombs of the founder, Henry the Lion, and his English consort, Matilda; in the vault are the tombs of the Guelf rulers of the Brunswick line from 1681. Other surviving medieval churches include St. Martin's, St. Katherine's, St. Andreas', and St. Aegidien's. The Burg Dankwarderode, a castle containing the Treasure of the Guelfs, dates from the 12th century; on the castle square (Burgplatz) is the bronze Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal), emblem of Braunschweig, carved in 1166 as a symbol of Henry the Lion. Also notable are the old town hall (14th–15th century), the Renaissance Cloth Merchants' Hall (Gewandhaus), and the Richmond Palace, built in 1768–69 by Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand (1735-1806), son of Karl I. (1713-1780) of Brunswick.

The city is internationally renowned for scientific research. The Technische Universität Carolo Wilhelmina Zu Braunschweig, the oldest technical university in Germany, was founded as the Collegium Carolinum in 1745. There are also federal institutes for physics and technology, biology, agriculture and forestry, and aeronautical research. The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum and the municipal museum have fine art collections, and there is also a museum of natural history.

The city is a rail junction with an airport, and its chief industry is metalworking. Machinery, motor vehicles, office and calculating machines, and pianos are manufactured here; publishing and, most recently, electronics are also important. Braunschweig is a leading German sugar market and is famous for its sausages, asparagus, and gingerbread. Pop. (1989 est.) 253,794.

Copyright © 1994-2002 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.


  • Encylopedia Britannica 2002, Expanded Edition DVD