Hildesheim (hĭlˈdəs-hĪm) [key], city (1994 pop. 106,300), Lower Saxony, N central Germany. The city is an industrial and transportation center. Its manufactures include stoves, radio and television sets, and agricultural and dairy machinery. In 815, Emperor Louis I made Hildesheim the seat of a bishopric; Hildesheim's bishops later became territorial princes of the Holy Roman Empire. The city received a charter in 1249 and soon afterward joined the Hanseatic League. The bishopric was secularized at the beginning of the 19th cent.; in 1813 it passed to Hanover, and in 1866 it passed, with Hanover, to Prussia. Hildesheim owes much of its architectural beauty to one of its early bishops, St. Bernward (d. 1022). Almost all of Hildesheim's old buildings were badly damaged in World War II, but many have been restored. Among the splendid buildings, all Romanesque in style, are the cathedral (11th cent.), the Church of St. Michael (11th–12th cent.), and the Church of St. Godehard (12th cent.). The city contains a noted museum of ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts.
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