Spandau (shpänˈdou) [key], district of Berlin, Germany, at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers. It is a canal port and a major industrial district of Berlin. Manufactures include steel and electrotechnical equipment. Spandau was chartered as a town in 1232, and during 1560 to 1594 the electors of Brandenburg built a major fortress there on the Havel River. The fortress was occupied in the Thirty Years War by the Swedes (1631–34) and in the French Revolutionary Wars by the French (1806–13). It later became a dreaded political prison; several major Nazi war criminals (including Rudolph Hess, who committed suicide there in 1987) were imprisoned there after the Nuremberg trials (1945–46). Spandau was incorporated into Berlin in 1920.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: German Political Geography