Wilhelmshaven vĭl˝hĕlms-hä´fən [key], city (1994 pop. 91,680), Lower Saxony, NW Germany, on Jade Bay, an inlet of the North Sea. It is a major oil port and an industrial center. Manufactures include heavy machinery, automobile chassis, electrical equipment, and textiles. The city is also a summer resort featuring mud baths. It is connected by a canal with Emden and by an oil pipeline with Cologne and the Ruhr district. Wilhelmshaven was founded in 1869 on territory purchased from Oldenburg in 1853. It was the chief German naval base on the North Sea until the end of World War II, after which its naval installations were dismantled. In 1956 it again was made a naval base. The city has marine biological and geological institutes and an ornithological station.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: German Political Geography