Bremervörde is a town in the north of the district Rotenburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated at the Oste river near the mid of the triangle, which is formed of the rivers Weser and Elbe respectively the cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Cuxhaven.
By 1111 the Saxon Duke Lothair of Supplinburg, later king of the Holy Roman Empire, erected castrum vorde, the Vörde Castle at an Oste ford, important for the Oxen Way, an ancient trackway connecting Jutland with Westphalia.
Because of the strategically advantageous location between the rivers Elbe and Weser it was a matter of conflicts in the following centuries. Later it came under the control of Henry the Lion and then, in 1219, it fell under the control of the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen, providing functions as capital with the prince-archiepiscopal residence and seat of government. The parliament, the Bremian Estates, convened at other places (usually in Basdahl), the Bremian cathedral chapter had its seat in the city of Bremen.
Maurice of Oldenburg (d. 1368), serving as Diocesan Administrator of Bremen since 1345, ruled the prince-archbishopric from Vörde. When the new Prince-Archbishop Albert II, invested in 1360, tried to depose him Maurice entrenched in Vörde Castle. Only after Albert's brothers Magnus II Torquatus, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Prince of Wolfenbüttel, and Louis, and the latter's father-in-law William II, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg (Celle line) and their Wolfenbüttelian and Cellean troops had beleaguered the Vörde in January 1362, Maurice signed his resignation.
The prince-archbishops added up for the development of Vörde. Prince-Archbishop John III (d. 1511), founded a hospital and infirmary, renovated in 1576 by Administrator Henry III, who also else contributed to Vörde's prosperity as a market town.
Administrator John Frederick extended the fortified castle by a Vorwerk, including stables and the prince-archiepiscopal Chancery (built in 1608), since 1960 housing a museum, called Bachmann-Museum for regional archeology, geology and history since 1985. The capital function caused the town to be named Bremervörde since the mid-17th century. In 1648 the Prince-Archbishopric was transformed into the Duchy of Bremen, which was first ruled in personal union by the Swedish Crown. The Swedes relocated the capital to Stade.
During the Swedish reign the Danish King Frederick III (as of 1648, deposed by the Swedes as Bremian Administrator Frederick II in 1645) invaded the Duchy and bombed his former residence in 1657. In 1682 the damaged castle and the castle church, burial place of many prince-archbishops, were demolished, the rubble bricks moved to Stade for the construction of the Swedish Warehouse (Schwedenspeicher) there. After another Danish occupation between 1712 and 1715 during the Great Northern War the Duchy of Bremen was handed over to the House of Hanover, ruling the area until 1866. In 1823 the Duchy was abolished and its territory became part of the Stade Region.