Marchau is the fifth largest city in Kuratha. It is also the region's principal port and extremely important to Greater Hulstria's shipping industry. Located five miles inland on the river Elbe, the city has long been one of the primary ports in Greater Hulstria, and because of this, the city has earned the nickname "landöffnung" which comes from the Hulstrian for "mouth of the country."
- 1 History
- 2 Politics and Administration
- 3 Economy
- 4 Transport
- 5 Geography and Suburbs
- 6 Culture and Buidlings
Marchau was established in 1501 by some of the first Luthori colonists to Greater Hulstria. The colonists, who feared an attack upon the colony by Gishotoi also built a large fortress to defend the colony. The fortress was located up the Elbe River in order to secure the river for the Luthori. The colony grew steadily in the coming years and the increased transportation abilities in Greater Hulstria allowed the city to become the major port that it is today. However, disaster for the young colony struck in 1527 when a band of Gishotoi warriors attacked the colony upstream away from the fortress. Much of Marchau was razed to the ground in a matter of hours, and several colonists lost their lives to Gishotoi cruelty. The Battle of Marchau ended in the Gishotoi fleeing with the loot from the city, followed by Luthori soldiers. The band was routed near the present day Hilgar border. After hours of fighting, those Gishotoi that were captured were slaughtered.
The devasted colonists rebuilt their city on the edges of the fortress, which gives the city it's present day location upstream from the coastline. The colony made a quick rebound and even surpassed it's previous standing in a matter of five years. From this, the colony of Marchau was born. New colonists arrived and the new city of Marchau quickly filled up. Rather than simply expand it's borders, new cities along the outskirts of Marchau were formed, locking up the City of Marchau's borders.
The city continued to prosper peacefully until the Hulstrian War of Independence. Some Marchauans considered themselves Hulstrians, while others remained loyal to the Luthori and their home colony. A third much smaller faction wanted Marchau to join the Mitranian Free State. Fighting between the factions broke out in the streets and it seemed Marchau would tear itself apart. However, when Hulstrian troops arrived and occupied the area, calm returned to this peaceful city. Marchau became an imperial province within the Hulstrian Empire.
Following the breakdown of basic law and order in the era known as the Great Dark Period, Marchau was again unwillingly tossed into anarchy. The city's new Gishotoi inhabitants terrorised the Whites and Coloureds. At one point it seemed as if the whole city would collapse into complete anarchy at the hands of the Gishotoi. The situation seemed hopeless when a huge backlash formed. White "Guards of Peace" started patrolling Marchau's streets and terrorised the city's Gishotoi population without discretion.
The city was in a state of almost constant conflict during this period, between two extremes that seemed poised to shred each other and everyone in between. This chaos only ended in 2198 with the nation wide compromise that created the Republic of Gishoto.
Marchau Under Gishoto
The Imperial Province of Marchau was reorganised into the new region of Kuratha. Despite discontent with the new Gishotoised state, Marchauans celebrated the end of the anarchy of the Dark Period. The city was reconnected with the rest of Greater Hulstria and resumed it's former position as a major port. Trade and industry flourished in Marchau and it's merchants became some of the wealthiest in Greater Hulstria. However, this increased the division between rich - predominantly Hulstrian - merchants and the poor - predominantly Gishotoi - workers. This situation led to the acceptance of socialist and communist parties in the coming years.
In November 2219, the Communist Party of Gishoto swept to power after 21 years of steadily gaining power. In the November 2219 elections, only one other party, the Imperial Hulstrian Party also stood in the elections. With exactly 50% of the Imperial Diet, and majorities in three duchies, including over 75% of the vote in Kuratha, the CPG was the dominant of the two political parties. The next few years were turmoil in Gishoto, as the Imperial Diet was divided evenly between the two parties. Normality returned after the next elections when the CPG lost the monopoly on the Imperial Diet. However, that was nothing compared the storm from the CPG in future years.
After years in decline, the CPG starting their reclamation in the elections in November 2243, where they captured 39% of the Imperial Diet. Disaster stuck in the following elections in November 2247 when the CPG managed to steal 100% of the seats following the collapse of all other political parties. Shortly after taking office, the CPG established a communist dictatorship and exiled the Hulstrian monarchy. In the next elections; however, the Imperial Hulstrian Party retook control of the Diet and restored democracy. Marchau again was able to thrive in peace and prosperity.
Despite heavy setbacks for Marchau, the city has been able to continue. After the communist scare was over, Marchau and the whole of Greater Hulstria would face more trials. The Welsh Genocide in Dranland and the subsequent Welsh diaspora to Greater Hulstria and other nations threatened to once again throw the city into chaos. The arrival of the Kalistanis and afterwards the founding of the Hulstrian Nationalist Party surpringly helped secure the city. Through the new policies of Apartheid and rigid capitalism, the city's economy and culture has been able to grow.
Politics and Administration
Marchau is, like all other Greater Hulstrian cities and towns, governed by a mayor appointed by the Kaiser. The current mayor, Rüdiger Armannperg was appointed soon after the Kaiser was restored to the throne.
Unlike most cities and towns in Greater Hulstria, Marchau is also governed as a metroplex. The City of Marchau is combined with 28 suburbs to form the Greater Marchau Metroplex. Since it is thus not technically a city, Marchau officially lost city status under the Hulstrianisation of the Cities Act. However, Greater Marchau is governed in much the same way as a city would be. The mayor of the City of Marchau (which is technically not a city) is also automatically the Chairman of the Marchau Metropolitan Council.
Currently, there are groups within Greater Marchau seeking to reform this heavily bureaucratic system in favour of a more united government, while still maintaining the integrity of the constituent cities and towns.
The economy of Marchau is still mostly dependent on the traditional industries of shipping and international trade. Combined, the two sectors employ nearly 60% of the working population of Marchau. Greater Marchau remains one of the most important ports in the entire world and heavily important to Greater Hulstria. In recent years, there have been attempts to diversify the economy. Thanks to these, a small but substantial niche has developed for heavy manufacturing and the old fishing industry has been revitalised.
Fishing was always a part of the Marchauan economy, but it all but died out in the years following independence. The ability to receive much of it's food from other areas of Greater Hulstria lessened the need for the fishing industry. Despite all this, both the government and private companies are once again starting to resurrect the fishing industry.
Marchau is connected to the rest of Greater Hulstria thanks to a marvelous system of roads that dates back to the Luthori and a well developed railway system colonists. Food from Mitrania, wood from Hilgar, gold from Hulstria, and everything in between flows through Marchau's ports to the rest of the world. Imports include everything the world has to offer.
One of the most obvious systems of transportation Marchau has is shipping. Long the centre of Greater Hulstrian shipping, Marchau sees water traffic from all points on the globe. Thousands of ships pass through the River Elbe each year, feeding a never ending hunger for goods.
Air travel is relatively new to Marchau. Although the Metroplex contains some three million people, Marchau was one of the last major cities in Greater Hulstria to build an airport. Finally, in 2356, Marchau constructed the Greater Marchau International Airport. The new airport was not located in the City of Marchau, but rather in it's suburb of Dannhauser. There are also plans to eventually build a national airport on the southern side of the Elbe River.
Geography and Suburbs
Geography and Climate
The land comprising Marchau is noritously flat, making building easy. When the first Luthori colonists arrived in the area, the land was dominated by imposing trees. These ancient forests have all but disappeared in the area, due to overpopulation and farming. The River Elbe is easily the most defining feature of the city. Running down the centre of Greater Marchau, it seems to split the city in two. The River Elbe starts at the foot of the Scnhee-Berge Mountains and flows into the sea, and it's low riverbed and calm waters make it one of the most navigatable rivers in the world.
Marchau's climate reflects it's location in Greater Hulstria and it's proximity to the coast. For much of the year, Marchau has a temperate climate, but in winter, temperatures can get quite cold. It is very common for Marchau to be below freezing for large portions of the winter months.
Suburbs of Marchau
There are 28 "suburban" members of the Greater Marchau Metroplex. One member, Port Shepstone is considering seceding on the grounds that it was founded before the majority of the "suburbs" and was not originally intended to be a suburb of Marchau.
- Marchau East
- Port Shepstone
Culture and Buidlings
Bridges and Tunnels
- Old Elbe Tunnel
- New Elbe Tunnel
- North Marchau Bridge (Actually located in Grootfontein)
- Dannhauser Bridge
- St. Pieterkirche (Nicknamed "Guter alter Pieter" or "Good old Peter" note the rhyme)
- St. Nikolaikirche (Saint Nicholas' Church)
- St. Katharinenkirche (Saint Catherine’s Church)
- Alte Christliche Kirche ("Old Christian Church" so named as it was the first church in Marchau)
- Marchau Harbour
- Marchau Shipping Intl. Building
- Marchau Opera House
Marchau has porduced some of Greater Hulstria's best known artists and musicians. It has a long history of nourishing the arts, as one can see by walking down Marchau's "Kultur-Ecke" or "Culture Corner." The Kultur-Ecke is an entire section of Marchau devoted to the fine arts. This is also where the famous Marchau Opera House is located.