Oldenburg is an independent city in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. During the French annexation (1811–1813) in the wake of the Napoleonic war against Britain, it was also known as Le Vieux-Bourg in French. The city is situated at the Rivers Hunte and Haaren, in the northwestern region between the cities of Bremen in the east and Groningen (Netherlands) in the west. It has a population of 157,267 (May 2011). The formal name is Oldenburg (Oldenburg) or Oldenburg (Oldb) (spoken: Oldenburg in Oldenburg) to distinguish it from the city of Oldenburg in Holstein.The city is the place of origin of the House of Oldenburg. Before the end of the German Empire (1918), it was the administrative centre and residence of the monarchs of Oldenburg.HistoryArchaeological finds point to a settlement dating back to the 8th century. The place was first mentioned in 1108 as Aldenburg in connection with Elimar I (also known as Egilmar I) who is now commonly seen as the first count of Oldenburg. The town gained importance due to its location at a ford of the navigable Hunte river. Oldenburg became the capital of the County of Oldenburg (later Duchy, Grand Duchy, and Free State), a small state in the shadow of the much more powerful Hanseatic city of Bremen.