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city, Lower Saxony Land (state), northern Germany. It lies along the Mittelland Canal, about 45 miles (70 km) east of Hannover. The village of Hesslingen, dating from about 700, was the first settlement near the site of Wolfsburg; the town was first mentioned in 1132. There are a 16th-century castle and a modern-style cultural centre designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. An industrial community founded in 1938, it is dominated by the Volkswagen plant, where much of the working population is employed. Notable sites include an automobile museum and a planetarium. Pop. (2003 est.) 122,724.