The federal state of Saxony-Anhalt is located in central Germany. It is in large parts, especially in the north, rather sparsely populated. In the western half, contained in Harz National Park, is the highest peak of all of North Germany, the Brocken with an elevation of 1141 meters.
While there are a few areas in the state that profit from some small-scale, mostly domestic tourism, the region around Halle in the southeastern part has for many years been a center of the mining and chemicals industries, unfortunately often without paying much respect to the environment in the past. Another important economic factor is the food industry. In addition, the state has a number of well-reputed universities, some of which have become research centers.
No other German state has more World Heritage Sites than Saxony-Anhalt. Among those are the Bauhaus, origin of the famous architectural style and the well-preserved medieval old town of Quedlinburg in the Harz mountains, a popular tourist destination. In addition, quite a few castles, palaces and historic cathedrals are open to visitors throughout the state.
Since 1990, when Germany was reunited, Saxony-Anhalt has lost more than 500.000 inhabitants, with the trend being projected to continue. This development has especially hit the more rural areas hard. In comparison to all other German federal states, Saxony-Anhalt’s population has the lowest percentage of foreign-born people.
Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of 20,447.7 square kilometres (7,894.9 sq mi) and has a population of 2.23 million, the 8th largest state in Germany by area and the 10th largest by population. Its capital is Magdeburg and its largest city is Halle (Saale). Saxony-Anhalt is surrounded by the states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia.
The state of Saxony-Anhalt was established in 1945 after World War II from the former Prussian Province of Saxony and Free State of Anhalt by the Soviet army administration in Allied-occupied Germany. Saxony-Anhalt became part of the German Democratic Republic in 1947, but was dissolved in 1952 during administrative reforms and its territory divided into the districts of Halle and Magdeburg, and the city of Torgau joining the district of Leipzig. Saxony-Anhalt was re-established in 1990 following German reunification, excluding Torgau, and became one of the Federal Republic of Germany’s new states.
Quedlinburg is a northern German town known for its medieval streets lined with half-timbered houses. Overlooking the city is Quedlinburg Castle. The castle complex includes Romanesque-style Church of St. Servatius, which houses the tomb of 10th-century German king Henry I. The Schlossmuseum displays thousand-year-old artifacts. From the town, the Selke Valley Railway travels along cliffs, meadows and vast forests.
The narrow, cobblestone streets are lined with over 1300 half-timbered houses. The town survived the war undamaged and was valued by the DDR, and so it’s still here to be appreciated with its medieval look and layout intact. As a result, the entire town was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg, located in the State of Saxony-Anhalt in the centre of Germany, are associated with the lives of Martin Luther and his fellow-reformer Philipp Melanchthon. They include Melanchthon’s house in Wittenberg, the houses in Eisleben where Luther was born (1483) and died (1546), his room in Wittenberg, the local church, and the castle church where, Luther posted his famous ’95 Theses’ on 31 October 1517, launching the Reformation and a new era in the religious and political history of the Western world.
As authentic settings of decisive events in the Reformation and the life of Martin Luther, the memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg have an outstanding significance for the political, cultural, and spiritual life of the Western world that extends far beyond German borders.