Halberstadt is a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt and the capital of the district of Harz. It is located on the German Timber-Frame Road and the Magdeburg–Thale railway.
The town was severely damaged in World War II, but retains many important historic buildings and much of its ancient townscape. Notable places in Halberstadt include the Liebfrauenkirche and St. Stephen Cathedral, churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries, respectively. Halberstadt is the site of the first documented large, permanent pipe organ installation in 1361. The cathedral is notable among those in northern European towns in having retained its medieval treasury in virtually complete condition. Among its treasures are the oldest surviving tapestries in Europe, dating from the 12th century.
Germania Halberstadt is a football club which plays in Halberstadt.
Halberstadt was made an episcopal see in 814 and was a popular trade point in the 13th-14th centuries. The Bishopric of Halberstadt was secularized in 1648 according to the Peace of Westphalia and became the Principality of Halberstadt within Brandenburg-Prussia.
Halberstadt became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, but became part of the Kingdom of Westphalia, a Napoleonic client-state, in 1807. After the defeat of Napoleon, the town was restored to Prussia and subsequently administered within the Province of Saxony. The town became part of Saxony-Anhalt from 1945–1952, after which it was within Bezirk Magdeburg in East Germany. After the reunification of Germany, Halberstadt became part of a restored Saxony-Anhalt.
World's slowest, longest concert
A performance of John Cage's organ piece As Slow As Possible began in the Burchardikirche in Halberstadt in September 2001; the performance is scheduled to take 639 years. The concert began on 5 September 2001 with a rest lasting 17 months. On the dates of the sound changes the church is usually well visited.
In the 17th century, Halberstadt had one of the largest Jewish communities in central Europe. At the time, nearly one in twelve of the town's inhabitants, almost 700 people, were Jewish. Notable amongst them was Berend Lehmann.
One example of Lehmann's work was the impressive synagogue he financed in Bakenstrasse, which was completed in 1712. In 1938, after Kristallnacht, most of the building was taken down as the attack on it was said to have left it in danger of collapsing.
A short distance from the synagogue, in the Rosenwinkel alley, Lehmann also had a house built for students of Judaism, with a collection of theological writings. This building, known as the "Klaus", was where many important students of the Talmud and rabbis were taught. The "Klaus" gave Halberstadt the reputation of being an important centre for the study of the Torah. Today the Moses Mendelssohn Academy is based there; this organises exhibitions, congresses and presentations and provides a wide range of information about the Jewish culture and way of life.
Caspar Abel - theologian, historian, and poet
Johann Christian Josef Abs - teacher and school administrator
Martin Bormann - private secretary to Adolf Hitler
Lily Braun - feminist writer
Wibke Bruhns - journalist and author, author of My Father's Country
Gottfried August Bürger - poet
Johann Augustus Eberhard - theologian and philosopher
Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim - poet
Adalbert of Hamburg - Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen
Ferdinand Heine - ornithologist
Azriel Hildesheimer - rabbi
Gustav Eduard von Hindersin - general
Johann Georg Jacobi - poet
Israel Jacobson - philanthropist and father of Reform Judaism
Alexander Kluge - film director and author
Issachar Berend Lehmann - banker
Paul Laurentius - theologian
George Müller - Christian evangelist and administrator of orphanages
Adolf Reubke - organ builder
Jürgen Sparwasser - footballer and manager
Adolf Stoecker - theologian and politician
Walter Wislicenus - astronomer
Main article: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Halberstadt is twinned with:
Slovakia Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Germany Wolfsburg, Germany
Czech Republic Náchod, Czech Republic
France Villars, Loire, France
^ [http://www.statistik.sachsen-anhalt.de/download/stat_berichte/6A102_hj_2010_02.pdf "Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit; Bevölkerung der Gemeinden; Natürliche Bevölkerungsbewegungen, Wanderungen"] (in German). Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt. July 2011.
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