Halle, Saxony-Anhalt

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Map of Germany showing Halle

Halle (also called Halle an der Saale in order to distinguish from Halle in North Rhine-Westphalia) is the largest town in the German Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt. It lies in the southern part of the state, on the river Saale. Population: 243,045 (2001).



The name Halle derives from the Celtic word for salt, like that of its namesake in Westphalia, Hallein and Hallstatt in Austria and Schwäbisch Hall in Germany; while the name of the river Saale contains the Germanic root for salt. Salt-making has taken place in Halle since at least the Bronze age.

Historic saltern in Halle, Sachsen-Anhalt
Historic saltern in Halle, Sachsen-Anhalt
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A water tower in Halle, Germany

The town was first mentioned in 806. It became a part of the bishopric principality of Magdeburg in the 10th century and remained so until 1680, when Brandenburg annexed it together with Magdeburg.

After World War II Halle served as the capital of the short-lived administrative region of Saxony-Anhalt (until 1952), when the East German government abolished its "Länder". As a part of East Germany (until 1990), it functioned as the capital of the administrative district ("Bezirk") of Halle. When Saxony-Anhalt was re-established as a Bundesland, Magdeburg became the capital.


  • Giebichenstein Castle, first mentioned in 961, west of the city centre on a hill above the Saale river.
  • Moritzburg, a newer castle, built in 1503; residence of the bishops of Magdeburg; destroyed in the Thirty Years' War, then a ruin for centuries, rebuilt in 1904; today an Art Gallery.
  • Cathedral, a steepleless building, originally a church within a Dominican monastery (1271).
  • Halle-Neustadt, Mostly built in the 1960s Halle-Neustadt lies just to the East of Halle. A classic example of how mean, state sponsored housing, on a huge scale, combined with brutalist architecture and "one-size-fits-all" social engineering failed to achieve its aims – but did convice most of the people that lived there that moving to another city was a good idea. Halle-Neustadt is sometimes referred to as "Hanoi" – in an ironic play on words referring to the heavily bombed capital of Vietnam (Ha-Neu: abbreviation for Halle-Neustadt – German pronunciation: hanoi).
GDR revolutionary monument, demolished in 2003.
GDR revolutionary monument, demolished in 2003.


Within East Germany Halle's chemical industry, now mainly shut down, had great importance.

The famous Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel was born in Halle. Today there is an annual Händel-festival. Georg Cantor worked as a professor at the university of Halle.

A university was founded in Halle in 1694. It is now combined with the University of Wittenberg and is called Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg'.

Halle was a center of German Pietism and played an important role in establishing the Lutheran church in North America, when Henry Muhlenberg and others were sent as missionaries to Pennsylvania. Henry Muhlenberg's son, Frederick Muhlenberg, the first Speaker of the House of Representatives, was a graduate of Halle University.

Many Plattenbau houses can be found in Halle, especially in Halle-Neustadt.

External links

eo:Halle (Saale) it:Halle sul Saale nl:Halle an der Saale sv:Halle an der Saale


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