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Evidence of prehistoric times still dots the landscape of Saxony-Anhalt today. The archaeological tourist route “Sky Paths”, which opened in 2006, includes stations such as the site where the spectacular sky disc was discovered on the Mittelberg in Nebra, the Goseck solar observatory and the Neolithic chambered tomb of the ”dolmen goddess”.mehr
Neolithic Dolmen Goddess
The Neolithic chambered tomb of the dolmen goddess is built in Langeneichstädt near Merseburg in what is now southern Saxony-Anhalt. People who visit the site today can admire the replica of a menhir, a so-called dolmen goddess.
Permanent Neolithic and Bronze Age exhibition
The Museum of Prehistory in Halle (Saale) has an extensive, new permanent exhibition on the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Main attraction: the original “Sky Disc” (beginning 2008).
The smelted sky
In 1999 on Mittelberg near Nebra, treasure looters find a wrought bronze sky disc 32 centimeters in diameter. With an estimated age of 3600 years, it is now considered the oldest known representation of the cosmos in human history (with Information and Tourist Centre ”Nebra Ark).
Oldest solar observatory
The Goseck solar observatory (southern Saxony-Anhalt) is considered the oldest in the world (ca. 6,800 years), and after large-scale reconstruction work it was opened to the public in 2005. It consists of four concentric circles – a mound, a ditch and two wooden palisades (75 meter diameter), as well as gates and apertures for determining the summer and winter solstices (Information Centre in Goseck Castle).
The early Middle Ages is a turbulent period for the area that is today Saxony-Anhalt. Charlemagne (768-814) conquers the Saxons. Saxony falls to the Frankish Empire.mehr
Charlemagne (742-814) conquers the Saxons
He begins to erect fortifications near Magdeburg and Halle in 780. Saxony falls to the Frankish Empire.
Mission becomes a diocese
Founded in Osterwieck in 802, the mission which had been moved to Halberstadt is raised to a diocese.
An economic and cultural peak begins for the region which is now Saxony-Anhalt. Its stone evidence is the “Romanesque Road”.mehr
Ascanian prince, Albert the Bear
This adversary of Henry the Lion is buried in Ballenstedt Castle (Romanesque Road).
Albrecht von Halberstadt
The canon is the first to translate Ovid’s Metamorphosis into the German vernacular.
The first Saxon king
Henry Duke of Saxony (912-936) becomes the first East Francian-German king. Upon his death, he is entombed in the collegiate church of Quedlinburg.
Otto I becomes emperor
His favourite palatinate is Magdeburg. He and his wife Editha are buried in the Magdeburg Cathedral (Romanesque Road).
Emperor Otto I (936-973) founds the Archbishopric of Magdeburg
The centre of his power is the region of the Middle Elbe river. In 973 he is buried at the cathedral in Magdeburg.
Archbishop Wichmann (1155-1192) codifies the Magdeburg Rights. He formulates important legal provisions into a charter. The Rights of the Imperial Free City of Magdeburg spread across much of southern and eastern Middle Europe.
The first German book of law
Eike von Repgow (Reppichau bei Köthen) pens the “Sachsenspiegel” (Saxon mirror), the first law book in German, at Falkenstein Castle (Romanesque Road).
Mechthild von Magdeburg
The first female German mystic dies at the nunnery in Helfta (near Eisleben).
The Merseburg Incantations
The Merseburg Incantations are written down in a theological manuscript from the 9th/10th century. They are the only known examples of German pagan belief preserved in Old High German.
Territorial fragmentation: the largest territories are the Archbishopric of Magdeburg, the Prince-Bishopric of Halberstadt, The “Altmark” (Old Margraviate) as part of Brandenburg, and the Anhaltian states, such as Anhalt-Dessau.mehr
Lucas Cranach the Elder
He is considered painter of the Reformation and besides his large workshop, ran a chemist’s shop, a printing shop and a bookshop.
The reformer Martin Luther was born in Eisleben. In Luther’s cities, Eisleben and Wittenberg, the history of the Reformation is still quite tangible today.
Melanchthon was Luther’s friend and confidant, and he was often negotiator for the Protestant side at diets and in theological discussions and disputes. He gave the impetus for Luther’s translation of the Bible.
Oldest German-speaking university
The university in Wittenberg is founded, one of the oldest universities in the German-speaking world.
The House of Orange in Saxony-Anhalt
In 1506 Juliane von Stolberg is born in Stolberg/Harz. She is the mother of William of Nassau. The current Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is his direct descendant.
The region that is now Saxony-Anhalt becomes the centre of the Reformation.
Martin Luther posts The 95 Theses making the region that is now Saxony-Anhalt the centre of the 16th century Reformation. Important musicians and academics shape Saxony-Anhalt during the Baroque Era.mehr
Cradle of Baroque music
The region now known as Saxony-Anhalt becomes the cradle of Baroque music.
Luther posts The 95 Theses
The Wittenberg theology professor Martin Luther (1483-1546) becomes founder of the Reformation by posting The 95 Theses on October 31st, 1517.
The Marienbibliothek is established
The Marienbibliothek in Halle, one of the oldest and largest theological libraries in Germany, is established.
Composer of the first German opera, “Daphne”. He spent his childhood and his retirement in Weißenfels.
Otto von Guericke born in Magdeburg
He was burgomaster (mayor) and scholar. His book Experimenta nova Magdeburgia de vacua spatio (New Magdeburg Experiments about the Vacuum) published in 1672 is one of the first in the field of modern experimental physics.
Sack of Magdeburg
During the 30 Years’ War (1618-1648) the Protestant stronghold Magdeburg is stormed, sacked and burned by Tilly’s imperial troops.
Battle of Lützen
Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus falls in the Battle of Lützen. A memorial stone and a chapel commemorate the site today.
Guericke’s “Magdeburg Hemispheres” experiment
Otto von Guericke carries out his famous Magdeburg Hemispheres Experiment in 1657, proving that substances are not pulled by a vacuum, but pushed by the strength of surrounding air pressure.
“The Old Dessauer”
Leopold I of Anhalt-Dessau (“the Old Dessauer“) is born in Dessau.
Georg Philip Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann is considered one of the greatest Baroque musicians. The son of a clergyman, he was born in Magdeburg in 1681. He inspired Handel to become a musician.
Johann Sebastian Bach
He is considered the greatest German composer and church musician of the 18th century. From 1717 to 1723 he was director of music for Prince Leopold in Köthen and wrote, among other works, the Brandenburg Concertos.
George Frideric Handel
The virtuoso was born on February 23rd, 1685, in Halle (Saale). The house where he was born is now a memorial in this city on the Saale river.
Opening of the University Halle
The Brandenburg prince-elector Frederick III opens the university in Halle.
The region known today as Saxony-Anhalt provides numerous stimuli for German culture and European intellectual life in the 18th century.mehr
The first female German doctor
The woman who would become the first female German doctor, Dorothea von Erxleben, is born in Quedlinburg.
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock is born in Quedlinburg.
Battle of Rossbach
The Prussian army of Frederick the Great defeats the French.
Catherine the Great
Princess Sophie Auguste Friederike of Anhalt-Zerbst becomes Tsarina Catherine the Great of Russia.
Beginning of romanticism
Art flourishes in the area that is now Saxony-Anhalt. The poet Novalis (the blue flower) is born near Mansfeld.
The province Saxony is founded
The Congress of Vienna is held as a result of the Napoleonic Wars: founding of the Prussian Province of Saxony (capital Magdeburg) and the Anhaltian duchies Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Bernburg.
Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck is born in Schönhausen/Altmark.
The philosopher Oswald Sprengler is born in Sangerhausen.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is born in Röcken near Lützen.
Fontane in the Altmark
The poet and novelist Theodor Fontane wanders through the Altmark. Novels such as Effi Briest recall his impressions and experiences even today.
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) becomes Minister-President.
Born on April 1st, 1815, in Schönhausen (Altmark) to a wealthy landowner, Bismarck becomes the first Chancellor of Germany in 1871. He is the leading force in German politics until 1890.
Naumburg becomes seat of the Higher Regional Court
Naumburg becomes seat of the Higher Regional Court for the Province of Saxony and the Duchy of Anhalt.
Bauhaus in Dessau brings important architects and artists together. During the Second World War, many important cities are destroyed. Saxony-Anhalt becomes a province but is later abolished in the process of GDR centralisation politics. After reunification in 1990, it becomes a federal state.mehr
Bauhaus in Dessau
Dessau becomes the new home of the Bauhaus founded in Weimar in 1919. As one of the first institutes of higher education in the field of design, it brings leading architects and artists together.
Destruction during air raids
The cities of Magdeburg, Dessau, Halberstadt, Merseburg and Zerbst are destroyed during air raids shortly before the end of World War II.
Province of Saxony-Anhalt
The Province of Saxony-Anhalt is formed. The first Minister-President is Dr. Erhard Hübener (LDP). On January 10th, 1947, the constitution is promulgated, and on July 21st, 1947, it is renamed “State of Saxony-Anhalt”.
State of Saxony-Anhalt is abolished
The State of Saxony-Anhalt is abolished in the course of the GDR’s centralisation policy, and the Districts of Halle and Magdeburg are formed.
Federal State Saxony-Anhalt
On October 3rd, the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt is founded. On October 14th, its citizens vote for state parliament in a free election for the first time since 1946.
The constitution of the State of Saxony-Anhalt is promulgated on July 16th. Saxony-Anhalt becomes the third new Federal State (after Brandenburg and Saxony) to have a democratic constitution.
Centre of Social Housing Movement
Magdeburg, along with Frankfurt am Main, becomes a centre of the Social Housing Movement in the sense of Neues Bauen (“New Building”) in Germany.