Halberstadt is a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, the capital of Harz district. Located north of the Harz mountain range, it is known for its old town centre that was severely damaged in World War II and rebuilt in the following decades.

Halberstadt Stadt der Kirchen Foto 2005 Wolfgang Pehlemann Wiesbaden Germany PICT0042
Coat of arms of Halberstadt

Coat of arms
Location of Halberstadt within Harz district
Halberstadt in HZ
Halberstadt is located in Germany
Halberstadt is located in Saxony-Anhalt
Coordinates: 51°53′45″N 11°2′48″E / 51.89583°N 11.04667°ECoordinates: 51°53′45″N 11°2′48″E / 51.89583°N 11.04667°E
 • MayorAndreas Henke (Left)
 • Total142.97 km2 (55.20 sq mi)
119 m (390 ft)
 • Total40,256
 • Density280/km2 (730/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03941
Vehicle registrationHZ, HBS, QLB, WR


Halberstädter Domplatz
Cathedral square

Halberstadt is situated between the Harz in the south and the Huy hills in the north on the Holtemme and Goldbach rivers, both left tributaries of the Bode. The municipal area comprises the villages of Aspenstedt, Athenstedt, Langenstein, Sargstedt, and Ströbeck, all incorporated in 2010. Halberstadt is the base of the Department of Public Management of the Hochschule Harz University of Applied Studies and Research.

The town centre retains many important historic buildings and much of its ancient townscape. Notable places in Halberstadt include Halberstadt Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady (Liebfrauenkirche) and St Martin's, churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries. Halberstadt is the site of the first documented large, permanent pipe organ installation in 1361.[2] 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. The town is also a stop on the scenic German Timber-Frame Road

The town can be reached via the Bundesstraße 6n (since 2019 called Bundesautobahn 36), 79, 81, and 245 federal highways. Halberstadt station is an important railway hub on the Magdeburg–Thale and Halle–Vienenburg lines, mainly served by Transdev Sachsen-Anhalt. The Halberstadt tramway network currently operates two lines.

Germania Halberstadt is a football club which plays in Halberstadt.


Liebfrauenkirche in Halberstadt, Sachsen-Anhalt

In 814 the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious made the Christian mission in the German stem duchy of Saxony the episcopal see of the Diocese of Halberstadt. It was vested with market rights by King Otto III in 989. The town became the administrative centre of the Saxon Harzgau and an important trading location. The Halberstadt bishops had the Church of Our Lady erected from about 1005 onwards. In his fierce conflict with Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, the forces of the Saxon duke Henry the Lion devastated the town in 1179.

Upon Henry's downfall, the Halberstadt diocese was elevated to a prince-bishopric about 1180. Its Cathedral was rebuilt from 1236 and consecrated in 1491. Halberstadt, Quedlinburg and Aschersleben joined a league of towns (Halberstädter Dreistädtebund) in 1326; from 1387, the city was also a member of the Hanse.

From 1479, the diocese was administrated by the Archbishops of Magdeburg. While the Halberstadt citizens turned Protestant around 1540, the cathedral chapter elected Prince Henry Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel first Lutheran bishop in 1566. During the Thirty Years' War, the town was occupied by the troops of Albrecht von Wallenstein in 1629 and temporarily re-Catholicized according to the imperial Edict of Restitution. According to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the prince-bishopric was finally secularized to the Principality of Halberstadt held by Brandenburg-Prussia. The first secular governor was Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal.

Halberstadt became part of the newly established Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. From 1747 Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim worked here as a government official and made his home an intellectual centre of the Enlightenment (Aufklärung) movement. Upon the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit, the town became part of the Kingdom of Westphalia, a Napoleonic client-state, and administrative seat of the Westphalian Department of Saale. On 29 July 1809, a Westphalian regiment was defeated by the Black Brunswickers under Prince Frederick William of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in the Battle of Halberstadt.[3]

After the defeat of Napoleon, the town was restored to Prussia and subsequently administered within the Province of Saxony. From 1815, Halberstadt was home of garrison of the Prussian 7th (Magdeburg) Cuirassiers "von Seydlitz" regiment, with Otto von Bismarck in the rank of an officer à la suite from 1868. The town's economy was decisively promoted by the opening of the Magdeburg–Halberstadt Railway in 1843. The tramway was inaugurated in 1903.

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1980-121-23, Flugzeuge Junkers Ju 88, Montage
Junkers Ju 88 wing production

In 1912 the Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke aircraft manufacturer was founded followed by the opening of a military airbase, providing the German Luftstreitkräfte in World War I. After the war it had to close down according to the regulations of the Treaty of Versailles, until in the course of the German re-armament, it opened again in 1935 as a branch of the Junkers company in Dessau. The aircraft factory was the site of an SS forced labourer camp, one of several subcamps of Buchenwald; the production facilities and the nearby Luftwaffe airbase were targets of Allied bombing during the 'Big Week' in February 1944.

In the last days of World War II, in April 1945, US forces approached Halberstadt as they attacked remaining Nazi troops in the short-lived Harz pocket. They dropped leaflets instructing Halberstadt's Nazi ruler to fly a white flag on the town hall as a token of surrender.[4] He refused, no white flag was raised and on 8 April 1945, 218 Flying Fortresses of the 8th Air Force, accompanied by 239 escort fighters, dropped 595 tons of bombs on the centre of Halberstadt. This killed about 2,500 people and converted most of the old town into some 1.5 million cubic metres of rubble, which American troops briefly occupied three days later.[5] By June 1945, the town and its garrison was handed over to the 3rd Shock Army of the Soviet Red Army forces.

Halberstadt was part of newly established Saxony-Anhalt from 1945–1952, after which it was within Bezirk Magdeburg in East Germany. During the Peaceful Revolution in Autumn 1989, St Martin's Church was a centre of the Swords to ploughshares movement. After the reunification of Germany, Halberstadt became part of the restored state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Inneres der Halberstädter Synagoge
Interior of Halberstadt Synagogue in 1930 (watercolour painting)

Jewish culture

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 (1661–1730). One example of Lehmann's work was the impressive Baroque synagogue he financed, which was completed in 1712. In November 1938, after the Kristallnacht pogroms, the Nazi authorities forced the Jewish community to demolish the building, as the attack on it was said to have left it in danger of collapsing.

A short distance from the synagogue, 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.

World's slowest, longest concert

Halberstadt St-Burchardi-Kirche

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.

Notable residents

International relations

Halberstadt is twinned with:[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden – Stand: 31. Dezember 2018" (PDF). Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German).
  2. ^ Kennedy, Michael (Ed.) (2002). "Organ". In The Oxford Dictionary of Music, p. 644. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ *Gill, John H (2010), With Eagles to Glory: Napoleon and His German Allies in the 1809 Campaign, Frontline Books, ISBN 978-1848325821 (p. 450)
  4. ^ Simon Winder. Germania : in wayward pursuit of the Germans and their history. page 435. Picador 2010. ISBN 9781135963422.
  5. ^ Roger A. Freeman: Mighty Eighth War Diary. JANE´S. London, New York, Sydney 1981. ISBN 0 7106 00 38 0. page 483
  6. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften der Stadt Halberstadt" (in German). Der Oberbürgermeister, Stadt Halberstadt. Retrieved 2015-01-04.

External links

Ferdinand Heine

Jakob Gottlieb Ferdinand Heine (9 March 1809, in Halberstadt – 28 March 1894) was a German ornithologist and collector.

Heine had one of the largest private collection of birds in the mid-19th century. The collection now housed at the Heineanum Halberstadt Museum in Halberstadt (27000 specimens, 15000 books). Jean Cabanis wrote about the collection in Museum Heineanum. Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine, auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstadt (4 volumes, 1850–63).

Foxy Shazam

Foxy Shazam is an American rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio (composed of lead vocalist Eric Nally, guitarist Loren Turner, pianist Sky White, bassist Daisy Caplan, trumpeter and back-up vocalist Alex Nauth, and drummer Aaron McVeigh). They were formed in 2004. The band released their debut album The Flamingo Trigger independently before signing with Ferret Music, under which they recorded their second album, Introducing. The following year, the band recorded its first major label record with producer John Feldmann. Foxy Shazam signed with Sire Records and released its self-titled major label debut in 2010. The band's fourth studio album, The Church of Rock and Roll, was released in January 2012. Gonzo, the band's fifth album, was released April 2, 2014. They announced in October 2014 they were disbanding for an unknown length of time.

Halberstadt C.I

The Halberstadt C.I was a German single-engined reconnaissance biplane of World War I, built by Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke.

Halberstadt C.III

The Halberstadt C.III was a German single-engined reconnaissance biplane of World War I, built by Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke.

Halberstadt C.IX

The Halberstadt C.IX was a German single-engined reconnaissance biplane of World War I, built by Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke. It was derived from the Halberstadt C.V, with a more powerful supercharged 230 hp Hiero engine.

Halberstadt C.V

The Halberstadt C.V was a German single-engined reconnaissance biplane of World War I, built by Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke. Derived from the Halberstadt C.III, with a more powerful supercharged 160 kW (220 hp) Benz Bz.IVü engine, it saw service only in the final months of the war. Cameras were mounted in the observer's cockpit floor.

The aircraft had very good flight characteristics, especially manoeuvrability and rate of climb, and was among best German World War I aircraft in its class. First aircraft appeared in front in late June 1918.

Halberstadt C.VII

The Halberstadt C.VII was a German single-engined reconnaissance biplane of World War I, built by Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke. It was derived from the Halberstadt C.V, with a more powerful supercharged 183 kW (245 hp) Maybach Mb.IV engine.

Halberstadt C.VIII

The Halberstadt C.VIII was a prototype two-seat general-purpose biplane built by Halberstadt during World War I.

Halberstadt CL.II

The Halberstadt CL.II was a German two-seat escort fighter/ground attack aircraft of World War I. It served in large numbers with the German Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) in 1917-18.

Halberstadt CL.IV

The Halberstadt CL.IV was a German ground attack aircraft of World War I.

Halberstadt CLS.I

The Germania C.I was a prototype two-seat general-purpose biplane built by Halberstadt during World War I.

Halberstadt D.I

The Halberstadt D.I was a prototype fighter aircraft built in Germany in 1916 as a scaled down version of the firm's earlier B.II two seater. It was a conventional, two-bay biplane with staggered wings of nearly equal span and fixed, tailskid undercarriage. The engine was the same Mercedes D.I that was fitted to the B.II, and a single machine gun was fitted. Two prototypes were evaluated by the Idflieg, their performance being found inadequate. The modifications required to bring the aircraft up to an acceptable standard would result in the Halberstadt D.II later the same year.

Halberstadt D.II

The Halberstadt D.II was a biplane fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by German aircraft company Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke.

It was adopted by the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) and served through the period of Allied air superiority in early 1916. As the first biplane configuration fighter aircraft to serve in combat for the German Empire, it had begun to be superseded in the Jagdstaffeln and other early German fighter units by the superior Albatros fighters in the second half of the year, although small numbers of Halberstadts continued in use well into 1917.

Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke

Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke or Halberstadt was a German aircraft manufacturer. It was formed on 9 April 1912 under the name Deutsche Bristol Werke Flugzeug-Gesellschaft mbH in Halberstadt, Province of Saxony.

List of World War I Central Powers aircraft

This is a list of military aircraft used by the Central Powers in World War I

Principality of Halberstadt

The Principality of Halberstadt (German: Fürstentum Halberstadt) was a state of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by Brandenburg-Prussia. It replaced the Bishopric of Halberstadt after its secularization in 1648. Its capital was Halberstadt. In 1807, the principality was made a state or regional capital of the Kingdom of Westphalia. In 1813, control of the principality was restored, and its sovereign rights were confirmed as the possession of the Kingdom of Prussia.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Halberstadt

The Bishopric of Halberstadt was a Roman Catholic diocese (German: Bistum Halberstadt; 804–1648) and a state within the Holy Roman Empire, the Prince-bishopric of Halberstadt (German: Hochstift Halberstadt; 1180–1648). Its capital was Halberstadt in present-day Saxony-Anhalt, north of the Harz mountain range, Germany.

Trams in Halberstadt

The Halberstadt tramway network (German: Straßenbahnnetz Halberstadt) is a network of tramways forming part of the public transport system in Halberstadt, a city in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

Opened in 1887, the network has been operated since 1992 by Halberstädter Verkehrs-GmbH (HVG).

VfB Germania Halberstadt

VfB Germania Halberstadt is a German football club from Halberstadt in Saxony-Anhalt.

Towns and municipalities in the district of Harz


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