Saxony (German: Sachsen, Upper Sorbian: Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (German: Freistaat Sachsen [ˈfʁaɪ̯ʃtaːt ˈzaksn̩], Upper Sorbian: Swobodny stat Sakska), is a landlocked federal state of Germany, bordering the federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland (Lower Silesian and Lubusz Voivodeships) and the Czech Republic (Karlovy Vary, Liberec, and Ústí nad Labem Regions). Its capital is Dresden, and its largest city is Leipzig.
Saxony is the tenth largest of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of 18,413 square kilometres (7,109 sq mi), and the sixth most populous, with 4 million people.
The area of the modern state of Saxony should not be confused with Old Saxony, the area inhabited by Saxons. Old Saxony corresponds roughly to the modern German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and the Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Free State of Saxony
|• Body||Landtag of the Free State of Saxony|
|• Minister-President||Michael Kretschmer (CDU)|
|• Governing parties||CDU / SPD|
|• Bundesrat votes||4 (of 69)|
|• Total||18,415.66 km2 (7,110.33 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||DE-SN|
|GDP (nominal)||€113/ $125 billion (2015)|
|GDP per capita||€28,000/ $31,000 (2015)|
very high · 9th of 16
Saxony is divided into 10 districts:
1. Bautzen (BZ)
2. Erzgebirgskreis (ERZ)
3. Görlitz (GR)
4. Leipzig (L)
5. Meißen (MEI) (Meissen)
6. Mittelsachsen (FG)
7. Nordsachsen (TDO)
8. Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge (PIR)
9. Vogtlandkreis (V)
10. Zwickau (Z)
Between 1990 and 2008, Saxony was divided into the three regions (Regierungsbezirke) of Chemnitz, Dresden, and Leipzig. After a reform in 2008, these regions - with some alterations of their respective areas - were called Direktionsbezirke. In 2012, the authorities of these regions were merged into one central authority, the Landesdirektion Sachsen.
The Erzgebirgskreis district includes the Ore Mountains, and the Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge district includes Saxon Switzerland and the Eastern Ore Mountains.
The largest cities in Saxony according to the 31 December 2015 estimate are listed below. To this can be added that Leipzig forms a metropolitan-like region with Halle, known as Ballungsraum Leipzig/Halle. The latter city is located just across the border of Saxony-Anhalt. Leipzig shares, for instance, an S-train system (known as S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland) and an airport with Halle.
Saxony has, after Saxony Anhalt, the most vibrant economy of the states of the former East Germany (GDR). Its economy grew by 1.9% in 2010. Nonetheless, unemployment remains above the German average. The eastern part of Germany, excluding Berlin, qualifies as an "Objective 1" development-region within the European Union, and was eligible to receive investment subsidies up to 30% until 2013. FutureSAX, a business plan competition and entrepreneurial support organisation, has been in operation since 2002.
Microchip-makers near Dresden have given the region the nickname "Silicon Saxony". The publishing and porcelain industries of the region are well known, although their contributions to the regional economy are no longer significant. Today, the automobile industry, machinery production, and services contribute to the economic development of the region. Saxony is also one of the most renowned tourist destinations in Germany - especially the cities of Leipzig and Dresden and their surroundings. New tourist destinations are developing, notably in the lake district of Lausitz.
Saxony reported an average unemployment of 6.2% in 2017 (8.8% in 2014). By comparison, the average in the former GDR was 6.8% and 5.5% for Germany overall. The unemployment rate stood at 5.5% in October 2018.
|Unemployment rate in %||17.0||17.5||17.8||17.9||17.8||18.3||17.0||14.7||12.8||12.9||11.8||10.6||9.8||9.4||8.8||8.2||7.5||6.7|
The Leipzig area, which until recently was among the regions with the highest unemployment rate, could benefit greatly from investments by Porsche and BMW. With the VW Phaeton factory in Dresden, and many parts suppliers, the automobile industry has again become one of the pillars of Saxon industry, as it was in the early 20th century. Zwickau is another major Volkswagen location. Freiberg, a former mining town, has emerged as a foremost location for solar technology. Dresden and some other regions of Saxony play a leading role in some areas of international biotechnology, such as electronic bioengineering. While these high-technology sectors do not yet offer a large number of jobs, they have stopped or even reversed the brain drain that was occurring until the early 2000s in many parts of Saxony. Regional universities have strengthened their positions by partnering with local industries. Unlike smaller towns, Dresden and Leipzig in the past experienced significant population growth.
The population of Saxony began declining around the middle of the 20th century, a process which accelerated after German reunification in 1990. The second decade of the 21st century has seen demographic decline stabilize through immigration. In recent years the cities of Dresden and Leipzig, and some towns in their hinterlands, have had population increases. The following table illustrates the population of Saxony since 1905:
|Significant foreign resident populations|
|Nationality||Population (1 January 2018)|
The average number of children per woman in Saxony was 1.49 in 2010, the highest of all German states. In 2016, the value reached 1.59. Within Saxony, the highest is the Bautzen district with 1.77, while Leipzig is the lowest with 1.49. Dresden's birth rate of 1.58 is the highest of all German cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants.
Saxony has a long history as a duchy, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire (the Electorate of Saxony), and finally as a kingdom (the Kingdom of Saxony). In 1918, after Germany's defeat in World War I, its monarchy was overthrown and a republican form of government was established under the current name. The state was broken up into smaller units during communist rule (1949–1989), but was re-established on 3 October 1990 on the reunification of East and West Germany.
In prehistoric times, the territory of Saxony was the site of some of the largest of the ancient central European monumental temples, dating from the fifth century BC. Notable archaeological sites have been discovered in Dresden and the villages of Eythra and Zwenkau near Leipzig. The Slavic and Germanic presence in the territory of today's Saxony is thought to have begun in the first century BC.
Parts of Saxony were possibly under the control of the Germanic King Marobod during the Roman era. By the late Roman period, several tribes known as the Saxons emerged, from which the subsequent state(s) draw their name.
The first medieval Duchy of Saxony was a late Early Middle Ages "Carolingian stem duchy", which emerged around the start of the 8th century AD and grew to include the greater part of Northern Germany, what are now the modern German states of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony-Anhalt. The Saxons converted to Christianity during this period.
While the Saxons were facing pressure from Charlemagne's Franks, they were also facing a westward push by Slavs to the east. The territory of the Free State of Saxony, called White Serbia was, since the 5th century, populated by Slavs before being conquered by Germans e.g. Saxons and Thuringii. A legacy of this period is the Sorb population in Saxony. Eastern parts of present Saxony were ruled by Poland between 1002 and 1032 and by Bohemia since 1293.
The territory of the Free State of Saxony became part of the Holy Roman Empire by the 10th century, when the dukes of Saxony were also kings (or emperors) of the Holy Roman Empire, comprising the Ottonian, or Saxon, Dynasty. Around this time, the Billungs, a Saxon noble family, received extensive fields in Saxony. The emperor eventually gave them the title of dukes of Saxony. After Duke Magnus died in 1106, causing the extinction of the male line of Billungs, oversight of the duchy was given to Lothar of Supplinburg, who also became emperor for a short time.
In 1137, control of Saxony passed to the Guelph dynasty, descendants of Wulfhild Billung, eldest daughter of the last Billung duke, and the daughter of Lothar of Supplinburg. In 1180 large portions west of the Weser were ceded to the Bishops of Cologne, while some central parts between the Weser and the Elbe remained with the Guelphs, becoming later the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The remaining eastern lands, together with the title of Duke of Saxony, passed to an Ascanian dynasty (descended from Eilika Billung, Wulfhild's younger sister) and were divided in 1260 into the two small states of Saxe-Lauenburg and Saxe-Wittenberg. The former state was also named Lower Saxony, the latter Upper Saxony, thence the later names of the two Imperial Circles Saxe-Lauenburg and Saxe-Wittenberg. Both claimed the Saxon electoral privilege for themselves, but the Golden Bull of 1356 accepted only Wittenberg's claim, with Lauenburg nevertheless continuing to maintain its claim. In 1422, when the Saxon electoral line of the Ascanians became extinct, the Ascanian Eric V of Saxe-Lauenburg tried to reunite the Saxon duchies.
However, Sigismund, King of the Romans, had already granted Margrave Frederick IV the Warlike of Meissen (House of Wettin) an expectancy of the Saxon electorate in order to remunerate his military support. On 1 August 1425 Sigismund enfeoffed the Wettinian Frederick as Prince-Elector of Saxony, despite the protests of Eric V. Thus the Saxon territories remained permanently separated. The Electorate of Saxony was then merged with the much bigger Wettinian Margraviate of Meissen, however using the higher-ranking name Electorate of Saxony and even the Ascanian coat-of-arms for the entire monarchy. Thus Saxony came to include Dresden and Meissen. In the 18th and 19th centuries Saxe-Lauenburg was colloquially called the Duchy of Lauenburg, which in 1876 merged with Prussia as the Duchy of Lauenburg district.
Saxony-Wittenberg, in modern Saxony-Anhalt, became subject to the margravate of Meissen, ruled by the Wettin dynasty in 1423. This established a new and powerful state, occupying large portions of the present Free State of Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria (Coburg and its environs). Although the centre of this state was far to the southeast of the former Saxony, it came to be referred to as Upper Saxony and then simply Saxony, while the former Saxon territories were now known as Lower Saxony.
In 1485, Saxony was split. A collateral line of the Wettin princes received what later became Thuringia and founded several small states there (see Ernestine duchies). The remaining Saxon state became still more powerful and was known in the 18th century for its cultural achievements, although it was politically weaker than Prussia and Austria, states which oppressed Saxony from the north and south, respectively.
In 1756, Saxony joined a coalition of Austria, France and Russia against Prussia. Frederick II of Prussia chose to attack preemptively and invaded Saxony in August 1756, precipitating the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War). The Prussians quickly defeated Saxony and incorporated the Saxon army into the Prussian army. At the end of the Seven Years' War, Saxony recovered its independence in the 1763 Treaty of Hubertusburg.
In 1806, French Emperor Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire and established the Electorate of Saxony as a kingdom in exchange for military support. The Elector Frederick Augustus III accordingly became King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. Frederick Augustus remained loyal to Napoleon during the wars that swept Europe in the following years; he was taken prisoner and his territories declared forfeit by the allies in 1813, after the defeat of Napoleon. Prussia intended the annexation of Saxony but the opposition of Austria, France, and the United Kingdom to this plan resulted in the restoration of Frederick Augustus to his throne at the Congress of Vienna although he was forced to cede the northern part of the kingdom to Prussia. These lands became the Prussian province of Saxony, now incorporated in the modern state of Saxony-Anhalt except westernmost part around Bad Langensalza now in the one of Thuringia. Also Lower Lusatia became part of Province of Brandenburg and northeastern part of Upper Lusatia became part of Silesia Province. The remnant of the Kingdom of Saxony was roughly identical with the present federal state, albeit slightly smaller.
Meanwhile, in 1815, the southern part of Saxony, now called the "State of Saxony" joined the German Confederation. (This German Confederation should not be confused with the North German Confederation mentioned below.) In the politics of the Confederation, Saxony was overshadowed by Prussia. King Anthony of Saxony came to the throne of Saxony in 1827. Shortly thereafter, liberal pressures in Saxony mounted and broke out in revolt during 1830—a year of revolution in Europe. The revolution in Saxony resulted in a constitution for the State of Saxony that served as the basis for its government until 1918.
During the 1848–49 constitutionalist revolutions in Germany, Saxony became a hotbed of revolutionaries, with anarchists such as Mikhail Bakunin and democrats including Richard Wagner and Gottfried Semper taking part in the May Uprising in Dresden in 1849. (Scenes of Richard Wagner's participation in the May 1849 uprising in Dresden are depicted in the 1983 movie Wagner starring Richard Burton as Richard Wagner.) The May uprising in Dresden forced King Frederick Augustus II of Saxony to concede further reforms to the Saxon government.
In 1854 Frederick Augustus II's brother, King John of Saxony, succeeded to the throne. A scholar, King John translated Dante. King John followed a federalistic and pro-Austrian policy throughout the early 1860s until the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian War. During that war, Prussian troops overran Saxony without resistance and then invaded Austrian (today's Czech) Bohemia. After the war, Saxony was forced to pay an indemnity and to join the North German Confederation in 1867. Under the terms of the North German Confederation, Prussia took over control of the Saxon postal system, railroads, military and foreign affairs. In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Saxon troops fought together with Prussian and other German troops against France. In 1871, Saxony joined the newly formed German Empire.
After King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony abdicated on 13 November 1918, Saxony, remaining a constituent state of Germany (Weimar Republic), became the Free State of Saxony under a new constitution enacted on 1 November 1920. In October 1923 the federal government under Chancellor Gustav Stresemann overthrew the legally elected SPD-Communist coalition government of Saxony. The state retained its name and borders during the Nazi era as a Gau (Gau Saxony), but lost its quasi-autonomous status and its parliamentary democracy.
As World War II drew to its end, U.S. troops under General George Patton occupied the western part of Saxony in April 1945, while Soviet troops occupied the eastern part. That summer, the entire state was handed over to Soviet forces as agreed in the London Protocol of September 1944. Britain, the US, and the USSR then negotiated Germany's future at the Potsdam Conference. Under the Potsdam Agreement, all German territory East of the Oder-Neisse line was annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union, and, unlike in the aftermath of World War I, the annexing powers were allowed to expel the inhabitants. During the following three years, Poland and Czechoslovakia forcibly expelled German-speaking people from their territories, and some of these expellees came to Saxony. Only a small area of Saxony lying east of the Neisse River and centred around the town of Reichenau (now called Bogatynia), was annexed by Poland. The Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SVAG) merged that very small part of the Prussian province of Lower Silesia that remained in Germany with Saxony.
On 20 October 1946, SVAG organised elections for the Saxon state parliament (Landtag), but many people were arbitrarily excluded from candidacy and suffrage, and the Soviet Union openly supported the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). The new minister-president Rudolf Friedrichs (SED), had been a member of the SPD until April 1946. He met his Bavarian counterparts in the U.S. zone of occupation in October 1946 and May 1947, but died suddenly in mysterious circumstances the following month. He was succeeded by Max Seydewitz, a loyal follower of Joseph Stalin.
The German Democratic Republic (East Germany), including Saxony, was established in 1949 out of the Soviet zone of Occupied Germany, becoming a constitutionally socialist state, part of COMECON and the Warsaw Pact, under the leadership of the SED. In 1952 the government abolished the Free State of Saxony, and divided its territory into three Bezirke: Leipzig, Dresden, and Karl-Marx-Stadt (formerly and currently Chemnitz). Areas around Hoyerswerda were also part of the Cottbus Bezirk.
The Free State of Saxony was reconstituted with slightly altered borders in 1990, following German reunification. Besides the formerly Silesian area of Saxony, which was mostly included in the territory of the new Saxony, the free state gained further areas north of Leipzig that had belonged to Saxony-Anhalt since 1952.
The Electoral Saxony, a predecessor of today's Saxony, was the original birthplace of the Reformation. The elector was Lutheran starting in 1525. The Lutheran church was organized through the late 1510s and the early 1520s. It was officially established in 1527 by John the Steadfast. Although some of the sites associated with Martin Luther also lie in the current state of Saxony-Anhalt (including Wittenberg, Eisleben and Mansfeld), today's Saxony is usually viewed as the formal successor to what used to be Luther's country back in the 16th century (i.e. the Electoral Saxony).
Martin Luther personally oversaw the Lutheran church in Saxony and shaped it consistently with his own views and ideas. The 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were heavily dominated by Lutheran orthodoxy. In addition, the Reformed faith made inroads with the so-called crypto Calvinists, but was strongly persecuted in an overwhelmingly Lutheran state. In the 17th century, Pietism became an important influence. In the 18th century, the Moravian Church was set up on Count von Zinzendorf's property at Herrnhut. From 1525, the rulers were traditionally Lutheran and widely acknowledged as defenders of the Protestant faith, although – beginning with Augustus II the Strong, who was required to convert to Roman Catholicism in 1697 in order to become King of Poland – its monarchs were exclusively Roman Catholic. That meant Augustus and the subsequent Kings of Saxony, who were Roman Catholic, ruled over a state with an almost entirely Protestant population.
After World War II, Saxony was incorporated into East Germany which pursued a policy of state atheism. After 45 years of Communist rule, the majority of the population has become unaffiliated. As of 2011, the Evangelical Church in Germany represented the largest faith in the state, adhered to by 21.4% of the population. Members of the Roman Catholic Church formed a minority of 3.8%. About 0.9% of the Saxons belonged to an Evangelical free church (Evangelische Freikirche, i.e. various Protestants outside the EKD), 0.3% to Orthodox churches and 1% to other religious communities, while 72.6% did not belong to any public-law religious society.
The most common patois spoken in Saxony are combined in the group of "Thuringian and Upper Saxon dialects". Due to the inexact use of the term "Saxon dialects" in colloquial language, the Upper Saxon attribute has been added to distinguish it from Old Saxon and Low Saxon. Other German dialects spoken in Saxony are the dialects of the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains), which have been affected by Upper Saxon dialects, and the dialects of the Vogtland, which are more affected by the East Franconian languages.
Upper Sorbian (a Slavic language) is still actively spoken in the parts of Upper Lusatia that are inhabited by the Sorbian minority. The Germans in Upper Lusatia speak distinct dialects of their own (Lusatian dialects).
Saxony has four large universities and five Fachhochschulen or Universities of Applied Sciences. The Dresden University of Technology, founded in 1828, is one of Germany's oldest universities and University of Applied Sciences, Zwickau founded in 1897 With 36,066 students as of 2010, it is the largest university in Saxony and one of the ten largest universities in Germany. It is a member of TU9, a consortium of nine leading German Institutes of Technology. Leipzig University is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university (by consecutive years of existence) in Germany, founded in 1409. Famous alumni include Leibniz, Goethe, Ranke, Nietzsche, Wagner, Cai Yuanpei, Angela Merkel, Raila Odinga, Tycho Brahe, and nine Nobel laureates are associated with this university.
Saxony is a well known tourist destination. Dresden and Leipzig are two of Germany's most visited cities. Areas along the border with the Czech Republic, such as the Lusatian Mountains, Ore Mountains, Saxon Switzerland, and Vogtland, attract significant visitors, largely Germans. Saxony has well-preserved historic towns such as Meissen, Freiberg, Pirna, Bautzen, and Görlitz.
|Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands – CDU
|Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD
|Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland – AfD
|Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
|National Democratic Party of Germany
Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands – NPD
|Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
|Totals and voter turnout||1,659,645||49.2||3.0||126||6|
Augustus III (Polish: August III Sas, Lithuanian: Augustas III; 17 October 1696 – 5 October 1763) was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1734 until 1763, as well as Elector of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire from 1733 until 1763 where he was known as Frederick Augustus II (German: Friedrich August II).
The only legitimate son of Augustus II of Poland, he followed his father's example by joining the Roman Catholic Church in 1712. In 1719 he married Maria Josepha, daughter of Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, and became Elector of Saxony on his father's death in 1733. As a candidate for the Polish crown, he secured the support of Emperor Charles VI by assenting to the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, designed to preserve the integrity of the Habsburg inheritance, and that of Russian Empress Anna by supporting Russia's claim to Courland. Chosen king by a small minority of electors on 5 October 1733, he drove his rival, the former Polish king Stanisław I, into exile. He was crowned in Kraków on 17 January 1734, and was generally recognised as king in Warsaw in June 1736.Augustus gave Saxon support to Austria against Prussia in the War of the Austrian Succession (1742) and again in the Seven Years' War (1756), both of which resulted in Saxony being conquered and occupied by Prussia. His last years were marked by the increasing influence of the Czartoryski and Poniatowski families, and by the intervention of Catherine the Great in Polish affairs. His rule deepened the anarchy in Poland and increased the country's dependence on its neighbours. The Russian Empire, which had assisted him in his bid to succeed his father, prevented him from installing his family on the Polish throne, supporting instead the aristocrat Stanisław August Poniatowski. During his reign, Augustus spent little time in Poland and was more interested in ease and pleasure than in affairs of state; this notable patron of the arts left the administration of Saxony and Poland to his chief adviser, Heinrich von Brühl, who in turn left Polish administration chiefly to the powerful Czartoryski family.The reign of Augustus witnessed one of the greatest periods of disorder in Polish history.Augustus II the Strong
Augustus II the Strong (Polish: August II Mocny; German: August II. der Starke; Lithuanian: Augustas II; 12 May 1670 – 1 February 1733), also known in Saxony as Frederick Augustus I, was Elector of Saxony from 1697, Imperial Vicar and elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in the years 1697–1706 and from 1709 until his death in 1733.
Augustus' great physical strength earned him the nicknames "the Strong", "the Saxon Hercules" and "Iron-Hand". He liked to show that he lived up to his name by breaking horseshoes with his bare hands and engaging in fox tossing by holding the end of his sling with just one finger while two of the strongest men in his court held the other end. He is also notable for having conceived a very large number of children.
In order to be elected King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Augustus converted to Roman Catholicism. As a Catholic, he received the Order of the Golden Fleece from the Holy Roman Emperor. As Elector of Saxony, he is perhaps best remembered as a patron of the arts and architecture. He established the Saxon capital of Dresden as a major cultural centre, attracting artists from across Europe to his court. Augustus also amassed an impressive art collection and built lavish baroque palaces in Dresden and Warsaw.
His reigns brought Poland some troubled times. He led the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Great Northern War, which allowed the Russian Empire to strengthen its influence in Europe, especially within Poland. His main pursuit was bolstering royal power in the Commonwealth, characterized by broad decentralization in comparison with other European monarchies. He tried to accomplish this goal using foreign powers and thus destabilized the state. Augustus ruled Poland with an interval; in 1704 the Swedes installed nobleman Stanisław Leszczyński as king, who officially reigned from 1706 to 1709 and after Augustus' death in 1733 which sparked the War of the Polish Succession.Braunschweig
Braunschweig (German pronunciation: [ˈbʁaʊ̯nʃvaɪ̯k] (listen); Low German: Brunswiek [ˈbrɔˑnsviːk]), also called Brunswick in English, is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, north of the Harz mountains at the farthest navigable point of the Oker River which connects it to the North Sea via the Aller and Weser Rivers. In 2016, it had a population of 250,704.
A powerful and influential centre of commerce in medieval Germany, Braunschweig was a member of the Hanseatic League from the 13th until the 17th century. It was the capital city of three successive states: the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1269–1432, 1754–1807, and 1813–1814), the Duchy of Brunswick (1814–1918), and the Free State of Brunswick (1918–1946).
Today, Braunschweig is the second-largest city in Lower Saxony and a major centre of scientific research and development.Dresden
Dresden (German pronunciation: [ˈdʁeːsdn̩] (listen); Upper and Lower Sorbian: Drježdźany; Czech: Drážďany; Polish: Drezno) is the capital city and, after Leipzig, the second-largest city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the border with the Czech Republic.
Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor, and was once by personal union the family seat of Polish monarchs. The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city centre. The controversial American and British bombing of Dresden in World War II towards the end of the war killed approximately 25,000 people, many of whom were civilians, and destroyed the entire city centre. After the war restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Zwinger and the famous Semper Oper.
Since German reunification in 1990 Dresden is again a cultural, educational and political centre of Germany and Europe. The Dresden University of Technology is one of the 10 largest universities in Germany and part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. The economy of Dresden and its agglomeration is one of the most dynamic in Germany and ranks first in Saxony. It is dominated by high-tech branches, often called “Silicon Saxony”. The city is also one of the most visited in Germany with 4.3 million overnight stays per year. The royal buildings are among the most impressive buildings in Europe. Main sights are also the nearby National Park of Saxon Switzerland, the Ore Mountains and the countryside around Elbe Valley and Moritzburg Castle. The most prominent building in the city of Dresden is the Frauenkirche. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed during World War II. The remaining ruins were left for 50 years as a war memorial, before being rebuilt between 1994 and 2005.
Dresden has nearly 560,000 inhabitants, the agglomeration is the largest in Saxony with 780,000 inhabitants.
According to the Hamburgische Weltwirtschaftsinstitut (HWWI) and Berenberg Bank in 2017, Dresden has the fourth best prospects for the future of all cities in Germany.Duchy of Saxony
The Duchy of Saxony (Low German: Hartogdom Sassen, German: Herzogtum Sachsen) was originally the area settled by the Saxons in the late Early Middle Ages, when they were subdued by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars from 772 and incorporated into the Carolingian Empire (Francia) by 804. Upon the 843 Treaty of Verdun, Saxony was one of the five German stem duchies of East Francia; Duke Henry the Fowler was elected German king in 919.
Upon the deposition of the Welf duke Henry the Lion in 1180, the ducal title fell to the House of Ascania, while numerous territories split from Saxony, such as the Principality of Anhalt in 1218 and the Welf Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1235. In 1296 the remaining lands were divided between the Ascanian dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg and Saxe-Wittenberg, the latter obtaining the title of Electors of Saxony by the Golden Bull of 1356.Elbe
The Elbe (; Czech: Labe [ˈlabɛ]; German: Elbe [ˈɛlbə]; Low German: Elv, historically in English also Elve) is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia (Czech Republic), then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km (68 mi) northwest of Hamburg. Its total length is 1,094 kilometres (680 mi).The Elbe's major tributaries include the rivers Vltava, Saale, Havel, Mulde, Schwarze Elster, and Ohře.The Elbe river basin, comprising the Elbe and its tributaries, has a catchment area of 148,268 square kilometres (57,247 sq mi), the fourth largest in Europe. The basin spans four countries, with its largest parts in Germany (65.5%) and the Czech Republic (33.7%). Much smaller parts lie in Austria (0.6%) and Poland (0.2%). The basin is inhabited by 24.4 million people.Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony (German: Kurfürstentum Sachsen, also Kursachsen) was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356. Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was feoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the ducal residence up the river Elbe to Dresden. After the Empire's dissolution in 1806, the Wettin Electors raised Saxony to a territorially reduced kingdom.Halle (Saale)
Halle (Saale) (UK: , US: ; traditionally Halle an der Saale [ˈhalə ʔan dɐ ˈzaːlə] (listen)) is a city in the southern part of the German state Saxony-Anhalt. It is the largest city of the state and the fourth-largest of former East Germany.
Halle is an economic and educational center in central-eastern Germany. The University of Halle-Wittenberg is the largest university in Saxony-Anhalt, one of the oldest universities in Germany, and a nurturing ground for the local startup ecosystem. Together with Leipzig, Halle is at the heart of the Central German Metropolitan Region.Hanover
Hanover or Hannover (; German: Hannover [haˈnoːfɐ] (listen); Low German: Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Its 535,061 (2017) inhabitants make it the thirteenth-largest city of Germany, as well as the third-largest city of Northern Germany after Hamburg and Bremen. The city lies at the confluence of the River Leine (progression: Aller→ Weser→ North Sea) and its tributary Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain, and is the largest city of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. It is the fifth-largest city in the Low German dialect area after Hamburg, Dortmund, Essen, and Bremen.
Before it became the capital of Lower Saxony in 1946, Hanover was the capital of the Principality of Calenberg (1636–1692), the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1692–1814), the Kingdom of Hanover (1814–1866), the Province of Hanover of the Kingdom of Prussia (1868–1918), the Province of Hanover of the Free State of Prussia (1918–1946), and of the State of Hanover (1946). From 1714 to 1837, Hanover was by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, under their title of the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg (later described as the Elector of Hanover).
The city is a major crossing point of railway lines and highways (Autobahnen), connecting European main lines in both the east-west (Berlin–Ruhr area/Düsseldorf/Cologne) and north-south (Hamburg–Frankfurt/Stuttgart/Munich) directions. Hannover Airport lies north of the city, in Langenhagen, and is Germany's ninth-busiest airport. The city's most notable institutions of higher education are the Hannover Medical School with its university hospital (Klinikum der Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover), and the University of Hanover.
The Hanover fairground, due to numerous extensions, especially for the Expo 2000, is the largest in the world. Hanover hosts annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and up to 2018 the CeBIT. The IAA Commercial Vehicles show takes place every two years. It is the world's leading trade show for transport, logistics and mobility. Every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the world's largest marksmen's festival, and the Oktoberfest Hannover.
"Hanover" is the traditional English spelling. The German spelling (with a double n) is becoming more popular in English; recent editions of encyclopedias prefer the German spelling, and the local government uses the German spelling on English websites. The English pronunciation, with stress on the first syllable, is applied to both the German and English spellings, which is different from German pronunciation, with stress on the second syllable and a long second vowel. The traditional English spelling is still used in historical contexts, especially when referring to the British House of Hanover.House of Wettin
The House of Wettin (German: Haus Wettin) is a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors and kings that once ruled territories in the present-day German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The dynasty is one of the oldest in Europe, and its origins can be traced back to the town of Wettin, Saxony-Anhalt. The Wettins gradually rose to power within the Holy Roman Empire. Members of the family became the rulers of several medieval states, starting with the Saxon Eastern March in 1030. Other states they gained were Meissen in 1089, Thuringia in 1263, and Saxony in 1423. These areas cover large parts of Central Germany as a cultural area of Germany.
The family divided into two ruling branches in 1485 by the Treaty of Leipzig: the Ernestine and Albertine branches. The older Ernestine branch played a key role during the Protestant Reformation. Many ruling monarchs outside Germany were later tied to its cadet branch, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The Albertine branch, while less prominent, ruled most of Saxony and played a part in Polish history.
Agnates of the House of Wettin have, at various times, ascended the thrones of Great Britain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Poland, Saxony, and Belgium. Only the British and Belgian lines retain their thrones today.Kingdom of Saxony
The Kingdom of Saxony (German: Königreich Sachsen), lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. The kingdom was formed from the Electorate of Saxony. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War I and the abdication of King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. Its capital was the city of Dresden, and its modern successor state is the Free State of Saxony.List of cities and towns in Germany
This is a complete list of the 2,056 towns and cities in Germany (as of January 1st, 2019). Only independent municipalities that have the right to call themselves Stadt are included. Historically, this title was associated with town privileges but today it is a mere honorific title. The title can be bestowed to a municipality by its respective state government and is generally given to such municipalities that have either had historic town rights or have attained considerable size and importance more recently. In this list, only the town names are given. For more restricted lists with more details, see:
List of cities in Germany by population (only Großstädte, i.e. cities over 100,000 population)
Metropolitan Regions in GermanyNumbers of cities and towns in the German states:
Bavaria: 317 towns and cities
Baden-Württemberg: 313 towns and cities
North Rhine-Westphalia: 272 towns and cities
Hesse: 191 towns and cities
Saxony: 169 towns and cities
Lower Saxony: 159 towns and cities
Rhineland-Palatinate: 129 towns and cities
Thuringia: 121 towns and cities
Brandenburg: 113 towns and cities
Saxony-Anhalt: 104 towns and cities
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: 84 towns and cities, see list
Schleswig-Holstein: 63 towns and cities
Saarland: 17 towns and cities
Bremen: 2 cities
Berlin: 1 city
Hamburg: 1 cityLower Saxony
Lower Saxony (German: Niedersachsen (German pronunciation: [ˈniːdɐzaksn̩] (listen)); Low German: Neddersassen) is a German state (Land) situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2 (18,388 sq mi), and fourth-largest in population (7.9 million) among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon (a dialect of Low German) and Saterland Frisian (a variety of the Frisian language) are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.
Lower Saxony borders on (from north and clockwise) the North Sea, the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Netherlands (Drenthe, Groningen and Overijssel). Furthermore, the state of Bremen forms two enclaves within Lower Saxony, one being the city of Bremen, the other, its seaport city of Bremerhaven. In fact, Lower Saxony borders more neighbours than any other single Bundesland. The state's principal cities include the state capital Hanover, Braunschweig (Brunswick), Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Oldenburg, Hildesheim, Wolfenbüttel, Wolfsburg, and Göttingen.
The northwestern area of Lower Saxony, which lies on the coast of the North Sea, is called East Frisia and the seven East Frisian Islands offshore are popular with tourists. In the extreme west of Lower Saxony is the Emsland, a traditionally poor and sparsely populated area, once dominated by inaccessible swamps. The northern half of Lower Saxony, also known as the North German Plains, is almost invariably flat except for the gentle hills around the Bremen geestland. Towards the south and southwest lie the northern parts of the German Central Uplands: the Weser Uplands and the Harz mountains. Between these two lie the Lower Saxon Hills, a range of low ridges. Thus, Lower Saxony is the only Bundesland that encompasses both maritime and mountainous areas.
Lower Saxony's major cities and economic centres are mainly situated in its central and southern parts, namely Hanover, Braunschweig, Osnabrück, Wolfsburg, Salzgitter, Hildesheim, and Göttingen. Oldenburg, near the northwestern coastline, is another economic centre. The region in the northeast is called the Lüneburg Heath (Lüneburger Heide), the largest heathland area of Germany and in medieval times wealthy due to salt mining and salt trade, as well as to a lesser degree the exploitation of its peat bogs until about the 1960s. To the north, the Elbe River separates Lower Saxony from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Brandenburg. The banks just south of the Elbe are known as Altes Land (Old Country). Due to its gentle local climate and fertile soil, it is the state's largest area of fruit farming, its chief produce being apples.
Most of the state's territory was part of the historic Kingdom of Hanover; the state of Lower Saxony has adopted the coat of arms and other symbols of the former kingdom. It was created by the merger of the State of Hanover with three smaller states on 1 November 1946.Magdeburg
Magdeburg (German pronunciation: [ˈmakdəbʊɐ̯k] (listen); Low Saxon: Meideborg, [ˈmaˑɪdebɔɐ̯x]) is the capital city and the second largest city of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the Elbe River.
Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor and founder of the archbishopric of Magdeburg, was buried in the town's cathedral after his death. Magdeburg's version of German town law, known as Magdeburg rights, spread throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Until 1631, Magdeburg was one of the largest and most prosperous German cities, and a notable member of the Hanseatic League.
Magdeburg has been destroyed twice in its history. The Catholic League sacked Magdeburg in 1631, resulting in the death of 25,000 non-combatants, the largest loss of the Thirty Years' War. Allies bombed the city in 1945, destroying much of it.
Magdeburg is the site of two universities, the Otto-von-Guericke University and the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences.Magdeburg is situated on autobahn route 2, and hence is at the connection point of the East (Berlin and beyond) with the West of Europe, as well as the North and South of Germany. As a modern manufacturing centre, the production of chemical products, steel, paper and textiles are of particular economic significance, along with mechanical engineering and plant engineering, ecotechnology and life-cycle management, health management and logistics.
In 2005 Magdeburg celebrated its 1200th anniversary. In June 2013 Magdeburg was hit by record breaking flooding.Saxons
The Saxons (Latin: Saxones, German: Sachsen, Old English: Seaxe, Old Saxon: Sahson, Low German: Sassen, Dutch: Saksen) were a Germanic people whose name was given in the early Middle Ages to a large country (Old Saxony, Latin: Saxonia) near the North Sea coast of what is now Germany. Earlier, in the late Roman Empire, the name was used to refer to Germanic inhabitants of what is now England, and also as a word something like the later "Viking", as a term for raiders. In Merovingian times, continental Saxons were associated with the coast of what later became Normandy. Though sometimes described as also fighting inland, coming in conflict with the Franks and Thuringians, no clear homeland can be defined. There is possibly a single classical reference to a smaller homeland of an early Saxon tribe, but it is disputed. According to this proposal, the Saxons' earliest area of settlement is believed to have been Northern Albingia. This general area is close to the probable homeland of the Angles.
In contrast, the British "Saxons", today referred to in English as Anglo-Saxons, became a single nation bringing together Germanic peoples (Frisian, Jutish, Angle) with the Romanized populations, establishing long-lasting post-Roman kingdoms equivalent to those formed by the Franks on the continent. Their earliest weapons and clothing south of the Thames were based on late Roman military fashions, but later immigrants north of the Thames showed a stronger North German influence. The term "Anglo-Saxon" came into use by the 8th century (for example Paul the Deacon) to distinguish English Saxons from continental Saxons (referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Ealdseaxe, "old Saxons"), but the Saxons of Britain and those of Old Saxony (Northern Germany) continued to be referred to as 'Saxons' in an indiscriminate manner, especially in the languages of Britain and Ireland.
However, while the English Saxons were no longer raiders, the political history of the continental Saxons is unclear until the time of the conflict between their semi-legendary hero Widukind and the Frankish emperor Charlemagne.
While the continental Saxons are no longer a distinctive ethnic group or country, their name lives on in the names of several regions and states of Germany, including Lower Saxony (which includes the original Saxon homeland known as Old Saxony), as well as the two states that make up Upper Saxony, known today as Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. The latter have their names from dynastic history, and not their ethnic history.Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt (German: Sachsen-Anhalt, pronounced [ˌzaksn̩ ˈʔanhalt], official: Land Sachsen-Anhalt) is a state of Germany.
Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of 20,447.7 square kilometres (7,894.9 sq mi)
and has a population of 2.23 million, 108.69 inhabitants per km2, making it 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 originated in July 1945 after World War II, when the Soviet army administration in Allied-occupied Germany formed it from the former Prussian Province of Saxony and the Free State of Anhalt. 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, with 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.States of Germany
Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen states (German: Land, plural Länder; commonly informally Bundesland and Bundesländer). Since today's Germany was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty.
With an emphasis on geographical conditions, Berlin and Hamburg are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states), as is the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which in fact includes the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer (literally: "area states").
The creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 was through the unification of the western states (which were previously under American, British, and French administration) created in the aftermath of World War II. Initially, in 1949, the states of the Federal Republic were Baden (until 1952), Bavaria (in German: Bayern), Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse (Hessen), Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz), Schleswig-Holstein, Württemberg-Baden (until 1952), and Württemberg-Hohenzollern (until 1952). West Berlin, while officially not part of the Federal Republic, was largely integrated and considered as a de facto state.
In 1952, following a referendum, Baden, Württemberg-Baden, and Württemberg-Hohenzollern merged into Baden-Württemberg. In 1957, the Saar Protectorate rejoined the Federal Republic as the Saarland. German reunification in 1990, in which the area of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) became part of the Federal Republic, was performed by the way of ascent of the re-established eastern states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), Saxony (Sachsen), Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt), and Thuringia (Thüringen) to the Federal Republic, as well as the de-facto reunification of West and East Berlin into Berlin and its establishment as a full and equal state. A regional referendum in 1996 to merge Berlin with surrounding Brandenburg as "Berlin-Brandenburg" failed to reach the necessary majority vote in Brandenburg, while a majority of Berliners voted in favour of the merger.
Federalism is one of the entrenched constitutional principles of Germany. According to the German constitution (Basic Law, or Grundgesetz), some topics, such as foreign affairs and defence, are the exclusive responsibility of the federation (i.e., the federal level), while others fall under the shared authority of the states and the federation; the states retain residual legislative authority for all other areas, including "culture", which in Germany includes not only topics such as financial promotion of arts and sciences, but also most forms of education and job training. Though international relations including international treaties are primarily the responsibility of the federal level, the constituent states have certain limited powers in this area: in matters that affect them directly, the states defend their interests at the federal level through the Bundesrat ("Federal Council", the upper house of the German Federal Parliament) and in areas where they have legislative authority they have limited powers to conclude international treaties "with the consent of the federal government".Verbandsgemeinde
A Verbandsgemeinde (German pronunciation: [fɛɐ̯ˈbantsɡəˌmaɪndə]; plural Verbandsgemeinden) is a low-level administrative unit in the German federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt. A Verbandsgemeinde is typically composed of a small group of villages or towns.Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, or ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery threads are yarns specifically designed for needlework.
Urban and rural districts in the Free State of Saxony in Germany
|Former urban districts|
|Former rural districts|