Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg

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Quedlinburg (ˈkveːdlɪnbʊʁk) is a town located north of the Harz
Harz
The Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart , latinized as Hercynia. The legendary Brocken is the highest summit in the Harz...

 mountains, in the district of Harz
Harz (district)
- History :The district was established by merging the former districts of Halberstadt, Wernigerode and Quedlinburg as well as the city of Falkenstein as part of the reform of 2007.-Towns and municipalities:...

 in the west of Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is a landlocked state of Germany. Its capital is Magdeburg and it is surrounded by the German states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia.Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of...

, Germany. In 1994 the medieval court and the old town was set on the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 world heritage list
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

.

Until 2007 it was the capital of the district of Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg (district)
Quedlinburg was a district in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Neighboring districts are Wernigerode, Halberstadt , Bördekreis, Aschersleben-Staßfurt, Mansfelder Land, Sangerhausen and the district Nordhausen in Thuringia....

. Some places in town with Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

 are part of the holiday route Romanesque Road, such as St Servatius' church at the castles hill, St Wigbert's church down the valley and St Maries church on the Montsion's hill ('Muenzenberg').

History


The town of Quedlinburg is known since at least the early 9th century, when a settlement known as Gross Orden existed at the eastern bank of the river Bode
Bode River
The Bode is a river in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, a left tributary of the Saale.It rises in the Harz mountains and drains them in a northerly direction. After it discharges into the Saale at Nienburg...

. As such the city is first mentioned in 922, as part of a donation by Henry the Fowler. The records of this donation were collected at the abbey of Corvey.

After Henry's death in 936, his widow Saint Mathilda
Matilda of Ringelheim
Saint Mathilda was the wife of King Henry I of Germany, the first ruler of the Saxon Ottonian dynasty, thereby Duchess consort of Saxony from 912 and German Queen from 919 until 936. Their eldest son Otto succeeded his father as German King and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962...

 founded a religious community for women ("Frauenstift") on the castle hill, where daughters of the higher nobility were educated. The main task of this collegiate foundation, Quedlinburg Abbey
Quedlinburg Abbey
Quedlinburg Abbey was a house of secular canonesses in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was founded in 936 on the initiative of Saint Mathilda, the widow of Henry the Fowler, as his memorial...

 (where the Annals of Quedlinburg
Annals of Quedlinburg
The Annals of Quedlinburg were written between 1008 and 1030 in the convent of Quedlinburg Abbey. In recent years a consensus has emerged that the annalist was a woman.The annals are mostly dedicated to the history of the Holy Roman Empire; they also contain the first written mention of the name...

 were compiled), was to pray for the memory of King Henry and the rulers that came after him. The first abbess was Mathilde, granddaughter of Henry and Saint Mathilde.

The Quedlinburg castle complex, founded by Henry the Fowler and built up by Otto I the Great in 936, was an imperial palatinate
Count palatine
Count palatine is a high noble title, used to render several comital styles, in some cases also shortened to Palatine, which can have other meanings as well.-Comes palatinus:...

 of the Saxon emperors. The palatinate, including the male convent, was in the valley, where nowadays the Roman Catholic church of St Wiperti is situated, while the women's convent was located on the castle hill.

In 961 and 963 a Canon's monastery was established in St. Wiperti, south of the castle hill. It was abandoned in the 16th century, and at one time the church, which boasts a magnificent crypt
Crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

 from the 10th century, was even used as a barn and a pigsty before being restored in the 1950s.

In 973, shortly before the death of emperor Otto I the Great, a Reichstag
Reichstag (Holy Roman Empire)
The Imperial Diet was the Diet, or general assembly, of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire.During the period of the Empire, which lasted formally until 1806, the Diet was not a parliament in today's sense; instead, it was an assembly of the various estates of the realm...

(Imperial Convention) was held at the imperial court in which Mieszko
Mieszko I of Poland
Mieszko I , was a Duke of the Polans from about 960 until his death. A member of the Piast dynasty, he was son of Siemomysł; grandchild of Lestek; father of Bolesław I the Brave, the first crowned King of Poland; likely father of Świętosława , a Nordic Queen; and grandfather of her son, Cnut the...

, duke of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, and Boleslav, duke of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, as well as numerous other nobles from as far away as Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, gathered to pay homage to the emperor. In the occasion Otto the Great introduced his new daughter-in-law Theophanu, a Byzantine princess whose marriage to Otto II brought hope for recognition and continued peace between the rulers of the Eastern and Western empires.

In 994 Otto III
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III , a King of Germany, was the fourth ruler of the Saxon or Ottonian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. He was elected King in 983 on the death of his father Otto II and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 996.-Early reign:...

 granted the right of market, tax and coining and established the first market place to the north of the castle hill.

The town became a member of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 in 1426. Quedlinburg Abbey frequently disputed the independence of Quedlinburg, which sought the aid of the Bishopric of Halberstadt
Bishopric of Halberstadt
The Bishopric of Halberstadt was a Roman Catholic diocese from 804 until 1648 and an ecclesiastical state of the Holy Roman Empire from the late Middle Ages...

. In 1477 Abbess Hedwig, aided by her brothers Ernest
Ernest, Elector of Saxony
Ernst, Elector of Saxony was Elector of Saxony from 1464 to 1486.-Biography:Ernst was founder of the Ernestine line of Saxon princes, ancestor of George I of Great Britain, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, as well as his wife and cousin Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and their...

 and Albert
Albert, Duke of Saxony
Albert III was a Duke of Saxony. He was nicknamed Albert the Bold or Albert the Courageous and founded the Albertine line of the House of Wettin....

, broke the resistance of the town and expelled the bishop's forces. Quedlinburg was forced to leave the Hanseatic League and was subsequently protected by the Electorate of Saxony
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony , sometimes referred to as Upper Saxony, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356...

. Both town and abbey converted to Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 in 1539 during the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

.

In 1697 Elector Frederick Augustus I
Augustus II the Strong
Frederick Augustus I or Augustus II the Strong was Elector of Saxony and King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania ....

 of Saxony sold his rights to Quedlinburg to Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg
Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I , of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia in personal union . The latter function he upgraded to royalty, becoming the first King in Prussia . From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 for 240,000 thalers. Quedlinburg Abbey contested Brandenburg-Prussia
Brandenburg-Prussia
Brandenburg-Prussia is the historiographic denomination for the Early Modern realm of the Brandenburgian Hohenzollerns between 1618 and 1701. Based in the Electorate of Brandenburg, the main branch of the Hohenzollern intermarried with the branch ruling the Duchy of Prussia, and secured succession...

's claims throughout the 18th century, however. The abbey was secularized in 1802 during the German Mediatisation
German Mediatisation
The German Mediatisation was the series of mediatisations and secularisations that occurred in Germany between 1795 and 1814, during the latter part of the era of the French Revolution and then the Napoleonic Era....

 and Quedlinburg passed to the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 as part of the Principality of Quedlinburg. Part of the Napoleonic
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 Kingdom of Westphalia
Kingdom of Westphalia
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a new country of 2.6 million Germans that existed from 1807-1813. It included of territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire, ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte...

 from 1807–13, it was included within the new Prussian Province of Saxony
Province of Saxony
The Province of Saxony was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1945. Its capital was Magdeburg.-History:The province was created in 1816 out of the following territories:...

 in 1815.
In all this time, great ladies ruled Quedlinburg as abbesses without "taking the veil", they were free to marry. The last of these great ladies were a Swedish princess, an early fighter for women's rights, Sofia Albertina.

During the Nazi regime
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

, the memory of Henry I became a sort of cult, as Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 saw himself as the reincarnation of the "most German of all German" rulers. The collegiate church and castle were to be turned into a shrine for Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. The Nazi Party tried to create a new religion. The cathedral was closed from 1938 and during the war. Liberation in 1945 brought back the Protestant bishop and the church bells, and the Nazi style eagle was taken down from the tower. Georg Ay
Georg Ay
Georg Ay was a German politician with the Nazi Party....

 was local party chief from 1931 until the end of the war.

Quedlinburg was administered within Bezirk
Administrative division of the German Democratic Republic
The Administrative divisions of the German Democratic Republic were constituted in two different forms during the country's 41-year-long history. The Republic first retained the traditional German division into federated states called Länder, but in 1952 replaced them with arbitrarily-drawn...

 Halle
Halle, Saxony-Anhalt
Halle is the largest city in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It is also called Halle an der Saale in order to distinguish it from the town of Halle in North Rhine-Westphalia...

 while part of the Communist East Germany from 1949 to 1990. It became part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is a landlocked state of Germany. Its capital is Magdeburg and it is surrounded by the German states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia.Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of...

 upon German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 in 1990.

During Quedlinburg's Communist era as part of the GDR (1949–1990), restoration specialists from Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 were called in during the 1980s to carry out repairs on the old architecture. As in all German cities the Altstadt old city medieval sections, are the most popular attractions of any town. Now Quedlinburg is a center of restoration of Fachwerk houses.

During the last months of World War II, the United States Military occupied Quedlinburg. In the 1980s, upon the death of one of the US Military men, the Theft of medieval art from Quedlinburg
Theft of medieval art from Quedlinburg
The theft of medieval art from Quedlinburg was perpetrated by United States Army Lieutenant Joe T. Meador in the days prior to the end of World War II in Europe. Precious church objects stored near Quedlinburg, Germany were found by the U.S. Army...

 came to light.

Main sights



In the innermost parts of the town a wide selection of half-timbered buildings from at least five different centuries are to be found (including a 14th century structure one of Germany's oldest), while around the outer fringes of the old town there are wonderful examples of Jugendstil buildings, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Since December 1994 the old town of Quedlinburg and the castle mount with the collegiate church are listed as one of UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

's World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s. Quedlinburg is one of the best-preserved medieval and renaissance towns in Europe, having escaped major damage in World War II.

In 2006 the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen
Harzer Schmalspurbahnen
The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways or HSB is a network of gauge railways in the Harz mountains, in central Germany...

 Selketal branch was extended into Quedlinburg from Gernrode
Gernrode
Gernrode is a town and a former municipality in Germany, in the district of Harz, Saxony-Anhalt. The town was first mentioned in 961 and became a city in 1539. Since 1 January 2011, it is part of the town Quedlinburg...

 giving access to the historic steam narrow gauge railway, Alexisbad and high Harz plateau.

The castle and the cathedral still towers above the city the way they dominated the town in early Middle Ages. The cathedral is a prime example of German Romanesque style. The Domschatz, the treasure containing ancient artefacts and books, was stolen by an American soldier and finally bought back to Quedlinburg in 1993 and is again on display here.

Geography


The town is located north of the Harz
Harz
The Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart , latinized as Hercynia. The legendary Brocken is the highest summit in the Harz...

 mountains approximatively 123 meters above sea level. The nearest mountains reach 181 meters above sea level. The biggest part of the town is located in the western part of the river Bode
Bode
Bode may refer to:in people by surname:*Boyd Henry Bode , American academic and philosopher*Bruce Bode, MD, FACE, American diabetes specialist*Denise Bode , American politician*Erin Bode, American singer...

s bed. This river comes from the Harz mountains and flows into the river Saale
Saale
The Saale, also known as the Saxon Saale and Thuringian Saale , is a river in Germany and a left-bank tributary of the Elbe. It is not to be confused with the smaller Franconian Saale, a right-bank tributary of the Main, or the Saale in Lower Saxony, a tributary of the Leine.-Course:The Saale...

 and further into the river Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

. The towns area is about 78.15 square kilometre.

Climate


Quedlinburg has a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

) resulting from Prevailing Westerlies
Westerlies
The Westerlies, anti-trades, or Prevailing Westerlies, are the prevailing winds in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude, blowing from the high pressure area in the horse latitudes towards the poles. These prevailing winds blow from the west to the east, and steer extratropical...

, blowing from the high pressure area in the central Atlantic towards Scandinavia. Snowfall occurs almost every winter. January and February are the coldest months of the year, with an average temperature of 0.1 °C and 0.4 °C. July and August are the hottest months, with an average temperature of 17.8 °C (63 °F) and 17.2 °C. The average annual precipitation is close to 438 millimetres with rain occurring usually from May to September. This precipitation is one of the lowest in Germany, which has an annual average close to 700 millimetres. In August 2010 Quedlinburg was the driest place in Germany with only 72,4 liter per square-meter.

Demographics


Air


The nearest airports to Quedlinburg are Hannover
Hanover/Langenhagen International Airport
Hannover-Langenhagen Airport is located in Langenhagen, 11 km north of the centre of Hanover, the capital of the German state of Lower Saxony. It is the ninth largest airport in Germany.- History :...

 120 km north-west, and Leipzig/Halle Airport
Leipzig/Halle Airport
Leipzig/Halle Airport, sometimes called Schkeuditz Airport , is located in Schkeuditz, Saxony and serves both Leipzig, Saxony and Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.It has more than two million passengers per year....

 90 km south-east. Much closer, but only served by small private planes and business jets, is Magdeburg-Cochstedt.

Train



Regional trains run on the standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

 Magdeburg–Thale line by Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn AG is the German national railway company, a private joint stock company . Headquartered in Berlin, it came into existence in 1994 as the successor to the former state railways of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany and the Deutsche Reichsbahn of East Germany...

 and the private company Connex connect Quedlinburg with Magdeburg
Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

, Thale and Halberstadt.

In 2006 the Selke Valley branch of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways was extended into Quedlinburg from Gernrode, giving access to the historic steam narrow gauge railway, Alexisbad and high Harz plateau.

Bus


Quedlinburg is connected by regional buses to the surrounding villages and small towns.

Additionally there are also buses to Berlin, run by the company BerlinLinienBus.

Notable people


Jordanus of Quedlinburg was a 14th century preacher and monk wrote texts about contemporary devoutness.

In 18th century Dorothea Erxleben
Dorothea Erxleben
Dorothea Christiane Erxleben née Leporin was the first female medical doctor in Germany...

 was the first female medical doctor
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 in Germany. Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was a German poet.-Biography:Klopstock was born at Quedlinburg, the eldest son of a lawyer.Both in his birthplace and on the estate of Friedeburg on the Saale, which his father later rented, young Klopstock passed a happy childhood; and more attention having been given...

 was a contemporary German poet of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

.

Sister cities



Quedlinburg is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Aulnoye-Aymeries
Aulnoye-Aymeries
Aulnoye-Aymeries is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.Before the opening of the high-speed railway line between Brussels and Paris, it was a major railway crossing, where the lines Paris-Brussels and Calais-Lille-Thionville connected....

, France, since 1961 Herford
Herford
Herford is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, located in the lowlands between the hill chains of the Wiehen Hills and the Teutoburg Forest. It is the capital of the district of Herford.- Geographic location :...

, Germany, since 1991 Celle
Celle
Celle is a town and capital of the district of Celle, in Lower Saxony, Germany. The town is situated on the banks of the River Aller, a tributary of the Weser and has a population of about 71,000...

, Germany, since 1991 Hameln, Germany, since 1991 Hann. Münden
Hann. Münden
Hann. Münden is the German official name of a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. The city is located in the district of Göttingen at the confluence of the Fulda and Werra rivers, which join to form the river Weser. It has 28,000 inhabitants...

, Germany, since 1991

External links