|• Mayor||Detlef Kunze|
|• Total||34.07 km2 (13.15 sq mi)|
|Elevation||217 m (712 ft)|
|• Density||100/km2 (270/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
First mentioned in 961, Gernrode received the privilege to bear its own coat of arms and seal, commonly regarded as town privileges. The town is best known for the Ottonian church of Saint Cyriakus, the collegiate church of the former Imperial chapter of nuns, and as the start of the narrow gauge Selke Valley Railway.
Gernrode is situated at the northeastern rim of the Harz mountain range and the Harz/Saxony-Anhalt Nature Park, about 6.5 km (4.0 mi) south of Quedlinburg. It lies at 215 m (705 ft) above sea level, at the foot of the Ramberg massif. It is nationally recognized for its health facilities and has state recognition as a spa town, where one may take the cure and recuperate in general (staatlich anerkannter Kur- und Erholungsort).
The town is also known as 'Gernrode/Harz', because of its location in the Harz mountains, and to distinguish it from Gernrode in the district of Eichsfeld in Thuringia, also called 'Gernrode (Eichsfeld)'.
|Imperial Abbey of St Cyriacus in Gernrode
Reichsabtei Sankt Cyriakus in Gernrode
|Imperial Abbey of the Holy Roman Empire|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|-||Founded by Gero||959|
from Emperor Otto II
25 March 964
|-||Abbess raised to
|-||Gernrode named a city||1539|
last elected abbess
transferred to Anhalt
by Emp. Charles VI
|-||Final investiture of abbot
by Emp. Francis II
|Today part of||Germany|
Margrave Gero founded the convent of St. Cyriacus (St. Cyriakus) in 960 (within the grounds of the fortifications built about the same time). Gero also founded the collegiate church of St. Cyriacus for the convent, which the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great took under his special protection in 961. Gero brought back relics of St. Cyriacus for the church from his second trip to Rome in 963. The convent was disbanded in 1570, when the last abbess married.
Emperor Frederick I, who stayed in Gernrode in 1188, donated a bell in that year to the St. Stephan church (Stephanikirche, also known as the Market church or Marktkirche), the second historical church in the city. The church was built in 1046, and has been an elementary school since 1847.
Gernrode received brewing rights in 1545. Beer brewing has since stopped, but a distillery is still present in the city. The city was traditionally part of the duchy of Anhalt and a district of Ballenstedt. From 1037 to 1740 lead and silver were mined here. Matches and guns were also made in Gernrode.
The Protestant Reformation came to Anhalt and Gernrode in 1521. A Protestant elementary school was founded in 1533. The building was used as a school until 1847, and may be the oldest such school in Germany. Parts of Gernrode were burnt in the Thirty Years' War (twice, in 1631 and 1635). It had 2,533 Protestant inhabitants in 1885.
In 1945, at the end of the Second World War, Gernrode was taken by American troops without a battle, followed by occupation by Soviet troops. Gernrode celebrated its 1,000th year in 1961 and 450th year as a city in 1989. It was part of East Germany from 1949 until German Reunification in 1990. In 2001, celebrations to honour Otto I were held. Between 1 January 2011 and 19 February 2013, it was part of the town Quedlinburg.
Selke Valley Railway
Gernrode is the starting point of the Selke Valley Railway (Selketalbahn), a narrow-gauge railway which is interesting both technically and for tourists. The line was built in 1887 and after initially climbing through the mountains, follows the Selke river valley and the line of the Trasse de Harz. The line passes through the communities of Mägdesprung (where the line joins the river Selke) and Alexisbad and beyond to Stiege. The total length from Gernrode to Stiege is 35 km. There are branch lines to Harzgerode (from Alexisbad) and Hasselfelde (from Stiege, where there is also a link to the narrow gauge Harzquerbahn). It is the oldest narrow-gauge railway in the Harz mountains and is served by a combination of old and more modern diesel locomotives. It is not just a tourist line, as freight is also transported. This line was extended to Quedlinburg in 2006, by rebuilding the standard gauge railway previously operated by the Deutsche Bahn.
Newer attractions include the giant cuckoo clock (whose cuckoo appears every fifteen minutes), which was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 1998. This is part of a clock factory, which also incorporates a giant weather house indicating current weather conditions. Other local attractions include a 7.45 m giant wood thermometer, the largest Skat table in the world, and the Prussia Tower on the Ölbergshöhe.
Gernrode is twinned with:
- "Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit". Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German). July 2012.
- Gesetz über die Neugliederung der Gemeinden im Land Sachsen-Anhalt den Landkreis Harz betreffend (GemNeuglG HZ, §3)
- Ingo Kugenbuch (20 Februar 2013), "Drei Gemeinden sind nach Gerichtsurteil wieder selbstständig" (in German), Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (Quedlinburg), http://www.mz-web.de/quedlinburg/gebietsreform-drei-gemeinden-sind-nach-gerichtsurteil-wieder-selbststaendig,20641064,21880012.html. Retrieved 2013-07-09
- Official website
- General map of the region around Gernrode
- Chronicles on Gernrode (German)
- Collegiate church of St. Cyriacus (German)
- St. Cyriacus at the Baths web site
- Friends of the Selketalbahn
- Elevation Profile of the Selketalbahn