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Coordinates: 51°37′N 12°19′E / 51.617°N 12.317°E / 51.617; 12.317

Bitterfeld view

Bitterfeld (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪtɐfɛlt]) is a town in the district Anhalt-Bitterfeld, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Since 1 July 2007 it has been part of the town Bitterfeld-Wolfen. It is situated approximately 25 km south of Dessau, and 30 km northeast of Halle (Saale).[1]

History and description[edit]

Coat of arms
Bitterfelder Bogen

Bitterfeld was built by a colony of Flemish immigrants in 1153. It was captured by the landgrave of Meissen in 1476, and belonged thenceforth to Saxony, until it was ceded to Prussia in 1815.[1]

By 1900 Bitterfeld contained an important junction of railways from Leipzig and Halle to Berlin. The population at that time was 11,839; it manufactured drain-pipes, paper-roofing and machinery; and had saw-mills. There were also several coal-mines in the vicinity. Owing to its pleasant situation and accessibility, it had become a favoured residence of business men of Leipzig and Halle.[1]

During the GDR years, it gained notoriety for its chemical industry complex which caused remarkably severe pollution, even by GDR standards. On 24 April 1959 it also was a scene for the Bitterfeld Conference, locally known as the "Bitterfelder Weg". This conference sought to connect the working class with the artists of the day to form a socialist national culture. [2]

In the 21st century Bitterfeld is still an industrial town and it stages the annual United Metal Maniacs metal festival.[3]

The former brown-coal open cast mine of Goitzsche, south-east of Bitterfeld, is a source of numerous fossils in Bitterfeld amber.


  1. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bitterfeld". Encyclopædia Britannica 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 13. 
  2. ^ "Bitterfelder Konferenzen", Kulturpolitisches Wörterbuch (2nd print ed.), Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1978 
  3. ^ Festung Bitterfeld - 15 Jahre (1997-2012) (in German), retrieved January 2013 

External links[edit]