|• Mayor||Konrad Fuchs (SPD)|
|• Total||632.43 km2 (244.18 sq mi)|
|Elevation||43 m (141 ft)|
|• Density||37/km2 (95/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Postal codes||39638, 39649|
|Dialling codes||03907, 039004, 039006, 039056, 039085, 039087, 039088|
|Vehicle registration||SAW, GA, KLZ|
Gardelegen (German pronunciation: [ˈɡaʁdəleːɡən]) is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Milde, 20 m. W. from Stendal, on the main line of railway Berlin-Hanover.
It has a Roman Catholic and three Evangelical churches, a hospital, founded in 1285, and a high-grade school. There are considerable manufactures, notably agricultural machinery and buttons, and its beer has a great repute. Gardelegen was founded in the 10th century (first named 1196), and was for a long time the seat of a line of counts. In 1358 Gardelegen became a city of the Hanse. It suffered considerably in the Thirty Years' War, and in 1757 barely avoided being burned by the French. On the neighboring heath Margrave Louis I. of Brandenburg gained, in 1343, a victory over Otto the Mild of Brunswick.
At the height of the cold war, a USAF RB-66 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by Soviet fighters near the town on 10 March 1964. Her crew bailed out and was rescued and eventually handed back to West-Berlin by Soviet forces.
After having incorporated 18 neighboring towns and villages in 2011, Gardelegen is now Germany's third largest city by area, trailing only Berlin and Hamburg. It is actually the largest municipality in area in what was formerly East Germany.
Gardelegen is twinned with:
- Waltrop, Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany
- Gifhorn, Lower-Saxony, Germany
- Darłowo, Poland
- Dumfries, United Kingdom
Sons and daughters of the town
- Christian Francken (1550-1611), Jesuit and Unitarian theologian
- Joachim Lange (1670-1744), theologian
- Johann Wilhelm Weinmann (1683-1741), chemist and botanist
- Christoph August Tiedge (1752-1841), poet
- Otto Reutter (1870-1931), comedian, singer and actor
- Werner Preuss (1884-1919), officer
- Christa Stubnick (born 1933), sprinter
- Raymond Hecht (born 1968), javelin thrower
Associated with the town
- Richard Sonnenfeldt (1923-2009), American engineer and author, grew up in Gardelegen
- Helmut Sonnenfeldt (1926-2012), American government official, who grew up in Gardelegen
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