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Rathaus Gardelegen.jpg
Coat of arms of Gardelegen
Coat of arms
Gardelegen   is located in Germany
Coordinates: 52°31′35″N 11°23′33″E / 52.52639°N 11.39250°E / 52.52639; 11.39250Coordinates: 52°31′35″N 11°23′33″E / 52.52639°N 11.39250°E / 52.52639; 11.39250
Country Germany
State Saxony-Anhalt
District Altmarkkreis Salzwedel
 • Mayor Konrad Fuchs (SPD)
 • Total 632.43 km2 (244.18 sq mi)
Elevation 43 m (141 ft)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
 • Total 23,148
 • 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.


Under the direction of an American soldier, German civilians from Gardelegen carry wooden crosses to the site where they were ordered to bury the bodies of concentration camp prisoners killed by the SS in a barn just outside the town. It had been widely reported that members of the local population provided support to the SS during the operation

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.[2] On the neighboring heath Margrave Louis I. of Brandenburg gained, in 1343, a victory over Otto the Mild of Brunswick.

On 13 April 1945, 1016 concentration camp prisoners were burned alive by the Germans in the Isenschnibbler Feldscheune. Today this area is the site of a memorial for the dead.

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.[3]

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.

International relations[edit]

Gardelegen is twinned with:


Sons and daughters of the town[edit]

Joachim Lange around 1750
Otto Reutter

Associated with the town[edit]


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden – Stand: 31.12.2015" (PDF). Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German). 
  2. ^ Becker, H. (2011). Gardelegen: tausend Jahre einer Stadt. Sutton Verlag GmbH
  3. ^ Dejá vu in Gardelegen by Wolfgang Preisler

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gardelegen". Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 459.