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For other uses, see Halberstadt (disambiguation).
Halberstadt Stadt der Kirchen Foto 2005 Wolfgang Pehlemann Wiesbaden Germany PICT0042.jpg
Coat of arms of Halberstadt
Coat of arms
Halberstadt   is located in Germany
Coordinates: 51°53′45″N 11°2′48″E / 51.89583°N 11.04667°E / 51.89583; 11.04667Coordinates: 51°53′45″N 11°2′48″E / 51.89583°N 11.04667°E / 51.89583; 11.04667
Country Germany
State Saxony-Anhalt
District Harz
 • Mayor Andreas Henke (Left)
 • Total 142.97 km2 (55.20 sq mi)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 40,323
 • Density 280/km2 (730/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 38820
Dialling codes 03941
Vehicle registration HZ, HBS, QLB, WR
Website www.halberstadt.de

Halberstadt is a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt and the capital of the district of Harz. It is located on the German Timber-Frame Road and the Magdeburg–Thale railway.

The town was severely damaged in World War II, but retains many important historic buildings and much of its ancient townscape. Notable places in Halberstadt include the Liebfrauenkirche and Halberstadt Cathedral, churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries, respectively. Halberstadt is the site of the first documented large, permanent pipe organ installation in 1361. The cathedral is notable among those in northern European towns in having retained its medieval treasury in virtually complete condition. Among its treasures are the oldest surviving tapestries in Europe, dating from the 12th century.[citation needed]

Germania Halberstadt is a football club which plays in Halberstadt.


Halberstadt was made an episcopal see in 814 and was a popular trade point in the 13th-14th centuries. The Bishopric of Halberstadt was secularized in 1648 according to the Peace of Westphalia and became the Principality of Halberstadt within Brandenburg-Prussia. Its first secular Governor was Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal.

Halberstadt became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, but became part of the Kingdom of Westphalia, a Napoleonic client-state, in 1807. In July 1809, a Westphalian regiment was defeated by the Black Brunswickers in the town at the Battle of Halberstadt.[2] After the defeat of Napoleon, the town was restored to Prussia and subsequently administered within the Province of Saxony.

In April 1945, American forces approached Halberstadt as they attacked remaining Nazi forces in the short-lived Harz pocket. They dropped leaflets instructing Halberstadt's Nazi ruler to fly a white flag on the town hall as a token of surrender.[3] He refused, no white flag was raised and on 8 April 1945, 218 Flying Fortresses of the 8th Air Force, accompanied by 239 escort fighters, dropped 595 tons of bombs on the centre of Halberstadt. This killed about 2,500 people and converted most of the old town into some 1.5 million cubic metres of rubble, which American troops briefly occupied three days later.[4] The town became part of Saxony-Anhalt from 1945–1952, after which it was within Bezirk Magdeburg in East Germany. After the reunification of Germany, Halberstadt became part of a restored Saxony-Anhalt.


World's slowest, longest concert[edit]

A performance of John Cage's organ piece As Slow As Possible began in the Burchardikirche in Halberstadt in September 2001; the performance is scheduled to take 639 years. The concert began on 5 September 2001 with a rest lasting 17 months. On the dates of the sound changes the church is usually well visited.

Jewish culture[edit]

In the 17th century, Halberstadt had one of the largest Jewish communities in central Europe. At the time, nearly one in twelve of the town's inhabitants, almost 700 people, were Jewish. Notable amongst them was Berend Lehmann.

One example of Lehmann's work was the impressive synagogue he financed in Bakenstrasse, which was completed in 1712. In 1938, after Kristallnacht, most of the building was taken down as the attack on it was said to have left it in danger of collapsing.

A short distance from the synagogue, in the Rosenwinkel alley, Lehmann also had a house built for students of Judaism, with a collection of theological writings. This building, known as the "Klaus", was where many important students of the Talmud and rabbis were taught. The "Klaus" gave Halberstadt the reputation of being an important centre for the study of the Torah. Today the Moses Mendelssohn Academy is based there; this organises exhibitions, congresses and presentations and provides a wide range of information about the Jewish culture and way of life.

Notable residents[edit]

International relations[edit]

Halberstadt is twinned with:[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden – Stand: 31.12.2013" (PDF). Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German). April 2014. 
  2. ^ *Gill, John H (2010), With Eagles to Glory: Napoleon and His German Allies in the 1809 Campaign, Frontline Books, ISBN 978-1848325821 (p. 450)
  3. ^ Simon Winder. Germania : in wayward pursuit of the Germans and their history. page 435. Picador 2010. ISBN 9781135963422.
  4. ^ Roger A. Freeman: Mighty Eighth War Diary. JANE´S. London, New York, Sydney 1981. ISBN 0 7106 00 38 0. page 483
  5. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften der Stadt Halberstadt" (in German). Der Oberbürgermeister, Stadt Halberstadt. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 

External links[edit]