Old town, view from the castle
|• Mayor||Dietmar Sauer (SPD)|
|• Total||143.78 km2 (55.51 sq mi)|
|• Density||63/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
It is situated east of the Harz mountain range on the river Wipper, a left tributary of the Saale, about 35 km (22 mi) northwest of Halle. Together with neighbouring Eisleben, it is part of the historic Mansfeld Land region, roughly corresponding to the former district of Mansfelder Land which in 2007 merged into present Mansfeld-Südharz district.
The township currently comprises 15 districts (Ortschaften):
The House of Mansfeld, whose members belonged to the Saxon nobility and served as counts in the Hassegau, was first documented in a 973 deed. The counts built Mansfeld Castle, whose foundations date back to the late 11th century, when one Hoyer of Mansfeld served as field marshal to Emperor Henry V. The first reference of the fortress coincides with the extinction of the elder line in 1229. The estates were inherited by the Lords of Querfurt, who also adopted the comital title, calling themselves Counts of Mansfeld from that time on.
The settlement of Mansfeld received town privileges in 1400, and grew through the development of copper and silver mining, an activity in which Hans Luder from Möhra, father to Martin Luther and Mansfeld citizen from 1484, was employed as a master smelter. Luther's family had arrived into a modest prosperity, he himself attended the local school between 1488 and 1496. The building known as "Luther's School" had to be torn down and rebuilt in 2000 due to structural problems. His parents' house is preserved and today a museum. Luther also acted as an altar server at the St George parish church.
The Counts of Mansfeld had already lost Imperial immediacy in 1580. When the comital line finally became extinct in 1780, the estates around Mansfeld were incorporated into the Prussian Duchy of Magdeburg. The town retained the status of an independent city (Immediatstadt), it was temporarily part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia and after the 1815 Congress of Vienna belonged to the Prussian Province of Saxony.
Seats in the town's assembly (Stadtrat) as of 2014 local elections:
- Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU): 5
- Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD): 4
- The Left: 2
- Free Voters: 8
- Independent: 1
- Johann Wigand (c. 1523–1587), Lutheran cleric
- Johann Karl Ehrenfried Kegel (1784–1863), agronomist and explorer of the Kamchatka Peninsula
- Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn (1809–1864), botanist and geologist
- Arthur Gaebelein (1891–1964), footballer
- Wolfgang Zeller (1893–1967), composer