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For the French writer, see Stendhal. For the psychosomatic disorder, see Stendhal syndrome. For the small town in the United States, see Stendal, Indiana.
View over Stendal
View over Stendal
Coat of arms of Stendal
Coat of arms
Stendal   is located in Germany
Coordinates: 52°36′N 11°51′E / 52.600°N 11.850°E / 52.600; 11.850Coordinates: 52°36′N 11°51′E / 52.600°N 11.850°E / 52.600; 11.850
Country Germany
State Saxony-Anhalt
District Stendal
 • Mayor Klaus Schmotz
 • Total 268.02 km2 (103.48 sq mi)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 40,281
 • Density 150/km2 (390/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 39551–39596
Dialling codes 03931
Vehicle registration SDL

Stendal (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛndaːl]) is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the capital of Stendal District and unofficial capital of the Altmark. Its population in 2001 was 38,900. It is located some 125 km (78 mi) west of Berlin and around 170 km (110 mi) east of Hanover. Stendal has a university, a market and several old churches. The nearby village Uchtspringe is home to a psychiatric rehabilitation clinic.


Tangermünder Tor, a brick gate tower

A settlement named Steinedal in the Balsamgau of Saxony was mentioned in a 1022 deed, then a possession of Saint Michael’s Abbey in Hildesheim. It was granted market rights by the first Brandenburg margrave Albert the Bear in 1160 and quickly became an important member of the Hanseatic League. Magnificent churches, the city hall and the two remaining city gates are still proof of that former wealth.

Previously part of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, Stendal became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony after the Napoleonic Wars. From 1949 until German reunification in 1990, Stendal was in the German Democratic Republic.

The pseudonym "Stendhal" of the French author Marie-Henri Beyle is generally supposed to be a homage to the German author Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who was born in Stendal in 1717.

Main sights[edit]

Theatre of the Altmark[edit]

The area has a theatre named Theater der Altmark, Stendal. It was founded in 1946 and has always had a particular involvement in youth and children's theatre. Theatrical performances and dance events are staged, as well as concerts, conferences and meetings.

Winckelmann Museum[edit]

The Winckelmann Museum is named after Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the founder of classical archaeology. Its holdings include biographical documents, works, designs and diagrams as well as Greek sculptures or casts, along with other small artworks from antiquity. Since summer 2003 the museum has been the owner of the world's biggest Trojan horse. With its size of 15.60 m high, 13 m long, 9.50 m wide and its weight of 45 tons it offers a beautiful view over Stendal. Exhibitions are held relating to archaeology and the history of art from the 18th and 19th centuries; there is also a modern art museum. The museum is the seat of the Winckelmann-Gesellschaft(the Winckelmann Society).

In addition, the museum has exhibits relating to the history and cultural history of the city of Stendal and of the Altmark dating from the prehistoric period through the area's early history right up to the present. There are exhibits pertaining to the Hanseatic League, Romanesque art and local archaeological material.

Fire Brigade Museum[edit]

The town also has the Landesfeuerwehrmuseum (Fire Brigade Museum), showing the development of fire fighting and protection from the leather bucket to modern fire engines.


The Roland statue in front of the Town Hall

Other buildings include the Gothic cathedral, the Town Hall with the statue of Roland and the two mediaeval town gates. There are also other churches in the area.

Stendal is also part of the Altmark cycle path. Information and maps about this cycle path can be had for free from the tourist information office.

Notable people[edit]

Honorary citizens[edit]


  • Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the founder of classical archaeology and the history of art. He was born in Stendal in 1717, son of a shoemaker. He is commemorated by the above-named museum.


The French writer Marie Henri Beyle, who was stationed here as a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars, used the alias Stendhal from 1817 in homage to Johann Joachim Winckelmann.

International relations[edit]

Stendal is twinned with:[2]


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden 31.12.2012" (PDF). Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German). January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Gemeinsam im "Haus Europa" wohnen" (official website) (in German). Hansestadt Stendal. Retrieved 2015-01-23. 

External links[edit]