Near the small town Goseckarchaeologists discovered in 1999 the oldest solar observatory in Europe, beating Stonehenge by more than 2000 years. Around 5000 BC the circular trench with a diameter of 75 meters was surrounded with wood palisades, with three openings which allowed to measure the date of the spring and autumn equinox. Excavations on the site are planned to continue until 2007.
The district in today's borders was created in 1994, when the two previous districts Weissenfels and Hohenmölsen were merged.
The main feature in the coat of arms is the blue band representing the river Saale. The Prussian eagle in the top-right was added as the area became part of Prussia in 1816, even though it historically belonged to Saxony. The cloverleaf with the mining symbols inside was taken from the coat of arms of the former district Hohenmölsen. The trefoil represented the agriculture in that district, the mining hammers the lignite mining.