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Blankenburg

 

Blankenburg (Harz) is a town in the Harz district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It has been a state-approved resort since November 2016. The city of Blankenburg (Harz) lies close to the northern edge of the Harz at an altitude of about 234 m. Blankenburg (Harz) is located west of Quedlinburg, south of Halberstadt and east of Wernigerode. The Goldbach flows through the Oesig district to the northwest of the city center.

The historic old town, laid out around 1200, nestles north of the Blankenstein, on which Blankenburg Castle is located today. This city center can be traced back to the course of the former and still existing city walls. From the 18th century onwards, we can speak of overcoming these narrow limits. During this time the parks and gardens as well as the representative buildings in the baroque style essentially fall. In the 19th century, numerous villas were built in the Classicist, Historicist and Art Nouveau styles, stretching west, north and east of the old town up to higher mountains. The outskirts are characterized by residential and commercial areas of the 20th and 21st centuries.

In addition to this core town, the village districts Börnecke, Cattenstedt, Heimburg, Hüttenrode, Timmenrode, Wienrode and the city of Derenburg belong to Blankenburg (Harz). On July 1, 2014, the new municipal constitutional law of the state of Saxony-Anhalt came into force. In its §14 (2) the municipalities are given the opportunity to assign this designation to the districts that were towns before the incorporation. The city of Blankenburg (Harz) has made use of this regulation. Their amended main statutes came into force on January 13, 2017.

 

History

From the city's foundation to 1599
Finds in the wider area of ​​the city of Blankenburg point to different phases of settlement in the northern Harz foreland from the Neolithic to the Roman Empire. For the period from approx. 400 to 600 AD, the so-called Migration Period, a depopulation of this region can be assumed due to the lack of archaeological traces.

The first documented mention of Blankenburg Castle goes back to 1123 in a document from Emperor Lothar von Supplinburg. A few years later, he left the facility to his follower Poppo I. von Blankenburg. The descendants of Poppos, who are referred to as Counts of Regenstein-Blankenburg, were responsible for the nearby Regenstein Castle and Heimburg Castle. The emerging county of Blankenburg existed as a Guelph fief, whereby the fiefdom was occasionally also claimed by the diocese of Halberstadt. In 1180/82 Friedrich Barbarossa had the Blankenburg devastated because the counts of "sole loyalty" had conspired to the Guelph Heinrich the Lion.

The first mention of the city of Blankenburg can be found in a document from the Bishop of Halberstadt from 1212. The city was built around 1200 as a planned system between the eponymous castle and the older settlement Linzke to the north. This village fell desolate in the transition from the Middle Ages to the early modern period and was completely absorbed into the city of Blankenburg. [4] The structure of the Blankenburg town hall goes back mainly to the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance period. A hierarchical structure of secular rule (castle / palace), church (St. Bartholomew) and bourgeoisie (town hall) on the mountain slope is characteristic of the cityscape and the medieval structure is still recognizable today through the remains of the city wall and the streets of the old town.

In the middle of the 13th century, the abbess von Quedlinburg pledged divisional goods to Jews from Blankenburg. They apparently lived in Blankenburg and also in Quedlinburg. There is no synagogue in Blankenburg. The oldest parish church in the city of St. Bartholomew was built at the end of the 12th century and structurally bears witness to different phases of use, including as a double monastery (secular canon and Cistercian nuns). In the 14th century, the Heimburg line of the Counts Regenstein-Blankenburg took over sovereignty over the city and castle after the other Blankenburg lines had died out. Guild rights, that is, permission to form craft guilds, were first granted by the counts of Blankenburg around 1380.

After the death of the last Count of Regenstein, Johann Ernst, the 1599 fell back to the Dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg as a "settled fiefdom".

From devastation to a royal seat
With a number of 255 houses in 1616, Blankenburg can be considered a medium-sized town in the wider region at that time. The city was spared the effects of the Thirty Years' War for a long time, but was finally hard pressed by Colonel Jean de Merode under Wallenstein's authority and occupied in 1625. Nine cannon balls walled in in the town hall are a reminder of these events. After the war, the city lay largely fallow and impoverished, but the first reconstruction measures were already promoted by Duke Rudolf August, who tried to help Blankenburg.

The dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg made the place into a secondary residence in the 17th century, which had its heyday (1690–1731) under Duke Ludwig Rudolf, the second son of Anton Ulrich von Wolfenbüttel. Rudolf received Blankenburg in 1707 as a Paragium. At the same time, the county of Blankenburg was elevated to an imperial principality and ruled independently until 1731, but then reunited with Braunschweig by Ludwig Rudolf. The town also experienced an economic boom through the princely promotion of mining and metallurgy. Many representative buildings and facilities were created under Ludwig Rudolf, the designs of which often came from the master builder Hermann Korb. The vacant lots that arose in the Thirty Years' War were closed, although complete development within the city walls could not be achieved again until the middle of the 19th century.

Duke Ludwig Rudolf ensured a lively cultural life with festivals and theater performances. On November 22nd, 1717, Friederike Caroline Neuber appeared for the first time at Blankenburg Castle. As their patron, Ludwig Rudolph promoted the German theater reform together with his wife Christine Luise. Not least through efforts for his Blankenburg estate and the support of the regent, Berend Lehmann had a significant impact on this period, so that, for example, there was even a Hebrew print shop in the city for a short time.

 

New buildings and renovations under Duke Ludwig Rudolf
Conversion of the Great Palace into a baroque residence
Ducal domain in the old town
Baroque gardens with a small castle
Schützenhaus auf dem Thie (not preserved)
Palais Behrend Lehmanns (today's city administration)
Lustschlösschen Luisenburg
Foundation of the baroque altar of the Bartholomäuskirche
New construction of the Georgenhof hospital
Church in the Michaelstein Monastery
Reconstruction of the Katharinenkirche as a garrison church

After Ludwig Rudolf's death in 1735, Blankenburg became the widow's residence of his widow Christine Luise von Oettingen-Oettingen until her death in 1747. She decreed that her husband's extensive library should remain at Blankenburg Castle in memory of him. However, this was later transferred to the Collegium Carolinum, opened in 1745 in Braunschweig, and to the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel in 1764. During the Seven Years' War, the city's complete neutrality granted the Brunswick court under Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel a safe refuge. The future French King Louis XVIII also lived in Blankenburg. after his escape from Dillingen under the name "Graf von Lille" from August 24, 1796 to February 10, 1798. From 1731 the principality was permanently connected with Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel in personal union, but remained an independent imperial estate until 1805.

From 1805 until the end of World War II
From 1807 to 1813 Blankenburg belonged to the Kingdom of Westphalia. After the Congress of Vienna, the Duchy of Braunschweig was formed from the Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. The Braunschweigischen Harz areas and the area of ​​the principality of Blankenburg were combined to form the district of Blankenburg in 1833. From 1850 the district court Blankenburg existed in the city.

With the establishment of the empire in 1871, there was an economic boom in the Harz city. In 1872 the Harzer Werke for smelting and processing the ores of the Blankenburg area was founded and in 1873 the connection to the rail network by the Halberstadt-Blankenburg Railway. At the same time, tourism increased, so that hotels and pensions were created. Under these positive conditions, the population also increased considerably. On the one hand, German and Polish workers from the east settled down, creating the Catholic Church of St. Joseph in 1882, and on the other hand, pensioners from the nearby cities chose Blankenburg as their retirement home. In this context, extensive areas with Art Nouveau villas emerged. In 1885, the Rübelandbahn line was also inaugurated.

The naturopath Adolf Just founded the healing earth company Luvos Just GmbH in Blankenburg in 1918. The construction and commissioning of the Teufelsbad in 1938 and the subsequent recognition as a spa in 1940 are part of this tradition. On the outskirts of the city, this tradition continues with the Teufelsbad Fachklinik, although the status as a spa has not continued in favor of a different overall tourist profile since the 21st century is sought.

At the beginning of the National Socialist era, opponents of the Nazis were persecuted and murdered. In a notorious action by the Braunschweig SS leader Jeckeln in September 1933, 140 communists and social democrats were rounded up in the inn “to relax”. Here and in the Blankenburger Hof they were badly mistreated, so that some died as a result. In the wake of the Reichspogromnacht, Jews from Blankenburg were deported to various camps. At the census on May 17, 1939, twelve Jewish citizens were still registered, including five men.

During the Second World War, Dr. Dasch set up the Blankenburg-Oesig subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp and shortly thereafter placed it under the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp, where around 500 prisoners had to do forced labor in the monastery and the Oda works. There was also a labor camp run by the Gestapo for "half-Jews" who were forced to do hard labor. Another camp was occupied in February 1945 with prisoners from the Auschwitz subcamp Fürstengrube and operated as the subcamp Blankenburg-Regenstein.

 

The occupation of the city, largely evacuated by German troops, by US troops on April 20, 1945 took place after several days of bomber attacks, artillery and tank bombardment. There was corresponding destruction and casualties among the civilian population.

From the end of the war in 1945 until today
From 1815 to 1945 Blankenburg was the district town of the district of the same name. When Germany was divided into zones of occupation in 1945, the district of Blankenburg was assigned to the British zone after the Potsdam Conference and the London Protocol. Since the larger eastern part of the district was only connected to the rest of the British zone by a road and a narrow-gauge railway, the demarcation was corrected and Blankenburg was assigned to the Soviet occupation zone. The largest part of the district thus later belonged to the GDR and then to the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The main part of the former state of Braunschweig came to the British zone and thus to Lower Saxony. Since 1952 Blankenburg belonged to the district of Wernigerode. In the post-war period, the city's population grew due to the influx of resettlers and refugees from the eastern German regions.

The tunnels of the Blankenburg-Regenstein facility have been used and expanded by the GDR's National People's Army since 1974 as a large and nuclear-bomb-proof ammunition depot. In 1992 the German Armed Forces moved into the 8 km long tunnel system and built “the largest underground pharmacy in the world” there: for routine tasks of the German armed forces, but also for disaster relief around the world and for military “emergencies”.

From 1987 the Church of St. Bartholomew became a meeting place for political opponents of the political system of the GDR. In 1990, Blankenburg hosted the Braunschweigische Landschaft cultural festival. In the same year Blankenburg again became part of the newly founded state of Saxony-Anhalt. With the establishment of the Berlin Republic, the restructuring of the Blankenburg administration began. The renovation of the historical building stock (old town, gardens and castle), the demographic change as well as the maintenance and strengthening of the infrastructure and economy became core tasks after 1990. On May 25, 2009, the city received the title “Place of Diversity” awarded by the German government ".

Blankenburg has been part of the Harz district since 2007. On January 1, 2010, the formerly independent towns of Cattenstedt, Derenburg, Heimburg, Hüttenrode, Timmenrode and Wienrode were incorporated.

 

 

Geography

The city of Blankenburg (Harz) lies close to the northern edge of the Harz at an altitude of about 234 m. Blankenburg (Harz) is located west of Quedlinburg, south of Halberstadt and east of Wernigerode. The Goldbach flows through the Oesig district to the northwest of the city center.

City structure
The historic old town, laid out around 1200, nestles north of the Blankenstein, on which Blankenburg Castle is located today. This city center can be traced back to the course of the former and still existing city walls. From the 18th century onwards, we can speak of overcoming these narrow limits. During this time the parks and gardens as well as the representative buildings in the baroque style essentially fall. In the 19th century, numerous villas were built in the Classicist, Historicist and Art Nouveau styles, stretching west, north and east of the old town up to higher mountains. The outskirts are characterized by residential and commercial areas of the 20th and 21st centuries.

In addition to this core town, the village districts Börnecke, Cattenstedt, Heimburg, Hüttenrode, Timmenrode, Wienrode and the city of Derenburg belong to Blankenburg (Harz). On July 1, 2014, the new municipal constitution law of the state of Saxony-Anhalt came into force. In its §14 (2) the municipalities are given the opportunity to assign this designation to the districts that were towns before the incorporation. The city of Blankenburg (Harz) has made use of this regulation. Their amended main statutes came into force on January 13, 2017.

There are also Birkental, Gehren, Helsungen, Michaelstein, Oesig, Pfeifenkrug, Regenstein, Sonnenbreite, Stukenbreite and Westend as unofficial names for districts.