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Naumburg (Saale) is a city in southern Saxony-Anhalt. It has a well-preserved and worth seeing old town with numerous medieval, renaissance and baroque buildings. The main attraction is the late Romanesque Naumburg Cathedral with its remarkable donor figures, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018. The relatively small city is rich in sights and has retained its leisurelyness despite tourist development. Thomas Mann set a literary monument to her in his novel Doctor Faustus under the name Kaisersaschern.



St. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The late Romanesque to early Gothic cathedral is the landmark of the city of Naumburg, which is one of the most valuable European architectural monuments. The construction of the three-aisled, two-choir basilica with four towers and a cloister began before 1213. The early Gothic west choir was built around 1250. In the first half of the 14th century the east choir was enlarged in the high Gothic style. The Romanesque crypt under the east choir was built around 1170 and was part of a previous building. The pulpit dates from 1466. The southwest tower was not completed until 1884. The cathedral was completely restored between 1960 and 1968. Open: March to October Mon-Sat 9 am-6pm, Sun, public holidays 11 am-6pm; November to February Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun and public holidays 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Price: € 7.50, reduced € 5.50

The twelve donor figures in the west choir, which were created after 1250, are world-famous. All figures are life-size and carved in limestone. The best-known figures are Uta von Ballenstedt and Ekkehard II. Von Meißen on the north side of the west choir and Regelindis and Herrmann I opposite on the south side. They are among the earliest realistic depictions of individual faces in the European Middle Ages. The figure of Uta is sometimes referred to as the “most beautiful woman of the Middle Ages” and Umberto Eco wrote about her: “If you ask me which woman in the history of art I would go out for dinner and spend an evening, there would be Uta von Naumburg first . “Another interesting work of art - much more recent - in the cathedral are the windows of the Elisabeth chapel designed by Leipzig artist Neo Rauch in 2007.



Naumburg is located in the south of Saxony-Anhalt at the confluence of the Unstrut and the Saale, near the border with Thuringia, 39 km south of Halle and 30 km north of Jena. Located on the edge of the Leipzig lowland bay, the city already belongs to the low mountain range at a height of 130 m above sea level. The city is surrounded by the hilly Saale-Unstrut wine-growing region and is located in the Saale-Unstrut-Triasland nature park. The climate in Naumburg is exceptionally mild, which makes viticulture on the valley slopes in the area possible.

The maximum east-west extension of the core city is about 6.5 km, the maximum north-south extension about 5.5 km.



Middle age
Naumburg was first mentioned in a document in 1012, when the new Ekkehardinger castle, the Margrave of Meissen, was built at the intersection of two trade routes. In 1021, the Merseburg bishop's chronicle reported that a provost's office had recently been re-established on the site of the later Naumburg cathedral. By operating the Ekkehardinger gave 1028 Pope John XIX. his consent to the relocation of the diocese from Zeitz to Naumburg. Until the Reformation was implemented in the city in 1568, Naumburg was the seat of a bishopric, although from the 13th century the bishops mostly resided and lived in Zeitz again. The last bishop was Julius von Pflug, who died in Zeitz and is also buried there. The cathedral school was founded in 1030. Since 1144 Naumburg was called a city.

In the Middle Ages it was an important trading center on the Via Regia, especially because of the Naumburg fairs, first mentioned in 1278. The rise of Leipzig to the trade fair city since 1500 and the Thirty Years War brought the economic prosperity of Naumburg to a standstill. The territory of the diocese, which was secularized in the middle of the 16th century, passed to the Electors of Saxony, who had it administered by their own monastery government in Naumburg and who later provided the administrators. In 1544 the Naumburg office was formed from the monastery property on the Saale. According to the main fraternal comparison among the four sons of Johann Georg I in 1657, the Naumburg monastery area belonged to the Sachsen-Zeitz secondary school, which went to the youngest son Moritz. Before the Moritzburg was built in Zeitz, the Naumburg City Palace served as the residence of this branch line. This episode came to an end with the death of the last Protestant representative of the Sachsen-Zeitz line in 1718. The Naumburg monastery area finally fell back to the Dresden spa line; it was thus fully integrated into Albertine Saxony, but remained the seat of its own administrative authorities until 1815 (for example the consistory of the Naumburg-Zeitz monastery).

Until the end of the late Middle Ages, Jews lived in the episcopal city of Naumburg. They lived in Jüdengasse, the city's central Judengasse, which is still there today. In 1494, the episcopal cities of Naumburg and Zeitz received from Bishop Johann III. Schoenberg promised "to say goodbye to the local Jews after their escorts and prescriptions have expired, to expel them from all areas and also not to admit any more Jews in the future." . In 1494 all Jews were expelled from Naumburg and from Zeitz in 1517. To replace the lost Jewish money, Naumburg had to pay 60 Rhenish guilders and Zeitz 40 Rhenish guilders annually to the episcopal chamber, redeemable with 1,200 or 800 Rhenish guilders, corresponding to the required sum for 20 years. Today, a bronze plaque at the entrance to the Jüdengasse on the market side reminds of the former residents and their expulsion.

The history of Naumburg is closely linked to Martin Luther and the Reformation. Luther preached for the first time in 1521 on his way to the Worms Reichstag in Naumburg. On January 18, 1542, Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, Spalatin and Nikolaus von Amsdorf took quarters at Markt 3 with the widow of the town clerk Ambrosius Dörffer. Today a plaque commemorates it. In the evening one of the most difficult council meetings in the city's history took place, in which an agreement was reached with the elector on the appointment of Nikolaus von Amsdorf as bishop. On January 20, 1542, Luther consecrated him as the first evangelical bishop in the east choir of Naumburg Cathedral. With this, Luther not only set a milestone in Naumburg's church history, but also for the growing Protestantism. The time of the Protestant bishop is also known as the “Naumburg Bishop Experiment”. The official and residence of Nikolaus von Amsdorf was the west wing in the so-called Naumburger Schlösschen on the market square and later the Zeitz Bishop's Palace.


The most influential Reformation personality in Naumburg, however, is Nikolaus Medler. In 1536 he took the position of superintendent in the town church of St. Wenceslas and was given the supervision of 32 churches. A year later, he wrote church and school rules based on the Wittenberg order and expressly approved by Luther. In 1568 the Reformation finally prevailed in Naumburg.

Early modern age
On May 2nd, 1604, Christina Kirchner from Michelsgasse was beheaded, who had been accused of witchcraft by Nicol von Zwicken's wife.

From 1621 to 1622 Naumburg had a tipper mint, in which interim coins were struck under the mint masters Georg Oppermann, Kurt Marquart, Sebastian Härtel and Friedrich Ulm. These were kipper coins from the Kipper 12 Kreuzer piece to the so-called Kippertaler at 60 groschen.

From 1656 to 1718 Naumburg belonged to the Duchy of Saxony-Zeitz. Therefore, from 1652 the Residenzhaus am Markt (today's district court) was built by Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony. On October 3, 1653, his son Moritz was able to move into the new house, from where he ruled the duchy until July 1, 1663, before moving to the newly built Moritzburg in Zeitz. His art-loving son Moritz Wilhelm von Sachsen-Zeitz built the opera house in front of the Salztor in 1701, which burned down in 1716.

After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Naumburg fell to Prussia and was incorporated into the Merseburg administrative district of the newly formed province of Saxony. As part of the subdivision of the administrative district of Merseburg, an urban district of Naumburg was established on October 1, 1816, which included the city of Naumburg and a number of surrounding villages. On January 1, 1818, the urban district of Naumburg was enlarged by numerous villages from the Weißenfels district and converted into a normal district with Naumburg as the district town.

In 1846 the city was connected to the Thuringian Railway from Halle to Erfurt, in 1889 to Artern and finally in 1900 to Teuchern. On September 15, 1892, the Naumburg tram went into operation. In the first few years it was still operated with steam. On January 2, 1907, it was switched to electrical operation. In 1914 the city of Naumburg became a district.

Although industrialization developed only weakly, a workers' association was formed as early as 1848. When the Kapp Putsch was suppressed in 1920, five workers were killed. In 1927 the "Devoli" (Deutsche Volkslichtspiele) were founded, with headquarters in the former garrison hospital on the Spechsart. The film and sound studios are also located there. In the 1930s, as part of the armament of the Wehrmacht, three new barracks were built in Naumburg, one on Schönburger Strasse and two on Flemminger Weg (then Adolf-Hitler-Strasse). On August 20, 1935, the 53rd Infantry Regiment paraded on the old market square for the first time. This regiment was used in the raid on Poland.

On April 9 and 11, 1945, American planes bombed the city. Parts of the military installations in the east of the city as well as areas of the old town and adjacent areas were destroyed or seriously damaged. More than 400 people died and around 700 houses were damaged. On April 12th, Mayor Bruno Radwitz handed over the city to the US troops, and almost three months later - on July 2nd - Red Army troops moved into Naumburg. Due to the influx of refugees and displaced persons, up to 60,000 people stayed in the city.

post war period
After the city was occupied by Red Army units in 1945, an area around the Higher Regional Court was cordoned off and declared a restricted military area. It was made by the staffs of the 57th Guards Mot. Rifle Division and the 170th Guards Mot. Rifle regiment of the Soviet armed forces In the garrison town of Naumburg, both the barracks from the 19th century and from the time of National Socialism were used to accommodate the soldiers. The officers lived in parts of the Bürgergarten villa district as well as newly built residential areas. Parts of the area around Naumburg, e.g. B. the Buchholz, were used by the Soviet armed forces for training purposes, but were mostly accessible to the population. The Soviet supply facilities ("Russian magazines") could also be used by the residents.

In 1950 Naumburg lost its status as an independent city and came to the Weißenfels district. In the GDR, Naumburg was the location of mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, metal and shoe industries. In the course of 1989 in Naumburg there were numerous demonstrations and meetings in the churches of the city.


Since German reunification
After reunification in 1990, the city previously part of the Halle district came to the newly formed state of Saxony-Anhalt. The area around the Higher Regional Court was made accessible again to the local population after the GSSD withdrew. The properties used by the Soviet armed forces were used for civil purposes.

In 1994 the districts of Naumburg, Nebra and Zeitz were merged to form the Burgenlandkreis. The district seat remained Naumburg. In 2007 the Burgenland district and the Weißenfels district were merged to form the new Burgenland district. Since then, Naumburg has been the administrative seat of this district, which also includes the neighboring cities of Weißenfels, Zeitz and Nebra.