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Quedlinburg

 

Quedlinburg is a town on the Bode north of the Harz Mountains in the Harz district (Saxony-Anhalt). Mentioned for the first time in 922 and granted city charter in 994, the city was the seat of the royal palatinate secular rulers, who were visited at Easter, from the 10th to the 12th centuries, and for almost 900 years it was a women's monastery (initially spiritual, after the Reformation).

Quedlinburg's architectural heritage has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1994 and makes the city one of the largest area monuments in Germany.

In the historic old town with its cobblestone streets, winding alleys and small squares there are over 2000 half-timbered houses from eight centuries. On the market is the Renaissance town hall with the Roland statue, south of it is the Schlossberg with the Romanesque collegiate church and the cathedral treasure as evidence of the Quedlinburg women's monastery. The Munzenberg with the Romanesque monastery church of St. Marien and in the valley in between the Romanesque church of St. Wiperti, the adjoining abbey garden and the Brühl Park are also part of the world cultural heritage.

 

History

Early settlements
The first traces of settlement go back to the Paleolithic. The area was almost continuously populated. The productive soils made the area particularly interesting for settlers during the Neolithic, which can be proven by more than 55 settlement remains from this era in the city and the surrounding area alone. There are Neolithic burial mounds on the prominent mountain peaks such as the Moorberg, the Bockshornschanze or the Brugesberg, which rise up on the side walls of the Bodetal as if on a chain. About two kilometers north-west of Quedlinburg, west of the desert of Marsleben, a circular moat system made of stitchery ceramics was examined in 2005, which is not inferior to the circular moat system of Goseck in terms of age, size and shape.

At the end of the 8th century, documentary reports about places in the vicinity of Quedlinburg pile up: Marsleben, Groß Orden, Ballersleben (all desolate), Ditfurt and Weddersleben. The Wipertikirche as a branch of the Hersfeld Abbey was probably founded around 835/863.

Royal Easter Palatinate from the 10th to 12th centuries
Quedlinburg gained importance when it became the royal palace in the 10th century, where the Ottonian rulers celebrated Easter. It was first mentioned as villa quae dicitur Quitilingaburg in a document from King Henry I of April 22, 922.

Heinrich later designated the place as his burial place. After his death in Memleben in 936, his body was transferred to Quedlinburg and buried in the Palatine Chapel on the Schlossberg. His widow Queen Mathilde had Heinrich's son and successor Otto I confirm the establishment of a women's foundation with the task of memorizing the dead. For thirty years she headed the founding of the monastery herself, without having become an abbess. Otto I visited Quedlinburg at irregular intervals to celebrate Easter and to commemorate his father. In 941 he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by his younger brother Heinrich. On the Easter court day in 966 Otto's daughter Mathilde was entrusted as abbess with the management of the women's monastery. Two years later, on March 14, 968, her grandmother died and was buried with her husband. Her grave and stone sarcophagus have been preserved, while Heinrich's burial place is empty.

Otto the Great's largest and most glamorous court day took place in 973. Among the international participants were Boleslav I, Duke of Bohemia, and Mieszko I, Duke of the Polans, who swore allegiance to the emperor. Shortly afterwards Otto I. His son Otto II. Visited Quedlinburg only twice in his ten-year reign.

After his death in 983 Otto III. only three years old. His uncle Heinrich the quarrel wanted to rise to the rank of king in Quedlinburg and kidnapped the young king. Above all, the intervention of Otto's grandmother Adelheid, Otto I's second wife, and his mother Theophanu, Otto II's wife, forced Heinrich two years later, the young Otto III. to pay homage in Quedlinburg. Otto III. granted the monastery market, coinage and customs rights in 994, still under the leadership of his aunt, Abbess Mathilde. This created an important condition for the further urban development of Quedlinburg.

The later so-called Quedlinburg Annals, which were written on site, testify to the further importance of Quedlinburg in terms of imperial politics in the 11th and 12th centuries. These record Litua, the name of Lithuania, for the first time in written sources in 1009. For the period from the 10th to the 12th century, when Quedlinburg was the Easter Palatinate of the East Franconian / German rulers, 69 documented stays of a king or emperor have been counted.

In the first decades after its foundation, the women's monastery also received distant places, such as Soltau, 170 km away, the church of St. Michael des Volkmarskeller (956), Duderstadt (974), Potsdam (993) and Gera (999), but also other treasures. In addition to the 48 places donated by Otto I, eleven were added under Otto II and eleven under Otto III. ten and under later rulers another 150 places.

Up-and-coming city in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period
In 1326, the city merged with Halberstadt and Aschersleben to form the Halberstadt Tri-City Union, which lasted 150 years.

Quedlinburg experienced an economic boom in the following four centuries. As in other cities (Braunschweig, Halberstadt) in the region, the tailoring and merchant sectors were particularly intense. Around 1330 the old town was enfeoffed with the new town founded in the 12th century; from then on both always acted together as the city of Quedlinburg.

 

The economic success was joined by a political one in 1336, when the city was able to imprison the latter in a regional conflict between the Halberstadt bishop and the Count of Regenstein. The city gained greater independence from the city mistress, the abbess of the women's monastery, and was subsequently allowed to massively expand its defenses. The new self-confidence was demonstrated to the outside world in the form of many city alliances. As the culmination of this development, the city joined the Lower Saxony City Association in 1384 and the Hanseatic League in 1426.

The city council's plan to free itself from the powers of Abbess Hedwig von Sachsen resulted in a violent conflict in 1477. The Quedlinburgers tried to drive Hedwig out of the city by force of arms. She then asked her brothers, the Wettin dukes Ernst and Albrecht, for help. The dispatched troops stormed the city without losses of their own, while 80 Quedlinburgers fell. The citizens then submitted and withdrew from all alliances. Roland, a symbol of market freedom and a symbol of urban independence, was erected in front of the dressmaker's house on the market square around 1435 and was overthrown and smashed. In 1569 the council had this Roland figure re-erected in the courtyard of the Ratskeller and in 1869 the fragments of the Roland statue were put up in front of the town hall. In 2013 the figure was cleaned and completed.

During the Peasants' War, four of the city's monasteries, the Premonstratensian monastery of St. Wiperti, the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary, the Franciscan monastery in the old town and the Augustinian monastery in the new town, were destroyed. The Reformation was enforced in Quedlinburg in 1539 and the monastery was converted into an evangelical free secular monastery.

The city experienced its greatest urban development from the Thirty Years War. Most of the 2159 preserved half-timbered houses were built during this time. Two city fires devastated large parts of the city in 1676 and 1797.

In 1698, Brandenburg troops occupied the city, which made Prussia a protective power. In 1802 the women's monastery, which had existed since 936, was dissolved. The monastery buildings on the Schlossberg became the property of the Prussian state.

Up-and-coming plant breeding center from the 18th to the 20th century
In the course of the 18th and especially the 19th century, the cultivation of plants and the propagation of seeds resulted in considerable prosperity, which found expression in a number of Art Nouveau villas in urban planning. When the first sugar factory in the administrative district of Magdeburg was set up by G. Chr. Hanewald in Quedlinburg in 1834, this led to the rapid development of agricultural suppliers and large businesses. The development of breeding methods, the connection to the railway network and the separation (1834-1858) are stages in the world economic importance in the field of seed breeding. In addition to the cultivation of ornamental and agricultural plants, the importance of vegetable cultivation increased from the beginning of the 20th century.

From 1815 to 1938 Quedlinburg was a garrison town.

From 1865 to 1888 fragments of the oldest known illustrated biblical manuscript (Quedlinburger Itala) from the 5th century were found in Quedlinburg.

20th century
In the early 20th century, the seed companies were the largest employers. In 1907 Rosa Luxemburg spoke to 800 Quedlinburg seed-breeding workers. In 1911 Quedlinburg, which until then was the seat of the district of Quedlinburg, became an independent city.

During the First World War, up to 17,000 prisoners of war were forced to work in agriculture and housed in a prisoner-of-war camp on the Ritteranger northeast of the city. This camp was established in September 1914 and was used as an emergency shelter for Tsarist soldiers after the war until it was burned down in June 1922. In the same year, a celebration of the thousandth anniversary of the first documentary mention (922) took place in Quedlinburg.

A devastating flood of the Bode in 1926 destroyed all bridges and paralyzed the infrastructure. Later floods repeatedly hampered the reconstruction work.

 

At the time of National Socialism, the millennium (936–1936) of the death of King Henry I was viewed by the National Socialists in the form of the SS as a propaganda gift. Heinrich Himmler developed a cult around the king from 1936 and was regarded as a reincarnation of Heinrich himself, which is said to have flattered him, as his personal physician Felix Kersten reports. In Quedlinburg, the Wiperti crypt and the Church of St. Servatii were confiscated and converted into sanctuaries for the SS. Himmler's personal appearance (until 1939) at the annual festivities on July 2, which took place until 1944, was, for example, upgraded in 1937 with news about the discovery of the lost bones of Heinrich I After the war, when the (new) sarcophagus was opened, the “finds” presented by the SS were exposed as crude forgeries.

On the morning after the destruction of the “Reichspogromnacht”, the shopkeeper Sommerfeld put his iron crosses from the First World War (EK 1 and 2) in his destroyed shop window and a sign: “You can be sure of the thanks of the fatherland.” Soon afterwards, the deportation of Jews began Residents. There were three outposts of concentration camps in the urban area: the district court prison and one prison camp each in the Kleersturnhalle and in the air base in Quarmbeck.

Since 1943/1944, over 8,000 wounded people have been cared for in the sports halls and emergency hospitals in Quedlinburg. In the week before American troop units (RCT 18) were able to take the city almost without a fight on April 19, 1945, parts of the V2, which were stored on wagons at the Quedlinburg train station, were successfully removed from the city. This prevented a bombing; so the war damage was limited to artillery hits.

After the war, Quedlinburg was part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt founded in 1945, and since 1952 of the Halle district in the GDR.

The demonstrations of June 17, 1953 in Quedlinburg and Thale could only be stopped by using armed forces of the Soviet Army.

Although there was hardly any significant war damage, the efforts made by the GDR were by no means sufficient to stop the threatening natural decline of the old town. Thanks to the work of experienced Polish restorers from Toruń, it was only possible to restore certain houses. Since 1957 St. Wiperti has been restored and rededicated in 1959. The original plans of the GDR in the 1960s to completely tear down the historic old town and replace it with a central square and socialist prefabricated buildings failed due to a lack of funds. Attempts to adapt the prefabricated building method to the historical conditions can be seen in the area of ​​the Marschlinger Hof, in Neuendorf and in the Schmalen Straße north of the market. For this, the so-called Hallesche monolith construction (HMB) was modified and implemented as the Hallesche monolith construction type Quedlinburg (HMBQ). Only after the reunification in 1990 were single-minded half-timbered structures restored.

In autumn 1989 there was hardly any other city where as many people demonstrated as in Quedlinburg, measured by population. Non-violent demonstrations during the "Wende" always took place in Quedlinburg on Thursdays. The demonstration on November 2, 1989 with 15,000 participants was an example of non-violence despite the provocative behavior of the SED leaders on site. The largest demonstration with over 30,000 participants took place on November 9, 1989.

None of the participants suspected that the wall was being opened at the same time. The district office of the Ministry of State Security was dissolved on December 12, 1989 after the real names file and the most sensitive files (for example on church matters) had been destroyed in the days before.

On January 6, 1990, a large city festival with numerous dignitaries and 50,000 guests took place as thanks for the overwhelming reception when crossing the border. During a spontaneous visit in January 1990, Helmut Kohl promised the city aid to secure the extremely endangered building fabric, and the state of Lower Saxony donated 100,000 roof tiles in the spring for immediate measures.

A social low point were xenophobic attacks in the Quedlinburg Neustadt in autumn 1992. A response from Quedlinburg residents was the establishment of the still active prevention measure "Old Town Project". A planned NPD demonstration 15 years later was prevented by a markedly colorful demonstration by committed Quedlinburgers.

Of the twelve parts of the cathedral treasure stolen in 1945, ten returned from the USA to the Quedlinburg cathedral treasury in 1993. Two pieces of loot are still missing.

 

For the millennium of the granting of market, coinage and customs rights, large parts of Quedlinburg's old town and the royal court complex were placed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on December 17, 1994 at the request of Germany, as an ensemble that meets the requirements of Criterion IV , "An outstanding example of a type of building or architectural ensemble or landscape that represents significant periods in human history". (IV). Gerhard Schröder visited the city in 1999 with the French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and in 2001 with the Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar.

Since 2000
The Swedish royal couple, Carl XVI. Gustaf and his wife Silvia, visited the Quedlinburg collegiate church in 2005. Quedlinburg station has been connected to the Selketalbahn network since 2006. After several years of restoration, the crypt of the collegiate church has been open to the public again since March 2009.

With Alles Klara played for the first time from 2011 to 2017 an early evening series of the ARD in Quedlinburg and the surrounding area. From 2011 to 2014, extensive redesign work was carried out on the market square, in the area of ​​Breiten Straße and the stone bridge. In the run-up to this work, pavement remains of a market were discovered during archaeological excavations, which are dated to the 10th century. In 2014, the city council decided to put the general designation World Heritage City in front of the unique city name. After approval by the responsible district and UNESCO Germany, the designation World Heritage City of Quedlinburg has been in effect since March 29, 2015.

Since spring 2015, the former crypt of St. Mary's Church on the Münzenberg has been accessible again after almost 500 years. For the first time on May 26, 2017, 81 stumbling blocks were laid in front of the Steinweg house for Berta and Bruno Sommerfeld, who lived here temporarily and who were murdered after their deportation to the Auschwitz extermination camp in 1943. There are currently three stumbling blocks in Quedlinburg. Angela Merkel spoke on Quedlinburg's market square during the 2017 federal election campaign. In June 2018, the interior ministers' spring conference was held in Quedlinburg under Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

Population development
Since Quedlinburg did not grow beyond its medieval (city wall) limits for a long time, the population remained from the Middle Ages to the 19th century at a maximum of 8,000 to 10,000 people. Only with industrialization did the number start to grow and reached its highest value in 1950 with 35,426 / 35,555 inhabitants. It then fell continuously by 21 percent (7459) from 1950 to 1990 and was back below 30,000 by 1975. Since the non-violent revolution and the opening of the border in 1989/1990, the city has again lost 20 percent of its residents (5,500 people) due to high unemployment, the relocation of many residents to the surrounding area and the decline in the birth rate. On June 30, 2006, the official population of Quedlinburg was 22,481 according to the state statistical office of Saxony-Anhalt (only main residences and after comparison with the other state offices). On January 1, 2011, the city expanded from 78.14 km² to 141.82 km² through the incorporation of the city of Gernrode and the municipalities of Bad Suderode and Rieder; the population rose from just over 21,000 to over 28,000. However, due to a formal error, this integration had to be reversed on February 19, 2013 due to a court decision. Bad Suderode and Gernrode have been part of Quedlinburg again since January 1, 2014.

 

Geography

Location

The city lies in the northern Harz foreland on average 123 m above sea level, 50 km southwest of the state capital Magdeburg. The immediately adjacent heights reach about 181 m above sea level. The city lies in the river bed of the Bode, with the larger part west of the river. The urban area has an area of ​​78.14 square kilometers.

 

Geology

Quedlinburg is located in the middle of the Quedlinburger saddle, a narrow saddle that crosses the city from northwest to southeast. This includes the Quedlinburger Schlossberg with its extension over the Münzenberg-Strohberg, the hamwarte located to the north and the Altenburg located to the south.

The Harz North Rim Fault lies further to the south. Parallel to the northern edge of the raised Harz, the Mesozoic rock layers are bent up and partially broken off. The changing layers of differently resistant Mesozoic rocks (Jurassic, Chalk, Muschelkalk) form partially exposed stratified ribs, which are cut across by the Bode as striking ridges. The most striking ridge is the Teufelsmauer.

During the Elster and Vistula glacial periods, the ice had reached the edge of the Harz, while the region was not covered with ice in the last glacial period (Saale glacial period). Aeolian ceilings formed during the high glacial phases. These loess layers, which were blown up over a large area, overlaid the older solid and loose rock and were later converted into high-quality black earth soils. These are the southern foothills of the fertile Magdeburg Börde.

 

Climate

The city is located in the temperate climate zone. The average annual temperature in Quedlinburg is 8.8 ° C. The warmest months are July and August with an average of 17.8 and 17.2 ° C and the coldest January and February with an average of 0.1 and 0.4 ° C, respectively. Most of the precipitation falls in June with an average of 57 millimeters, the lowest in February with an average of 23 millimeters.

The Harz is an obstacle in the westerly wind drift coming from the southwest. Due to the height (Brocken at 1141.1 m above sea level) the air masses are forced to rise and rain down in the process. The northeast side lies in the rain shadow of the Harz Mountains. Quedlinburg is located in this area with one of the lowest annual precipitation in Germany of only 438 millimeters (for comparison: Cologne approximately 798 millimeters). Since the months of December, January and February have the lowest precipitation values ​​and the strongly decreasing trend already begins in late autumn, one can speak of a Quedlinburg "winter dryness". During the overall evaluation of the 2100 measuring stations of the German Weather Service, which was carried out for the first time in 2010, it was found that Quedlinburg was the driest place in Germany in August 2010 with 72.4 liters per square meter (= mm). There are 177 frost-free days per year, while permafrost prevails on 30 days. A closed snow cover is available on less than 50 days and the sunshine duration is 1422 hours per year.

City structure
The historic core city is divided into the former royal property with the Westendorf, the Burgberg, the St. Wiperti Church and the Munzenberg. To the north is the old town, founded in 994, and to the east is the new town, founded in the 12th century. In between, in the 13./14. In the 19th century the stone bridge was laid and the Word drained. North of the old town is the medieval suburb Gröpern.

A belt of villas in Art Nouveau style was built around this medieval core at the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. In the course of industrialization, new districts emerged outside this belt, such as the Kleysiedlung, the new building area in the Süderstadt (19th / 20th century) and the one on the Kleers (1980s).

In addition to this core city, Quedlinburg also includes the districts of Münchenhof (four kilometers north), Gersdorfer Burg (three kilometers southeast), Morgenrot (four kilometers east) and Quarmbeck (four kilometers south) and, since January 1, 2014, Bad Suderode and Gernrode again the districts of Haferfeld and the forester's house Sternhaus.

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 Quedlinburg has made use of this regulation. Your amended main statute dates from March 12, 2015. In § 1 (3) the districts and localities are listed with their official names.

Neighboring communities
Quedlinburg is a town in the Harz district and borders eight cities and towns in Saxony-Anhalt (clockwise, starting in the northeast): Harsleben town, Wegeleben town, Ditfurt and Selke-Aue town, Ballenstedt and Thale town.