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Halle, Saxony-Anhalt

Halle (also called Halle an der Saale in order to distinguish from Halle[?] in North Rhine-Westphalia) is the biggest town in Germany's Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, in the southern part of the state on the river Saale. Population: 243,045 (2001).

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The town was first mentioned in 806. It became a part of the bishopric principality of Magdeburg in the 10th century and remained so until 1680, when it was together with Magdeburg annexed by Brandenburg.

After World War II Halle was the capital of the short-lived administrative region of Saxony-Anhalt (until 1952). As a part of East Germany (until 1990), it was the capital of the administrative district of Halle. When Saxony-Anhalt was reestablished as a Bundesland, Magdeburg became the capital instead of Halle.


  • Giebichenstein Castle, first mentioned in 961, west of the city centre on a hill above the Saale river
  • Moritzburg, a newer castle, built in 1503; residence of the bishops of Magdeburg; destroyed in the Thirty Years' War, then a ruin for centuries, rebuilt in 1904; today an Art Gallery
  • Cathedral, a steepleless building, originally a church within a Dominican monastery (1271)


In times of the former GDR Halle was place of chemical industry.

The famous Baroque music composer Georg Friedrich Händel was born in Halle. Georg Cantor was a professor there.

A university was founded in Halle in 1694. It is now combined with the University of Wittenberg and is therefore called University of Halle-Wittenberg, or Martin Luther University.

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