In its more than 1000-year history, the half-timbered town in Saxony-Anhalt has already seen kings and emperors, survived the impending decay, and was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1994.
Collegiate Church and Castle
The landmark that can be seen from afar is the castle hill with the castle and the collegiate church. Founded by the later Emperor Otto I in memory of his deceased father Heinrich I. His mother Mathilde and unmarried noble daughters lived in the attached convent.
A crypt for the royal couple
In the year 919, i.e. 1100 years ago, Saxon King Heinrich was chosen as the first German king. According to legend, on a bird hunt in Quedlinburg. In any case, he and Mathilde, the first German royal couple, are buried in the crypt of the collegiate church. The room impresses with its simplicity and proportions and with the round arches of early Romanesque architecture.
Quedlinburg was a popular station for traveling emperors and kings in the Middle Ages. A historic Easter procession commemorates this in Quedlinburg every year. There were palaces all over Germany, most of which were a day’s ride apart. Quedlinburg, however, was the preferred destination to celebrate the important Easter festival.
Quedlinburg was largely spared the destruction of World War II, but fell more and more into disrepair during the GDR era. Since German reunification in 1990, numerous threatened buildings have been restored. In 1994, UNESCO declared the medieval city center a World Heritage Site.
The market square was also redesigned according to the historical model, including a new lighting concept. The square is located in the so-called New Town, which is also quite old, having been founded in the 12th century. In the late Middle Ages, Quedlinburg prospered thanks to cloth traders and merchants and was also a member of the Hanseatic League.
The Gothic stone building dates back to the 14th century and is one of the oldest town halls in Central Germany. Quedlinburg was administered here, but it was also the scene of unusual events. From theological debates after the Reformation to extraordinary presentations. In 1645, for example, one source records the display of a lion from Egypt.
Among the 1200 listed buildings in Quedlinburg are half-timbered buildings from six centuries. This post-construction from 1349 is one of the oldest of this type. It houses the half-timbered museum, which provides information about the history of this construction method.
The gallery shows works by the German-American Bauhaus artist Lyonel Feininger, who lived in Germany until 1937. Shortly before his return to the USA, Feininger left a large part of his work to a friend from Quedlinburg, who saved his work from being destroyed by the National Socialists. The gallery is the only Feininger museum in Europe.
Of course, there is also a Christmas market in Quedlinburg. It has twice been awarded as the most beautiful in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. For the “Advent in the courtyards”, historical inner courtyards that are otherwise inaccessible will be opened to visitors. In 2021, the Christmas market took place for twelve days before closing on December 5 due to the pandemic. was dismantled again.
Harz narrow-gauge railway
The Harz narrow-gauge railway is recommended for traveling to and from the World Heritage city of Quedlinburg. On the one hand, because the parking spaces for buses and cars are limited in the small town and, on the other hand, because you can travel with the steam-powered railway in an appropriate, historical way.
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