Magdeburg is proud to call itself Ottostadt.
Magdeburg is 1,200 years old, making it one of the oldest cities in Germany’s eastern federal states. Few other places in central Europe have quite such a fascinating past. A former imperial seat, Hanseatic power and Prussian fortified town, Magdeburg has been rebuilt time and time again, with the preservation of its cultural riches always of paramount importance. Allow this wonderful city to captivate you!
Magdeburg, the regional capital of Saxony Anhalt and a city of some 231,000 people, is happy to acknowledge the two famous Ottos that have shaped its history: Otto the Great, Holy Roman Emperor, and Otto von Guericke. Otto the Great was extremely enamoured with Magdeburg and bestowed a magnificent cathedral upon the city. Otto von Guericke – famed for the Magdeburg hemispheres, which he designed to demonstrate air pressure – was Magdeburg’s mayor and played a decisive role in the city’s history after the Thirty Years’ War. Ottostadt Magdeburg has preserved its cultural heritage and combined this with the vitality of a modern urban centre. This ancient city is well worth a visit at any time of the year. It can boast a multitude of attractions, a colourful history spanning more than 1,200 years, a broad programme of arts and entertainment, plus great shopping and spas.
Magdeburg also lives up to its popular description as the leafy cathedral city on the Elbe, thanks to its superb parks and long riverside meadows that are perfect for long walks, cycle tours and picnics. Restaurants and cafés are opening up all the time along the waterfront – which is good news for visitors!
This is also a city of culture. Theatres in Magdeburg offer a wide choice of entertainment ranging from musicals to ballet, so there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. Welcome to Ottostadt Magdeburg.
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Magdeburg Cathedral is the city’s most famous landmark: the first Gothic cathedral to be built in Germany and still one of the biggest churches in the country. Its origins can be traced back to 937, when Emperor Otto the First founded a monastery in honour of St. Mauritius. He went on to extend the church building in 955 and elevated it to cathedral status in 968. In 1207, the Ottonian cathedral was severely damaged in a great fire. It took until 1362 for the rebuilt Gothic church to be consecrated, and the 101-metre-high west towers were not completed until 1520. The cathedral has been Protestant since 1567.
People visiting the cathedral nowadays are struck by the monumental grandeur of the building, which contains many unique and internationally renowned features from nearly every artistic era: the original tomb of Otto I. and his first wife Edith, early-Gothic sandstone sculptures including the famous sculptures of the wise and foolish virgins, the magnificently crafted choir stalls for the canons dating back to the fourteenth century, and paintings and artworks from the Renaissance era right up to the twentieth century.
A must-see for visitors to the city, this ensemble of irregularly shaped facades and modern design – an attraction, fantasy building and work of art rolled into one – was one of the last architectural works created by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The GREEN CITADEL OF MAGDEBURG was ceremonially inaugurated on 3 October 2005. It is located on Breiter Weg. Hundertwasser’s aim of creating “an oasis for humanity and for nature within a sea of rational buildings”, an artistic and cultural statement in the city of Magdeburg, polarised public opinion right from the offset.
As a commercial and residential property THE GREEN CITADEL OF MAGDEBURG makes a colourful and creative addition to the architectural diversity of centrally located Breiter Weg. The complex, which is open 365 days a year, is a magnet for locals and visitors alike thanks to its 55 apartments, attractive shops, hotel, office space, doctors’ surgeries, kindergarten and coffee shop.
The Monastery of Our Lady, a major attraction on the Romanesque Roadand the oldest building inMagdeburg, is now home to an art museum. Its collections and exhibitions make it the most important centre of sculpture and modern art in the Saxony-Anhalt region. The museum has succeeded a unique atmosphere by combining modern art with historical architecture.
The Cultural History Museumis dedicated to the history of the city of Magdeburgand is home to important collections of craftwork, graphic art and paintings. It also contains the hall of Emperor Otto the Great, where visitors can view the original Magdeburg Horseman statue. The statue, which was created in as early as 1240, is thought to depict Emperor Otto the First. The outstanding medieval exhibitions, the Museum has become famous far beyond the German Landof Saxony-Anhalt.
Magdeburg’s Elbauen Park is a particularly special destination for visitors, with state-of-the-art landscaping covering some 100 hectares. The park was created in 1999 on a former military site in the east of Magdeburg for the 25th Federal Garden Show, and is now one of the region’s most popular destinations with an array of crowd-pulling attractions.Visitors flock to enjoy the site’s former shooting ramparts – now converted into a leafy play area – the tropical butterfly house and the wonderful lakeside stage. From the monorail they can enjoy great views of the whole park. Elbauen Park’s most striking attraction is the 60-metre-high Millennium Tower, which houses an interactive exhibition tracing 6,000 years of science and technology. The Millennium Tower is also the tallest wooden tower in the world and has become a new landmark in Magdeburg.
Rothensee lock, the longest canal bridge in Europe across the river Elbe (918m), and the double lock near Hohenwarthe all form part of a gargantuan river traffic project in the heart of the countryside. It is designed to connect a series of waterways in order form a directly navigable route from Hannover to Berlin.
This new place of interest, known as the Magdeburg Water Bridge, was officially opened on 10 October 2003 and now has large numbers of ships passing through it every day. Fitting in perfectly with the region’s ‘Blue Ribbon’ campaign highlighting the delights of the river Elbe, the water bridge is sure to attract tourists and water sports fans from around the world not only to Saxony-Anhalt but to Magdeburg itself. It’s worth making the trip to see this impressive feat of engineering for the surrounding countryside alone, which is absolutely captivating.
Magdeburg has got a variety of shopping Facilities in the City Centre. The shops are located close to the Centrum. You will find over 150 shops, variety of foods and drink facilities are located in the Allee Center. Close by you can discover the shopping street Breiter Weg. The street is approx. 2.2km long and you can decide between several department stores. Steps away you discover the City Carré.
Do you know what “Bötel mit Lehm and Stroh” is? This meal of pork knuckle with pease pudding and sauerkraut is an absolute must if you want to discover the typical delicacies of the Magdeburg region. The City of Otto is home to a variety of top-quality restaurants offering delicious culinary treats from Germany and abroad in a friendly and pleasant setting
The ‘green lung’ of the Magdeburg metropolis is the “Stadtpark Rotehorn”, which can be found on an island on the river Elbe in the middle of the city. The city park is one of the most popular recreation areas for the citizens of Magdeburg and a centre for cultural and sports events.
The Garden of Möllenvogtei
One of the city’s oldest gardens can be found directly next to Magdeburg Cathedral. Its history dates right back to the beginnings of the old city centre and it boasts a number of special features such as the only remaining city gate from the year 1493 and stone steps that climb up to the remains of the Gangolphi Chapel
Experience the City of Otto from the water! Come and let one of the passenger boats of the “Weiße Flotte” (White Fleet) take you on a cruise along the river Elbe and past the historic Magdeburg city scape, stately parks and idyllic floodplain forests. The choice is yours: You can either travel upstream past Magdeburg Cathedral and the southern tip of the Rotehorn park or downstream to the impressive Waterway Junction, which forms a “Big Eight” on the river Elbe and is home to the new Magdeburg/Rothensee ship lift and the gigantic bridge connecting the Mittel land Canal and the Elbe-Havel-Canal. Sit back and relax on a scenic cruise and enjoy the coffee, cake and other delicacies available on board.
The Elbe Cycle Route
The Elbe boasts one of the last natural river landscapes in Germany, with several extensive areas belonging to the “Flusslandschaft Elbe” (Elbe River Landscape) biosphere reserve. A ride along the Elbe Cycle Route, a scenic path connecting Prague and Hamburg, will take you through a unique landscape full of rare animals and plants and provide you with a truly wonderful experience of the area’s natural beauty. In Magdeburg, the Elbe Cycle Route is connected to many of the city’s tourist sights and attractions by a network of routes. You can therefore choose a route in and around the city of Magdeburg that is tailored to suit your individual needs and wishes.
In honour of the great baroque composer from Magdeburg
21st Telemann Festival in Magdeburg from 14.-23. March 2014 (every two years)
A whole host of open-air events is planned for the summer in Magdeburg, from the New Orleans Jazz Festival in Herrenkrug Park to various festivals for all ages in Elbauen Park.
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful, varied and magical market than this one in Saxony-Anhalt’s state capital. Tempting aromas of roasted almonds, candy floss and glühwein delight locals and visitors alike against the backdrop of the historical town hall and famous Magdeburg Horseman.
25th November to 30 December 2013
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Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe river and has plenty to offer visitors both on and alongside the water. Restaurants and cafés are opening up all the time along the waterfront. These are popular meeting places for cyclists following the Elbe Cycle Route, as well as for locals of all ages at the weekend. The riverside urbanisation has been gentle though, and the Elbe remains a natural, unspoilt waterway here with no weirs or barrages.