Explore Magdeburg

The name Magdeburg is connected to a technical discovery: the Magdeburg hemispheres were used by Otto von Guericke, who was born in Magdeburg in 1602, to prove the air pressure he had discovered. The strength of 16 horses was insufficient to separate the metal hemispheres that were connected in a vacuum. Otto von Guericke is considered a pioneer in experimental physics; but he also invented air pumps and barometers. As mayor of the city of Magdeburg, he took part in the negotiations on the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War. Today the university bears the name Otto von Guerickes and is a central component of a distinctive scientific landscape in the region. The distinctive landmark of Magdeburg is the cathedral, which is considered to be the first Gothic building in Germany. The cathedral, which was built in 1209, goes back to a Romanesque predecessor, which Emperor Otto I had built from 937. The burial place of the first emperor and founder of the Holy Roman Empire can also be found in the cathedral. The impressive medieval buildings also include the Romanesque monastery “Our Lady” and the town hall with the famous “Magdeburg Rider”, the first free-standing equestrian monument in Northern Europe. Magdeburg, which was largely destroyed in the last days of World War II, has developed into a modern and lively city after 1989. New landmarks such as the Green Citadel, the last and largest single building by the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, were added, old ones were rediscovered and restored or rebuilt, such as the Mark Fortress or the Kleve Bastion, which bear witness to Magdeburg as a mighty fortress city.

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