Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg


Elbstadt Magdeburg

Magdeburg on the mighty river Elbe has a long and illustrious history. Magdeburg resembles the legendary bird phoenix, as over the course of 1200 years it has been destroyed several times, but has risen from its ashes every time. Currently, Magdeburg is the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt and is once again on its way up!

805 Emperor Karl der Große (Carolus Magnus, Charlemagne) decrees Magdeburg as the easternmost place of trade with slavic and mongolian tribes (Wenden, Avaren).
923-924 Almost complete destruction by the Hungarians and their slavic allies. Queen Editha, wife of Emperor Otto I (the Great), rebuilds and fortifies the town.
1135  Emperor Lothar II convenes a "Reichstag" (meeting of leading nobles) in Magdeburg.
1188  A great fire destroys the town, which quickly recovers thanks to river trade and joins the "Hansebund", an alliance of some 70 coastal and river towns around the Baltic Sea and its principal affluents (other members were Lübeck, Hamburg, Bremen, Rostock, Stralsund, Wismar). However, Magdeburg never quite shakes off its archbishop and unlike the other Hanse-towns does not become a self-governing "Freie Reichsstadt".
1524-1531 The reformation reaches Magdeburg through the efforts of Amsdorf. Protestant refugees stream to Magdeburg.
1527-1528 Magdeburg does not submit to catholic emperor Karl V and king Moritz of Saxony and continues to welcome displaced protestants.
1550 Mortiz besieges Magdeburg but the citizenry fights valiantly and finally submits on favourable terms (full pardon and freedom of religion).
1626-1631 Besieged again by some 20,000 catholic troops under Pappenheim and Tilly, the 2,000 defenders under Falkenberg put up desperate resistance, hoping to be rescued by their ally King Gustav Adolf of Sweden. When catholic troops break through the defenses, the population burns the town rather than surrender it to the enemy. In revenge, catholic troops massacre some 90% of the 36,000 inhabitants.
1632-1646 The Swedes arrive too late but start to rebuild the town. Otto-von-Guericke (after whom the university is named) becomes building supervisor and mayor and helps to build new bridges and fortifications. He also invents an airpump and creates the first vacuum.
1666 Magdeburg fails in its efforts to remain independent and becomes part of Prussia. Many Huguenot refugees from France settle in Magdeburg.
1806-1814 Magdeburg survives the Napoleonic wars without damage (for once!)
1896 Removal of the old fortifications allows rapid expansion of the town. Magdeburg becomes a prosperous center for trade and industry, with many beautiful buildings in the style of Biedermeier, Historismus, Gründerzeit, and Jugendstil. Its architecture is considered to be among the most beautiful in Germany.
1918-1931 Magdeburg benefits from the construction of canals and new housing areas.
1945 Three months before the end of World War II, about 90% of the city centre is destroyed by allied air bombardment.
1949 A civilian (German) magistrate receives authority from the Soviet city commander. The east German government nationalizes industry and makes Magdeburg into a center of heavy machinery.
1990 After German reunification, Magdeburg's industrial infrastructure becomes obsolete and is dismantled, leading to high unemployment and population loss. Magdeburg becomes the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt, which begins to invest heavily in higher education.
Letzte Änderung: 25.01.2017 - Ansprechpartner: Falco Plümecke