Saxony-Anhalt (German: Sachsen-Anhalt, pronounced [ˌzaksn̩
ˈʔanhalt]) is a landlocked federal state of
Germany surrounded by
the federal states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg,
Saxony and Thuringia.
Its capital is
Magdeburg and its largest city is Halle (Saale).
Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of 20,447.7 square kilometres
(7,894.9 sq mi) and has a population of 2.23 million. It
is the 8th largest state in
Germany by area and the 10th largest by
The state of
Saxony-Anhalt grew out of the former Prussian Province of
Free State of Anhalt
Free State of Anhalt during Prussia's dissolution after
World War II. In 1945 the US army administration and, subsequently,
the Soviet army administration organised the former province's
territory into the new state. The state became a part of the newly
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic in 1947, but in 1952 the state
was dissolved and its territory divided into the East German districts
of Halle and Magdeburg, with the exception of the city of Torgau,
which joined the district of Leipzig. After
German reunification in
1990, the state was re-established, leaving out Torgau.
Saxony-Anhalt should not be confused with
Saxony or Lower Saxony, the
names of two other German states.
2 Administrative subdivisions
2.1 Largest cities
5.1 List of minister presidents
5.3 13 March 2016 state election
6.1 Development of the economy
6.2 Structure of the economy
6.3 World Heritage Sites
8 See also
10 External links
See also: List of places in Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is one of 16 Bundesländer (see German: Bundesland) of
Germany. It is located in the western part of eastern Germany. By
size, it is the 8th largest state in
Germany and by population it is
the 10th largest.
It borders four other Bundesländer:
Lower Saxony to the north-west,
Brandenburg to the north-east,
Saxony to the south-east and Thuringia
to the south-west.
In the north, the
Saxony-Anhalt landscape is dominated by the flat
expanse of the (North German Plain). The old Hanseatic towns
Tangermünde are located in the
sparsely populated Altmark. The Colbitz-Letzlingen Heath and the
Wolfsburg mark the transition between the Altmark
region and the Elbe-Börde-Heath region with its fertile, sparsely
Magdeburg Börde. Notable towns in the
Haldensleben, Oschersleben (Bode), Wanzleben, Schönebeck (Elbe),
Aschersleben and the capital Magdeburg, from which the
Harz mountains are located in the south-west, comprising the Harz
National Park, the Harz Foreland and Mansfeld Land. The highest
mountain of the Harz (and of Northern Germany) is Brocken, with an
elevation of 1,141 meters (3,735 ft). In this area, one can find
the towns of Halberstadt, Wernigerode, Thale,
The wine-growing area Saale-
Unstrut and the towns of Zeitz, Naumburg
Freyburg (Unstrut) are located on the rivers
Unstrut in the south of the state.
The metropolitan area of
Halle (Saale) forms an agglomeration with
Leipzig in Saxony. This area is known for its highly developed
chemical industry (the Chemiedreieck - chemical triangle), with major
production plants at Leuna,
Schkopau (Buna-Werke) and Bitterfeld.
Finally, in the east,
Wittenberg are situated on
the Elbe (as is the capital Magdeburg) in the Anhalt-Wittenberg
View over Magdeburg, capital of Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt's most populous city, Halle (Saale), is the seat of the
state's largest university.
The capital of
Saxony-Anhalt is Magdeburg. It is the second-largest
city in the state, closely after Halle. From 1994 to 2003, the state
was divided into three regions (Regierungsbezirke), Dessau, Halle and
Magdeburg and, below the regional level, 21 districts (Landkreise).
Since 2004, however, this system has been replaced by 11 rural
districts and three urban districts.
The counties are:
The independent cities are:
The largest cities in
Saxony-Anhalt according to a 31 December 2014
Halle is the largest city in Saxony-Anhalt
Magdeburg with its famous cathedral
View over Dessau
Inside the old town of Wittenberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Halberstadt with its churches
The Cathedral of Naumburg
Castle in Wernigerode
Main article: History of Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt between 1946 and 1952.
In April 1945 the
US Army took control of most of the western and
northern area of the future Saxony-Anhalt. The U.S. Group Control
Germany (a precursor of the OMGUS) appointed the first
non-Nazi officials in leading positions in the area. So Erhard
Hübener, put on leave by the Nazis, was reappointed Landeshauptmann
(state governor). By early July the
US Army withdrew from the former
Prussian Province of
Saxony to make way for the
Red Army to take it as
part of the Soviet occupation zone, as agreed by the London Protocol
On 9 July the Soviet SVAG ordered the merger of the Free State of
Anhalt, Halle-Merseburg, the governorate of
Magdeburg (in its then
Allstedt (before Thuringia) and some Brunswickian eastern
exclaves and salients (
Calvörde and the eastern part of the former
Blankenburg district) with the Province of Saxony. The
previously Saxon Erfurt governorate had become a part of Thuringia.
Anhalt takes its name from
Anhalt Castle near Harzgerode; the origin
of the name of the castle remains unknown.
The SVAG appointed Hübener as president of the provincial Saxon
administration, a newly created function. The administration was
seated in Halle an der Saale, which became the capital, also of later
Saxony-Anhalt until 1952. On 3 September 1945 the new administration
enacted by Soviet-inspired ordinance the mass expropriations, mostly
hitting holders of large real estates, often of noble descent.
On the occasion of the first (and one and only) election in the Soviet
zone, allowing parties truly to compete for seats in provincial and
state parliaments, on 20 October 1946, the Province of
renamed as the Province of
Saxony-Anhalt (German: Provinz
Sachsen-Anhalt), taking the prior merger into account. On 3
December 1946 the members of the new provincial parliament elected
Hübener the first minister-president of
Saxony-Anhalt with the votes
of CDU and Liberal Democratic Party of
Germany (LDPD). Thus he became
the only governor in the Soviet zone, who was not a member of the
communist Socialist Unity Party of
Germany (SED). He was an
inconvenient governor for the Soviet rulers.
After the official Allied decision to dissolve the Free State of
Prussia, which had remained in limbo since the Prussian coup of 1932,
its former provinces, in as far as they still existed, achieved
statehood, thus the province emerged into the State of Saxony-Anhalt
on 6 October 1947. It became part of the German Democratic
Republic (East Germany) in 1949. From 1952 to 1990 the East German
states were dissolved and Saxony-Anhalt's territory was divided into
the East German districts of Halle and
Magdeburg except territory
Torgau was in Leipzig. In 1990, in the course of German
reunification, the districts were reintegrated as a state. But,
Torgau did not return to the state and joined Saxony.
Torgau is the centre of
Nordsachsen district (since 2008).
In 2015 the skeletal remains of an ancient inhabitant of Karsdorf
dated from the Early Neolithic (7200 BP) were analysed; he turned out
to belong to the paternal T1a-M70 lineage and maternal lineage
German reunification there has been a continuous downward trend
in the population of Saxony-Anhalt. This is partly due to outward
migration and partly because the death rate exceeds the birth rate.
Although the birth rate has been steady since 1994, the net
reproduction rate is only approximately 70%. However, the total
fertility rate reached 1.50 in 2014, the highest value since 1990.
Demographic history of
Saxony-Anhalt since 1990
The percentage of foreigners in the population of
Saxony-Anhalt is 1.9
percent, the lowest of all the federal states of Germany.
Saxony-Anhalt - 2016
The region has historically been associated with the Lutheran faith,
but under Communist rule, church membership was strongly discouraged
and much of the population disassociated itself from any religious
Saxony-Anhalt contains many sites tied to Martin Luther's life,
Eisleben and Lutherstadt Wittenberg.
In 2016, the majority of citizens in
Saxony-Anhalt were irreligious
and more were leaving the churches than entering them - in fact,
Saxony-Anhalt is the most irreligious state in Germany. 16.2% of the
Saxon-Anhaltish adhered to the major denominations of Christianity
(12.7% were members of the Evangelical Church in
Germany and 3.5% were
Catholics), 2% were members of other religions (mostly Islam,
New Apostolic Church
New Apostolic Church and Mandeism). 81.8% of the citizens
Saxony-Anhalt were religiously unaffiliated.
List of minister presidents
Main article: List of Ministers-President of Saxony-Anhalt
Main article: Landtag of Saxony-Anhalt
13 March 2016 state election
Saxony-Anhalt state election, 2016
Leading party in each electoral district-black represents the
Christian Democratic Union, blue the Alternative for
Germany and red
e • d Summary of the 13 March 2016 Landtag of
Saxony-Anhalt elections results
< 2011 Next >
Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands – CDU
Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland – AfD
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD
Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
Free Voters Saxony-Anhalt
National Democratic Party of Germany
Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands – NPD
Animal Protection Party
Alliance for Human Rights, Animal and Nature Protection (de)
Alliance for Progress and Renewal
Allianz für Fortschritt und Aufbruch – ALFA
Totals and voter turnout
Reiner Haseloff (CDU) retained his position in a
coalition with former partner SPD and the Greens.
Development of the economy
Saxony-Anhalt was part of the communist German Democratic Republic.
After the breakdown of communism and the
German reunification in 1990,
the collapse of non competitive former GDR industries temporarily
caused severe economic problems. In 2000,
Saxony-Anhalt had the
highest unemployment rate of all German states, at 20.2%.
However, the process of economic transformation towards a modern
market economy seems to be completed. Massive investments in modern
infrastructure have taken place since 1990, and the remaining and
newly created businesses are highly competitive. For example, the
industry has doubled its share of international revenue from 13
percent in 1995 to 26 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, the unemployment
rate has fallen considerably. By 2010 the GDP of
almost two and a half times higher than it was in 1991.
Even though part of this recovery was induced by the quite good
performance of the
Saxony-Anhalt did not only follow
the national trend, but clearly outperformed other German states. For
example, it got ahead of three German states in terms of unemployment
(10.8%, as of September 2011): the German capital and city-state of
Berlin (12.7%), the city-state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (11.3%)
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (11%).
Structure of the economy
The chemical industry is quite important, with almost 25,500 employees
across 214 plants in 2010. One of the biggest chemical producing
areas can be found around the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. Because of
the chemical industry,
Saxony-Anhalt attracts more foreign direct
investments than any other state in eastern Germany.
The state is the location of numerous wind farms producing
Saxony-Anhalt is also famous for its good soil. Hence, the food
industry has an important role with almost 19,500 employees across 190
plants in 2010. Some of the best known products are Baumkuchen
Salzwedel and Halloren chocolate globes from Germany’s oldest
chocolate factory in Halle.
World Heritage Sites
See also: List of
World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites in Europe § Germany
Saxony-Anhalt has the most
World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites of all states in
Collegiate Church, Castle, and Old Town of Quedlinburg
Luther Memorials in Wittenberg
Luther Memorials in Eisleben
Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm
Lied für Sachsen-Anhalt ("Song for Saxony-Anhalt")
Motto: Land of the Early Risers
Outline of Germany
^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden – Stand: 31.12.2015" (PDF).
Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German).
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2015.
Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^ "State population".
Portal of the Federal Statistics Office Germany.
^ "Area and Population".
Portal of the Federal Statistics Office
Germany. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
^ PONS Wörterbuch Englisch-Deutsch, Deutsch-Englisch, 2011
^ District reform law Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. 11
November 2005 (in German)
^ The latter, however, a salient originally not assigned as part of
the Soviet zone, was unilaterally handed over by the Britons only on
^ a b c "1945–1949", on: Gedenkkultur Dessau-Roßlau. Retrieved on
16 August 2011.
^ Our Far Forebears (Y-DNA haplogroups )
^ Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European
languages in Europe
Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (2014-07-17). "Deutsche und
Ausländer seit 1990". Stala.sachsen-anhalt.de. Retrieved
^ n-tv, Magdeburger Mathematik - LKA schönt Statistik, 27. November
2007 Archived 16 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b c  Archived 17 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b "Statistik der EKD für 31.12.2015" (PDF). Retrieved
^ "Wahl des 7. Landtages von Sachsen-Anhalt am 13. März 2016 –
Vorläufiges Ergebnis" (in German). Landeswahlleiterin Sachsen-Anhalt.
13 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (2014-01-29). "Statistical
Office of the State of
Statistik.sachsen-anhalt.de. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
^ Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Halle-
Dessau (2010), p. 14[dead
^ "Chamber of Commerce and Industry of
Berlin (2011), p. 2" (PDF) (in
German). Retrieved 2014-08-16.
^ "(2010)". fDi Atlas. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
^ "Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin". 2011. p. 2.
^ a b fDi Atlas (2010)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saxony-Anhalt.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Saxony-Anhalt.
Official governmental portal
Geographic data related to
Saxony-Anhalt at OpenStreetMap
States of the Federal Republic of Germany
Baden-Württemberg (since 1952)
Bavaria (since 1949)
Brandenburg (since 1990)
Hesse (since 1949)
Lower Saxony (since 1949)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (since 1990)
North Rhine-Westphalia (since 1949)
Rhineland-Palatinate (since 1949)
Saarland (since 1957)
Saxony (since 1990)
Saxony-Anhalt (since 1990)
Schleswig-Holstein (since 1949)
Thuringia (since 1990)
Berlin (since 1990)
Bremen (since 1949)
Hamburg (since 1949)
South Baden (1949–1952)
Urban and rural districts in the state of