My Halle (Saale): 12 highlights in the Händelstadt
Featured: “5 towers” with 4 (spires) from St. Mary’s Church (left-centre) and 1 from the Red Tower (right-centre). Händel monument is at lower centre.
You’re visiting Halle to learn and discover:
- why salt also known as “white gold” was critical to the city’s development;
- how Martin Luther and the Reformation left their mark in the city;
- composer Händel’s birth house, his upbringing, and how he learned the organ;
- the oldest German chocolate factory continues producing “Halloren Kugeln”; and
- how the Museum of Prehistory houses the world’s oldest depiction of the night sky.
Located in the present German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, the city of Halle along the Saale river is one of the larger cities in east-central Germany. Making salt was of great historic and economic importance that the name of the city “Halle” is derived from the old Celtic/Brythonic word hal, meaning “salt”. The name of the river “Saale” is derived from the old German word for “salt”1. With salt bringing wealth to the city through trade, Halle became a trade city or “Handelsstadt.” With the birth and upbringing of composer Händel in the city, Halle also became a cultural city or “Händelstadt.”
Halle’s present-day population at 240-thousand people is neck and neck with the 241-thousand people in the the state capital city of Magdeburg, 75 kilometres to the north. But proximity means Halle is also connected with Leipzig, only 31 kilometres to the southeast in the state of Saxony. Halle and Leipzig are connected with the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland train service, and the two cities share an airport located about halfway in-between.
1 The Welsh word for salt is “halen”, and the German word for salt is “Salz”. See also “Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia,” Volume IV (M—S), pg. 1555. Editor J. T. Koch (ABC-CLIO, 2006).
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