Halle - Germany

Halle (Saale) (UK: /ˈhælə/, US: /ˈhɑːlə/; German: [ˈhalə ˈzaːlə] (About this sound listen)) is a city in the southern part of the German state Saxony-Anhalt.

Halle is an economic and educational center in central-eastern Germany. The University of Halle-Wittenberg is the largest university in Saxony-Anhalt and one of the oldest universities in Germany, and a nurturing ground for the local startup ecosystem. Together with Leipzig, Halle is at the heart of the Central German Metropolitan Region.

The earliest documented mention of Halle dates from AD 806. It became a part of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg in the 10th century and remained so until 1680, when Brandenburg-Prussia annexed it together with Magdeburg as the Duchy of Magdeburg, while it was an important location for Martin Luther's Reformation in the 16th century. Cardinal Albert of Mainz (Archbishop of Magdeburg from 1513 to 1545) also impacted on the town in this period. According to historic documents, the city of Halle became a member of the Hanseatic League at least as early as 1281.

Halle became a center for Pietism, a movement encouraged by King Frederick William I of Prussia (reigned 1713-1740) because it caused the area's large Lutheran population to be more inclined to Fredrick William I's religion (Calvinism), as well as more loyal to the Prussian king instead of to the decentralized feudal system. By the 1740s Halle had established many orphanages as well as schools for the wealthy in the sober style Pietism encouraged. This Halle education was the first time the "modern education" system was established. The Halle Pietists also combated poverty.

During the War of the Fourth Coalition, French and Prussian forces clashed in the Battle of Halle on 17 October 1806. The fighting moved from the covered bridges on the city's west side, through the streets and market place, to the eastern suburbs.

In 1815 Halle became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony.

Stadtgottesacker, a Renaissance cemetery, laid out in 1557, in the style of an Italian camposanto
Saline Museum is dedicated to Halle’s salt-works and the corporation of salt workers (Halloren)
Cathedral (Dom), a steepleless building, was originally a church within a Dominican monastery (1271), converted into a cathedral by cardinal Albert of Hohenzollern. Since 1688, it has been the church of the Reformed parish.
Saint Maurice Church, late Gothic building (1388–1511)
Saint Ulrich Church, late Gothic church of the Servite Order (15th century), today used as a concert hall
Church of the former village of Böllberg (Romanesque, with late Gothic painted wooden ceiling)
Numerous bourgeois town houses, including the Ackerbürgerhof (15th – 18th centuries with remains from the 12th century), Christian Wolff’s House (today City Museum), Graseweg House (half-timbered building)
State Museum of Prehistory where the Nebra sky disk is exhibited

Ludwig Wucherer made Halle an important rail hub in central Germany. In 1840 he opened the Magdeburg-Halle-Leipzig line, completing a connection between Magdeburg and Dresden. In 1841–1860, other lines to Erfurt, Kassel and Berlin followed.

The centrepiece of Halle's urban public transport system is the Halle (Saale) tramway network. It includes the world's first major electric-powered inner-city tram line, which was opened in 1891. Halle (Saale) Hauptbahnhof is the main railway station.

Halle's prominence as a railway centre is set to continue growing with the arrival of the Erfurt-Leipzig/Halle high-speed railway. Leipzig will also be connected to this railway, but since it is a terminus station (though the Leipzig City Tunnel is currently under construction, the route will be shared with S-Bahn trains, making it unlikely that it will be used as a through station for Berlin-Munich trains), Halle is more likely to be used as an intermediate stop for Berlin-Munich trains. The completion of the Nuremberg–Erfurt high-speed railway will also provide a further impetus to use the route.

The general sports club SV Halle (de), originating from Chemie Halle, created a notable number of Olympic gold medallists and world champions, mainly in nautical and watersports, e.g., swimmer Kornelia Ender won four Olympic gold medals in 1976 and Andreas Hajek won four rowing world championships between 1998 and 2001. The basketball team of the club - these days known as Lions and focusing on the woman's team which plays in the national first division - won five men's and 10 women's championships of the German Democratic Republic. The Hallesher FC's location is extremely close to a train station.

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