Halle (Saale) is the “Cultural Capital of Saxony-Anhalt” for good reason. Over the course of its 1,200 year history, Halle has become famous for its beautiful old town, the unique and romantic scenery along the Saale River, its tradition of Handel, and the Francke Foundation. With a population of approximately 243,000, Halle is the largest city of Saxony-Anhalt and one of the five biggest cities in the New Länder, along with Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz. The town is known for its beautiful five towers, which can be found on the Market Square: The two round caps, as well as the two blue peaks, of the Marienkirche Church, and the Roter Turm tower. Additionally, fifty-three percent of the town is green space and riverbanks, including the extensive riverbanks between Halle’s Old Town and New Town, making Halle one of the greenest major cities in Germany.
There are many reasons to visit the City on the Saale River year round, especially for tourists interested in cultural or city trips. Halle has a salty past and is named for the city’s industry of developing the salt springs found in the City, which has been ongoing for centuries. The tradition of salt seething is demonstrated at the Salinemuseum Halle. Halle is the only major city in Germany which was not destroyed during the carpet bombing of World War II. Since the cityscape remained intact, it is a historically-valuable old town that reflects the character of the times. Music is an important part of the Halle culture. For those enjoying classical music, one of the highlights of Central Germany is the Annual Handel Festival, or Handelfest, which takes place in late May and early June in Halle. The music festival honors the works of George Frideric Handel, who was born in Halle. The famous Handel House is filled with information on Handel’s life and work, Halle’s long tradition of music, along with a large collection of antique musical instruments. Fans of contemporary music will enjoy one of the world’s largest Beatles Museums, which opened in 2000 and contains more than 2,500 rotating exhibits of Beatles memorabilia. Halle’s reputation as a modern site of education and science is rooted in the five hundred-year history of the Leopoldina, a University of Art steeped in tradition that was officially nominated by the National Academy of Sciences in 2008. In 2006, the University opened a state-of-the-art Media Centre.
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