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Magdeburg is the green capital of Saxony-Anhalt. The magnificent Magdeburg Cathedral towers over the city on the Elbe River, 170 km west of Berlin. Magdeburg is attractive to many students, and not only because of its familiar atmosphere and affordable rental prices.
Magdeburg has been shaped by an eventful history, the traces of which are noticeable even today. Otto I, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, made Magdeburg his imperial seat in 968 AD and brought money and fame to the city. Its membership in the “Hanseatic League” – a powerful trading confederation in the Middle Ages – also made the city and its inhabitants wealthy.
Many luxurious villas and ornate buildings still exist today. However, large parts of the city were utterly destroyed during World War II and were later rebuilt. Nowadays the city has a more diversified feel with historic streets and quarters next to more recently constructed modern buildings.
Magdeburg is home to two higher education institutions and numerous research institutes. The economy is significantly dominated by the service-providing sector. It also benefits from its proximity to the large business centres of and .
One of Magdeburg’s impressive landmarks is the “Green Citadel of Magdeburg”. You can’t help but notice the pink-coloured building with its unusual architectural details – golden orbs, crooked walls and large archways. The Green Citadel was designed by the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Two brightly designed courtyards are located within. The name of this extraordinary building refers to the rooftop which is covered with grass.
The Magdeburg Cathedral is a sight worth seeing. It is the official symbol of the city and dates back to the year 1207. However, it took 300 years until the towers were finally completed. If you’re in Magdeburg, you simply have to visit this impressive church. The “Unser Lieben Frauen Monastery” is also a prominent attraction in Magdeburg. The complex is almost 1,000 years old and is used as an art museum and concert hall today.
“Breiter Weg” is the busiest part of town during the day. The street forms the central axis of the city and connects Hasselbachplatz and Universitätsplatz. Both plazas are especially popular and very busy. Numerous shops, shopping centres, doctor’s offices and the Theater Magdeburg are all located on “Breiter Weg”.
Large events and festivals are held in Magdeburg on a regular basis. A large festival, the “Stadtfest Magdeburg”, takes place every year at Pentecost and features music and concerts at venues throughout the city for the whole family. The Christmas market in Magdeburg is something you should definitely visit. The vendors set up their wooden stands every December on the Alter Markt and decorate them in Christmas colours and lights. There you can try a “Glühwein” – a spiced mulled wine – and many other wintertime treats.
Magdeburg also has an exciting nightlife. You’ll find lots of students at the clubs, pubs and bars in the streets around the Hasselbachplatz.
If you need to get out into nature, there are numerous parks and gardens in and around Magdeburg. The Elbauenpark, Herrenkrug Park and Stadtpark Rotehorn are perfect for jogging or just lying out in the sun. There are also many lakes around Magdeburg where you can go swimming in the summertime. The Barleber Lake is situated outside Magdeburg to the north, is ten metres deep at places and measures 4.2 km in circumference. There are sandy beaches all around the lake and one section is monitored by lifeguards. You can easily get to the lake by tram.
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