July 9, 2017

3109 GERMANY (Saxony-Anhalt) - Magdeburg

3109 Magdeburg: 1. Magdeburg Cathedral 2. The town hall
3. Magdeburg Rose 5. The three churches on the banks of the Elbe river

Magdeburg is the capital city and the second largest city of Saxony-Anhalt, and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe. Founded by Charlemagne in 805 on the Elbe River, the town was fortified in 919 by King Henry I the Fowler against the Magyars and Slavs. In 929 the city went to Edward the Elder's daughter Edith, through her marriage to Henry's son Otto I (both of them will be buried here). In 1035 Magdeburg received a patent giving the city the right to hold trade exhibitions and conventions, which form the basis of the later family of city laws known as the Magdeburg rights.

In the 13th century, Magdeburg became a member of the Hanseatic League. With more than 20,000 inhabitants it was one of the largest cities in the Holy Roman Empire. Closely linked to Martin Luther, it was a stronghold of Protestantism and the first major city to publish the writings of Luther. In 1631, during the Thirty Years' War, imperial troops under Johann Tserclaes burned the town and massacred about 20,000 inhabitants. After the war, a population of only 4000 remained.

According to the Peace of Westphalia (1648), Magdeburg was assigned to Brandenburg-Prussia, as the semi-autonomous Duchy of Magdeburg; this occurred in 1680. After the Napoleonic Wars, Magdeburg was made the capital of the new Prussian Province of Saxony. During WWII, it was heavily bombed, mainly because of Brabag's Magdeburg/Rothensee plant, that produced synthetic oil from lignite coal. From 1949 on until German reunification, Magdeburg belonged to the German Democratic Republic.

One of Magdeburg's most impressive buildings is the Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice with a height of 104m. The predecessor of the cathedral was a church built in 937 within an abbey. Emperor Otto I the Great was buried here beside his wife in 973. The cathedral was the first Gothic church building in Germany, and its construction lasted 300 years, being completed as late as 1520. The town hall had stood on the market place since the 13th century, but it was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War; the new town hall was built in 1698 in Renaissance style influenced by Dutch architecture.

About the stamp
The stamps are part of the series Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Magdeburg - Wikipedia

Sender: Jorn Hegner (direct swap)
Sent from Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt / Germany), on 30.06.2017

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