© Ideengut, Arndt


The gateway to the Harz Mountains

Even from a distance, impressive sacred buildings dominate the silhouette of the former bishop's town on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains. The focal point of the historic centre is the spacious cathedral square with its impressive ensemble of the magnificent cathedral of St. Stephen and St. Sixtus and the Romanesque Church of Our Lady. The cathedral is considered one of the noblest Gothic cathedrals in Germany. The cathedral treasury is one of the most exquisite church treasures in the world, with over 600 precious items from several centuries. At the foot of the cathedral, the historic old town is waiting to be discovered. Winding alleys, cobblestones and bull's-eye glass: Halberstadt enchants with the charm of its half-timbered architecture. The oldest houses date back to the 16th century. To the attentive observer, traces of Halberstadt's once large Jewish community, one of the largest in Central Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, can still be seen below the former bishop's palace. 

Halberstadt surprises with its diverse cultural landscape, numerous museums and varied calendar of events. In the Gleimhaus, one of Germany's oldest literary museums, the Age of Enlightenment comes alive again with the impressive collection of books, letters and portraits of its namesake, Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim. The 'Städtisches Museum' provides deep insights into the city's eventful history, and nature lovers are sure to enjoy the Heineanum ornithological museum. The Schraube Museum presents bourgeois domestic culture around 1900 and the Berend Lehmann Museum preserves the memory of the centuries-old tradition of Halberstadt's former Jewish community.

Lovers of drama, ballet, opera and symphony concerts get their money's worth at the 'Nordharzer Städtebundtheater'. A musical speciality is probably the most unusual art project in the history of the organ: since the turn of the millennium, the tones of the John Cage organ art project "ORGAN²/ASLSP" have been sounding in the Buchardi Church, which will be played for a total of 639 years.

Fun and variety are promised by a wide range of leisure facilities, such as the Halberstadt Leisure and Sports Centre with its spacious sauna, sports, wellness and swimming area, the Zuckerfabrik cinema park or the HaWoGe games centre with one of the most beautiful accessible indoor playgrounds in Germany. In Halberstadt's zoo, native and exotic animal species look forward to visitors.

For more than 250 years, the Spiegelsberge Landscape Park in the south of Halberstadt has been a popular destination for young and old. The park enchants with its colourful meadows, dense forests, winding paths and secret grottos. One of the most outstanding buildings is the hunting lodge. The world's oldest giant wine barrel awaits visitors in its cellar. With an incredible capacity of 144,000 litres, it was entered in the Guinness Book of Records in 2008.

If you leave Halberstadt in the direction of the Harz Mountains, you will come across the Langenstein cave dwellings at the gates of the town - a unique testimony to early living culture in Germany. Massive doors in the rock face, windows with white curtains and tiny gardens with kitchen herbs are still reminders of the life of the former inhabitants. 

Halberstadt is a quiet beauty, a diamond in the rough that only reveals its brilliance at second glance and still holds many sparkling facets.

© Kulturstiftung Sachsen-Anhalt, Elmar Egner

Tourist-Information Halberstadt

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