the gateway to the Harz
The 1,200-year-old former Bishop Town of Halberstadt is located in the centre of the northern Harz Mountains and can be seen from a distance by the unmistakable silhouette of the sacred Gothic and Romanesque buildings that have influenced the city.
The spiritual centre and particularly impressive site is the Gothic Cathedral St. Stephens, and the Romanesque, Liebfrauenkirche (Church of our Lady) in the heart of the city on the Romantic Road. The cathedral is one of the world-famous cathedrals notable among those in northern European towns in having retained 650 items of medieval treasury in virtually complete condition.
The numerous museums in Halberstadt complement the diverse cultural offerings. In Gleimhaus - Literary Museum and Research Centre , the former home of Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, is the "Temple of friendship" - preserved collection of 130 portraits of famous poets and writers, more than 10,000 manuscripts and historical library to admire. The Municipal Museum has an exhibition on urban and regional history. The museum Heineanum is the collated works by Ferdinand Heine, at the time the most extensive private collection of birds and the foundation of the Natural History Museum. The Schraube Museum is decorated and set out as it was at the turn of the 20th century, and the Berend Lehmann Jewish Museum, where the memory of the centuries-old tradition of the former Judaic community of Halberstadt is kept alive.
Lovers of theatre, ballet, opera and symphony concerts will be delighted at the offerings at the North Städtebundtheater. A musical specialty is the most unusual art project in the History of the Organ: In the Burchardikirche a performance of John Cage's organ piece "As Slow As Possible", began in September 2001; the performance is scheduled to take 639 years.
Recreational and sports facilities can be found in the Sports and Leisure Centre Halberstadt with adventure pool, sauna landscape and a large sports and beauty-land. The Halberstadt zoo , the Cinema Park and in the country's project "Garden Dreams" - landscape park Spiegelsberge with the world's oldest giant wine barrel (144,000 litres), the hunting lodge and its well-developed hiking trails for a varied leisure program.
Other outstanding museums await visitors in the districts Schachendorf Stroebeck and Langenstein. The former attracts not only chess enthusiasts with its 1000 year old tradition of playing and Germany's only public Chess Museum. In Langenstein in the curious cave dwellings are worth a visit.