Magdeburg, the metropolis with an abundance of water located between the German cities of Hanover and Berlin, is a truly vibrant city. It is built on the banks of the river Elbe and has a length of about 21 kilometres. Since time immemorial, the blue lifeline of the city, as the Elbe is known, has witnessed historical and structural changes from the era of the "Third Rome" through to Magdeburg's time as a "Prussian fortress" and right through to its current profile as a city of art and culture.
The term "Third Rome" alludes to Magdeburg’s political importance in the Middle Ages, when Otto the First resided in the archbishopric of Magdeburg and was crowned the first German-Roman Emperor. In order to establish a symbol of his power and of the Christian faith, he ordered the construction of the city's Ottonian cathedral right on the waterfront, on the steep banks of the river Elbe known as the “Elbfelsen”. After this building burnt down in the 13th Century, it was replaced by Magdeburg Cathedral, which was built in the style of a Gothic cathedral. The cathedral building, which can be seen from locations far beyond the river Elbe, is reminiscent of the old imperial residence that Otto the First gave his wife Edith as a dower.
Everywhere along the river Elbe, fortress remnants act as evidence of Magdeburg's past as the largest Prussian fortress. The fortress was a mammoth project developed by Leopold the First in the first half of the 18th century. Although the fortress walls were extremely solid, they were still unable to prevent French conquerors from capturing the city during the third Napoleonic Wars.
A lot of water has flowed through Magdeburg in the current of the river Elbe. The city has even been reduced to ruins twice, the first time in the Thirty Years' War and the second time in World War II. Nevertheless, on both occasions, the city was able to create a new face in which many traces of its history are visible. In fact, Magdeburg's current cityscape is characterised by the chronicle of its historic periods, featuring a diverse range of structures such as a Romanesque monastery building, a medieval cathedral, residential districts dating back to the "Gründerzeit" period of promoterism, prefabricated concrete "Plattenbau" buildings from the former GDR, huge shopping streets and modern architecture. One of the city's sensational features is the Green Citadel of Magdeburg, one of the last architectural works designed by the Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
This diversity is the key to the future of the city, which is striving to be named the European Capital of Culture in the year 2025. Be it on a city tour or a visit to the theatre, accessibility is one of the city's main focuses. Magdeburg is also one of the greenest cities in Germany. Alongside its cultural activities and venues, magnificent park landscapes such as the Elbauenpark, which is the former site of the German Federal Garden Show, and the Rotehornpark are well worth a visit and invite guests to come and enjoy walks, wanders and excursions by bike. Cyclists can also make the most of the “Elberadweg” cycle path, which leads from Magdeburg to the North Sea and also passes the Magdeburg Waterway Junction, where visitors can view the longest canal bridge in the world, on the way.
We would be delighted to welcome many international guests to the GTM 2016 in Magdeburg.