Cities & Culture

Magdeburg: City of Otto the Great on the Elbe

Magdeburg: View over the Elbe to the cathedral ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

At 1,200 years old, Magdeburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany's eastern federal states. Its moving past as well as its present are reflected in the many attractions the major city on the Elbe has to offer.

The city's most significant cultural and historical building can be seen for miles around: the Cathedral of Saints Maurice and Catherine with its imposing towers. It is one of the most spectacular architectural monuments in central Germany, the city's most famous landmark and Germany's first Gothic cathedral. It is also the burial site of Emperor Otto I, who is depicted on the Alter Markt square in the Magdeburg Horseman, a bronze replica of the first free-standing equestrian statue to be found north of the Alps. The original is on display at the Museum of Cultural History.

Another highlight is the Green Citadel, a work by artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, while the Museum of Natural History, the Art Museum in the Monastery of Our Lady and the Cultural History Museum are all exhibitions of international standing. The city's theatre, literature and music scenes are extensive and varied, as are Magdeburg's many shopping spots. The Millennium Tower is the world's largest wooden construction of its kind. With a little muscle power, visitors can climb it in Magdeburg's glorious Elbauenpark. The Hasselbachplatz square and the surrounding streets are lined with dozens of pubs, bars and restaurants. There's no better place to be of an evening.

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