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Weißenfels, Marketplace
Germany

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Weißenfels (IPA: [ˈvaɪsənˌfɛls]; also written in English as Weissenfels) is the largest town of the Burgenlandkreis district, in southern Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the river Saale, approximately 30 km (20 mi) south of Halle.


History

The settlement arose around a castle on a ford crossing the Saale and received municipal rights in 1185. During the Thirty Years' War, the town was badly damaged and the population fell from 2200 to 960. On 7 November 1632 the body of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was first laid out at Weißenfels after he had been killed the day before at the Battle of Lützen.
Neu-Augustusburg Castle

Shortly afterwards however, the town took a steep rise, when Duke Augustus, a scion of the Saxon House of Wettin, established the Duchy of Saxe-Weissenfels in 1656 and chose Weißenfels as his residence. Since 1638 Augustus had served as the Protestant administrator of the Magdeburg archbishopric, which, according to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia would be finally secularised to Brandenburg-Prussia upon his death.

Augustus therefore from 1660 on erected the Baroque Neu-Augustusburg Castle in Weißenfels as the seat of his ducal successors. Completed in 1680 it became the duchy's administrative as well as cultural centre until its dissolution in 1746. Composers like Johann Philipp Krieger and Georg Philipp Telemann worked here, the actress Friederike Caroline Neuber made her first appearances at Weißenfels. In 1713 Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated his cantata Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd, BWV 208 to Duke Christian of Saxe-Weissenfels.

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Copyright: Frank Ellmerich
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 8000x4000
Uploaded: 09/04/2011
Updated: 30/09/2014
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Tags: burgenlandkreis; naumburg; saale; weißenfels; saxony; anhalt
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