Quedlinburg, former royal palatinate and member of the Hanseatic League, is a charming medieval city over 1,000 years old. It lies north of the Harz mountains. The fascination of this city is to be found in its narrow winding lanes paved with ancient cobble-stone and its spacious squares ringed by half-timbered buildings and dominated by the massive sandstone hill which bears the castle and the Romanesque collegiate church of St. Servatius.
This is where Germany\'s history began more than 1,000 years ago.
At the foot of the castle-hill, the Saxon Duke Henry is said to have been offered the Royal Crown in 919. He and his successors made the Quedlinburg palatinate an important center of imperial politics. Henry I. was buried here in 936. This same year, on the hill where Henry was buried, his widow Queen Mathilde founded a ladies\' collegiate convent which remained in existence for almost 900 years. The splendor of the Ottonian dynasty is still reflected in the priceless church treasures. The halls and chambers of the former convent now house the Castle-Museum, featuring exhibitions on the history of town and of the convent. Visitors continue to be awed by the dignified ambiance of the site.
The greatest attraction, however, is Quedlinburg itself, the city in its entirety. Some thirteen hundred half-timber buildings are assembled in quasi-organic patterns over an area of about 80 hectares. As if in a picture-book, richly decorated facades exhibit the historic development of the citys half-timbered architecture.
The completeness of this intact historic town scape is unique amongst Germany\'s half-timbered cities, justifying Quedlinburgs selection in 1994 to be listed as one of UNESCO\'s World Heritage sites.
Short Chronicle of Quedlinburg\'s History
- 922: Firstdocumentwith reference to\"Quedlinburg\" in an act signed by King Henry I.
- 922 - 1207: A total ofsixty-nine visits by German Kings or Emperors to Quedlinburg
- 936: Death of King Henry I. and burial on the castle-hill. Queen Mathilde founds a ladies\' convent for the education and endowment of female members of the high aristocracy. Henry\'s son and heir, Emperor Otto I., generously endows the convent with political influence and land-titles.
- 966: The granddaughter of Henry I., also named Mathilde, is appointed the first abbess of the Quedlinburg Convent.
- 994: Quedlinburg receives market, minting and toll privileges from Emperor Otto III. Quedlinburg\'s urban developmentbegins.
- 1129: Dedication of the newly rebuilt Collegiate Church of St. Servatius (after a fire) by Emperor Lothar III.
- 1164 - 1180: Henry the Lion launches initial skirmishes in territory surrounding Quedlinburg
- 1180: Beginnings of Quedlinburg\'s historic \"New Town\"
- 1426 - 1477: Quedlinburg is a member of the Hanseatic League.
- 1477: Armed skirmishes between mercenaries of the Abbess and the citizenry; demolition of the Roland statue, symbol of Quedlinburg\'s status as Hanseatic town.The Abbess resends the municipalpowers of the town.
- 1539: The Reformation is introduced into the principality of the Quedlinburg Convent.
- 1802: Liquidation of the Convent by the Napoleonic powers of occupation. The Convent\'s buildings are taken overby the State of Prussia.
- 1862 - 1882: Restoration of the Collegiate Church; a southern church-tower is added.
- 1869: The statue of Roland is restored to its present location in front of thetown-hall.
- 1936: Desecration of the Collegiate Church by the Nazi SS for its swearing-in ceremonies.
- 1959: The Romanesque Church of St. Wiperti is re-dedicated after four years of restoration work
- 1976: Inauguration of the Museum for Half-timbered Architecture in the \"Ständerbau\".
- 1984: Beginning of a modern GDR housing-scheme in the Neuendorfquarter following the demolition of this part of the Old Town.
- 1986: Opening of the Lyonel Feininger Gallery.
- 1990: In the wake of Germany\'s reunification, inauguration of a Town-League with Celle, Hameln, Hannoversch-Münden, and Herford - all towns in former West Germany.
- 1993: Return of the Collegiate Church treasures from Texas, USA - where they had been illegally taken by a US occupation-officer
- 1994: 1,000th anniversary of the granting of Quedlinburg\'s market, minting and toll privileges
- 1994: Designation of the Old Town and the Collegiate Church by UNESCO in its list of World HeritageSite
- 1997: Re-opening of the Municipal Theater
- 1997: Opening of the new wing of the Lyonel Feininger Gallery
- 2001: Founding of the \"Association of UNESCO Heritage Sites of Germany\", with its Headquarters in Quedlinburg