Salzwedel: Wikis


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Coat of arms of Salzwedel
Salzwedel is located in Germany
Coordinates 52°51′0″N 11°09′0″E / 52.85°N 11.15°E / 52.85; 11.15
Country Germany
State Saxony-Anhalt
District Altmarkkreis Salzwedel
Mayor Sabine Danicke
Basic statistics
Area 286.44 km2 (110.60 sq mi)
Elevation 19 m  (62 ft)
Population 24,774  (31 December 2008)
 - Density 86 /km2 (224 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate SAW
Postal codes 29410, 29413, 29416
Area codes 03901, 039032, 039033, 039037, 039038
Location of the town of Salzwedel within Altmarkkreis Salzwedel district

Salzwedel (German pronunciation: [ˈzaltsveːdəl], officially known as Hansestadt Salzwedel, is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the capital of the district (Kreis) of Altmarkkreis Salzwedel, and has a population of approximately 21,500. Salzwedel is located on the German Framework Road.



Salzwedel is situated at the Jeetze River in the northwestern part of the Altmark. It is located between Hamburg and Magdeburg. Distances from Uelzen are 44 km W, 12 km N of Lüchow, 41 km S of Gardelegen and 24 km E of Arendsee. In 1968 test drillings reveal a significant reservoir of natural gas near the city.


The castle of Salzwedel in the Altmark was first documented in 1112. As part of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the settlement was first mentioned as a town in 1233. To the northeast of the old town (Altstadt), a new town (Neustadt) began development in 1247. In the Middle Ages Salzwedel belonged to the Hanseatic League from 1263 to 1518.

The city from 1247 began developing as a reestablishment from the old part of the town. In 1701 it became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1713, the two towns Altstadt and Neustadt became one. Salzwedel became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars. In 1870 it received a railroad connection. The medieval part of the town remains the commercial and administrative center of the town until today.

As in other German cities during the time of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, the Jewish segment of the population of the city was systematically disowned and driven out of the city.

Salzwedel in 1652

In 1943, the Neuengamme concentration camp built a female subcamp in Salzwedel, capable of holding more than 1,000 female prisoners. Eventually more than 3,000 women were held there, both Jews and non-Jews. The guard staff at the camp included sixty SS men and women. One Aufseherin is known today by name, Lieselotte Darnstaedt, who was born in 1908. Darnstaedt also served at Ravensbrück before coming to Salzwedel. On April 29, 1945, the US Army liberated the Salzwedel women's subcamp, and also a men's camp nearby for male non-German political prisoners. They were shocked to find more than ninety corpses of women who had died of typhus, dysentery and malaria. At the beginning of 1945, prior to the arrival of American ground forces, Allied war planes attacked the main train station of Salzwedel, killing 300 people. The US Army eventually turned over control of the city to the Soviet Red Army, causing Salzwedel to eventually become part of the German Democratic Republic.

On November 9, 1989 the East-West German border crossing near Salzwedel was openend, along with East-West border crossings in the rest of the country, allowing East Germans residing in Salzwedel and elsewhere to travel freely to West Germany for the first time since the building of the Berlin Wall. In 1990 Salzwedel received its first democratically elected city government.

The official name of the city was changed into Hansestadt Salzwedel on 1 April 2008, in reference to its history as a member of the Hanseatic League.

Culture and sights

Half-timbered house
Local Court of Salzwedel

Main sights

Salzwedel's sites of interest include the historic part of town, encompassed by the historic city wall and town gates. The city also contains the birth house of Jenny von Westphalen, later the wife of Karl Marx.

  • numerous half-timbered houses
  • town gates (Neuperver Gate, Stonegate) and medieval city fortifications
  • remains of a castle (Castle Tower and Garden)
  • Townhall (former monastery)
  • Townhall Tower
  • The Monk Church
  • gothic Brickchurches St.Marien, St.Katharina und St.Lorenz
  • another churches: St. Georg and Holy-Spirit-Church
  • former Townhall, today's local court of Salzwedel
  • Fairy-Tale Garden
  • Johann-Friedrich-Danneil-Museum
  • "Baumkuchen" Bakeries



The delicacies of the town are Baumkuchen, Salzwedeler (Altmärker) Wedding-Soup and Tiegelbraten (mutton).


Salzwedel is accessed by route 71 (north to south) and 248 (west to east). Access to the nearest autobahn is A39 which is 59 km away in Wolfsburg, the A250 is 80.9 km away in Lüneburg, the A24 in Dreieck and the A241 is 81.4 km away. It is linked by a railway which Amerikalinie (America Line) which restored in the 1990s linking Berlin and Bremen. The line belongs to Stendal/Uelzen. Other stations in Wittenberge near Arendsee and in Oebisfelde.


International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Salzwedel is twinned with:

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SALZWEDEL, a town in the Prussian province of Saxony, in a plain on the navigable Jeetze, a tributary of the Elbe, 32 m. N.W. of Stendal and 106 m. by rail N.W. of Berlin, on the line to Bremen. Pop. (1905) 11,122. Salzwedel is partly surrounded by medieval walls and gates. The church of St Mary is a fine Gothic structure of the 13th century with five naves and a lofty spire. The old town hall, burnt down in 1895, has been replaced by a modern edifice. The industries include linen and damask weaving, tanning, brewing and the manufacture of pins, chemicals and machinery, and a brisk river trade is carried on in agricultural produce.

Salzwedel, formerly Soltwedel, was founded by the Saxons, and was from 1070 to 1170 the capital of the old or north Mark, also for a time called the "mark of Soitwedel," the kernel of Brandenburg-Prussia. The old castle, perhaps founded by Charlemagne, was purchased in 1864 by the king of Prussia. Salzwedel was also a member of the Hanseatic League, and, at the beginning of the 16th century seems to have transacted a great part of the inland commerce of North Germany.

See Pohlmann, Geschichte der Stadt Salzwedel (Halle, 1811), and Danneil, Geschichte der koniglichen Burg zu Salzwedel (Salzwedel, 1865).

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