הגדלה (© dpa-picture alliance)
Saxony-Anhalt, the federal state on the banks of the Elbe and Saale rivers, lies at the very heart of German history. From Magdeburg Christianity spread to the areas east of the Elbe. The region developed into a centre of the Christian world in the 10th and 11th centuries. The Reformation was launched from Wittenberg, where Martin Luther taught at the university.
The major influences on Saxony-Anhalt’s landscape are the River Elbe, with its broad flood meadows, and the Harz mountain range, rising up to 1,100 m above the North German Plain. The picturesque Saale-Unstrut region, dotted with castles, extends to the south-east of the Harz mountains. Further to the north are the fertile Magdeburger Börde and the appealing heathlands of the Altmark region.
הגדלה (© dpa-picture alliance) The early industrialisation of this federal state still shapes its economic structure. Abundant mineral resources formed the foundation of the state’s emerging extractive and chemical industry. Lignite mining provided energy for industrial development. Today the main economic sectors here are still the chemical industry, construction of heavy machinery, plant equipment and motors, structural steel and light metal engineering, as well as construction of railway rolling stock. Parallel to this, an environmental technology industry with striking innovative potential has developed, as well as a highly competitive agro-food industry. These form the backbone of the federal state’s new economic structure, together with a panoply of small and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors.
With kind permission of the Bundesrat (September 2010)