Hanseatic city of Salzwedel
Rich history, attractive for people, fit for the future
Salzwedel is not only the northernmost county seat of Saxony-Anhalt, but also one of the most historic places in the state. As the political center of the unified municipality of the same name, the city is connected to the surrounding villages.
The Salzwedel town center is characterized by medieval architecture, half-timbered houses along picturesque cobblestone streets and magnificent brick churches. Impressive town houses, e.g. the birthplace of Jenny Marx, the wife of Karl Marx, bear witness to the former wealth.
The North German brick Gothic has left behind massive buildings. A walk along the city wall (1850 meters long) reveals parts of the medieval castle complex, gates and towers. The old town is dominated by half-timbered architecture of many centuries. More than 570 buildings provide a cohesive ensemble.
The starting point for the city's development was the castle, of which the keep and wall have been preserved. Today, this oldest part of Salzwedel, more than 900 years old, forms the green lung of the city center, located directly on Burgstraße, a pedestrian zone with numerous stores.
Salzwedel is a city in transition. While the old town exuded a rather morbid charm until the political turnaround in 1989, today it is characterized by often colorful, lovingly restored half-timbered houses - without appearing kitschy. The central town hall tower square has also found a new purpose after years of existence as a wasteland: With nearby cafés and ice cream parlors, the central square invites visitors to linger while gazing at the "Hanse-Welle" water feature.
The loving transformation of their city is due to the commitment of the Hanseatic citizens - private owners as well as associations. For example, members of the Salzwedeler Altstadt ASA working group are renovating two buildings right next to the Alte Münze (now the headquarters of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and a temporary exhibition space). The same applies to a complex of buildings on Radestrasse and Neutorstrasse. It is being repaired bit by bit by the "Kultur-Nische" and filled with life.
In the north of the city, the "Green Belt" is a fascinating destination for nature lovers. Deciduous forest silence in the "Bürgerholz" and the border tower Hoyersburg can be reached by the call bus (ÖPNV) from the town hall tower square in the city center, every half hour.
Equally easy to reach is the "Fairy Tale Park and Fragrant Garden", a destination in the south of the Hanseatic city that is well known beyond the region. The almost five-hectare site on the Warta River (a former observation post) near Ziethnitz invites visitors to stroll around with flowerbeds, various thematic gardens such as the fairy kingdom, fairy tale representations and figures, and to attend various events. Various pavilions are available for picnics. There are also twelve barbecue areas, a castle and a forest house with a café, a large playground with climbing frames, a ropeway, a trampoline, and slides..... And should the weather not cooperate, the youngest can have fun in the play barn and the adults can take a break in the adjacent café.
The Hanseatic city is famous for its sweet delicacy: Salzwedeler Baumkuchen. You can watch it being made in bakeries during show baking. Read here an interview with Bettina Hennig, managing director of the Salzwedeler Baumkuchenfabrik.
The Salzwedeler tourist information compiles every day exclusively for its visitors the Salzwedeler - daily tip. In the sections Museums & Exhibitions, Churches, Strolling & Viewing, Regional & Special, Meeting Points and On the Road around Salzwedel there are daily updated opening hours for individual exploration.
The »Wagen und Winnen« art festival was also opened in 2019 with a major event in the aforementioned building complex on Radestrasse and Neutorstrasse. Organized for the first time in 2013 on its own initiative, regional and national artists present their works in steadily growing numbers at more than 20 locations in the western Altmark region. The exhibitions are embedded in a colorful program of concerts, theater, performance, lectures, guided tours ...
The 2nd Sunday in September, the "Day of the Open Monument", is especially recommended to those who are interested in historical buildings or traditional technology. Every year it is not only possible to look behind the scenes of public buildings, but also into many private houses. Numerous events are also an integral part of Monument Day in the Hanseatic city.
In general, the cultural life with its many facets is a flagship of Salzwedel. The Hanseat Socio-Cultural Center is located directly across from the ASA houses. On the lower floor, the club of the same name hosts concerts and discussions. Above it, the Salzwedel Open Channel (citizens' television) has its headquarters, as does Aktion Musik. The "Local Heroes" competition for up-and-coming bands is also organized from here. Launched in the first years after the political turnaround by three districts (Salzwedel, Lüchow-Dannenberg, Uelzen) as a contest for up-and-coming regional musicians, the competition is now successfully held throughout Europe.
The Weyhe bookstore has also been located in Altperverstrasse since 1880. Anyone who likes books will love this small store with its creaky floorboards and many bookshelves. And so will its owner. Helga Weyhe, honored in 2012 on the occasion of her 90th birthday as Germany's oldest active bookseller, chats just as eloquently about literary treasures as she does about Salzwedel's town history. A real institution.
Speaking of books, a visit to the Salzwedel City and District Library is worthwhile not only because of its extensive holdings, but also because of its architecture. The Art Nouveau building was saved from decay after reunification and extensively renovated. In the attic, writers regularly read from their works or cabaret artists perform.
Since 1998, artists have found studio and accommodation in the Stipendiatenhaus near St. Mary's Church. Just a few meters away, the Danneilmuseum (Dannei Museum) presents information on regional history in permanent and temporary exhibitions. One of the exhibits is the vineyard altar from the Mönchskirche, created in 1582 by Lukas Cranach the Younger.
Originally built in the 13th century by Franciscan monks, expanded into the 15th century and finally degenerated into a storeroom in the 20th century: The history of the monk's church is eventful. But fortunately it came to a positive conclusion. As a venue for top-class concerts and exhibitions, it is now an important part of cultural life beyond the borders of the Hanseatic city.
Another venue with a lighthouse effect for the region is the Kulturhaus, affectionately called "Kulti" by the people of Salzwedel. Here, international musicians, prominent cabaret artists, as well as domestic and foreign theater ensembles meet. At the same time, it offers a suitable setting for conferences and congresses.
For some years now, the former lyceum, which has been converted into an art gallery, has also enriched the cultural offerings. On loan there is an extensive collection of graphic works by Kandinsky, Chagall, Nolde, Zille and Kollwitz, among others. Temporary exhibitions, concerts and other events complete the program.
Text auf dieser Seite: Altmarkkreis Salzwedel, Dorothea Mau und Constanze Neuling
29410 Hansestadt Salzwedel
Tel. +49 3901 422438
Fax +49 3901 31077