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Guide to Bach Tour
Altenburg [V]

Town Guide

[1] The parting point of our tour is the "new" market, which has first been mentioned in 1192. A variety of lovely townsman's houses surround the longstretched place. [2] The most important building on the market is the renaissance town hall which was built between 1562 and 1567. It is one of the most beautiful of its kind in Germany. [3] The Brüderkirche delimits the western side of the market. In 1901/1904 it has been erected on the grounds of a former monastery church of the Franciscans. [4] The former territorial bauk and territorial library built in 1862/1865 in the neo Renaissance style - is crowned by the Saxonia statue. [5] The Bartholomäi church, built in 1459, is the oldest church in town. A Roman krypta lies beneath the southern side nave of the late Romanesque building. After the nothern tower collapsed, the original twin towers were replaced by the Baroque tower (1668). [6] The Skatbrunnen (skat fountain) with its tussling Wenzel figures is situated on the "Brühl", the old market. The fountain was donated to the town by Albert Steudemann. It is a memorial to the popular German card game "Skat", which has its origins in Altenburg. [7] The Seckendorffsche Palais was built by Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Heinrich von Seckendorff in a beautiful baroque style. Today it is used by the theatre. [8] The Baroque building of the Amtsgericht (district court) in the Burgstraße was erected in 1725 and has been a place of conference of the "Landschaft" until 1848. [9] 1n 1869/1870 the former Ducal Theatre was built below the castle. The plans were based on those by Gottfried Semper for the royal opera in Dresden, the Semperoper. The square entrance lobby was added in 1904/1905. As well the "Großes Haus" with its 555 seats (since 1994) as the "Heizhaus" (with a max. of 200 seats) serve as theatres. [10] Today the Ducal Palace (Schloss), built betwccn 1706 und 1744 in baroque style, houses an exhibition on the castle and a collection of playing cards from Altenburg. [11] The Castle Church which was built in late gothic style in the 15th century, is richly decorated inside and the widely famous organ, named Trost-Orgel after its builder, can be seen there. [12] The outer gate was built in 1744 in the style ofa Romanesque triumphal arch. [13] The inner castle court is surprisingly spacious. The horse pool with its Neptun column was built at the beginning of the 17th century. [14] The so-called "bottle" has the typical shape of a Romanesque dwelling tower. [15] You can enjoy beautiful views of the castle and the town from the top of the 32m (105ft) high Hausmanns Tower. The watching tower was built in the 12th century and is accessible through a winding staircase. [16] We now leave the castle through the Zwinger (outer bailey) and the rear gate building (14th/15th century), which was the only access to the castle until 1640. [17] The Magdalenenstift (Magdalen Foundation) was built in 1665 as a widow's residence for the duchess Magdalena Sybille. As she died before her husband Friedrich II gave the building to a foundation for the education of noble daughters and as a rest home for noble widows. [18] Through little romantic streets we stroll to Allenburg's landmark, the "Rote Spitzen". The brick towers are remainders of the Augustinian monastery's church (consecrated in 1172). In 1618, one of the towers was given a Baroque cappcd roof after the ceiling had been destroyed by lightning. [19] The dam and the fish holder in the Kleiner Teich (small lake) are about 800 years old. Presumably the dam was built under Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa. It is still of statical importance today. [20] The Wasserkunst (water tower, literally "water art") was built in 1844 in the style of an Italian campanile (see in the picture 36). [21] The Orangcrie was constructed in 1712 in the course of Barouqe redesigning of the castle garten, conducted by the architect Johann Heinrich Gengenbach. [22] The same applies to the Teehaus (tea house), a pleasure pavilion with a banquet hall, lavishly decorated with frescos and Italian stucco. [23] The former Herzogliche Marstall (ducal stable) once comprised stables for about 50 horses, a riding course, coach houses for the gala coaches and servants' dwellings. [24] There are several narrations where the Prinzeneichen (princes' oaks) are mentioned (of which only one still exists) in connection with the abduction of the princes in 1455. [25] The Herzogin-Agnes-Gediichtniskirche, featuring numerous Art Nouveau elements, is situated at the highest point of the castle garden. In 1903, on his 50th wedding anniversary, Herzog Ernst I donated it in commemoration of his wife; she had died in 1897. [26] The Art Nouveau building (1907/1908) of the Museum of Natural History fits nicely into the castle Garden. More than 40,000 pieces collected during two centuries of natural history research reflect the region's environment. [27] The Lindenau Museum (built 1873-1875) was founded by BernhardAugust von Lindenau. He collected early Italian paintings, antique ceramics, plaster impressions and valuable art literature which he left to the public. [28] The station building which was recently restored to its original beauty, was built in 1876. Altenburg was connected to the railway system as early as 1842. [29] The Wettiner Straße with its magnificent villas gives the visitor a great welcome to the city. [30] In former times, the Pohlhof (Pohl court, around 1500) was a Freihof and thus exempted from all urban rates. The Pohlhof is the birth and dying place of the city's most famous son, Bernhard August von Lindenau. He was an important liberal statesman, astronomer and art collector. [31] In this garden the visitor can find recreation !fom May until October. [32] What the Landratsamt is today (the quarter of the district council) was built in the style of an Italian renaissance palace in 1895 and was then known as the Regierungs- und Landschaftsgebiiude (government and countryside building). [33] The building of the masonic lodge, built in classicistic style between 1802-1804, housed the lodge of "Archimedes zu den drei Reißbretern" (Archimedes of the Three Drawing Boards) that was founded in 1742. It is supposed to be one of the oldest masonic lodges in Gennany. [34] One of the most beautiful towers of the town which is also open to the public is the Nikolaiturm (Nikolai tower). The Nikolai church, first mentioned in chronicles in 1223, was pulled down in the 16th century. However, the tower remained and after a fire in 1609 the octagonal top with the typical shaped roof, a flat for the person living up there and the viewing platfonn were added. [35] The Großer Teich (large pond) was created in 1190 by damming the river Blaue Flut. Earlier, there was fish-fanning; the Grolße Teich was also strategically important in the defence of the Southern town wall. Today, the avenue and the Inselzoo (island zoo) invite the visitor for a walk.[36] The Hussiten Tower is one ofa large number of towers that used to be part of the town wall. Under Barbarossa's reign, the town was significantly enlarged until it became a spaciously walled imperial town with five town gates, several smaller gates and baileys (see left side in the picture: the "Kunstturm" (art tower [20]).

 

Back to Altenburg - Main Page

Source: Stadt Altenburg - Tour Guide (1998, E. Reinhold Verlag Altenburg)
Prepared by Aryeh Oron (December 2009)

Guide to Bach Tour: Main Page | Life History of J.S. Bach | Performance Dates of J.S. Bach’s Vocal Works | Maps | Route Suggestions | Bach Organs | Discussions of Bach Tour
Places: Altenburg | Ammern | Arnstadt | Bad Berka | Berlin | Brandenburg | Bückeburg | Celle | Collmen | Dörna | Dornheim | Dresden | Eisenach | Erfurt | Gehren | Gera | Gotha | Halle | Hamburg | Heiligengrabe | Jena | Karlsbad | Kassel | Kleinzschocher | Köthen | Langewiesen | Leipzig | Lübeck | Lüneburg | Meiningen | Merseburg | Mühlhausen | Naumburg | Ohrdruf | Pomßen | Potsdam | Ronneburg | Sangerhausen | Schleiz | Stöntzsch | Störmthal | Taubach | Wechmar | Weimar | Weißenfels | Weißensee | Wiederau | Zeitz | Zerbst | Zschortau

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Last update: ýDecember 26, 2009 ý01:09:43