Magdeburg, Germany

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Magdeburg as it is now – and as a future Capital of Culture! Magdeburg can draw on its colourful past as the city of Otto the Great and Georg Philipp Telemann, but equally on its thriving contemporary subculture of young creatives. A wide range of cultural venues steeped in history, concert and theatre productions, art and open-air events, ensure there is always something inspirational to experience. Don’t hold back: sample a taste of the many cultural delights on offer, and discover – or indeed rediscover – the state capital as a vibrant city of culture. There is an important artistic, historical and cultural potential inherent in the public art of Magdeburg. The city‘s creative arts scene and a small number of galleries also afford an insight into the diversity of its visual arts landscape.

Magdeburg‘s more than two hundred artworks include some of especial importance such as the sculptures of the wise and foolish virgins, the Magdeburg Horseman – the earliest freestanding equestrian statue from north of the Alps –, the statue of St. Mauritius, the oldest known representation of a black African, as well as Ernst Barlach’s ‘Magdeburg Cenotaph’. The museum of art now housed in the Monastery of Our Lady is  a contemporary art centre of international renown, which has developed its own unique character by virtue of the exciting and varied ways in which the artworks are juxtaposed with the medieval architecture. Housed in a Romanesque monastery from the 11th and 12th centuries in the centre of Magdeburg, it is located at the point of intersection of the two stretches of the ‘Romanesque Road’. However, it is not just a case of displaying artistic works in rooms designed for the purpose; they also constitute elements of the architecture, such as the 17 mirrored panels by Trans.Refl ex and the foyer designed by Christophe Cuzin.

Theater Magdeburg stages performances at two different venues:

Magdeburg’s opera house was built as the Centraltheater in 1906/07 and soon established itself as a privately-owned venue for variety theatre and operetta. Today, it is the publicly-funded home of music, drama and dance which, as the Theater Magdeburg, draws audiences to a wide variety of events at the opera house in the Universitätsplatz: from top-class operas, operettas and musicals, symphony concerts and dramatic ballets, to evenings of modern dance. The Schauspielhaus in Friedensplatz offers classical and contemporary drama and comedies, as well as plenty of original fare.

The Puppet Theatre has been staging puppet shows and fi gure theatre at its permanent home since 1958, and is today the only independent municipal puppet theatre in Eastern Germany. Held every other year, the ‘blickwechsel’ International Figure Theatre Festival has for many years been a meeting point for the puppeteers from all over the world who stage guest performances there. One of most popular events at the festival is the open-air performance ‘La Notte’, which is unparalleled in the world of fi gure theatre.

Magdeburg Cathedral

In 968, Otto the Great established the archbishopric of Magdeburg and erected the Romanesque predecessor to today’s Magdeburg Cathedral, which sadly burned down when a fi re swept through the town in 1207. The construction work on the present-day cathedral, reputed to be the fi rst ecclesiastical building in Germany to be built in the Gothic style, began in 1209. An Evangelical church since 1567 and now an Evangelical Episcopal church, it is one of the largest places of worship anywhere in Germany, and the most famous tourist attraction in the state capital. Otto the Great gifted this city on the River Elbe as a dower to his first wife, the English princess Eadgyth. Together with Constantinople and Rome, Otto I’s favourite residence was one of the centres of his Empire. The tomb of this fi rst Emperor and founder of the Holy Roman Empire can still be visited in the cathedral today.

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Religious Destinations

Religious destinations have always been of great importance to people throughout the ages no matter what their own personal beliefs may be, and whether they are making a pilgrimage, seeking spiritual enlightenment or just enjoying travelling with the purpose of seeing the beauty.

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Sites drenched in history as well as local and subculture venues provide plenty of choice for anyone keen to attend a cultural event in Magdeburg.
The former barracks known as ‘Festung Mark’, built in 1863/64, were transformed into a vibrant cultural centre in 2001. Concerts and festivals, exhibitions and readings, drama and cinema, workshops, elegant gala events and parties bring visitors flocking to the old vaults with their modern refurbishing. Today, St John’s Church – where Martin Luther once preached – is used mainly for conferences, concerts and other events. Local cultural centres such as the Moritzhof, Sudenburg Fire Station and Buckau Public Baths complement the city’s wide-ranging cultural programme with a discriminating selection of concerts, readings, and storytelling cafés. Music and fi lm fans are well catered for, with festivals including ‘Franko.Folie’, ‘Me gusta la música!’, Saxony-Anhalt’s festival of cinematic art, and ‘Cinéfête’. But there’s a lot going on out-of-doors too: the ‘Ottostadt’ hosts an annual Emperor Otto Festival in the historic Old Town to celebrate the importance of Magdeburg, which references not only Otto the Great, the fi rst Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, but also Otto von Guericke, Till Eulenspiegel, Mechthild of Magdeburg and many others. Open-air events at the Elbauenpark are held in a setting of enchanting garden landscapes, and include anything from operetta performed on a stage above the lake to illuminated hot-air balloons.

City Card

The Magdeburg Tourist Card offers an ideal opportunity for visitors who want to explore and enjoy the old Cathedral City on the river Elbe. Take advantage of the many free-of-charge services provided by the card such as a guided tour of Magdeburg and the Cathedral or a tour of the GREEN CITADEL OF MAGDEBURG. Special discounts are available when you visit our leisure, recreation or cultural facilities such as the zoo and theatres or when you treat yourself to a delicious meal in one of our many restaurants. As a card holder you are also entitled to free rides on all buses and trams of the Magdeburg Public Transport which saves you travelling all day on foot.

The Tourist Card is valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours from the date and time of issue.

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