Gernrode

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Gernrode
Stadtteil of Quedlinburg
Gernrode - Ausblick von der Burg.jpg
View from the Harz mountains
Wappen Gernrode.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Gernrode
Gernrode
Germany adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Gernrode
Saxony-Anhalt location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Gernrode
Coordinates: 51°43′28″N11°8′21″E / 51.72444°N 11.13917°E / 51.72444; 11.13917 Coordinates: 51°43′28″N11°8′21″E / 51.72444°N 11.13917°E / 51.72444; 11.13917
Country Germany
State Saxony-Anhalt
District Harz
Town Quedlinburg
Area
  Total34.07 km2 (13.15 sq mi)
Elevation
217 m (712 ft)
Population
 (2012-12-31)
  Total3,533
  Density100/km2 (270/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
06507
Dialling codes 039485
Vehicle registration HZ
Website www.stadt-gernrode.de

Gernrode is a historic town and former municipality in the Harz District, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Since 1 January 2014, it has been part of Quedlinburg. [1] It was the seat of the former Verwaltungsgemeinschaft ("municipal association") of Gernrode/Harz.

Contents

First mentioned in 961, Gernrode received the privilege to bear its own coat of arms and seal, commonly regarded as town privileges. The town is best known for the Ottonian church of Saint Cyriakus, the collegiate church of a former Imperial chapter of nuns, and as the start of the narrow gauge Selke Valley Railway.

Geography

Gernrode is situated at the northeastern rim of the Harz mountain range and the Harz/Saxony-Anhalt Nature Park, about 6.5 km (4.0 mi) south of Quedlinburg. It lies at 215 m (705 ft) above sea level, at the foot of the Ramberg massif. It is nationally recognized for its health facilities and has state recognition as a spa town, where one may take the cure and recuperate in general (staatlich anerkannter Kur- und Erholungsort).

The town is also known as 'Gernrode/Harz', because of its location in the Harz mountains, and to distinguish it from Gernrode in the district of Eichsfeld in Thuringia, also called 'Gernrode (Eichsfeld)'.

History

St Cyriacus Church Gernrode - Romanische Stiftskirche St. Cyriacus.jpg
St Cyriacus Church
Imperial Abbey of St Cyriacus in Gernrode

Reichsabtei Sankt Cyriakus in Gernrode
999–1614 ( de facto ) –1728 ( de jure )
StatusImperial Abbey
CapitalGernrode
GovernmentTheocracy
Historical era Middle Ages
 Founded by Gero
959
 Gained Reichsfreiheit
    from Emperor Otto II

25 March 999
 Abbess raised to
     gubernatrix

999
1149–1616
 Gernrode named a city
1539
 Sophia Elizabeth last elected abbess

1593–1614
 Abbey formally
    transferred to Anhalt
    by Emp. Charles VI
1728
 Final investiture of abbot
    by Emp. Francis II

1802
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sin escudo.svg Northern March
Anhalt-Dessau Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg
Today part ofFlag of Germany.svg  Germany

In 959 the Saxon margrave Gero founded a convent of canonesses in the Schwabengau territory, within the grounds of the Geronisroth fortification he built about the same time. He also founded the collegiate church for the convent, which King Otto I took under his special protection by a 961 deed. It was dedicated to Saint Cyriacus, whose relics Gero brought back for the church from his second journey to Rome in 963. Without male heirs, he bequested his vast properties to the convent and made his daughter-in-law Hathui (d. 1014), widow of his son Siegfried, first abbess (r.959-1014). She was succeeded by Adelaide I (r.1014-1045), a sister of Emperor Otto III, who was also Princess-abbess of Quedlinburg (r.999-1045).

Initially the Gernrode convent was on a par with the Imperial abbeys of Quedlinburg and Gandersheim. However, its secular Vogt protectors from the Ascanian princes of Anhalt, descendants of Albert the Bear, became increasingly powerful. Yet in 1188, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa held a Hoftag in Gernrode and donated a bell to the St. Stephan church (Stephanikirche, also known as the Market church or Marktkirche), the second historical church in Gernrode built in 1046. In the thirteenth century, Adelaide II was abbess of Gernrode (r.1207-1220).

The Protestant Reformation came to Anhalt and Gernrode in 1521. A Protestant elementary school was founded in 1533 according to the ideas of Martin Luther. Closely linked to the University of Wittenberg, the premises were used as a school until 1847, when it moved into St Stephen's Church, and may be the oldest such school in Germany. In 1565 Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst (1545–1574) became abbess of Gernrode and the convent was led by Ascanian princesses ever since. It was finally disbanded in 1614, when the last abbess Sophia Elizabeth (1589–1622), daughter of the Ascanian prince John George I of Anhalt-Dessau, married Duke George Rudolf of Liegnitz.

Gernrode received brewing rights in 1545. Beer brewing has since stopped, but a distillery is still present in the city. The city was traditionally part of the Duchy of Anhalt and a district of Ballenstedt. From 1037 to 1740 lead and silver were mined here. Matches and guns were also made in Gernrode. Parts of Gernrode were burnt in the Thirty Years' War (twice, in 1631 and 1635). In 1728 Emperor Charles VI formally enfeoffed the Anhalt princes with Gernode which was incorporated into Anhalt-Bernburg, raised to a duchy in 1806.

Due to its picturesque setting, Gernrode became a popular destination for recreational visitors from the early 19th century onwards. Goethe, Heinrich von Kleist and Wilhelm von Kügelgen stayed here, followed by numerous vacationers, and tourism became a significant economic factor. The town had 2,533 (Protestant) inhabitants in 1885.

On 19 April 1945, at the end of World War II, Gernrode was taken by the US Army without a battle, followed by occupation by Soviet troops in June. As part of the Soviet occupation zone, Gernrode belonged to East Germany from 1949 until German reunification in 1990. It celebrated its 1,000th year in 1961 and 450th year as a town in 1989. In 2001, celebrations to honour Emperor Otto I were held. Between 1 January 2011 and 19 February 2013, Gernrode was part of the town Quedlinburg, [2] [3] and again after 1 January 2014. [1]

Infrastructure

Transport

Selke Valley Railway

Gernrode is the starting point of the Selke Valley Railway (Selketalbahn), a narrow-gauge railway. The line was built in 1887 and after initially climbing through the mountains, follows the Selke river valley to Stiege. The total length from Gernrode to Stiege is 35 km.

Attractions

Town hall Gernrode - Fachwerk-Rathaus.jpg
Town hall

Attractions include the giant cuckoo clock (whose cuckoo appears every fifteen minutes), which was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 1998. This is part of a clock factory, which also incorporates a giant weather house indicating current weather conditions. Other local attractions include a 7.45 m giant wood thermometer, the largest Skat table in the world, and the Prussia Tower on the Ölbergshöhe.

Governance

Town twinning

Gernrode is twinned with:

Related Research Articles

Ottonian dynasty

The Ottonian dynasty was a Saxon dynasty of German monarchs (919–1024), named after three of its kings and Holy Roman Emperors named Otto, especially its first Emperor Otto I. It is also known as the Saxon dynasty after the family's origin in the German stem duchy of Saxony. The family itself is also sometimes known as the Liudolfings, after its earliest known member Count Liudolf and one of its primary leading-names. The Ottonian rulers were successors of the Germanic king Conrad I who was the only Germanic king to rule in East Francia after the Carolingian dynasty and before this dynasty.

Quedlinburg Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Quedlinburg is a town situated just north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994, the castle, church and old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Ballenstedt Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Ballenstedt is a town in the Harz district, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Selke Valley Railway

The Selke Valley Railway (Selketalbahn), Gernrode-Harzgerode Railway and the Anhalt Harz Railway were different names for the metre gauge railway in the Lower Harz, Germany, originally owned by the Gernrode-Harzgerode Railway Company.

Güntersberge Locality of Harzgerode in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Güntersberge is a village and a former town in Harz District, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It holds the status of an officially recognized resort town since 2001. Güntersberge, together with the other municipalities of the former Verwaltungsgemeinschaft Unterharz, merged into the town of Harzgerode as of 1 August 2009.

Harzgerode Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Harzgerode is a town in the district of Harz in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

Harz Narrow Gauge Railways

The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways is a railway company that operates a 1,000 mmmetre gauge network in the Harz mountains, in central Germany. The company was formed after the Second World War as a merger of two earlier companies. It owns about 140 kilometres of track, connecting the principal towns of Wernigerode, Nordhausen and Quedlinburg and several smaller settlements in the area. Much of the network is steeply graded and picturesque, but its most popular destination is the Brocken, the highest mountain in the region. The company runs a significant number of its trains with steam haulage, mostly employing 1950s vintage 2-10-2 tank locomotives, hauling traditional open-platform bogie carriages. The company is mainly owned by the various local authorities whose territories it serves.

Gero

Gero I, called the Great, ruled an initially modest march centred on Merseburg in the south of the present German state of Saxony-Anhalt, which he expanded into a vast territory named after him: the marca Geronis. During the mid-10th century, he was the leader of the Saxon Ostsiedlung.

Alexisbad Borough of Harzgerode in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Alexisbad is a small spa town, part of Harzgerode in the district of Harz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

Falkenstein, Saxony-Anhalt Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Falkenstein/Harz is a town in the Harz district, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was created in 2002 by merging the town of Ermsleben with the former municipalities of Endorf, Meisdorf, Neuplatendorf, Pansfelde, Reinstedt und Wieserode. The new community was named after Falkenstein Castle.

Egeln Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Egeln is a small town in the Salzlandkreis district, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Verbandsgemeinde Egelner Mulde.

Quedlinburg Abbey Church in Quedlinburg, Germany

Quedlinburg Abbey was a house of secular canonesses (Frauenstift) in Quedlinburg in what is now Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was founded in 936 on the initiative of Saint Mathilda, the widow of the East Frankish King Henry the Fowler, as his memorial. For many centuries it and its abbesses enjoyed great prestige and influence.

Gernrode Abbey

Gernrode Abbey was a house of secular canonesses (Frauenstift) in Gernrode in what is now Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Gernrode was founded in 959 and was disestablished in the seventeenth century. In the Middle Ages the abbey was an Imperial abbey had the status of imperial immediacy and an Imperial State. In the early modern period, the abbey was part of the Upper Saxon Circle.

Henry I, Count of Anhalt

Henry I, a member of the House of Ascania, was Count of Anhalt from 1212 and the first ruling Anhalt prince from 1218 until his death.

Adelaide I, Abbess of Quedlinburg Princess-abbess of Quedlinburg

Adelaide I, a member of the royal Ottonian dynasty was the second Princess-abbess of Quedlinburg from 999, and Abbess of Gernrode from 1014, and Abbess of Gandersheim from 1039 until her death, as well as a highly influential kingmaker of medieval Germany.

Anhalt Castle

Anhalt Castle is a ruined medieval fortification near the town of Harzgerode in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

Drübeck Abbey

Drübeck Abbey is a former Benedictine monastery for nuns in Drübeck on the northern edge of the Harz in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. Today it is a conference venue for the Evangelical Church of the Church Province of Saxony with an educational-theological institute and pastoral centre.

Frose–Quedlinburg railway

The Frose–Quedlinburg railway, also called the Balkan ("Balkans") locally, was a standard gauge branch line on the northern rim of the Harz Mountains in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. The line runs from Frose via Gernrode to Quedlinburg. It was closed in 2004. The Gernrode–Quedlinburg section was subsequently converted by the Harz Narrow Gauge Railway Company to metre gauge. Since 26 June 2006 the line has been re-opened as part of the Selke Valley Railway.

Saint Cyriakus, Gernrode Church

Saint Cyriakus is a medieval church in Gernrode, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is one of the few surviving examples of Ottonian architecture, built in 959/960-965 by Margrave Gero, although it was restored in the 19th century. From its foundation until 1614 Saint Cyriakus was the collegiate church of the abbey of Gernrode, also founded by Margrave Gero. The church and the abbey became Protestant in the mid-sixteenth century, and the church is now used by the Protestant community of Gernrode.

Hathui was a member of the Saxon House of Billung, who was the first abbess of Gernrode (r.959-1014).

References

  1. 1 2 Final decision Landtag of Saxony-Anhalt Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine , 12 December 2013.
  2. Gesetz über die Neugliederung der Gemeinden im Land Sachsen-Anhalt den Landkreis Harz betreffend [ permanent dead link ] (GemNeuglG HZ, §3)
  3. Ingo Kugenbuch (20 February 2013), "Drei Gemeinden sind nach Gerichtsurteil wieder selbstständig", Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (in German), Quedlinburg, retrieved 2013-07-09