The future paired with tradition – a contradiction? No, it is the motto of the biggest and oldest educational institution in Saxony-Anhalt, the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. Situated on the river Saale, Halle owes the university its reputation in Germany as a university centre. Each year the university attracts thousands of young people from all over Germany and abroad to study in Halle. In 2002 the University celebrated its 500th anniversary. This date commemorates the founding of the University of Wittenberg in 1502, which merged with the University of Halle in 1817. But our university is not only one of the oldest in German-speaking Europe, it can also claim another record – it was the first university in Germany at which a woman gained a doctorate degree. The lady in question was Dorothea Christiane Erxleben, who gained her doctorate in 1754.
Giebichenstein Castle, situated idyllically on the banks of the river Saale, is not only one of Halle’s favourite excursion destinations, it is almost always populated by young, creative people, the students at the College of Art and Design, whose workshops and classrooms are housed in this oldest castle on the river Saale. Currently some 950 students from more than 20 countries study Art and Design here. They regularly take part in art competitions and exhibitions and thereby put their artistic stamp on the city’s atmosphere. The College celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2005.
One of Halle’s landmarks is the white headquarters of the Franckesche Stiftungen (Francke Foundations). The Foundations were formed in 1698 as an orphanage by theologian and university professor August Hermann Francke and today these historic buildings are home to kindergartens, four schools and faculties of the university. This cosmos of buildings radiates with innovative ideas onto the city of Halle and all of Germany and it has organized cultural theme years since 2000.
To date it is the only organization in Germany devoted to socially relevant themes for a whole year and to throw light on them from unusual perspectives. In 2009 the Foundations will look at changes in the “worlds of work”.
“Conducting research into nature for the benefit of mankind” – this was and is the motto of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (German Leopoldina Academy of Research into Natural Science). The Academy was founded in Schweinfurt in 1652 and is thus the oldest academy that conducts research into the natural world in Germany. It has been based in Halle since 1878.
Its members are distinguished by their special scientific achievements and their numbers include many Nobel Prize winners. Here, too, tradition and the future work hand-in-hand.
In February 2008, the Leopoldina was nominated the Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaft in Deutschland (the National Academy of Sciences in Germany) by the Joint Conference of German State Ministers of Science.
We are especially proud of the weinberg campus Technology Park, the second-largest in Eastern Germany. The Technology Park offers business start-ups the opportunity to grow into productive medium-sized companies. Since its inception, more than 100 companies – technology-oriented companies in particular – have established a presence here.
But also the Martin Luther University and several research institutes produce innovative materials and conduct research. Currently the Technology Park employs 3,500 people and this number will increase as there are still free spaces available for more companies to locate here. The Halle Business Development Corporation and its project team of technology-oriented IT and media companies help interested companies through the process of getting established here.
Halle is the region’s media location. This is where the future starts! Since the Mitteldeutsche Multimediazentrum (Central German Multi-Media Centre) was opened in October 2005, people have been done research and planning programmes or received a job training. This Centre is of enormous importance for the creative economy in Halle. The Multi-Media Centre offers the latest equipment and technology, from sound and video studios through production rooms up to a conference and presentation room and a video conference theatre.
Halle delivers solutions! We have many creative people here in the beautiful city of Halle who positively burn for the common cause and who contribute innovative ideas. We’ve long since arrived in the 21st century and are creating our own future.
The author was born in 1947 and studied chemistry at the Bergakademie Freiberg. After completing her studies, she worked at the Fuel Institute in Freiberg and later as a research assistant at the Regional Institute of Hygiene in Halle. Dagmar Szabados became mayor of Halle in 1990 with special responsibility for environmental affairs. She has been Lord Mayor of Halle (Saale) since 1 May 2007.