(ˈʃtɛndaːl) is a town
. It is the capital of Stendal District
and unofficial capital of the Altmark
. Its population in 2001 was 38,900. It is located some 125 km (78 miles) west of Berlin
and around 170 km (106 miles) east of Hanover
. Stendal has a market and a psychiatric rehabilitation clinic.
Founded by Albrecht the Bear in the 12th century, it quickly became an important member of the Hanseatic League. Magnificent churches, the city hall and the two remaining city gates are still proof of that former wealth.
Previously part of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, Stendal became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony after the Napoleonic Wars. From 1949 until German reunification in 1990, Stendal was in the German Democratic Republic.
The pseudonym "Stendhal" of the French author Marie-Henri Beyle is generally supposed to be a homage to the German author Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who was born in Stendal in 1717.
Stendal is the seat of the Verwaltungsgemeinschaft ("collective municipality") Stendal-Uchtetal.
Sites of interest
Theatre of the Altmark
The area has a theatre named Theater der Altmark, Stendal
It was founded in 1946 and has always had a particular involvement in youth and children's theatre. Theatrical performances and dance events are staged, as well as concerts, conferences and meetings.
The Winckelmann Museum
is named after Johann Joachim Winckelmann
, the founder of classical archaeology
. Its holdings include biographical documents, works, designs and diagrams as well as Greek
sculptures or casts, along with other small artworks from antiquity. Exhibitions are held relating to archaeology and the history of art from the 18th and 19th centuries; there is also a modern art museum. The museum is the seat of the Winckelmann-Gesellschaft
In addition, the museum has exhibits relating to the history and cultural history of the city of Stendal and of the Altmark dating from the prehistoric period through the area's early history right up to the present. There are exhibits on the Hanseatic League, Romanesque art and local archaeological material.
Fire Brigade Museum
The town also has the Landesfeuerwehrmuseum
(Fire Brigade Museum
), showing the development of fire fighting and protection from the leather bucket to modern fire engines.
Other buildings include the Gothic cathedral, the Town Hall with the statue of Roland
and the two mediaeval town gates. There are also other churches in the area.
Stendal is also part of the Altmark cycle path. Information and maps about this cycle path can be had for free from the tourist information office.
Sons and daughters of Stendal
- Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the founder of classical archaeology and the history of art. He was born in Stendal in 1717, son of a shoemaker. He is commemorated by the above-named museum.
The French Writer Marie Henri Beyle, who was stationed here as a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars, used the alias Stendhal from 1817 in homage to Johann Joachim Winckelmann.