1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aschersleben
ASCHERSLEBEN, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Saxony, 36 m. by rail N.W. from Halle, and at the junction of lines to Cöthen and Nienhagen. Pop. (1900) 27,245; (1905) 27,876. It contains one Roman Catholic and four Protestant churches, a synagogue, a fine town-hall dating from the 16th century, and several schools. The discovery of coal in the neighbourhood stimulated and altered its industries. In addition to the manufacture of woollen wares, for which it has long been known, there is now extensive production of vinegar, paraffin, potash and especially beetroot-sugar; while the surrounding district, which was formerly devoted in great part to market-gardening, is now turned almost entirely into beetroot fields. There are also iron, zinc and chemical manufactures, and the cultivation of agricultural seeds is carried on. In the neighbourhood are brine springs and a spa (Wilhelmsbad). Aschersleben was probably founded in the 11th century by Count Esico of Ballenstedt, the ancestor of the house of Anhalt, whose grandson, Otto, called himself count of Ascania and Aschersleben, deriving the former part of the title from his castle in the neighbourhood of the town. On the death of Otto III. (1315) Aschersleben passed into the hands of the bishop of Halberstadt, and at the peace of 1648 was, with the bishopric, united to Brandenburg.