1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brandenburg (town)
BRANDENBURG, a town of Germany, capital of the district and province of same name, on the river Havel, 36 m. S.W. from Berlin, on the main line to Magdeburg and the west. Pop. (1905) 51,251, including 3643 military. The town is enclosed by walls, and is divided into three parts by the river—the old town on the right and the new town on the left bank, while on an island between them is the “cathedral town,”—and is also called, from its position, “Venice.” Many of the houses are built on piles in the river. There are five old churches (Protestant), all more or less noteworthy. These are the Katharinenkirche (nave 1381 – 1401, choir c. 1410, western tower 1583 – 1585), a Gothic brick church with a fine carved wooden altar and several interesting medieval tombs; the Petrikirche (14th century Gothic); the cathedral (Domkirche), originally a Romanesque basilica (1170), but rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 14th century, with a good altar-piece (1465), &c., and noted for its remarkable collection of medieval vestments; the Gothardskirche, partly Romanesque (1160), partly Gothic (1348); the Nikolaikirche (12th and 13th centuries), now no longer used. There is also a Roman Catholic church. Of other buildings may be mentioned the former town hall of the “old town” (Altstadt Rathaus), built in the 13th and 14th centuries, now used as government offices; the new Real-gymnasium; and the town hall in the Neustadt, before which, in the market-place, stands a Rolandssäule, a colossal figure 18 ft. in height, hewn out of a single block of stone. A little north of the town is the Marienberg, or Harlungerberg, on which the heathen temple of Triglaff and afterwards the church and convent of St Mary were built. On the top stands a lofty monument to the soldiers from the Mark who fell in the wars of 1864, 1866 and 1870–71. The town has a considerable trade, with manufactures of woollens, silks, linens, hosiery and paper, as well as breweries, tanneries, boat-building and bicycle factories.
Brandenburg, originally Brennaburg (Brennabor) or Brendanburg, was originally a town of the Slavic tribe of the Hevelli, from whom it was captured (927–928) by the German king Henry I. In 948 Otto I. founded a bishopric here, which was subordinated first to the archdiocese of Mainz, but from 968 onwards to the newly created archbishopric of Magdeburg. It was, however, destroyed by the heathen Wends in 983, and was only restored when Albert the Bear recaptured the town from them in 1153. In 1539 the bishop of Brandenburg, Matthias von Jagow, embraced the Lutheran faith, and five years later the Protestant worship was established in the cathedral. The see was administered by the elector of Brandenburg until 1598 and then abolished, its territories being for the most part incorporated in the electoral domains. The cathedral chapter, however, survived, and though suppressed in 1810, it was restored in 1824. It consists of twelve canons, of whom three only are spiritual, the other nine prebends being held by noblemen; all are in the gift of the king of Prussia.
The “old” and “new” towns of Brandenburg were for centuries separate towns, having been united under a single municipality so late as 1717.