1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Naumburg

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NAUMBURG, a town of Germany, in the province of Prussian Saxony, the seat of the provincial law courts and court of appeal for the province and the neighbouring districts. It is situated on the Saale, near its junction with the Unstrut, in the centre of an amphitheatre of vine-clad hills, 29 m. S.W. from Halle, on the railway to Weimar and Erfurt. Pop. (1905) 25,137. The cathedral, an imposing building in the Romanesque Transition style (1207–1242), has a Gothic choir at each end, and contains some interesting medieval sculptures. It is remarkable for its large crypt and its towers, a fourth having been added in 1894, the gift of the emperor William II. There are also four other Protestant churches (of which the town church, dedicated to St Wenceslaus and restored in 1892–1894, possesses two pictures by Lucas Cranach the elder), a Roman Catholic church, a gymnasium, a modern school, an orphanage and three hospitals. A curious feature of the town is the custom, which has not yet died out, of labelling the houses with signs, such as the “swan,” the “leopard” and the “lion.” The industries of the place mainly consist in the manufacture of cotton and woollen fabrics, chemicals, combs, beer, vinegar and leather. On the hills to the north of the town, across the Unstrut, lies Schenkelburg, once the residence of the poet Gellert, and noticeable for the grotesque carvings in the sandstone rocks.

In the 10th century Naumburg was a stronghold of the margraves of Meissen, who in 1029 transferred to it the bishopric of Zeitz. In the history of Saxony it is memorable as the scene of various treaties; and in 1561 an assembly of Protestant princes was held there, which made a futile attempt to cement the doctrinal dissensions of the Protestants. In 1564 the last bishop died, and the bishopric fell to the elector of Saxony. In 1631 the town was taken by Tilly, and in 1632 by Gustavus Adolphus. It became Prussian in 1814. An annual festival, with a procession of children, which is still held, is referred to an apocryphal siege of the town by the Hussites in 1432, but is probably connected with an incident in the brothers’ war (1447–51), between the elector Frederick II. of Saxony and his brother Duke William. Karl Peter Lepsius (1775–1853), the antiquary and his more distinguished son Richard the Egyptologist, were born at Naumburg.

See E. Borkowsky, Die Geschichte der Stadt Naumburg an der Saale (Stuttgart, 1897); E. Hoffmann, Naumburg an der Saale im Zeitalter der Reformation (Leipzig, 1900); S. Braun, Naumburger Annalen vom Jahre 799 bis 1613 (Naumburg, 1892); Puttrich, Naumburg an der Saale, sein Dom und andre altertümliche Bauwerke (Leipzig, 1841–1843); and Wispel, Entwickelungsgeschichte der Stadt Naumburg an der Saale (Naumburg, 1903).