walk around the streets and...
walk around the streets and have a look at all the old houses. You also should have a look at remainings of the former GDR days I would say.... they will be gone soon! Halle feels like a kind of a second home to me, I have spend there several times in the past and so it´s always nice to get there... I also like all the beautiful old houses there.......fantastic!
Drop in at the Marktkirche
So many things are beautiful about this church. The full name is Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen zu Halle. Four or the famous towers in the Halle view are from this church.
The ceiling is an amazing web of diamonds and lines that look like a spider's web. The organ is gorgeous, and we were lucky enough to be able to hear it. A performer was practicing when we showed up...it was fantastic!
Also, the blue and gold detail is very pretty. It is newly redone, it looks like. And the inside of the church all looks very fresh and well-maintained.
Another major reason to visit is that this church houses the death mask of Martin Luther. We happened to show up at just the right time. A Norwegian man was chatting up the care-taker about Luther and all the other places he had already visited (Eisleben, Wittenberg) in his Luther Pilgrimage. So as we were looking around the church, the care-taker was convinced to open up the room with the deathmask in it. Luck!
It was pretty cool to see the face and hands displayed. It's in remarkably good condition. Anyway, a very interesting lucky event.
"Geoskop" in Marktplatz: A Glimpse Into The Earth
The "Geoskop" shows the geological cause for the salt springs in Halle. Two layers of different kinds of rock meet. Through the cleft between them, the salty water rises.
The metal block can be turned like a little roundabout. Look in through the top side. In the right position you see the cleft between one reddish and one greenish rock.
Händel, Donizetti and the Beatles
The great baroque composer and impresario Georg Friedrich Händel was born in Halle in the year 1685.
His birth house and several adjoining buildings have been nicely renovated and now form the Händel House and Music Museum of the City of Halle, along with the Center for Händel Research.
After eighteen years in Halle, three in Hamburg and four in Italy, Händel settled in London where he wrote most of his forty operas, thirty oratorios and hundreds of other musical works.
In May 2001 I was asked to take over a presentation in Halle at quite short notice. After agreeing to do it, I went online to see if Halle has an opera house (it does) and if they were performing anything on the one evening I was going to be there (they were).
My presentation went really well, and in the break I asked my local counterpart how to get to the opera house. He said I could just come with him, since he was an opera subscriber and this was one of his subscription nights.
The opera we saw was one of my all time favorites, L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848). This is an opera that I have seen numerous times in Frankfurt am Main, Darmstadt, Gießen, Paris, Vienna and Heidelberg over the past few years. It is the source of my member-name "Nemorino" here on VirtualTourist.
Nemorino in this opera is a guy who does everything wrong but gets the girl anyway, which is more or less the story of my life up to now, so I decided his name would be an appropriate member-name for me.
The Beatles got their start at the Star-Club in Hamburg in the year 1962, but none of them ever set foot in Halle as far as I know.
Nonetheless, Halle is the location of an extremely complete and comprehensive (critics might also say cluttered) Beatles Museum which is well worth a visit even if your musical tastes run more to Händel and Donizetti than to John, Paul, George and Ringo.
The Beatles Museum in Halle is one of the very few museums in the world (like the Chocolate Museum in Cologne) that is self-supporting, covers its own costs, pays taxes, does not run a deficit and does not need or receive any public subsidies.
To pronounce the word Halle you need two syllables, with the stress on the first: HA-lə. The second syllable is quite weak, but you can't just leave it off, because if you do no German speaker will have a clue what you are talking about.
The same goes for the river Saale (pronounced ZA-lə), which Halle is on.
Views in Halle
We walked around Halle for a morning and really enjoyed the sights. According to my cousin, most of the facades and renovations have occured recently. Everything from the painted city buildings to the graveyard weeds have been worked on. I thought the city was very interesting, and if I'd had more time I would have wanted to check out Handel Haus and the city hall and some of the other areas.
For more photos of the city, go to http://www.halle-saalkreis.de/halle.htm
This is inside the Marktkirche. It's a truly beautiful painting/altarpiece by Cranach.