Every year in June there is a Händel Festival in Halle, featuring concerts, lectures, recitals, guided city walks -- plus a major oratorio and a new opera production each year.
Since 1922 they have produced all forty of Händel's operas at least once.
Two other German cities also have Händel Festivals each year, namely Gottingen and Karlsruhe.
There is also a Händel Festival in London each year, and one in Maryland every year or two.
1. Banners advertising the Händel Festival
2. Festival poster on the back wall of the Händel House
3. Händel House from Große Nikolaistraße
Martin Luther University (MLU)
A couple years ago there were big posters all over Frankfurt am Main advertising MLU with photos of attractive young co-eds, to encourage young people from the western parts of Germany to come and study in Halle.
I don't know if it is because of this advertising campaign or not, but there are now some four thousand students from West Germany (the so-called "old federal states") at MLU, plus 1,500 students from foreign countries, out of 17,500 students altogether.
Georg Friedrich Händel was enrolled here as a student for one year, in 1702, when he was also working as an organist at Halle Cathedral. He left Halle a year later, when he was eighteen, and moved to Hamburg where he got a job playing in the orchestra at the opera house.
There was no opera house in Halle at that time, but the current one is located just across the street from the university.
1. The Lion Building = main building of the university
2. University Campus
3. Cycling near the University
4. Cycling near the University
5. Cycling towards the University
Museum of Prehistory and Nebra Sky Disk
Halle's Museum of Prehistory (official name: Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte Sachsen-Anhalt) is renowned both for its temporary exhibition on regional archeology and prehistory and their permanent collection. After restoration works in the building the presentations have been modernized and the museum reopened in 2008.
The impressive building itself, erected in 1911-1913, is also worth a look.
The museum's most precious treasure, however, is the Nebra Sky Disk which is on display in a special room on the second floor.
The bronze disc, made about 3,600 years ago, is a star chart, the oldest depiction of astronomic phenomenons we know. The story of its find sounds like a whodunnit. In 1999 illegal treasure seekers excavated it on the summit of Mittelberg, a hill near Nebra on the Unstrut river in southern Saxony-Anhalt. They sold it. The object showed up in the hands of several traders until in 2002 undercover policemen in Basel got hold of it, pretending to be private collectors who wanted to buy it.
Opening hours: Tues 9.00 - 19.30 , Wed, Thurs, Fri 9.00 - 17.00, Sat, Sun and holidays 10.00 - 18.00
Entrance fee: adults 5 €, concessions 3 €, kds 2.50 €
Halle in Postage Stamps
"Some Finds from my Collection"
The DDR stamp in the honour of the city's 1000 years anniversary, issued 1961, shows Halle as the city of chemistry. The scientist refers both to the university and the huge chemical factories in the surroundings, the base of the region's economy.
The background shows a panorama of the market square. Note that the Red Tower (Roter Turm) is still lacking its pointed top.
"The Socialist Picture of Halle"
This stamp is part of the 1980's standard series of 'everyday' postage stamps that show buildings in cities of the DDR. Socialist buildings, of course. Halle is represented by two modern Plattenbau skyscrapers and a monument to the revolutions of 1848, 1925 and 1949, showing three giant fists.
The 500th anniversary of Franckesche Stiftungen was honoured with a special stamp in 1998, eight years after the German reunification, thus in a completely different political context.
"Georg Friedrich Händel"
The West German post dedicated a special stamp to Halle's most famous son, the composer Georg Friedrich Händel, to mark his 300th birthday in 1985.
This stamp in honour of the painter Lyonel Feininger shows his painting of Halle's Marktkirche.