vorige Hefte

Rüdiger und Christine Just:
Salt Mines in Saxony-Anhalt

When discussing the salt mines in Saxony-Anhalt, it must be remembered that this federal German state is made up of various regions with different historical developments. The area only existed as an administratively independent territory under various names (Province of Saxony, Province of Saxony-Anhalt, State of Saxony-Anhalt) from July 1945 to July 1952. After German reunification, the state was re-founded in 1990 with the borders remaining more or less as they were in 1952.
The former archdiocese / duchy of Magdeburg forms a large part of today's Saxony-Anhalt. The remaining parts are made up of the former duchies of Anhalt, as reflected in the name of the state, as well as parts of Kursachsen (Electoral Saxony). The salt works in Halle, Schönebeck/Salzelmen and Stassfurt were important salt mines in the archdiocese /duchy of Madgeburg, some of them were even in operation in the Middle Ages, whilst others such as Sülldorf and Sohlen were of little significance. A number of salt mines in the Saxon territories, which are today part of Saxony-Anhalt, had that their heyday in the 18th century. Artern, Kösen and Dürrenberg deserve particular mention. There were also a number of smaller saltworks such as Poserna (near Weissenfels), Teuditz and Kötzschau (near Dürrenberg).

The less recent of the salt mines located in the archdiocese (duchy of Magdeburg and in Saxony has been described several times in various essays. Therefore the present article only outlines this period in brief. However, the more recent history of the saltworks from the foundation of the state of Saxony-Anhalt to the closure of the mines in the 1960s has not been written about in detail. Therefore, this article concentrates on this part of their history.