Pioneer in demographic change
The town of Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt can look back on a
grand past. The aviation pioneer Hugo Junkers built his
all-metal aircraft here. Bitterfeld, not far from Dessau,
was, in the 19th century, the site of a major electrochemical
plant that synthesized chlorine, one of the essential
materials needed by an industry developing at a
tempestuous pace. The chemicals company I.G. Farben
Mitteldeutschland was attracted here by brown coal
deposits in the region, as were major power plants and
one of Germany’s first aluminium factories. The region,
with its Leuna, Wolfen, and Bitterfeld sites, was at that
time one of Europe’s most important industrial areas.
In Dessau itself, Saxony-Anhalt’s third-largest city,
a pioneering school for architecture and design, the
“Bauhaus Dessau”, was founded in 1920 based on plans
developed by Walter Gropius. The town is surrounded
by numerous palace gardens and parks that go back
to ideas developed by Leopold III, Friedrich Franz of
Anhalt-Dessau. Today the Garden Realm of Dessau-
Wörlitz is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and one of
the region’s main attractions.
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