Saxony-Anhalt săk´sənē-än´hält [key], Ger. Sachsen-Anhalt, state (1994 pop. 2,965,000), 7,892 sq mi (20,445 sq km), E Germany. Magdeburg is the capital. It is bordered on the east by Brandenburg, on the west by Lower Saxony, and in the south by Thuringia and Saxony. Besides Magdeburg, major cities include Dessau and Halle. The southwest corner of the state is occupied by the Harz Mts. The region is noted for industrial production. It regained its status as a state in 1990, prior to German reunification. Historically the region was a part of the duchy of Saxony until the 12th cent., when it split into several units. Prussia dominated the region after the 17th cent., until Leopold IV of Anhalt-Dessau consolidated the three existing duchies in 1863. In 1871 the area was made a state of the German empire. As constituted in 1947 under Soviet military occupation, Saxony-Anhalt consisted, roughly, of the former state of Anhalt, the former Prussian province of Saxony, and several small territories of the former state of Brunswick. Saxony-Anhalt was abolished as an administrative district in 1952, and its territory was included in the districts of Halle, Magdeburg, Leipzig, and Cottbus.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: German Political Geography