Online Encyclopedia

ALTENBURG

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 763 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALTENBURG, a town of Germany, capital of the duchy of Saxe-Altenburg, situated near the river Pleisse, 23 M. S. of Leipzig, and at the junction of the Saxon state railways Leipzig-Hof and Altenburg-Zeitz. Pop. (1905) 38,811. The town from its hilly position is irregularly built, but many of its streets are wide, and contain a number of large and beautiful buildings. Its ancient castle is picturesquely situated on a lofty porphyry rock, and is memorable as the place from which, in 1455, Kunz von Kaufungen carried off the young princes Albert and Ernest, the founders of the present royal and ducal families of Saxony. Its beautiful picture gallery, containing portraits of several of the famous princes of the house of Wettin, was almost totally destroyed by fire in January 1905. Altenburg is the seat of the higher courts of the Saxon duchies, and possesses a cathedral and several churches, schools, a library, a gallery of pictures and a school of art, an infirmary and various learned societies. There is also a museum, with natural history, archaeological, and art collections, and among other buildings may be mentioned St Bartholomew's church (1089), the town hall (1562–1564), a lunatic asylum, teachers' seminary and an agricultural academy. There is considerable traffic in grain and cattle brought from the surrounding districts; and twice a year there are large horse fairs. Cigars, woollen goods, gloves, hats and porcelain are among the chief manufactures. There are lignite mines in the vicinity.
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