Meissen

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Meissen

(mīs`ən), city (1994 pop. 33,075), Saxony, E central Germany, on the Elbe River. A porcelain manufacturing center since 1710, Meissen is famous for its delicate figurines (often called "Dresden" china); the industry is supported by local deposits of kaolin and potter's earth. Other manufactures include metal products, ceramics, and leather goods. Meissen was founded (929) by Henry of Saxony (later German king as Henry I), and it became (965) the seat of the margraviate of Meissen, where the WettinWettin
, German dynasty, which ruled in Saxony, Thuringia, Poland, Great Britain, Belgium, and Bulgaria. It takes its name from a castle on the Saale near Halle. The family gained prominence in the 10th cent.
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 dynasty of Saxony originated. The diocese of Meissen was founded in 968, was suppressed in 1581, and was restored in 1921 with its see at Bautzen. The Albrechtsburg (15th cent.), a large castle, dominates the city; it housed (1710–1864) the royal porcelain manufacture, begun by J. F. Böttger under the patronage of Elector Frederick Augustus I (Augustus II of Poland). Among the other noteworthy buildings of Meissen are the cathedral and the Church of St. Afra (both 13th–15th cent.).

Meissen

 

a city in the German Democratic Republic, in the district of Dresden, at the foot of the Burg mountain massif. Population, 45,600 (1970).

Meissen has been well known for a long time as a center for the porcelain and ceramic industry. Other industries include machine building, metalworking, and jute processing. Manufactures include leather footwear and glazes and paints for ceramics. There is beer production. Among Meissen’s educational institutions are a higher school of agricultural production cooperatives and an engineering school. Deposits of high quality kaolin and clay are located near the city.

A cathedral and castle complex has been preserved on a cliff overlooking the Elbe River. The complex includes the Gothic cathedral of Saints Johannes and Donatus (mid-13th to 15th centuries), which was originally a basilica but became a hall church in the 14th century; its two towers were added in the early 20th century. The principal building in the complex is the Albrechtsburg castle (1471–85; architect, Arnold of Westphalia), which is an example of late Gothic architecture and has lavish stonework. Another late Gothic structure in the complex is the bishop’s palace (late 15th to early 16th centuries; rebuilt, 1912).

Other buildings in Meissen include the Frauenkirche (late 15th century) and the Franziskanerkirche (mid-15th century; now the City Museum). There is an art collection in Albrechtsburg castle, and a museum is located in the Meissen State Porcelain Manufactory.

REFERENCE

Mrusek, H. J. Meissen. Dresden [1957].

Meissen

a town in E Germany, in Saxony, in Dresden district on the River Elbe: famous for its porcelain (Dresden china), first made here in 1710. Pop.: 28 640 (2003 est.)