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(häl`ə), Fr. Hal, commune (1991 pop. 32,758), Flemish Brabant prov., central Belgium, on the Charleroi-Brussels Canal. It is a commercial and industrial center. Manufactures include textiles, carpets, and iron and steel products. Halle's Gothic Church of Our Lady (14th–15th cent.), a popular pilgrimage site, contains a celebrated miraculous image of the Virgin.


city (1994 pop. 195,370), Saxony-Anhalt, central Germany, on the Saale River. It is an industrial center and a major transportation hub. Manufactures include chemicals, refined sugar and other food products, machinery, rubber, cement, and electrical and chemical products. Lignite and potash are mined in the region. Industrialization has caused Halle and the region surrounding it to become one of the most polluted areas in Europe. Located on the site of Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements, Halle was first mentioned in the 9th cent. In 968 it was given to the archbishops of Magdeburg, who frequently resided there. The city was a member (1281–1478) of the Hanseatic League and accepted (1544) the Reformation. Halle was annexed by Brandenburg in 1648. The famous Univ. of Halle was founded in 1694, and in 1817 it absorbed the Univ. of Wittenberg. In Halle in 1695 the philanthropist A. H. Francke founded a school for paupers, the first of the Francke Institutes. The first Bible Society was founded at Halle in 1710. Noteworthy buildings include the Gothic Red Tower (1418–1506) and the Marienkirche, a 16th-century church. The composer Handel was born (1685) in Halle.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a district in the southwest of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Area, 8,800 sq km; population, 1,931,500 (1969). Its administrative center is the city of Halle. The larger, southern portion of the Halle District is situated between the Thuringian Forest (and the Finne Ridge, with an altitude of 380 m) and the eastern spurs of the Harz Mountains, with altitudes of up to 582 m; in the north it covers part of the lowlands along the Elbe River and the Fläming upland. Other rivers are the Saale, the Mulde, and their tributaries. The climate is moderate. The average January temperature is about 0° C and the average July temperature, about 18° C; the annual precipitation is about 600-700 mm. Mixed and broad-leaved forests predominate.

Halle is one of the leading industrial districts of the GDR; in 1968 it furnished over 15.5 percent of the national industrial production (by value) and, in particular, 41 percent of the production of the chemical industry, 31.2 percent of metallurgy (mostly nonferrous), over 18 percent of fuel and power, 11.3 percent of general and transportation machine building, and 31.2 percent of building materials. There are areas in the district that are rich in brown coal, potassium salts (center in Bernburg), rock salt (center in Halle), copper ore (Mansfeld), and rare metals. Utilizing these deposits and electrical energy, the energy-consuming branches of the chemical industry, as well as the smelting of copper, aluminum, and rare metals, have become especially well developed. Widely represented are the food, leather and shoe, and cellulose and paper industries. The Halle District is renowned for its production of agricultural produce; in harvesting wheat and barley it takes first place in the country and second place in harvesting sugar beets. Horticulture is well developed. Swine and sheep are the predominant livestock. There is shipping on the Elbe and its tributary, the Saale; ports include Halle, Dessau, and Aken.




city in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), on the Saale River, administrative center of the Halle District. Population, 263,000 (1968). Transportation junction and river port; center of the leading chemical-industry region, exploiting local resources of brown coal and potassium salts. Among Halle’s industries are machine building of various kinds, including machine tool and railroad car construction, food (especially sugar), chemicals and pharmaceuticals, cement, and woodworking. It is one of the most important book-publishing centers of the country. Located there are the Academy of Natural Sciences (1652), the university (1694), zoological gardens, and a museum of primitive history.

The center of Halle is the old city with its irregular medieval plan. At the Marktplatz are the so-called Red Tower (1418-1516), the spacious Marienkirche (1529-54), and the monument to a native of Halle, the composer G. F. Händel (1859). Among the old buildings are the Moritzburg Castle (1484—1503), now a museum; a spacious cathedral (about 1300-50), and the Moritzkirche (1388-16th century). The university (1832-34) was built by K. F. Schinkel. New quarters surround the old city; a socialist city, Halle-Neustadt, has been created.


Mrusek, H.-J. Halle/Saale. Leipzig [1964].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in E central Germany, in Saxony-Anhalt, on the River Saale: early saltworks; a Hanseatic city in the late Middle Ages; university (1694). Pop.: 240 119 (2003 est.)
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