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Magdeburg (German pronunciation: [ˈmakdəbʊɐ̯k]; local: [ˈmaxdəbʊɪç]; Low Saxon: Meideborg, [ˈmaˑɪdebɔɐx]), the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, is situated at the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe.

Emperor Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor, lived during most of his reign in the town and was buried in the cathedral after his death. Magdeburg's version of German town law, known as Magdeburg rights, spread throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The city is also well-known for the 1631 Sack of Magdeburg, which hardened Protestant resistance during the Thirty Years' War.



Founded by Charlemagne in 805 as Magadoburg (probably from Old High German magado for big, mighty and burga for fortress'[2]), the town was fortified in 919 by King Henry I the Fowler against the Magyars and Slavs. In 929 the city went to Edward the Elder's daughter Edith, through her marriage with Henry's son Otto I, as a Morgengabe — a Germanic customary gift received by the new bride from the groom and his family after the wedding night. Edith loved the town and often lived there; at her death she was buried in the crypt of the Benedictine abbey of Saint Maurice, later rebuilt as the cathedral. In 937, Magdeburg was the seat of a royal assembly. Otto I also continually returned to it and was also buried in the cathedral. He granted the abbey the right to income from various tithes and to corvée labor from the surrounding countryside.

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