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STENDAL, a town of Germany, in the province of Prussian Saxony, picturesquely situated on the Uchte, 70 m. W. of Berlin on the main line of railway to Hanover and at the junction of lines to Bremen, Magdeburg and Wittenberge. Pop. (1905), 23,281. Among the relics of its former importance are the cathedral, built in 1420-1424 (though originally founded in 1188), restored in 1893 and now housing the archaeological collection of the Altmark, the Gothic church of St Mary, founded in 1447, a " Roland column " of 1535, and two fortified gateways, dating from the 13th century. The last form the chief remains of the ancient fortifications, the site of which is now mostly occupied by promenades. A monument to the archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) commemorates his birth in the town. Stendal is the seat of a large railway workshop, and carries on various branches of textile industry, besides the manufacture of tobacco, machinery, stoves, gold-leaf, etc. The earliest printing-press in the Altmark was erected here, and published an edition of the Sachsenspiegel in 1488 as its first book.

Stendal was founded in 1151 by Albert the Bear, on the site of a Wendish settlement, and soon afterwards acquired a municipal charter. Becoming capital of the Altmark and a frequent imperial residence, it rose to a considerable degree of prosperity, in part recently restored to it by its railway connexions. When the mark was divided in 1258, Stendal became the seat of the elder or Stendal branch of the house of Ascania, which, however, became extinct in 1320. The original Wends were gradually fused with the later Saxons, although the Platea Slavonica, mentioned in 1475, was still distinguished as the Wenden Strasse in 1567. The population still exhibits a marked Slavonic element.

See Gotze, Urkundliche Geschichte der Stadt Stendal (Stendal, 1873).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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