Lush green frames the imposing River Elbe as it meanders from the south-east through extensive meadows and sandbanks on its way north, through the capital of Saxony-Anhalt. Magdeburg is famous for its medieval church spires and fortress ruins and it and its beguiling landscapes are well worth a visit on the way up to the North Sea.
Much like the Elbe, Magdeburg has its own flow. According to a Forsa survey, nowhere in Germany do people get up earlier than in Saxony-Anhalt. To be exact, on average, they rise for the day at 6:39—a whole nine minutes earlier than anywhere else in the country. And they’re not only the first past the post when it comes daily habits! Magdeburg gained the nickname “Otto’s City” not only because King Otto the Great founded the Archbishopric of Magdeburg in 968 from where he ruled the Holy Roman Emperor, but also because of its most famous son and mayor, Otto von Guericke, whose scientific work in the 17th century not only led to the invention of the barometer, but also vacuum technology and ultimately the air pump. Today, the physicist is commemorated with the Otto von Guericke University and several other locations around the city including a statue near the town hall.
Picture: Jahrtausendturm in Elbauenpark © MVGM GmbH/www.andreaslander.de
Magdeburg and its 235,000 inhabitants count as the second largest city in the state of Saxony-Anhalt after Halle (Saale), but in medieval times it was a metropolis and, thanks to Martin Luther, the centre of the Reformation. His place of work, Magdeburg Cathedral, still shapes the City’s skyline on the banks of the River Elbe. Home to medieval sculptures not found anywhere else in Europe, the cathedral is a real tourist magnet. Another is the 60-metre tall Jahrtausendturm (Millennium Tower) located in the Elbauenpark, which is one of the highest wooden towers in the world and houses an exhibition on the development of sciences over the past 6,000 years. The Elbauenpark itself is verdant oasis offering a range of culture, sport and leisure activities ranging from a lake stage to a butterfly house. The city is also home to the unusual and colourful Grüne Zitadelle (Green Citadel) building—one of the last to be deigned by Friedensreich Hundertwasser—that adorns Magdeburg’s most famous street, Breiter Weg, which is Europe’s longest and grandest baroque streets. Magdeburg—a city that almost completely lost its historic centre—is constantly reinventing itself as a lively and creative place to be and can look forward to a bright future thanks to its fantastic location as a European road, rail and water transport hub.
Magdeburg’s excellent transportation links have long made it one of Germany’s oldest industrial heartlands. The road and rail networks connect the city to Europe’s most important transportation routes while the River Elbe acts as a crucial link to Hamburg, its port and the rest of the world. As important to Magdeburg’s economy as the logistics industry are machinery and plant engineering, healthcare business and environmental technology. The state capital of Saxony-Anhalt is also an important site for numerous public institutions—from the state government and its ministries to numerous courts and a wealth of research institutions. At the heart, quite literally, is Bechtle. Fantastically located, just like the city itself. “85 per cent of our customers are from the public sector and are located within a two-mile radius of our location,” explains Mirko Mügge, Managing Director, Bechtle Magdeburg. The team there have been granted numerous framework agreements and have many years of experience in the specific requirements of their public-sector customers.
Picture: View from the roof terrace of the Green Citadel, the last project of Friedensreich Hundertwasser © Andreas Lander
In 2022, Bechtle Magdeburg (a branch of Bechtle Leipzig) celebrates its 20th anniversary. Since 2015, the number of staff has tripled to 21, which is no doubt down to the great atmosphere. “We have a very diverse team made up of those with huge experience and an extensive network and younger colleagues, who bring a whole new perspective. Everyone learns from each other,” says Mirko Mügge. Customers in Magdeburg are spoilt for choice with the Bechtle Group’s entire product portfolio. “What also sets us apart is our experience in the field of cloud-based application virtualisation,” continues the managing director. An encouraging foundation for successful growth. However, the office at Hasselbachplatz may be ideally located, but its already bursting at the seams. “To ensure we have the space we need to grow into the future, we are already planning to move to a new, larger site,” says Mirko Mügge. From there, Bechtle will not only continue to serve customers in and around Magdeburg, but be an IT partner for the whole of Saxony-Anhalt.
Bechtle IT-Systemhaus Magdeburg
I would describe myself in three words as...
...analytical, success-oriented, empathetic.
One thing nobody knows about me.
I regularly play jump-and-run games with my daughters on the Playstation. I’m always very enthusiastic and I even win sometimes.
The super power I’d like to have.
The strength, endurance and the reactions of Captain America.
My perfect day.
Breakfast on the terrace. No traffic jams on the drive to work. A working day without any unwelcome, stressful challenges. No traffic jams on the drive home and a peaceful evening with the family.
My favourite city.
Leipzig. A city of free spirits, inspiration and superlatives Leipzig is also the number one in Germany for records.
Things I couldn’t live without.
I find it difficult to imagine a life without friends and family. It’s the people I have around me that make my life worth living. On the other hand, I can live without materials things.
My favourite word.
If I cast an eye over my desk, I see…
...cherished, enthusiastic, and greatly appreciated sales employees.
It’s this job and nothing else because…
…I really enjoy having freedom of discretion and working in a great team.
For those who have travelled extensively in Germany, you’re sure to have driven past the motorway exit for Magdeburg countless times. Next time you see the sign though you’ll have countless reasons to turn off.
Anne-Katrin Singer, Operations/Service Management, and Christopher Gloßner, Service Coordination at Bechtle Magdeburg give us their tips for the best things to see and do in the riverside city.
Franx serves up internationally inspired, creative dishes in a 1920s-style restaurant. It’s located on Hegelstraße—one of the city’s nicest streets close to the cathedral.
If you would like a glorious view over the River Elbe to accompany your meal, the terrace at Culinaria is the place to be. Here, you’ll be treated to seasonal and regional ingredients and a menu that changes weekly and features modern Italian fusion cuisine.
The Art Hotel boasts individually and tastefully furnished rooms in the style of Friedensreich Hundertwasser as it is located in the Green Citadel right in the heart of the city.
If you stay at Motel One, not only will you be walking distance from the city’s sights, but will have the comfort of a modern hotel to return to after a busy day. Located right by the cathedral, the hotel is housed in a historic building.
Picture: Seebühne © Andreas Lander
Breiter Weg in particular is full of small boutiques, concept stores and also Fritz Wahle—Magdeburg’s oldest book shop opened in 1841.
Situated directly on the banks of the River Elbe, the Allee-Centre is a modern shopping centre with over 150 shops, restaurants and services.
One of the popular places to take photos is the vertical-lift Hub bridge. Today, it’s used solely as a pedestrian bridge and for cultural events.
The Millennium Tower in the Elbauenpark—aka the cleverest tower in the world—is home to 6,000 years of scientific wonders for visitors young and old. From a hand axe to an X-ray telescope, cave paintings to CT scans—250 exhibits across five floors show just how far we humans have come.
The Schweizer Milchkuranstalt is a cosy beer garden located in the Fürstenwallpark overlooking the Elbe and cathedral, where you can try out local beers and a small selection of excellent wines in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
At Mademoiselle Cupcake, you get exactly what it says on the tin—a wide section of delicious cakes. The lovely, small café has a certain je ne sais quoi and you cannot go wrong with its freshly ground and brewed coffee. The cappuccino is of particular note.
Magdeburg Cathedral, or to give it its proper name the Cathedral of Saints Maurice and Catherine, is Germany’s oldest Gothic cathedral. Construction started in 1209 and wasn’t completed for over 300 years. Otto the Great, who established the Holy Roman Empire, is buried here and that together with its 99-metre tower make it the city’s most famous landmark.
Right at the heart of Magdeburg’s old town is the Unser Lieben Frauen convent which is today home to the Museum of Fine Art.
The Rothensee boat lift has been helping shipping overcome a normal water level difference of 16 metres for over 60 years and connects the River Elbe with the Docks in Magdeburg. In 2001, the lift was replaced by a lock, but it is still operated as a monument to its technology.
The Elbauenpark is a leisure park located on the site of the 1999 federal horticultural show and is considered to be the most attractive destinations for a day out in Saxony-Anhalt. Alongside the numerous events held on the lake stage and the various themed gardens, you can also make the most of several sporting opportunities—from a climbing park and a summer toboggan run to fitness and skater parcours.
Fancy a bike ride? Magdeburg is perfect for one as the countryside around the city is flat and you can access the 1,220 km Elbe cycle path—one of the most famous in Germany—directly from the city.
Foto: Süßes von Mademoiselle Cupcake © Mademoiselle Cupcake