city, Saxony-Anhalt Land (state), central Germany, on the Saale River at the mouth of the Wipper River, south of Magdeburg. First mentioned in 961, it was important in the Middle Ages for its position on an old trade route. Its castle, probably dating from the 10th century and later converted into a Renaissance-style chateau, was the residence of the dukes when the town was the capital of the duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg (1251-1468, 1603-1863). Bernburg consisted of two almost completely separate and independent communities; both were chartered in 1311 and were united in 1561. The hill settlement (now called Bergstadt) became a town in 1457 and was incorporated with Bernburg in 1825.
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