Heinrich I & Quedlinburg

Henry became the Duke of Saxony in 912 ad following the death of his father and swiftly consolidated his power as an evolving Kingdom of Germany allowing the Dukes of Swabia, Franconia and Bavaria to keep complete control of their Duchies independantly.

Henry introduced military reforms and developed mounted cavalry as well as building numerous fortresses to defend against the barbarian Magyars who frequently invaded and raided German terriotry. Credited with the defeat of the invading Slavs after the decisive battle of Riade in 933 and the building of the Albrechtsburg at Meissen, Henry stepped into legend as the first ‘German of Germans’ and was buried in Quedlinburg Cathedral.

heinrichmatlda

On the one thousandth anniversary of the death of ‘Heinrich the fowler’, Quedlinburg became the centre of celebrations under the direction of Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmer (who believed he was the reincarnation of Heinrich 1st). Within the colonnaded crypt in Quedlinburg cathedral, Himmler laid a wreath on the tomb of Henry and vowed to continue his mission in the East. A year later, he had the bones of Heinrich ceremonially carried and re-interred within the tomb at Quedlinburg.

Himmlerhenry

The cathedral was pronounced a place of ‘sacred teutonic significance’ and from 1938 until 1945 was the centre of torchlit SS style ceremonies. Himmler himself proclaimed that the spirit of Heinrich spoke to him and advised him in all matters, a belief he never reliqnuished.

Jump to 1994 and both the medieval court and the old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Located North of the Harz mountains, Quedlinburg remains a ‘must see’ on the route of any German roadtrip.

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