Regional Overview

The Secret Garden

Anhalt belongs to the collections of regions truly devastated by the Second World War. At its heart were the now lost cities of Dessau and Zerbst with centuries of the cultural heritage of the Askanier family. Today we are left only with fragments of a unique playground for the 18th and 19th-century nobility.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Anhalt has a long tradition of innovative architecture, from the Elbe Renaissance, Dessauer Classicism and then Early Modernism of the Bauhaus school.
  • The traces of the Askanier family in Köthen and Wörlitz, in particular how the nobility lived and expected to experience life in the 19th century.
  • The cultural landscapes of the Elbe and the Fläming Moorlands, which remain largely unchanged since the 19th century.





Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel My suggested travel destinations with the top three destinations highlighted.

What is Anhalt?

Anhalt is an ancient Duchy that starts its history in the 14th century. The Askanier dynasty, which ruled over the small realm of Anhalt, had a legendary forefather in the form of Albrecht the Bar, Duke of Saxony, and Margrave of Brandenburg. Albrecht was the first ruler to claim the Slavic areas east of the Elbe for the Empire. Anhalt was the only remaining holding of the Askanier dynasty by the time the royal family surrendered their titles in 1918.

This region is small and rather focused on a particular family due to the somewhat unique landscapes the family created in the 19th century. Rather similar to the Dukes of Hessen and Nassau, the Askanier family renovated their old palaces and constructed massive leisure parks for their own use after the Napoleonic Wars. Today we can see this in the surviving early classicism in the Köthen Palace and in the massive English-Styled garden and Classical palaces of the Wörlitz park. Other legacies of the Askanier family, including the Baroque cityscape of Zerbst and the public works in Dessau, did not survive the war.

Interactive Map

My Quantitative Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

Social Score

3.9 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Hype: 9.2
  • Growth: 7.7
  • Wealth: 0.7
  • Recognition: 1.5
Ease of Travel

3.3 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 1.5
  • Transportation: 6.4
  • Ease of Planning: 7.8
  • Infrastructure: 2.3
  • Interactivity: 1.5
  • Airport: No
Historical Immersion

5.7 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Historical Context: 10
  • Monuments: 6.1
  • Quality*: 4.0
  • Landscape: 6.9
  • Vineyards: 3.4

6.4 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Undiscovered: 7.2
  • Cultural Immersion: 8.2
  • Tradition*: 1



A land of princes united by blood and faith

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