Eastphalia

Regional Overview

Medieval Landscapes

Eastphalia was, as the name suggests, the Eastern counterpart to Westphalia. It formed the heartland of the Saxon lands and was the Imperial domain of the Ottonian Empire in the 10th century. The Ottonian Emperors built castles and cities throughout the region, though the defining event was the devastation of the Thirty Years War some 600 years later. Eastphalia offers the richest medieval heritage in Germany to have survived the centuries.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Cities and palaces founded by the Saxon Emperors of the Ottonian Dynasty. These tended to become wealthy in successive centuries and remain highlights, e.g. Goslar, Halberstadt, and Quedlinburg.
  • The architecture of the Reformation, typically in the form of churches and Renaissance motifs, e.g., in Halle, Clausthal, or Eisleben.
  • The architectural innovation of the High Medieval Period and the transition from Romanesque to Gothic, e.g., Magdeburg, Naumburg, Merseburg, and Halberstadt.

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

What is Eastphalia?

Eastphalia, in its original form also included Lower Saxony, much of Thuringia, and Anhalt. As with Westphalia, the region shrank over time without ever receiving political de-jure recognition.

The region was home to the Ottonian Emperors. Otto I, or Otto the Great, who was the founder of the Holy Roman Empire in 969 ce. He directly continued the Carolingian legacy by integrating Bohemia and much of Middle Francia into a single state. He and his successors struggled to modernize the still tribal institutions that formed the core of the Early Medieval state. As a result, he did not have a capital city, and his court traveled around the Empire, constructing palaces and cities as he went. Eastphalia was the center of his Empire.

With the rise of the Salian Dynasty in 1027, the center of power moved to the Rhineland, where it would stay for 500 years. Eastphalia lost political relevance and split into numerous minor states, city-states, and ecclesiastical authorities. The most powerful state was the Prince-Archbishop of Magdeburg, who rule the entire eastern half of the region.

My Quantitative Travel Rankings

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

Social Score

5.9 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Hype: 7.6
  • Growth: 9.9
  • Wealth: 0.8
  • Recognition: 6.2
Ease of Travel

5.4 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 4.2
  • Transportation: 5.6
  • Ease of Planning: 6.4
  • Infrastructure: 2.1
  • Interactivity: 6.2
  • Airport: Yes
Historical Immersion

6.1 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Historical Context: 5.6
  • Monuments: 4.1
  • Quality*: 8.0
  • Landscape: 4.4
  • Vineyards: 3.3
Authenticity

6.7 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Undiscovered: 7.6
  • Cultural Immersion: 7.1
  • Tradition*: 4.0

Navigation

Saxony

Saxony today is a diverse land focused on the families that emerged from the collapse of the Saxon tribal duchy in the early Middle Ages.

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