Nordhausen (nôrtˈhouˌzən) [key], city (1994 pop. 44,744), Thuringia, central Germany, at the southern foot of the Harz Mts. It is an industrial center and rail junction. Manufactures include clothing, beer and liquor, chewing tobacco, wood products, heavy machinery, and shaft-sinking processes. Nearby are potash mines. Known in the early 10th cent., Nordhausen was chartered in the 12th cent. and was a free imperial city from 1253 to 1803. In 1815 it passed to Prussia. The city was severely damaged in World War II. Noteworthy buildings include the cathedral (12th–13th cent.) and the late Gothic city hall.
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