Torgau (tôrˈgou) [key], city, Saxony, E central Germany, a port on the Elbe River. Manufactures include paper, iron products, glass, pottery, and agricultural machinery. Torgau is an important railway junction and harbor. Long a strategic crossing point on the Elbe, Torgau was chartered in the 13th cent. In 1526 the Protestant princes founded the Torgau League there. The articles of the league were written (1530) by Luther, Melanchthon, and others, and they served as a basis for part of the Augsburg Confession. In the Thirty Years War, Gustavus II of Sweden and his allies held (1631) an important council of war in Torgau. In the Seven Years War, Frederick II of Prussia defeated (1760) the Austrians under Daun near the city. Torgau passed in 1815 to Prussia. On Apr. 27, 1945, near the end of World War II, advance elements of the U.S. and Soviet armies made contact for the first time there. Noteworthy buildings of the city include the 16th-century city hall; a late Gothic church in which Luther's wife, Katharina von Bora, is buried; and the Renaissance-style Hartenfels castle (16th cent.), a residence of the electors of Saxony.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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