Dessau

Dessau, city (1994 pop. 93,290), Saxony-Anhalt, E Germany, at the confluence of the Elbe and Mulde rivers. It is an industrial city, river port, and rail and road transport center. Before World War II it was the site of a large aircraft factory. Present industries include a shipyard, armaments, and vehicle, machinery, and chemical works. Dessau was first known as a German settlement in 1213. In 1603 it became the residence of the line of Anhalt -Dessau. From 1925 to 1932 it was the seat of the Bauhaus art school, headed by Walter Gropius and widely regarded as the most significant art school in the 20th cent. the school was converted into a museum in 1977. The city was severely damaged in World War II. The Marienkirche in Dessau, a 16th-century church, has an altarpiece by Lucas Cranach, the younger. The philosopher Moses Mendelssohn was born (1729) in Dessau.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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