Magdeburg (Mag-de-boorg), the capital of Prussian Saxony, and one of the chief fortresses of the German empire, 90 miles by rail SW. of Berlin and 72 N. of Leipzig. It lies in a cheerless country, on the left bank mainly of the Elbe, which, here 280 yards wide, branches into three channels, and forms two islands. On the smaller of these still stands the Citadel (1683-1702); but otherwise the old fortifications have since 1866 been built over or converted into promenades, their place being taken by a cordon of thirteen forts. The cruciform Gothic cathedral, rebuilt between 1207 and 1550, is 400 feet long, and has two western towers 341 feet high. It contains the tombs of the Emperor Otho the Great, of his first wife, the English princess Editha, and of Archbishop Ernest, whose monument (1497) is a masterpiece of Peter Vischer of Nuremberg. In front of the town-hall (1691-1866) is the equestrian statue of Otho (13th century) ; and of several other monuments the most noteworthy are the Soldiers' Memorial (1877) and a statue of Luther (1886). The industries comprise huge ironworks, distilleries, cotton-mills, etc.; for sugar it is the first market of Germany. Pop. (1875) 122,789 ; (1900) 229,670, of whom over 15,000 are Catholics, and 2000 Jews. Founded by Charlemagne in 805, and refounded by Editha after its destruction by the Wends in 924, Magdeburg was in 968 made the seat of an archbishopric, and had 40,000 inhabitants in 1524, when, embracing the Reformation, it incurred the combined wrath of emperor and primate. It successfully withstood Maurice of Saxony (1550); but during the Thirty Years' War it suffered fearfully. In 1629 it was vainly besieged for six months by Wallenstein ; in May 1631, after an heroic defence (2000 against 25,000), it was taken by Tilly and burned to the ground, the cathedral (reconsecrated for Catholic worship) being almost all that remained after the three days' sack, in which nearly the whole pop. of 36,000 perished by fire or sword or drowning in the river. In 1648 the archbishopric was converted into a secular duchy, and conferred on the House of Brandenburg. In 1803 the French annexed it to the kingdom of Westphalia; but in 1814 it was finally restored to Prussia.