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ASCHERSLEBEN, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province
of Saxony, 36 m. by rail N.W. from hallE38401-h.htm'>halle, and at the junction
of lines to Cothen and Nienhagen. Pop. (1900) 27,245; (1905)
27,876. It contains one Roman Catholic and four Protestant
churches, a synagogue, a fine town-hall dating from the 16th
century, and several schools. The discovery of coal in the
neighbourhood stimulated and altered its industries. In addition
to the manufacture of woollen wares, for which it has long been
known, there is now extensive production of vinegar, paraffin,
potash and especially beetroot-sugar; while the surrounding
district, which was formerly devoted in great part to market-gardening,
is now turned almost entirely into beetroot fields.
There are also iron, zinc and chemical manufactures, and the
cultivation of agricultural seeds is carried on. In the neighbourhood
are brine springs and a spa (Wilhelmsbad). Aschersleben
was probably founded in the 11th century by count32423-h.htm'>count Esico of
Ballenstedt, the ancestor of the house of Anhalt, whose grandson,
Otto, called himself count32423-h.htm'>count of Ascania and Aschersleben, deriving
the former part of the title from his castle in the neighbourhood
of the town. On the death of Otto III. (1315) Aschersleben
passed into the hands of the bishop of Halberstadt, and at the
peace of 1648 was, with the bishopric, united to Brandenburg.
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