First documented as a Hanseatic town in 1359, Stendal, the historic centre of the Altmark, has a population of around 42,000. Around 1165 - after Albrecht the Bear granted the right to hold markets - Stendal quickly developed into a flourishing community.
Numerous buildings and works of art from the Hanseatic era have been preserved. These include the market square ensemble with the town hall (inside is the oldest secular carved wall north of the Alps, dating from 1462), surmounted by the towers of St Mary's Church, the Uenglingen Gate and the Tangermünde Gate. Also on the market square is a very special symbol of former glory: the Stendal Roland from 1525, the third largest in Germany.