Cutting-Edge Research Where Vineyards Once Grew

26.04.2018 von Ines Godazgar in Featured, Miscellaneous
The area between the Heide district in Halle and the river Saale was used in the past for very different things. The land-use demarcation “vineyard” (Weinberg in German) was based on the fact that vineyards had been officially documented multiple times on this land since the 13th century. The fruit played such an important role in Mediaeval wine culture that in 1750 the chronicler Dreyhaupt compared the good wine to that of the Rhine Valley.
The Institute of Chemistry at MLU, inaugurated on the Weinberg Campus on 3 September 1964.
The Institute of Chemistry at MLU, inaugurated on the Weinberg Campus on 3 September 1964. (Foto: UAHW, Rep.40 V, Nr. 398)

The first verifiable settlement was the former “State Nursing Home in Nietleben” in 1844. It was closed in 1935 and its buildings were integrated into the nearby army and air force communication school that had been built in 1934. Ultimately an army garrison was built along Heideallee.  

During the GDR up to 9,000 Soviet soldiers were stationed on the Heide-Süd site. The area was enclosed by a wall and nearly hermetically sealed off from the outside world until the troops pulled out in 1991.

The western half of the site saw somewhat more activity. The Institute of Chemistry was built between 1952 and 1955 in what is now Kurt-Mothes-Strasse. More buildings were constructed in subsequent years, including the Institute of Pharmacy which was constructed between 1963 and 1965 in today’s Wolfgang-Langenbeck Strasse. Furthermore, 1974 saw the start of the construction of the University Hospital, which rose up in Ernst-Grube-Strasse. Originally designed to mainly treat the inhabitants of Halle-Neustadt, its ownership passed to MLU in 1979.

There was also growth from outside the university: in 1958 biochemist Kurt Mothes founded the Institute for Plant Biochemistry on behalf of the German Academy of Sciences of the GDR. After the fall of the Berlin wall it became the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry. In 1960 the Institute for Solid-State Physics and Electronmicroscopy was founded, also an institute of the GDR Academy of Sciences, which became the Max Plank Institute for Microstructure Physics in 1992.

Following the Reunification of Germany, plans were made to establish several new university research institutions on the site. In addition, non-university institutions were increasingly moving to the location, including one of the first institutions – the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft – in 1992; today the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS is located here.

The first Technology and Founders’ Centre was built in 1993. Just five years later the BioCentre was inaugurated that henceforth acted as an interface between applied research, development and production. That sparked off the settlement of many more research institute and companies. Together they make up the largest technology park in Central Germany, which is likewise the largest location for innovation in the region.

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