Dessau was first mentioned in 1213. The city became permanent residence of the court of the Askanier (Anhaltiner) in 1471. Under their rule, many grand buildings have been built. Today only the “Johannbau”, the western part of the castle, and the “Marienkirche” are well-preserved.
In the 18th century, Leopold the First of Anhalt Dessau initiated the construction of new road axes and increased the size of the city. During the sovereignty of Friedrich Franz, Dessau developed into a centre of German Enlightenment. In this particular period of time, the famous Garden Realm Dessau-Woerlitz was created.
In 1774 Basedow established the “Philantropinum” - a reformed public school, which became known in Germany as well as abroad. It is the earliest model of a national school focussed on natural science and the practical aspects of life. In the 19th century, Dessau was the capital of the entire Ducal Anhalt. With the Industrial Revolution growing, the face of the city changed.
In 1919 Hugo Junkers developed and built the first metal aeroplane in the world.
The Junkers Facilities dominated the industrial structure of Dessau.
The world-renowned “Bauhaus” settled over from Weimar to Dessau in 1926.
Six years later, the National Socialists forced the closure of the “Bauhaus”. Today it is used as a museum and a lecture and seminar facility for the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences.
The Bauhaus brought together many world-famous architects like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Hannes Mayer, Marcel Breuer, Carl Fieger and a number of renowned artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer, Josef Albers and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy.
Since 1990 architecture and infrastructure have changed a lot. A large number of historical buildings have been restored. Nowadays, more than 80,000 people live in Dessau and it is the third biggest city of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Anhalt University of Applied Sciences
The first international master program for membrane structures is held at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau. Today more than 1000 students and about 60 professors are learning and teaching in Dessau respectively. The Anhalt University comprises several departments which spread over three different locations:
- electrical engineering
- food technology, biotechnology and process engineering
- mechanical engineering and industrial engineering and management
- computer science, information management and technical translation
- agriculture, dietetics and landscape architecture
- architecture, facility management and surveying
The master program of membrane structures is hosted by the department of architecture, facility management and surveying. The seminars and lectures take place at the famous Bauhaus-Building in Dessau and others close to it.