Magdeburg : [ˈmakdəbʊrk]; Low Saxon: Meideborg, [ˈmaˑɪdebɔɐx]), the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, lies on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe. Emperor Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor, lived during most of his reign in the town and was buried in the cathedral after his death. Magdeburg's version of German town law, known as Magdeburg rights (Magdeburger Recht in German), spread throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The city is also well-known for the 1631 Sack of Magdeburg, which hardened Protestant resistance during the Thirty Years' War.
In the OTL, Magdeburg suffered an infamous sack and massacre by Count Tilly's (mainly mercenary) Catholic League army on the 20th of May 1631. The attack took place about a week before Grantville landed in 1631 Europe. When news of the massacre reached Swedish king Gustatvus Adolphus, he flew into a rage, breaking chairs and blaspheming in his camp in the principality of Brandenburg, while cursing virtually all of Germany's princes, and in particular the Prince-Elector of Saxony, John George I. Subsequently, after the founding of the Confederated Principalities of Europe, Gustavus decided to make Magdeburg the capital of his new trans-Baltic empire. This decision, together with the area's advantages with regards to transportation and industrial development, led to relatively quick rebuilding and expansion, as well as considerable immigration, and Magdeburg quickly grew to be the largest city in the Germanies.
Magdeburg's political status within the United States of Europe was somewhat complex, as it was simultaneously the national capital, the capital of Magdeburg province, and an imperial city in its own right. In the mid-1630s, the mayor of the imperial city of Magdeburg was Otto Gericke, and the governor of Madgeburg province was Matthias Strigel.
There were also complexities in administering Magdeburg as a city. While Gericke was in overall charge of rebuilding, the old walled city, commonly known as "Old Magdeburg", continued to operate under its old city charter, which limited his authority in that area. However, the old charter did not apply to the larger, more populous "Greater Magdeburg" which had grown up outside the old walled area. As of December 1635, Greater Magdeburg had not been given a separate charter, so Mayor Gericke had broad authority there. Also, some areas in both Old Magdeburg and Greater Magdeburg had belonged to the Archdiocese (Erzstift) of Magdeburg, and were administered – as they had been in the OTL – by Ludwig von Anhalt-Cöthen. However, in December of 1635, he granted authority over those areas to the office of the mayor of Greater Magdeburg.
In December of 1635, Mayor Gericke reconvened the Schöffenstuhl, which had been the senior court for the association of Magdeburger Recht cities, as the senior court for the imperial city of Magdeburg.
In addition to being a political center, Magdeburg is an industrial center, and is essentially a working-class city. As such, it is a stronghold of the Fourth of July Party and of the Committees of Correspondence. Thanks to the efforts of Mary Simpson and others, it is also becoming one of Europe's cultural centers.