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Dessau-Roßlau, lying at the meeting point between the Elbe and Mulde rivers, stands for enlightenment and modernism. Quite uniquely for Europe, you can find no fewer than four UNESCO World Heritage Sites here: the historical Bauhaus, the Dessau-Wörlitzer Gardens, the Mittelelbe Biosphere Reserve, and Luther's Lecture on Romans protected as part of the Memory of the World Programme.

The variety of the cultural tradition of the region is only matched by the colourfulness of the Dessau-Roßlau Kirchentag. This will be opened with the Ecumenical Ascension Day Service in the market square. This will be followed immediately by a joint supper, the Anhalt meal, along Zerbster Straße, from the evangelical Marienkirche to the Catholic St. Peter and Paul Church. The Anhalt theatre and culture scene, with its offerings, will contribute cultural delights to the programme.

Of course, as well as the Enlightenment in the city of the Bauhaus, the German FEO and the neighbouring Wörlitzer Gardens, topics surrounding urban planning, architecture and environment will also be focused on.

The motto for this Kirchentag makes reference to the words of Moses Mendelssohn: "Quest for truth, love beauty, want what is good, do what is best". The most famous son of Dessau was a forerunner in the Enlightenment and, as a Jewish philosopher, campaigned for freedom of religion and emancipation of the Jews in Germany.

On Friday 26 and Saturday 27 May, visitors will be greeted by an attractive and varied programme with plenty of highlights: the Anhalt village (presentation by the Church, town and countryside; exciting goings-on at the stands; regional market), church services, devotions, Bible studies, lectures, discussions, workshops, theatre productions, an exciting kids, youth and family programme, tours around the Anhalt towns, e.g. Köthen and Zerbst, and performances in Wörlitzer Park. The final celebration of the Kirchentag will be the church service held on Sunday on the banks of the river Elbe in front of the gates of Wittenberg.