This city deserves a second look. The first impression produced by an ever-under-construction train station and dismal tram ride into town is pleasantly swept away by the pretty 1,000-year-old city built on the salt trade. The name Halle comes from the Celtic word for salt, while the Saale, the name of the river the city straddles, is derived from the German word for salt. Halle has suffered from the shortfalls of Communist urban planning, yet the Old Town has an unusual beauty, particularly in its spacious central marketplace, the Markt, with its five distinctive sharp-steeple towers.
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