The town owes its origins to salt. The name comes from the Celtic "Hall", which means "place where salt is prepared". In the Middle Ages, the salt springs formed the basis of the city's wealth. The oldest brotherhood in the world, the Salzwirker-Brüderschaft im Thale zu Halle, still boils salt in the former Royal Prussian salt works according to an old tradition.
Halle has an almost undestroyed historic old town with restored town houses, old places of worship, parks, colourful pub areas and picturesque spots along the Saale. With the ruins of Giebichenstein Castle and the Moritzburg Foundation State Museum of Art, Halle has both the oldest and the youngest castle on the Saale.