George Frideric Handel was born Georg Friedrich Händel in Halle on 23 February 1685, in the former Haus zum Gelben Hirschen (House of the Yellow Stag), which is now the Händel-Haus. In 1645 Handel’s father had been appointed town surgeon of Giebichenstein, a suburb of Halle, and in 1660 was ordered to serve the Duke August as 'surgeon-in-ordinary'. He therefore purchased a house near the Duke's residence.

I arrived at the house, not far from the Marktkirche, to find it closed and covered in scaffolding, and not reopening until the late spring of 2009. They might have told me! There were not as many tram cables round the Händel statue in the Markt as suggested by the Rough Guide, so I managed to get some reasonable photos (albeit with a modern clothing store in the background). But there were plenty of other distractions, including the busy market, to prevent me getting a wider view.

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