TORGAII, a fortified town in the Prussian province of Saxony, is situated on the left bank of the Elbe, 30 miles north-east of Leipsic and 26 miles south-east of Witten berg. Its most conspicuous building is the Schloss Hartenfels, on an island in the Elbe, begun in 1481 and completed in 1544 by the elector John Frederick the Magnanimous. This castle is one of the largest Renaissance buildings in Germany, and contains a chapel consecrated by Luther in 1544. The town-house is a quaint building of the middle of the 16th century, and there are several other large and fine buildings, chiefly modern. The parish church contains the tomb of Catherine von Bora, Luther's wife. The once flourishing weaving and brewing industries of Torgau have declined in modern times ; but the town has manufactures of gloves and miscellaneous articles, and carries on trade in grain, &c., on the Elbe and by rail. The fortifications, begun in 1807 at Napoleon's command, are largely surrounded with water ; they include a tete-de-pont at the end of the bridge across the Elbe. In 1885 the population was 10,988 (in 1783 4000), a large proportion of them soldiers.
Torgan is said to have existed as the capital of a distinct principality in the time of the emperor Henry I., but by 1305 it was in the possession of the margrave of Meissen. It was a frequent residence of the electors of Saxony. In Reformation times Torgan appears as the spot where John of Saxony and Philip of Hesse formed their league against the Roman Catholic imperial estates ; and the Torgau Articles, drawn up here by Luther in 1530, were the basis of the Augsburg Confession. The Thirty Years' War inflicted great suffering on the town. In 1760 Frederick the Great defeated the Austrians in the neighbourhood of Torgau. The town capitulated to Tauentzien on January 10, 1814, after a siege of three months.