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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Altenburg
Map of Germany, position of the city of Altenburg highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 59 ′  N , 12 ° 26 ′  E

Basic data
State : Thuringia
County : Altenburger Land
Height : 202 m above sea level NHN
Area : 45.69 km 2
Residents: 31,633 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 692 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 04600
Primaries : 03447, 034494 (Ehrenberg district)Template: Infobox municipality in Germany / maintenance / area code contains text
License plate : ABG, SLN
Community key : 16 0 77 001
City structure: Core city and 3 districts

City administration address :
Markt 1
04600 Altenburg
Website :
Lord Mayor : André Neumann ( CDU )
Location of the district town Altenburg
in the district of Altenburger Land
Altenburg Dobitschen Fockendorf Gerstenberg Göhren (bei Altenburg) Göllnitz Göpfersdorf Gößnitz Haselbach (bei Altenburg) Heukewalde Heyersdorf Jonaswalde Kriebitzsch Langenleuba-Niederhain Löbichau Lödla Lucka Mehna Meuselwitz Monstab Nobitz Ponitz Posterstein Rositz Nobitz Schmölln Starkenberg Thonhausen Treben Vollmershain Windischleuba Thüringen Landkreis Greiz Sachsen-Anhalt Sachsenmap
About this picture
View of the old town of Altenburg
Altenburg before 1650

Altenburg is a more than 1,000 year old former residence town in the east of the Free State of Thuringia in the middle of the metropolitan region of Central Germany . Altenburg is the district town of the Altenburger Land district . With about 33,000 inhabitants, the city is shown in the regional planning as a middle center with partial functions of a regional center. Altenburg is known for the card game Skat , which was invented here after 1810 . There is an exhibition on this in the Castle and Playing Card Museum .


Geographical location

Altenburg lies in the middle of the city triangle Leipzig-Chemnitz-Gera; 39 km south of Leipzig , 38 km north-west of Chemnitz , 28 km north-east of Gera and 31 km north of Zwickau . It was built on a hilly area, the lowest point at Zschernitzsch at 162 m and the highest at Mockzig at 261 m above sea level. NN. lies. The area is one of the foothills of the Erzgebirge foothills , which ends north of the city in the Leipzig lowland bay.

Altenburg is traversed by the Pleiße , Blaue Flut and Deutscher Bach waters . The river Pleiße flows through the city in the Ehrenberg district in the south. The German Bach flows in the north of Altenburg through the districts of Steinwitz , Drescha , Nord and Kauerndorf , where it flows into the Blue Flood. This rises near Graicha in Altenburger Land and flows through the city from southwest to northeast. It was named after a local dye works, which drained the mostly blue dye works untreated into the stream.


In the deepest layers there is an ancient Paleozoic slate mass , over which porphyry , Zech or red sandstone is stored. Above it is a layer of gravel, some of which contains small deposits of lignite. All of this is covered by a layer of clay and loess about ten meters thick . In a few steep places, such as the castle rock, the top layers were removed due to soil erosion, so that the porphyry came to light.

The city and districts of Altenburg

Neighboring communities

Adjacent communities are the city of Meuselwitz , Treben and Gerstenberg , starting clockwise from the north, Windischleuba in the northeast , Nobitz in the east and south , the city of Schmölln in the southwest , Göhren and Lödla in the west and Rositz in the northwest .

City structure

The urban area is divided into several districts . The largest are the new development areas south-east and north as well as the center. There are also the smaller, almost village-like districts of Rasephas , Kauerndorf , Poschwitz , Zschernitzsch , Drescha and the district of Steinwitz. While none of these districts have their own local councils, the districts of Ehrenberg , Kosma and Zetzscha with their 16 locations each have a local council and a local mayor.

District Area (km²) Residents
Altenburg 19.76 31,529
Ehrenberg 14.10 01,050
Kosma 06.34 00.329
Zetzscha 05.40 00.578

Source: City of Altenburg, population on December 31, 2013


Settlement and ascent to the Kaiserpfalz

The Nikolaiviertel is one of the oldest areas in Altenburg
Watchtower of the city wall

The first settlements in today's urban area emerged around six thousand years ago. Even then, the soil in the Altenburg area was very fertile, and the forests and the fish-rich waters provided enough food. The towering porphyrite rocks also provided protection from attackers. Between 1300 and 700 BC There was a strong settlement in the area, but there are also considerable settlement fluctuations. After the Celts, the region was colonized by the Germanic Hermundurs . The Franks destroyed the Thuringian Empire by AD 534, with the areas between Saale and Mulde not being attached to the empire until 595. As a result of a crisis in the Franconian Empire in 631/632 due to a lost campaign against Bohemia, the Bohemians and their allies advanced into Thuringian areas, but could be repulsed by the new Duke Ratulf . He expressly strengthened the alliance with the Sorbs , who also supported him militarily, and will have invited them to colonize and reclaim free land in the dense forests to the right of the Saale. More and more Sorbs settled in the Altenburg area and then formed a tribe that named itself Plisni after the local river. From the year 838/848, the Frankish is, on the right of the Saale Sorbenmark known. Its eastern border is not exactly known, but since the Margrave Thakulf in Sarau an der Pleiße near Schmölln had property that he sold to the Fulda Monastery , it is to be expected that the Pleißner Land belonged to the Sorbian market. During this time the first castle complex was built on the porphyrite rocks.

Altenburg was first mentioned in a document in 976. This was preceded by the founding of the margraviates Merseburg, Zeitz and Meißen as well as the corresponding dioceses. On August 1, 976, Emperor Otto II gave the city of Altenburg to the Zeitz diocese . The castle was now the rulership center of a district, a Burgward . The next documentary mention was made in 1132, when the later Emperor Lothar III. the Kaiserpfalz Altenburg used. In the document it is called castro Plysn . The imperial palace was the reason that the settlement, which was located directly next to the Palatinate, became a city that bore the name Altenburg. In addition, the imperial road Via Imperii contributed to the fact that craftsmen and merchants settled. In addition to the settlement on Brühl, there was another settlement around the Nikolaikirchturm. This area only came to Altenburg under Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa . After Lothar von Supplinburg , King Conrad III stayed. in 1150 in the Palatinate. Konrad also awarded the burgrave title with extensive territorial rights over the residents of the Pleißengau and Burgkorn income to the burgraves of Altenburg .

Friedrich I. Barbarossa had his first documented stay in February 1165. However, his second visit in July 1172 was of greater importance. After his setback in Italy, he had to expand his power in the area north of the Alps. Territorial changes were carried out. In 1174 Franconian , Egerland and Pliceland territories were merged. Nuremberg , Eger , Altenburg, Colditz , Lausick and Leisnig became important places of Hohenstaufen imperial politics. The foundation of the Augustinian choir monastery of Our Lady of St. Mary on the mountain in front of Altenburg , which is ascribed to Barbarossa, also took place at the same time. Barbarossa stayed four more times in Altenburg, in the years 1180, 1181, 1183 and 1188, which is why the city was nicknamed Barbarossa City . The successor to Heinrich VI. , Philipp von Schwaben , Otto IV. , Friedrich II. , Heinrich VII. , King Rudolf von Habsburg and Adolf von Nassau used Altenburg as a residence. The Polish (senior) Prince Władysław II. The expellee , Duke of Silesia, lived there in exile with his sons Boleslaw and Mieszko from 1146 until his death in 1159.

The Neuer Markt was first mentioned in a document in 1192. It is evidence that the city expanded from the old market Brühl towards the south. In 1223 Altenburg got a second town church with St. Nikolai. The church tower probably dates from the 12th century and previously served as a watchtower. Two other monasteries were also built, a Franciscan monastery at the western end of the city in 1238 and the nunnery of the Magdalenite women (white women) before 1245 . The city wall and with it the city limits were then laid out generously so that no expansion had to be made for a long time. Altenburg also had five city ​​gates .

Owned by the Wettins

Altenburg Castle

In 1253 the Wettins got political influence on the Pleißenland with Altenburg, Chemnitz and Zwickau for the first time . Emperor Friedrich II gave it as a pledge of a dowry at the wedding of his daughter Margarethe with Albrecht II , the son of the Margrave Heinrich the Illustrious . In 1256 Heinrich the Illustrious confirmed the town charter of Altenburg. Unrest broke out in 1273 due to tensions between the townspeople and the Augustinian canons .

On May 31st, 1307, Frederick the Freidige and his brother Dietrich IV led a force from Leipzig towards Altenburg. At the Battle of Lucka , Friedrich won against King Albrecht's army. Friedrich the Freidigen was granted protection of the Pleißenland in 1311. In 1329 this was officially recognized by the German king. Altenburg now belonged to the Mark Meissen and thus to the Wettin possession. Frederick the Strict renewed Altenburg's town charter in 1356.

In 1420 Frederick I went to Bohemia for the first crusade against the Hussites . Three more were to follow. An army from Altenburg took part in the battle of Aussig in 1426 . However, the Taborites under Andreas Prokop beat the Meissnian contingent. Thereupon an army of Taborites, orphans and Prague citizens moved across the Ore Mountains to Saxony. Leipzig, Altenburg and Plauen were besieged. In total, the Hussites besieged the city of Altenburg for three days. After the withdrawal, the St. Bartholomew Church and a large part of the city were destroyed.

In 1455, Knight Kunz von Kauffungen robbed the two princes of Elector Friedrich the Meek , Ernst and Albrecht , from Altenburg Castle in order to enforce his claims against the Elector. This event went down in history as the Altenburg prince robbery .

During the Reformation

Probably in the house of the tailor Nikolaus Hofmann in Johannesgasse in 1462 some townspeople met regularly in the evenings. They preached and confessed without a priest. The only prayer they recognized was the Lord's Prayer . The doctrine of purgatory , of the effect of the sacraments and, above all, of indulgences were viewed as wrong or criticized by them. Also relics and veneration of saints were questioned and the apostolic symbol rejected as an invention of the Roman Church. They were then tried on a heretic .

In 1485 Leipzig was divided when the lands that had previously been jointly governed were divided up under Elector Ernst and Duke Albrecht. As a result, Altenburg came into Ernestine possession. At the beginning of the 16th century Altenburg was a city with more than 3000 inhabitants. There were 81 different trades. The Altenburg council consisted of twelve men, mainly representatives of the trade. Dealers were not represented.

Georg Spalatin, painted in 1509 by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Ä.

There were riots at the Franciscan monastery in December 1521. Then the rebels are said to have moved to the Magdalenite monastery to hoist men's trousers as a flag. The originators were also covered by the Altenburg councilors.

A letter from the citizens to the elector asking for a Protestant preacher was left unanswered. Therefore, the citizens turned to Martin Luther , who recommended Gabriel Zwilling . Although he responded quickly to the call to Altenburg, the Elector regarded him as a troublemaker. Despite support from the citizens of Altenburg and Martin Luther himself, Zwilling was replaced by Wenzeslaus Linck . He also stayed only briefly in Altenburg, his successor being Georg Spalatin . His close friendship with Martin Luther brought the reformer several visits to the city. Negotiations between the clergy and councilors about the Reformation were still slow. In the spring of 1525 there was an uprising between townspeople and the rural population. In July 1525, some peasants were then executed and forty-fold evictions from their homes and the country to make an example. The leaders of the uprising, however, were sentenced to only one year in prison. The mild judgment came about through Altenburg's autonomy. Georg Spalatin meanwhile pushed the Reformation in Altenburg forward. He initiated the first church visitation in 1528 and secularized the five Altenburg monasteries. In 1545 Spalatin died. An exhibition in Altenburg in 2014 is dedicated to the helmsman of the Reformation Spalatin.

Sachsen-Altenburg older line

On April 24, 1547, Emperor Charles V won the Battle of Mühlberg in the Schmalkaldic War over Elector Johann Friedrich . As a result, the city and the office of Altenburg briefly came into Albertine possession. With the Naumburg Treaty , the city came under Ernestine rule again in 1554. Due to numerous partitions in the Thuringian area, Altenburg became a royal seat again in 1603 with the establishment of the Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg .

In the Thirty Years' War , most of the population was killed. Of the 1650 Altenburgers with civil rights in 1618, with the total population being around 5000, only 650 lived in 1632. A year later, the number fell again rapidly. The ordinances that Duke Friedrich Wilhelm II issued after the Thirty Years' War primarily served to stabilize the ailing economy. The guild trade lost part of its independence, but was also secured as a result. However, the economic situation in Altenburg remained tense.


Friedrich III. von Sachsen-Gotha, painting by Christian Schilbach

1672 died with Friedrich Wilhelm III. the older Sachsen-Altenburg line. The duchy was divided between Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Weimar . The city itself now belonged to Saxe-Gotha, which from then on called itself Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg , but lost the status of a residential city. 1735, Duke Friedrich III. a mandate that was supposed to promote trade and the development of manufactories . From 1760 to 1790 eight new factories were built in Altenburg.

In 1806, the double duchy of Gotha and Altenburg joined the Rhine Confederation and thus became an ally of Napoleon . French people were soon quartered in the city. Between 1810 and 1818 the game of Skat developed in Altenburg.

Sachsen-Altenburg younger line

After the duchy of Gotha-Altenburg died out , the Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg came to the previous Duke Friedrich III through the partition contract of Hildburghausen in 1826. von Sachsen-Hildburghausen , who from then on resided in the city as Duke Friedrich von Sachsen-Altenburg .

The population had grown so much that Altenburg's city limits had to be expanded. The medieval city fortifications were then abandoned. From 1825 to 1836 all five city gates were demolished. In 1831 the settlements that bordered Altenburg were incorporated. In 1820 traders called for a customs union. A partial goal was achieved in 1828 when the Thuringian states joined the Central German Trade Association . It wasn't until 1833 when the Central German Trade Association was integrated into the German Customs and Trade Association . This had a very positive effect on the Altenburg economy.

In 1831 the city received a new constitution after unrest a year earlier. The reason was the dissatisfaction of the citizens with the constitutional status. The almost 600 year old beer ban miles were abolished. During this time Altenburg continued to grow, both economically and in population.

The main market around 1850

In 1836 there were 26 factories in Altenburg, including the Bechstein brothers' playing card factory founded in 1832, from which the ASS brand later emerged. Most of the workers were employed in leather and textile manufacture, cigar making, and the wood industry. The economy got a strong boost when the city was connected to the railway network by the Saxon-Bavarian Railway, the first city in the Thuringian states. With the Leipzig train station , Altenburg initially had a terminal station in today's Fabrikstrasse, which was replaced in 1876 by the station that is still in existence today. During the revolution of 1848 , the so-called Barricade Days took place in Altenburg in June 1848, during which an attack by Saxon troops from Leipzig was prevented. On November 30th, Duke Joseph resigned. His brother Georg became the new Duke of Saxony-Altenburg. In order to prevent further uprisings, soldiers were sent to Altenburg.

The economic upswing continued. Instead of the textile and leather industries, metal, chemical and printing companies dominated after 1850. The Altenburg company was a leader in the production of sewing machines . That is why the VEB Sewing Machine Works Altenburg was founded in 1948 . In 1897 the city became a garrison town. The 8th Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 153 was stationed here. The Altenburg air base, which was built in 1913, was soon targeted by the military.

Altenburg in the 20th century

Altenburg around 1860

At the turn of the century, Altenburg was a stronghold of the hat making industry. The first documented entry on the hatmaking trade in Altenburg can be found in 1463. Altenburg was one of the main production sites, with seven factories (out of a total of 18 in Germany), particularly in the manufacture of folding and silk hats. The JO Trumpf company developed into Europe's largest silk and folding hat factory. In 1900 the textile industry was in third place in Altenburg and thus made up 10 percent of the local industry. At the turn of the century there was a great upswing in cylinder fashion and other new companies were founded. The Altenburg hat-making trade dominated the world market until 1914. After the First World War, the hat making industry suffered a slump. Top hats were worn less often and the handcrafted German hats were pushed out of the world market by cheaper machine-made models from Eastern Europe. As a result of the global economic crisis , the Second World War and the subsequent collectivization during the GDR era, most of the Altenburg hat-making businesses disappeared. Today there is only the Altenburger Hut und Putz - AHP GmbH company, which emerged from the Hut Kley company founded in 1874.

During the First World War , 21,600 soldiers from the duchy were sent to fight, including many from Altenburg. 3943 of them did not return. Since 1871 soldiers from the duchy had been trained in Metz and Colmar in the realm of Alsace-Lorraine . On November 7, 1918, unrest began at the military airfield on the Leina. On November 13th, Duke Ernst II of Saxony-Altenburg abdicated. Altenburg then became the state capital of the Free State of Saxony-Altenburg , which was opened in the state of Thuringia on May 1, 1920 . As part of a comprehensive regional reform, the Altenburg district was created in 1922 , while the city of Altenburg itself remained independent.

Altenburg was a stronghold of the SPD , which in 1932 had formed a working group with the KPD in the city council. After the transfer of power by the NSDAP , serious clashes broke out in the city between members of the workers' parties and the Kampfbund Schwarz-Weiß-Rot . 91 communist functionaries were arrested and some of them were taken to concentration camps . Nevertheless, in the 1933 Reichstag election, the candidates for the workers' parties still received more than 50 percent of the vote. On May 2, another pogrom took place against trade unionists and MPs from the workers' parties. The SPD member of the Landtag, Erich Maeder , who had embarrassingly interrogated Hitler in the Landtag , was mistreated by the Nazis in revenge and died of the consequences in January 1934. Other victims of the Nazi persecution were members of the Jehovah's Witnesses , Wehrmacht deserters and " Wehrkraftzersetzer ", a total of 274 recognized Victims of fascism , including 45 people who were murdered or who died as a result of imprisonment. 96 Jewish citizens of Altenburg lost their lives as a result of the Nazi regime of terror, over 100 were driven into emigration . 390 people were victims of the National Socialist murders .

During the Second World War , Altenburg experienced several air raids between 1940 and 1945, and the sirens wailed a total of 265 times. There was damage to buildings and at least 13 deaths. Between 1941 and 1945 there were several subcamps of the Buchenwald concentration camp in the city area , in which concentration camp prisoners , foreign prisoners of war and civil slave labor were housed. During this time around 13,000 prisoners worked for the armaments company HASAG . A total of 431 victims are remembered in the cemetery. On April 15, 1945, US troops marched into the city without a fight, preceded by a coup d'état of Altenburg anti-fascists led by communist Walter Fröhlich, who was appointed first mayor by the Soviet commander in July. The Red Army took over the Altenburg region on July 1, 1945.

City view 1953

In opposition to the GDR regime, pupils and teachers at the Altenburger Friedrichgymnasium built a transmitter in 1949, which was used to interfere with Wilhelm Pieck 's radio speech on Stalin's 70th birthday in December 1949 within a radius of about 40 kilometers. During the speech, the radio listeners heard brief criticisms from the resistance group, such as "Stalin is a mass murderer". For the Ministry for State Security , founded on February 8, 1950 , the investigation of this action was the first major case in Thuringia. On March 25, 1950, the noose tightened. Only a few were able to flee beforehand. The Stasi handed over the arrested persons to the Soviet secret service NKVD . In the subsequent secret trial in Weimar, four members of the resistance group were sentenced to death, the others to prison terms of between 5 and 25 years. It was not until 1997 that the relatives of the pupil Hans-Joachim Näther found out that the young man had already been shot in Moscow in December 1950, as were probably the other people sentenced to death.

1952 Altenburg was in the course of administration reform 1952 the district Leipzig assigned. In the next decades Altenburg continued to grow and got the new development areas Lerchenberg, North and South-East. It was not without controversy that Altenburg was reincorporated into the Free State of Thuringia in the course of German reunification in 1990, although the residents of the then Altenburg district had just decided in favor of Saxony in a previous referendum with 53.81% of the votes cast. However, the district of Schmölln Thuringia joined with a majority of 80% and so the Altenburg district council also decided in favor of it, as the two regions have always belonged together. The two districts formed the Altenburger Land district during the Thuringian district reform in 1994, and since then Altenburg has also been a large district town .


Due to the generously laid out city limits, there were no incorporations for a long time after the settlement around the Nikolaikirchturm was added. It was not until 1831 that the settlements that had formed in front of the city were incorporated into the city. In the 20th century, localities were then repeatedly incorporated. After the fall of the Wall they tried to keep the population of Altenburg stable. The city ​​did not succeed in incorporating the communities of Windischleuba , Nobitz , Lödla and Rositz , each of which has large industrial areas. In 2012 there was a debate about dividing the Saara community and adding Altenburg to the north; However, according to an integration contract from Saara to Nobitz, which was confirmed in the state parliament, the entire municipality of Nobitz was annexed, so that the new municipality extends from the east to the south of the urban area.

date places Population¹ Area in km²

July 1, 1831

Frauenfels, Oberpauritz, Unterpauritz, Neue Sorge, Ober- and Untergemeinde Unterm Berge, Untergemeinde Unterm Schloss (Naschhausen), Obergemeinde Hinterm Schloss, Vorm Johannistor, Hinter der Mauer



October 1, 1922

( Knau , Steinwitz , Kosma and Altendorf were also incorporated, but removed again on August 1, 1924)

approx. 200
approx. 2000
approx. 1200
approx. 660


October 1, 1938


about 80


4th January 1953

Steinwitz (Altenburg)

approx. 24


July 14, 1993

Ehrenberg municipality (with the villages of Ehrenberg, Greipzig , Lehnitzsch , Mockzig , Modelwitz , Paditz , Stünzhain , Zschaiga and Zschechwitz )



February 11, 1994

Zetzscha municipality (with the villages of Oberzetzscha , Unterzetzscha , Knau and Rautenberg )



December 31, 1996

Municipality of Kosma (with the villages of Kosma , Altendorf and Kürbitz )



¹ Population on the day of incorporation
² The urban area was increased by 0.67 km² in a public law contract with the municipality of Windischleuba with effect from September 2, 2003

Population development

Population development of Altenburg from 1580 to 2017

In 1981 the population reached its historic high of 55,827. Since the fall of the Wall in the GDR, the population of Altenburg has steadily decreased. Even incorporations could not stop this trend. The main reasons for the constant decrease in the number of inhabitants are the departure of young people due to the economic situation and the decline in the birth rate. In the 1990s, there was also suburbanization . Many people moved from the city and built their own house in the neighboring communities. In the 2000s the trend reversed again. Since then, more people have moved from the district to Altenburg again. Overall, arrivals and departures have been balanced since the 2010s. The population is only falling due to the difference in the birth and death rates. On December 31, 2017, the population was 32,374.


Local elections 2019
Turnout: 48.7% (2014: 41.67%)
Pro Altenburg
City Forum c
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
 % p
+5.0  % p
+ 6.4  % p
+ 13.8  % p
-8.3  % p
-13.3  % p
+1.7  % p
-5.2  % p
Pro Altenburg
City Forum c
Template: election chart / maintenance / notes
c 2014 Green / City Forum
g 2014 Green / City Forum

As of December 31, 2010, the city had a total debt of 18.2 million euros, which corresponds to approximately 517 euros per inhabitant. By the end of 2017, the debt had fallen to 13.5 million euros, corresponding to 413 euros per inhabitant.

City council

Since the local elections on May 26, 2019 , the city ​​council has been composed as follows:

  • CDU : 11 seats
  • Pro Altenburg: 9 seats
  • LEFT : 5 seats
  • Stadtforum Altenburg: 5 seats
  • SPD : 4 seats
  • GREEN : 1 seat
  • FDP : 1 seat

As early as mid-August 2011, six CDU city council members around Peter Müller announced that they were leaving the parliamentary group and party and founded the Pro Altenburg parliamentary group because "constructive work would no longer be possible". This citizens' movement ran for the first time in the 2014 city council election.

The city forum as a forum for urban development and monument protection appeared for the first time in 2014 in a voter community with Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen .

town hall

Lord Mayor

The first mayors of the city of Altenburg were elected with the new city constitution of 1831. With the administrative reform in the GDR, only mayors were elected until 1994. The first mayor after the reunification was Johannes Ungvari (CDU), who had been mayor since 1990.

The incumbent Lord Mayor has been André Neumann ( CDU ) since 2018 . He was elected in the local elections on April 15, 2018 in the first ballot and replaced the SPD office holder Michael Wolf , who had not run after 18 years in office.

coat of arms

coat of arms

Blazon : “Split of red and silver, covered with a growing black grooved silver four-pinned defensive wall, surmounted in the middle by a pinnacle tower of the same type with a conical heel and a silver, spherical conical roof, at the gate covered with a label, inside a black lion with a red tongue and in gold Reinforcement, accompanied in front by a silver hand, in the back by a red rose with golden clusters and green sepals. "

In older coats of arms depictions the wall is multi-pinned with loopholes, the lion's shield is leaning, the tower has a round hood, until the 20th century the coat of arms showed the lion's shield leaning against the visibly open castle gate, the rose was four-leafed.

The rose is the coat of arms of the burgraves of Altenburg ("In silver an unpitzte red rose."), The hand symbolizes the market jurisdiction, in the small shield the Meissen lion .


The city flag consists of two horizontal stripes of equal width, black at the top and gold (yellow) at the bottom, the ratio of height to length of the flag cloth as 3: 5.

Town twinning

Altenburg has been twinned with the German city of Offenburg in Baden-Württemberg since 1988 . Furthermore, since 1993 Olten in Switzerland and since 1997 Zlín in the Czech Republic are twin cities of the city of Altenburg.

Culture and sights

Measured by its population, Altenburg offers a large number of high-culture offers. It also has a cinema and various event rooms, such as the Music Hall for concerts, a former Art Nouveau gym. Smaller concerts also take place in individual pubs. Club events mainly take place in the ALWO, the former Altenburger wool spinning mill, a factory site built between 1911 and 1913 in the Kotteritz district of the neighboring municipality of Nobitz.

Theaters and museums

State Theater
Lindenau Museum, postcard from 1914
  • The Landestheater Altenburg was built in the Neo-Renaissance style from 1869/70 and inaugurated in 1871 with Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber under the direction of Wilhelm Stade . In 1904/05 it was rebuilt again, giving it its distinctive porch. The large hall has a capacity of 536 seats. Other playgrounds are the theater under the roof and the boiler house. The Altenburg Theater merged in 1996 with the stages of the city of Gera to form the Altenburg-Gera Theater. This was renamed Theater & Philharmonie Thuringia in 2006 . The Altenburg part is again called Landestheater Altenburg .
  • The residential palace presents the exhibition areas "Ducal chambers 19./20. Century "," Ducal apartments 17./18. Century ”and the - in the structural beginnings from the late Gothic - castle church with the famous consolation organ. The princely crypt is currently under restoration. In addition to the castle church, the ballrooms are also accessible with a guided tour. The orangery and the tea house in the palace gardens are rented out for events.
  • The playing card museum is also located in the Residenzschloss. The collection consists of a large number of different playing cards from all over the world and from different centuries. The card-making workshop belonging to the playing card museum gives children and adults the opportunity to try out historical and modern printing processes in workshops.
  • The red lace , which emerged in the 12th century at the instigation of Emperor Barbarossa as an Augustinian canons monastery, can be visited with excavation fields and exhibition area. They are one of the early examples of Romanesque brick architecture north of the Alps.
  • The Lindenau Museum houses the largest collection of early Italian panel painting north of the Alps. It was included in the Blue Book published in 2001 and is thus one of the 20 important cultural institutions in East Germany.
  • The historic natural history museum Mauritianum shows, among other things, the world's largest specimen of a rat king .
  • The brewery museum is operated by the Altenburger brewery .
  • The Altenburger distillery and liqueur factory is responsible for the schnapps museum.
  • A historic hairdressing salon is located on Pauritzer Straße not far from the Brühl. The inventory from the 1920s was not rediscovered until 2001 after it was closed in 1966. The space was renovated, opened in 2009 and has been open to the public since 2010. Also noteworthy is a plank room on the upper floor, which formerly came from another building.
  • The murder museum has since been closed again and converted into a labyrinth house. The subject and scenery labyrinth in the building is located in the Herzog-Joseph-Kaserne, built in 1845.
  • A trade museum in the old factory, in which the headquarters of the Gumpert sports car manufacturer was also located, existed until 2010. The city did not want to finance the location and so the relevant association is looking for a new exhibition space.



Since the fall of the Wall , many houses in Altenburg have been carefully renovated. In addition, with the support of the Federal Urban Redevelopment East program , numerous prefabricated buildings as well as valuable buildings were demolished. Among them are partly baroque and renaissance buildings, which are replaced by vacant lots or simple new buildings. The demolition of the “Areal am Markt” , five buildings including a valuable Baroque house from 1753 to the west of the previously intact market square, is particularly controversial .


  • The old castle stands on the edge of the old town on a porphyry rock . Today the building is largely as it was in the 18th century.
    • The neighboring Altenburg Castle Church has been preserved in its original appearance from the 15th century.


Altenburg has five medieval marketplaces, the Brühl, the Markt, the Korn- und Topfmarkt, which border each other as well as the Roßplan.

Skat fountain with the Seckendorff Palace in the background
  • The Brühl is the oldest market square in Altenburg.
    • There is the skat fountain. It is the only memorial for a card game and was donated by Albert Steudemann in 1897. It was built in 1903. The fountain sculpture was created by the Munich sculptor Ernst Pfeifer (* 1862). It shows Wenceslas fighting on the plinth . Many skat players come to the fountains to baptize their cards in the water, which is said to bring luck to the player.
    • The Seckendorff Palace , built in 1724, is also located on the Brühl . The porphyry relief in the gable triangle shows cannons, bullets and kettledrum, which points to Field Marshal Reichsgraf Friedrich Heinrich von Seckendorff . The most famous resident of the house was Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus , who worked in Altenburg from 1810 to 1817 and laid the foundation stone for his publishing house there. Today the rooms are used by the theater.
  • The Altenburg town hall stands in the middle of the south side of the market. It was built in the Renaissance style by Nikolaus Gromann between 1562 and 1564 . It was so expensive to build that not all loans had been paid back in 1593. The city council still meets in the council chamber with its splendidly painted beamed ceiling and the large fireplace, and is open to visitors on weekdays. The exterior facade of the town hall is also richly decorated. The octagonal town hall tower has a moon clock that shows the exact moon phase .
  • Kornmarkt and Topfmarkt extend parallel to the market in an east-west direction, one block further south. Today they essentially serve as a car park.
  • The Roßplan was a cattle market where, among other things, the wealthy farmers of the Altenburger Land bought horses. It was given a new look in the 1990s with new buildings and an underground car park. The former casino is located at the southern upper end of the square.


  • The Bartholomäikirche is the oldest church in Altenburg; Around 1125 a Romanesque hall church was built on the site, of which the crypt and the barrel-vaulted lower church still exist. With the exception of the two towers, the church burned down during the Hussite attack on Altenburg. At the end of the 15th century a late Gothic hall church was added to the towers. In 1659 one of the two towers collapsed. The other was demolished and replaced by the church tower built in 1668. In it there is an apartment for a tower keeper . The current organ of the church , built by Friedrich Ladegast , dates from 1881.
  • The red lace is Altenburg's landmark. They once belonged to the Marienkirche of the Augustinian monastery Our Dear Women on the mountain in front of Altenburg , which was only briefly called the mountain monastery. It was donated by Frederick I Barbarossa and built from brick, as was common in Italy at the time. In the middle of the 16th century the monastery was closed. A few years after the dissolution, the main nave of the church collapsed. In 1570 the pointed towers were covered. A lightning strike burned out one of the towers. As a result, it received its current baroque round shape in 1618. The two towers were renovated in 1871/1872. The builder Friedrich Sprenger removed subsequent modifications and additions so that they were given their original shape.
  • The Brothers Church was built in 1902–1905 by the architect Jürgen Kröger using neo-Romanesque , neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau elements. The name Brothers Church goes back to the Franciscans who built a monastery there in the 13th century. During the Reformation the monastery was dissolved in 1529. In 1901 the church was demolished and old tombstones were moved from inside to the churchyard wall. The interior painting, which is still complete today, and the large mosaic picture with the Sermon on the Mount were created by the church painter Otto Berg. The windows of the organ gallery show the Swedish King Gustav Adolf II , Martin Luther , Johann Sebastian Bach and Paul Gerhardt .
  • The Nikolaikirchturm on the medieval Nikolaikirchhof is a remnant of the Nikolaikirche. It was first mentioned in a document in 1223, but it is not known exactly when it was built. The church stood at the highest point in the old city area. Up until the Reformation there was a high altar and six side altars in it. In 1528 it was closed due to the risk of collapse and later demolished. The tower remained standing and served as a bell tower for the old Brethren Church. The 45-meter-high tower, which can be climbed, got its current appearance in 1609.
  • Duchess Agnes Memorial Church ,
  • Chapel of Grace ,
  • The Church's Appearance of the Lord ,
  • Gottesackerkirche for the Resurrection of Christ ,
  • Magdalenenstift

Noble courts

  • The Pohlhof is a medieval Freihof . The main building where Bernhard August von Lindenau lived was probably built around 1400. Another building in which Lindenau exhibited its collection was demolished in 1876 after the Lindenau Museum opened. The south gable on the main building is particularly striking with its decorated Renaissance stepped gable. Today the Altenburg registry office is located in the main building.
  • The Freihof Frauenfels is a former Freihof. The building was built by the electoral chancellor Melchior von Ossa between 1542 and 1551. The importance of the manor fell over the next decades, which led to frequent changes of ownership. The ducal chamber acquired the estate at the end of the 18th century. In 1875 the city bought it and set up a school there.
Art tower, in the background the Bartholomäikirche

Administrative, commercial, traffic and other buildings

  • The district office , which was built in 1895, is the seat of the district and occasionally shows special exhibitions.
  • The art tower , which was built in 1844/1845 in the style of an Italian campanile , served the city's water supply until 1878.
  • The Landesbank building on Burgstrasse was completed in 1865. The house in which the theologian and reformer Georg Spalatin had lived was demolished for construction. Architecturally, the building stands out from its surroundings. Noteworthy are the allegorical figures on the roof, such as the Saxonia .
  • The former malt coffee factory Paul Gustavus is an Art Nouveau building from 1904. It stands in Wallstrasse, directly on the city wall, and stood empty for years, so that in 2009 the Förderverein Zukunftswerkstatt Paul-Gustavus-Haus Altenburg e. V. , which wants to restore the architectural gem and make it permanent public use. The building was again open to visitors for the first time on the Open Monument Day 2010. The reading café opens its doors every Sunday from 2 p.m.
  • The Reichenbachsche Stadtpalais on Weibermarkt, built between 1881 and 1882, not to be confused with the Reichenbachschen Palais from 1749 at Moritzstraße 6, will be renovated by 2019 and will then house an art and creative center. The building with a representative staircase and halls was the house of agriculture at the beginning of the 20th century and served as the house of the pioneers in GDR times. The district used it as a children's and youth center until 2003, and since then it has stood empty and was only used temporarily.
  • The current station building was built in 1879 and has a representative entrance hall with a monument to green Wenceslas, i.e. the green boy's Skat card. Since 1935, the Malcher has been a monument to the Altenburg farmers on the platform. The former terminus of the railway line, which opened in 1842, is located on Fabrikstrasse and is in need of renovation.
  • The streets of Wettinerstrasse and Lindenaustrasse have a large number of representative villas. Wettinerstraße is the axis between the train station and the Lindenau Museum and Lindenaustraße runs along the northern city wall.
  • Altenburg-Südost water tower


Duchess Agnes Memorial Church

The palace park to the east of the palace was laid out towards the end of the 16th century and followed all the fashions in the field of garden design, from Italian to French and English to socialist design. The park extends over almost the entire Schlossberg. The park is enriched by culturally significant buildings, e.g. B. the museums Mauritianium and Lindenau Museum.

The Duchess Agnes Memorial Church is also located in the park . The church founded by Ernst I was consecrated on April 28, 1906 . In the entrance area of ​​the Art Nouveau church there is a relief of Duchess Agnes on the right and the initials of her husband on the left, as he did not want a relief of himself during his lifetime. The windows have a splendid decorative glazing, especially in the area of ​​the main entrance. The church tower is 56 meters high, but is not accessible to visitors.

The baroque tea house with the adjoining orangery was built in 1712 and is currently being restored. An association tries to restore the historic building to its baroque splendor through donations. The ducal stables, which were built between 1846 and 1851, are in poor structural condition.

Access to the island zoo

The Great Pond is located on the southern border of the city center. It was created together with the Kleiner Teich in the 12th century when the blue flood was dammed. When they were created, both ponds formed a common body of water. It was not until 1594 that a dam was built that separated the little one from the big pond. The large pond covers an area of ​​approx. 10 hectares, it was and is used again for fish farming. The island in the middle of the pond was only created in 1720/21 and was used for the recreation of Duke Friedrich II. In the 18th century, the facilities on the island fell into disrepair, but were restored in 1762. In 1874 the island was made accessible to all citizens of the city. The Altenburg Island Zoo has been located there since 1954 , the only island zoo in Germany.

In 1907 the Herzog-Ernst-Wald-Verein was founded, which has set itself the task of reforesting the south of Altenburg. The urban forest created by the association stretches from the Großer Teich to the southeast district. The Bismarck Tower, built in 1915, is located in the city forest . During the time in the GDR it was called "Tower of Youth". The tower is 37 meters high and is modeled on the towers of the city wall.

In addition to the large recreational areas, there are also a large number of small parks and a botanical garden in the urban area. The fairytale fountain on Hellwiese, which was renovated in 1997, is a real gem.

Natural monuments

There are two natural monuments in Altenburg . First of all , there are linden trees that stand along Münsaer Strasse. In May 2007, the linden trees in Leipziger Strasse and Geraer Strasse lost their status due to stocks that had been decimated in previous years. In total there are around 100 old linden trees with a trunk circumference of over 150 centimeters each. There are over 600 deciduous trees along the three streets. The second natural monument are standing in the former sand quarry "Wolf Wood", about 240 to 300 centimeters thick oaks . The Wolfenholz sandstone quarry is also a geological monument.


Memorial on Hospitalplatz for the teacher-student resistance group from 1949/50

In the main cemetery, the city has dedicated memorials to the victims of fascism: a multi-segmented memorial commemorates the victims of fascism of different origins and from many nations. A memorial stone is dedicated to 147 forced laborers who belonged to the 1000 women and 2500 men who had to do forced labor for Hugo Schneider AG ( HASAG ), in the company L. O. Dietrich Vesta sewing machine works and the sewing machine works Hermann Wolter AG. Next to it, a memorial stone commemorates nine Soviet prisoners of war tortured to death . Another memorial stone from 1972 commemorates 72 Polish and Czech victims of forced labor. Furthermore, the memory of 99 Jews from Altenburg is preserved on a memorial plaque from 1998 in Pauritzer Straße near the former Jewish prayer room. Two steles from 2002 commemorate a mass grave of over 250 people from different countries and religions who were victims of “death through work”. As concentration camp prisoners of the Wille Tröglitz / Rehmsdorf subcamp near Zeitz of the Buchenwald concentration camp , they were murdered by SS men .

A plaque commemorates the teacher-student resistance group of 1949/50, from which four members were executed and twelve sentenced to long-term labor camp sentences ("In memory of the victims of Stalinism. The following were convicted: ...") in the foyer of today's Friedrich- High school.

For the same occasion, a memorial stone was erected on Hospitalplatz in 2003. Both commemorative symbols are initiated by the alumni and friends of the Friedrich-Gymnasium zu Altenburg e. V. back.


The Skat City Marathon has been held annually since 2009 . The following routes can be run: marathon , half marathon , 11 km run, 3 km school run, 400 m children's run, Nordic walking / walking 11 km, Nordic walking / walking half marathon.

The most successful football club in Altenburg is SV Motor Altenburg . The predecessor club was Eintracht 08 Altenburg, founded in 1908. In 1946 the association was re-established as SG Altenburg Nord and three years later renamed ZSG Altenburg. He played for several years in the Oberliga , the highest soccer league in the GDR. After the reunification, the club played in the Thuringian League. In 2000 he fell into a crisis and was relegated to the district class. In 2006, Motor won the OTFB Cup and was promoted back to the national class east. Players like the former national goalkeeper and current goalkeeper coach of RB Leipzig , Perry Bräutigam , brought out Altenburg football.

SV Lok Altenburg, which was first founded as a football club for the railway workers in Altenburg, has always been one of the most successful clubs in Altenburg with its wrestling department . In 1956 BSG Lokomotive Altenburg started wrestling. Ten years later the company was re-established. Helmut Winter won bronze in the GDR championship in 1967. In 1984 the club was promoted to the GDR league and just two years later it was GDR champion. After the reunification, the club found itself in the 2nd association league. In 1991, however, he managed to get promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga of the DRB . In the following years a steady rise and fall began. Maria Müller won the German championship in 2002 and was fourth at the EM. In 2006 she won the German championship for the second time. At the 2006 World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou , PR China, Maria Müller won the bronze medal.

Even the dancing in Altenburg has a long tradition. With the dance school Schaller Altenburg owns one of the oldest dance schools in Germany. It was founded in 1839 and is now in the 4th generation. The 1. TSC Schwarz-Gold Altenburg association, which belongs to the dance school, was officially founded on January 8, 1949. The club contests its tournaments with the A-Team in the Oberliga Hessen and with the B-Team in the Landesliga Hessen.

Leisure and sports facilities

Skatbank arena

There are several sports facilities in Altenburg. While sports halls and sports fields are distributed around the city center, the other sports facilities such as tennis fields are located in the south of the city, in the area of ​​the city forest and the large pond. The largest sports field is the Skatbank Arena (Waldstadion until 2009). It is the home ground of the SV Motor Altenburg football club and with a capacity of 25,000 spectators it is also the largest stadium in Thuringia. The stadium was opened in 1954 under the name Lenin Stadium on the occasion of the 3rd District Sports and Culture Festival.

For a long time after the fall of the Wall, the city of Altenburg had to get by without a festival hall. Only when the Golden Plow was completed in 2003 did Altenburg get such a venue again. It is the third construction of the Golden Plow in the same place. The two previous buildings were from the 18th and late 19th centuries. When the decision to build the new golden plow was made, it was determined that it should not only be used for festive events, but also for sports tournaments. In addition to the Golden Plow, the city has another opportunity to host sporting events in the Wenceslas Hall. The swimming pool is located near the large pond. A popular route for runners is the path around the pond or through the city forest, where there is also a fitness trail.

Altenburg peasant costume and peasant riding

Hormet maids

The beginnings of the Altenburg peasant costume , which remained almost unchanged until the 17th century, are in Wendish . Because of the wealth of the farmers, the costume was very expensive. It originated under the influence of the Spanish clothing fashion of the 16th century. It received one last small modification after the Thirty Years War . Only the women's costume changed around 1830, it became generally darker. The most famous costumes are the festive costumes, but there were also costumes for everyday life. The traditional costume was chosen as the traditional costume of 2011.

The Altenburger farmer riding is another specialty of the Altenburg farmers. This is a parade of the farmers with decorated horses, carriages and brass bands. This tradition came up at the beginning of the 19th century and only took place at larger court festivities such as weddings, celebrations and anniversaries, but also during visits to high- ranking personalities such as Kaiser Wilhelm II on May 4, 1890. The first peasant riding that has come down to us from reports took place on the occasion of the visit of the Duke August von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg on September 25, 1818. Between 1933 and 1995 no peasant rides were carried out. Even the newer parades only take place on special occasions, such as Thuringian Day or the German Trachtenfest. The last farmer riding took place on the 200th anniversary in October 2018.

Regular events

Various festivals take place in Altenburg every year, including the spring night in the center of Altenburg in mid-March. It was initiated by the traders in the city center in 2001. The shops with events stay open until midnight. During the Museum Night at the beginning of June, the public museums and other rarely accessible sights can be visited.

The pub crawl takes place in spring and late summer. The event, at which a band plays in each participating pub and the guest moves from pub to pub, initially extended to the entire city area. In recent years, however, it has been restricted more and more to the area between the Pauritzer and the Great Pond. The park and pond festival takes place together with the Inselzoofest. Another attraction is fishing in the pond in autumn. The Altenburg Christmas market opens annually on the Friday before the first Advent.

A disproportionately large number of monument owners open their buildings to the public on the annual nationwide Open Monument Day . At the same time, the district's art and creative fair will take place in the Marstall, as well as the opening concert for Monument Day on the previous Friday.

From 2005 to 2011 the performance of the Prince Robbery, staged by TPT , took place annually in Altenburg in the Altenburg Residenzschloss, the original location. It developed into East Thuringia's largest open-air spectacle with more than 45,000 visitors. The Barbarossa Festival should then be performed from 2013 and possibly the Luther Festival from 2017. In the run-up there was the question of the venue; due to the nuisance of residents, the decision was made against the red lace as the original setting and again in favor of the courtyard in the residential palace; in the meantime, the palace gardens at the orangery and tea house as well as the area behind the stables were still up for debate. Barbarossa stayed seven times in Altenburg and had the Bergerkloster built, whose towers of the collegiate church are known as the Rote Spitzen. Two reasons explained the suspension of the 2012 Festival, on the one hand the German Trachtenfest, which took place in Altenburg in 2012 and meant a lot of organizational effort for the city, and on the other hand, that the preparations for the festival take longer than a year. On July 19, 2012, the city council decided not to hold the Altenburg Barbarossa Games until 2015. The reasons for this decision were the financial situation of the city, a lack of an overall concept, the desire to change the type of operator and the lack of tourist prerequisites on the subject of Barbarossa, which have yet to be created (e.g. permanent exhibition in the Rote Spitzen). No festivals of this format have taken place in Altenburg since 2011.

Culinary specialties

Altenburger goat cheese

Altenburger goat cheese is a local specialty ; it is registered under this name in the European Union as a protected designation of origin and can be awarded the appropriate seal. Another specialty in the area between Schmölln and Altenburg is the Mutzbraten . It is a fist-sized piece of meat from the shoulder or the comb of the pork, which is seasoned with salt, pepper and marjoram, marinated and cooked in birch wood smoke on so-called meat roast stands. It is usually served with bread and sauerkraut. Beer brewing is traditionally anchored in Altenburg, and there is still a brewery in the city today . Furthermore, there has been a spirits manufacturer since 1949, the Altenburger Distillerie- & Likörfabrik, whose most famous product is the black distillate, a herbal liqueur with 47 herbs. Another specialty is mustard, which has been produced in the city since 1886.

Economy and Infrastructure


Leipzig-Altenburg Airport

Altenburg got a railway connection in 1842 in connection with the construction of the Leipzig – Hof railway line ( Saxon-Bavarian Railway ) . Other routes followed, such as the Altenburg – Zeitz route in 1871 and the Altenburg – Langenleuba-Oberhain route in 1901 . The line to Zeitz is only used for freight traffic and for special trips to the coal railway. There is no longer any train going to Langenleuba-Oberhain, this line has been shut down and dismantled. The Leipzig train station in Altenburg reached its capacity limits just a few years after opening. In 1871 it was replaced by a new building. S-Bahn trains and regional express trains currently operate from Altenburg and serve the cities of Erfurt, Gera, Halle, Jena, Leipzig, Weimar, Würzburg and Zwickau. S-Bahn trains run every half hour between Halle, Leipzig / Halle Airport, Leipzig and Altenburg during rush hour.

The city of Altenburg is part of the Central German Transport Association (MDV). All public transport can therefore be used at uniform tariffs.

At the beginning of the 20th century Altenburg had a tram network with three lines. In 1895 the tram was put into service by the Aktiengesellschaft Straßenbahn und E-Werk Altenburg , but the Altenburg tram had to stop operating again in 1920 due to the inflation after the First World War. The urban public transport network in Altenburg today consists of six bus routes operated by Thüsac . Due to the numerous one-way streets, they all run as a kind of ring line, so the stops are often only served in one direction. The S line runs every 10 minutes on weekdays during rush hour and connects the north and south-east residential areas with the train station and the city center. The W line, which connects the western and northern suburbs, runs every 20 minutes on weekdays during rush hour, and the K line, which connects the northern parts of the city and district with the train station, every hour. Lines I, L and Z do not run at regular intervals and connect the train station, Weststadt and the clinic; Train station, Lerchenbergsiedlung and city center as well as the southeast residential area with the western city center and the clinic. Next to the train station, the theater is a central transfer station.

With the Via Imperii , Altenburg was on one of the most important medieval highways. It led from Italy to the Hanseatic cities on the Baltic Sea. The road was very well developed, from which the city also benefited economically. At present there is no major trunk road directly passing Altenburg. The A 4 federal motorway (Erfurt - Dresden) runs approx. 12 kilometers south and the A 72 (Leipzig - Chemnitz) under construction approx. 10 kilometers east of Altenburg. The federal highways B 7 , B 93 and B 180 therefore primarily serve as a feeder to the motorways. The B 7 and B 93 have not crossed Altenburg since the completion of the eastern bypass in 2003. Since then, the two federal highways have been routed past Altenburg to the east, thereby relieving traffic in the city center. Only the B 180 still crosses Altenburg. A western bypass is being discussed for these.

Just outside the city is located on the territory of the municipality Nobitz the Leipzig-Altenburg Airport . It is a former military airfield that was built in 1913 and later expanded by the Wehrmacht and the Red Army . After the withdrawal of the CIS troops in 1992, work began on converting it into a commercial airfield. Since then, charter flights have landed and started from the airport, and scheduled flights from March 2003 to March 2011 as well. The next larger airport Leipzig / Halle is located approx. 50 km northwest of Altenburg and can be reached with the S-Bahn without changing trains.

Established businesses

Printing hall of the Altenburg playing card factory
Altenburg concentrate factory and grain trade

Only medium-sized companies are based in Altenburg. The most traditional company is the Altenburg playing card factory , which was founded by the Bechstein brothers in 1832 and is now the market leader in Germany in the production of playing cards. Since 2003 the factory has been able to use its traditional name ASS again after the playing card factory was sold to Carta Mundi. Another traditional company is Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH, which has been in the printing industry for over 400 years.

Altenburg was also known for the production of sewing machines. The city had several companies specializing in this area. These included the titanium sewing machine factory owned by Gustav Winselmann, the sewing machine factory owned by Hermann Köhler and the Vesta sewing machine works , which were founded in 1871 and which became the “VEB sewing machine works Altenburg” after the Second World War. During the GDR's existence, the factory was one of the city's largest employers. After the reunification, the company was privatized under the name "Altin". Although the staff was greatly reduced and the production equipment replaced, he only survived a few years.

In the 2000s Altenburg intended to become a location for the automotive industry. This was also initially achieved with the settlement of the automotive supplier Fräger, the company Bertrandt , which is responsible for vehicle development, and the Gumpert sports car manufacturer , which had the Apollo sports car manufactured here . However, in the 2010s the companies Fräger and Gumpert went bankrupt and Bertrandt moved its location to Leipzig. Precision engineering Resources Altenburg, also an automotive supplier, moved to the Fräger site at the end of 2015.

Today only one branch is particularly strongly represented in Altenburg. That is the luxury and food industry: the Altenburger brewery , the meat producer "Südost Fleisch" belonging to the Vion Group , Altenburger Senf, the Altenburger Distillerie & Liqueurfabrik and the Altenburger Kraftfutterwerk und Getreidehandel (ALKA) GmbH.


The headquarters of the editorial office of the Osterländer Volkszeitung, a local edition of the Leipziger Volkszeitung, is located in Altenburg . There is also the local television station, which can be received via the cable network throughout Thuringia, the Internet or the satellite channel Lokal-TV-Portal.

Public facilities

Altenburg Social Court

Altenburg has been the seat of the State Association of Saxony-Thuringia of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief since June 29, 1996 . The THW is also represented by a local association in Altenburg.

One of Thuringia's twelve tax offices is located in the city.

A district court and the social court Altenburg are also located in Altenburg .


Klinikum Altenburger Land GmbH, with around 800 employees and almost 600 beds, cares for 18,000 inpatients and 26,000 outpatients annually, mainly in Altenburg, but also in Schmölln (internal medicine). The clinic is the academic teaching hospital of the Jena University Hospital and the University of Leipzig . The supra-regional stroke center is a cooperation partner for several hospitals, including in Saxony. There is also an intestinal center . The managing director of the Gundula Werner Clinic has been elected chairwoman of the Thuringia State Hospital Association. Private clinic groups with clinics in the area ( Borna or Gera) opened medical care centers in Altenburg.

Furthermore, the clinic for psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatics of the Evangelical Lukas Foundation can be found in Altenburg with around 100 beds.



Altenburg is the seat of two state grammar schools and the Christian Spalatin grammar school in Altenburg , sponsored by the Evangelical School Foundation in Central Germany. The Friedrichgymnasium is the oldest of these ; like the Lerchenberggymnasium , it is state-run. It was founded in 1522 as a municipal Latin school (Schola Altenburgensis) , which in turn was renamed "Herzogliches Friedrichgymnasium" in 1713. Between 1946 and 1990 the facility was called the Karl Marx Oberschule.

There are also three regular schools, five primary schools and two support centers in the city, as well as two privately owned primary schools. Two state and two private vocational schools complement the educational offer of the city, the commercial technical vocational school Johann Friedrich Pierer and the former commercial vocational school , to which the technical school for social pedagogy was attached, form today's state vocational school for economics and social affairs (WiSo). The ESO Altenburg , founded in 1991, also offers training with a commercial-technical and social-care profile ; it is part of the Euro-Schulen-Organization GmbH. The Innova Privat-Akademie Altenburg GmbH has been training young people and adults since 1991 in the areas of care, construction, social integration, office, IT as well as in hotel and restaurant professions. Altenburg is also the seat of an adult education center and the Johann Ludwig Krebs music school . The city library is located at Lindenaustraße 14.

A dual university degree has been offered in Altenburg since October 1, 2007 . The StudiumPlus is a collaboration between the city of Altenburg, the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena and companies from East Thuringia. This is a full-fledged technical college course with additional training in a company. Rooms in the Altenburger City Center serve as the campus.


One of the personalities associated with Altenburg is primarily the emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa , who had a great influence on the development of the city. Between 1165 and 1188 he stayed in Altenburg a total of six times. Another well-known personality with reference to Altenburg was the publisher and lexicographer Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus , who lived in the city from 1810 to 1817 and wrote the second edition of the Conversations Lexicon during this time . Heinrich August Pierer , who was born in Altenburg, also worked as a publisher and lexicographer. He was the editor of the Universal Lexicon of the Present and Past . The composer and organist Johann Ludwig Krebs came to Altenburg in 1756 when he was appointed organist at the court of Friedrich III. accepted and lived in the city until his death. Altenburg owes one of the largest collections of early Italian panel paintings north of the Alps to the Saxon Prime Minister Bernhard von Lindenau . In his will, he donated the collection to the Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg and stipulated that it was not for sale and tied to the city of Altenburg. The collection is now in the Lindenau Museum. Since 1998, it has been awarding the Gerhard Altenbourg Prize every two years, which is dedicated to the artist Gerhard Altenbourg . He lived freelance in Altenburg and took the stage name Altenbourg. The writer and former dramaturge at the Altenburger Landestheater Ingo Schulze created a literary monument for the city and its inhabitants with his novels "Simple Stories" (1998) and "Neue Leben" (2005).

Lieselott Herforth should be mentioned as an important daughter of the city . The physicist and nuclear physicist was the first female rector (woman as rector) at a German university, from 1965 to 1968 at the TU Dresden. Her work in the field of atomic physics - especially her internship on radiation protection - is still used today in universities throughout Germany.


"In the five months of my stay in Altenburg, I lived and experienced more spiritually than many earth children will often be granted in their whole life."


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  • Edgar Lehmann et al. a. (Ed.): The Altenburger Land. Results of the local history inventory in the area of ​​Altenburg and Regis-Breitingen. (= Values ​​of our homeland , Volume 23) Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1977.
  • Hans Karl Schulze: City folder Altenburg. Dortmund / Altenbeken 1994, ISBN 3-89115-042-3 .
  • Heinz Stoob, Wilfried Ehbrecht, Jürgen Lafrenz, Peter Johannek (eds.): German city atlas. Volume V, 1st part volume: Acta Collegii Historiae Urbanae Societatis Historicorum Internationalis. Series C. On behalf of the Board of Trustees for Comparative Urban History e. V. and with the support of the German Research Foundation.
  • Ingolf Strassmann: Altenburg in Thuringia - town and country under the swastika. S. Sell Heimatverlag, Altenburg 2003, ISBN 3-9809211-1-5 .
  • Ingolf Strassmann: The Jews in Altenburg - town and country: where did they come from and where have they stayed. Verlag Beier and Beran, Altenburg / Langenweissbach 2004, ISBN 3-937517-11-1 .
  • Franz Volger: Guide through the capital and residence city of Altenburg . Verlag Bonde, Altenburg 1898 ( digitized version ).
  • Johann Vulpius: Altenburgi Altitudo, that is: The well-known Old-German-Meißnischen resp. Reich, Chur and Fürstl. Saxon resident and Pleißnian capital Altenburg. Verlag Johann Ludwig Richter, Altenburg 1699 ( digitized version ).

Web links

Commons : Altenburg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Altenburg  - Sources and full texts
Wiktionary: Altenburg  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Altenburg  - travel guide
 Wikinews: Altenburg  - in the news

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Population of the municipalities from the Thuringian State Office for Statistics  ( help on this ).
  2. ^ Districts of Altenburg. City of Altenburg, accessed on January 4, 2019 .
  3. Fredegar: Chronicle . In: Bruno Krusch (Ed.): MGH SS rer. Merow. tape 2 . Hanover 1888, p. 159: 164 f .
  4. ^ Franz Xaver von Wegele: Thakolf . In: Rochus Freiherr von Liliencron (Ed.): General German Biography . tape 37 . Leipzig 1894, p. 391 f .
  5. ^ Kg. Otto II .: Donation to the church in Zeitz . In: Society for older German history (ed.): MGH DD O II . Hanover 1893, p. 156 f .
  6. ^ Spalatin - helmsman of the Reformation. Altenburg Castle, accessed on January 4, 2019 .
  7. Ursula Höntsch: The wrong courier . In: Zero hour . Berlin 1966, p. 7.
  8. Population by gender. Thuringian State Office for Statistics (TLS), September 13, 2018, accessed on January 4, 2019 .
  9. Debt of the City of Altenburg on December 31, 2010. Thuringian State Office for Statistics (TLS), accessed on January 4, 2019 .
  10. ↑ Mayoral election 2018 in Thuringia - final result. State Returning Officer Thuringia, accessed on July 2, 2018 .
  11. Altenburg's Mayor Michael Wolf will no longer run in 2018. Ostthüringer Zeitung, November 3, 2017, accessed on July 2, 2018 .
  12. ^ Altenburg . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 1, Bibliographical Institute, Leipzig / Vienna 1905, p.  382 .
  13. The house Pauritzer Straße 2 (historical hairdressing salon). Lower monument protection authority of the city of Altenburg, 2007, accessed on January 4, 2019 .
  14. Dankwart Guratsch: A prefabricated building is supposed to disfigure Altenburg's market square . In: Die Welt , January 2, 2010.
  15. Alexander Cammann: House-to-house fighting in Thuringia . In: Die Zeit , August 2, 2010.
  16. ^ Mathias Grünzig: Baroque under the pickaxe. City destruction at state expense. In the Thuringian city of Altenburg, people do tabula rasa . In: FAZ , May 30, 2012.
  17. ^ Youth opposition in the GDR
  18. ^ Only one medal for German wrestlers, October 1, 2006 ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  19. history. Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH (DZA), accessed on January 4, 2019 .
  20. ^ Settlement of the Precision Technology Resources Altenburg., December 14, 2015, accessed on January 4, 2019 .
  21. ^ Waltraud Voss : Lieselott Herforth: The first female rector of a German university . Transcript, Bielefeld 2016.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on April 2, 2007 .