|coat of arms||Germany map|
|Height :||300 m above sea level NHN|
|Area :||69.58 km 2|
|Residents:||45,419 (Dec 31, 2019)|
|Population density :||653 inhabitants per km 2|
|Postal code :||99867|
|Area code :||03621|
|License plate :||GTH|
|Community key :||16 0 67 029|
|LOCODE :||DE GOA|
|City structure:||7 districts and
City administration address :
|Lord Mayor :||Knut Kreuch ( SPD )|
|Location of the city of Gotha in the district of Gotha|
Gotha is the fifth largest city in the Free State of Thuringia and the district town of the Gotha district . From 1640 to 1825 Gotha was the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and from 1826 the capital and residence of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha . In 1820 the German insurance industry was founded in the city with Gothaer Versicherung . The Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAP) was founded in Gotha Tivoli in 1875 and later renamed the SPD . The city was a center of the German publishing industry, so the Justus Perthes publishing house , founded in 1785, mainly produced cartographic publications (maps, atlases, wall maps, etc.).
In the past, the middle town of Gotha was in rivalry with Weimar , the other center of the Ernestine dynasty. While Weimar became the artistic center, Gotha became its scientific counterpart, which today is testified by the Natural History Museum and the Gotha Observatory . The baroque Friedenstein Castle dominates the cityscape. It was the residence of the dukes of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg until 1825 and from then until 1918 those of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha .
A larger company from Gotha was the Gothaer Waggonfabrik , which mainly produced trams and airplanes. In Gotha, the Gotha tram or the Thuringian Forest Railway is one of the last long-distance trams in Germany (to Waltershausen and Tabarz ).
Gotha is the seat of the Thuringian University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration ; two of the three departments are located at this location.
The urban area extends between the Trügleber Höhe, the Boxberg and the Kleiner Seeberg on an area of over 6900 hectares. The Krahnberg in the north-west forms the highest point in the urban area at 431.3 m above sea level. The lowest point is at 269.4 m above sea level in the Heutal.
The city and its surrounding area between the Thuringian Forest and its foothills in the south and the wooded ridge of the Fahner Heights in the north are embedded in the varied landscape of the Thuringian Basin, which is characterized by agriculture.
The largest elevations are the Krahnberg (431 m) and the Kleine and Große Seeberg (406 m). In the northwest and southeast they reach up to the built-up urban area. They were reforested in the 19th century as urban recreational areas and, together with the Schlossberg (331 m) rising in the city center, form the natural framework of the city.
The castle complex on the Schlossberg, visible from afar, dominates the cityscape. The old town on the northern slope of the Schlossberg is bordered by the floodplains of the Wiegwasser in the west and the Wilden Graben or Flutgraben and the Ratsrinne in the east.
The flood ditch flows through the urban area from south to north. The Rot rises in the Siebleben district , a tributary of the Apfelstädt . In Gotha-Nord the Wiegwasser runs through the city area. It is a small stream that takes in the water flowing down from the Krahnberg . It rises about 100 m west of the end of Werner-Sylten-Straße and is led, partly underground, to the vicinity of Hersdorfplatz, where it joins the Wilder Graben shortly after it has taken up the Leinakanal.
Neighboring communities are in the north Nessetal , in the east Friemar , Drei Gleichen and Tüttleben , in the south Emleben , Georgenthal and in the west Hörsel . All communities belong to the district of Gotha.
|2004 residents||Residents 2010||Residents 2016|
|Gotha (core city)||33.44||37,749||36,320||37,493|
Due to the presence of fertile soils and supra-regional traffic routes, the area of what would later become Gotha and the surrounding area were populated early on. During construction work on a bypass road, rich finds were found in the districts of Boilstädt and Sundhausen . The earliest findings come from settlement remains of the Neolithic linear ceramics (5500 BC), while other settlement remains were assigned to the early Bronze Age . Further findings point to burial mounds from the late Bronze Age (approx. 1000 BC) and traces of settlement from the Iron Age (approx. 500 BC). The most important finds come from the early Middle Ages (around 600 AD) from the time of the Merovingians . The burial place of a warrior of the Thuringian-Franconian upper class from the 6th century is of particular importance . The “ Herr von Boilstädt ”, as the archaeologists called him because of the proximity of the site to Boilstädt, was buried with rich grave goods that are unique in Germany.
Gotha was first mentioned in a document issued on October 25, 775 in Düren . To her about suitable Charlemagne the monastery Hersfeld including the tithe of the land, forests and meadows of Villa Gothaha (= good water). The relationship to Hersfeld may also have been the reason for the takeover of the city saint St. Gothardus (see coat of arms), a former abbot of Hersfeld and later bishop of Hildesheim . An older settlement can be assumed, however. The area of Gotha has been settled for a long time , archaeologically proven.
According to the legend of The Goths, which was already known in the 16th century as the city's founder , Gotha owes both its founding and its name to the Goths .
Around the year 510 warriors of the Ostrogoth king Theodoric the Great are said to have come to Thuringia when his niece Amalaberga married the King of the Thuringians, Herminafried . Those Ostrogoths are said to have settled below today's Schlossberg and given the settlement the name Gota . This founding legend is still reflected in the design of the Renaissance town hall portal: Since the Goths were once assigned the (Christian) symbols of lamb and lindworm, the reliefs of these two animals were attached to the portal in 1574 with the verse:
- "AS MAN DEMOLISHED THE OLD DVRM" ( meaning the tower of the St. James' Chapel, which was demolished in 1567 )
- "DARAHN STVND DIS LAMB VND LINDWVRM: THE LAMB LEADED THE GODS IN THEIR FLAGS IN PEACE, BUT THE LINDWVRM BUT THE LAMB ARTS THEIR ENEMY IN WAR VND."
Gotha developed as a central market town and stage station at an intersection of Via Regia or Hohen Straße (west-east direction), and a connection from Mühlhausen via Bad Langensalza to a transition over the Thuringian Forest near Oberhof (north-south direction) .
In a deed of donation dated May 18, 874, the current districts of Gothas Unsolteyleba ( Uelleben ), Kintileba ( Kindleben ) and the nearby community of Bufileba ( Bufleben ) along with 114 other places in Thuringia are mentioned as the Fulda Abbey. Archbishop Liubert zu Mainz as well as Abbot Sigehard zu Fulda asserted the right to raise the tithe for themselves. The dispute over this was decided by King Ludwig the German (840–876) at the court of Ingelheim in favor of the Fulda Abbey.
The planned urban layout , which is still recognizable today, was created under the Ludowingers . The city received about mid-12th century under Landgrave Ludwig II. The Eisenach town charter. In 1180/89 Gotha was first mentioned as a city in a document from the Landgrave. It became one of the main landgraves' mints. In 1207 there was a first devastating city fire. In 1223, the Mariae Magdalenae Hospital in Brühl was founded as the city's oldest charity by Landgrave Ludwig IV and his wife Elisabeth of Thuringia . of the later Saint Elizabeth. In 1247 the sovereignty passed from the Thuringian landgraves to the Wettins .
Gotha developed under the protection of Grimmenstein Castle , a constantly strengthened Wettin castle and its own city fortifications, which were built up from walls, city gates, towers, earthworks and ditches. The municipal military organization of the guilds produced the first rifle regulations around 1442 , which also regulates the training and arming of the vigilante group. The first bird shooting in front of the Brühler Tor was mentioned in 1478, and the best crossbowman was awarded a rifle chain by the city council. For a long time, the woad trade was the basis of a certain prosperity, until the 16th century there were more than 300 villages in the area around Gotha, Erfurt and Arnstadt that cultivated this woad plant. Woolen cloth production and finishing, as well as the manufacture of shoes and leather goods, can be named as the focus of the craft trades . In the 16th century also weapons, hoof, nail, coppersmiths and locksmiths, Schwertfeger, Nadler and plumbing had been established in the city with their own guilds, now found in the leather sector as specialists Sattler , Riemer , Beutler , Bag makers , Gürtler and the tanners .
The water supply was a major obstacle to further urban development. The few natural springs in the urban area and the urban wells were only partially sufficient, so the Leinakanal was created in 1369 under Landgrave Balthasar of Thuringia . This still existing technical monument of the city's water supply led over twelve kilometers of water from the edge of the Thuringian Forest to the city, as there were no natural rivers in Gotha. According to a preserved town order from the 14th century, a well master had to be chosen in every street in Gotha to be responsible for keeping the hydraulic structures clean and repairing them.
In 1526, Landgrave Philipp von Hessen and Elector Johann von Sachsen in Gotha reached an agreement that later led to the Schmalkaldic League . In 1545 a city fire destroyed almost half of the residential buildings. There was further destruction during the siege of the city and the castle in 1566 and 1567 by imperial troops under the orders of the Elector August of Saxony . Duke Johann Friedrich II wanted to regain the lost electoral dignity and allied himself with the knight Grumbach , who was under imperial banishment , against the emperor. The imperial troops finally won. The strong fortress Grimmenstein was razed during the Grumbach trade .
Elector August, who carried out the execution of the empire commissioned by the emperor, had a thaler minted on the capture of Gotha (1567) with a demonstratively large Kurschild, which propagated his victory on the front inscription and summarized the capture of Gotha in the inscription on the back.
Early modern times to the 19th century
In the 17th century Gotha became the residence of the Duchy of Saxe- Gotha under the Protestant Duke Ernst the Pious (since 1826 in personal union with Saxe-Coburg ). The dukes of Saxe-Gotha created an exemplary state in administration, economy and finance. The compulsory education for girls and boys and the Gothaer Schulmethodus of educators Andreas Reyher first school rules were introduced, scientific begun collections. The Hoftheater ( Ekhof Theater in honor of its co-founder Conrad Ekhof ) was built into a ballroom of the palace and, as the first stage with a permanent ensemble, influenced the development of German theater for a long time.
In 1663 a fire devastated over 300 houses in the historic old town, including in the Mönchelsstraße / Querstraße construction site in the south of Neumarkt. Timbers here have been dated to 1490.
Around 1740 an anti-Prussian newspaper in French, the Gazette de Gotha , was published in Gotha, supported by the court and in particular by the Duchess Luise Dorothea von Sachsen-Meiningen . Although it was only known locally, it attracted the displeasure of the Prussian royal family of Frederick II . In December 1744, the Prussian war counselor Backhoff Freiherr von Echt tried in vain for a truthful representation of the events of the Second Silesian War in the Gazette de Gotha .
The various interests of the dukes established Gotha's reputation as a city of natural sciences and the arts . Porcelain was already being produced in Gotha in 1757, making the porcelain factory one of the oldest in Europe.
Renowned scientists and artists came to the court through Gotha's reputation (see also → Personalities ). The castle fortifications were lifted under Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg . A park based on the English model was created. The Duke financed a modern observatory from private funds , which, according to his will, should be preserved as his only memorial. In 1785 the geographical publishing house Justus Perthes was founded, in which the Gothaer Adelskalender ( Der Gotha ) appeared from 1785 to 1944 . Ernst-Wilhelm Arnoldi founded the modern mutual insurance through the Gothaer Feuerversicherungsbank in 1820 (today: Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG in Cologne) and the life insurance bank in 1827 (today: Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG in Cologne) . The Gothaer Group in Cologne emerged from them . Thus Gotha can be seen as the place of origin of today's German insurance industry .
In 1847 it was connected to the railway network and the Gotha train station was built (initially the Leipzig - Frankfurt (Main) line ). Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha consistently represented the Prussian unification policy. He gained popularity as an advocate or protector of singers , gymnasts , riflemen , hunters and student fraternities . In 1849 the post-parliament took place in Gotha . Out of liberal conviction, a progressive constitution was approved and promulgated, which enabled “all-German” congresses such as the establishment of the German Rifle Federation in 1861 or the unification of the workers 'parties of Ferdinand Lassalle and August Bebel to form the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany , later the SPD . On the basis of the education law of Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha , August Köhler established the first training facility for teachers and kindergarten teachers. Köhler founded the German Froebel Association for Thuringia in 1863 , from which the General Froebel Association emerged in 1872 and the German Froebel Association a year later . All dealt with the teachings of the German "original pedagogue" Friedrich Froebel . The first German crematorium was built in Gotha in 1878 .
1900 to 1945
Favored by the good traffic conditions, the city developed into an important location for mechanical engineering, the printing industry and the processing of agricultural raw materials. Aviation was recognized as a rapidly developing branch early on (Fliegerstadt Gotha). In 1910 an airfield with airship hangars and a military airfield was built near Gotha on the southern slope of the Kleiner Seeberg. Before the First World War , the company began manufacturing aircraft. With a Gotha pigeon , a replica of the Rumpler construction , Karl Caspar crossed the English Channel to Dover in 1914 and dropped the first bomb to fall on the English mainland. As Gotha known bombers carried out the first air strikes on a city (from 1917 London off) during the First World War. After the defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Duke as part of the November Revolution, there was political radicalization that led to armed fighting in 1920 ( Kapp Putsch ) and 1923 ( Reich execution ). Gotha was the center of the fighting between left and conservative forces in Thuringia as early as 1918 and also in the following years as the state capital of the Free State of Saxony-Gotha . It was one of the few cities in Thuringia in which there were bloody battles at that time. When the rearmament began, aircraft production in the Gotha wagon factory was resumed. In addition, Kampfgeschwader 253 "General Wever" , later renamed Kampfgeschwader 4, was set up for the Luftwaffe .
As part of a comprehensive regional reform, the district of Gotha was created in 1922 , while the city of Gotha itself remained independent.
During the National Socialist era , some Gotha residents also resisted the regime. The socialist editor of the Thuringian people's newspaper Otto Geithner was arrested by the Nazis, interned in the Buchenwald concentration camp , but experienced the liberation. Otto-Geithner-Strasse was named after him. The Protestant pastor Werner Sylten worked in the office of the Confessing Church at Gartenstrasse 29, who organized help for Jewish Christians . He was murdered in the "euthanasia" institution in Hartheim (Austria). Werner-Sylten-Strasse is a reminder of him. A memorial for the victims of fascism has stood in the rose garden below the castle since 1969 . It was demolished in 2011. During the pogrom night of 1938, the Gotha synagogue was set on fire by the SA . A memorial at the former location on Moßlerstrasse has been commemorating them since 1988. Between 1934 and 1943 207 men and 475 women were victims of forced sterilization . From September 1939 to April 1945, 6,778 forced laborers and prisoners of war from the countries occupied by Germany had to do forced labor , mainly in Gotha armaments factories (e.g. Gotha wagon factory ). 215 victims of forced labor are buried in the main cemetery. A memorial stone commemorates them.
Air raids in February, August and November 1944, as well as in February, March and April 3, 1945 caused considerable damage to the city. The Margarethenkirche was badly hit (in 1952 the exterior was rebuilt in its old form, the interior was greatly changed). The state theater burned down (the preserved surrounding walls were removed in 1958). The Gotha Orangery was partially destroyed. The neoclassical station hall from 1848 was destroyed and later rebuilt in a simplified manner. A number of destroyed valuable town houses were not rebuilt. Lighter damage suffered u. a .: the Augustinerkirche, the Friedrichskirche, Schloss Friedenstein (only the main portal badly damaged), Schloss Friedrichsthal, Orangery, Park Temple and Haus Königsaal (Brühl). This damage was repaired relatively soon after the end of the war. Overall, Gotha was destroyed to five percent.
When American units approached at the end of the Second World War on April 4, 1945, an offer of surrender by the city commander Josef Ritter von Gadolla prevented further serious destruction of the city and unnecessary losses. Von Gadolla was legally shot for this act the following day in Weimar . The city was initially occupied by American troops for three months before it was occupied by Soviet troops in accordance with the decisions of the Yalta Conference in early July 1945 and Gotha became part of the Soviet occupation zone .
1946 to autumn 1989
On April 7, 1946, under pressure from the Soviet occupation forces, the KPD and SPD in Thuringia were united to form the SED in Gotha . The monument to Infantry Regiment No. 95 , erected in 1927, was demolished.
After the administrative reform in the GDR , Gotha was a district town in the Erfurt district . After dismantling and reconstruction, the profile of the city as an industrial city (in particular vehicle construction, printing shops (especially cartography ), rubber industry, food) was retained.
Gotha was involved in the unrest in the GDR on June 17, 1953 and in the days after. There was a strike in VEB Lowa-Waggonbau. Preparations for a demonstration in the city were prevented by SED agitators. The strike at the same plant on June 18 was carried out with political demands: the overthrow of the GDR government and free elections. On that day only the Soviet Army was able to prevent demonstrations from developing into the city by declaring a state of emergency . The following night "provocateurs" were arrested. On June 19, striking workers continued to demand the release of those arrested. Security organs prevented the plant from leaving for the city under threat of the use of firearms. VP Unterleutnant Günter Schwarzer from Gotha was executed on June 19 for refusing to take action against the strikers.
The tradition as a non-university education center of supraregional importance for the entire GDR could be continued ( technical schools for finance , transport technology, construction , engineering teachers, kindergarten teachers and nurses).
The museums (castle, regional and natural history museums), the state and research library, archives and important sights have been preserved or reopened. However, hundreds of works of art were lost under the American occupation and in 1946 the entire remainder of the Gotha art collections, the coin cabinet and the ducal library were transferred to the USSR as looted goods . The main part of the library (over 90%), the coin cabinet and most of the works of art returned from the Soviet Union in 1958. In December 1979, the art theft of Gotha , a theft of five paintings from the exhibition in Friedenstein Castle , was the most serious art theft in the history of the GDR.
At times, with a population of around 60,000, including students, an all-time high was reached.
Since the post-war period, there have been major losses in historical building fabric in Gotha, especially in the late GDR period. This included the demolition of the quarter west of the market square, including the Bürgeraue, as well as most of the houses on Moßler- and Große-Fahnen-Straße.
From autumn 1989
The turnaround was actively brought about in Gotha through Friday demonstrations based on prayers for peace. The first demonstration took place on Friday, October 27, 1989. The highlights were the peaceful occupation of the District Directorate of State Security on Dec. 4, 1989 and Willy Brandt's appearance on January 27, 1990 on the main market in front of thousands of listeners.
After German reunification in 1990, representative buildings such as the castle, winter palace, town hall, churches, water art and the Grand Ducal Museum were repaired. Many residential buildings could also be refurbished with the new options. On the other hand, empty buildings increasingly fell into disrepair, including those that were listed. In 2014, an entire row of houses on the Brühl was demolished, including four houses from the 16th to 18th centuries, a Renaissance building and the oldest house in Gotha.
In the course of the regional reform in Thuringia, the municipalities of Boilstädt and Uelleben were incorporated on July 1, 1994. The formerly independent villages Siebleben and Sundhausen were incorporated in 1922 and 1974 respectively.
From the end of the 1860s to 1910, Gotha's population doubled due to the economic development caused by the high level of industrialization in Germany . The First World War resulted in a slump of around ten percent, but this was evened out again by 1919.
After the end of the Second World War there were around 12,000 resettlers and evacuees in the city. This led to a further increase in the population. In 1975 the population reached its historic high of almost 60,000. In the 1970s, an increase to 70,000 inhabitants by the year 2000 was forecast. However, the population stagnated in the late 1980s to a value between 57,000 and 58,000.
With the turnaround and German reunification , there was a rapid loss of population. This can be attributed to the strong birth deficit in the post-reunification years and a negative migration balance . The move at the beginning of the 1990s mainly related to the surrounding communities of Gotha, in which extensive residential areas developed. Proof of this is the population increase in the Gotha district over the same period. At the end of the 1990s and around the turn of the millennium , however, emigration to the old federal states increased for economic reasons.
In the years from 2005 onwards, the negative migration balance of the city of Gotha could be continuously reduced, so that immigration and emigration were almost balanced. With the 2011 census, the population registers were cleaned up, which reduced the population by over 1,000 people. From 2012, however, immigration to the city will exceed the birth deficit, which will initially lead to a stabilization and currently to a growth in the number of inhabitants.
The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status. 1818 is an estimate, then census results or official updates from the statistical offices or the city administration. Before 1843, the number of inhabitants was determined according to inconsistent survey methods.
1 census result
The Gotha City Council has 36 members. The local elections since 1994 have produced the following results:
|Parties and constituencies||2019||2014||2009||2004||1999||1994|
|SPD||Social Democratic Party of Germany||30.4||11||34.9||13||31.0||11||17.3||7th||26.8||10||31.0||14th|
|AfD||Alternative for Germany||18.0||6th||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|CDU||Christian Democratic Union of Germany||17.0||6th||21.5||8th||24.3||9||30.9||12||30.7||12||30.1||13|
|LEFT (PDS)||Die Linke (until 2004: Party of Democratic Socialism )||12.9||5||18.2||7th||19.3||7th||24.7||10||19.7||7th||17.5||8th|
|FWG||Free community of voters||11.3||4th||8.9||3||11.4||4th||13.0||5||7.6||3||7.1||3|
|Pirates||Pirate Party Germany||5.4||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.8||-|
|GREEN||Alliance 90 / The Greens||6.9||3||4.4||1||3.5||1||4.5||-||1.8||-||7.9||4th|
|FDP||Free Democratic Party||3.5||1||2.8||1||5.7||2||4.4||-||2.3||-||3.2||-|
|NPD||National Democratic Party of Germany||-||-||4.2||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.8||0|
|BI||Citizens' initiative Gotha / Sundhausen, Uelleben, Boilstädt||-||-||-||-||4.8||2||5.1||2||11.1||4th||-||-|
|INSTEAD OF||INSTEAD OF PARTY THE INDEPENDENTS||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2.3||0|
|DSU||German Social Union||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.8||0|
In the 2014–2019 electoral period, in addition to the parliamentary groups of the CDU, the Left and the FWG, the representatives of the SPD and the FDP as well as the Pirates and Greens each formed a joint parliamentary group. Only parties and groups of voters with at least three members can form a parliamentary group. In addition, the mayor belongs to the city council.
The current Lord Mayor Knut Kreuch (SPD) was elected on May 7, 2006 and re-elected in 2012 and 2018 . The previous (lord) mayors - from the time of National Socialism to the time of the SED dictatorship between 1949 and 1990 to the democratically elected office holders since the collapse of the GDR - are "honored" without comment in a gallery with individual portraits in the old town hall.
coat of arms
The main shield of the coat of arms consists of two fields, the upper field in gold, the lower field is divided four times by black and red. At the heart of the main shield is Saint Gotthard in the bishop's robe, sitting on the golden cathedra decorated with lions' heads and legs . The throne rests on a white pedestal.
Over the purple chasuble he wears the white pallium with the stripe hanging over his chest on which four black crosses are woven. The miter, which is placed on the bishop's head, which is surrounded by a halo, is provided with liturgical attributes; He holds the crook in his right hand and the Bible in his left.
In the upper field of the main shield are shown: a five-towered red wall crown floating above the figure of the saint and the style of the patron saint; in three lines are the letters S. GOTE on the right, the letters HARDVS (S. Gotehardus) on the left.
(Excerpt from the main statute of the city of Gotha, § 3 coats of arms, flags, official seals)
- Romilly-sur-Seine (France) since 1960
- Salzgitter since 1988
- Gastonia (USA) since 1993
- Kielce (Poland) since 1997
- Martin (Slovak Republic) since 1997
- Adua (Ethiopia) since 2016
- Although there is currently (2015) no partnership with Gotha in Florida, a mention is still appropriate here: the settlement was founded in 1885 by the German immigrant HA Hempel, who named it after his former home. Today a main street in the town (Hempel Avenue) is named after him.
Culture and sights
- See also: List of cultural monuments in Gotha , List of Stolpersteine in the district and in the city of Gotha
The Gotha City Theater , a classical theater building designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and projected by Gustav Eberhard , was located on the eastern edge of the city center on Theaterplatz (since 1991 Ekhof-Platz). The building burned down in 1945 as a result of the war. The ruin was blown up in 1958, although the theater could have been rebuilt. Until the spring of 2011, a memorial stone from the old town club at the former location reminded of the venue.
In Gothaer Kulturhaus throughout the year rather than events. Today's Kulturhaus was originally built as a cinema and opened in 1940 with the operetta film "Rosen aus Tirol". Used as a movie theater until 1972, a one-year renovation phase followed. With a new boiler house, stage house, theater café and modernized interior fittings, it was reopened in 1973 as a district culture house. Ten years later it was named "Johannes R. Becher". Since 1990 it has been known as the Gothaer Kulturhaus. The existing theater stage with revolving stage and the modern sound and lighting technology enable performances of all kinds. With its 785 seats, the house is a venue for operas, operettas, musicals, concerts, drama and shows. Thanks to its wood paneling, the hall offers an intimate atmosphere and very good acoustics. The Kulturhaus is a guest theater, but also offers organizers the option of renting.
The newly built Cineplex cinema with seven halls has been in the city of Gotha since October 2014 .
- Museum of the German Insurance Industry
- Ducal Museum
- Museum of Nature Gotha
- Museum of regional history and folklore in the west tower of Friedenstein Castle
- Castle museum of the Friedenstein Castle Foundation
The landmark of Gotha is the largest early baroque feudal building in Germany, the Friedenstein Castle with the oldest English garden on the European continent and the casemates that can be walked on . At the Castle Park are the Orangerie , the 1950-2014 the City Library hosted (since March 2014 Winter Palace ), with the castle Friedrichsthal , the Winter Palace, the Prince Palace and the Ducal Museum (1951-2010 Museum of Nature ).
From the castle you can walk on the historical pavement on the north side of the castle hill, along the water art , into the historical old town and meet the market with the representative old town hall surrounded by numerous well-preserved department and patrician houses .
In the 17th century, the medieval city fortifications were replaced by fortifications that were later removed. There is now a ring road that separates the old town from the suburbs. Hardly any traces of the medieval street network, which was laid out at right angles, were left on the western edge due to modern development, whereas the eastern part of the old town was largely preserved. The street am Brühl leads to the Maria Magdalena Hospital . At the main market with the Rothen Löwen you can already see the city church of St. Margarethen on the Neumarkt. The second large church in Gotha is the Gothic Augustinian Church with baroque furnishings, in which Martin Luther preached several times. The oldest Augustinian monastery in Thuringia is attached to the church.
In the 19th century, as Prince Albert's residence and place of origin, Gotha received generous urban development funding. Numerous castle-like administration buildings, the Gotha and Reinhardsbrunn train stations and the horse racing track in Boxberg bear witness to this. For the Gotha upper bourgeoisie, Bahnhofstrasse became the first address for their villas.
The former ducal Saxon court theater in Gotha and later Gotha city theater , built on the basis of Schinkel's designs in 1839 on Ekhofplatz, burned down shortly before the city was captured by American troops in World War II. Under the SED regime, the often promised reconstruction was delayed until the building fabric could only be demolished. The former Volkshaus zum Mohren , located in the neighboring former Mohrenvorstadt , housed Goethe and Napoléon , among others, and was the founding site of the USPD in 1917 . In 2007, however, it was demolished in favor of future traffic planning in this district against the resistance of the population.
To the north of the old town are the founding site of the German Schützenbund with the listed Schützenhof and the cemetery with the oldest crematorium in Europe. Gotha has a large number of listed industrial buildings from the Wilhelminian era.
On the Krahnberg near Gotha, the Arnoldi Tower , which the Arnoldi family handed over to the city against the obligation to preserve it, stood for almost 150 years and was demolished in 1972 during the GDR era. As a popular excursion destination, it offered a view of the Thuringian Forest. A stele has been a reminder of the location since 2003. The best-known member of the Arnoldi family was Ernst-Wilhelm Arnoldi . Not far from the former Arnoldi Tower, the Gotha Citizen Tower was inaugurated on the Galberg am Inselsbergblick in June 2009 , which committed citizens built with the help of donations. The 35 m high observation tower on the almost 400 m high mountain towers considerably above the forest, offers an excellent view of the Gothaer Land and can be accessed free of charge around the clock.
The listed monuments are listed in the list of cultural monuments in Gotha .
The Gotha Castle Park is located in the middle of the city and surrounds the enormous Friedenstein Castle . It is the oldest English landscape garden on mainland Europe. Basically, the park looks like it was 200 years ago. A later addition is the fir garden from the second half of the 19th century. The rose garden laid out at the beginning of the 1930s was removed in 2011 and only exists by name.
The orangery with its historic cold houses and the greenhouse is part of the castle park, in which there are a large number of historical and important buildings and monuments. These are next to the castle z. B. Friedrichsthal Castle , the exhibition hall , the Ducal Museum , the Tea Castle and the Temple of Merkur.
In the southern part of the palace park there is a small and a large park pond. On the funeral island in the large park pond are u. a. the last three dukes of the House of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg - Ernst II. , August and Friedrich IV. - and the last Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Karoline Amalie , are buried.
In the western part of the park there has been a memorial stone for Infantry Regiment No. 95 , which existed from 1907 to 1945, since 1991 . Motto on the inscription: "fideliter et constanter" (faithful and constant).
The Gotha zoo is a six hectare zoological garden at the foot of the small Seeberg.
The Mönchspark in the Gotha-Siebleben district with its romantic hunting lodge, old trees and ponds is a hidden gem that is unknown to many visitors.
The protected parks can be found in the list of cultural monuments in Gotha .
The most famous football club is FSV Wacker 03 Gotha . The team currently plays in the Thuringia League . The Oettinger Rockets Gotha basketball team has been playing in the ProA (2nd Bundesliga basketball league ) since winning the 2012 ProB League final . The first men's team of the Gotha Volleyball Club has played in the 2nd Bundesliga South since the 2006/07 season and in the 1st Bundesliga since the 2010/11 season. The first women's team of the club played in the 2005/06 season in the 2nd Bundesliga South and in 2006/07 in the Regionalliga.
The Gothaer Hallenbad ( ) called Stadt-Bad was built in the late Art Nouveau style between 1907 and 1909 according to plans by city building officer Wilhelm Goette . In 2014 it was reopened after a thorough renovation, at the same time as the modern extension with a 25 m pool.
Gotha has also had an outdoor swimming pool in the south of the city ( ) since July 5, 1925 , which was then dug and built by the members of the Workers' Swimming Club on their own.
The city's most important festival is the Gothardusfest , which is celebrated on the first weekend in May and is dedicated to the city's patron saint St. Gotthard . The festival continues a medieval tradition that was recorded in a rifle regulation as early as 1442. The festival lasts three days with a variety of events such as markets and concerts. For example, at the beginning of the festival on a Friday, a large fireworks display is held in the orangery and the water art on the main market is put back into operation after a winter break. The following day there is traditionally a parade where clubs from Gotha and the surrounding area introduce themselves to the public. The “main actors” of the Gothardus Festival are St. Gothardus and Landgrave Balthasar, who are represented by Gotha citizens.
The second big city festival is the Baroque Festival . Since 2001, on the last weekend in August, the glamorous late Baroque era has been revived in the historic ambience of the Friedenstein Palace and the orangery : around 200 amateur actors slip into costumes for two days, the actor Duke Friedrich III. von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg takes on parades with his court , holds audiences , takes trips into the city and strolls through the orangery garden.
The Ekhof Festival with scenic performances and concerts takes place in the Ekhof Theater at Friedenstein Castle from June to August .
Every year in September, blacksmiths and metal designers meet in the middle of the old town for the international metal designer meeting "Gotha Glows" . At the same time, the autumn market takes place in the city center with a medieval flair. The forging results of the metal designers are auctioned off to the highest bidder every year for a good cause.
On the third weekend of Advent in the place Orangerie the Orangerie Christmas market place. Behind the laurel house , traditional and regional handicrafts are presented, the cultural program of the two days is primarily aimed at families and children.
In 2009 the Gotha-based authors Andreas M. Cramer and Ralph-Uwe Heinz made the Gotha Winter Palace the alleged place of origin of the Dinner for One in their stage play Dar ninezschsde Gebordsdaach or Dinner on Goth'sch . The adaptation of the classic sketch has since been performed on New Year's Eve in the Kulturhaus in Gotha dialect. In it, Duchess Sophie Karoline Amalie von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg celebrates her birthday in the Winter Palace with her deceased friends, all of whom were famous Gotha personalities: publisher Justus Perthes , entrepreneur Ernst-Wilhelm Arnoldi , Colonel Maximilian Franz Karl Ritter von Gadolla and historian Johann Georg August Galletti . Your servant Schluder stumbles over a polar bear skin called Knut . The text is peppered with numerous local allusions, and food and drinks are really goth ' beautiful and typical Thuringian, u. a. there is Gotano vermouth, Aromatique , Thuringian dumplings and Gothaer Kranz (a local cake specialty). According to the novel Dinner for One in Goth ' sch , the story of the Duchess ' strange birthday ritual is said to have come to Great Britain in 1845 via Sophie Karoline Amalie's grandson Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha , where she happened to be the playwright Lauri Wylie in the 1930s rediscovered and adapted for the stage.
In 1905 the Gotha confectioner master Albert Maasberg patented the Gotha wreath , which varied the recipe of the well-known Frankfurt wreath . In contrast to the light Frankfurt original, the dark Gothaer counterpart mixes buttercream with chocolate. The cake specialty filled with this cream is then covered with chocolate buttercream and sprinkled with roasted and weighed almonds. The original Gotha wreath also lacks the decorative cherries that characterize the Frankfurt wreath.
Gotano is a vermouth that was produced in the city until 2009 (most recently by Thüringer Weinkellereien Gotha GmbH) and was the best-selling vermouth in the GDR. The name Gotha wormwood developed in 1962became Gothano and then Gotano at the end of the 1960s. However, the traditional spirit has been produced in Stadtilm since 2010and only has the trade name in common with its city of origin.
Music and entertainment
- Gotha Children's Choir
- Thuringia Philharmonic Gotha-Eisenach
- Fanfare and Show Orchestra Gotha
- Handbell Choir Gotha
- High rope group siblings wisdom
- Louis Spohr Music School
- TonArt music schools Gotha
- Children's theater TINY
- Theater ensemble Art der Stadt e. V.
- Gotha Gospel Choir
In the city, a variant of Central Thuringia known by the locals as Goth ' sch is spoken. It is characterized by a mostly leisurely and slightly "singing" tone. The vowels are preferred to be lengthened and spoken darkly, and the soft consonants are mainly used. Countless sound changes, shortening and lengthening of syllables serve the flow of speech.
After the dialect in Gotha had not been publicly cultivated for decades and was mostly viewed in a derogatory way, it has experienced a renaissance since the late 1990s. Their increasing perception as culturally and historically important heritage is reflected among other things that, with the little dictionary Goth ' sch (1998), the little goth ' rule profanity book (2001) and the Goodschn Saachn (Gothaer Say, 2005) is now three books exclusively on the topic of dialect. The first popular scientific treatise on the linguistic and historical origins of the dialect appeared in 2003.
A Gothic dialect version of the New Year's Eve classic Dinner for One has existed since 2009 , and since 2010 the actors of the two fictional Gotha originals, Hänser & Schluder, have offered tours of the city and pubs exclusively in dialect.
Gothaer call themselves mostly as Goth ' cal (pronounced Goodsche). For long-time residents, who feel very attached to their hometown as well as to its history and dialect, the term (real) goth ' scher Lappenhöger (pronounced: real goodscher Labbmhööcher) is common - as an increase, as it were. Newcomers (goth'sch: Biegeschwemmde of beige flooded), however, can never, despite all Assimiliationsversuche real goth ' specific cloth Höger be. Derived is the original nickname of the popularly Lappenhög (Hög = hill, little mountain) said road High Sand , lived in the then largely poor people.
Up until the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, Gotha residents in Thuringia were also generally known as Goths ' cocks . Today this old mocking name is out of use and as good as forgotten.
- Old oak on the Boxberg with a chest height of 6.40 m (2016).
Economy and Infrastructure
In the Gothaer Bahnhof , which was only provisionally rebuilt after the Second World War, railway lines run in from four directions: the Thuringian Railway runs in an east-west direction , on which the ICEs from Dresden to Frankfurt am Main (two-hour stop) and the ICs from Gotha Travel from Berlin to Düsseldorf via Halle and Kassel . The Gotha – Leinefelde railway branches off to the north , where the Gotha Ostbahnhof is located.
In addition to the ICE and IC lines mentioned, the following regional express and regional train lines operate via Gotha station:
- RE 1 : Göttingen - Leinefelde - Mühlhausen - Gotha - Erfurt - Weimar - Jena - Gößnitz - Glauchau (every two hours) ( DB Regio Südost )
- RB 20 : Eisenach - Gotha - Erfurt - Weimar - Naumburg (Saale) - Weißenfels - Halle (Saale) (hourly) ( Abellio Rail Central Germany )
- RB 53 : Gotha - Bad Langensalza (every two hours) ( DB Regio Südost )
The city and its immediate surroundings have a tram system , which also includes the Thuringian Forest Railway. In the urban area, three tram lines serve 17 stops on an approximately eight kilometer long rail network and thus represent the backbone of the urban public transport. A 22 km long overland line of the Thuringian Forest Railway connects the city of Gotha with the cities of Friedrichroda, Waltershausen and the municipality of Tabarz at the foot of the Thuringian Forest .
In the years 2005 to 2007 the extensive renovation of the station forecourt in Gotha took place. With an investment volume of 12.3 million euros, the entire station area was reorganized. The area, which until then had been characterized by industrial wasteland and decay, was completely cleared and newly developed in terms of traffic. The city launched a competition to create a modern public transport terminal as a link between rail, city bus, regional bus and tram. This new junction for public transport was inaugurated in October 2007 and received an architecture prize for its design and urban planning.
- A 4 Frankfurt am Main - Dresden (junctions Gotha-Boxberg (41a) and Gotha (42))
- B 7 Erfurt - Eisenach
- B 247 Mühlhausen - Ohrdruf
- State roads to Waltershausen , Arnstadt , Goldbach , Emleben and Molschleben
- Special landing field Gotha Ost (Flugsportverein Gotha eV);
One of the most important companies in the city was the Gothaer Waggonfabrik , which from 1898 initially produced tram cars and from 1913 also airplanes, in GDR times as VEB Gothaer Fahrzeugwerk again trams and vehicle parts for the Wartburg car. In 1989 the plant had around 2,150 employees and in 1992 900. After that, in 1997 the company split into Schmitz Gothaer Fahrzeugwerke and Gothaer Fahrzeugtechnik.
Schmitz-Gotha Fahrzeugwerke, created in 1997 through the spin-off of the vehicle construction division from the former Gothaer Fahrzeugbau GmbH, is a subsidiary of Schmitz Cargobull AG , the largest manufacturer of truck trailers in Europe. Schmitz Cargobull has already invested more than 40 million euros in its Gotha facility in recent years. Annual production capacity is to be increased to 18,000 vehicles in the 2008/2009 financial year. In Gotha, Schmitz currently employs around 800 people in the Gotha-Ost industrial park, including temporary workers.
Gothaer Fahrzeugtechnik is one of the largest companies in Gotha. Until 1997 a trust company for mobile and crawler cranes with initially 85 employees, the company has specialized in the manufacture of crane mast tips and has around 400 employees.
An important company is the Gothaer Brewery , which is part of the Oettinger Group. With an output of 1.7 million hectoliters, it is by far the largest beer producer in Thuringia. The workforce has grown to 312 employees.
The Hurth Getriebewerk Gotha was created in 1992 from the gear factory founded in 1924 (GDR: VEB Getriebewerk Gotha ). In 1995 the company was taken over by ZF Friedrichshafen AG and renamed ZF Gotha GmbH . From 1995 to 2011 the company belonged to the division of ZF Passau GmbH with (2009) 177 employees and produced systems for forklifts. Since 2011, the assembly of axle drives for all-wheel drive cars and SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne has been carried out in Gotha . Today the plant is a production facility of ZF Friedrichshafen AG and is organizationally assigned to the Drive Technology Passenger Cars division in Saarbrücken.
The company Avery Dennison , a producer of self-adhesive products in the industrial area south of Gotha, has about 160 employees.
The Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH (ehem. Beyeler ) has at Gotha with their press brake competence center about 250 employees.
Other larger companies are C & P Stahlmöbel GmbH & Co. KG, Chipplattenwerk Gotha GmbH, Pero AG, Durable Hunke & Jochheim GmbH & Co. KG , Gothaplast GmbH , Weidemann-Maschinenbau GmbH Gotha, Bartsch International GmbH and the Thuringian country sausage and ham specialties GmbH & Co. KG.
- Bundeswehr : Friedenstein barracks : reconnaissance battalion 13 , 3rd / and 4th / logistics battalion 131, Gotha medical team, parts of the Erfurt military service center
- Technical aid organization : Gotha local association with Zugrupp, 1st rescue group, 2nd rescue group and electrical supply specialist group
Institutions of the State of Thuringia:
- Association for land development and land consolidation (VLF) Thuringia
- Accident Insurance Thuringia
- Thuringian State Institute for Forests, Hunting and Fishing
- Thuringian State Archives Gotha
- Gotha Research Library
- Gotha research center at the University of Erfurt
- Thuringian Finance Court
- Social Court Gotha
- District court Gotha
- Perthes-Forum Gotha : The historic buildings of the Justus Perthes publishing house, founded in 1785 at Justus-Perthes-Straße 3 - 9, were converted into the Perthes Forum between 2012 and 2014 . The construction measures with a volume of around 11,000 m³ (€ 18.2 million) were completed in November 2014. The Perthes Forum will now gradually take up extensive depot holdings from the Gotha Research Library, including the Perthes Gotha Collection , as well as the depot rooms and workshops of the restorers previously housed in Schloss Friedenstein , the library and the archive, supplemented by a reading room and the Thuringian State Archive Gotha.
Institutions in the district of Gotha:
- District Office Gotha with all associated authorities and institutions
In the 17th century, Duke Ernst the Pious introduced compulsory schooling for five to twelve year olds and the Gothaer Gymnasium was founded. As a result, the duchy took on a pioneering role in education in what was then Germany.
Today's school landscape in Gotha is composed as follows:
- 7 state primary schools: "Brothers Grimm", Gotha-Siebleben, "Andreas Reyher", "Ludwig Bechstein", "Erich Kästner", "Peter Andreas Hansen", "Josias Friedrich Löffler"
- 4 state regular schools: Oststadt Gotha, "Andreas Reyher" , "Friedrich Myconius" , "Conrad Ekhof"
- 1 cooperative comprehensive school: "Herzog Ernst"
- 3 high schools: Arnoldischule , Ernestinum , "Gustav-Freytag"
- 3 vocational schools: vocational school center Gotha-West including vocational high school, commercial-technical vocational schools, private medical vocational school in Gotha ("Gobi")
- 1 Protestant primary school
- 1 Protestant regular school (This started school in autumn 2009.)
There is also a regional support center ("Regenbogenschule"), the state support center Gotha as well as the adult education center and music schools.
There are 17 municipal or independent children's institutions.
With the Thuringian University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration, the city of Gotha has a tertiary education facility and is therefore a university location .
Other schools with supra-regional importance are:
- State technical school for construction, business and transport Gotha (This is the only school in Thuringia that is directly subordinate to the Free State and not a school authority.)
- Education center of the Thuringian Tax Administration Gotha
- Thuringian Land Surveying Office, Training Department
The Helios District Hospital Gotha / Ohrdruf in Gotha is a center of special care with around 300 beds. Helios Kliniken has held shares in the hospital since 1995 . In 2015, the district and the city of Ohrdruf agreed to sell their shares in Krankenhaus GmbH to the clinic group. In Gotha, the German Red Cross provides an emergency doctor and a rescue station in the city at the hospital. The private rescue service provider Schmolke is also represented in the city.
Old town preservation
The Verein für Stadtgeschichte Gotha eV , founded in 1990 as the Association for Old Town Preservation and Urban History Gotha eV , is in the tradition of the Association for Gotha History and Antiquity Research (1895-1945). From 1992 to 2013, the association was also the support association of the Museum of Regional History and Folklore Gotha .
The main belt asteroid (1346) Gotha was named after the city.
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- Udo Hopf: Grimmenstein Castle in Gotha. City administration Gotha, Department for press, public relations, town twinning and culture, Gotha 2012, ISBN 978-3-939182-48-1 .
- Kamen Pawlow: Gotha is worth seeing. Pawlow Publishing House, Gotha 2006, ISBN 3-00-019345-6 .
- Steffen Raßloff : A short history of the city of Gotha. Rhino Verlag, Ilmenau 2016, ISBN 978-3-95560-046-4 .
- Steffen Raßloff and Maik Märtin (eds.): Places of the Reformation - Gotha. Leipzig 2015, ISBN 978-3-374-04029-2 .
- Heiko Stasjulevics: Gotha, the city of flying. Rockstuhl Verlag, Bad Langensalza 2001, ISBN 3-934748-69-4 .
- Manfred Strumpf: Gotha's astronomical epoch. Horb am Neckar 1998, ISBN 3-89570-381-8 .
- Hans Walther : Street chronicle of the city of Gotha - including the suburbs Siebleben, Sundhausen, Beilstedt, Uelleben. Verlag Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza 2005, 2nd edition, ISBN 3-934748-26-0 .
- City of Gotha - Urban Planning Office (Ed.): Gotha - 20 Years Urban Regeneration - 20 Years Urban Regeneration . 116 pages, in German and English, Gotha 2011, without ISBN
- City website
- Pictures from Gotha
- The townscape of Gotha & Friedenstein by Matthäus Seutter (Augsburg, 18th century)
- Population of the municipalities from the Thuringian State Office for Statistics ( help on this ).
- Geography of Gotha on the city's official website ( Memento from January 12, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
- TK 25000, Thuringian Land Survey Office
- Source: Gotha City Administration, data as of December 31 of each year, main residences.
- Media information: The "Herr von Boilstädt" and the archaeological excavation for the Gotha-Sundhausen bypass; State Office for Monument Preservation and Archeology Weimar; February 12, 2016 .
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- Today's B 7.
- Today's B 247 .
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- Vogel, Huck: ibid . 1997, p. 34 .
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