District of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt

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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Map of Germany, position of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 38 '  N , 11 ° 19'  E

Basic data
State : Thuringia
Administrative headquarters : Saalfeld / Saale
Area : 1,036.03 km 2
Residents: 103.199 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 100 inhabitants per km 2
License plate : SLF, RU
Circle key : 16 0 73
Circle structure: 26 municipalities
Address of the
district administration:
Schloßstraße 24
07318 Saalfeld / Saale
Website : www.kreis-slf.de
District Administrator : Marko Wolfram ( SPD )
Location of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district in Thuringia
Weimar Eisenach Suhl Gera Jena Landkreis Altenburger Land Landkreis Greiz Tschechien Saale-Holzland-Kreis Freistaat Sachsen Freistaat Bayern Saale-Orla-Kreis Landkreis Sonneberg Niedersachsen Hessen Sachsen-Anhalt Landkreis Eichsfeld Landkreis Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Landkreis Hildburghausen Landkreis Schmalkalden-Meiningen Ilm-Kreis Landkreis Weimarer Land Erfurt Landkreis Gotha Wartburgkreis Landkreis Sömmerda Kyffhäuserkreis Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis Landkreis Nordhausenmap
About this picture
State division of the district before 1922

The district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt is a district in the south of the Free State of Thuringia . Despite its geographical location in the south of the state, the district is part of the planning region of East Thuringia .


Neighboring districts are the Weimarer Land district in the north, the Saale-Holzland district in the northeast, the Saale-Orla district in the east, the Bavarian district of Kronach and the Thuringian district of Sonneberg in the south, the district of Hildburghausen in the southwest and the Ilm district in the west. Circle . The Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district is crossed by the Saale River and is located in the Thuringian slate mountains .



The district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt has existed since 1994, when - initially with the name Schwarza district - the districts of Rudolstadt and Saalfeld were combined. These emerged from the district offices of the same name, which were renamed districts in 1922. In addition, there was the northern part of the Neuhaus am Rennweg district, founded in 1952, and part of the former Lobenstein district (town of Lehesten and districts).

Population development

Population development in the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district between 1994 and 2013

Development of the population:

  • 1994: 140.112
  • 1995: 139.040
  • 1996: 138.529
  • 1997: 137.282
  • 1998: 135.425
  • 1999: 134.307
  • 2000: 132.885
  • 2001: 131.015
  • 2002: 129.610
  • 2003: 127.910
  • 2004: 126,692
  • 2005: 125.087
  • 2006: 123.516
  • 2007: 121,542
  • 2008: 119.817
  • 2009: 118,303
  • 2010: 116,818
  • 2011: 115,722
  • 2012: 111.463
  • 2013: 110,307
  • 2014: 109,646
  • 2015: 109.278
  • 2016: 108,315
  • 2017: 107,368
  • 2018: 106,356
  • 2019: 103.199
Data source: from 1994 Thuringian State Office for Statistics - values ​​from December 31st


Election of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district assembly 2019
Turnout: 60.3% (2014: 50.7%)
n. k.
Gains and losses
compared to 2014 without Lichte and Piesau
(now in the district of Sonneberg )
 % p
-10.0  % p
+ 22.3  % p
-0.6  % p
+1.9  % p
-8.7  % p
+1.8  % p
+ 0.8  % p
-1.9  % p
-5.6  % p
Template: election chart / maintenance / notes
d Citizens for the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
h Citizens' initiatives against excessive local taxes in the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district

District Administrator

Marko Wolfram (SPD) has been the district administrator since October 3, 2014 . In the runoff election on September 28, 2014, he won with 57% of the votes in front of his challenger Bernhard Schanze (non-party), who received 43% of the votes. Other candidates were Ulrike Klette (left) and Wilfried Meißner (non-party), who were eliminated in the first ballot on September 14, 2014.

The election on June 28, 2020 was won by Marko Wolfram (SPD) with 58.5% of the vote, ahead of his challengers Maik Kowalleck (CDU) with 23.7% of the vote and Brunhilde Nauer (AFD), who received 17.8% of the vote . The turnout was 42.4 percent. The new term of office begins on October 3, 2020.

Former district administrators

District council

The 46 seats in the district council are distributed among the individual parties as follows:

Party / electoral association Seats
Allocation of seats in the
Saalfeld-Rudolstädter Kreisag 2019
A total of 46 seats
CDU 11 (-4)
AfD 10 (+10)
SPD 7 (± 0)
Citizens for the district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt 7 (+1)
THE LEFT 5 (-4)
FDP 3 (+1)
GREEN 2 (± 0)
Citizens' initiatives against excessive local
taxes in the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
1 (-1)
NPD 0 (-3)

(As of: local election on May 26, 2019 )

coat of arms

The coat of arms was approved on January 16, 1995 by the Thuringian State Administration Office.

Blazon : “Quartered; Fields 1 and 4: in gold a black, gold nimbly, red armored double-headed eagle, the chest covered with a gold shield with a princely hat, over the eagle heads an imperial crown with red caps, in the claws holding a gold scepter and a gold imperial orb, underneath a red spreader fork over a red comb; Field 2 and 3: divided nine times by black and gold, covered with a diagonal, green diamond wreath. "

An overview of the coats of arms of the towns and municipalities in the district can be found in the list of coats of arms in the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district .

Cultural institutions and sights

Thuringian State Museum Heidecksburg

The Heidecksburg in Rudolstadt is the most magnificent baroque palace of the 18th century in the Free State of Thuringia. In the high Middle Ages still owned by the Counts of Orlamünde , the Blackburg Counts acquired the castle in 1340 . From 1574 to 1918 it was the residence of the counts and later princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Today the castle houses, among other things, the Thuringian State Museum Heidecksburg . It is one of the largest and most visited museums in Thuringia. In accordance with its historically evolved structure of the collection, the specialist work focuses on the many facets of the residential culture at the court of the Princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. The museum association Thuringian State Museum Heidecksburg, which is sponsored by the district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, includes not only the Residenzschloss but also the Friedrich-Froebel-Museum in Bad Blankenburg, the Museum of Hunting and Forestry History in Paulinzella and the Imperial Hall at Schloss Schwarzburg .

Friedrich Froebel Museum Bad Blankenburg

The Friedrich-Fröbel-Museum has been housed in Bad Blankenburg since 1982 in the building in which the “founder” of the kindergarten, Friedrich Fröbel, opened his first “play and employment facility” in 1839, which later became his kindergarten. Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (born April 21, 1782 in Oberweißbach; † June 21, 1852 in Marienthal) achieved world renown through the establishment of the first kindergarten in 1840 in Blankenburg (Thuringia). In the "house above the cellar", in which the Friedrich Froebel Museum is located, the kindergarten was born. Froebel's thoughts on education and upbringing as a whole are as time-bound as they are original and modern. They stimulate pedagogical thinking up to the present day.

Thuringian State Theater Rudolstadt - Thuringian Symphony Orchestra Saalfeld-Rudolstadt

The Rudolstadt Theater is a theater in Rudolstadt in Thuringia. It traces its tradition back to the princely summer theater founded in 1792/93. The Thuringian State Theater Rudolstadt is also the main place of activity of the Thuringian Symphony Orchestra Saalfeld-Rudolstadt. For this reason, the full name is Thuringian State Theater Rudolstadt - Thuringian Symphony Orchestra Saalfeld-Rudolstadt GmbH. The theater is run by a special purpose association to which the district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt (50 percent) as well as the cities of Rudolstadt (38 percent) and Saalfeld / Saale (12 percent) belong. [1]

Laura Concentration Camp Memorial

The Laura subcamp was one of around 130 subcamps of the Buchenwald concentration camp . It was set up on September 21, 1943 in Schmiedebach in the Thuringian Slate Mountains on the edge of the Oertelsbruch in order to move the weapons production underground. In the Oertelsbruch, an underground oxygen plant and test stands for engines for the A4 rocket (also known as the V-2) were built. A total of around 2,600 prisoners were housed in the concentration camp, at least 560 of whom died as a result of abuse, malnutrition and the consequences of forced labor. On April 13, 1945, the camp was liberated by US soldiers . Since 1979 there has been a memorial in the former main accommodation of the concentration camp, a large field barn. With the end of the GDR, this was first passed into the sponsorship of the Lobenstein district and with the district reform in 1994 into the sponsorship of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district. The property, which was originally privately owned, was bought by the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district, as the ownership of the district was a prerequisite for the approval of subsidies from the State of Thuringia. Between 2011 and 2014, the entire exhibition was revised and the outdoor facilities redesigned. The district has been the operator of the memorial since 2012, with around 4,000 visitors during the season (from April to October). Due to the largely completely preserved original substance, the concentration camp memorial is a specialty among the Buchenwald satellite camps. In the course of the restoration, wall decorations from the prisoners' days were exposed.

Economy and Infrastructure

The Saalfeld-Rudolstadt region not only has a culturally interesting history. The inventive and entrepreneurial spirit has a long tradition here. For example, parallel to JF Böttger, Georg Heinrich Macheleid invented what is known as “white gold” porcelain here in 1760, in 1919 the world's first X-ray tube production was established in Rudolstadt and in 1935 the first industrial production plant for rayon. Today the economic area has a broad branch structure. Determining are u. a. the steel industry, medical technology, machine and tool construction, the chemical and plastics industry, glass and porcelain production and food production. On this basis, the region's economy is always at the forefront when compared to Thuringia, especially in terms of sales and exports. The companies are supported by business development agencies such as the state development company, the municipal business development agency and the innovation and start-up center. Start-ups and expansions are professionally supported here and find space to develop in 30 commercial and 4 industrial areas in the region. Innovation is very important at the location - the Thuringian Institute for Textile and Plastics Research in Schwarza has its share in this as well as international market leaders, e.g. Königsee-Implantate GmbH, the Sandoz competence center aerosols in Aeropharm GmbH, and TRUMPF Medical as Part of Hill-Rom and the Siemens AG-Healthcare Sector Röntgenwerke.

The Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Region Economic Development Agency, as a communal working group, has set itself the goal of better meeting the requirements of effective and targeted economic development in a structure that is unique in Thuringia by bundling specialist skills. With the participation of the district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, the cities of Bad Blankenburg, Rudolstadt and Saalfeld, as well as the Innovations- und Gründerzentrum GmbH, tasks of classic economic development are carried out and joint projects are developed. Municipal economic development is a support for companies in all questions of the location, the infrastructure and the financing / funding and of course free of charge.


With the train station in Saalfeld / Saale , the district has a regional rail hub. The Oberweißbacher Berg- und Schwarzatalbahn operates as one of the first rail lines operated as a profit center by Deutsche Bahn in the south-western district. Due to the new construction of the high-speed line Nuremberg-Erfurt , Saalfeld, like Jena, lost the ICE stop on the long-distance Berlin - Munich line . In this regard, the local politicians are calling for improvements and commitments to protect existing assets, which are of particular importance not only for Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, but also for the Saalebahn. The importance of Saalfeld as a railway junction has grown over time. Not far from Saalfeld in Probstzella , the train distance to Berlin and Munich is 300 km.

The district is crossed by the federal highways 85 , 88 , 90 and 281 . In the respective neighboring districts, the A 4 runs in the north , the A 9 in the east, the A 71 in the west and the A 73 in the south . With regard to the connection to the federal motorways, the district still sees some catching up to do. The distance to the respective motorways is almost the same and too far for the region and its importance. Even if various bypasses up to and including federal motorways bring relief, more direct access to the federal motorways would significantly enhance the region.

Shipping traffic is operated on the Hohenwartetalsperre in the southeast of the district. Several passenger ships offer tours on the reservoir. In addition, the mill ferry enables people to be transferred from one side of the reservoir to the other by car and motorcycle. The northern landing stage of the mill ferry is in the Saale-Orla district. The ferry does not operate all year round.


The Ostthüringer Zeitung (OTZ) is predominantly sold in the district's catchment area . OTZ maintains two local editorial offices in Saalfeld and Rudolstadt. Furthermore, three free advertising papers will be distributed.

In the cities of Saalfeld and Rudolstadt there is one cable television provider each, which, in addition to local advertising, sends a small amount of short articles and reports as moving images.

In Saalfeld itself there is the seat of a regional studio of the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) and the seat of the citizen radio SRB . While the MDR provides the district with its radio offerings at least terrestrially, the SRB cannot fully reach the district. Here the local politicians and the administration are trying to significantly improve the supply of the area, although this is associated with difficulties due to the topographical location.

Protected areas

There are 16 designated nature reserves in the district (as of January 2017).


As a regional center with partial function of a regional center is Saalfeld / Rudolstadt / Bad Blankenburg reported (funktionsteilig).

The basic centers are the cities of Königsee and Oberweißbach / Thür. Wald and the community of Probstzella .

(Residents on December 31, 2019)

community-free municipalities

  1. Bad Blankenburg , City (6334)
  2. Leutenberg , City (2079)
  3. Rudolstadt , City (24,943)
  4. Saalfeld / Saale , City (29.278)
  5. Uhlstädt-Kirchhasel (5729)
  6. Unterwellenborn (8453)

fulfilling communities

  1. Kaulsdorf (2410), fulfilling community also for
    1. Altenbeuthen (207)
    2. Drognitz (615)
    3. Hohenwarte (177)
  2. Königsee , Stadt (7350), fulfilling community also for
    1. Allendorf (337)
    2. Bechstedt (147)
Allendorf Altenbeuthen Bad Blankenburg Bechstedt Cursdorf Deesbach Döschnitz Drognitz Gräfenthal Hohenwarte Katzhütte Kaulsdorf (Saale) Königsee Lehesten Leutenberg Meura Probstzella Rohrbach Rudolstadt Saalfeld/Saale Schwarzatal Schwarzburg Sitzendorf Uhlstädt-Kirchhasel Unterweißbach Unterwellenborn ThüringenMunicipalities in SLF.png
About this picture

Administrative communities
(*) Seat of the administrative community

  1. Graefenthal , City (1935)
  2. Lehesten , town (1672)
  3. Probstzella * (2851)
  1. Cursdorf (598)
  2. Deesbach (322)
  3. Döschnitz (236)
  4. Katzhütte (1293)
  5. Meura (417)
  6. Rohrbach (near Saalfeld) (192)
  7. Schwarzatal , city, rural community * (3543)
  8. Schwarzburg (533)
  9. Sitzendorf (783)
  10. Unterweißbach (765)

For the terms "administrative community" and "fulfilling community" see administrative community in Thuringia .

Territorial changes


Administrative communities and fulfilling communities

Name changes

  • from administrative community Probstzella / Loquitzgrund to administrative community Probstzella-Lehesten-Marktgölitz (September 1, 1995)
  • from administrative community Lichte-Piesau-Schmiedefeld to administrative community Lichtetal am Rennsteig (December 30, 2004)
  • of administrative community Probstzella-Lehesten-Marktgölitz to schiefergebirge (31 December 2013)
  • from Königsee-Rottenbach to Königsee (January 1, 2019)

License Plate

On July 1, 1994, the RU (Rudolstadt) and SLF (Saalfeld) vehicles were assigned to the district . From February 1, 1995 only the abbreviation SLF was official. Since November 24, 2012, the distinctive sign RU has been available again.

Web links

Commons : Landkreis Saalfeld-Rudolstadt  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Population of the communities from the Thuringian State Office for Statistics  ( help on this ).
  2. District election in Saalfeld-Rudolstadt 2019 In: wahlen.thueringen.de .
  3. wahlen.thueringen.de
  4. Elections in Thuringia, district council election on June 28, 2020, final result. Thuringian State Office for Statistics, accessed on July 11, 2020 .
  5. ^ Regional plan East Thuringia of October 28, 2011 , accessed on October 16, 2016