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

Coordinates: 50 ° 34 '  N , 10 ° 25'  E

Basic data
State : Thuringia
County : Schmalkalden-Meiningen
Fulfilling municipality : for Rippershausen
for Sülzfeld
for Untermaßfeld
Height : 287 m above sea level NHN
Area : 105.64 km 2
Residents: 24,796 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 235 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 98617
Primaries : 03693
036943 (Herpf, Stepfershausen), 036945 (Henneberg)Template: Infobox municipality in Germany / maintenance / area code contains text
License plate : SM, MGN
Community key : 16 0 66 042
City structure: 10 districts

City administration address :
Schlossplatz 1
98617 Meiningen
Website :
Mayor : Fabian Giesder ( SPD )
Location of the district town of Meiningen in the district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen
Belrieth Birx Breitungen Brotterode-Trusetal Christes Dillstädt Einhausen (Thüringen) Ellingshausen Erbenhausen Fambach Floh-Seligenthal Frankenheim/Rhön Friedelshausen Grabfeld Kaltennordheim Kaltennordheim Kühndorf Leutersdorf Mehmels Meiningen Meiningen Neubrunn Oberhof Obermaßfeld-Grimmenthal Oberweid Rhönblick Rippershausen Ritschenhausen Rohr Rosa Roßdorf (Thüringen) Schmalkalden Schwallungen Schwarza Steinbach-Hallenberg Sülzfeld Untermaßfeld Utendorf Vachdorf Wasungen Wasungen Zella-Mehlis Thüringenmap
About this picture
View across the market to the post office (2011)
Outline map of the city of Meiningen
Topography of Meiningen - Source: OpenTopoMap (2015)

Meiningen is a district town in the Franconian south of Thuringia .

Meiningen functions as a medium- sized center and, as a medium-sized town, is the largest city in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district . As a district town, it is also the administrative seat of the district. It is the cultural and justice center of southern Thuringia as well as an important economic center of the region. The fulfilling municipality of Meiningen has 27,844 inhabitants.

Meiningen is located on the Werra , has extensive parks and numerous classicist buildings in the city center . The historic old town , which is still enclosed by the medieval moats of the former city fortifications , is characterized by an eclectic district and half-timbered buildings as well as town houses.

Meiningen was founded as a Franconian royal estate and was first mentioned in a document in 982. From 1008 it belonged to the Würzburg Monastery for over half a millennium and, thanks to its favorable location, soon developed into the most important city in what is now southern Thuringia. It was able to maintain this position from 1583 as the administrative seat of the Henneberger Land and from 1680 as the capital and residence of the Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen until the 20th century. The city also became known through a far-reaching theater reform under Duke Georg II and the great heyday of the Meiningen court orchestra under the leadership of well-known conductors such as Hans von Bülow and Max Reger .


Geographical location

Meiningen is centrally located in Germany and belongs to the transnational region of Franconia . The city is located in the Werra valley on the eastern edge of the Rhön at an altitude between 280 m and 470 m. The city borders with the district of Henneberg directly on the Free State of Bavaria and it is around 25 kilometers to the Hessian border. The city is traversed in its entire length from south to north by the Werra, the right source of the Weser . Meiningen is surrounded by wooded hills and mountains with mainly agricultural valleys and plains. In the north and east there is the foreland of the Thuringian Forest , in the west the Rhön, in the south the Grabfeld and in the south-east the Upper Werra Valley.

Meiningen is part of the Rhön tourist area with the Rhön Biosphere Reserve , to which the districts of Herpf , Stepfershausen and Träbes belong. It is 65 kilometers to the Rhine-Main metropolitan region , which extends to Fulda . Your center of Frankfurt am Main is 160 kilometers away. The closest major cities are the Thuringian state capital Erfurt (80 km) and Würzburg in Lower Franconia (105 km).

In 2000, the city was awarded the title Q-City by the University of Kaiserslautern under the leadership of Bernd Streich , who carried out a geoscientific study on the optimal location of a city in Germany with Ranga Yogeshwar on behalf of the WDR broadcast Quarks & Co. After evaluating certain important criteria, the choice fell on Meiningen.

Panorama of Meiningen (core city) - on the far left in the back the Jerusalem district - in the middle and on the right the center - in the back the eastern districts and the Drachenberg


The city is located in the Werra-Gäuplatten area , which in Thuringia is known as Meininger Kalkplatten . During the GDR era, the area was called Meininger Triasland . The Werra-Gäuplatten are a shell limestone plateau area belonging to the Mainfränkische Platten , which extends southeast along the Werra to the vicinity of Coburg and south to Mellrichstadt and the Grabfeld. The Main Franconian Plates belong to the main German natural spatial unit, the Southwest German Layered Level Country . The highest mountain in the Meiningen urban area is the Hohe Berg at 539 meters in the Stepfershausen district. Furthermore, the eastern slope of the Gebaberges near Träbes with an altitude of up to 750 m belongs to the urban area. To the west and east of the city there are plateaus between 440 and 480 meters, which once formed a coherent plateau into which the Werra and its tributaries cut deep with steep edges. The bottom of the valley is 280 meters, so the difference in altitude is up to 200 meters. Up to the most recent geological history, geological forces caused the western slopes to gradually slide down into the Werra valley. This is how the Goetz Cave was created around 20,000 years ago , the largest accessible cleft and crevice cave in Europe that is accessible to tourism and has crevices up to 50 meters high. The shell limestone plateaus are flanked on both sides by the mountain massifs Dolmar ( 739  m ) and Gebaberg ( 751  m ). These mountains, eight and ten kilometers from Meiningen, are extinct volcanoes with basalt domes belonging to the Rhön . The natural area Werraaue Meiningen- Wartha or Werraaue Meiningen- Vacha , which leads to the north or the Werra downstream, begins in Meiningen .

Urban area

Around 46% of the urban area of ​​105.65 square kilometers is forest. Settlement and traffic areas, which are mainly located in the Werra Valley at an altitude of between 280 and 400 meters, take up around 16%. District and commercial area Dreißigacker and the industrial area "Rohrer mountain" lie west to around 450 m high plateaus and east of the valley. The core city of Meiningen has a compact urban cityscape. With the surrounding communities of Untermaßfeld , Ober Maßfeld-Grimmenthal and Ritschenhausen , Meiningen forms the center of a city ​​region or a conurbation.

City structure

The city is divided into ten districts, seven of which are administrative districts: the core city , consisting of the inner city with the historic old town , Nordstadt, Oststadt, Südstadt, Jerusalem , Helba and Welkershausen as well as the six districts with the district constitution of Drei 30acker, Herpf, Henneberg with Einödhausen and Unterharles , Stepfershausen with Träbes, Walldorf and Wallbach.

On December 31, 2019, the population register of the Meiningen residents' registration office listed 25,183 citizens with their main place of residence . There were also 1,152 citizens with secondary residence .

district Main residence Secondary residence Total population Area in km²
Core city Meiningen 19,225 921 20,146 34.27
30 acre 1,388 70 1,458 7.11
Henneberg , Einödhausen and Unterharles 594 31 625 13.20
Herpf 875 38 913 18.08
Stepfershausen and Träbes 611 22nd 633 15.76
Wallbach 367 9 376 5.07
Walldorf 2.123 61 2.184 12.16
Meiningen (total) 25.183 1,152 26,335 105.65

Source: Annual Review of the City of Meiningen 2019. Meiningen Media, published in April 2020.

Neighboring communities

The cities and municipalities border the city area starting in the north in a clockwise direction: City of Wasungen (11 km), Utendorf (4.5 km), Kühndorf (6.5 km), Rohr (6 km), Ellingshausen (4.5 km) , Ober Maßfeld-Grimmenthal (4.5 km), Untermaßfeld (4 km), Sülzfeld (6 km), Grabfeld (OT Jüchsen , 11.5 km), town of Mellrichstadt (Bavaria, 17.3 km), Rhönblick (10 km) , Unterkatz / Wahns (Wasungen) (12/11 km), Rippershausen (6 km) and Mehmels (9 km). The distances are given as the crow flies between the city center (market) and the respective town centers.


The Werra Valley, which is low-lying and sheltered from the wind, compared to the surrounding mountain ranges of the Rhön and the Thuringian Forest, as well as the dense urban development, ensure a mild climate in Meiningen from a regional perspective.

Weather station with climate garden in Drei 30acker

The city of Meiningen itself does not have an official weather station. But one of the 164 full-time weather stations of the German Meteorological Service (DWD) is located in the Drei 30sacker district on a plateau 450 m above sea level and around 160 meters above the city center . Due to this difference in altitude, the temperatures in the city are on average 1.5  ° C higher than the values ​​measured in Dreianzigacker. As a result, there are also differences in the type of precipitation, especially in the winter half-year, and in wind speeds . The values ​​for the total precipitation and the hours of sunshine, on the other hand, are approximately the same.

All of the following weather data are measured values ​​from the weather station 10548 Meiningen (until 2015 weather station ) of the DWD for the 30-year period from 1991 to 2020, with the highest average values for temperature (8.9 ° in the third decade 2011-2020 as a result of current climate change C) and duration of sunshine (1607 hours) was measured.

The annual mean temperature at the Drei 30acker weather station is 8.31 ° C and around 9.8 ° C in Meiningen-Stadt. The highest temperature value was measured on July 25, 2019 at 36.3 ° C. It was coldest on February 12, 2012 with a measured −18.5 ° C. If one uses the long-term average from 1961 to 1990 with 6.9 ° C (city: 8.4 ° C) for comparison, a temperature increase of 1.4 ° C can be found in Meiningen. The coolest year was 1996 with an annual mean temperature of 6.1 ° C, while it was the warmest in 2018 with 9.7 ° C.

The annual average value for the amount of precipitation is 648 millimeters (1961–1990 = 660 millimeters). The greatest amount of precipitation in one day fell on August 16, 2015 with 61.3 mm over the city. The wettest month was October 1998 with 167.2 millimeters of precipitation. These were rare exceptional values, technically called "outliers". In contrast, the weather service was able to report several extremely dry months, with January 1996 being the driest with 1.1 millimeters of precipitation. The amount of precipitation in Meiningen is 40–50% lower than in the low mountain range Rhön and Thuringian Forest, which are only a few kilometers away, and is also below the German average of 791 millimeters (1991–2020).

The city has an average annual sunshine duration of 1571 hours. An increase of 84 hours compared to the period 1961–1990 (1487 h) can be seen here. The sun shone the longest on June 19, 2005 with 16.0 hours. The sunniest month with 324 hours was July 2018. The sun was the least visible in December 1993 with 7.3 hours.

The sheltered location gives the city relatively few storms, but on individual winter days with high pressure weather can lead to inversion weather conditions. Only on the treeless high plateau in the thirty-acres does the wind often get stronger. Due to the legally required use of environmentally friendly energies due to the sheltered valley location and the lack of industry, Meiningen has good air quality .


The first traces of settlement were found in 2015 during an archaeological excavation in the old town at the Töpfemarkt, the oldest district of Meiningen. Here was found from the period of the Neolithic period post holes of housing and settlement traces such as ceramics and stone tools as evidence of the Corded Ware culture (2800-2200 v. Chr.). Remains of a Celtic settlement from the Hallstatt period (800–450 BC) were discovered in 1861 on the grounds of the English Garden . Meiningen was a Franconian royal estate founded and was the seat of a decade and a Mark (Meininger Marca), an administrative unit in Gau grave field orientalis in the Duchy of Franconia . These functions, the location at a river crossing with several trade routes and the Germanic origin of the name suggest that the place emerged in the course of the Frankish settlement in the 7th century at the latest.

First mentioned until 1680

View from 1676
Town hall around 1900
View into Georgstrasse

Meiningen was first mentioned in a document in 982, when Emperor Otto II handed over his royal estate Meiningen in the Meininger Mark to the Peterskirche in Aschaffenburg . Around the year 1000, construction began on the St. Marien town church, which still exists today, as a market church. King Henry II. Was 1008 Meiningen the Roman Catholic Diocese of Würzburg as a fief and from then on it was part of 534 years to the Bishopric of Würzburg .

In 1153, the sovereign granted Meiningen its first town charter with jurisdiction . In 1222 it suffered severe damage during armed conflicts between the Würzburg monastery and the county of Henneberg . In 1230 Meiningen was first mentioned in a document as a city ( civitas ), and in 1344 its citizens received the same rights as the citizens of the Free Imperial City of Schweinfurt . As a member of the League of Eleven Cities , the city took part in the Franconian City War against the Würzburg bishop. Meiningen belonged to the Franconian Empire from 1500 to 1806 . In 1542 the city came to the Counts of Henneberg through an exchange with the Mainberg Office , and after their extinction in 1583 to the Duchy of Saxony . In the 16th and early 17th centuries, Meiningen achieved a great economic boom due to the barchent and linen weaving, which was abruptly ended by the Thirty Years' War. In 1660 Meiningen came to the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg and in 1672 changed to the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha .

1680 to 1918

Duke Bernhard I formed the Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen in 1680 and chose Meiningen as the capital and residence . In 1682 construction began on the Elisabethenburg residential palace . In 1690 the duke founded the court chapel that still exists today . From 1782 onwards, Duke George I had the English Garden laid out and the city ​​fortifications razed. In 1813 the Russian army camped with 70,000 soldiers and 2,300 officers under Tsar Alexander during his campaign against Napoleon in and around Meiningen. Duke Bernhard II opened the first Meiningen court theater in 1831 . In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city developed into one of the most important financial centers in Germany through the establishment of several major banks. In 1858 Meiningen received the first connection to the German railway network with the opening of the Werra Railway. When the duchy was divided into districts in 1868, Meiningen became a district town in addition to its status as the capital.

Georg II reformed the director's theater together with Helene Freifrau von Heldburg and Ludwig Chronegk and presented this important theater reform from 1874 to 1890 through numerous guest performances by Meininger in large parts of Europe. A devastating city ​​fire destroyed a large part of the city center in 1874. The reconstruction was carried out in the classical style. Also in 1874, with the inauguration of the Bavarian railway station, the Meiningen – Schweinfurt line operated by the Bavarian State Railroad began operations. In 1880, Duke Georg II brought the conductor and composer Hans von Bülow to Meiningen, who turned the Meiningen court orchestra into a top European orchestra. In 1909 the new house of the court theater was opened and in 1914 the main workshop of the Prussian State Railroad (later Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (RAW), today Meiningen steam locomotive works ) started work.

Weimar Republic and the time of National Socialism

After the abdication of Duke Bernhard III. As a result of the November Revolution, Meiningen was the capital of the Free State of Saxony- Meiningen from 1918 to 1920 and became part of the State of Thuringia in 1920. With Helba the first incorporation of a place took place in 1923, Welkershausen followed in 1936. When the armed forces were rearminged by the National Socialists , they built the Barbarakaserne and Drachenberg barracks in 1936 . The Meiningen synagogue was looted and devastated during the November pogrom in 1938 and demolished in 1939.

A heavy American air raid on Meiningen on February 23, 1945 with 49 "flying fortresses" B-17 and 145 tons of bombs claimed 208 deaths, destroyed 251 houses and two bridges and damaged 440 buildings, including the entire west side of the market square with the neo-Gothic Town hall. Units of the 11th Armored Division of the United States Army took the city on April 5 after a short battle and surrendered it to the Red Army on July 6, 1945 .

Time of the GDR

From 1952 to 1990 Meiningen belonged to the district of Suhl as the district town of the Meiningen district . With the construction of a plant for microelectronics , the new district of Jerusalem was created from 1968 to 1982 in the north between Helba and Welkershausen. The town partnership with Neu-Ulm began in 1988 . In autumn 1989 the city was an important center of the political change in southern Thuringia.

After reunification

Thirty- one- acres , only one kilometer away , was incorporated on October 1, 1990. On October 3, 1990 Meiningen came to the re-established state of Thuringia. In the 1990s, the city once again became an important city of art and culture, which it had been until the 1950s. Furthermore, numerous residential complexes and large public buildings were built during a building boom in the 1990s. In 1994 Meiningen was designated the district town of the newly formed district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen. With the construction of the A71 in 2003, the city received a direct connection to the German motorway network.

New town twinning was concluded in 2006 with Bussy-Saint-Georges near Paris in France , in 2007 with Obertshausen ( Hesse ) and in 2012 with the municipality of Meiningen in Vorarlberg . Herpf was incorporated on December 1, 2010. With the reopening of the Volkshaus in 2018, an important gap in the city's cultural offering was closed. On January 1, 2019, Walldorf, Wallbach and Henneberg with Einödhausen and Unterharles and on December 31, 2019 Stepfershausen with Träbes were incorporated into the city.


Denomination statistics

According to the 2011 census , 22.4% of the population were Protestant , 5.0% Roman Catholic and 72.6% were non-denominational , belonged to another religious community or did not provide any information. The number of Protestants and Catholics has fallen since then. As of December 31, 2019, 19.0% of the residents in Meiningen were Protestant, 4.1% Catholic and 76.9% either had another religion or no religion at all.



Due to the Reformation , Meiningen became predominantly Evangelical-Lutheran in 1544 . Since then, the parish has had the town church of Our Lady as its domicile. It later belonged to the Evangelical Church of Saxony-Meiningen , which in 1920 became part of the Evangelical Church of Thuringia and the city became the seat of the Meiningen District Church Office and a superintendent . After the merger of the Evangelical Church of Thuringia with the Evangelical Church of the ecclesiastical province of Saxony to form the Evangelical Church in Central Germany on January 1, 2009, the regional bishop's seat of the Propstsprengel Meiningen-Suhl and the seat of the church district Meiningen were established in Meiningen . The parish of Meiningen includes the Evangelical Lutheran parish Meiningen with the parish parts in Meiningen-Nord ( Church of the Holy Cross ), Helba , Welkershausen , Untermaßfeld and the daughter parish of Drei 30iacker . The Walldorf district has its own rectory. In the other districts, the parish of Herpf belongs to the parish of Stepfershausen , the parish of Henneberg to the parish of Hermannsfeld and the parish of Wallbach to the parish of Metzels .

As the largest Christian congregation in the city, the Evangelical Lutheran Church Congregation has 4,050 members (2013). There are other Protestant parishes in Meiningen. Since 1905, this includes the Baptists of the Evangelical Free Church Community with 70 believers, who became independent in 1927 and built a new church and parish hall in 1937 with the Bethel Chapel. In 1901 the regional church community Meiningen was founded . The Christ Congregation and the Free Church Community Hope for All should also be mentioned .

In 2019, a total of 5,073 Meiningen citizens had a Protestant denomination.

Roman Catholic

After a short membership from 982 to the Archdiocese of Mainz and to the collegiate church of St. Peter and Paul in Aschaffenburg, Meiningen belonged to the Diocese of Würzburg from 1007 to 1994 . After the move to Grafschaft Henneberg in 1542 and the Reformation in 1544, the few remaining Catholic believers lived in the diaspora . Only in the 19th century did a larger Catholic community grow again. It received a new church in 1881, but it had to give way to a newer modern church building as early as 1972 . In 1973 the Vatican combined the parts of the Catholic dioceses of Fulda and Würzburg that were in the GDR territory to form the Episcopal Office of Erfurt-Meiningen , which the Holy See elevated to the new Diocese of Erfurt in 1994 . One of the seven deaneries is the Meiningen deanery , which unites eight parishes, including the Meiningen parish of St. Marien with 2,150 believers (2016).

In 2019, 1,097 Meiningen residents belonged to the Roman Catholic religious community.

New Apostolic

Until 2016, the city was the seat of a church district of the New Apostolic Church in Central Germany with 13 congregations and 1650 members (2007). A newly built church was consecrated on February 20, 2000 for the community of Meiningen with around 300 believers. After a structural reform of the church, the Meiningen parish is now part of the Gotha church district . Six community members live in the town of Meiningen itself.

Catholic Church "Our Lady"
City church St. Marien in Meiningen, 2015.jpg
Evangelical town church "Our dear women"

Other denominations

Furthermore, 30 Huguenots and Mormons as well as residents of the faiths Romanian-Orthodox (15), Russian-Orthodox (17), Greek-Orthodox (9) and a member of the Jewish state community of Thuringia live in the city.

Former parishes


Monument to the destroyed synagogue

A Jewish religious community existed until 1938. It can be proven that Jews had been resident in Meiningen since 1243. The first Jewish communities were destroyed in 1298 and 1349 ( plague pogrom ) and in 1566 all Jewish citizens had to leave the city entirely. It was not until 1850 that Jews were allowed to live in Meiningen again. In 1866 they founded the Meiningen Jewish Community . With around 500 members, 293 of them from the city of Meiningen, the community reached its peak in 1925. The synagogue , inaugurated in 1883, was devastated during the Reichspogromnacht in 1938 and demolished in 1939. A memorial commemorates this event and the synagogue, which was erected on the site of the former synagogue, which has not been rebuilt to this day.


Helba was incorporated on April 1, 1923, Welkershausen on April 1, 1936, and on a voluntary basis and with a local council on October 1, 1990, Thirty-Acres and Herpf on December 1, 2010.

The voluntary integration as a district in the city of Meiningen was decided in 2017/18 by the communities of Walldorf north of Meiningen (decision on April 27, 2017, contract on February 27, 2018) and Wallbach (decision on March 21, 2018, contract on May 15 2018) as well as the previously fulfilled municipalities of Henneberg (resolution on February 28, 2018) and Stepfershausen (resolution on October 16, 2018, contract on October 23, 2018). On January 1, 2019, Walldorf, Wallbach and Henneberg and on December 31, 2019 Stepfershausen were incorporated into the city of Meiningen as a district with a district council.

Population development

According to the Thuringian State Office for Statistics (TLS), 24,796 citizens lived in Meiningen with their main residence on December 31, 2019, and 25,189 citizens with main residence were registered at the Meiningen residents' registration office at the same time.

In the Middle Ages , the city , which belongs to the Würzburg monastery, had an average of 2,000 inhabitants, in 1545 there were 2,200 people. The number rose to 4,800 by 1634 due to an economic boom. During the Thirty Years War , the population decimated to 1,300 within a few years through death and displacement. When Meiningen was elevated to the status of capital and royal seat in 1680, around 2,000 people lived in the city. From the beginning of the 19th century, the population grew steadily to 22,305 in 1939. After the Second World War there was a slight increase to 25,345 due to refugees from eastern Germany, but fell again to 23,484 inhabitants in 1950 due to emigration to western Germany. The population peaked in 1983 with 25,905 (main residence).

After the German reunification , Meiningen lost around 6,000 inhabitants with the sudden loss of thousands of jobs and the resulting emigration, due to a decline in the birth rate and suburbanization . From 2011 onwards, the number of inhabitants increased again due to increased influx. With the incorporations that took place in 2019, the population continued to rise and has since stabilized at around 25,000.

In a 2015 forecast published by the TLS for the population development from 2015–2035, Meiningen's population is expected to grow by +1.4%.


The round building of Elisabethenburg Palace is the headquarters of the city administration
Fulfilling municipality Meiningen

Meiningen is a district town and a medium-sized center in Thuringia with a catchment area of ​​around 120,000 inhabitants as a district town and 60,000 inhabitants as a medium-sized center. The city continues to function as a regional center in some areas , but is not classified as a medium-sized center with a partial function of a regional center . The Meiningen Justice Center with four courts and the public prosecutor's office, the Meiningen State Archives , the Meiningen State Theater with the court orchestra, as well as the University of Applied Sciences and the Thuringian Police Education Center fulfill the highest central functions . The police facilities are responsible for the whole of Thuringia, the other facilities mentioned for the planning region of Southwest Thuringia. The Meiningen museums and the Helios Klinikum Meiningen (main supply with a supraregional supply mandate) also fulfill supraregional tasks in the fields of culture and health care . Furthermore, the social department of the Thuringian State Administration Office and a regional bishop's seat of the Evangelical Church are located in Meiningen .

Fulfilling municipality Meiningen

As a fulfilling municipality, the city ​​takes on the administrative work for the independent neighboring towns (fulfilled municipalities) Rippershausen , Sülzfeld and Untermaßfeld . The municipality of Meiningen, including its own 25,097 residents, is responsible for a total of 27,984 residents (as of December 31, 2020).

local community Residents Area in km²
Meiningen city 25.097 105.65
Rippershausen 813 11.50
Sülzfeld 859 17.39
Undersize field 1,215 10.79
Fulfilling municipality Meiningen 27,984 145.33

City council

The city council has 30 seats. Then there is the mayor, whose place is taken by Fabian Giesder (SPD). The local elections of 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 produced the following results (the current distribution of seats is shown in bold , as of May 2019):

Parties and voter communities %
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany 14.9 5 10.8 3 15.7 5 26.5 (8) * 10 33.6 10
CDU Christian Democratic Union 22.2 7th 23.6 7th 19.9 6th 23.7 7th 16.6 5
The left Die Linke (until 2007 PDS ) 21.4 7th 28.7 9 23.3 7th 16.8 5 8.3 2
Pro Meiningen Free voters 37.0 11 29.1 9 23.8 7th 15.7 (5) * 4 12.1 4th
Green Alliance 90 / The Greens 4.5 0 7.8 2 9.8 3 7.9 2 8.7 3
AfD Alternative for Germany - - - - - - - - 12.5 4th
FDP Free Democratic Party - - - - 5.1 1 1.2 - 2.0 1
Flat share Drei 30acker Association of voters in Drei 30acker - - - - 2.2 1 2.2 (1)* - 1.3 -
Flat share Herpf Voting Community Herpf - - - - - 1 2.8 1 3.3 1
Pirates Pirate Party Germany - - - - - - - - 1.6 -
NPD National Democratic Party of Germany - - - - - - 3.2 (1)** - - -
total 100.0 30th 100.0 30th 99.8 31 100.0 29 100.0 30th
Voter turnout in% 51.3 41.3 46.0 48.0 58.5

* Number of seats according to the election result of May 24th, 2014, Harald Bernhardt from Pro Meiningen and Sascha Kellner from the flat-share flat in Drei 30acker moved with their mandate to the SPD parliamentary group in June 2014. ** Sven Dietsch from the NPD resigned on February 15, 2015, the seat was not filled.

The strongest party in the city council is by far the SPD, followed by the CDU. Just like the SPD, the Greens are above the election results of the district and the Free State of Thuringia in terms of the proportion of votes. The CDU, the Left, the FDP and the AfD are sometimes far below the values ​​of the district and Free State.


Mayor was Reinhard Kupietz from Pro Meiningen (Free Voters) from 1992–2012 . In 2012 Fabian Giesder (SPD) took over the office.

The mayoral election on April 15, 2018 ended with the following result:

  • Thomas Fickel - CDU, 1154 votes, 13.0%
  • Fabian Giesder - SPD, 7046 votes, 79.5%
  • Enrico Schaarschmidt - FDP, 665 votes, 7.5%

The turnout was 50.7%.

Until the elevation as a residence and capital, the city leaders carried the official designation Stadtschultheiß, then mayor and from 1935 “1. Mayor". Since 1945 there has only been the title of “mayor” in the city.

→ See: List of Mayors of Meiningen

coat of arms

Coat of arms of the city of Meiningen

Blazon : “In the simple shield in blue, rounded at the bottom, a silver city wall surmounted by five silver, red-roofed towers, in the open gate of which stands a red-armored, right-facing black hen on a green three-hill.” (Quote, source: § 2 of the main statute of the city of Meiningen from October 14, 1994).

The first city seal from around 1290 contained a city wall crowned by three towers with an open gate into which a bridge leads. The bridge was later replaced by the image of a bishop with a miter. The extended town charter of 1344 stipulates that Meiningen's coat of arms should have five towers in the future. By edict of May 23, 1557, the bust of the bishop was replaced by the heraldic animal of the Henneberger. The crescents and onion domes have no Ottoman references, they were only used for design purposes.

Town twinning

Official city partnerships exist with the following four cities and municipalities.

Friendly relations exist with the megacity of Adelaide in Australia because of its namesake Queen Adelaide (Queen of England), Princess Adelheid von Sachsen-Meiningen , who was born and raised in Meiningen .


As a former residence for many years and thanks to dukes who love art, Meiningen has an extensive and diverse cultural landscape. In the 19th century, the court theater and the court orchestra made theater and music history. The “ Kulturstiftung Meiningen-Eisenach ”, the “Meininger Theaterstiftung” and the “Stiftung Meiningen Architectural Monuments” contribute to the preservation of the cultural heritage . To protect Meiningen's cultural assets, Meiningen cultural institutions and authorities founded the “Meiningen Emergency Association” in 2019, which, in addition to the Weimar Competence Center, is one of four emergency association centers in Thuringia.


Meininger State Theater

The Meininger Theater

The "Meininger Theater" is a four-branch theater and is run by the city of Meiningen, the district and the state of Thuringia. The theater operated as the South Thuringian State Theater until the beginning of 2017 . Ansgar Haag has been the artistic director since 2005. The theater, founded in 1831, offers musical theater , drama , ballet ( Thuringian State Theater Eisenach ) as well as puppet theater and concerts on the stages Großes Haus and Kammerspiele . The house's “Theater Youth Club” and “Bürgerbühne” perform current plays on youth and social issues in the Kammerspiele.

The house, which was called "Meininger Hoftheater " until 1920, had a special meaning at the end of the 19th century, when the ensemble called " Meininger " under the direction of the "theater duke" Georg II played a leading role in the establishment of modern directorial theater in acting in Europe.

Meininger Puppet Theater

The puppet theater, which in principle operates independently, was founded in 1986 at the Meininger Theater. The repertoire includes pieces of all ages. The most famous pieces shown worldwide are The Steadfast Tin Soldier and Condom of Horror . The ensemble has made numerous trips to individual guest performances and puppet theater festivals on four continents, including Japan, China, Korea, Australia, Canada, the USA and many European countries. Maria C. Zoppeck has been the director of the puppet theater since 1987, and she also works as a writer.

Citizens' stage Meiningen

In 2014 the Bürgerbühne was founded at the Meininger Theater. Here people of all ages from Meiningen and the region have the opportunity to stand on a theater stage themselves. Each season, which is coordinated with the State Theater, three productions are produced and performed several times in the Kammerspiele. The Bürgerbühne, which is under the patronage of the mayor, is directed by the director Gabriela Gellert.

Children's and youth theater hubbub

The children's and youth theater "Tohuwabohu" of the Meiningen art and creative school has existed under this name since 1993. It emerged from a youth theater group founded in the 1970s. The children's and youth theater has four play groups of different ages, which appear in schools, in youth centers, on cabaret stages or in the adult education center. Every year in spring Tohuwabohu hosts the nationwide children's and youth theater workshop Schau-Spiel . The artistic director of the youth theater is the theater pedagogue and director Elke Büchner.

Movie theater

The first movie theater in Meiningen was opened in 1910 with the "Metropoltheater" on the market. In 1912 the "Central Theater" followed on the square at the chapel, which was closed again in 1922. Other cinemas were the "Union Theater" (UT) of the cinema chain of the same name, which existed from 1928 to 1956, and the "Volkslichtspiele" (Volkslichtspiele), newly built in 1956 (closed in 1991). In 1919, in the house of the Meiningen civil casino company built in 1891, the "casino light games", which still exist today, were established. The first sound film was shown there in 1929. At the end of the 1970s, a cinema café with a bar was set up in the rank, where cinema-goers could have drinks during the performance. In 1996 the casino was converted into a modern multiplex cinema with six halls. Since 2009 two and since 2013 all cinema halls in the house, which was completely modernized in 2013/14, have been equipped with 3D technology for spatial cinema images.


Meininger Court Chapel

The "Meininger Hofkapelle" is one of the oldest and most traditional ensembles in Europe. The orchestra , which now has 68 members, is affiliated with the Meiningen Theater and, in addition to its performances, regularly invites you to symphony concerts and youth concerts. General Music Director (GMD) has been the Swiss Philippe Bach since the 2010/11 season, 1st  Kapellmeister and Deputy General Music Director (GMD) was Chin-Chao Lin from Taiwan until 2018, 2nd Kapellmeister and assistant to the GMD is Mario Hartmuth.

The court orchestra was founded in 1690 by Duke Bernhard I founded. The first conductors were among others Georg Caspar Schürmann and Johann Ludwig Bach . In October 1880 Hans von Bülow became Hofkapellmeister, who developed the band into an elite European orchestra. Johannes Brahms came to Meiningen through Bülow to work with the court orchestra and to conduct it from time to time. As a close friend of George II, he was often a guest in the city until his death. Brahms also wrote four works for the well-known Meiningen clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld . Other excellent conductors were Richard Strauss , Fritz Steinbach , Wilhelm Berger , Max Reger and Kirill Petrenko .

Music schools, orchestras and choirs

The Max Reger Music School is well known . It is housed in the Bibra building of Elisabethenburg Palace. The private music school "Kling-Klang" should also be mentioned.

The today's " Jugendrotkreuzorchester Meiningen ", founded in 1970, has concert music in rock, pop, Dixie sound as well as classics of recent music history in its repertoire. The "Meininger Residenzorchester" consists of active and former members of the Meininger Hofkapelle and has been performing since 1990 mainly on small stages or as part of the supporting program of large municipal or economic events. In the Protestant community there is a “trumpet choir” that plays at church events.

The city's choirs include the “Mixed Choir of the Music School” (head: Matthias Bretschneider), the “Choir of the Meininger Theater” (director: Sierd Quarre), the “Meininger Gospel Choir”, the “Catholic Church Choir”, the “Meininger Kantorei” ”And the“ Children's Choir ”of the Protestant community, the“ Young Women's Choir ”and the“ Children's and Youth Choir ”(both Max Reger Music School).


Meiningen museums

Under the umbrella of the Meiningen Cultural Foundation , the " Meiningen museums " are combined with the three locations Elisabethenburg Palace , Baumbachhaus Literature Museum and Theater Museum .

Elisabethenburg Palace houses the four museum departments

  • Historic interior from Rococo to Empire to Historicism ,
  • Art collections with paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceramics, clocks and other handicrafts from different centuries,
  • Music history about the Meininger Hofkapelle, Johann Ludwig Bach, Richard Wagner , Hans von Bülow, Johannes Brahms , Richard Strauss, Max Reger and
  • Theater story about the Meininger .

The theater museum "Zauberwelt der Kulisse" in the former riding arena offers an annually changing exhibition of historically valuable stage prospectuses from the travel time of the Meiningen court theater.

The literary museum "Baumbachhaus" focuses on an exhibition on the life and work of the local poet Rudolf Baumbach . Furthermore, the work of Friedrich Schiller , Jean Paul and Ludwig Bechstein during their time in Meiningen is dealt with. There is also a department for town and local history.

Meiningen museums
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Theater museum
Baumbachhaus Literature Museum

Other museums

The Meiningen two-wheel museum "MZM" shows all types of two-wheelers produced in the GDR and a large number of police vehicles. This is run by a private association whose members, with a lot of initiative and manual skill, acquire the models in every condition and restore them to their original condition.

The steam locomotive works offers guided tours on the first and third Saturday of the month. The locomotive hall with the currently available steam locomotives, other rail vehicles, wheel set lathes, the boiler shop and other historical facilities are shown here. An interactive museum has been under construction here since 2018 with the “Steam Locomotive Experience”.


The “Städtische galerie ada” shows primarily contemporary art in the new exhibition rooms they moved into in 2007 on Bernhardstrasse. From 1990 until then it was in the Hartung House , a restored half-timbered building in the old town district of the Töpfemarkt.

The Meiningen museums operate an “upper gallery” and a “lower gallery” in their rooms in Elisabethenburg Palace. There, in constantly changing exhibitions, historical exhibits in particular on a current cultural or communal topic are presented.

In the galleries of the Meiningen Kunsthaus, there are expositions of modern art , especially the fine arts of painting, graphics and sculpture.

In the vestibule of the leisure center "Rohrer Stirn" a photo gallery which is photography scene Meiningen housed. Here the photo work of the members is shown in thematically changing exhibitions.

Other continuously operated galleries are located in the building of the former Deutsche Hypothekenbank, today the headquarters of the Rhön-Rennsteig-Sparkasse, where in particular photo exhibitions of well-known actresses from film and television are shown, in the justice center, where mainly sculptures are exhibited, and in the Meiningen Clinic.

Libraries and Archives

The city and district library "Anna Seghers" is housed in a historic half-timbered building in the city center on Ernestinerstraße. There are also libraries in the Meiningen museums, in the Police University of Applied Sciences in the Thuringian Police Education Center and in the Meiningen Justice Center.

The Meiningen State Archives and the Meiningen City Archives are located in the "Bibra building" of Elisabethenburg Palace . As another archive is Kreisarchiv in the district office in the district of Jerusalem resident.


Popular motif for city tourists: the Büchner Secret Annex (1596)
Town church popular with tourists

Cultural and city tourism is of great importance for Meiningen because of its rich cultural tradition and a cityscape that is well worth seeing . The hiking and cycling trails around Meiningen, the Goetz Cave, which was reopened in 2000, and the caravan and camping site, which opened in 2003, are attractions for sporty, active vacationers. Furthermore, the city is located on the Klassikerstraße and the Europastraße historic theaters .

Culture and city tourism

The cultural tourism is concentrated mostly on the Meiningen Museums , the performances of the Meiningen Theater and several cultural and art events such as the Summer Festival of the Meiningen Theater , the city and hats festival, the Meininger cabaret days and the Meiningen Steam Locomotive days .

The traditional Hotel Sächsischer Hof

In city ​​tourism , the city is visited daily not only by individual tourists but also by tour groups. Most of them come from the surrounding holiday areas that Meiningen has chosen for a flying visit. For the tour groups, in addition to visiting the museums , a city ​​tour to culturally and historically significant sites is often part of the program. Visitors arriving independently can book their own city tour, otherwise public city tours are offered every Saturday. An annual average of around 150,000 day tourists come to Meiningen.

Active and leisure tourism

Meiningen offers several options for active vacationers. The city is very well developed for cycle tourists via the long -distance cycle routes Werratalradweg , Main-Werra-Radweg and Meiningen-Haßfurt cycle path . It can also be hiked on the premium hiking trail “Der Meininger” and the long-distance hiking trail Milseburgweg Fulda-Meiningen as well as the Celtic adventure trail and is easily accessible through the Werra for canoe water hikers. The small four-star caravan and camping site Rohrer Stirn , which is open from April to October, offers 30 parking spaces for caravans and mobile homes as well as tent sites on a meadow. The leisure center "Rohrer Stirn" offers sport and relaxation with its indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and sporting events such as spinning and 24-hour swimming .


In 2012, Meiningen was named the winning city and “Germany's most active city” by the German Olympic Sports Confederation in the nationwide Mission Olympic city ​​competition to promote popular sport, together with Weißwasser . In 2016, the city hosted the health initiative “Germany is on the move!” By BARMER GEK and Bild am Sonntag.

To maintain and promote sport in Meiningen, the Association for the Promotion of Meininger Sports Facilities and Sports Opportunities e. V. (SSFV) was founded. It forms the umbrella organization of around 40 non-profit Meiningen sports clubs with more than 4,600 organized athletes, including around 1,500 children and young people.

sports clubs

Germany is on the move (2016)
Venue for numerous sports events - the Multihalle in the Jerusalem district

The largest sports club is the "Turnsportverein (TSV) Meiningen e. V. “with 644 members who are represented in the sections of apparatus gymnastics, badminton, dancing, aerobics, parent-child gymnastics and Mammi-Fit. A second large sports club is the “Polizeisportverein (PSV) Meiningen 90 e. V. “with 586 members who practice martial arts, athletics, winter sports, volleyball and weight training. The third largest sports club with 474 members is the Meininger section of the German Alpine Club . Other sports clubs with a large number of members are the ESV Lok Meiningen (375 members), the “Meininger Schwimmverein Wasserfreunde e. V. "(344), the" Martial Arts Center Universum (KSZU) Meiningen "(321 / Taekwondo and the Japanese Kobudo ) and the football club VfL Meiningen 04 (302).

  • Volleyball: The volleyball women of VV 70 Meiningen became Thuringian champions in 2010, played in the 3rd league east in the 2012/13 season and are currently at home in the fourth-class regional league east.
  • Football: With VfL Meiningen 04 (Thuringian state class), SG Helba, SG Meiningen (youngsters) and ESV Lok Meiningen (women, association league) from the city center as well as Herpfer SV 07 (Thuringian state class), SV 1921 Walldorf, SG SV 87 Henneberg (both district league) and SV 01 Drei 30acker (district league) from the districts, the city now has eight football clubs (as of the 2019/20 season). The women's soccer team and some girls' teams from ESV Lok Meiningen are represented in the highest Thuringian league, the association league. The VfL has been the most successful so far, he has already played several times in the Thuringian League and previously in the GDR League (2nd league / one season), but mostly in the national class. Far better known and even more successful was the army football club ASG Vorwärts Meiningen , which existed from 1962 to 1974 and won the runner-up championship several times in the GDR league. Up to 12,000 spectators came to what was then the Rudi-Arnstadt-Stadion for the championship and cup games, including against GDR Oberliga teams .
  • Cycling: The cycling club Blau-Weiß Meiningen e. V., which operates road and track cycling, triathlon and cycling touring. The most famous cyclist that the club produced is Christian Bach . In 2011, Blau-Weiß Meiningen e. V. carried out the German road championship for young cyclists. Another cycling club is the “Meininger Mountainbike Club e. V. ".
  • Martial arts: At PSV Meiningen 90 e. V. (PSV) you can devote yourself to the martial arts Judo , Ju-Jutsu and Kendo in the Budo section . In 2006 the PSV hosted the European Cup in Ju-Jutsu. The "Martial Arts Center Universum" (KSZU) Meiningen offers Taekwondo and Japanese Kobudo . In 2007 the KSZU held the 3rd European Cup in Kobudo. At the association “Yawara e. V. “ boxing , kickboxing , judo and ju-jutsu are offered. Another martial arts club is the “Erste Meininger Karate - Dojo e. V ".
  • Sports bowling: Well-known bowling clubs are the "KBSV Turbine Meiningen 1951 e. V. ”, the“ KSV Einheit Meiningen e. V ". and the “SV 1970 Meiningen e. V. “The women of SV 1970 bowled one season in the 2nd Bundesliga (120 litter) and are currently represented in the association league like the men's team.

Furthermore, the Canoe Sports Club Meiningen e. V., the tennis club "Grün-Gold" Meiningen, an athletics section of PSV Meiningen, the handball, table tennis, chess and stick sports sections of ESV Lok Meiningen, two riding clubs and the "Disabled SV Meiningen".

Well-known athletes are the cyclist Christian Bach , the sports bowler Dominik Kunze ( SKC 1947 Victoria Bamberg ) and the bobsleigh rider Janine Tischer .

Sports calendar

Annual sports events with great response.

  • The SV Meininger Wasserfreunde organizes a major sporting event in June or early July with the 24-hour swim .
  • Every year in July, the Real Madrid Foundation Clinic football school hosts a training camp in the Maßfelder Weg stadium. SG Meiningen is the partner and host.
  • The "Herzog-Georg-Nachtlauf" takes place in the city center at the end of August. The children's run (1 km) starts at 8 p.m., the everyone’s run (4 km) at 9 p.m. and the main 12 km run at 10 p.m.
  • Since 1991 the Meininger Citylauf has been held on October 3rd on the occasion of the Day of German Unity.
  • The German championships in country and western dance take place in October in the Multihalle.
  • The Meininger New Year's Eve run in the castle park with start and finish at Elisabethenburg Castle is the oldest running event of its kind in Germany.

Sports facilities

The largest sports facilities are the Maßfelder Weg stadium (formerly Rudi-Arnstadt-Stadion) with four soccer fields (including an artificial turf field), a beach volleyball field and athletics facilities and the Meiningen multi-hall as a four-field hall. The city's first indoor swimming pool was opened in 1908 and is now used as a sports hall after renovation. There are also other sports halls and soccer fields in the city area. The leisure center "Rohrer Stirn" offers an indoor and outdoor pool. There is also a bowling alley , several tennis courts, a four-lane system for stick sports and two riding arenas .

Regular events

The city's recurring events include the spring market , Easter market , Maimarkt , Meininger Herbst and Martinsmarkt special markets on the market square , which are popular attractions for numerous visitors with their varied programs and goods on offer.

Every year in March, the children's and youth theater "Tohuwabohu" organizes the theater workshop Schau-Spiel , in which youth theater groups from all over Germany take part.

From March to May the Meininger Spring Harvest takes place with well-known authors. The author readings are held in various venues in the city.

An important music event is the Hans von Bülow International Piano Competition , which takes place every three years in the summer.

The city's most important event is the city ​​and hat festival, traditionally held at the end of June or beginning of July . It had its beginnings in the oldest part of the city "Töpfemarkt" and is now also dedicated to the history of Thuringian dumplings , which are called "Hütes" in the Meiningen region. On three days, the festival offers a varied program on several festival stages in the city center, which culminates on Sunday with the “hat ritual” and subsequent dumpling.

In July / August the cultural event series " Grasgrün " is established, which comes up with a variety of open-air events at various locations in the Meiningen city area.

Since 1995 the steam locomotive works has organized the " Meininger Steam Locomotive Days " on the first weekend in September , to which thousands of steam locomotive fans arrive, some with special trains.

Also in the first week of September, the Meininger Parkwelten trade fair takes place over three days , a cross-border exhibition in the Meininger Schlosspark, in which mainly exhibitors from Thuringia, Bavaria and Hesse take part.

The Meininger Cabaret Days are a well-known cabaret festival that offers cabaret , comedy , pantomime , musical stage shows or humorous readings in September with around 14 events . During each festival, the Thuringian Cabaret Prize is awarded to the previous year's winner at an event .

In November and December, the Thuringian Fairy Tale and Legends Festival not only invites children to Meiningen. Every two years, the Thuringian Fairy Tale and Legends Prize is awarded to deserving authors, storytellers or institutions of this genre at Landsberg Castle.

For around three weeks, the Meiningen Christmas market with a stage program is an attractive point of attraction for young and old.

Doing with the annual sporting events in May include the Landsberg rally that carried out in June Herzog-Georg-night run , the 24-hour swim the swimming club "Water Friends" and the Day of German Unity held Meininger City Run , an International Running event on 3, 5 and 10 kilometers. The event ends with the New Year's Eve run organized by PSV Meiningen on the last weekend in December in the palace gardens.

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City and herding festival - moving impression
Meiningen Steam Engine Days
Logo of the Meininger Kleinkunsttage
"Meininger Herbst" special market

Culinary specialties

A well-known specialty, popular with tourists and locals alike , is the Manning Huts with brew . These are Thuringian dumplings the Meininger style with roast, gravy and red cabbage. The city festival, named after the "hats", is extensively dedicated to this popular dish (see city and hat festival under events and surnames ). Further specialties are the Rhöntropfen , a popular herbal liqueur from the city, and sausage products from Meininger Wurstwaren GmbH, which are sold under the name "Meininger".

Tourist Attractions


See also: List of cultural monuments in Meiningen

Palaces, castles, villas

Elisabethenburg Palace : One of the largest buildings in the city is the baroque three-wing complex, built from 1682 to 1692 , which was the residence of the Dukes of Saxony-Meiningen until 1918 . The town hall is housed here in the so-called rotunda. The wings house the Meiningen museums, the castle church, the city and state archives and other facilities.

Landsberg Castle : Duke Bernhard II had the neo-Gothic castle on the northern outskirts built as a pleasure palace in the English style between 1836 and 1840 . It lies on a mountain cone and takes the place of the Landeswehre castle , which was destroyed in 1525 . The castle, which can be seen from afar, has been home to a luxury hotel and restaurant since 1978, with short interruptions.

In the district of Henneberg is Henneberg Castle , the ancestral seat of the counts of Henneberg .

The palaces in the city include the buildings that serve as the residence of the ducal family, the Großes Palais , also called Wittumspalais and Erbprinzenpalais (built in 1823 / remodeled in 1863) and Kleines Palais (1823) as a princess palace , as well as the Strupp villa of the banker Gustav Strupp and the palace on the Prinzenberg (Helenenstift). Today they are home to a bank, a health center and cultural sites, among other things.

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Elisabethenburg Palace - Bibrabau
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Landsberg Castle
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Great palace
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Henneberg Castle

Sacred buildings

Already around the year 1000 the foundation stone was laid for the town church “Our dear women” , which has been expanded and rebuilt several times over the centuries. In addition to the preserved Romanesque and Gothic components, it was given its final shape in the predominantly neo-Gothic style after a renovation in the years 1884 to 1889.

The modern Catholic Church "Our Lady" , built from 1967 to 1972, is the successor to a church built in 1881, which no longer met today's requirements. The simple parish church of the parish of St. Marien Meiningen is also the seat of the Meiningen deanery in the diocese of Erfurt . It is located in the western part of the old town.

The baroque palace church in Elisabethenburg Palace , consecrated in 1692, was restored in 1982. Today the "Johannes Brahms Concert Hall" is located in it.

In the English garden, on the site of the old cemetery, on the site of the demolished St. Martin's Church , there is the ducal crypt chapel , built in neo-Gothic style in 1839 , which housed the ducal family's graves until 1977. Today it houses an exhibition on the history of the English Garden.

Other churches worth seeing are in Helba (consecrated in 1885), Welkershausen (consecrated in 1728) and Herpf ( St. Johannis Church ), the last two richly decorated in the so-called peasant baroque, as well as in Dreianzigacker (neo-Gothic) and Walldorf ( fortified church Walldorf ).

In addition to the Catholic Church, newly built church buildings are the Evangelical Church of the Holy Cross (1983) in the north district and the New Apostolic Church (2000) in the city center.

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City Church
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St. Johann in the Herpf district
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Walldorf fortified church
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Baroque castle church
Dreianzigacker church

Worth seeing secular buildings

The building of the Meiningen State Theater was built in 1909 in the neoclassical style after the previous building burned to the ground in March 1908. The architect of the building with 740 seats was the court building officer Karl Behlert .

The four-star Hotel Sächsischer Hof was built in 1802 and rebuilt and expanded in 1900 with half-timbered elements that is well worth seeing. Until 1879 it was the seat of the royal post office in Thurn und Taxis . Today it belongs to the hotel cooperation "Romantik Hotels & Restaurants".

As a result of Meiningen's development into a banking city, several imposing buildings were built, primarily in Leipziger Strasse, which housed the Bank for Thuringia , the Reichsbank and the Deutsche Hypothekenbank . The houses, some of which are still used today as banks, have a decisive influence on the image of this district.

Successful examples of the combination of historical buildings with modern glass-concrete structures are the new justice center on the site of the former main barracks and the Müller-Markt branch in Georgstrasse. Other objects of modern architecture worth seeing are the former neoclassical Bundesbank branch and today's central depot for art objects (built in 2000), the indoor swimming pool "Rohrer Stirn" (2003), the award-winning sports and event hall Multihalle (1997), the Herzog-Georg-Forum ( 2017) and the company building of ADVA AG Optical Networking (2001).

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Meininger State Theater
Former office building
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Former Bundesbank / today art depot

Half-timbered and town houses

See also: Half-timbered houses in Meiningen

Despite some city fires and a building boom in the 19th century, which covered entire streets of the historic old town , a number of stately, today listed half-timbered and town houses from different centuries have been preserved. The half-timbered houses noteworthy , all of which are located in the city center, include the Büchnersches Hinterhaus (1596) in Georgstraße, the Alte Posthalterei (17th century) in Ernestinerstraße, the "Hartungsches Haus" (1603) on Schwabenberg, the Henneberger Haus (1894) in Georgstraße and the community center "Ernestinerstraße 49". The stone house (1571) in Anton-Ulrich-Strasse, the “Rokokohaus” (1768) in Schloßgasse 8 and the “Schlundhaus” (1906) in Schlundgasse are to be mentioned as town houses in predominantly solid construction . In the latter, the bay window is a replica of the bay window from the richly decorated Merkel house that burned down in 1874 . There are also some restored half-timbered houses that are well worth seeing in the center of the Herpf district.


Henneberger Haus in May 2012
Monument to Johannes Brahms

The Johannes Brahms memorial complex in the English Garden is the first memorial to the composer built in Germany (1899). The complex, designed with a bust , two fountains and stone benches, was created by Adolf von Hildebrand . In this park there is also the monument to the poet Jean Paul , which was erected on a hill in 1865, and the equally interesting monument to the composer Max Reger from 1935. The 1878 by the architect Erwin Doebner on the occasion of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 / built 71 and whose column once with the Prussian Adler winning Kriegerdenkmal is in the east of the park. In 1949 "unknowns" tore the eagle down in a secret night action. The base contains the names of the fallen from the 2nd Thuringian Infantry Regiment No. 32 Meiningen. On the same night, the bronze statue of Duke Bernhard II , created by the sculptor Caspar von Zumbusch , was removed from the monument inaugurated in 1903 and then melted down. As commander, Bernhard II wore the uniform of the Meiningen contingent, leaned slightly with his left hand on a pillar and held in his right hand the document of the constitution that he gave to the duchy in 1829. The remaining 3.60 meter high granite pedestal now bears a bowl, the base itself contains relief panels with an inscription and allegories on justice, agriculture and industry.

Between the theater building and the Kammerspiele on Bernhardstraße there is a memorial to the court conductor Hans von Bülow . The monument with the bust of the local poet Rudolf Baumbach can be visited in the old town next to his home and literature museum. The monument to Otto Ludwig , also a work by the sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand, stands in the Herrenberg landscape park near the castle . A monument to Emperor Heinrich II , who is associated with the city church, is his life-size statue on the fountain of the same name in the market (see fountain).

In the park cemetery , the guest can visit the memorials to those who fell in the Franco-Prussian War (1871), the First and Second World Wars, the Meiningen bomb victims in the Second World War and the Soviet Army Memorial . A memorial erected in 1988 at its former location commemorates the destruction of the synagogue in 1938.

In Schulstrasse, there is a memorial plaque on the house of the graphic artist Elisabeth Schumacher and her husband, the sculptor Kurt Schumacher (resistance fighter), who were murdered as members of the Schulze-Boysen / Harnack resistance group in Berlin-Plötzensee in 1942.

Two more monuments have been erected since 2000. A head-high stele in honor of the former Meiningen court conductor Hans von Bülow has been set up between the Kammerspiele and the great theater. Since October 2009 a memorial stele on the north side of the town church has been commemorating the Meiningen turning events of 1989/90.

Since 2010 the artist Gunter Demnig has laid several stumbling blocks in the city area in memory of Jewish citizens who were abducted by the National Socialists and who were mostly murdered. → See: List of stumbling blocks in Meiningen


In the city there are a number of decorative and useful wells that are worth seeing .

Fountain in the old town
The Heinrichsbrunnen and the post office on the market

The Heinrichsbrunnen on the market square was built in 1872 and is dedicated to Emperor Heinrich II, whose statue crowns the building. Heinrich II is said to have initiated the construction of the town church in 1003.

Chapel fountain

Not far from there is the "Kapellenbrunnen" (chapel fountain) created in 1873 on the square by the chapel. The basin of this fountain originally comes from a former market fountain, the column donated by the architect Eduard Fritze was added in 1905. The water pipes of this fountain symbolize four of those springs that supplied the city with water up until the 20th century - Kirchbrunnen, Drei 30acker, Welkershausen and Neubrunn. The model of the chapel on the pillar shows the atonement chapel , which stood here from 1384 to 1556 to commemorate the destruction of the synagogue . The fountain on the Nonnenplan square in the old town was only built after 1990 as part of a new urban floor design. Its stainless steel hood is modeled on the headgear of the Beguines . The beguines were a community of religious women who lived here in the so-called nunnery since the late Middle Ages. Other decorative fountains are the "Easter Fountain" from 1913 opposite the castle, the Gänsemännchenbrunnen (1854) at the beginning of Karlsallee near the Henneberger Haus, the "Dragon Fountain" next to the Struppschen Villa in Bernhardstrasse and the "Fish Thief Fountain" in 1935 in Georgstraße (→  Meininger Streets and Squares ).

Fountain in the English garden

Four ornamental fountains are worth mentioning in the English Garden. These are the Bechstein fountain or fairy tale fountain (1909), dedicated to the poet Ludwig Bechstein , the two fountains in the “Johannes Brahms monument complex” (1899), as well as the cast-iron “fish fountain” and the “swan fountain” that was built in 1835 at the former main southern entrance to the park, whose bowl is decorated by two swans. A three-shell marble fountain, which the last Duke of Meiningen had made in Berlin, has stood in the courtyard of Elisabethenburg since 1918.

Useful well

In the old town, the Schafhof district and the south district, some of the more than 70 fountains that once provided the population with fresh spring water are still preserved. Their troughs are mostly made of cast iron, a few also made of stone.


English garden

The Englischer Garten is a green oasis in the middle of the city center. As early as 1782, the creation of the park began north of the old town in front of the former city wall. It now covers an area of ​​around 12 hectares after part of the original park fell victim to the construction of the Werra Railway in 1858. The park is home to two bodies of water, the ice pond and the swan pond, which are connected by a canal. In the southern part, the park visitor will find the ducal crypt chapel, built in 1839 in neo-Gothic style, and tombs of the old cemetery. The English Garden also includes artificial Gothic ruins of a castle, small bridges, monuments and fountains. The most beautiful fountains include the swan fountain and the Bechstein fountain, created by the sculptor Robert Diez and dedicated to the poet Ludwig Bechstein. In the park there are monuments to Jean Paul, Johannes Brahms, Max Reger, members of the ducal family and a memorial stone for the landscape architects who designed the park. A war memorial from the Franco-Prussian War stands near Lindenallee, the memorial for Bernhard II of Saxony-Meiningen is at the southeast exit of the park towards the city center.

Castle Park

Between the Elisabethenburg Castle and the Werra, between the Georgsbrücke and the Volkshausbrücke, the park extends for almost a kilometer . Its beginnings go back to the end of the 17th century, when court gardeners laid out a renaissance garden based on the French and Dutch models after the palace was built . In the 1770s the park was enlarged and the gardeners began to transform it into a landscape park . The castle park is traversed by the Werra and the moats of the former city fortifications, called Bleichgräben. The west side of the palace, the cast iron arch bridge over the Werra, other bridges, steles and sculptures by contemporary artists shape the overall appearance of the park today.

English garden - view of the large pond
Arch BridgeMGN2.JPG
Castle park - arch bridge
Castle Park25W.JPG
Castle park - large meadow

Herrenberg Landscape Park

The 413 meter high Herrenberg rises to the west of the old town and separated from the castle park by the Werra. The Herrenberg Landscape Park with terraces, hiking trails, viewpoints and garden houses was laid out on its eastern slope from 1694 with later extensions . The “Diezhäuschen” named after Samuel Friedrich Diez offers a wide view of the city. The monument to Otto Ludwig is located in the park .

Park cemetery

In 1842 the park cemetery was laid out with winding paths, a lot of trees and adapted to the natural conditions. The cemetery with an entrance hall in the neo-Gothic style has, in addition to many elaborate graves of wealthy citizens, lavishly designed facilities to commemorate the fallen and victims of the two world wars. The cemetery chapel, the crematorium and many graves were destroyed in a bomb attack in 1945. The grave of Duke Georg II and his wife Helene Freifrau von Heldburg , created by Adolf von Hildebrand, is worth seeing .


An arboretum with the trees of the years has been laid out in the Drei 30sacker district between the industrial park and the Drei 30sacker-Süd residential area (Am Weisbachtal) . The small park has existed since 2006 and is growing steadily through the annual planting and documentation of the tree of the year . There are now 28 trees in the area (as of 02/2016), starting with the English oak tree of 1989 - Quercus robur and ending with the 2016 tree of the winter linden tree - Tilia cordata.

Natural monuments

The Goetz Cave

The Goetz Cave in the western part of the city is Europe's largest accessible cleft and crevice cave. In it, the cave visitor can examine effectively illuminated crevices and crevices up to 50 meters high on a tour. The cave was created around 20,000 years ago as a result of enormous geological changes in the structure of the mountain.

A special feature is the bat tower in the Jerusalem district. In 2003 builders discovered a large colony with 1,500 animals of the great mouse- eared bat , around 500 animals of the noctule bat and some specimens of pygmy , broad-winged and two-colored bats in the jamb of a six-storey residential building that was planned for demolition . The house owner decided to leave a staircase for the protected animals and to renovate it in a handsome way. The tower is also used by nature conservationists as a quarter and research facility. After the partial demolition in 2006, around 1000 animals of the great mouse-eared mouse and the other species returned to their roosts.

The "Meininger Hausberg" is the 739 m high Dolmar near Kühndorf . Geologically it is an extinct volcano belonging to the Rhön .

Economy and Infrastructure

Meiningen is a traditional administrative and cultural location and has numerous jobs here. Medical institutions, craft businesses and medium-sized companies in mechanical engineering and the high-tech sector are also well represented. In contrast, the number of industrial companies is relatively small. At around 20,000, the city had the highest number of jobs in the 1980s. A large part of them, including around 5,000 in industry, collapsed after the political change in 1990 due to the closure of numerous companies and job cuts.

ADVA Optical Networking AG - main entrance
Steam locomotive works - main entrance
Meininger sausage specialties - product example


In June 2020, the city of Meiningen had a total of 14,403 jobs for employees subject to social insurance and marginal employment, including 2,976 in the manufacturing sector. For employees subject to social security contributions, the city was able to offer 12,485 jobs, which were occupied by 7,350 in-commuters and 5,124 people from Meiningen. There are also 1,918 jobs for marginal part-time employees. Of the 9,830 Meiningen employees subject to social security contributions, 4,706 were out-commuters. The job density is 839. Meiningen has around 770 companies, which provide around 29% of all jobs and thus the highest number of jobs in a municipality in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district. The city's largest employer is the Helios Klinikum Meiningen with around 900 employees, followed by the District Office with around 500 employees. Due to the high commuter surplus and the high job density, Meiningen is an important business location in the region.

In addition to several small locations, the city has three large industrial areas in the Walldorf district, namely the "Drei 30sacker" (88 ha net area), the "Rohrer Berg industrial area" (30 ha) and the "Industrial Park on the B19" (18 ha).


In retail, the city has a centrality index of 134 and purchasing power retention of 109 with a sales index of 168.5. On a national average, the standard value for all three key figures is 100. Meiningen thus has a great attraction for the citizens of the city and in the far surrounding area. Around 55 percent of the retail businesses are located in the historic old town .

Resident significant companies


Meiningen is a center of electrical engineering and future technology . Numerous established or settled companies in this branch form a cluster here . The globally active high-tech company ADVA Optical Networking AG, which is temporarily listed in the TecDAX and currently in the SDAX , is the city's most important company. Development, research and production are based in this Meiningen company with around 350 employees. Like a number of other high-tech and mechanical engineering companies on site, ADVA AG has its roots in the former large-scale company Robotron Meiningen . This also includes ABS electronic GmbH with currently 80 employees, which, among other things, carries out automatic assembly of electronic components. The international company Nanoplus GmbH manufactures single-mode DFB lasers for measurement and spectroscopy as well as telecom applications. They are sold on the American, European and Asian markets and were also used on Mars by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission in the “Curiosity” rover. The industrial center "Fiber Optical Valley" is an amalgamation of several companies that deal with the development and manufacture of optoelectronic products .

Metal processing and engineering

Probably the best-known Meiningen company is the Meiningen steam locomotive works of Deutsche Bahn AG . The plant repairs standard and narrow-gauge locomotives for DBAG, private railways, museum railways and railway associations at home and abroad, modernizes snow plows and snow blowers and builds boilers for historic steam locomotives from all over Europe. The reconditioning of historical passenger coaches and the construction of new steam locomotives are also very important in today's production range of the steam locomotive plant.

As the largest commercial enterprise, the Meiningen company of August Winkhaus GmbH & Co KG has been producing security door locks, door and window fittings and window technology since 1996 with 370 employees today. Another important company is the Meininger branch of MIWE Michael Wenz GmbH . In the industrial area Dreißigacker face today 140 employees Industry ovens, ovens for bakery branches and Bäckereitechnik ago.

Lemuth GmbH , which emerged from a tool shop in 1991 , has around 100 employees and produces systems and machines for automated window construction. This company has already received an innovation award from the state of Thuringia. Also with around 100 employees, PTM Meiningen manufactures precision parts by machining. The company Weisskopf-Werkzeuge GmbH of the Mapal Group , which specializes in special tools , mainly produces solid carbide and high-performance high-speed steel special tools for automotive suppliers and mechanical engineering companies. In the Meininger Purmo factory (formerly Delta Radiatoren GmbH) of Rettig Germany GmbH, designer radiators and plate radiators for district heating are manufactured using a patented laser welding process.

Several metal processing companies have settled in the “Rohrer Berg” industrial area that was created in 2013. The foundation stone for MZA Meyer-Zweiradtechnik GmbH was laid here on April 23, 2018 . As a logistics location, the complex largely houses storage capacities, but also production facilities. As an official licensee, MZA Meyer-Zweiradtechnik produces and supplies spare parts for the Simson vehicle brand . Furthermore, there are the companies Feilmeier AG , which produces trapezoidal and profile sheets, and Made in Thuringia , which carries out component assembly and machining work.


With almost 400 employees, the Nahrstedt back house is the largest craft business in southern Thuringia and therefore the city. It operates around 80 bakery branches, cafés and bistros in southern and western Thuringia as well as in Lower Franconia and the greater Coburg area in Upper Franconia . MEININGER Wurstspezialitäten GmbH emerged from the former "meat combine " in Meiningen . As one of the first companies with around 120 employees today, they have settled in the Drei 30sacker business and operate several meat and sausage sales outlets and bistros . Their products, which were awarded the “Prize of the Best in Gold” by the DLG in 2013 , can also be found in a number of supermarket chains under the name “Meininger” throughout Germany. Another food industry product is beer . The city of Meiningen owns the rights to the protected beer brand "Meininger Bier", which is produced seasonally by various breweries and sold in the region as draft beer .

Culture and service

In terms of culture, the Meiningen State Theater offers 320 actors, musicians, technicians and other employees a job and is therefore the sixth largest employer in the city. The largest credit institute in southern Thuringia with its headquarters in Meiningen is the Rhön-Rennsteig-Sparkasse with 300 employees. A so-called all-round service provider are Stadtwerke Meiningen , which are based in the Jerusalem district with 120 employees. The company is a regional energy supplier and also operates multi-storey car parks and the “ Rohrer Stirn” leisure center in the city . The railway company Süd-Thüringen-Bahn (STB) has set up its operating location in the local depot and in the reception building of the Meiningen train station. From here, STB operates seven railway lines with 367 kilometers in southern Thuringia and in the Erfurt – Gotha area with 125 employees (as of January 2017) and 36 locomotives.

Industrial buildings

Former chimney of the Meiningen thermal power station used as a radio tower

The chimney of the former Meiningen thermal power station is 103.45 meters high, the tallest structure in the city and is now used as a radio tower.


Meiningen is located directly on the federal motorway 71 , is due to its favorable geographical and topographical location a junction of several federal and state roads , as well as three railway lines with four railway lines and thus one of the most important transport hubs in southern Thuringia.

Motorway junction Meiningen-Nord

Trunk roads

Meiningen emerged in the early Middle Ages at the intersection of the Werrafurt and several trade routes that led to Würzburg and Gotha (Hohe Straße) , to Fulda (Frankfurter Straße) , Eisenach and Erfurt . Some of these streets were converted into highways from the 18th century . In the 20th century the roads to Würzburg, Eisenach, Kronach and Zella-Mehlis were elevated to imperial roads and later to long-distance and federal roads . The first motorway connection, which had been planned from 1934, failed when the work on the Reichsautobahn Eisenach-Meiningen-Bamberg (route 85), which was already under construction, was discontinued as a result of the outbreak of war in 1940 and was not continued due to the division of Germany.

Today the city is connected to the federal highway 71 Sangerhausen –Erfurt– Schweinfurt via the junctions Meiningen-Nord and Meiningen-Süd . After 14 kilometers via the A 71, the federal motorway 73 is reached, which leads to Nuremberg via Coburg and Bamberg . Other important trunk road connections exist with the federal road 19 to Eisenach and the federal road 89 to Sonneberg and Kronach. The construction of the federal highway 87n listed in the federal traffic route plans 2003 and 2030 , which is to form an important connection to Fulda and to the motorways A 7 and A 66 as well as to the metropolitan region Rhine-Main , was stopped for the time being in 2013, but currently again as a further requirement in the federal traffic route plan Classified in 2030 . Furthermore, state roads lead from Meiningen to Kaltensundheim - Fulda, Mellrichstadt - Bad Neustadt an der Saale - Schweinfurt and to Suhl .

Traffic censuses from 2015 show the average volume of traffic on the seven federal and state roads to and from Meiningen. The 3089 regional road (formerly B 89) was the most frequented as a feeder road to the "Meiningen-Süd" junction and continuing to the B 89 to Sonneberg from the "Maßfelder Kreisel" with almost 11,000 vehicles per day. Coming from the city, Henneberger Straße (L 1124, former B 19, 7,100 vehicles / day) and the very busy municipal Werrastraße (former B 89, no traffic count ) come together at the Maßfeld roundabout . This is followed by Leipziger Straße (B 19) , which is also heavily used, in the direction of Eisenach near Welkershausen with around 10,500 vehicles per day. The two motorway slip roads to the "Meiningen-Nord" junction, Dolmarstrasse (B 19, 7,400 vehicles / day) and Rohrer Strasse (L 1140, 4,800 vehicles / day) bring it together to 12,200 vehicles / day. The volume of traffic on the other state roads is 5,400 vehicles / day in Landsberger Straße (L 1124) to Walldorf, in Henneberger Straße from Stillhof (L 3019) to the district of the same name and 4,900 vehicles / day to Mellrichstadt and in Herpfer Straße (L 2621 ) to the district of the same name 4,100 vehicles per day. The A 71 traveled east of Meiningen-Nord 17,500, between Meiningen-Nord and Meiningen-Süd 14,500 and south of Meiningen-Süd 13,700 vehicles / day.

Inner city streets

The first streets and alleys were built around 1000 between the emerging town church and the later Upper Gate. By 1300 an even network of streets was laid out within the city fortifications between the market and the lower gate. Only after 1800 were new streets built outside of the old town as the city expanded. Today Meiningen has a road network with around 420 streets and squares. The most important and busiest street, until 2007 as the B 19, runs north-south across the entire city and is made up of Leipziger Straße (consisting of B 19 and L 1140), Bernhardstraße and Marienstraße (both L 1124 / L 1140), Neu-Ulmer- Strasse and Henneberger Strasse (both L 1124). The highest traffic volumes are recorded on Leipziger Strasse (section L 1140) with around 15,700 vehicles / day and Neu-Ulmer-Strasse (L 1124) with around 9,800 vehicles / day. The intersections with the busiest traffic with more than 20,000 vehicles daily are the intersections Leipziger Strasse / Dolmarstrasse, Neu-Ulmer-Strasse / Marienstraße and Alte Henneberger Strasse / Steinweg / Neu-Ulmer-Strasse. There is a relatively high volume of traffic on the L 2621 arterial road to the Dreianzigacker district with the industrial park of the same name and the health center with around 9,000 vehicles and continuing to the Herpf district with 4,100 vehicles per day.

See also:

Rail transport

Meiningen station - reception building
Railway station area during the Steam Engine Days 2014

From the middle of the 19th century, the city received good rail connections with the Werra Railway (Eisenach – Meiningen– Eisfeld ) opened in 1858 and the opening of the Schweinfurt – Meiningen railway line (also known as the “Main-Rhön Railway”) in 1874 . The connection to the Ludwigs-Westbahn (Aschaffenburg – Bamberg) was established via Schweinfurt. In 1884 the direct connection to Erfurt followed with the completion of the Neudietendorf – Ritschenhausen line .

The Meiningen station, which  is located near the city center and has station category 4, can be reached by four railway lines that run every one or two hours and are operated by two railway companies. There are almost 100 train journeys every day. Another train station is located in the Walldorf district in the direction of Eisenach. The following connections exist from Meiningen train station:

In Eisenach, Erfurt and Würzburg there are connections to ICE connections.

Another station in the urban area is the Walldorf (Werra) Bahnhof in the district Walldorf . The regional train 41 Meiningen – Eisenach runs here.

Air travel

In the 1920s and 1930s, the city owned the "Rohrer Berg" airfield, a commercial airfield from which there were daily airline connections to Munich and Erfurt, among others. This was shut down in 1945 by the Soviet occupying forces and from 1965 it was used as a base for Helicopter Squadron 16 of the GDR border troops . There is a sports airfield on the nearby Dolmar near Kühndorf .

The nearest international airports are Erfurt Airport (83 km northeast), Nuremberg Airport (151 km) and Rhein-Main Airport in Frankfurt am Main (178 km).

city ​​traffic

The first city ​​bus routes came into being in Meiningen in the 1950s. Today the → Stadtverkehr Meiningen is well developed. In public transport , Meininger Busbetriebs GmbH operates a network with eight city ​​lines and four overland lines, which also serve urban stops. The central bus station directly at the train station, the Sachsenstrasse junction with its five stops in the city center and around 100 more stops open up every district. The first of three electric buses purchased in 2021 has been in use since March 2021 .


The newspaper publisher Meininger Mediengesellschaft (MMG) publishes the daily Meininger Tageblatt and a weekly newspaper. The publishers Bielsteinverlag , Börner PR and Resch-Druck , which publish books and publications, are also based in Meiningen . The media once belonged to the now Berlin-based Futur Film by director and producer Johannes Thielmann , which produces cinema and advertising films.

Meiningen was the location of several documentaries for the television station ZDF ("Russian Army in Meiningen"), VOX (" 4 Weddings and a Dream Trip " and "My Heavenly Hotel"), Kabel eins ("Change of position: job known, foreign country") and RTL II (“ The cooking professionals - work at the stove”; “Dare to go to the altar in twelve hours”) and the setting for the documentary series “On patrol with the Meiningen police” by N24 .

Public facilities

Justice Center Meiningen
Guard 1 of the Meiningen volunteer fire brigade
Guard 3 of the Meiningen volunteer fire brigade

Meiningen has been a traditional administrative location since the Middle Ages, which was once founded by the bishops of Würzburg and which was later significantly expanded to become the capital. For this reason, the city still has numerous regional and supraregional official jobs. Since the mid-1990s, however, Meiningen lost several offices during administrative reforms in Thuringia, which resulted in the loss of hundreds of jobs and the deterioration of the urban infrastructure.

Four courts and a public prosecutor's office are united under the roof of the justice center . While the regional court , the administrative court , the social court and the public prosecutor's office in Meiningen are responsible for south and south-west Thuringia, the catchment area of ​​the district court with the land registry is the district. 290 people are employed here.

A land reorganization office, an agricultural office and the social department of the Thuringian State Office for Social Affairs and Family are located in Meiningen as state offices. The district office with around 500 employees resides in a building complex in the Jerusalem district.

Public safety and fire protection


In Meiningen there is a police station of the Thuringian police , which is directly subordinate to the state police station in Suhl. It is responsible for almost the entire district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen, with the exception of the old district of Suhl , which is covered by the Suhl inspection service . In addition to the Thuringian police, the federal police have a precinct in Meiningen, which covers the entire part of southern Thuringia.

fire Department

Fire protection in Meiningen and its districts is ensured by the Meiningen volunteer fire brigade founded in 1864 with its seven guards. The guards are divided into the locations Wache 1 - Meiningen (78 emergency services), Wache 2 - Helba (24 emergency services), Wache 3 - Drei Zigaracker (23 emergency services), Wache 4 - Herpf (19 emergency services), Wache 5 - Walldorf / Wallbach ( 2 locations with a total of 37 emergency services), Wache 6 - Henneberg (13 emergency services) and Wache 7 - Stepfershausen . The Meiningen station forms the so-called base fire brigade , which is available for the entire lower district with technology and resources. The Meiningen volunteer fire brigade has around 200 emergency services and 17 emergency vehicles as well as 67 members in three groups in the youth fire brigade founded in 1991 and 29 members in the age and honorary department (as of 2019).

Medical institutions

Clinic, medical centers and other medical facilities

The Meiningen Clinic , which was rebuilt in 1995 and specializes in medical care , has around 800 employees (as of 2020) and is very important in some medical fields, especially cancer treatment and trauma surgery . According to the Thuringian hospital plan, it has a supraregional supply mandate; the catchment area is southern Thuringia and northern Lower Franconia. Together with the medical care center (MVZ) in the house, the adjacent medical centers, the central pharmacy, a dialysis center , a dementia center and a nursing home, it forms a complex regional health center. Other health centers in the city center are the MVZ “Altesgericht” (Helios) in the former bank for Thuringia and later the district court of Meiningen, as well as the “ Great Palais ”, once the seat of the Hereditary Prince of Saxony-Meiningen and later the district office.

The social work Meiningen operates the Geriatric Specialist Clinic Georgenhaus , where there is also an emergency practice, an inpatient hospice , the family center “Sarterstift” and the participation center “Old Chamber of Crafts” for addicts and mentally ill people. The welfare work resides in the buildings of the former state and district hospital in Meiningen, which is also known as the Georgenkrankenhaus .

In addition, the city has a disaster control center, two rescue stations in the city center and in the Drei 30acker district, operated by the DRK district association Meiningen e. V. as well as the rescue control center responsible for the district .


The Free State of Thuringia and the Thuringian Police founded the Thuringian Police Education Center (BZThPol) in Meiningen in 1994 . It consists of an education and training institute and the Police Department of the Thuringian University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration (VFHS), established in 1998, for the middle and senior service . Meiningen is therefore also a university town. The facilities are housed in the former Drachenberg barracks. On the campus , which is still under construction , a new cafeteria , a lecture hall building (2011), a multi-purpose hall with indoor shooting range and various crime scene worlds have been built in addition to the existing buildings .

Also to be mentioned are the State Vocational School for Health and Social Affairs , the State Vocational Training Center Meiningen with the Commercial and Commercial Vocational School , the Vocational Training Center Walldorf , the state-approved higher vocational school for pharmaceutical-technical assistance and the higher vocational school for emergency paramedic training Meiningen of the DRK- Bildungswerk Thuringia. In addition to various adult education centers such as the adult education center, three music and ballet schools and the Christophine art school , the city also has the state-owned Henfling-Gymnasium , the Evangelical Gymnasium Meiningen , which is run by the Evangelical Church in Central Germany, and several regular, elementary and special schools.

Former garrison

see Meininger barracks


Duke George II.

The most famous personality of the city of Meiningen is Duke Georg II. The very art-loving monarch promoted art in the city and dedicated himself in particular to the theater and the court orchestra . With a far-reaching theater reform that is still practiced today on the stage and in film, he made his residence known throughout Europe and created the basis for Meiningen's reputation as a city of art and culture. George II also appeared as a liberal head of state and reformer in state politics.

More people

To honorary citizens and other people who were born in Meiningen and / or who worked in Meiningen in particular:



When it was founded, Meiningen was in the heart of the Franconian Empire and has since belonged to the north-western part of the East Franconian language area , which in turn belongs to the Upper German language area. Here is Hennebergisch , a subspecies of Mainfränkisches spoken. The “Mäninger Platt”, a local dialect , is spoken today by only a few residents, mostly of older age.


The city's first known nickname since the Middle Ages has been the word Opinion Porta Franconia . As the northernmost city of the Bishopric of Würzburg , Meiningen was also considered the northernmost Franconian city and was therefore literally the gateway to Franconia .

Meiningen has also been called Harp City since the beginning of modern times . The town clerk Johann Sebastian Güth used this term for the first time in his work “Thorough description of the ancient city of Meiningen”, as the layout of the medieval old town is very reminiscent of a harp .

In the 19th century the city was nicknamed Kloßheim an der Soße . With sauce, the Werra river is meant here. According to a legend , the pagan goddess Frau Holle tasted Meininger wine in the “Schlundhaus” inn. But this was so angry that she angrily let all the vines freeze to death. So that the people of Meiningen don't have to go hungry, they gave the mayor the recipe for the Thuringian dumplings with the strict slogan: "Guard it!". This is how the potato dumpling got its Meiningen name "Hütes". The poet Rudolf Baumbach later wrote "Das Lied der Hütes" about it. The dumpling, served with roast, red cabbage and plenty of sauce, developed into the Meininger's favorite dish and is still prepared every Sunday in many households today.

Around 1900 the city was often called a bank town , garrison town and railway town because of its great importance in these areas (see history and traffic).

Probably the best-known and most common epithet is theater city , which is based on the great tradition of Meiningen theater and its important economic importance for Meiningen. This epithet is also used on the tourist information boards in front of the two Meiningen motorway junctions of the A71.

Since the fall of the Wall , Meiningen has also been called the city of art and culture . In addition to the theater, there are a good dozen other cultural and art venues that bring the city a rich cultural offering with around 1,000 other events per year.

On May 9, 2000, the city received the title Q-City from the WDR broadcast Quarks & Co with Ranga Yogeshwar and the University of Kaiserslautern under the leadership of Bernd Streich . This was a geoscientific study on the optimal location of a city in Germany. According to certain criteria, the choice fell on Meiningen. The criteria were the proximity to rivers, fertile soils and mineral resources, a pleasant climate and attractive leisure opportunities. The city should be centrally located and easily accessible, but must not be in the water, in the mountains or in a contiguous forest area.

Meiningen has been the first MDR singing town since June 2, 2007 . The city's motto since 2009 has been: "Meiningen - my center".

In 2012 Meiningen won the title of “Germany's most active city” in the Germany-wide Mission Olympic city ​​competition , which is jointly organized by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and Coca-Cola Germany.

Quotes and sayings about Meiningen

A number of personalities expressed themselves in quotes about the city of Meiningen and its inhabitants. The Meiningers themselves also created many a saying about themselves and their hometown.

Johann Sebastian Güth (1672), quote: “The city is located in a beautiful, fun meadow, surrounded by mountains that are not too big. It is built in the shape of a harp. "

Jean Paul around 1803 in Coburg, quote: “My wife found enough friends and guests here, but no real girlfriend. She had it better in Meiningen. True culture is still infinitely rare in Germany. "

Georg Brückner 1853, quote: "The main features of the Meininger are originally good-naturedness, a domestic sociable spirit and heartfelt ridicule of everything proud and hollow ..."

Master butcher Rink on the declining slaughter livestock population towards Duke Bernhard II, quote: “Hohät, as long as me lawe, gitts Usse genungk in Manninge.” (Franconian dialect, High German: “Your Highness, as long as we live there are enough cattle in Meiningen . ")

Richard Wagner 1877 in a dedication to Georg II, quote: “There are many opinions, but only one opinion. Many ranted about me, I only know one duke. "

Duke Georg II on a draft of the Brahms monument with design stone balls in 1899, quote: “A favorite dish of the local residents is the potato dumpling, which is popularly known as Hütes. This designation is used here for good and bad jokes, and so it is to be feared that the vernacular will name the balls of hat and speak of the hat monument ... "

Hildburghäuser Kreisblatt 1931: "Werra-Athens in autumn decorations."

Meininger saying: “The men go overboard, march un ferze, that the steel crosses.”

Meiningen city councilor in the GDR era on October 28, 1982, excerpt: "In realizing the tried and tested policy of the main task in the unity of economic and social policy, we are also making progress in all areas in our city ..."

Meininger hymn

The Meininger hymn was composed by Ludwig Bechstein .

Objects, streets and squares named after Meiningen

In addition to many surrounding communities, streets and squares have been named after the city of Meiningen in numerous German cities, including Berlin (twice), Cologne, Magdeburg, Frankfurt am Main, Bremen, Leipzig, Mannheim, Wuppertal, Göttingen, Oranienburg, Bebra and the Twin town Neu-Ulm.

In 1915 a freighter of the Rhineland class was given the name "Meiningen". The ship was commissioned by Norddeutscher Lloyd and built in the Joh. C. Tecklenborg shipyard in Geestemünde . After the First World War it came into the possession of the French shipping company Messageries Maritimes ( Paris / Marseille ) and was renamed "Si Kiang" there. The ship was bombed and destroyed by the Japanese in December 1941 off Manila .

With a wingspan of 22 meters, the “Meiningen” built in 1929/30 was the world's largest glider at the time . It was baptized on August 6, 1930 on the Meiningen market square and was subsequently used on the Wasserkuppe . The builders received the construction price for the aircraft in 1931, despite some shortcomings. The "Meiningen" broke during a landing in 1932.

Named after Meiningen are the 105 " Meiningen type snow plows " built between 1968 and 1981 and used by Deutsche Bahn and private railways, as well as the 200 "Meiningen type C" type steam storage locomotives built from 1984 to 1988 .

When it was founded, the Berlin hotel chain “Meininger” with locations all over Europe named itself after Meininger Strasse in the Schöneberg district, where its first hostel was located.

On October 1, 2005, the ICE-2 multiple unit Tz 220 of Deutsche Bahn was christened "Meiningen" on the occasion of the Thuringian Day . On the same day, a railcar of the Süd-Thüringen-Bahn (STB) was given the name "Goetz-Höhle Meiningen". Other STB railcars were named “Stadt Meiningen” (2001), “Partnershuttle Erfurt – Meiningen” (2006), “Steam Locomotive Association Meiningen” (2009) and “Theater Moves” (Meininger Theater, 2012).


  • Tourism magazine Rhön in December 2019 - Meiningen. Video report, 14:33 min., TV Mainfranken , broadcast on November 29, 2019 ( online ).


  • Staatliche Museen Meiningen (Hrsg.): South Thuringian Research - Contributions to Meiningen City History. Issue 17, 1982.
  • Ingrid Reissland: Monuments in the city center. Kulturbund der DDR, 1982.
  • Reissland / Heinritz: Meininger views. Meiningen State Museums, 1982.
  • Stadtverwaltung Meiningen (Ed.): Meiningen - In the Porta Franconia. Geiselmann Druck, Leipheim 1990.
  • Peter Schmidt-Raßmann: Meiningen - as it used to be. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 1992, ISBN 3-925277-82-X .
  • Ramona Schäfer: Memories of Meiningen. Sutton Verlag, Erfurt 1999, ISBN 3-89702-101-3 .
  • Wilhelm Pocher: White flags over Meiningen. Meiningen City Archives 2000.
  • Kuratorium Meiningen (Hrsg.): Lexicon on the history of the city of Meiningen. Bielsteinverlag, Meiningen 2008, ISBN 978-3-9809504-4-2 .
  • Hennebergischer Verein für Altertumsforschung, publisher: Chronicle of the city of Meiningen from 1667–1834 .
    • Part I, Meiningen 1834 ( e-copy )

Web links

Commons : Meiningen  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Meiningen  - travel guide
Wikisource: Meiningen  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Population of the municipalities from the Thuringian State Office for Statistics  ( help on this ).
  2. a b Thuringian State Office for Statistics (TLS) population as of December 31, 2018.
  3. WDR - The "secret capital" Q-City .
  4. a b Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
  5. a b Thuringian State Institute for Environment and Geology (TLUG).
  6. Landscape profile 35901 - Werraaue Meiningen-Wartha ( Memento from August 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, accessed on August 14, 2016.
  7. The natural areas of Thuringia , accessed on August 14, 2016.
  8. Meiningen Media Annual Review 2019.
  9. Measured with Geoproxy Thuringia.
  10. ↑ Land use plan Meiningen, Chapter 2.4.2. Office for Urban Development Holl, Würzburg, 2005.
  11. a b c d e f Deutscher Wetterdienst - weather data from the 10548 Meiningen weather station from 1991 to 2020.
  12. German Weather Service - weather data for Germany.
  13. excavations on Schwabenberg / Töpfemarkt in Meiningen.
  14. State Office for Monument Preservation and Archeology.
  15. ^ Mathias Seidel, Thuringian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Archeology: The pot market - attractive since the Neolithic Age . Official journal of the city of Meiningen, edition 8/2017.
  16. a b Staatliche Museen Meiningen / Bernd W. Bahn: Südthüringer Forschungen, Issue 17, Section: Meiningen before the first documentary mention , 1982.
  17. Caspar Reiserecht (pseudonym for Fritz Maubach): Home of the light muse . In: Die Rhön (= Merian , vol. 17 (1964), issue 4), pp. 86–89, here p. 88.
  18. ^ City of Meiningen Religion , 2011 census .
  19. City of Meiningen Annual Review Statistics 2019 , accessed on June 18, 2020.
  20. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Municipalities 1994 and their changes since 01.01.1948 in the new federal states . Metzler-Poeschel, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-8246-0321-7 .
  21. StBA: Area changes from January 1st to December 31st, 2010 .
  22. inSüdthü Walldorf and Meiningen have sealed the marriage.
  23. inSüdthü Wallbach becomes part of Meiningen.
  24. ^ Official Journal of the City of Meiningen and Henneberg 03/2018: Municipality of Henneberg, Decision No. 79/36/2018, drawn on March 1, 2018.
  25. Thuringian Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities 2nd Municipal Reorganization Act 2019.
  26. ^ Thuringian Ministry of the Interior and Local Affairs, 380 municipalities reorganized.
  27. Thuringian State Office for Statistics (TLS) population as of December 31, 2019.
  28. Residents' registration office of the city of Meiningen, accessed on January 31, 2020.
  29. Thuringian State Office for Statistics, population projections 2015–2035.
  30. Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning Growing and Shrinking Cities and Municipalities, 2016.
  31. Residents' registration office of the city of Meiningen, accessed on April 23, 2021.
  32. ^ Thuringian State Office for Statistics - Elections in the Free State of Thuringia: Local elections / election results .
  33. Official website of the city of Meiningen - runoff election mayor: Preliminary final result from April 15, 2018.
  34. ^ Thuringian State Office for Statistics, mayoral elections 2018 - preliminary result.
  35. ^ Meiningen State Archives Emergency Association Meiningen.
  36. Paragraph - Lexicon on the history of the city of Meiningen, Bielsteinverlag, Meiningen 2008, p. 131.
  37. Meiningen Gospel Choir .
  38. German Tourism Association 2007.
  39. Real Madrid Foundation Clinic, Meiningen 2020. Date for 2020.
  40. a b c d e f g h Peter Schmidt-Raßmann: In Meiningen as it used to be. Wartberg Verlag 1992.
  41. a b c d e Federal Employment Agency, Municipal Employment Market - Municipal associations and municipalities (annual figures), as of June 30, 2020.
  42. FW Meininger Tageblatt: Laser-from-the-region-searches-for-traces-of-life-on-Mars, published on December 1, 2011.
  43. TDLS on MARS ( Memento from February 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  44. ^ Groundbreaking ceremony for the Meiningen logistics center Article from April 23, 2018 on the website . Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  45. Website from Backhaus Nahrstedt, status: 2016.
  46. Website from Meininger Wurstspezialitäten GmbH, status: 2016.
  47. Meiningen thermal power station.
  48. Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 .
  49. a b 2015 traffic census .
  50. Website of the Meiningen fire brigade.
  51. ↑ Ambulance station under the fire station roof. Retrieved March 27, 2020 .
  52. University of Jena - Dialect Research ( Memento from March 9, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
  53. Meiningen - The secret capital of Germany on YouTube , June 11, 2010.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 5, 2007 .