from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms is missing
Help on coat of arms
Map of Germany, position of the municipality of Rothenstein highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 51 '  N , 11 ° 36'  E

Basic data
State : Thuringia
County : Saale-Holzland district
Management Community : Southern Saale Valley
Height : 160 m above sea level NHN
Area : 10.45 km 2
Residents: 1139 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 109 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 07751
Area code : 036424
License plate : SHK, EIS, SRO
Community key : 16 0 74 079
Association administration address: Bahnhofstrasse 23
07768 Kahla
Website :
Mayor : Matthias Kuehne
Location of the community Rothenstein in the Saale-Holzland district
Sachsen-Anhalt Gera Jena Landkreis Greiz Landkreis Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Landkreis Sömmerda Landkreis Weimarer Land Saale-Orla-Kreis Albersdorf (Thüringen) Altenberga Bad Klosterlausnitz Bibra (bei Jena) Bobeck Bremsnitz Bucha Bürgel (Thüringen) Crossen an der Elster Dornburg-Camburg Eichenberg (bei Jena) Eineborn Eisenberg (Thüringen) Frauenprießnitz Freienorla Geisenhain Gneus Gösen Golmsdorf Graitschen bei Bürgel Großbockedra Großeutersdorf Großlöbichau Großpürschütz Gumperda Hainichen (Thüringen) Hainspitz Hartmannsdorf (bei Eisenberg) Heideland (Thüringen) Hermsdorf (Thüringen) Hummelshain Jenalöbnitz Kahla Karlsdorf (Thüringen) Kleinbockedra Kleinebersdorf (Thüringen) Kleineutersdorf Laasdorf Lehesten (bei Jena) Lindig Lippersdorf-Erdmannsdorf Löberschütz Mertendorf (Thüringen) Meusebach Milda Möckern (Thüringen) Mörsdorf (Thüringen) Nausnitz Neuengönna Oberbodnitz Orlamünde Ottendorf (Thüringen) Petersberg (Saale-Holzland-Kreis) Poxdorf (Thüringen) Rattelsdorf (Thüringen) Rauda Rauschwitz Rausdorf (Thüringen) Reichenbach (Thüringen) Reinstädt Renthendorf Rothenstein Ruttersdorf-Lotschen Scheiditz Schkölen Schleifreisen Schlöben Schöngleina Schöps (Thüringen) Schöps (Thüringen) Seitenroda Serba Silbitz St. Gangloff Stadtroda Sulza Tautenburg Tautendorf (Thüringen) Tautenhain Thierschneck Tissa Trockenborn-Wolfersdorf Tröbnitz Unterbodnitz Waldeck (Thüringen) Walpernhain Waltersdorf (Thüringen) Weißbach (Thüringen) Weißenborn (Holzland) Wichmar Zimmern (Thüringen) Zöllnitzmap
About this picture

Rothenstein is a municipality in the south of the Saale-Holzland district in Thuringia and part of the southern Saale valley administrative community .


Rothenstein is located south of Jena on the western bank of the Saale , the district of Oelknitz on the eastern bank. While the local rocks once forced the paved long-distance trade route between Nuremberg and Leipzig over two fords , today's federal highway 88 leads through the eye of the needle between the steep slope and the river without crossing the river. The street is to bypass the community in the future via a new route and a tunnel. The Großheringen – Saalfeld railway line and the river run right next to the existing route .


Prehistory and early history

Through archaeological excavations on the Sandberg (Helenenberg) near Oelknitz, which uncovered a station of the wild horse hunters of the younger Paleolithic ( Magdalenian ) ( Museum for Prehistory and Early History Thuringia Weimar, Germanic Museum of the University of Jena ), as well as through finds on the Kuhberg (rock) near Rothenstein a settlement of this section of the middle Saale valley could be proven 12,000 years ago. The statuettes of women found in the process are remarkable.

After the fall of the Thuringian Empire in 531, Slavic population groups probably invaded this area in the 8th century and settled on both sides of the Saale in what is now Rothenstein and Oelknitz. They are later counted to the large group of Sorbs . At the same time, a Frankish settlement can be assumed in the 8th and 9th centuries .

middle Ages

Excerpt from the Breviarium Sancti Lulli with the first mention of "Rodostein" 786
Rothenstein on the Saale
Statuettes of women from Oelknitz in the Museum for Pre- and Early History Thuringia Weimar

At the beginning of the 9th century, Rothenstein was first mentioned in a document as a Rodostein in the Breviarium Sancti Lulli directory of the goods lent by Archbishop Lullus († 786) of Mainz for the monastery of Hersfeld von Free . The monastery owned 14 hooves with Slavs here.

A later document from the Fulda monastery from 874 names the settlement Citem Rotenstenni . The place Oelknitz was first mentioned as Oblocewicz in 1283, although it can be assumed that the Slavic settlement east of the Saale had existed for a long time.

As an early Franconian settlement, Rothenstein belonged to the realm of the Kirchbergers and later the Lobdeburgers . The closed rule of the Lobdeburgers stood in the way of the progressive expansion of the Wettin rule in the 14th century. Through purchases and clever marriage policies by the Wettins , Rothenstein gradually came into their possession. In the course of the administrative development, the place came to the Burgau office (later Jena-Burgau). A first register of residents has come down to us for the period 1421–1425. Above Rothenstein, on the plateau of the Kuhberg (rock), was the now desolate village of "Rothensteinchen" ( Kleinrothenstein desert ). When and how this village became desolate is not yet clear. Descriptions that this only fell during the Saxon Fratricidal War (1446–1451) do not apply. The residents settled in the surrounding towns, including Rothenstein. The corridor of the former village later fell to Rothenstein (first documented mention in 1683). Because of the frequent border disputes, Duke Wilhelm III. von Sachsen (Thuringian Landgrave) his share in the city of Freiberg with his ruling cousins in the Mark Meissen against the care of Burgau, to which Rothenstein belonged.

Oelknitz was subordinated to the Leuchtenburg office. In addition to the properties of the office, local landlords in Oelknitz also had their own properties in and around Ölknitz from the 13th to the 17th century. It was not until 1659 that the Oelknitzer Gut fell with all rights to the Leuchtenburg office.

Early modern age

During the reign of Wilhelm III, who tried to establish a uniform legal system for Thuringia , the traditional Rothenstein local law (Rothenstein village habit - 25 articles) was recorded for the first time in 1480 and confirmed by the Burgau office. The Rothensteiner village custom was confirmed by the Jena-Burgau office in 1686 in a new version (31 articles) and remained valid in this form until the middle of the 19th century. In 1851 a local statute was introduced according to the municipal code of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach from 1850.

In 1525, the Rothenstein village judge Jacob Eylinger reported that he was supposed to have called on the farmers of the neighboring villages to oppose the stately tax code. In the course of the Reformation from 1529 the church in Oelknitz became a branch church of the Rothenstein parish.

Rothenstein was hit by witch hunts in 1564 . A woman got involved in a witch trial .

During a storm that went down in history under the name “ Thuringian Flood ”, the water crack of the Rothensteiner Trebe was created in May 1613.

During the Thirty Years' War , the place and the church were sacked by marauding hosts. Duke Bernhard von Sachsen-Weimar , a Protestant general, gave the robbed church a gilded communion chalice when he passed through in 1634. A report from the year 1640 names 74 horse riding in Rothenstein , including 11 deserted fire sites and 12 deserted and empty houses.

In the Saale valley, travelers were forced by the cliffs that displaced the Saale to cross the Saale twice at Rothenstein and Oelknitz. The increasing use of these fords on the Nuremberg – Leipzig trade route gave Rothenstein and Oelknitz an economic boost. Flooding in the Saale and accidents forced the travelers to stay (memorial stone from 1582 on the Saalefurt). The inns "Goldenes Schwert" (1674) and "Weißes Roß" (1698) were built and given privileges to accommodate and board travelers.

The timber industry and rafting gained in importance. The Rothenstein village order of 1686 stipulated the timber escort in Oelknitz. In the 18th century, six raftsmen are mentioned in Oelknitz. The Oelknitzer Anger became an important transshipment point for raft wood from the eastern forests. The inn in Oelknitz became the meeting place for the annual meeting of the raft company.

Around 1700, Nuremberg merchants had a first street built below the rock, which was further expanded around 1800 during the reign of Grand Duke Karl August .

From the 19th century

That was destroyed by Oelknitz after the dam broke during the flood in November 1890
Olknitz church in 1962
The 1990 newly built level house near Rothenstein on the Saale

The Saale was the borderline between the duchies of Saxony-Altenburg and Saxony-Weimar . In 1838 a stock corporation to which the communities Rothenstein and Oelknitz also belonged began to finance and build a wooden house bridge. This bridge was inaugurated in 1839. The bridge was destroyed in the flood in November 1890. The water level of the Saale has been monitored at the Rothenstein gauge since 1884 and has been electronically reported to the Thuringian State Institute for Environment and Geology since 1991.

Between 1871 and 1874 the Saalbahn Großheringen – Saalfeld of the Saal-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft was built, the first groundbreaking of the line took place on October 23, 1871 near Rothenstein. On April 30, 1874, the opening train was ceremoniously received at the old station (canceled in 2003).

During the Second World War , prisoners of war and slave labor from Poland and other countries had to work in the armor-important tunnels under the Trumpeter Rock near the village. The optics group Carl Zeiss had implemented a U-relocation there with the code name Albit with production facilities and material storage because there were cheap transport connections. Previously here was kaolin been dismantled. There are three graves of forced laborers in the local cemetery, one of whom was shot in February 1945.

The underground production facilities were dismantled and transported away by the occupying powers in 1945. From 1945 to 1950 the Red Army then used the huge underground rooms to store weapons and ammunition. From the 1970s, the tunnel system was used by the NVA as the largest military depot in Central Europe and became part of complex camp 22 , also because of the favorable motorway connection. In the 1990s, the Bundeswehr modernized the tunnel system with a length of 5,000 m with air conditioning, its own waterworks and emergency power systems. In 2004 the entire property was sold to terra space GmbH. In the following years, after years of development planning, the former military area was turned into a commercial area and the commercial use and building permit for the security depot itself was obtained from the responsible authorities. In the years 2009 to 2013, terra space GmbH developed usage concepts for a high-security data center and depository. Investors for the alternative operator models have been sought since the beginning of 2013.

In June 2015, the US company Vivos announced that it would convert the complex into a luxury bunker - called “Vivos Europa One”. In the facility, which is specially protected against nuclear strikes and radioactive fallout, 6,000 people will B. in the event of a nuclear war in luxuriously equipped accommodation can survive for up to a year self-sufficient from the outside world. Access to the bunker should only be possible on the basis of an invitation from Vivos.

In 2011, Rothenstein celebrated its first mentioning of 1225 years with a festival week and a parade. On this occasion, the history and local history association published an extensive chronicle entitled “From Rodostein to Rothenstein”.

Since 2011, work has been done on the introduction of a municipal coat of arms. This was presented in June 2015.


In 1965 Rothenstein and Oelknitz were combined to form the new Rothenstein community.


Rothenstein stop (2017)


  • Anglerverein Oelknitz e. V.
  • Anglerverein Rothenstein e. V.
  • Kindergartenförderverein e. V.
  • School sponsorship association Rothenstein e. V.
  • SV08 Rothenstein e. V. (football)
  • History and local history association Rothenstein / Oelknitz e. V.
  • Men's choir Rothenstein e. V.
  • Interest group Rothensteiner Felsen e. V.
  • Youth club Rothenstein e. V.
  • Rothenstein / Oelknitz hunting association


  • Johann Friedrich Vulpius (1644–1715), pastor, great-grandfather of Goethe's Christiane
  • Gerhard Arlt (1910–1992), painter, graphic artist, local history specialist, lived in Rothenstein from 1945 to 1992
  • Erich Bromme (1906–1986), historian and settlement geographer, lived in Oelknitz from 1908 to 1934


  • Erich Bromme , Oelknitz. A contribution to the settlement geography of Thuringia. Halle 1933, (Jena, University, math.-natural science dissertation, 1932).
  • Christine Manthey, Fred Manthey: Journey from the Past. Rothenstein / Thuringia, district Oelknitz. 725th local anniversary. 1283-2008. History and Heimatverein Rothenstein / Oelknitz, Rothenstein 2008. ( Contact to the authors )
  • Friedrich Möbius : The Wenceslas Church in Rothenstein. Approaches to their understanding. Buchwerft-Verlag, Kiel 2009, ISBN 978-3-941865-16-7 .
  • From Rodostein to Rothenstein. 1225th local anniversary. 786-2011. History and local history association Rothenstein / Oelknitz, Rothenstein 2011, ISBN 978-3-938843-62-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Population of the municipalities from the Thuringian State Office for Statistics  ( help on this ).
  2. The bastion and the Schurfhöhlen on Rothensteiner Felsen. ( Memento of the original from June 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 6, 2016. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. information portal expansion of B 88. Accessed June 6, 2016th
  4. Excavations in Ölknitz, 1932: Late Upper Palaeolithic in the middle Saale Valley (Thuringia) ( Memento from June 17, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Jonathan C. Zenker : Historical-topographical pocket book of Jena and its surroundings, especially in scientific and medical relationship. Frommann, Jena 1836, p. 145 .
  6. ^ Andrei Zahn: The inhabitants of the offices of Burgau, Camburg and Dornburg. A prayer register from around 1421–1425 (= AMF series of publications. 55, ZDB -ID 2380765-9 ). Printed as a manuscript. Working Group for Central German Family Research, Mannheim 1998.
  7. Ronald Füssel: The witch persecutions in the Thuringian area (= publications of the working group for historical witchcraft and crime research in Northern Germany. Vol. 2). DOBU-Verlag, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-934632-03-3 , p. 244, (also: Marburg, University, dissertation, 2000).
  8. Level data for the Saale near Rothenstein from the Thuringian State Institute for Environment and Geology.
  9. Werner Drescher: The Saal Railway and its connecting railways. Transpress - Verlag für Verkehrwesen, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-344-00109-4 , p. 14 ff.
  10. Thuringian Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime - Association of Antifascists and Study Group of German Resistance 1933–1945 (Ed.): Local history guide to sites of resistance and persecution 1933–1945. Volume 8: Thuringia. VAS - Verlag für Akademische Schriften, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-88864-343-0 , p. 216.
  11. ^ The Vivos Group - Vivos Europa One.
  12. Jim Dobson: Billionaire Bunkers: Exclusive Look Inside the World's Largest Planned Doomsday Escape. In: Forbes Life , June 12, 2015.
  13. ^ Sophie Jane Evans: 'The ultimate doomsday escape'. In: Daily Mail - Online , June 14, 2015.
  14. ^ Anja Blankenburg: Historical parade for the 1225th anniversary of Rothenstein. In: Ostthüringer Zeitung , June 27, 2011.
  15. ^ Annett Eger: Six coats of arms for the double community Rothenstein / Oelknitz. In: Ostthüringer Zeitung , March 1, 2013.
  16. Annett Eger: Rothenstein and Oelknitz now also united in the coat of arms. In: Ostthüringer Zeitung , September 19, 2015
  17. ^ Website of the community of Rothenstein , accessed on September 19, 2015
  18. Inscription of the tombstone and personal information on the homepage of the Göschwitz Rothenstein parish association
  19. ^ Sigrid Damm: Christiane and Goethe. Insel Verl. Berlin, 2015. P. 16/17 ( reading excerpt PDF)

Web links

Commons : Rothenstein  - collection of images, videos and audio files