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Stadt Pößneck


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Town History of Pößneck

Interesting facts from the town’s history:

8. / 9. century
The Orla Dip (Orlasenke) was colonised by the Sorbs, a Slavic tribe. Numerous small villages were founded, among them a settlement called "Peznic”, not far from the today’s God’s Acre Church (Gottesackerkirche). Pesknic = place, where sand is mined.

11. / 12. century
With the Benedictine abbey in Saalfeld the Christianisation of the Sorbic land began. Together with a land expansion, German population groups immigrated from Thuringia and Franken. East of Peznic (where today’s church square is) a small German market town of the same name with a fortified manor and a church devoted to apostle Bartholomew (a predecessor of the town church) was founded.

Pößneck is first mentioned in official records. In a monastery record from Saalfeld, a Meinherus of Peznic appeared as a witness.

Second half of the 13th century
The Sorbian village as well as the German market town of the same name, around the Bartholomew’s Church, form the starting point for an urban settlement. A town with an almost completely square layout, centrally situated market place and rectangular road network was established next to the village Peznic and was provided with a wall, gates and towers. The Lords of Arnshaugk are said to be the town's founding fathers.

Mendicants of the Carmelite order founded a monastery within the town walls.

Pößneck was referred to as a town for the first time. Frederick II the Strict, Landgrave of Thuringia and Margrave of Meissen, granted the Count of Schwarzburg the fiefdom over "Peznik Stat und Hus und alles daz darzu gehoret".

Pößneck receives the right to elect the "Schultheiß” (mayor) for itself. This was an essential step towards the town's independence.

In the oldest town bill a town hall is mentioned.

Emperor Ruprecht grants the town the right to hold a four-day Mauritius market in addition to the already permitted markets.

Pößneck fell as done feud to the Margrave of Meissen, thus to the House of Wettin.

Middle of the 15th century
The old town wall was replaced piece by piece by a new and stronger wall. Around the same time the town council had new town gates with massive outdoor installations built. In 1453 the Carmelite monastery gave 33 gulden to the town for the building of the White Tower. At that time in Pößneck, stables, a school, a cookshop, a hospital, two public baths and a women’s house (brothel) could be found.


A new town hall was built. Its predecessor had been pulled down only some years after the start of construction of the new town hall. Particularly impressive is the richly decorated gable on the north side. In 1531 the town hall was provided with an outside staircase in late Gothic tracery and arched lintels in the Renaissance style.

The Reformation made its entrance. The Carmelite monastery was dissolved. Because of its participation in the peasant riots, the town had to temporarily waive town ordinances and privileges and had to pay a fine of 2000 gulden to the sovereign.

The plague broke out in Pößneck. Well over 1000 people were victims of the epidemic.

1631, 1640 and the following years

For the town, the terror of the Thirty Years' War began. The quartering of Swedish regiments and the passages of the cavalry and infantry of both warring parties brought the citizens pillaging, deprivation and murder.

90 clothiers and 21 tanners worked in Pößneck. These two industries dominated the image of the city and established its wealth.


1200 people from Salzburg, who had been displaced because of their Protestant faith, travelled through Pößneck and were entertained and supplied here.

On his way to the Bohemian spas Goethe stopped in Pößneck over 18 times. He stayed nine times in the inn called "To the Golden Lion”.


Foundation of the porcelain factory Pößneck, which, from 1814 on, bears the name "Porcelain Factory Conta & Böhme”.

Only a few days before the battle of Jena und Auerstädt, Napoleonic troops forced their quartering in Pößneck. Looting occurs.

After several changes of the ruling dynasties during the past 250 years, Pößneck was annexed to the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen.

Pößneck received the freedom of trade. The industrial boom in Pößneck began.

1862 bis 1900
Pößneck developed into the most important industrial town in the Duchy of Saxe–Meiningen and temporarily became its most important taxpayer. In the Saalfelder road and at the Cattle Market (Viehmarkt) leading textile businesses were founded. Emil Brüderlein founded a patent leather factory in the Saalfelder road, R. Weithase a leather factory, the later leather works at the Teichrasen and Robert Berger started a chocolate and cocoa factory of Europe-wide importance.


With the construction of the railway line Gera-Eichicht, Pößneck gets a rail connection.

In Pößneck the German Textile Workers' Association (Deutsche Textilarbeiterverband) was founded. Today: Union Textile-Clothing (Gewerkschaft Textil-Bekleidung).

Printing and publishing house of the since 1827 appearing newspaper "Pößnecker Zeitung" (initially published under a different name), "Gerold-Verlag" since 1854, go into the hands of Ernst Schertling. A large printing house in which about 250 people were employed was built at the former Öpitzer street in 1925.

Carl Gustav Vogel built many modern factory buildings for his publishing house founded in 1891, which became one of the most important trade journal publishers.

Defense industry is shifted to Pößneck. Approximately 450 citizens of the town died in the Second World War as soldiers at the front, about 150 are missing.
9. and 11. April 1945
58 people were killed during bomb attacks. Numerous buildings, among them the local history museum, were destroyed.

15. April 1945
The town was handed over to the American forces without a struggle.

2. July 1945
The American troops were replaced by Soviet troops. The time of the Soviet occupation began.  


The expropriation of important enterprises began. Machinery, factory equipment as well as tracks were dismantled and removed as war reparations to the Soviet Union. From the Vogel-Verlag, the later large-scale printing house "Karl-Marx-Werk" emerged.

Pößneck became district town of the newly founded district Pößneck. In the following years several large trade establishments were settled in the town.

1973 till 1975
The development area Pößneck-East was built in modular circuit board design. With it, the housing shortage was largely eliminated.

1971 till 1990
The marvering factory "Rotasym”, set up in the factory buildings of the disbanded cloth factory becomes the most important industrial enterprise of the town with 1400 employees.


The industrial park in Pößneck-East has been made available. The first companies and trade organisations start with the construction of buildings and halls.

October – December 1989
The "New Forum” ("Neue Forum”) organizes several Monday rallies on the market place. Thus the Reunification is initiated in Pößneck.

Pößneck loses the status as district town and is annexed to the newly formed Saale-Orla-District.

13. September 1998

The mayor opens the new town museum of Pößneck.

April – October 2000
Pößneck is host of the 1. Thuringian Garden Festival (1. Thüringer Landesgartenschau). Approximately half a million guests visit the exhibitions at the Cattle Market (Viehmarkt) and in the Lutschgenpark.

August 2005
With the opening of the apprentice residential home at the Cattle Market (Viehmarkt), the educational centre in the heart of Pößneck was founded.

October 2006
The historical factory buildings Rotasym-West were pulled down to clear space for the relocation of the river Kotschau, a shopping centre and a green area.

June 2007
The town Pößneck receives the Thuringian Monument Award for the town library Bilke, which since October 2006 is housed in the former monastery church at the abbey place.

January 2008
Pößneck gives itself a new town logo.

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