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Gera is, with around 93,000 inhabitants, the third-largest city of
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers , being the sixth smallest of the sixteen German States (including City States). It ...
after
Erfurt Erfurt ( , ; ) is the and largest city in the state of , central Germany. It is located in the southern part of the , within the wide valley of the . It is located south-west of , south-west of , north of and north-east of . Together wit ...

Erfurt
and
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
as well as the easternmost city of the ''Thüringer Städtekette'', an almost straight string of cities consisting of the six largest Thuringian cities from
Eisenach Eisenach () is a town A town is a . Towns are generally larger than s and smaller than , though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" shares an origin ...
in the west, via
Gotha Gotha () is the fifth-largest city in Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazi ...

Gotha
,
Erfurt Erfurt ( , ; ) is the and largest city in the state of , central Germany. It is located in the southern part of the , within the wide valley of the . It is located south-west of , south-west of , north of and north-east of . Together wit ...

Erfurt
,
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
and
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
to Gera in the east. Gera is the largest city in the
Vogtland Vogtland (, cz, Fojtsko) is a region spanning the German states of Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian language, Bavarian: ''Bayern'' ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: ''Freistaat Bayern''; ), is ...

Vogtland
, and one of its historical capitals along with
Plauen Plauen (; Czech language, Czech: ''Plavno'') is, with around 65,000 inhabitants, the fifth-largest city of the Free State of Saxony after Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and Zwickau, the second-largest city of the Vogtland after Gera, as well as the ...
,
Greiz Greiz is a town in Thuringia, and it is the capital of the Greiz (district), district of Greiz. Greiz is situated in eastern Thuringia on the river ''White Elster''. Greiz has a large park in its center (Fürstlich Greizer Park) which is classifie ...

Greiz
and Weida. The city lies in the East Thuringian Hill Country, in the wide valley of the
White Elster The White Elster
Accessed on 16 Jan 2011. (, ) is a long river in central Europe, right tributary of the Saale. Its s ...
, between
Greiz Greiz is a town in Thuringia, and it is the capital of the Greiz (district), district of Greiz. Greiz is situated in eastern Thuringia on the river ''White Elster''. Greiz has a large park in its center (Fürstlich Greizer Park) which is classifie ...

Greiz
(upstream) and
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
(downstream). Gera is located in the
Central German Metropolitan Region The Central German Metropolitan Region (german: Metropolregion Mitteldeutschland) is one of the officially established metropolitan regions in Germany. It is centered on the major cities of Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the mos ...
, approximately south of Saxony's largest city of
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
, east of Thuringia's capital
Erfurt Erfurt ( , ; ) is the and largest city in the state of , central Germany. It is located in the southern part of the , within the wide valley of the . It is located south-west of , south-west of , north of and north-east of . Together wit ...

Erfurt
and west of Saxony's capital
Dresden Dresden (, ; wen, label=Sorbian languages, Upper and Lower Sorbian, Drježdźany) is the capital city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony and its second most populous city, after Leipzig. It is the List of cities in German ...

Dresden
. First mentioned in 995 and developing into a city during the 13th century, Gera has historical significance as being one of the main residences of the Ducal
House of Reuss Reuss (german: Reuß) was the name of several historical states located in present-day Thuringia, Germany. Its rulers, the House of Reuss, named all of their male children ''Heinrich'' ( en, Henry) after the end of the 12th century in honour of H ...
and subsequently the capital of the
Principality of Reuss-Gera The Principality of Reuss-Gera (german: Fürstentum Reuß-Gera), called the Principality of the Reuss Junior Line (german: Fürstentum Reuß jüngerer Linie) after 1848, was a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is repr ...
(1848-1918) and of the
People's State of Reuss The People's State of Reuss (german: Volksstaat Reuß) was a short-lived country in what is now Thuringia. The state was formed on 4 April 1919 after the reigning princes of the two Reuss (state), Reuss principalities abdicated and elections were ...
(1918-1920), one of the many microstates the Thuringian region consisted of, before they were unified to form Thuringia in 1920. Over the 19th century, Gera became a centre of the textile industry and saw a period of rapid growth. In 1952, the city also became an administrative centre in
GDR East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
as one of the capitals of Gera administrative district (Bezirk). In 1990, Gera became part of re-established Thuringia. The loss of its administrative functions as well as its industrial core (caused both by structural change among the European textile industry and the economic system change after the German reunification) precipitated the city's slide into an enduring economic crisis. Since 1990, many of Gera's buildings have been restored and big urban planning programmes like the
Bundesgartenschau The Bundesgartenschau ( abbr. BUGA) is a biennial Biennial means (an event) lasting for two years or occurring every two years. The related term biennium is used in reference to a period of two years. In particular, it can refer to: * Biennial pla ...
2007 were implemented to stimulate Gera's economy. Sights include some retained buildings of the royal residence epoque and many public and private buildings from the economic heyday between 1870 and 1930. The famous painter
Otto Dix Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix (; 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and Printmaking, printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of German society during the Weimar Republic and the brutality of war. Along ...
was born in Gera in 1891.


History


Middle Ages

The place name ''Gera'' originally referred to the area of the Elster river valley where the city stands now. The name most likely originated before the European
Migration Period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
– the people who first settled the area during the 8th century adopted the name. The first known documentary mention of Gera dates from 995. In 999 Emperor
Otto III Otto III (June/July 980 – 23 January 1002) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as ...

Otto III
assigned the "province" of Gera to the
Quedlinburg Abbey Quedlinburg Abbey (german: Stift Quedlinburg or ) was a house of canoness#Secular canoness, secular canonesses ''(Frauenstift)'' in Quedlinburg in what is now Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was founded in 936 on the initiative of Saint Mathilda, the wi ...
. In turn, the church assigned the protectorship of this area in 1209 to the
Vogt During the , an ''advocatus'' (sometimes given as modern English: advocate; German: ''Vogt''; French: ''avoué'') was an office-holder who was legally delegated to perform some of the secular responsibilities of a major feudal lord, or for an ...

Vogt
s of Weida (in German: ''Vögte von Weida'') who served as its administrators. The Vogts of Weida were the ancestors of the Reussians, who ruled Gera until 1918. Gera was first mentioned as a town in 1237, though it is unclear in which year Gera got the municipal law. The small town got circumvallated in the 13th century on an area of 350 x 350 m and the Vogts' city castle was built in the south-western corner at today's Burgstraße. A municipal seal was first used in 1350, the council was first named in 1360 and the town hall was mentioned in 1426. The abbess of Quedlinburg remained the formal sovereign of Gera until 1358, as the Wettins followed her up. The Vogt's couldn't emancipate theirselfs from Wettin rule. In 1450, Gera was almost totally destroyed during the
Saxon Fratricidal WarImage:Friedrich4.jpg, Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, father of the two warring brothers The Saxon Fratricidal WarThis translation is employed by the Museum Leuchtenburg in theiHistory of Leuchtenburg (German language, German: ''Sächsischer Bruderk ...
, but it could recuperate quick because the starting textile manufacture brought wealth to the town.


Early modern period

The
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Cit ...
was introduced in Gera in 1533 against the will of the Vogts by the Wettins. After the
Schmalkaldic War The Schmalkaldic War (german: link=no, Schmalkaldischer Krieg) refers to the short period of violence from 1546 until 1547 between the forces of Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (simultaneously King Charles I of Spain), commanded by t ...
in 1546, the Wettins lost Gera to the
Bohemian Crown The Lands of the Bohemian Crown were a number of incorporated states in Central Europe during the Middle Ages, medieval and early modern periods connected by feudalism, feudal relations under the List of Bohemian monarchs, Bohemian kings. The crow ...
, who however had no influence on the city, so that the Vogts resp. the Reussians (which arose from the Vogts in the mid-16th century) as indeed rulers were strengthened. During the 16th century, some cloth-makers from the
Spanish Netherlands Spanish Netherlands es, Países Bajos Españoles; nl, Spaanse Nederlanden; french: Pays-Bas espagnols; german: Spanische Niederlande. (historically in Spanish: ''Flandes'', the name "Flanders" was used as a ''pars pro toto ''Pars pro toto'' (, ...

Spanish Netherlands
migrated to Gera as religious refugees at Count Henry's invitation and raised the textile business in Gera. In the 18th century, there was a first peak in this industry (
Putting-out system The putting-out system is a means of subcontracting A subcontractor is an individual or (in many cases) a business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), produc ...
), which can be seen today at the large agents houses. In 1673, the Reussians were raised to
Imperial Count Imperial Count (german: Reichsgraf) was a title in the Holy Roman Empire. In the medieval era, it was used exclusively to designate the holder of an imperial county, that is, a fief held directly (Imperial immediacy, immediately) from the emperor ...
s which granted them full sovereignty within the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
; Gera became their royal residence. In 1686 and 1780, big town fires destroyed most buildings in Gera. The town was rebuilt relatively uniform during the 1780s in late-Baroque style, which marks the inner city until today. In 1806
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
established his Imperial Headquarters at Gera during the
War of the Fourth Coalition The Fourth Coalition fought against Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers t ...
. From here, on October 12, 1806, the French Emperor purposely sent an arrogant and threatening letter to King
Frederick William III of Prussia Frederick William III (german: Friedrich Wilhelm III.; 3 August 1770 – 7 June 1840) was King of Prussia The monarchs of Prussia were members of the House of Hohenzollern who were the monarch, hereditary rulers of the former German state of ...

Frederick William III of Prussia
– a letter that enticed
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...
to war and a crushing defeat at the
Battle of Jena A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...

Battle of Jena
a few days later.


Since 1815

The Gera line of Reussians died out in 1802, so that it had no royal residence until the new one moved there from
Schleiz Schleiz is a town in the district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or counties, se ...
in 1848. From 1848 to 1918 Gera served as the capital of the
Principality of Reuss-Gera The Principality of Reuss-Gera (german: Fürstentum Reuß-Gera), called the Principality of the Reuss Junior Line (german: Fürstentum Reuß jüngerer Linie) after 1848, was a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is repr ...
. With the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century, Gera grew rapidly, due largely to its textile industry, which saw the first
Power loom A power loom is a mechanized loom A loom is a device used to weave cloth and tapestry. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension Tension may refer to: Science * Psychological stress * Tension (physics), a f ...
installed in 1836. In 1859, Gera was first connected by railway to
Halle Halle may refer to: Places Germany * Halle (Saale), also called Halle an der Saale, a city in Saxony-Anhalt ** Halle (region), a former administrative region in Saxony-Anhalt ** Bezirk Halle, a former administrative division of East Germany ** Hall ...
via
Zeitz Zeitz is a town in the Burgenlandkreis Burgenlandkreis is a district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type ...
and
Weißenfels Weißenfels (; often written in English as Weissenfels) is the largest town of the Burgenlandkreis Burgenlandkreis is a district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , ...

Weißenfels
. During the following decades, rail lines in all directions made Gera to a transport hub, and the town kept growing. The second electric tram in Germany was installed in Gera in 1892. After World War I, during the
German Revolution of 1918–19 German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = Ge ...
, the prince of Reuss was forced to abdicate and as the resultant "
Republic of Reuss The People's State of Reuss (german: Volksstaat Reuß) was a short-lived country in what is now Thuringia. The state was formed on 4 April 1919 after the reigning princes of the two Reuss (state), Reuss principalities abdicated and elections were ...
" joined the newly founded state of
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers , being the sixth smallest of the sixteen German States (including City States). It ...
in 1920. After the incorporation of some suburbs in the 1910s and 1920s Gera, with some 80,000 inhabitants, was the largest city in Thuringia, although the more centrally located
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
became its capital. After the Nazi takeover of Germany, the Jewish community of Gera was destroyed, the synagogue burnt down in the
Kristallnacht ''Kristallnacht'' () or the Night of Broken Glass, also called the November Pogrom(s) (german: Novemberpogrome, ), was a pogrom A pogrom is a violent riot aimed at the massacre or expulsion of an ethnic or religious group, particularly on ...

Kristallnacht
in 1938 and the city's Jews emigrated or were murdered in
concentration camps Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or Indictment, intent to file charges. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism suspects". Thus, while it ...
. A month before the end of World War II, on 6 April 1945, U.S. bombing destroyed parts of the city and killed 514 residents. Some 300 buildings were hit, including the Osterstein castle and several historic buildings in city centre, many of which weren't rebuilt after the war. U.S. forces occupied Gera on 14 April 1945 but were replaced by the Soviets on 1 July 1945. Gera became part of the
GDR East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...

GDR
in 1949 and was a flash point in the
Uprising of 1953 in East Germany The East German uprising of 1953 (german: Volksaufstand vom 17. Juni 1953 ) was an uprising that occurred in East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), ...
as thousands of workers – among them many employees of the Soviet-established Wismut
uranium mining Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium Uranium is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the pro ...
entity in the nearby
Ore Mountains The Ore Mountains or Ore Mountain Range () (german: Erzgebirge ; cs, Krušné hory or historically ''Rudohoří'') in Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are somet ...
(''Erzgebirge'') – demanded higher wages and free elections. The demonstrations were put down by Soviet military forces, including armored units. With governmental reorganization in East Germany, the city became the capital of the newly created District of Gera in 1952. The population rose during the GDR period, and massive ''
Plattenbau , the largest East German (1987) (plural: , german: Platte + Bau, lit=panel/slab' + 'building/ construction) is a building constructed of large, prefabricated Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure A struct ...

Plattenbau
'' prefabricated apartment blocks, built throughout East Germany, were constructed in Gera. After
German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, peop ...
in 1990, Gera became part of the restored state of Thuringia. However, Gera lost most of its administrative functions after reunification, and nearly all the city's factories were closed. This led to a continuing economic crisis with significant unemployment, and the city's population declined from 135,000 in 1990 to less than 100,000 a decade later. The city hosted the
Bundesgartenschau The Bundesgartenschau ( abbr. BUGA) is a biennial Biennial means (an event) lasting for two years or occurring every two years. The related term biennium is used in reference to a period of two years. In particular, it can refer to: * Biennial pla ...
(federal horticultural exhibition) in 2007.


Geography and demographics


Topography

Gera is located in a smooth-hilly landscape in eastern Thuringia at the
White Elster The White Elster
Accessed on 16 Jan 2011. (, ) is a long river in central Europe, right tributary of the Saale. Its s ...
river (progression: ), between the
Thuringian Highland The Thuringian Highland, Thuringian Highlands or Thuringian-Vogtlandian Slate MountainsKohl, Horst; Marcinek, Joachim and Nitz, Bernhard (1986). ''Geography of the German Democratic Republic'', VEB Hermann Haack, Gotha, p. 7 ff. . (german: Thüringe ...
approx. in the south-west, the
Ore Mountains The Ore Mountains or Ore Mountain Range () (german: Erzgebirge ; cs, Krušné hory or historically ''Rudohoří'') in Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are somet ...
approx. in the south-east and the
Leipzig Bay The Leipzig BayDickinson (1964), p. 29.above sea level Above may refer to: *Above (artist) Tavar Zawacki formerly known as 'ABOVE' (born 1981) is an American abstract art Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of ind ...
for the city appears as when measured at the market place. Small tributaries of the White Elster river within the borders of Gera are the ''Erlbach'' on the western side and the ''Wipsenbach'', ''Gessenbach'' and ''Brahme'' on the eastern side.


Climate

Gera has a
humid continental climate A humid continental climate is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months t ...
(Dfb) or an
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen classification of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the deg ...
(''Cfb'') according to the
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
system. ''(direct
Final Revised Paper
''
Summers are warm and sometimes humid, winters are relatively cold. The city's topography creates a microclimate caused through the basin position with sometimes
inversion Inversion or inversions may refer to: Arts * , a French gay magazine (1924/1925) * Inversion (artwork), ''Inversion'' (artwork), a 2005 temporary sculpture in Houston, Texas * Inversion (music), a term with various meanings in music theory and mus ...
in winter (quite cold nights under ) and heat and inadequate air circulation in summer. Annual precipitation is only with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Light snowfall mainly occurs from December through February, but snow cover does not usually remain for long.


Administrative division

Gera abuts the following municipalities: * in the
Burgenlandkreis Burgenlandkreis is a district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German ...
district in the north: Wetterzeube and Gutenborn in the federal state of
Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper) ...

Saxony-Anhalt
* in the
Greiz Greiz is a town in Thuringia, and it is the capital of the Greiz (district), district of Greiz. Greiz is situated in eastern Thuringia on the river ''White Elster''. Greiz has a large park in its center (Fürstlich Greizer Park) which is classifie ...
district in the east: Pölzig, Hirschfeld, Brahmenau, Schwaara, Korbußen, Ronneburg,
Kauern
Kauern
,
Hilbersdorf
Hilbersdorf
and
Linda Linda may refer to: As a name * Linda (given name) Linda is a female given name, of German origin, but widespread in the English-speaking world since the end of the nineteenth century. The German name ''Linde'' was originally an abbreviated form ...
; in the south: Endschütz, Wünschendorf,
Zedlitz
Zedlitz
and Hundhaupten; in the west: Saara,
Kraftsdorf Kraftsdorf is a municipality in the Greiz (district), district of Greiz, in Thuringia, Germany. It is dispersed in different municipal units with their sub-set of hamlets: * Kraftsdorf ** Harpersdorf ** Kraftsdorf ** Oberndorf * Niederndorf ** Kalte ...
, Hartmannsdorf and Bad Köstritz * in the
Saale-Holzland Saale-Holzland (official German language, German name: Saale-Holzland-Kreis) is a ''Kreis'' (Districts of Germany, district) in the east of Thuringia, Germany. Neighboring districts are (from the north clockwise) the district Burgenlandkreis in Sa ...
district:
Silbitz
Silbitz
in the north-west. Gera is divided in different ways. Historically, there are more than 60 villages in the densely settled Elster valley area belonging to Gera today. The actual division knows on the one hand statistical districts and on the other hand political districts. The 12 statistical districts are covering the whole city area and consist of (sometimes) several political districts, urban quarters and/or rural villages. The 16 political districts are covering only few parts of Gera, but not the central urban areas, instead usually rural districts got incorporated during the second half of the 20th century. Each political district can (but doesn't have to) consist of more than one village. Each political district elects an own district council and a district mayor, whereas the statistical districts don't have any political function. The main urban quarters are the city centre, Untermhaus (incorporated 1919) in the west, Langenberg (1950), Tinz (1919) and Bieblach (1905) in the north, Leumnitz (1919) in the east, Pforten (1919) and Zwötzen (1919) in the south-east as well as Debschwitz (1912) and Lusan (1919) in the south-west.


Demographics

During the centuries, Gera has been a quite small town of 2,000 inhabitants. As the textile business saw a first peak, the population rose to 7,000 in 1800 and further to 17,000 after the early stage of industrialisation in 1870. Gera's heyday between 1870 and 1930 led to a demographic boom with a population of 83,000 at the end of this phase in 1930. In 1950, Gera had 98,000 inhabitants and the all-time peak was reached in 1988 with a population of 135,000. After the German reunification in 1990, the city saw a significant decline in population, despite the large incorporations of 1994. The population shrunk to 113,000 in 2000 and 95,000 in 2012. The average decrease of population between 2009 and 2012 was approximately 0.55% p. a, whereas the population in bordering rural regions is shrinking with accelerating tendency.
Suburbanization pattern in the US Suburbanization is a population shift from central urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through ...
played only a small role in Gera. It occurred after the reunification for a short time in the 1990s, but most of the suburban areas were situated within the administrative city borders. During the 1990s and the 2000s, many inhabitants left Gera to search a better life in west Germany or other major east German cities like
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
or
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
. Since 2010, emigration is no big issue anymore. Now, the birth deficit, caused by the high average age of the population, is getting a bigger problem because the immigration isn't sufficient to compensate it yet. Despite urban planning activities to tear down unused flats, vacancy is still a problem with rates around 12% (according to 2011 EU census). A positive side effect for the inhabitants is that Gera has one of the lowest rent levels in Germany. The birth deficit was 715 in 2012, this is -7.5 per 1,000 inhabitants (Thuringian average: -4.5; national average: -2.4). The net migration rate was +3.6 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2012 (Thuringian average: -0.8; national average: +4.6). The most important regions of origin of Gera migrants are bordering rural areas of Thuringia,
Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper) ...

Saxony-Anhalt
and
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...

Saxony
as well as foreign countries like Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. Like other eastern German cities, Gera has only a small amount of foreign population: circa 1.6% are non-Germans by citizenship and overall 5.0% are migrants (according to
2011 EU census2011 EU census, or EU population and housing census 2011 was an EU-wide census A census is the procedure of systematically enumerating, and acquiring and recording information about the members of a given Statistical population, population. This te ...
). Differing from the national average, the biggest groups of migrants in Gera are
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = Wedding ceremony in the national Russian tradition. , population = 134 million , popplace = 117,319,000 , region1 = , pop1 = 7,170,00 ...
,
Vietnamese people The Vietnamese people ( vi, người Việt) or Kinh people ( vi, người Kinh) are a Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical so ...
and
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
. During recent years, the economic situation of the city improved a bit: the unemployment rate declined from 22% in 2005 to 11% in 2013, which is still the highest one out of all Thuringian districts. Due to the official atheism in former
GDR East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
, most of the population is non-religious. 9.8% are members of the
Evangelical Church in Central Germany The Evangelical Church in Central Germany ( German:''Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland'') is a United church body covering most of the German states of Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt (; Low German , , (in a stric ...
and 2.6% are Catholics (according to 2011 EU census) making one of the world's lowest amounts of religious people.


Culture, sights and cityscape


Museums

There are some museums in Gera: * The ''Orangerie'' at Orangerieplatz hosts an exhibition of art from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period. * The ''Otto-Dix-Haus'' at Mohrenplatz 4, birthplace and childhood home of the famous artist
Otto Dix Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix (; 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and Printmaking, printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of German society during the Weimar Republic and the brutality of war. Along ...
, has a collection of his drawings, prints, paintings and childhood sketch books, and an exhibition about his life. * The ''Museum für Angewandte Kunst'' at Greizer Straße shows 20th century contemporary art (inside "Ferber House"). It displays collections of
Bauhaus The Staatliches Bauhaus (), commonly known as the Bauhaus (German: "building house"), was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German an ...

Bauhaus
ceramics by the artists Otto Lindig und Theodor Bogler; architectural works of Thilo Schoder; and photographs by
Aenne Biermann Aenne Biermann (March 8, 1898 – January 14, 1933), born Anna Sibilla Sternfeld, was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry ...
. * The ''Museum für Naturkunde'' at Nicolaiberg hosts a natural history exhibition (inside the "Schreiber House", the oldest building in the city), with its adjacent
botanical garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' and ''botanical'' and ''garden'' or ''gardens'' are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word ''botanic'' is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is ...

botanical garden
, the
Botanischer Garten Gera
Botanischer Garten Gera
* The ''Stadtmuseum'' at Museumsplatz shows an exhibition of Gera's municipal history. * The ''Haus Schulenburg'' at Straße des Friedens is a factory owner's mansion, built in 1913/14 by the famous architect
Henry van de Velde Henry Clemens van de Velde (; 3 April 1863 – 15 October 1957) was a Belgian Belgian may refer to: * Something of, or related to, Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in ...
. It hosts topical furniture and decoration and can be visited.


Image gallery

File:Orangerie in Gera.jpg, Orangerie File:Gera - Otto Dix Haus.jpg, Otto-Dix-Haus File:Gera - Ferbersches Haus.JPG, Museum für Angewandte Kunst File:Gera - Schreibersches Haus 2009.jpg, Museum für Naturkunde File:Stadtmuseum Gera.JPG, Stadtmuseum File:Villa Schulenburg Gera.JPG, Haus Schulenburg


Cityscape

Like its western neighbour-city
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
, Gera is a protracted city along a wide valley in south-northern direction. The historic city centre is quite small and located between Sorge in the north, Nicolaistraße in the east, Stadtgraben in the south and Reichsstraße in the west. It survived World War II, but during the 1960s and 1970s, the GDR government demolished larger inner-city areas to rebuild them with modern concrete architecture, which marks the view of Gera's centre, particularly in the north-west until today. Between 1870 and 1930, the city was largely extended in all directions. As distinct from other German cities, there is no citywide spatial separation between the worker's quarters and the upper-class mansion districts, instead, the mansions and the tenements are situated near to each other, spread over all the districts. The hilly areas and those next to the river and the parks are more upscale, whereas the areas next to the railway and the factories are more working-class styled. Nevertheless, the
Gründerzeit in Leipzig, Germany (1892) (; "founders' period") was the economic phase in 19th-century Germany and Austria before the great Panic of 1873, stock market crash of 1873. In Central Europe, the age of industrialisation had been taking place since ...
architecture is quite diverse and interesting in Gera. Most buildings were extensively refurbished after 1990. Especially Gera's mansion architecture from the 1900s and 1910s is unique. The 1920s brought some modern-style
Bauhaus The Staatliches Bauhaus (), commonly known as the Bauhaus (German: "building house"), was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German an ...

Bauhaus
buildings to the then rich city. During the GDR period, urban growth was handled by establishing big
Plattenbau , the largest East German (1987) (plural: , german: Platte + Bau, lit=panel/slab' + 'building/ construction) is a building constructed of large, prefabricated Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure A struct ...

Plattenbau
settlements on the city's periphery, like the Lusan district in south and the Bieblach district in north.


Image gallery

File:Friedrich engels strasse gera.jpg, Gründerzeit architecture at Friedrich-Engels-Straße File:Villa eichenberg gera.JPG, Villa Eichenberg File:Villa hirsch gera.jpg, Villa Hirsch File:Buga07 VillaJahr.JPG, Villa Jahr (1905–1907) File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0327-315, Gera, Rundfunkgebäude.jpg, Haus Meyer (1927) File:Gera Privatklinik Schäfer.jpg, Former Klinik Schäfer, Bauhaus style (1929)


Sights and architectural heritage


Churches

* The ''St. Saviour's Church'' at Nicolaiberg is the evangelical main church of Gera, built between 1717 and 1720 by David Schatz in Baroque style. * The ''Trinity Church'' at Heinrichstraße is an evangelical parish church (since 1886), built between 1609 and 1611 as cemetery church. * The ''St. John's Church'' at Clara-Zetkin-Straße is an evangelical parish church, built between 1881 and 1885 in neo-Gothic style. * The ''St. Mary's Church'' at Untermhaus district is the evangelical parish church of the former village Untermhaus, built around 1450. * The ''St. Elizabeth's Church'' at Kleiststraße is the catholic parish church of Gera, built in 2000 in modern style as one of only few bigger new churches in Thuringia after 1990. * The ''St. Martin's Church'' at Zwötzen district is an evangelical parish church, built in 1895 in neo-Gothic style. * The ''Fourteen Holy Helpers Church'' at Langenberg district is an evangelical parish church, was rebuilt during the 1750s.


Image gallery

File:Gera - Salvatorkirche.jpg, St. Saviour's Church File:Trinitatiskirche Gera.jpg, Trinity Church File:Gera - Johanniskirche.jpg, St. John's Church File:Gera Untermhaus St. Marienkirche (2007).JPG, St. Mary's Church File:Zwötzen, Kirche.JPG, St. Martin's Church File:Kirche-Langenberg.jpg, Fourteen Holy Helpers Church


Other sights

* The ''town hall'' at Marktplatz is one of the biggest Renaissance town halls in Germany with a nearly 60 m high tower, built between 1573 and 1576. The Marktplatz itself forms a good ensemble of 18th century patricians houses in late-Baroque style. * The ''Stadttheater'' at Küchengartenallee is the former royal Reussian theatre, built in 1902 by Heinrich Seeling in neo-Baroque style. * The ''Stadtapotheke'' (city pharmacy) is a Renaissance building at Marktplatz with a beautiful bay, established in 1592. * The ''Küchengarten'' with the ''Orangerie'' is a park ensemble west of the city centre, established in 1732 by the Reussians. * The ''Höhler'' is a cellar system under the city centre with a length of approx. , established in 17th and 18th century for storing beer. A part can be visited via an entrance at Nicolaiberg 3. * The ''Schloss Tinz'' was the royal summer residence of the Reussians, built in 1748 in Baroque style with a surrounding park. * The ''Schloss Osterstein'' was the main royal residence of the Reussians, built during the 16th century in Renaissance style. It was hit by bombs in 1945 and partially demolished in 1962. Only the tower remained. * The ''city wall'' was demolished in the 19th century, only a small part at Stadtgraben remained.


Image gallery

File:Gera Rathaus 2008-2.JPG, Town hall File:Gera Theater (2007).JPG, Theatre File:Gera - Stadtapotheke 2009.jpg, Stadtapotheke File:Gera Orangerie (2007).jpg, Orangerie at Küchengarten File:Gera - Schloss Tinz.jpg, Schloss Tinz File:Gera Osterstein Bergfried.JPG, Schloss Osterstein: tower File:Gera - Stadtmauer.JPG, City wall


Economy and infrastructure


Agriculture, industry and services

Agriculture has some importance in the rural districts of Gera, especially in the northern and eastern city parts. Approximately 57% of the municipal territory is in agricultural use: growing maize, rapeseed and crops as well as pasturing cattle. The city's economy features industrial machinery (Dagro Gera GmbH), communications (DTKS GmbH, Deutsche Telekom), security locks (Schloßsicherungen Gera GmbH), optics (POG Präzisionsoptik Gera GmbH), electrical equipment (Electronicon Kondensatoren GmbH), and margarine manufacturing (Othüna). Other companies include a compressor manufacturer (Kompressorenwerk Kaeser), a precision-tool maker (SMK-Präzisionsmechanik), and a subsidiary of the construction company Max Bögl. The e-commerce service-provider D+S Europe has a service centre in Gera with several hundred workers, and Rittal, a manufacturer of information-technology enclosures, moved from Bad Köstritz to Gera. Some industrial branches operating before 1990 no longer have major importance. Sectors either no longer existing or sharply reduced include those in toolmaking (Volkseigener Betrieb, VEB Wema Union), textiles (VEB Modedruck), textile machinery (VEB Textima), electronic equipment (VEB Elektronik Gera). Other industries that had a presence included Carl Zeiss AG, VEB Carl Zeiss Jena and a brewery. One important industrial branch had been uranium-ore mining in nearby Ronneburg ( Wismut), whereby the region became the Soviet Union's leading uranium supplier. In 2012 Gera had 41 companies with more than 20 workers in the industrial sector, employing 3,400 people and generating an overall turnover of €452 million. Gera is a supra-centre according to the Central Place Theory in German regional planning. This makes the city a regional centre for retailing, with three major shopping centres: ''Gera-Arcaden'', ''Amthor-Passage'' and ''Elster-Forum''. Health services are important, with one of the biggest hospitals in Thuringia, the SRH Waldklinikum. Nevertheless, Gera's economy is weak compared to equal-sized neighbouring cities like
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
or Zwickau. While Jena counts 51,000 and Zwickau 50,000 jobs liable to pay into the German social insurance, Gera had only 35,000 of those full-time jobs in 2012. The commuter balance was +14,000 in Jena and +16,000 in Zwickau, but only +2,000 in Gera, which is one of the lowest ratios among German supra-centres, highlighting the lack of ability of Gera to provide jobs for the region. The unemployment rate reached 11.2% in September 2013 - the highest among all Thuringian districts.


Transport


By rail

Since the late 19th century, Gera has been a hub in the railway network. The first railway ran to the Thuringian Railway in
Weißenfels Weißenfels (; often written in English as Weissenfels) is the largest town of the Burgenlandkreis Burgenlandkreis is a district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , ...

Weißenfels
(with connection to
Halle Halle may refer to: Places Germany * Halle (Saale), also called Halle an der Saale, a city in Saxony-Anhalt ** Halle (region), a former administrative region in Saxony-Anhalt ** Bezirk Halle, a former administrative division of East Germany ** Hall ...
) via
Zeitz Zeitz is a town in the Burgenlandkreis Burgenlandkreis is a district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type ...
in 1859. Further main lines were opened to Gößnitz (with connection to Chemnitz) in 1865, to Saalfeld in 1871, to
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
(via Zeitz) in 1873, to
Plauen Plauen (; Czech language, Czech: ''Plavno'') is, with around 65,000 inhabitants, the fifth-largest city of the Free State of Saxony after Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and Zwickau, the second-largest city of the Vogtland after Gera, as well as the ...
in 1875, to
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
(with connection to
Erfurt Erfurt ( , ; ) is the and largest city in the state of , central Germany. It is located in the southern part of the , within the wide valley of the . It is located south-west of , south-west of , north of and north-east of . Together wit ...

Erfurt
) via
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
in 1876 and to Hof, Bavaria, Hof in 1883. The secondary railways to Werdau (opened in 1876) and Meuselwitz (opened via Pölzig in 1901 and via Lumpzig in 1887) are abandoned. Nevertheless, none of these lines are electrified or in use for long-distance trains. Today, there are regional express trains to Göttingen via Jena and Erfurt, to Leipzig via Zeitz, to Altenburg, Glauchau and Zwickau via the Gößnitz line, to
Greiz Greiz is a town in Thuringia, and it is the capital of the Greiz (district), district of Greiz. Greiz is situated in eastern Thuringia on the river ''White Elster''. Greiz has a large park in its center (Fürstlich Greizer Park) which is classifie ...

Greiz
, to Hof and to Saalfeld. Local trains provide connections to Weimar via Jena, Leipzig, Weischlitz (near Plauen), Hof and Saalfeld. The most lines run every two hours, so that there is hourly service (express and local trains in alternation) to most directions. The electrification of the west-eastern mainline Weimar – Jena – Gera – Gößnitz is in discussion for closing that gap in the network and enable Gera's connection to long-distance trains, which can be reached today either via Jena or via Leipzig. The most important stations in Gera are the ''Gera Hauptbahnhof, Gera main station'' (former Prussian station), where all the trains stop, and the ''Gera southern station'' (former Saxonian station), where all the trains, except the local ones to Weimar, stop. More stations in Gera are ''Langenberg'' at the Leipzig line, ''Zwötzen'' at the Saalfeld and Hof line as well as ''Gera Ost'' and ''Liebschwitz'' at the Plauen line. Freight transport by rail is immaterial in Gera since the 1990s.


By road

The two German autobahns, Autobahnen crossing each other nearby at ''Hermsdorf junction'' are the Bundesautobahn 4 (Frankfurt–Dresden) and the Bundesautobahn 9 (Berlin–Munich), which were both built during the 1930s. Furthermore, there are three Bundesstraßen connecting Gera: the Bundesstraße 2 to
Zeitz Zeitz is a town in the Burgenlandkreis Burgenlandkreis is a district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type ...
in the north and Hof, Bavaria, Hof in the south, the Bundesstraße 7 to
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
(via Eisenberg, Thuringia, Eisenberg) in the west and to Altenburg in the east and the Bundesstraße 92 to
Plauen Plauen (; Czech language, Czech: ''Plavno'') is, with around 65,000 inhabitants, the fifth-largest city of the Free State of Saxony after Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and Zwickau, the second-largest city of the Vogtland after Gera, as well as the ...
(via
Greiz Greiz is a town in Thuringia, and it is the capital of the Greiz (district), district of Greiz. Greiz is situated in eastern Thuringia on the river ''White Elster''. Greiz has a large park in its center (Fürstlich Greizer Park) which is classifie ...

Greiz
) in the south. Important secondary roads run to Altenburg (via Lumpzig), to Werdau (via
Linda Linda may refer to: As a name * Linda (given name) Linda is a female given name, of German origin, but widespread in the English-speaking world since the end of the nineteenth century. The German name ''Linde'' was originally an abbreviated form ...
), to Wünschendorf, to Stadtroda and to Hermsdorf, Thuringia, Hermsdorf. As part of the
Bundesgartenschau The Bundesgartenschau ( abbr. BUGA) is a biennial Biennial means (an event) lasting for two years or occurring every two years. The related term biennium is used in reference to a period of two years. In particular, it can refer to: * Biennial pla ...
2007, a new bypass road was built in the east to improve the connection of southern city parts to the A 4 and to relieve the city centre from transit traffic.


By aviation

The closest regional airports are the Leipzig/Halle Airport, about north and the Erfurt-Weimar Airport, about west of Gera. Both serve mainly holiday flights. The nearest major airports are the Frankfurt Airport, the Munich Airport and the prospective Berlin Brandenburg Airport. In the eastern part of Gera lies the airfield Gera-Leumnitz meant for private aviation.


By bike

Cycling is becoming more popular since the construction of quality cycle tracks began in the 1990s. For tourists, there are the ''Weiße Elster track'' and the ''Thuringian city string track (Radweg Thüringer Städtekette)''. Both connect points of tourist interest, the first along the
White Elster The White Elster
Accessed on 16 Jan 2011. (, ) is a long river in central Europe, right tributary of the Saale. Its s ...
valley from the Elster Mountains at the Czech border to Saale river in
Halle Halle may refer to: Places Germany * Halle (Saale), also called Halle an der Saale, a city in Saxony-Anhalt ** Halle (region), a former administrative region in Saxony-Anhalt ** Bezirk Halle, a former administrative division of East Germany ** Hall ...
and second from
Eisenach Eisenach () is a town A town is a . Towns are generally larger than s and smaller than , though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" shares an origin ...
via
Erfurt Erfurt ( , ; ) is the and largest city in the state of , central Germany. It is located in the southern part of the , within the wide valley of the . It is located south-west of , south-west of , north of and north-east of . Together wit ...

Erfurt
,
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
,
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
and Gera to Altenburg. For inner city every-day traffic, some cycle lanes exist along several main streets.


Trams and buses

The Trams in Gera, Gera tram network was the second in Germany that launched electrical engines in 1892. Today, there are two long lines, one from Bieblach via city centre to Lusan (line 3) and another one – opened in 2006 – from Untermhaus via city centre to Zwötzen (line 1). The third short line is a connection between Lusan and the Zwötzen railway station (line 2). Another line is planned to connect Langenberg and the northern city parts. On line 3 is one course every 5 minutes, on line 1 every 10 minutes and on line 2 every 20 minutes. The bus network connects districts without trams as well as neighbouring municipalities that do not have a rail connection.


Education

Tertiary institutions are the private college ''SRH Fachhochschule für Gesundheit Gera'' (Fachhochschule, university of applied sciences for health) with 500 students and the Gera branch of the Duale Hochschule Gera-Eisenach (Cooperative Education, cooperative state college) with 850 students locally. Furthermore, there are four Gymnasium (Germany), Gymnasiums, all of them are state-owned. The Goethe-Gymnasium/Rutheneum focuses on music education as an elite boarding school, in addition to the common curriculum.


Politics

The first freely elected mayor after German reunification was Independent politician, independent Ralf Rauch, who served from 1994 to 2006. He was succeeded by Norbert Vornehm of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Social Democratic Party (SPD), who served from 2006 to 2012. Viola Hahn was elected in 2012, but was defeated seeking re-election in 2018, failing to progress to the second round. Julian Vonarb was elected, and has since served as mayor. The most recent mayoral election was held on 15 April 2018, with a runoff held on 29 April, and the results were as follows: ! rowspan=2 colspan=2, Candidate ! rowspan=2, Party ! colspan=2, First round ! colspan=2, Second round , - ! Votes ! % ! Votes ! % , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Julian Vonarb , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 9,182 , 23.5 , 24,777 , 69.8 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Dieter Lauenbach , align=left, Alternative for Germany , 8,305 , 21.3 , 10,741 , 30.2 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Viola Hahn , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 8,050 , 20.6 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Norbert Hein , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 6,853 , 17.5 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Margit Jung , align=left, The Left (Germany), The Left , 5,201 , 13.3 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Nils Fröhlich , align=left, Alliance 90/The Greens , 1,487 , 3.8 , - ! colspan=3, Valid votes ! 39,078 ! 99.2 ! 35,518 ! 98.2 , - ! colspan=3, Invalid votes ! 299 ! 0.8 ! 653 ! 1.8 , - ! colspan=3, Total ! 39,377 ! 100.0 ! 36,171 ! 100.0 , - ! colspan=3, Electorate/voter turnout ! 79,724 ! 49.4 ! 79,671 ! 45.4 , - , colspan=7, Source
Wahlen in Thüringen
The most recent city council election was held on 26 May 2019, and the results were as follows: ! colspan=2, Party ! Lead candidate ! Votes ! % ! +/- ! Seats ! +/- , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Alternative for Germany (AfD) , align=left, Harald Frank , 36,344 , 28.8 , New , 12 , New , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, The Left (Germany), The Left (Die Linke) , align=left, Andreas Schubert , 23,155 , 18.3 , 13.2 , 8 , 5 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Christian Democratic Union of Germany, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) , align=left, Christian Klein , 16,280 , 12.9 , 11.7 , 6 , 4 , - , , align=left, Citizenry Gera (BSG) , align=left, Ulrich Porst , 9,656 , 7.6 , 6.3 , 3 , 3 , - , , align=left, For Gera (FG) , align=left, Sandra Graupner , 8,588 , 6.8 , New , 3 , New , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) , align=left, Nils Fröhlich , 8,483 , 6.7 , 2.2 , 3 , 1 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Social Democratic Party of Germany, Social Democratic Party (SPD) , align=left, Heiner Fritzsche , 8,091 , 6.4 , 2.9 , 3 , 1 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Free Voters (FW) , align=left, Norbert Hein , 4,129 , 3.3 , New , 1 , New , - , , align=left, Liberal Alliance (LA) , align=left, Anne Kathrin Hildebrand , 3,647 , 2.9 , New , 1 , New , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Free Democratic Party (Germany), Free Democratic Party (FDP) , align=left, Falk Nerger , 3,440 , 2.7 , 0.3 , 1 , ±0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Die PARTEI (PARTEI) , align=left, Ingo Kaschta , 3,418 , 2.7 , New , 1 , New , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, National Democratic Party of Germany, National Democratic Party (NPD) , align=left, Gordon Richter , 1,169 , 0.9 , 2.9 , 0 , 2 , - ! colspan=3, Valid votes ! 42,808 ! 96.8 ! ! ! , - ! colspan=3, Invalid votes ! 1,420 ! 3.2 ! ! ! , - ! colspan=3, Total ! 44,228 ! 100.0 ! ! 42 ! ±0 , - ! colspan=3, Electorate/voter turnout ! 78,537 ! 56.3 ! 12.7 ! ! , - , colspan=8, Source
Wahlen in Thüringen


Twin towns – sister cities

Gera is Sister city, twinned with: * Arnhem, Netherlands * Fort Wayne, Indiana, Fort Wayne, United States * Goražde, Bosnia and Herzegovina * Kuopio Finland * Pskov, Russia * Rostov-on-Don, Russia * Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, Saint-Denis, France * Skierniewice, Poland * Sliven, Bulgaria * Timișoara, Romania


Notable natives

* Heinrich Reinhold, (1788-1825), painter and engraver * Heinrich Gustav Beck, (1857–1933), Minister-president of
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...

Saxony
1914–1918 * Otto Lummer (1860–1925), physicist *
Otto Dix Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix (; 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and Printmaking, printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of German society during the Weimar Republic and the brutality of war. Along ...
(1891–1969), painter and printmaker * Rudolf Paul, (1893–1978), politician, President of Thuringia 1945–1947 * Bernhard Wehner (1909-1995), SS-officer (Hauptsturmführer), criminal inspector and journalist * Nahum Golan (1915-1991), Israeli Brigadier General, 1948-1950 commander of the Golani Brigade * Dietrich Peltz (born 1914), Luftwaffe general * Karl Weschke, (1925–2005), painter * Georg Buschner, (1925–2007), football player, head coach East Germany national football team * Rainer Ortleb (born June 5, 1944 in Gera), politician (FDP), 1990-1991 Federal Minister for Special Affairs and from 1991 to 1994 Federal Minister of Education and Science * Max Frankel, (born 1930), executive editor, New York Times 1986–1994 * Klaus Kropfinger, (1930–2016), musicologist * Helga Königsdorf (born 1938), mathematician and author * Thilo Sarrazin, (born 1945), German politician (SPD), author * Wolfgang Tiefensee, (born 1955), politician (SPD) * Marlies Göhr, (born 1958), athlete * Olaf Ludwig, (born 1960), racing cyclist * Heike Drechsler, (born 1964), Olympic gold medallist long jumper * Jens Heppner, (born 1964), racing cyclist * John Degenkolb, (born 1989), racing cyclist * Marcel Eckardt, (born 1989), snooker referee * Bianca Schmidt, (born 1990), footballer * Wilhelm Ernst Spaethe and Otto Paul Spaeth, of Spaethe Pianos, founded in 1858 by Wilhelm Spaethe senior, awarded an imperial and royal warrant of appointment, to the court of Austria-Hungary."Handbuch des Allerhöchsten Hofes und des Hofstaates Seiner K. und K. Apostolischen Majestät., Vienna: K.k. Hof-und Staatsdruckerei, 1917, p. 520"


References

;Notes


External links

*
Official website of Gera
{{Authority control Gera, Principality of Reuss-Gera Bezirk Gera Holocaust locations in Germany