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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A view of Gera.
A view of Gera.
Coat of arms of Gera
Gera is located in Germany
Coordinates 50°52′50″N 12°05′00″E / 50.88056°N 12.0833333°E / 50.88056; 12.0833333
Country Germany
State Thuringia
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Norbert Vornehm (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 151.93 km2 (58.66 sq mi)
Elevation 205 m  (673 ft)
Population  101,618  (31 December 2007)[1]
 - Density 669 /km2 (1,732 /sq mi)
Founded 995
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate G
Postal codes 07457-07557
Area codes 0365, 0336695
Location of Gera within Thuringia
Location of Gera within Thuringia

Gera, the third-largest city in the German state of Thuringia (after Erfurt, the Thuringian capital, and Jena), lies in east Thuringia on the river Weiße Elster (literally the "White Magpie"), approximately 60 kilometres to the south of the city of Leipzig and 80 kilometers to the east of Erfurt. As of 2007 Gera had a population of approximately 102,000.



Gera lies at a height of between 180 meters (the level of the White Elster river) and 354 m (when measured at Gera-Falka at the furthest southeastern point). Usually the height above sea level for the city appears as 205 m when measured at the market place.

The largest city forest of all the towns of Thuringia, called the City Forest of Gera (Geraer Stadtwald), stands on the western edge of the city. Another forested tract borders on the northwest city boundary. The Zeitzer Forest in Saxony-Anhalt stands just northeast of the city.


The place name Gera originally referred to the area of the Elster river valley where the city later stood. The name likely originated before the European migration period, and the Slavic people who first settled the area during the 8th century adopted it. The first known documentary mention of Gera dates from 995. In 999, Emperor Otto III assigned the "province" of Gera to the Quedlinburg Abbey, whose abbesses assigned the protectorship of this area in 1209 to the Vogts of Weida (in German: Vögte von Weida) who served as its administrators. After a time as a settlement where the city center now stands, Gera acquired the rights of a city in the 13th century. At first it grew only slowly. In 1450, it was almost totally destroyed during the Saxon Fratricidal War. Through inheritance over the next centuries, Gera became part of the Reuss principalities.

At 1806, in one of the stages of the War of the Fourth Coalition, Napoleon placed his Imperial Headquarters at Gera. From there on October 12, 1806, the French Emperor addressed an arrogant and threatening letter to King Frederick William III of Prussia, which directly led to war and to the crushing defeat of Prussia at the Battle of Jena a few days later[2].

From 1848 to 1918 Gera served as the capital of the Reuss Junior Line principality. With the industrial revolution in the middle of the 19th century, Gera enjoyed rapid growth through its textile industry. Its wealth at that time shows in the many city villas of the era, for example: the Schulenburg mansion designed by the Belgian artist Henry van de Velde. The city became a railway center where many rail lines met — highlighting its importance.

In 1920 the city became part of the newly founded state of Thuringia.

Aerial bombing destroyed some parts of the city in 1945.

The city became a part of the newly created District of Gera (Bezirk Gera) in 1952 within the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). After the fall of the iron curtain in 1990 and German reunification, Gera became part of the restored state of Thuringia — one of three metropolitan centers (Oberzentren) along with Jena and Erfurt. Since 1998, the Vocational Academy of Gera has found its home here, as well as a private school for allied health sciences. The city hosted the biennial federal horticultural show (Bundesgartenschau) in 2007.

Economy and labor

As of 2009 the city economy features the private health sector (SRH Waldklinikum), industrial machinery (Dagro Gera GmbH), communications (DTKS GmbH, Deutsche Telekom AG), 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 center in Gera with several hundred workers, and Rittal, a manufacturer of information technology enclosures, recently moved from Bad Köstritz to Gera.

Some industrial branches operating before 1990 no longer have major importance. Sectors that either no longer exist or have been sharply reduced include those in toolmaking (VEB Wema Union), textiles (VEB Modedruck), textile machinery (VEB Textima), electronic equipment (VEB Elektronik Gera). Other industries that had a presence included VEB Carl Zeiss Jena and a brewery. One important industrial branch had been uranium-ore mining in nearby Ronneburg (SDAG Wismut).

The East Thuringia/Gera metropolitan area as a whole has a population of 450,000. This makes Gera a regional commercial center for retail. By 2003, the town had three major retail centers: Gera-Arcaden, Amthor-Passage, and Elster-Forum.

Though the third-largest city in Thuringia, Gera ranks in 7th place in terms of unemployment. The percent unemployed improved from 15.4% in June 2007 to 14.8% in June 2008.

City organization

Town Hall in the center of the city

The city has 40 different communities. These are divided into 12 municipal districts as follows[3]:

  • City Center
  • Debschwitz
  • Gera-East
  • Gera-North/Gera-Langenberg
  • Bieblach-East
  • Bieblach/Tinz
  • Untermhaus
  • Gera-Western Suburbs
  • Gera-South/Falka
  • Lusan-Laune
  • Lusan-Center
  • Lusan-Brüte

Main sights

Sights in Gera include:

Otto Dix House
The Museum for Applied Arts in the Ferber House on Greizer Street

Museums in Gera include:

  • City Museum
  • Otto Dix House
  • Art Galley "Orangerie"
  • Museum of Natural History ("Schreiber House", oldest building in the city), with its adjacent botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten Gera
  • Museum for Applied Arts ("Ferber House"), displays collections of Bauhaus ceramics by the artists Otto Lindig und Theodor Bogler. Also on display are architecture works of Thilo Schoder and photographs by Aenne Biermann.[4]

In 2007 Gera, together with Ronneburg, is venue of the Bundesgartenschau (the federal horticultural show).


In the eastern part of Gera lies the airfield Gera-Leumnitz. The nearest airport is Leipzig-Altenburg (approx. 40 km). The Leipzig-Halle airport, with its with many international destinations, is about 90 km north of Gera.

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities

Gera is twinned with:

Notable natives

  • Johann Heinrich Gottfried Koch, (1705–1775)
  • Heinrich Gustav Beck, (1857–1933), Ministerpräsident of Saxony 1914–1918
  • Otto Dix (1891–1969), artist
  • Rudolf Paul, (1893–1978), President of Thuringia 1945–1947
  • Karl Weschke, (1925–2005), painter
  • Georg Buschner, (1925–2007), head coach East Germany national football team
  • Max Frankel, (born 1930), executive editor, New York Times 1986-1994
  • Helga Königsdorf, (born 1938), mathematician and author
  • Marlies Göhr, (born 1958), athlete
  • Olaf Ludwig, (born 1960), racing cyclist
  • Wolfgang Tiefensee, (born 1955), politician
  • Heike Drechsler, (born 1964), Olympic gold medalist long jumper
  • Jens Heppner, (born 1964), racing cyclist


  1. ^ Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik. "Population of Thuringia by district". Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  2. ^ Christopher Clark, "The Iron Kingdom" (London, 2006), p. 305
  3. ^ German Wikipedia entry:Liste der Stadtteile von Gera
  4. ^ Museum for Applied Arts German website, last accessed January 13, 2010.[1]

External links

This article incorporates information from the revision as of August 8, 2009 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Gera is a city in Germany.

Marketplace Gera
Marketplace Gera

Get in

By Train

Gera Hauptbahnhof (main station) is situated a 5-10 min walk from the City Centre, but just served by regional Trains. The trains are arriving from several directions, most connections go to Leipzig, Jena/Weimar/Erfurt, Saalfeld or Chemnitz, where you have access to long-distance traffic, others serve town like Altenburg (Ryanair Airport Leipzig-Altenburg) or Greiz, sporadic connections to Regensburg or Göttingen.

The tram can be reached directly from the platforms.

By Car

Gera has a direct connection to the west-east motorway (Autobahn) A4 (Frankfurt-Dresden), the interchange with the north-south motorway A9 (Berlin-Munich) is approx 15 km east. To reach the City take the exit Gera-Langenberg, which is approx 4 km in the north of the Center. There is also a gas station and a McDonalds, which is the best meeting point for shared rides and hitchhiking.


The Royal Inn Regent Gera

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GERA, a town of Germany, capital of the principality of ReussSchleiz (called also Reuss younger line), situated in a valley on the banks of the White Elster, 45 m. S.S.W. of Leipzig on the railway to Probstzella. Pop. (1885) 34, 1 5 2; (1905) 47,455. It has been mostly rebuilt since a great fire in 1780, and the streets are in general wide and straight, and contain many handsome houses. There are three Evangelical churches and one Roman Catholic. Among other noteworthy buildings are the handsome town-hall (1576, afterwards restored) and the theatre (1902). Its educational establishments include a gymnasium, a commercial and a weaving school. The castle of Osterstein, the residence of the princes of Reuss, dates from the 9th century, but has been almost entirely rebuilt in modern times. Gera is noted for its industrial activity. Its industries include wool-weaving and spinning, dyeing, iron-founding, the manufacture of cotton and silk goods, machinery, sewing machines and machine oil, leather and tobacco, and printing (books and maps) and flower gardening.

Gera (in ancient chronicles Geraha) was raised to the rank of a town in the IIth century, at which time it belonged to the counts of Groitch. In the 12th century it came into the possession of the lords of Reuss. It was stormed and sacked by the Bohemians in 1450, was two-thirds burned down by the Swedes in 1639 during the Thirty Years' War, and suffered afterwards from great conflagrations in 1686 and 1780, being in the latter year almost completely destroyed.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also gera


Wikipedia has an article on:


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de

Proper noun


  1. Gera (independent city in Thuringia, Germany)

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

grain. (1.) The son of Bela and grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:3, 5,7).

(2.) The father of Ehud the judge (Judg. 3:15).

(3.) The father of Shimei, who so grossly abused David (2 Sam. 16:5; 19:16, 18).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

Simple English

A view of Gera.

Coordinates 50°52′50″N 12°05′00″E / 50.88056°N 12.0833333°E / 50.88056; 12.0833333
Country Germany
State Thuringia
District Urban district
Mayor Norbert Vornehm (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 151.93 km2 (58.66 sq mi)
Elevation 205 m  (673 ft)
Population  102,486  (31 December 2006)[1]
 - Density 675 /km2 (1,747 /sq mi)
Founded 995
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate G
Postal codes 07457-07557
Area codes 0365, 036695
Location of the town of Gera within Thuringia

Gera is a city in the east of Germany, in the state of Thuringia.

It has about 100,000 inhabitants.



In the beginning, "Gera" was not the name of a village or city, but of a region or district. This district was mentioned in a document for the first time in the year 995. Four years later, in 999, the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III gave this district to his sister Adelheid, who was an abbess in Quedlinburg.

In the center of this area, the "provincia Gera", a town with the same name was established. Another document, which is from the year 1237, said for the first time that there was a town called Gera. In this town, the abbesses of Quedlinburg had some officials which were called the Vögte of Gera. These officials were the ancestors of the counts and princes of Reuß, which reigned in Gera for many years, until the year 1918.

In the early modern period, Gera was famous for making textiles. There were some fires in which a lot of the town was destroyed, for example in 1686 and in 1780. In 1806, Napoleon was in Gera before the Battle of Jena.

In the 19th century, Gera became an important city of industry. Before that, Gera was a quite small town, but in the year 1900, it had already about 45,000 inhabitants.

In 1920, Thuringia was founded as a state of the Weimar Republic. Gera was the biggest city of the state, because Erfurt was not yet a part of Thuringia. At the end of World War II, some parts of Gera were destroyed by bombs, for example the Osterstein Castle.

After World War II, Gera was in the Soviet Occupation Zone and then in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). From 1952 to 1990, it was the capital of the Gera District (Bezirk Gera) of the GDR.

Since the German Reunification in 1990, Gera belongs to the Free State of Thuringia in the Federal Republic of Germany.


Since 1959, Gera has had more than 100,000 inhabitants. The highest number of inhabitants of Gera was 134,834 in the year 1988. Since the German Reunification, the number of inhabitants becomes smaller and smaller. Now there are less people who live in Gera than in Jena, so Gera is only the third-biggest city in Thuringia. On 31 December 2008, there were only 100,643 people living in Gera.


  • The Market Square with the City Hall (Rathaus) from 1575, the Simson Fountain (Simsonbrunnen) from 1686 and the City Pharmacy (Stadtapotheke) from about 1600
  • The Geraer Höhler (cellars under the houses in the city center, in which the owners kept their beer in the 18th century)
  • The Theatre from 1902
  • The Orangerie from 1748, which is now the art gallery of Gera
  • St. Salvator's Church (Salvatorkirche) from 1717 (Baroque)
  • St. John's Church (Johanniskirche) from 1884 (Gothic Revival architecture
  • St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche) in the quarter of Untermhaus with the Otto Dix Birthhouse
  • The Hofwiesenpark, a new park where the Bundesgartenschau 2007 was held

Twin towns

Gera has got twelve twin towns. Eleven of them are in Europe.


These famous people were born in Gera:

Other websites




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