Thuringia: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Free State of Thuringia
Freistaat Thüringen
—  State of Germany  —


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 50°51′40″N 11°3′7″E / 50.86111°N 11.05194°E / 50.86111; 11.05194
Country Germany
Capital Erfurt
 - Minister-President Christine Lieberknecht (CDU)
 - Governing parties CDU / SPD
 - Votes in Bundesrat 4 (of 69)
 - Total 16,171 km2 (6,243.7 sq mi)
Population (2008-09-30)[1]
 - Total 2,278,136
 - Density 140.9/km2 (364.9/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code DE-TH
GDP/ Nominal € 44.8 billion (2005)

The Free State of Thuringia (German: Freistaat Thüringen, pronounced [ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈtyːʁɪŋən]) is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country. It has an area of 16,171 square kilometers (6,243.7 sq mi) and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states. The capital is Erfurt.



Evangelical Church in Germany 25.1 %[2], Catholic Church 7.8 %[3].


Thuringia borders on (from the northwest and clockwise) the German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria and Hesse. The ridges of the western Harz Mountains divide the region from Lower Saxony on the north-west, while the eastern Harz similarly separates Thuringia from the state of Saxony-Anhalt to the north-east. To the south and southwest, the Thuringian Forest effectively separates the ancient region of Franconia, now the northern part of Bavaria, from the rolling plains of most of Thuringia. The central Harz range extends southwards along the western side into the northwest corner of the Thuringian Forest region, making Thuringia a lowland basin of rolling plains nearly surrounded by ancient somewhat-difficult mountains. To the west across the mountains and south is the drainage basin of the Rhine River.

The most conspicuous geographical feature of Thuringia is the Thuringian Forest, a mountain chain in the southwest. The Werra River, a tributary of the Weser River, separates this mountain chain from the volcanic Rhön Mountains, which are partially in Thuringia, Bavaria, and Hesse. In the northwest, Thuringia includes a small part of the Harz. The eastern part of Thuringia is generally a plain. The Saale River runs through these lowlands from south to north.

The geographic center of the Federal Republic is located in Thuringia, near the municipality of Niederdorla.

See also List of places in Thuringia.

Thuringia is divided into 17 districts (Landkreise):

Map of Thüringen showing the boundaries of the districts

  1. Altenburger Land
  2. Eichsfeld
  3. Gotha
  4. Greiz
  5. Hildburghausen
  6. Ilm-Kreis
  1. Kyffhäuserkreis
  2. Nordhausen
  3. Saale-Holzland
  4. Saale-Orla
  5. Saalfeld-Rudolstadt
  6. Schmalkalden-Meiningen
  1. Sömmerda
  2. Sonneberg
  3. Unstrut-Hainich
  4. Wartburgkreis
  5. Weimarer Land

Furthermore there are six urban districts (not numerated in the map):

  1. Erfurt
  2. Eisenach
  3. Gera
  4. Jena
  5. Suhl
  6. Weimar


Towns in Thuringia
position town inhabitants district
31 December 1970 31 December 2000 30 June 2005
1. Erfurt 192.679 200.564 202.590 independent city
2. Gera 106.841 112.835 104.737 independent city
3. Jena 85.169 99.893 102.201 independent city
4. Weimar 63.985 62.425 64.361 independent city
5. Gotha 57.256 48.376 47.045 Gotha
6. Eisenach 50.059 44.442 43.858 independent city
7. Nordhausen 42.018 45.633 43.781 Nordhausen
8. Suhl 28.177 48.025 43.202 independent city
9. Altenburg 47.497 41.290 38.203 Altenburger Land
10. Mühlhausen 46.135 38.695 37.480 Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis
11. Saalfeld 31.048 29.511 28.148 Saalfeld-Rudolstadt
12. Ilmenau 19.634 27.176 26.713 Ilm-Kreis
13. Arnstadt 27.368 27.220 25.828 Ilm-Kreis
14. Rudolstadt 30.087 27.528 25.584 Saalfeld-Rudolstadt
15. Apolda 29.754 25.899 24.684 Weimarer Land
16. Greiz 39.424 26.177 24.007 Greiz
17. Sonneberg 29.811 24.837 23.928 Sonneberg
18. Sondershausen 22.195 23.088 21.718 Kyffhäuserkreis
19. Meiningen 24.876 22.240 21.642 Schmalkalden-Meiningen
20. Sömmerda 15.959 21.977 20.885 Sömmerda
21. Leinefelde-Worbis
(formed on 16 March 2004)
4.315 (LF)
3.401 (WO)
15.056 (LF)
5.497 (WO)
20.816 Eichsfeld
22. Bad Langensalza 16.813 19.917 18.760 Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis
23. Schmalkalden 14.527 18.551 17.893 Schmalkalden-Meiningen
24. Zeulenroda-Triebes
(formed on 1 March 2006)
13.549 (ZR)
4.790 (TR)
14.600 (ZR)
4.230 (TR)
17.702 Greiz
25. Heiligenstadt 12.464 17.291 17.175 Eichsfeld
26. Bad Salzungen 11.466 17.086 16.551 Wartburgkreis
27. Pößneck 19.547 14.341 13.592 Saale-Orla-Kreis
28. Schmölln 13.968 13.193 12.693 Altenburger Land
29. Zella-Mehlis
(formed on 1 April 1919)
17.136 13.036 12.355 Schmalkalden-Meiningen
30. Hildburghausen 10.652 12.466 12.351 Hildburghausen
31. Eisenberg 13.859 11.764 11.489 Saale-Holzland-Kreis
32. Waltershausen 14.219 11.725 11.307 Gotha


Herzogtum (Landgrafschaft) Thüringen
Duchy (Landgraviate) of Thuringia
Pagan kingdom, Frankish duchy,
then State of the Holy Roman Empire
450–1247 Landgraviate of Hesse
Margraviate of Meissen
Capital Not specified
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Thuringian kingdom
before 450 450
 - Frankish invasion;
    duchy established
 - Landgraviate established 1130
 - Comital line extinct 1247
 - War of the Thuringian

Named after the Thuringii tribe who occupied it ca. AD 300, Thuringia came under Frankish domination in the 6th century, forming a part of the subsequent Holy Roman Empire.

Thuringia became a landgraviate in 1130. After the extinction of the reigning Ludowingian line of counts in 1247 and the War of the Thuringian Succession (1247–1264), the western half became independent under the name of Hesse, never to become a part of Thuringia again. Most of the remaining Thuringia came under the rule of the Wettin dynasty of the nearby Margraviate of Meissen, the nucleus of the later Electorate and Kingdom of Saxony. With the division of the house of Wettin in 1485, Thuringia went to the senior Ernestine branch of the family, which subsequently subdivided the area into a number of smaller states, according to the Saxon tradition of dividing inheritance amongst male heirs. These were the "Saxon duchies", consisting, among others, of the states of Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Eisenach, Saxe-Jena, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg, and Saxe-Gotha; Thuringia became merely a geographical concept.

Thuringia generally accepted the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic faith was abolished as early as 1520; priests that remained loyal were driven away and churches and monasteries were largely destroyed, especially during the Peasants' War of 1525. In Mühlhausen and elsewhere, the Anabaptists found many adherents. Thomas Müntzer, a leader of some non-peaceful groups of this sect, was active in this city. Within the borders of Thuringia the Catholic faith was maintained only in the district called Eichsfeld, which was ruled by the Archbishop of Mainz, and to a small degree in the city and vicinity of Erfurt.

This German map shows the various states of Thuringia within the German Empire in 1905.
Map of Thuringian States 1890

Some reordering of the Thuringian states occurred during the German Mediatisation from 1795–1814, and the territory was included within the Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine organized in 1806. The 1815 Congress of Vienna confirmed these changes and the Thuringian states' inclusion in the German Confederation; the Kingdom of Prussia also acquired some Thuringian territory and administered it within the Province of Saxony. The Thuringian duchies which became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany were Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and the two principalities of Reuß. In 1920, after World War I, these small states merged into one state, called Thuringia; only Saxe-Coburg voted to join Bavaria instead. Weimar became the new capital of Thuringia. The coat of arms of this new state was simpler than they had been previously.

Coat of arms used 1945–1952

After July 1945, the state of Thuringia came under the Soviet occupation zone, and was expanded to include parts Prussian Saxony, such as the areas around Erfurt, Mühlhausen, and Nordhausen. Erfurt became the new capital of Thuringia.

In 1952, the German Democratic Republic dissolved its states, and created districts (Bezirke) instead. The three districts that shared the territory of Thuringia were based in Erfurt, Gera and Suhl.

The State of Thuringia was restored with slightly altered borders during Germany's reunification in 1990.


List of Minister-presidents of Thüringen

The state of Thuringia (red) upon its formation in 1920
  1. 1920–1921: Arnold Paulssen (DDP)
  2. 1921–1923: August Frölich (SPD)
  3. 1924–1928: Richard Leutheußer (DVP)
  4. 1928–1929: Karl Riedel (DVP)
  5. 1929 : Arnold Paulssen (DDP)
  6. 1930–1932: Erwin Baum (Landbund)
  7. 1932–1933: Fritz Sauckel (NSDAP)
  8. 1933–1945: Willy Marschler (NSDAP)
  9. 1945: Hermann Brill (SPD)
  10. 1945–1947: Rudolf Paul (no party, then LDPD)
  11. 1947–1952: Werner Eggerath (SED)
  12. 1990–1992: Josef Duchac (CDU)
  13. 1992–2003: Bernhard Vogel (CDU)
  14. 2003–2009: Dieter Althaus (CDU)
  15. 2009–present: Christine Lieberknecht (CDU)

August 30, 2009 state election

e • d  Summary of the 30 August 2009 election results for the Landtag of Thuringia
Party Party list votes Vote % (change) Total Seats (change) Seat %
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 329,241 31.2% (-11.8) 30 (-15) 34.1%
Die Linke (previously PDS) 288,932 27.4% (+1.3) 27 (-1) 30.7%
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 195,353 18.5% (+4) 18 (+3) 20.5%
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 80,511 7.6% (+4) 7 (+7) 8.0%
Alliance '90/The Greens (Grüne) 64,889 6.2% (+1.7) 6 (+6) 6.8%
National Democratic Party (NPD) 45,401 4.3% (+2.7) - -
Free Voters in Thuringia 40,834 3.9% (+1.3) - -
All Others 9,040 0.8% - -
Totals 1,054,201 100.0% 88 100.0%

Turnout was 56.2%. SPD and CDU formed a coalition seven weeks after the election.[4]


See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Central Europe : Germany : Thuringia

Thuringia (Thüringen) is a state of Germany.

  • Erfurt - state capital
  • Eisenach - site of Wartburg castle
  • Jena - town of the biggest university in Thuringia (and home to Goethe and Schiller, too)
  • Mühlhausen - historic home of Johann Sebastian Bach, John A. Roebling (builder of the Brooklyn Bridge) and of the peasants' leader, Thomas Muentzer
  • Rudolstadt
  • Weimar - town of Goethe and Schiller
  • The Hainich Forest - Germany's thirteenth national park with its magnificent tree-top walk
  • The Thuringian Forest - national park and winter sport centre


The most common language in Thuringia is German with it's slight regional accent.

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

THURINGIA (German Thüringen), an historical division of Germany, but now a territorial term without political significance.

It strictly designates only that district in upper Saxony that is bounded by the Werra, the Harz Mountains, the Saale and the Thuringian Forest; in common parlance, however, it is frequently used as equivalent to the Thuringian states, i.e. the group of small duchies and principalities lying between Prussia, Hesse-Nassau, Bavaria and the kingdom of Saxony. Such Thuringian states are Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Altenburg, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, and the two principalities of Reuss, all of which are separately described. Besides these, the term Thuringia also, of course, includes the various "exclaves" of Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria and Bohemia which lie embedded among them.

The Thuringians are first mentioned by Vegetius Renatus about A.D. 420 when they occupied the district between the Harz Mountains and the Thuringian Forest. They were probably descended from the Hermunduri, a Suevic people referred to by Tacitus as living in this region during the 1st century. They were tributary to Attila the Hun, under whom they served at the battle of Chalons in 451. They were governed by kings, whose realm in the early 6th century touched both the Danube and the lower Elbe. At this time King Basin divided Thuringia among his three sons. The eldest, Hermannfried, eventually obtained sole possession by the help of Theuderich I., king of Austrasia, but having refused to pay the price he had promised for this assistance, was defeated by Theuderich in a series of battles and murdered by him in 531. The northern portion of the kingdom was given to the Saxons who had joined him against Hermannfried; the southern part was added to Austrasia; and the name of Thuringia was confined to the district bounded by the Harz Mountains, the Werra, the Thuringian Forest and the Saale. It remained under the direct rule of the Frankish kings until 634, when Radulf was appointed duke of the Thuringians by King Dagobert I. Radulf made himself practically independent of the Franks, in spite of an attack made on him by Sigebert III., king of Austrasia. About this time the conversion of the Thuringians to Christianity was begun by British missionaries and continued by St Boniface, who founded a bishopric at Erfurt. They were again reduced to dependence on the Franks by Charles Martel, who abolished the office of duke and divided the country among Frankish counts. About 804 Charlemagne, in order to defend the line of the Saale against the Sla y s, founded the Thuringian mark, which soon became practically coextensive with the former duchy. In 849 King Louis the German recognized Thakulf as duke (dux Sorabici limitis), and some of his successors bore the title of margrave until the death of Burkhard in 908, when the country was seized by Otto the Illustrious, duke of Saxony. Thuringia was retained by Otto's son and successor, Henry I. the Fowler, in spite of the opposition of the German king, Conrad I., and ceased for a time to enjoy a separate political existence. It appears to have been united with Meissen for some time, and this was certainly the case from 1046 to 1067, when both countries were ruled by William and Otto, counts of Weimar. During the 1 rth century the Thuringians refused to pay tithes to Siegfried, archbishop of Mainz, and this was probably one reason why they joined the rising of the Saxons against the emperor Henry IV. in 1073.

About this time a new dominion was founded by Louis the Bearded, who by purchase, gift or marriage obtained several counties in Thuringia. These passed on his death in 1056 to his son Louis the Springer (d. 1123), who took part in the Saxon risings against the emperors Henry IV. and Henry V., built the castle of the Wartburg near Eisenach, which was the residence of his family for nearly 200 years, and founded the monastery of Reinhardsbrunn, where as a monk he passed his last days. His son Louis was appointed landgrave of Thuringia in 1130 by the emperor Lothair II.; by his marriage with Hedwig of Gudensberg in 1137 he obtained a large part of Hesse. He was succeeded in 1140 by his son Louis II. the Hard, who married Judith, a sister of the emperor Frederick I., and on his behalf took a leading part in the opposition to his powerful neighbour Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony. In 1172 he was succeeded by his son Louis III. the Pious. He acquired the Saxon palatinate in 1179, on the death of Adalbert, count of Sommerschenburg, went to Italy to assist Frederick I. in 1157, joined in the war against Henry the Lion in 1180, and distinguished himself at the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade, on the return from which he died at Cyprus in 1190. He was succeeded by his brother Hermann I., during whose reign Thuringia suffered greatly from the ravages of the adherents of Philip, duke of Swabia, and also from those of his rival Otto of Brunswick. The next landgrave (1217-1227) was his son Louis IV. the Saint, who married St Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew II., king of Hungary, and acted as guardian for his kinsman Henry III. the Illustrious, margrave of Meissen. This Louis, who is celebrated in story, destroyed many robber-castles in Thuringia and died at Otranto while accompanying the emperor Frederick II. on crusade. The next ruler was Henry Raspe, who made himself regent on behalf of his nephew Hermann II. from 1227 to 1238 and in 1241 succeeded his former ward as landgrave. Henry was appointed regent for King Conrad IV., but he soon transferred his allegiance from the emperor to Pope Innocent IV., and in 1246 was chosen German king at Beitshochheim. He defeated Conrad near Frankfort in August 1246, but died in the following year at the Wartburg, when the male line of the family became extinct.

In 1242 Thuringia had been promised by Frederick II. to Henry III. the Illustrious, margrave of Meissen, a maternal grandson of the landgrave Hermann I. Henry, however, found himself obliged to defend his title against Sophia, wife of Henry II., duke of Brabant, who was a daughter of the landgrave Louis IV., and it was not till 1263 that an arrangement was made by which Thuringia and the Saxon palatinate fell to Henry. Two years later Henry apportioned Thuringia to his son Albert the Degenerate, who sold it in 12 9 3 to the German king Adolph of Nassau for 12,000 marks of silver. Albert's sons Frederick the Undaunted and Dietrich contested this transaction, and the attempts of Adolph and his successor Albert I. to enforce it led to the infliction of great hardships upon the Thuringians. Frederick defeated Albert decisively and in 1314 was formally invested with Thuringia by the emperor Henry VII. His son Frederick II. the Grave (1323-1349) consolidated the power of his dynasty against rebellious vassals and the neighbouring counts of Weimar and Schwarzburg. His son Frederick III. the Strong (1349-1381) and his grandson Balthasar (1381-1406) further extended their dominion by marriage and conquest, and the latter of these founded the university at Erfurt (1392). Balthasar's son, Frederick the Peaceful, became landgrave in 1406 but left the government largely to his father-in-law Gunther, count of Schwarzburg. He died childless in 1440, and Thuringia then passed to the electoral dynasty of Saxony. After a joint rule by Frederick II. and his brother William, the latter in 1445 became sole landgrave as William III. and died without sons in 1482. In 1485 his nephews and heirs Albert and Ernest made a division of their lands, and Thuringia was given to the Ernestine branch of the family of Wettin, with which its subsequent history is identified (see SAxONY).

Bibliography. - F. Wachter, Thüringische and Obersächsische Geschichte bis zum Anfalle Thüringens an die Markgrafen von Meissen (Leipzig, 1826); T. Knochenhauer, Geschichte Thüringens in der karolingischen and sächsischen Zeit (Gotha, 1863), and Geschichte Thüringens zur Zeit des ersten Landgrafenhauses (Gotha, 1871); H. Gebhardt, Thüringische Kirchengeschichte (Gotha, 1819-1882); Thüringische Geschichtsquellen, edited by F. X. Wegele and R. von Liliencron (Jena, 1854-1859); and Regesta diplomatica necnon epistolaria historiae Thuringiae, published by O. Dobenecker, vols. i. and ii. (Jena, 1896-1900).

<< Thurii

Thuringian Forest >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. One of the component states of Germany according to the current administrative division of the nation.



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address