Hoyerswerda (Upper Sorbian Wojerecy, Lower Sorbian Wórjejce, Czech Hojeřice) is a town in the German Bundesland of Saxony. It is located in Lusatia, a region where many people speak Sorbian in addition to German.
In the 18th century the elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong, gave the duchy of Hoyerswerda to Katherina von Teschen, who helped the town to develop trade and manufacture. The Battle of Hoyerswerda occurred nearby in 1859 during the Seven Years' War.
In 1815 Hoyerswerda became part of the Prussian Province of Silesia. In 1873 the new railway between Hoyerswerda and Ruhland opened - it had a positive effect on the economic development of the city. In 1912 the Domowina, the organisation of the Sorbs, was founded in the city. The town became part of the Prussian Province of Lower Silesia in 1912.
At the end of the Second World War the town was declared a core center of German defence and was therefore heavily damaged. The invading Red Army set fire to the town. It became part of Saxony after the war, but was administered in Bezirk Cottbus from 1952–90 while part of East Germany.
During the time of the GDR, Hoyerwerda became an important industrial town. The lignite processing enterprise of "Schwarze Pumpe" was established in 1955; today it is in the federal state of Brandenburg. Since 1957 the demand for new living space rose dramatically - in the next years 10 new big living areas with tens of thousands of apartments were built. In 1981 the city reached its maximum number of inhabitants with about 71.054 people living there. At that time there was nowhere in the GDR where more children per inhabitant were born than Hoyerswerda. Upon reunification in 1990 the people of the city decided to became part of the reconstituted state of Saxony.
With the end of the GDR and the reconstruction of the East German economy many enterprises in the industrial region of Hoyerswerda were endangered, closed or had to make many employees redundant. The social situation in the city became dangerous, in 1991 a xenophobic attack took place on a hostel containing refugees. It became necessary to develop an anti-violence programme for the city. Between 1993 and 1998 several smaller villages became part of the city, but the number of inhabitants sank rapidly in the heavily hit region. From about 70,000 people in the 1980s only about 41,000 people remained by the end of 2000; the population is expected to shrink to about 20,000 or 30,000 by 2030. It became necessary to "rebuild" the city - many of the apartment blocks built in the time of the GDR were now demolished, financed with money from the EU and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Its role as an independently ruled town in Saxony will disappear in 2008 with the reshaping of the regional administration of Saxony.
Since the town is far off the major motorways it is quite difficult to attract investors to come here. It seems like the future of the city can be found in the rural small town its been before 1945.