Plauen, city (1994 pop. 69,387), Saxony, E central Germany, on the White Elster River and at the northwestern foot of the Erzgebirge. It has been a textile-milling center since the 15th cent. Other manufactures include machinery, machine tools, electrical equipment, and motor vehicles. Originally founded by the Slavs, Plauen became (c.1224) the seat of a branch of the Teutonic Knights. It passed to Bohemia in 1327 and to Saxony in 1466. It was severely damaged in World War II. Noteworthy buildings include a 12th-century church, a castle (early 13th cent.), and the city hall (16th cent.).

Plauen is a city in the Free State of Saxony, east-central Germany.

It is the capital of the Vogtlandkreis. The city is situated near the border of Bavaria and the Czech Republic.

Plauen's slogan is Plauen - echt Spitze.


The city was founded by Polabian Slavs in the 12th century and was passed to the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1327 and to Albertine Saxony in 1466. Plauen passed to the Electorate of Saxony in 1569. It became part of the Kingdom of Saxony in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

In the late 19th century, Plauen became a textile manufacturing center, specializing in lace. Around 1910 Plauen, as a kind of industrial 'boomtown', reached its population peak (1910 census: 121,000, 1912: 128,000).

In the 1930s Plauen earned the dubious distinction of hosting the first chapter of the Nazi Party outside of Bavaria. Plauen's population shrunk dramatically since World War II (1939: 111,000 inhabitants).

From 1945 on, Plauen belonged to the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, from 1949 to 1990 to the German Democratic Republic. During that time it hosted a large Red Army occupation garrison and in the last years of the East German state the officer school of the border guards ("Grenztruppen der DDR"). The exposé Fast Food Nation gives special mention to Plauen as the first city in East Germany following the collapse of the Berlin Wall to have a McDonald's restaurant.

In the district reform of July 1 2008, Plauen lost its urban district status and was included into the district of Vogtlandkreis.

Tourist attractions

  • Museum Plauener Spitze
  • Galerie e.O. plauen
  • Old Town Hall
  • Elstertalbrücke
  • Friedensbrücke - largest stone arch bridge in the world
  • Johanniskirche
  • Alte Elsterbrücke - oldest bridge in Saxony
  • Malzhaus

Education and science

Plauen is home to a University of Applied Sciences, with about 300 students and a DIPLOMA Fachhochschule.

Notable residents

Twin cities

External links

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