Zeitz, city (1994 pop. 37,461), Saxony-Anhalt, E central Germany, on the White Elster River. Manufactures include machinery, chocolate, sugar, and textiles. Of note in the city are the late-Gothic Church of St. Michael and a castle (17th cent.), whose church contains the tomb of the 16th-century scientist Georg Agricola.

Zeitz is a town in the south of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, which is situated on the river Weiße Elster in the middle of the triangle of the federal states Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony. Zeitz is the seat of the Verwaltungsgemeinschaft ("collective municipality") Zeitzer Land.

Zeitz was first recorded under the name Cici in the synode of Ravenna in 967. Between 965 and 982, it was the chief fortress of the March of Zeitz. Between 968 and 1028 Zeitz was a bishops residence which has later been laid to Naumburg. But since the end of the 13th century the bishops were again residing in their castle at Zeitz. Zeitz has a lot of sights to offer which are predominantly situated along the "Street of Romanic" (point 52).

Notable Buildings

Moritzburg The residential baroque styled castle Moritzburg contains the oldest building of Zeitz called the cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The oldest part of the cathedral is the crypt which originates from the second half of the 10th century. In the 17th century the dukes of Saxony-Zeitz used this crypt as a burial site. Today visitors still have the opportunity to see 13 tin coffins from the duke's family, including the coffin of Duke Moritz who was the founder of the duchy of Saxony-Zeitz.

Michaeliskirche The "Michaeliskirche" (first recorded in 1154), originally a Roman basilica, guards an Original Print of Martin Luther's 95 Theses from 1517. The church, as well as other buildings in Zeitz, is closely connected with the history of Martin Luther and his male descendants.

Town Hall The late gothic Town Hall (built between 1504 and 1509, reconstructed between 1907 and 1909) is the symbol of the city, and together with restored houses and 3 market-places it forms the medieval appearance of the city Zeitz.

Herrmannsschacht Traditionally connected with mining, Zeitz ownes the conceptionally oldest briquette-factory of the world, i. e. the Herrmannsschacht. Nowadays it is designed as a technical monument.


Nazi Period

During the Nazi period a concentration camp "Wille" was erected in Rehmsdorf and Gleina (both of which are near Zeitz), which served as a satellite of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Most of the prisoners were Hungarian Jews, among them the Nobel laureate Imre Kertész, who worked in the Brabag-Werk in Tröglitz. He described his experience in his novel Fateless.

DDR Period

The town was the centre of an industrial region until 1989/90. From the middle of the 1980s there were established numerous newly built areas, for example the area known as "Völkerfreundschaft". In the middle of the 1960s bean the closing of the "Zeitz-Ost" residential area.

On the 18th August 1976, the evangelical vicar Oskar Brüsewitz from Rippicha burnt himself in front of the Michaeliskirche. This was a protest against the DDR system and was one of the roots of the 1989 uprising.

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