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Plauen

 

The large district town of Plauen is a regional center in the southwest of the Free State of Saxony and the district town of the Vogtlandkreis. The largest city in the Saxon Vogtland and fifth largest city in the Free State is architecturally attractive. It became known for the embroidery known as Plauen lace.

Plauen is first mentioned in a document in 1122. In the Middle Ages, the city became a trading center, and from the 18th century an important location for the Saxon fabric and textile industry, which was accompanied by a considerable increase in population. From the 1920s onwards, the industrial structure of the city was more strongly shaped by manufacturing in mechanical engineering. Plauen was severely hit by bombing raids in 1945, but mostly rebuilt. Much of the Plauen center is characterized by urban, metropolitan development from the 19th century. The town's landmarks are the old town hall with its Renaissance gable and the art clock, as well as the Johanniskirche. The Friedensbrücke is one of the largest stone arches in the world in Plauen and the Elstertalbrücke is the second largest brick bridge in the world on the northeastern outskirts. There are also numerous other architectural and cultural monuments in the city.

 

History

prehistory
Archaeological finds indicate that there were settlements on the Plauen territory as early as the Bronze Age. The barrows of Plauen-Chrieschwitz, in the Reissiger Forest and in the area of ​​Reinsdorf testify to a population that buried their dead in burial mounds. These finds come from a local group of the Lausitz culture with close connections to Bohemia, the Main region and Thuringia. The settlement can be traced back to the middle of the last millennium BC. Prove. With the discovery of a grave from the Latène period (around 420 BC) in the area of ​​Ruppertsgrün-Liebau, the evidence of settlement in the Plauen-Oelsnitz area suddenly breaks off. No evidence of a Germanic settlement in the Vogtland has yet been found.

Finds of Roman coins from the second century AD show that the Plauen area was important as a transit area. A Slavic settlement can only be proven by some finds for the period shortly before 1000, although the settlement of the Slavs is suspected to have been around 800. Late Slavic sherds were discovered in Plauen-Kleinfriesen, which, due to encrustation, suggest that there was a Pechsiederei there. The Slavic names of places, fields and waters in the region are regarded as further evidence of Slavic settlement. The floor plan based on the block floor principle is also typical for Slavic settlement areas. The name of the city Plauen is also of Slavic origin. It comes from plavna, which means something like floodplain, raft place and is probably derived from the location in the floodplain of the Elsteraue.

Foundation and Middle Ages
The city was first mentioned in 1122 as Vicus Plawe in the consecration certificate of the Johanniskirche. In the document, Bishop Dietrich I von Naumburg confirmed the church, which was built by Count Adalbert von Everstein (in other sources also Eberstein) and equipped with a hoof of land in the village of Chrieschwitz, a piece of forest and half the yield from the Elstermühle. The bishop installed the priest Thomas as pastor and transferred to the church the tithe of the approximately 20 square miles large Dobnagau, to which he was entitled until then. The city belonged to the diocese of Naumburg-Zeitz and was the seat of an archdeaconate.

In 1214 the Teutonic Order founded a branch in Plauen, the German House, to which in 1224 Vogt Heinrich the Middle of Weida donated the St. John's Church. In this deed of donation, “de Plawe: Conradus urbanus” (urbanus = city dweller) is named as a witness, the earliest evidence that Plauen had received city rights. A special certificate for the granting of town charter has not been received. On May 29, 1244, a personal Vogt von Plauen is first attested, Heinrich II. Von Plauen, who presumably also began building Plauen Castle. This document mentions both the stone bridge and some courtyards on the left bank of the Syra (beginnings of the new town). In 1263 the new town was first mentioned. The oldest original document kept in the city archives is dated May 25, 1278. With her, Conrad von Everstein Kunigunde, the wife of Bailiff Heinrich von Plauen, owned the village and half of the forest in Straßberg and gave her the right to do so after death to dispose of her husband at will. On June 25, 1279 the mint of the bailiffs was established, which bailiff Heinrich the Elder sold on March 11, 1306 to the rural people and the merchants of Plauen for 600 marks of silver. In 1328 Count Hermann von Everstein renounced all fiefdoms in the Dobe area. This ended the story of the Eversteiner in Vogtland.

 

On August 9, 1329, a mayor and sworn citizens were recorded in Plauen for the first time. The oldest seal of the citizens (sigillum civium in Plawe) also dates from the same year. Emperor Karl IV declared the rule of Plauen a hereditary fiefdom of the Bohemian crown in 1356. In 1430 the Hussites besieged the city under the leadership of Andreas Prokop. They took the castle, destroyed it and killed 170 people. They then burned the city down, killing another 500 to 900 people. When the city was rebuilt, the old city and the new city were united. In 1438, Elector Friedrich the Meek occupied the city. However, on imperial orders it was returned to Burgrave Heinrich I, who moved in again in 1439. The successor Burgrave Heinrich II went down in history as a tyrant. In 1466 he was given an imperial ban by King Georg Podiebrad. On February 10 of the same year, Duke Albrecht, the king's son-in-law, who was entrusted with the enforcement of the Eight, took the town and rule of Plauen, which was the first time Plauen came under Saxon rule. In 1482 Burgrave Heinrich III renounced. through the contracts of Brüx finally to his claims on Plauen in favor of the Wettiner Ernst and Albrecht.

Early modern age
When the Wettin lands were divided, Plauen fell to the Ernestine side. As a result, the Reformation gained a foothold in the Vogtland relatively early. From 1521 the last commander of the German House, Georg Eulner, worked in the Reformation spirit. Together with the Dominican Georg Raute, he preached in St. John's Church according to the teachings of Martin Luther. The Reformation was introduced by Raute and Eulner in Plauen in 1524 and in the entire Saxon Vogtland by 1529. After that, Plauen was a predominantly Protestant city for many centuries and became the seat of a superintendent, which was retained even after the later transfer to the Lords of Plauen and Albertine Saxony. Two church visits in 1529 and 1533 regulated the final introduction of the Reformation. Georg Eulner became the first superintendent in Plauen. In 1540 Plauen was persecuted by witches. Jacob Schultes got into a witch trial. In the summer of 1546, after the outbreak of the Schmalkaldic War, the city was fortified and occupied by loyal followers of the elector. The city council turned to Duke Moritz von Sachsen with a request for protection, which was granted on condition of homage.

In 1547, King Ferdinand of Bohemia enfeoffed the grandson of the once expelled tyrant Heinrich II again with the town and rule of Plauen. He was allowed to call himself Burgrave Heinrich IV. In 1548 he was appointed imperial prince at the Augsburg Reichstag. On May 15 of the same year, the city burned down almost completely. It was triggered by a shot that a drunk citizen had fired in the middle of the city. The town hall, the church, the castle counts and the parish and school buildings burned down. In 1550 the town hall was rebuilt and in 1556 the reconstruction of the Johanniskirche was completed. After the death of Henry IV, his sons Henry V and Henry VI pledged. ownership to Elector August von Sachsen, who finally acquired the area in 1563.

In 1600 the city council issued the first veil regulation. The veil lords were recognized as a guild. This should strengthen the new industry of cotton knitting. Veils are fine cotton fabrics that are used as headscarves, neck scarves, ruffles and turbans. In 1602 Plauen rose to become the district town of the Voigtlaendischen Creisses. It was the 13th district town of the electorate. The new district comprised the offices of Plauen, Pausa and Voigtsberg with the cities of Adorf, Elsterberg, Gefell, Mühltroff, Neukirchen, Oelsnitz, Pausa and Schöneck.

On August 13, 1632, Field Marshal Holk took Plauen in the Thirty Years' War. Although the city surrendered, it was sacked. On September 12th General Gallas followed and on October 12th of the same year Wallenstein arrived with the main army in Plauen, after whose departure the city was set on fire. In 1634 about half of the population in Plauen died of the plague. In a town fire in 1635, most of the upper town with the church and the parish and school buildings burned down. 1656, after the death of Elector Johann Georg I, his fourth son, Duke Moritz von Sachsen-Zeitz, received Plauen and the Vogtland. He handed over the German House to the city in 1667 and had the castle rebuilt from 1670 to 1675, which had been destroyed in 1548. In 1681 Georg Samuel Dörffel published his work on comet orbits, and in 1697 the first Fahrpost from Dresden and Zwickau to Nuremberg began its service.

18th and 19th centuries

In 1702, as the founder of the Plauen white goods industry, Johann Friedrich Schildt built a factory in which cotton weaving could be carried out on a larger scale. This was followed by a calico factory in 1753. When Charles XII. occupied Saxony during the Great Northern War, Swedish troops were billeted in Plauen from 1706 to 1707. In 1718 Duke Moritz Wilhelm died and Plauen fell back to Electoral Saxony, that is to say to August the Strong. Therefore, in 1725, a Saxon postal mileage column was made for the bridge gate. During the Seven Years' War the various warring parties took turns occupying Plauen. In 1758 the city council was forced at gunpoint to take the oath of allegiance to the Prussian King Friedrich II. In 1786, the city wall between the Straßberger Tor and the Nonnenturm was removed to make room for houses in the growing city.

The Bavarian Army, the Württemberg Army, the Prussian Army, the Grande Armée, the Saxon Army and the Imperial Russian Army moved through Plauen between 1806 and 1815. They were fed or plundered by the townspeople. In 1812 Napoleon Bonaparte camped in Plauen on the Russian campaign. In 1813 refugees from the “great army” came to the city. After the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig, many wounded were taken care of in the Gottesackerkirche, where a hospital had been set up. Many soldiers and many city dwellers died of typhus. Just a few days after the Battle of Nations, the Kingdom of Saxony, together with the Reussian principalities and the Duchy of Altenburg, became the Russian General Government of Saxony for about a year. Plauen received a garrison of 500–600 Cossacks and Bashkirs at this time.

The factories built in 1702 and 1753 were followed by more. In 1829 master weaver Schönherr set up a loom for bobbinet (a kind of tulle), followed in 1834 by a jacquard loom and a Swiss finish. On February 2, 1832, a new city ordinance came into force, with which the newly elected members of the city council and the city court were introduced on November 4. At the same time, the mayor Ernst Gottschald, the city council and the larger citizens' committee took up their offices. In 1833, when gymnastics was banned, Otto Leonhard Heubner founded the first gymnastics garden on the Schlossberg in Plauen and in 1840 the general municipal gymnastics facility. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn's gymnastics movement spread rapidly from Plauen to all of Saxony. In 1834 a main tax office was opened in Plauen. In 1835, the Vogtland District and the Erzgebirge District were merged to form the Zwickau District Directorate. With this, Plauen lost its status as a district town and was only the seat of the administrative authority of Vogtland. To expand the city, the Straßberger and Neundorfer Tor were demolished in 1837. On the night of September 9-10, 1844, a city fire destroyed a large part of the city center (107 residential buildings and 199 side and back buildings). In the course of the rebuilding, the remains of the Dominican monastery were torn down. Only the name Klostermarkt still reminds of it. In November 1848, the Saxon-Bavarian Railway opened the Plauen – Hof line. On April 16, 1851, after completion of the Göltzsch and Elstertal bridges, the route to Reichenbach (Vogtl) and on via Werdau to Dresden followed. In 1857 the first embroidery machines were installed in Plauen. The Aktien-Brauverein was founded on October 23 of the same year. On August 31, 1860 the city hospital was inaugurated and in 1863 the first mechanical cotton goods weaving mill started operations.

 

The production of English tulle curtains began between 1871 and 1874. On November 30, 1874, the Plauen – Eger railway line was opened and the upper station was rebuilt and expanded. The Elstertal Railway opened on September 8, 1875. In 1880, a joint venture led by the businessman Theodor Bickel succeeded in producing machine-embroidered tulle lace without an underlay for the first time. The product, initially known as Saxon lace, was first launched on the market in Paris. The lace, now known as Plauen lace (Plauen-laces in English, dentelles de Plauen in French), soon gained a worldwide reputation. In the following three years as many embroidery machines (2258) were installed as in the 24 years before (since the first installation in 1857). The machine industry also experienced an upswing. Gottlieb Hornbogen's machine factory delivered its 100th embroidery machine in 1881, followed by the 200th in 1882. Hermann Dietrich's (later VOMAG) factory also produced the 100th machine in 1882. The first shuttle embroidery or steam embroidery machine went into operation in 1883, increasing production by six to seven times compared to the previous machines. The export could be increased significantly, so that on August 17th, 1887 the USA opened its own consulate in Plauen.

On December 5, 1889, the new hospital was opened at its current location in Reichenbacher Strasse. In 1894 the Plauen tram went into operation. In 1899 rotary machine construction began in what was then Vogtland Machine Factory AG. The etched tip, introduced in 1883, only saw increased sales from around 1888. In 1900, the top manufacturers in Plauen received the Grand Prix at the Paris World Exhibition. This boosted exports and the city of Plauen continued to grow very quickly (see population development).

In 1893 the only Protestant congregation in the city, the St. Johannis congregation, was divided into five independent congregations. Catholics returned to the city in the 19th century. This led to the foundation of the parish Herz Jesu, which built its church in 1901. Initially, the city's Catholics, like all Catholics in what was then the Kingdom of Saxony, belonged to the Apostolic Vicariate based in Dresden, which had been the responsible administrative district since 1743, succeeding the diocese of Meissen, which was dissolved during the Reformation. From this administrative district, the Diocese of Meißen emerged again in 1921, since 1980 Diocese of Dresden-Meißen, which today belongs to the Church Province of Berlin (Archdiocese of Berlin). Plauen became the seat of a deanery, to which parishes outside Plauen also belonged.

1900 to 1918
In 1904, Plauen had more than 100,000 inhabitants and, after doubling the number of inhabitants, had become a major city within ten years. In 1907 Plauen received the status of an exempt (district-free) city.

After the population peaked at 128,014 in 1912, it declined due to the crisis in the textile industry that left many of the city's residents unemployed and emigrated. With the outbreak of World War I, lace production continued to decline. The industry could only be converted to war production to a limited extent, so that there was no improvement either.

Around 3,000 soldiers from Plauen were killed in the First World War, and around 1,700 were taken prisoners of war.

were made, an explosion that killed 292 people. In the factory, which was an AEG incandescent lamp factory before the outbreak of war, a fire broke out in the lower room shortly before 4.30 p.m., in which the powder was weighed and sewn into bags. The fire spread so quickly that the explosion could not be prevented. A cause was never determined. Almost all women worked in the factory, 163 of whom died. 177 injured were rescued; 129 of them died a little later. Most of the victims were buried on July 24, 1918 in a mass grave in the main cemetery. The mass grave and a memorial still exist.

 

Weimar Republic, National Socialism and World War II
After the First World War, the population increased again, but the pre-war level was never reached again.

In October 1921, one of the first local groups of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) outside Bavaria was established in Plauen. The Hitler Youth (HJ) also quickly organized itself in Plauen. Kurt Gruber from Plauen was their first Reichsführer. According to the entry in the district office, Plauen was founded on January 1, 1929, the Hitler Youth Movement. V. With that the leadership of the Hitler Youth passed to Plauen. With the subordination of the HJ to the SA, the headquarters were moved from Plauen to Munich in 1931. Plauen's importance was thus downgraded to a Großgau.

The world economic crisis of 1929 hit the export-oriented Plauen economy particularly hard. This was particularly noticeable in the unemployment rate, at times the highest in Germany. As a result, the NSDAP, which promised radical changes to the people, gained great popularity in Plauen. Between 1924 and 1933 the headquarters of the NSDAP Gauleitung was in Plauen. Plauen was also one of the first German cities to give honorary citizenship to Adolf Hitler and Paul von Hindenburg. Alfons Hitzler was NSDAP district leader in Plauen for 20 years.

The city's synagogue, inaugurated in 1930 and built in the Bauhaus style, was opened during the Reichspogromnacht on 9/10. Destroyed by an arson attack in November 1938 and never rebuilt afterwards. Most of the Jewish citizens left the city; the rest were later deported and murdered. Some residents are remembered with stumbling blocks that have been laid in Plauen since 2009.

Three subcamps of the Flossenbürg concentration camp were located in Plauen between 1944 and 1945: Plauen subcamp (cotton spinning mill), Plauen subcamp (industrial plants), Plauen subcamp (Dr. Th. Horn).

During the Second World War, Plauen was spared from attacks for a long time, but was badly destroyed towards the end of the war. The first major air raid by the US Air Force (USAAF) took place on September 12, 1944, followed by several USAAF and RAF bombings from January to April 1945. The city experienced the most momentous and last of a total of 14 air raids on April 10. That night alone, around 900 people were killed in attacks by British bombers. 1965 tons of explosives destroyed 164 hectares of the urban area. After examining British documents that were secret until 2009, earlier information (table) for the night attack of April 10, 1945 was corrected: 304 Lancaster bombers, 6 Mosquito high-speed bombers, 1,168 tons of bombs on April 10 and a total of 4,925 tons dropped on Plauen. Overall, the air raids in Plauen claimed at least 2,340 lives (this number is too low: after the main attack on April 10, 1945, only reported Plauen citizens were counted as fatalities). The stated targets of the air raids were the Obere Bahnhof, whereby the entire suburb of the station, the infrastructure and the industrial facilities of VOMAG were destroyed. However, there were sometimes large deviations between the intended drop targets and the areas actually hit. This finding is mainly based on the fact that the degree of destruction of cultural sites was 80%, of living space 78%, of commercial buildings 70%, of administrative facilities 55% and of the transport network 48%. 91% of the gas network (150 km of pipelines) and around 200 kilometers of the water network were taken out of service. Urban supply networks and urban traffic came to a complete standstill as a result of the attacks. Repair costs of 4.5 million Reichsmarks were incurred. Due to the destruction of important infrastructure such as the station building and the Syratal Viaduct, rail traffic collapsed. Automobile traffic was also severely hindered until the partly buried roads were cleared. The Plauen tram was able to resume operation after an eight-month break and the restoration of the track system, while rail traffic was only possible on a single track for the next few years. About 75% of the city was destroyed by the attacks. There were 12,600 bomb craters in the city center. With a bomb load of 185.4 t / km² Plauen was one of the most heavily damaged cities in Germany (more than e.g. Dresden with about 60%).

 

On April 16, 1945 Plauen was occupied without a fight by the 347th US Infantry Regiment advancing from the west. During the American occupation, dismantling took place, mainly of cutting-edge technology (e.g. VOMAG precision boring mills), construction documents were confiscated. The most capable skilled workers and engineers were brought into the American zone of occupation. The Americans tried to rebuild a functioning civil administration as quickly as possible, resorting to experts dismissed after 1933. According to the agreements of the Yalta Conference, the Americans withdrew from West Saxony on June 30, 1945, and from July 1 the Soviets took possession of the rest of the zone of occupation assigned to them.

SBZ and GDR times
During the Soviet occupation, many industrial plants were dismantled as reparations and brought to the Soviet Union. From 1946 the expropriation and nationalization of the large companies began. State-owned companies were founded and land reform was carried out.

1950 began to counteract the housing shortage caused by the severe destruction. In order to create new living space quickly and in a cost-saving manner, the new residential buildings were built from the 1960s onwards in the panel construction, which was considered unsightly but popular due to the central heating. The Chrieschwitz district, the Mammen area and the area around the upper station are particularly characterized by this type of construction.

After the war, the first Plauen lace festival took place in 1955, which is one of the city's cultural highlights every year. In 1974 the city of Plauen celebrated 750 years of existence. There is no longer any document about the granting of city rights, but another document documents that Plauen was designated a city as early as 1224. Accordingly, the appointment to the city must have been made before 1224. In this way, the city anniversary could be combined with 25 years of the GDR, which the government of the time attached great importance to.

The location around 25 kilometers north of the inner-German border was one of the reasons that Plauen's development continued to stagnate after 1945. The number of residents decreased continuously. Plauen housed a strong garrison of the Soviet Army on the Cold War front line, as well as facilities of the GDR border troops such as the officers' college. In Plauen there were a few large companies like Plamag that were also successful abroad. However, the city was unable to regain its former economic importance during the GDR era.

The turning point and peaceful revolution in Plauen
In the local elections on May 7, 1989, more election observers took part, mainly from those around the church. Obvious election frauds were documented and submissions made. However, this did not change anything in the conduct of the leadership. When, on the night of October 4th to 5th, 1989, trains carrying embassy refugees from Prague drove through Plauen towards Hof for the second time, several people tried to jump up. However, the station and the adjacent tracks were cordoned off on a large scale.

 

On October 5th, the Plauen New Forum was supposed to be founded in the Markuskirche, which was still forbidden at that time. However, since word of this had got around and a large crowd appeared in which one suspected Stasi employees as well, a peace prayer was spontaneously scheduled, which had to be repeated because of the crowd. To mark the 40th anniversary of the republic on October 7, 1989, typewritten notes and word of mouth were used to call for a demonstration in the city center. The Stasi knew about it, but completely underestimated the situation. Around 3 p.m., thousands of people gathered on the Theaterplatz and Otto-Grotewohl-Platz (tunnel) without actually knowing what would happen. The police tried to use water cannons (due to the lack of their own vehicles, those of the volunteer fire brigade were used) and a helicopter to break up the crowd and to clear the place; which she did not succeed. At around 4:15 p.m., a demonstration march formed, which initially moved in the direction of Bahnhofstrasse and then returned to the town hall at around 5:30 p.m. Banners with slogans such as “We need reforms”, “For reforms and freedom of travel against mass exodus - especially peace” or “Freedom of travel - freedom of expression - freedom of the press” were carried along. There were shouts in front of the town hall demanding that the mayor Norbert Martin come out to talk to him. Thanks to the level-headed commitment of Superintendent Thomas Küttler, who mediated between the town hall / police and the demonstrators, the demonstration remained peaceful and slowly broke up with the cry “We'll be back” around 6 p.m. after it had been decided to demonstrate again the following Saturday , and there should also be talks between Plauen's citizens and the mayor. From this point on, demonstrations took place in Plauen every Saturday until the first free elections on March 18, 1990. The Saturday demonstrations, which mostly took the same route past the Stasi headquarters and the SED district office, also included people from the surrounding area and some delegations from the twin town of Hof. "It was the first time that the citizens of the GDR came together without" instructions from above "and expressed their united will against the system in the GDR". (Rolf Schwanitz) “Plauen was the first East German city to express a united will to turn around; it was the only one in which the upheaval in East Germany was a matter of the masses from the start. On October 12, 1989, the first scheduled talks between the mayor of the city and 25 Plauen citizens took place. The citizen council led by Superintendent Küttler was later also referred to as the Group of 20 - based on the Dresden Group of 20.

On December 15, 1989, 10,000 employees in Plauen stopped working for two hours to stand up for German unity. That was the biggest strike in this development phase in the GDR.

In view of the pioneering role that Plauen played during the fall of the Berlin Wall, October 7th as a communal day of remembrance became Democracy Day. explained. In addition, on October 7, 2010, the so-called Wende monument, designed by Peter Luban, was inaugurated diagonally across from the New Town Hall. The construction costs of 60,000 euros were financed entirely through donations.

The further development since 1991
After the municipal gallery e.o.plauen was opened on October 1, 1993 with an Erich-Ohser exhibition, the e.o.-Plauen-Gesellschaft e. V. founded. Willi Daume was elected as its first president. From September 5 to 7, 1997, the Day of the Saxons took place in Plauen with 380,000 visitors. After a referendum in 1999, a shopping center, the Stadt-Galerie, was built in the city center in 2001. The Lohmühlenanlage, a green area, was built on. In the course of this construction work, the central tram stop tunnel was completely renewed and partially relocated. Critics complain that the building of the city gallery devalued the previous shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse, and that since then many shops on Bahnhofstrasse have either moved to the city gallery or have had to close. In 2002 the city received a first prize for the "integrated urban development program" (InSEK) from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing. In 2003 and 2008 the city was named municipality of the year.

 

Plauen fought intensely against plans by the Saxon Ministry of the Interior to take the city away from the city as part of the district reform, which it had had since 1907. On April 22, 2008, the Saxon Constitutional Court rejected the preliminary injunction requested by the City of Plauen to suspend the district reform. Plauen was reintegrated into the Vogtlandkreis as a district town on August 1st, 2008.

On March 1, 2010 Plauen joined the Mayors for Peace initiative, an international non-governmental organization that is mainly committed to nuclear disarmament. The city representatives also want to promote this initiative to the partner cities. At the city council meeting on May 27, 2010, it was decided to join the Council of European Municipalities and Regions. As part of the celebrations for the Day of German Unity, Mayor Oberdorfer received the Unity Prize (special prize from the jury) from the Federal Agency for Civic Education on October 3, 2011 on behalf of the city of Plauen. The reason given was: "With the special prize of the jury for the city of Plauen, the jury wants to remember the civil courage of the local population, who did not let the Stasi, the people's police and water cannons prevent them from doing so on October 7, 1989, the national holiday of the GDR. to demonstrate for an end to the SED dictatorship. In the public eye, the people of Plauen were overshadowed by Leipzig and Berlin, but they marked the turning point in the dramatic autumn of the revolution of 1989. “On November 7, 2011, the city received the European Energy Award.

 

Topography

Plauen lies in the hill country of the Central Vogtland. The urban area is therefore characterized by the typical, mostly wooded hilltops, also called Pöhle. It extends over around 102 km² (as of December 2002). In the north-south direction, the simplified diamond-shaped floor plan extends to around 16 km and in the east-west direction to around 12 km.

The mean height of 412 m above sea level. NN is a very theoretical value in Plauen, because the lowest point is the Elstersohle at 305 meters (located in the district of Röttis), the highest mountain is the wooded Culmberg at 525 meters (in the southern district of Oberlosa). Plauen's local mountain is the 507 meter high Kemmler with a Bismarck tower.

Plauen is located in the valley and on the banks of the White Elster. In the area of ​​the confluence of the Syra the valley widens to a basin with the city center. The White Elster flows from the southwest through the village of Straßberg into the original Plauen city area. Around the city center, it swings north, flows through the Chrieschwitz district and then forms the eastern border of the city area. She divides it into two roughly equal areas.

While the original urban area, i.e. the inner city, is a dense urban residential or mixed area, the localities that were incorporated from 1994 to 1999 are particularly characterized by the high proportion (55%) of agricultural land. This is the highest value in comparison with the four next largest cities in Saxony. Plauen is the only one of these cities to have a purely rural outskirts. Plauen is criss-crossed by many green spaces; especially in the north and south there are extensive forest areas. The forest share is 18%, after Dresden with 21%, the second largest of the large Saxon cities.

The hilly surrounding area is covered in roughly equal proportions by fields, meadows and forests. The two large reservoirs Pöhl (northeast) and Pirk (south), which are also used as recreational areas, are located a short distance from the city.

 

Geology

Geologically, Plauen lies in the Vogtland Mulde (Vogtland Synklinorium). Most of the city is in the main hollow, the Kauschwitz district in a foothill of the Mehltheuerer Kulmmulde. The main hollow is strongly structured by numerous diabase tops, the Kulm hollow appears rather even.

The urban area is geologically extremely complex. The many different rocks are assigned to several formations of the Paleozoic Era. The structure was influenced mainly in the time of the Variski mountain formation. Different rock layers are shifted against each other, discarded and eroded.

The wide Kerbsohlental of the Elster divides the city into a north and a south part. The northern part rises relatively steeply in the city center, starting from the Elster sole. A diabase ridge lifts out there, which can be seen as a steep slope at the level of the former castle. The area then changes into rather flatter formations, which mainly consist of various clay and alum schists from the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian. Due to a broad fault, these shale sequences are demarcated from the diabase rocks adjoining to the west and north-west. The disturbance extends from the Friedensbrücke over the Bärenstein-Osthang, the Rähnisberg to the Karolastraße and then runs northeast to the Pietzschebach. It appears as a zone of strongly decomposed diabase and slate, while the areas to the west of the fault (Haselbrunn, Neundorf, Straßberg) are characterized by various diabase rocks such as tuffs, breccias and conglomerates.

The southern part of the city is characterized by slate of the Ordovician and Devonian, which stretch as a wide strip from Reusa to Thiergarten. In the far south is the diabase area of ​​the Kemmler and the Black Wood. In the east and south suburbs there are still some gravel deposits that are considered to be young river deposits of the White Elster.

The Vogtland and thus Plauen are located in one of the most seismically active areas in Germany. The epicentres of the swarm quake are mostly located in the vicinity of geological faults. In most cases, however, the intensity is below three on the Richter scale, which means that the tremors are barely noticeable.

 

Climate

In Plauen and Vogtland, the climate of the warm, temperate, humid west wind zone of Central Europe with changeable weather prevails. Compared to regions further west of Germany, continental influences (warmer summers, colder winters) can be observed. Due to the influence of the surrounding low mountain ranges, the weather in the Vogtland is less wind and less precipitation than in other regions of Germany with a comparable altitude. The average air temperature in Plauen is 7.5 ° C, with the warmest months being July and August with average temperatures of around 16 ° C. In the Plauen area there are an average of 26 to 30 summer days (≥ 25 ° C) per year with an average sunshine duration of 1450 to 1500 hours per year. The average annual rainfall in Plauen is 582 millimeters. This represents a minimum in the Vogtland, due to the fact that the city lies in the lee of the upstream low mountain range, the air accumulates in the Western Ore Mountains and the clouds there rain down. Snowfalls are normal from November to April, although a blanket of snow does not always form. It rarely snows in October or even in May. In Plauen, south-westerly to southerly wind directions are predominant, whereby so-called "Bohemian winds", i.e. cold air outflows from the Bohemian Basin, can occur in the cold season. The average wind speed is around 3 to 4 m / s.

City structure
With over 102 square kilometers, the city has an urban area similar to Paris with around 105 square kilometers. Plauen consists of 39 districts in 23 districts, which are divided into the five urban areas center, north, east, south and west. Each urban area consists of up to eleven districts. The districts that were incorporated into Plauen in 1996 and 1999 are also localities according to the Saxon municipal code. The localities were introduced by the main statute of the city of Plauen and each have a local council elected by the population, which has between five and nine members depending on the number of inhabitants. The mayor is the chairman of the local council. Some of the localities also have their own local administration.