10 largest cities in Germany
Frankfurt am Main




Senftenberg is a medium-sized town in the south of Brandenburg. It is the district town of the Oberspreewald-Lausitz district and is located on the Schwarzen Elster and Senftenberger See, which is one of the largest artificially created lakes in Germany. Senftenberg itself is located in Lower Lusatia and is its fourth largest city, while some districts incorporated in 2001 are located in Upper Lusatia.

Since September 9, 2016, Senftenberg has been designated a state-recognized resort in the districts of Senftenberg-Kernstadt, Großkoschen (with the municipality part of Kleinkoschen) and Niemtsch, which border on Lake Senftenberg.

The city is located on the western edge of the official settlement area of the Sorbs / Wends.



Buildings, squares and parks
The historic old town center has developed around the city's market. The adjacent buildings from different stylistic epochs were painstakingly reconstructed after the fall of the Wall. The southern front of the market, which had previously been designed with green spaces, was closed in September 1998 by the new town hall with Ratskeller and café and in 1999 by the savings bank complex. A special feature is the very steep roof of the old town hall building from 1929, which is connected to the modern town hall building. The roof slope is 72.9 degrees. The newly built town hall was awarded the Brandenburg State Architecture Prize in 1999.

One of the dominant buildings on the north side of the market is the Adler pharmacy, built in 1902 during the Wilhelmine era. This five-storey building breaks up the predominantly two-storey development of the market. The facade is richly decorated, including snakes and skulls as well as two larger than life eagles, which give the pharmacy its name. The pharmacy's business premises are on the ground floor. Senftenberg's first pharmacy was mentioned as early as 1680. The writer Erwin Strittmatter worked in the building from 1949 to 1951 as local editor for the Märkische Volksstimme.

On October 18, 2000, a replica of the Saxon post distance column was set up on the market. The original was on the market from 1731 and was dismantled in 1847 under Prussian rule. Only the original coat of arms has been preserved in the castle museum to this day.

From 1932 to 1998, there was a slim reinforced concrete light pole on the market. In the vernacular he was called Langer Herrmann in reference to Herrmann Lindemann, who was mayor's office at the time of construction.

To the east of the market is the church square with the Protestant Peter-Paul Church (also known as the German Church). This church was built in the 13th century in the Gothic style and has a magnificent reticulated vault.

The Wendische Kirche community center is located in the immediate vicinity of the Peter and Paul Church. After the renovation, the Wendish Church was reconstructed for around 400,000 euros. It was converted into a social and cultural meeting center and inaugurated on March 28, 2003.

The first Wendish church was built in Senftenberg after the Reformation in 1540. The structure had to be renewed several times after fires. The current building was erected in 1749. In 1834 the services had to be stopped because of dilapidation. In the following years the sacred building was renovated several times. The last Sorbian service for the time being was held in 1881. In 1993 the demolition of the church was planned, but the building was placed under monument protection and the facade was first renovated. Church services have been held in Lower Sorbian again since 2010. A sgraffito by the painter Günther Wendt from 1934 is attached to the eastern gable wall. It depicts Jesus on the cross. The sgraffito is damaged by bullets from the Second World War, these remain as a warning.

The old town center is bounded by the historical ring, which is formed from the Töpfer-, Salzmarkt-, Bader-, Ritter- and Burglehnstraße. The oldest buildings in Senftenberg are on Töpferstrasse.

To the south of the Altstadtring is the Neumarkt, which was redesigned in 2004. It was converted from a large car park into a small park with an artificial river, a small playground and a fountain with bronze sculptures. The sculptures are by Ernst Sauer. They were presented to the public in 1983 and were to be set up as fountain games on the water on the south side of Neumarkt from 1984. By building a transformer station at the planned location, the fountain was to be built on the northeast side. The planned heating route prevented this. The sculptures initially remained on the property of the artist's family. In 2004, when Neumarkt was redesigned, they were erected as a fountain ensemble, deviating from the artist's original design. The sculptures were cast in the Lauchhammer art foundry.


A part of the Senftenberg townscape was the Renaissance fortress, which was converted into a modern fortification from the middle of the 16th century until the 19th century. The fortress included the castle building, a commanders' and armory (indicated floor plan), the ramparts with postern and a secret waterfall, the casemates and the powder tower on the ramparts. The earth wall with its four bastions has been a building and ground monument since the end of the 19th century. It is unique in its shape and layout and thus has national status. The Senftenberg Castle and Fortress Museum is housed in the castle. On the outside wall of the castle is a memorial plaque for Hans von Polenz, the former bailiff of Lower Lusatia. The restoration of the entire structure began in 1991. The extensive construction and reconstruction measures were organized in accordance with the ongoing museum and event operations. Despite the renovation, various cultural events, concerts, lectures, museum nights and festivals as well as large special exhibitions took place. At the Glück-Auf-Festival of the Senftenberger Theater Neue Bühne in the 2007/2008 season, the fortress was used as the venue for the Fäuste production; so the Helenaakt from Faust II is represented here. The castle building with its annexes was used under Prussian rule as a school, rent office, court building and prison.

Today the fortress is surrounded by an extensive park, the castle park. From 1912, the palace gardens were laid out during Mayor Kieback's tenure. For this purpose, the remains of the former castle pond that surrounded the fortress were drained. The park still has its original trees today. In the castle park there is a memorial for gymnastics father Jahn, which was erected in 1911 by the Germania gymnastics club, as well as a memorial for the victims of fascism and militarism from 1962 by Ernst Sauer. The castle pond, which is optically divided into a large and small pond by an arch bridge, as well as an East Asian-looking pavilion make the castle park look romantic. The ponds are fed by canals, some of which run underground, which flow around the castle to the east and north from the Black Elster.

The Senftenberg zoo is also located in the castle park and is bounded by the ramparts of the fortress and the Black Elster. On June 12, 1931, it was stocked with native animals, including roe deer and fallow deer. The entrance consisted of a semicircular half-timbered building with a hipped roof, which was used as a material store during and after the Second World War. The zoo was reopened on July 14, 1954. In 1957 the bear enclosure was occupied by the two brown bears Puppi and Moritz. In 2012 the brown bears were relocated to a wildlife park. The population of native animals was supplemented by exotic specimens such as rhesus monkeys, meerkats and leopards.

Garden city of Marga
From an urban planning perspective, the garden city of Marga in the Brieske district is of particular importance. Marga is a factory estate with a garden city character, which, due to its external appearance, competes with the Dresden district of Hellerau as the first German garden city. It was created between 1907 and 1915 as a high-quality factory settlement for Ilse Bergbau AG. In her architectural design, Marga is particularly influenced by Dresden reform architecture and elements of the late Art Nouveau. The architect of the settlement was Georg Heinsius von Mayenburg, 78 houses with around 15 different house types were built in which officials and workers of Ilse Bergbau AG lived.

The houses are grouped on a circular settlement plan, in the center of which is a rectangular market square, which is surrounded by a school, church, cemetery, inn and commercial buildings. The buildings on the market are based on models of small-town architecture, while the settlement houses are more based on the motifs of rural and manorial architecture. The settlement was placed under monument protection in 1985 and renovated from 1998 to 2000.