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Sonneberg (East Franconian regional Sumbarch) is a city in the Franconian south of Thuringia and the seat of the district of the same name. It is a medium-sized center and forms a geographically and economically coherent urban unit with the neighboring Upper Franconian partner town of Neustadt bei Coburg.

Sonneberg became known as the “world toy city” - which the German Toy Museum reminds us of today - and in specialist circles through the Sonneberg observatory founded in 1925. The Thuringian Slate Mountains border the city with the Franconian Forest in the east.



“The Sonneberg Castle was also called Sonneberg Castle or the Haus zu Sonneberg in old documents. In 480 Süne or Süno, Duke of Franconia, built this castle because of the Thuringian incursions ... “so it says on page 64 in the topography of the Duke of Saxony-Koburg-Meiningischen share in the Duchy of Koburg from the year 1781. This not uncritical Representation is based on the story of the Franks by Abbot Johannes Trithemius from 1514.

Although there are no reliable references from the Franconian military leader Sunno in the Upper Mainland and the establishment of a castle as a defense against the invading Thuringians, this refers to the first settlements in this area as early as the 5th century. The so-called Cella Antiqua, a monk's cell carved in sandstone behind the Richtsteig 1 property, which supposedly dates back to the 9th century, is often considered the oldest cultural monument in the Sonneberg urban area. The only evidence for this interpretation is an entry in a fiefdom register dated March 13, 1361. Then a lower nobleman received "kempnatam antiquam et camerum super cellam in castro Sunneberg" - that is, the old bower and a living room above a cella in Sonneberg Castle - as a fief. This cella was located within the walls of the castle, not in the old town where the so-called Cella Antiqua is located. Also, the word cella in contemporary parlance does not necessarily mean a single monk cell. The entry could also refer to a chapel or a small monastery. In this context, Thomas Schwämmlein points out that a smaller monastic community was also secured on the Coburg Burgberg from the 13th century. According to this, there may have been a small monastery at the Sonneberg Castle, which was called a cella in the fiefdom register. The so-called Cella Antiqua in the old town of Sonneberg should be viewed as a much more recent storage room. The cool sandstone cellar was probably used to store beer, which was allowed to be brewed by the townspeople from the late Middle Ages. A raised relief cross, as can be found in the Cella Antiqua, was also to be found in another cellar in the old town until 1994. There it was probably intended to implore God's blessing for the beer stored in the sandstone cave.

The name Sonneberg was first mentioned in documents in 1207. It goes back to the noble family of the Lords of Sonneberg, which is documented in the 12th and 13th centuries and founded a settlement below the Sonneberg Castle, which originally consisted of the estate and two hamlets, the village of "Alt-Rötin, presumed to be in Herrnau "And the" Stätlein zu Rötin under the Sonneberg Castle ". The Lords of Sonneberg were ministerials in the service of the Dukes of Andechs-Meranien, who, as a Bavarian noble family, established a lordly administration in the region around Sonneberg and Coburg. After the end of the Duchy of Merania, they acquired extensive property in the surrounding area and founded the Sonnefeld Monastery in 1252. This high point of the sex heralded decay in the further course of the 13th century until 1310 the sex died out in the male line.

After the Sonnebergs died out, the small lordship fell to the Counts of Henneberg in 1317. In 1349 the new sovereign, the regent Jutta von Henneberg, confirmed and extended the municipal rights of Sonneberg with a document. In 1353, Sonneberg fell to the Wettins together with the nearby Coburg. The council and mayor held the lower courts. The town with the Johanniskirche on the road from Coburg to Saalfeld was walled.

15th century to 19th century
The Catholic parish has belonged to the Diocese of Würzburg since ancient times. In 1526 the Reformation was introduced in Sonneberg. The Latin school opened soon after.

After the "Leipzig division" in 1485, the Coburg (this is how the area to which Sonneberg belonged was called) came to the Ernestine line of this house. After Coburg and thus Sonneberg had already been Ernestine secondary school between 1542 and 1553 under Duke Johann Ernst of Saxony, this territory was separated from the entire Ernestine state in 1572, and a principality of Saxony-Coburg was created, jointly owned by the dukes Johann Casimir and Johann Was ruled seriously. In 1596 both divided this principality into Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Eisenach. After the death of Johann Casimir in 1633 briefly reunited under Johann Ernst, after his death in 1638 it was transferred to Saxe-Altenburg and in 1672 to Saxe-Gotha. In the course of the "Gotha partition" in 1680, another principality of Saxe-Coburg emerged under Duke Albrecht, although it was considerably smaller than its predecessor.