View at the historic centre

Coat of arms

Coordinates: 51°26′N 14°15′E / 51.433°N 14.250°E / 51.433; 14.250Coordinates: 51°26′N 14°15′E / 51.433°N 14.250°E / 51.433; 14.250
Country Germany
State Saxony
District Hoyerswerda
  Lord Mayor Stefan Skora (CDU)
  Governing parties CDU / Die Wahlplattform für Hoyerswerda
  Total 95.06 km2 (36.70 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 33,843
  Density 360/km2 (920/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Vehicle registration BZ, BIW, HY, KM
Website hoyerswerda.de

Hoyerswerda (Upper Sorbian: Wojerecy) is a major district town in the district of Bautzen in the German state of Saxony. It is located in the Sorbian settlement area of the Upper Lusatia, a region where some people speak the Sorbian language in addition to German. In September 1991 Hoyerswerda became infamous due to riots in which a gathering of up to 500 people protested against immigration, assaulting immigrants and throwing petrol bombs at a hotel that housed asylum seekers.

Hoyerswerda is divided into the Old Town and the New Town surrounded by village areas. The Old Town is the historical centre with a lot of old houses and many sight-seeing attractions, the New Town is more modern and varicoloured. Prior to the renovation of the town, prefabricated apartment blocks predominated in this area.

The town has many lakes, marshes and waterways in its surrounding area, because of its situation in the Lusatia. This brings many tourists to spend their holidays there. The place is also very attractive for bicyclers and inline skaters who use recently created paths meandering among the lakes.


The town is situated in the north of the District of Bautzen, close to the borders of Saxony with Brandenburg. Major cities and towns in proximity are Cottbus 35 kilometres (22 miles) in the north-west, Dresden 55 kilometres (34 miles) in the south-west and Berlin 150 kilometres (93 miles) in the north. Hoyerswerda is part of Upper Lusatia and lies on a rural plain characterised by the presence of several lakes and some marshes.


Hoyerswerda is divided beside the Old Town and New Town into the following districts:

Old Town

The old town of Hoyerswerda is divided into eleven districts:

Neida, Dresdner Vorstadt, Am Bahnhof ('At the Railway Station'), Am Stadtrand ('On the Outskirts'), an der Neupetershainer Bahn, An der Thrune, Innere Altstadt ('Inner Historic Centre'), Senftenberger Vorstadt, Spremberger Vorstadt, Nördliche Elsteraue, Südliche Elsteraue.

New Town

The new town of Hoyerswerda is divided into 14 districts:

Neustadt Zentrum ('New Town Centre'), Kühnicht, Grünewaldring, Gondelteich ('Gondola Lake'), Wohnkomplex I, Wohnkomplex II, Wohnkomplex III, Wohnkomplex IV, Wohnkomplex V/VE, Wohnkomplex VI, Wohnkomplex VII, Wohnkomplex VIII, Wohnkomplex IX, Wohnkomplex X.



Early history

The first settlers arrived in this area in 700 AD. They were Milceni slavs. Many artifacts form this old culture have been found in the Hoyerswerda area.

In 1000, the construction of the first church in the town occurred. It was the church Heilige Familie ('Holy Family') which is still standing today in the historic centre of Hoyerswerda.

In 1150, Hoyerswerda first appeared on a map of Lusatia.

The city was first mentioned in 1268. At the time the burgomaster was Hoyer von Vredeberg.

In 1371 it was designated an official marketplace. Before this Hoyerswerda was a very little town with only a few structures, but the city then got bigger and bigger under the leadership of the new mayor Karl IV.

It received municipal rights from Freiherr von Duba on 19 December 1423, as well as the right to elect its own council.

In the 17th century, the city had many problems because of the 30 Years War. The Number of inhabitants went down drastically, but recovered at the end of the century.

In 1624, Hoyerswerda became the capital of the district Spremberg. A few years later the district took the name Hoyerswerda because of the growing importance of the city.

In the middle of this century Hoyerswerda was already the biggest town in the Lusatian region.

In the 18th century the Elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong, gave the Duchy of Hoyerswerda to Katherina von Teschen, who helped the town develop trade and manufacture. The Battle of Hoyerswerda occurred nearby in 1759 during the Seven Years' War.

In 1815, Hoyerswerda became part of the Prussian Province of Silesia. In 1873 the new railway between Hoyerswerda and Ruhland opened. It had a positive effect on the economic development of the city. In 1912, the Domowina, the organisation of the Sorbs, was founded in the city. The town became part of the Prussian Province of Lower Silesia in 1912.

Recent history

At the end of the Second World War the town was declared a core center of German defense and was therefore heavily damaged. The invading Soviet Red Army set the town on fire. It became part of Saxony again after the war, but from 1952 until 1990, when the states of East Germany were abolished, it was administered by the Bezirk (Region) of Cottbus.

During the time of GDR, Hoyerswerda became an important industrial town. The lignite processing enterprise "Schwarze Pumpe" was established in 1955 (it is today in the federal state of Brandenburg). Since 1957, the demand for new living space rose dramatically. In the following years, 10 new living areas with tens of thousands of apartments were built. In 1981, the city reached its maximum number of inhabitants, with 71,054 people living there. At that time, more children per inhabitant were born in Hoyerswerda than anywhere else in the GDR. Upon reunification in 1990, the people of the city decided to become part of the reconstituted state of Saxony. With the end of the GDR and the reorganization of the East German economy, many enterprises in the industrial region of Hoyerswerda were down-sized or closed.

In 1991 multiple xenophobic attacks targeted immigrant workers from the Far East as well as asylum seekers from Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. A hostel in which asylum seekers were accommodated was attacked and petrol bombs thrown. Media coverage of the unrest shocked many in Germany and abroad, provoking much public debate.[2]

Between 1993 and 1998, several smaller villages became part of the city, but the number of overall inhabitants declined rapidly, from about 70,000 people in the 1980s to about 35,000 people by the end of 2012. There have been attempts to renovate the city. Many of the apartment blocks built during the time of the GDR have been demolished or renovated.[3] This project, like others, was financed with money from the EU and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Its role as an independently ruled town ("Kreisfreie Stadt") in Saxony disappeared in 2008 with the reshaping of the regional administration of Saxony.

Economic situation

While part of East Germany, employment in Hoyerswerda was provided by a power plant, glassworks, coal mines, and an army artillery range. With the reunification of Germany and the subsequent demise of a centrally-planned economy, the city lost many jobs as the glassworks and artillery range were closed, and the power plant reduced its payroll. The industries on the secondary sector disappeared nearly completely. It is, however, expected that new houses must be built in Hoyerswerda, because of an anticipated increase in population due to copper mining at Schwarze Pumpe. There is also a thermal power plant planned for Hoyerswerda, because the district heating contract with Schwarze Pumpe will end in 2016.

Unemployment remains at 13%.[4] Hoyerswerda is on the third place regarding poverty of children according to a statistics of the Child Protection Alliance.[5]


Born in Hoyerswerda

Operated in Hoyerswerda

Lived temporarily in Hoyerswerda

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Hoyerswerda is twinned with:

See also


  1. "Aktuelle Einwohnerzahlen nach Gemeinden 2015] (Einwohnerzahlen auf Grundlage des Zensus 2011)" (PDF). Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen (in German). July 2016.
  2. Kinzer, Steven. "A Wave of Attacks On Foreigners Stirs Shock in Germany". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  3. Layer, Till. "Born in the east, young Germans still forced to head west." CNN. 24 October 2009. Retrieved on 3 November 2009.
  4. "Arbeitslosenquote in Hoyerswerda steigt". Lausitzer Rundschau. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  5. "Zeitnah-online". Zeitnah-online. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  6. Rochus Misch: Der letzte Zeuge, editor: Pendo Verlag, München, 30 June 2008, ISBN 978-3-86612-194-2.
  7. http://gundi.de/gundermann/lebenslauf.shtml
  8. 1 2 "Stadtporträt - Partnerschaften - Oberzentraler Städteverbund". Stadt Hoyerswerda. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
  9. "Stadtporträt - Partnerschaften - Dillingen". Stadt Hoyerswerda. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  10. "Stadtporträt - Partnerschaften - Huittinen". Stadt Hoyerswerda. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  11. "Stadtporträt - Partnerschaften - Środa Wielkopolska". Stadt Hoyerswerda. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  12. "Stadtporträt - Partnerschaften - Städtebeziehung". Stadt Hoyerswerda. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
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