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Gera - More than a sports town


First mentioned in a document in 995, Gera is now the third largest city in the Free State of Thuringia. The upper center of East Thuringia is located in a charming hilly landscape on the banks of the White Elster. With the Gera city forest in the west of the city, Gera has the largest contiguous forest area of all Thuringian cities. The former capital and residence of the Principality of Reuss celebrated its 777th anniversary as a city in 2014.

Gera is not only making a name for itself as a Mecca for fans of the painter and graphic artist Otto Dix (1891 – 1969), but is also a great place to live. Gera impresses with its youthful charm. It has a good reputation as a city of art and culture, as a green city and as a city of sports, as an architecture and as an environmentally friendly city, as an ideal business location and as a city of the future. After all, Gera distinguishes itself - attested by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs - as the "most child-friendly city in Germany" and received the certificate "Family-friendly community". Since 2017, Gera has also had the suffix Hochschulstadt.


Gera became known far beyond its borders as early as the 16th century for its cloth-making trade. Today, companies in optics and precision mechanics, mechanical engineering, environmental technology and the vehicle and supplier industry ensure a sustainable mix of industries. Investors not only appreciate the high potential of well-trained specialists and engineers. The city is also characterized by its convenient location near the intersection of the A 4 and A 9 motorways and the connection to the Gera-Leumnitz airfield.


The roots of the sports town of Gera go back to the last century. The Workers' and Turners' Federation was founded there in 1893. Gera is associated with names such as long jump Olympic champion Heike Drechsler and cyclists Olaf Ludwig, Robert Förstemann and John Degenkolb. Meanwhile, roller skaters and triathletes are also at the forefront of the world. Athletes like Sabine Berg or Robin Schneider are regularly honored for their achievements. Even as spectators, the people of Gera and their guests get their money's worth. As an organizer of large national and international sporting events, the city has long made a name for itself with its sports clubs. Last but not least, numerous sports facilities, such as the Hofwiesenbad or the Panndorfhalle, offer a wide variety of opportunities to do sports yourself. Gera has also established itself as a Mecca for cyclists. The municipality itself has a network of around 95 kilometers of developed cycle paths and just as many kilometers of paths and roads that are also suitable for cyclists. The city has a direct connection to the 250-kilometer-long Elster cycle path, which runs from As to Halle / Saale in the Czech Republic, and the "Thuringian chain of cities" cycle path from Eisenach to Altenburg runs directly through Gera.


Gera is a city with flair and a lot to see. During a stroll you can discover numerous sights. On the market square, the city pharmacy with its richly decorated oriel draws admiring glances, as does the Renaissance town hall with its magnificent main portal. The 57 meter high, octagonal town hall tower offers a wonderful view over the city. Several church buildings from different centuries can be discovered, including the Salvatorkirche with its Art Nouveau interior, which is unique in Germany. Not to forget the lovingly restored, more than 100 imposing city villas, many of which were built around 1900. These include buildings by renowned architects such as Henry van de Velde (1863 – 1957) such as the Schulenburg House and his master student Thilo Schoder (1888 – 1979). One was one of the pioneers of the Weimar Bauhaus, the other one of the most important representatives of the new building in Thuringia after 1919.


Gera is a city of art and culture. As the birthplace of Otto Dix - one of the most famous artists of the 20th century - it is purposefully growing with his international reputation. The municipal art collection keeps around 450 works by the master of New Objectivity and Expressionism in the orangery and Dix's birthplace - one of the largest Dix collections in public hands. The former state central bank, a building by the British star architect David Chipperfield, is also located on the historically grown cultural axis between the Otto Dix House, the baroque orangery, the art nouveau theater and the art and culture area in Osterstein. It is now the seat of the SRH University of Applied Sciences. The other city museums also have interesting exhibitions – including the botanical garden and historic caves, a labyrinth laid out under the old town from the 16th/17th century, which also offers space for the Höhler Biennale.

Gera's cultural diversity is also reflected, among other things, in Thuringia's only five-genre theater and the art scene, cabaret and cabarets, orchestras and international festivals established in various places. In addition, Gera has made a name for itself as a media location, among other things, the "Golden Sparrow" was born there in 1979. The German Children's Media Festival of the same name takes place every spring in Gera and Erfurt.


The "green lung" of Geras breathes just a few minutes' walk from the city center - for example in the 300,000 square meter Hofwiesenpark on the banks of the Weißen Elster. It not only invites you to stroll and have a picnic. Children can climb and swing there, joggers, mini golfers and boules players have also discovered the area for themselves. And every year, for example, the Hofwiesenparkfest at the end of April and the City Sommer cinema attract thousands of people from Gera and their guests. Just a few steps away, the Hofwiesenbad lures with a sports and leisure pool as well as a wellness area. The kitchen garden is a little more tranquil. The resurrected baroque complex lies between the baroque orangery and the art nouveau theatre. On the other side of the banks of the Elster stretches the city forest with its protected flora and fauna. There, hikes or botanical excursions become a journey of discovery, and Gera feels like a vacation. The zoo has its home in Martinsgrund, which is part of the city forest. The extensive forest zoo, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, is worth a visit at any time of the year. After all, not only around 80 species with a total of 500 animals have their home there. The park railway, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015, also attracts guests from near and far. A highlight is the zoo and dahlia festival.


In the middle of the center of Gera is the largest event hall in East Thuringia - the culture and congress center, called KuK for short by the people of Gera. Sandstone, bronze-colored aluminum and glass dominate its external appearance and give the house its unmistakable style. A large hall, spacious, artistically designed foyers and several conference rooms, plus modern technical equipment and an efficient in-house catering offer excellent opportunities for congresses, conferences, seminars and exhibitions, and a parking garage next door ensures short distances.

worth seeing

Orangrie Gera.jpeg


The orangery as a semi-circular baroque two-wing complex in the Gera kitchen garden was built between 1729 and 1732 on behalf of Prince Heinrich XVIII. Reuss j. L. built according to the plans of the princely Saxon master builder Gottfried Heinrich Krohne.

The representative central building with the ballroom was built in 1748/49. Already between 1878 and 1919 the Orangery was made available to the Geraer Kunstverein for exhibitions. Today, as a presentation hall for existing and temporary exhibitions, it belongs to the Gera Art Collection together with the Otto Dix House.

Hofwiesenpark Gera.jpeg


The Hofwiesenpark is the largest park in the Otto-Dix city of Gera and offers green spaces, an interesting terrain profile and many leisure activities. It is located in the middle of the cultural area Untermhaus in the immediate vicinity of the city center. The enchanting idyll of this green oasis on the river is a magnet for Gera residents and guests from near and far at any time of the year.

The park offers a wide range of sporting activities. The area includes the "Stadium of Friendship", the Hofwiesenbad, the gymnastics center, a roller hockey facility, a roller skating track and a fun skater course. A beach volleyball court and table tennis tables are also available to visitors. If you want, you can enjoy the French attitude to life on a shady sandy area at the stadium with a game of boules or play mini golf at the Caribbean

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