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State Theater in Cottbus.jpg
The Spremberger Tower.jpg
Cottbus - Bahnhofstrasse, looking south.jpg
Cottbus University Library.jpg
From top: View of Cottbus at sunset,
The Art-Nouveau façade of the State Theater (1905), The 14th cent. Spremberger Tower,
View on the Karl-Liebknecht Str, The library of the Brandenburg University of Technology
Hissflagge der Stadt Cottbus.svg
Wappen Cottbus.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Cottbus/Chóśebuz
Germany adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Brandenburg location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 51°45′38″N14°20′03″E / 51.76056°N 14.33417°E / 51.76056; 14.33417 Coordinates: 51°45′38″N14°20′03″E / 51.76056°N 14.33417°E / 51.76056; 14.33417
Country Germany
State Brandenburg
District Urban district
   Lord mayor (201422) Holger Kelch [1] (CDU)
  Total164.28 km2 (63.43 sq mi)
70 m (230 ft)
 (2020-12-31) [2]
  Density600/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 0355
Vehicle registration CB

Cottbus (German pronunciation: [ˈkɔtbʊs] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Lower Sorbian : Chóśebuz, pronounced  [ˈxɨɕɛbus] ) is a university city and the second-largest city in Brandenburg, Germany. Situated around 125 km (78 mi) southeast of Berlin, on the River Spree, Cottbus is also a major railway junction with extensive sidings/depots. Although only a small Sorbian minority lives in Cottbus itself, the city is considered as the political and cultural center of the Sorbs in Lower Lusatia.



Until the beginning of the 20th century, the spelling of the city's name was disputed. In Berlin, the spelling "Kottbus" was preferred, and it is still used for the capital's Kottbusser Tor ("Cottbus Gate"), but locally the traditional spelling "Cottbus" (which defies standard German-language rules) was preferred, and it is now used in most circumstances. Because the official spelling used locally before the spelling reforms of 1996 had contravened even the standardized spelling rules already in place, the Standing Committee for Geographical Names stress their urgent recommendation that geographical names should respect the national spelling standards. A citizen of the city may be identified as either a "Cottbuser" or a "Cottbusser".

Names in different languages:


Historical affiliations
March of Lusatia 965–1002

Duchy of Poland 1002–1025
Alex K Kingdom of Poland-flag.svg Kingdom of Poland 1025–1032
Armoiries Basse-Lusace.svg March of Lusatia 1032–1367
Blason Boheme.svg Lands of the Bohemian Crown 1367–1445
Wappen Mark Brandenburg.png Margraviate of Brandenburg 1445–1618
Wappen Mark Brandenburg.png Brandenburg-Prussia 1618–1701
Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1750-1801).svg  Kingdom of Prussia 1701–1807
State flag of Saxony before 1815.svg Kingdom of Saxony 1807–1815
Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1803-1892).svg  Kingdom of Prussia 1815–1871
Flag of the German Empire.svg  German Empire 1871–1918
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg  Weimar Republic 1918–1933
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Nazi Germany 1933–1945
Flag of Germany (1946-1949).svg  Allied-occupied Germany 1945–1949
Flag of East Germany.svg  German Democratic Republic 1949–1990

Flag of Germany.svg  Federal Republic of Germany 1990–present

The settlement was established in the 10th century, when Sorbs erected a castle on a sandy island in the River Spree. The first recorded mention of the town's name was in 1156. In the 13th century German settlers came to the town and thereafter lived side by side with the Sorbs. In the Middle Ages Cottbus was known for wool, and the town's drapery was exported throughout Brandenburg, Bohemia and Saxony. In 1445 Cottbus was acquired by the Margraviate of Brandenburg from Bohemia. In 1514 Jan Rak founded the Universitas Serborum, a Sorbian gymnasium, in the city. In 1701 the city became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was also ruled by Saxony between 1807 and 1813. In 1815 the surrounding districts of Upper and Lower Lusatia were ceded by the Kingdom of Saxony to Prussia. According to the Prussian census of 1905, the city of Cottbus had a population of 46,270, of which 97% were Germans, 2% were Sorbs and 1% were Poles. [3]

In interwar Germany, the town was the site of a concentration camp for unwanted Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. [4]

During World War II, Cottbus was taken by the Red Army on 22 April 1945. From 1949 until German reunification in 1990, Cottbus was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).


Cottbus: Population development
within the current boundaries (2019) [5]
1875 35,201    
1890 46,671+32.6%
1910 65,438+40.2%
1925 68,228+4.3%
1933 72,286+5.9%
1939 75,969+5.1%
1946 73,010−3.9%
1950 73,695+0.9%
1961 66,813−9.3%
1964 84,952+27.1%
1971 94,606+11.4%
1976 101,265+7.0%
1981 125,326+23.8%
1985 133,232+6.3%
1989 137,366+3.1%
1990 134,781−1.9%
1995 126,343−6.3%
2000 113,618−10.1%
2005 105,309−7.3%
2010 102,091−3.1%
2015 99,687−2.4%
2017 101,036+1.4%
2019 99,678−1.3%

Culture and education

The Lower Sorbian Gymnasium Nsg-cottbus.jpg
The Lower Sorbian Gymnasium
The Brandenburg University of Technology Library IKMZ.jpg
The Brandenburg University of Technology Library

Cottbus is the cultural centre of the Lower Sorbian minority. Many signs in the town are bilingual, and there is a Lower Sorbian-medium Gymnasium and a Sorbian Quarter, but Sorbian is rarely spoken on the streets.

Next to Cottbus is the famous Branitz Park, created by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau after 1845. Schloss Branitz (Branitz Castle) was rebuilt by Gottfried Semper in a late Baroque style between 1846 and 1852, and the gardens Prince Hermann laid feature two pyramids. One of these, the Seepyramide, is in the middle of an artificial lake and serves as his mausoleum. [6]

Cottbus is also home to the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) and the maths/science-oriented Max-Steenbeck-Gymnasium, named after the physicist Max Steenbeck.

Every year Cottbus hosts the East Europe International Film Festival.

Cottbus has a soccer team, Energie Cottbus, that plays in the Regionalliga Nordost. Their home matches are played at the city's Stadion der Freundschaft.



Cottbus is served by Cottbus Hauptbahnhof main railway station.

Power generation

There are several lignite-fired power stations in the area around Cottbus (Lausitz) fed through local open pit mining. The biggest stations are "Schwarze Pumpe" (1600 MW), "Boxberg" (1900 MW) and "Jänschwalde" (3000 MW). Some of the open-pit mines have already been shut down with the former de:Tagebau Cottbus Nord being converted into an artificial lake with 19 km² surface area called Cottbuser Ostsee (Cottbus eastern lake).

Twin towns – sister cities

Cottbus is twinned with: [7]

Notable people

Carl Blechen - Self-Portrait Carl Blechen - Self-Portrait - WGA02239.jpg
Carl Blechen - Self-Portrait

See also

Related Research Articles

Brandenburg State in Germany

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Sorbian languages

The Sorbian languages are two closely related, but only partially mutually intelligible, West Slavic languages spoken by the Sorbs, a West Slavic minority in the Lusatia region of eastern Germany. They are classified under the West Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages and are therefore closely related to the other two West Slavic subgroups: Lechitic and Czech–Slovak. Historically, the languages have also been known as Wendish or Lusatian. Their collective ISO 639-2 code is wen.

Sorbs Ethnic group in Lusatia, Europe

Sorbs are a West Slavic ethnic group predominantly inhabiting Lusatia, a region divided between Germany and Poland. Sorbs traditionally speak the Sorbian languages, which are closely related to Polish, Kashubian, Czech, Silesian, and Slovak. Sorbian is an officially recognized minority language in Germany. Sorbs are genetically closest to the Poles and Czechs. They also share their origins with Serbs.

Lusatia Historical region

Lusatia is a historical region in Central Europe, split between Germany and Poland. Lusatia stretches from the Bóbr and Kwisa rivers in the east to the Pulsnitz and Black Elster rivers in the west, and is located within the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg as well as in the Polish voivodeships of Lower Silesia and Lubusz. Lusatia's central rivers are the Spree and the Lusatian Neisse, which constitutes the border between Germany and Poland since 1945. The Lusatian Mountains, separate Lusatia from Bohemia in the south. Lusatia is traditionally divided into Upper Lusatia and Lower Lusatia.

Dahme-Spreewald is a district in Brandenburg, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Oder-Spree, Spree-Neiße, Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Elbe-Elster and Teltow-Fläming, and by the city of Berlin.

Oberspreewald-Lausitz is a Kreis (district) in the southern part of Brandenburg, Germany. Neighboring districts are Dahme-Spreewald, Spree-Neiße, the districts Bautzen and Meissen in Saxony, and the district Elbe-Elster.

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Bad Muskau Place in Saxony, Germany

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Lower Lusatia Geographic region in Europe

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Forst (Lausitz) Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Forst (Lausitz) is a town in Brandenburg, Germany. It lies east of Cottbus, on the river Lausitzer Neiße which is also the German-Polish border, the Oder-Neisse line. It is the capital of the Spree-Neiße district. It is known for its rose garden and textile museum. The town's population is 18,651. In Forst, there is a railway bridge across the Neiße belonging to the line Cottbus–Żary which is serviced by regional trains and a EuroCity train between Hamburg and Kraków (2011). There is also a road bridge across the river north of Forst.

Lübben (Spreewald) Place in Brandenburg, Germany

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Luckau Place in Brandenburg, Germany

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The Lusatian Alliance, formerly the Wendish People's Party is a political party founded on 26 March 2005 in Cottbus to represent the Sorb/Wendish ethnic and linguistic minority in the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg in the region of Lusatia. At its third party congress of 26 April 2010 in Cottbus, the party changed its name to the Lusatian Alliance. The party is a full member of the European Free Alliance.

Finsterwalde Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Finsterwalde is a town in the Elbe-Elster district, in Brandenburg, Germany.

Senftenberg Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Senftenberg is a town in southern Brandenburg, Germany, capital of the Oberspreewald-Lausitz district.

Kolkwitz Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Kolkwitz is a municipality in the district of Spree-Neiße, in southeastern Brandenburg.

Friedland, Brandenburg Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Friedland is a town in the Oder-Spree district, in Brandenburg, Germany. It is situated in the historic Lower Lusatia region, about 8 km (5.0 mi) south of Beeskow, and 39 km (24 mi) north of Cottbus.

Schwarzheide Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Schwarzheide is a town in the Oberspreewald-Lausitz district, in southern Brandenburg, Germany. It is situated on the river Schwarze Elster, 11 km southwest of Senftenberg, 110 km south of Berlin and 40 km north of Dresden. The little river Pössnitz runs through the eastern part of Schwarzheide.


  1. Ergebnis der Oberbürgermeisterwahl in Cottbus, accessed 30 June 2021.
  2. "Bevölkerung im Land Brandenburg nach amtsfreien Gemeinden, Ämtern und Gemeinden 31. Dezember 2020". Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (in German). June 2021.
  3. Belzyt, Leszek (1998). Sprachliche Minderheiten im preussischen Staat: 1815 - 1914 ; die preußische Sprachenstatistik in Bearbeitung und Kommentar. Marburg: Herder-Inst. ISBN   978-3-87969-267-5.
  4. Stone, Dan (2017). Concentration Camps: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 31. ISBN   978-0-19-103502-9.
  5. Detailed data sources are to be found in the Wikimedia Commons.Population Projection Brandenburg at Wikimedia Commons
  6. Udo Lauer, Fürst Pücklers Traumpark, Ullstein Verlag, 1996, Berlin
  7. "Städtepartnerschaften". (in German). Cottbus. Retrieved 11 February 2021.