Apolda (German: [aˈpɔlda] (About this soundlisten)) is a town in central Thuringia, Germany, the capital of the Weimarer Land district. It is situated in the center of the triangle WeimarJenaNaumburg near the river Ilm, c. 15 kilometres (9 miles) east by north from Weimar. Apolda station lies on the Halle–Bebra railway, which is part of the main line from Berlin to Frankfurt.

Apolda Rathaus 2003.jpg
Coat of arms of Apolda
Coat of arms
Location of Apolda within Weimarer Land district
Apolda in AP.png
Apolda is located in Germany
Apolda is located in Thuringia
Coordinates: 51°1′N 11°31′E / 51.017°N 11.517°E / 51.017; 11.517Coordinates: 51°1′N 11°31′E / 51.017°N 11.517°E / 51.017; 11.517
DistrictWeimarer Land
 • MayorRüdiger Eisenbrand
 • Total46.15 km2 (17.82 sq mi)
205 m (673 ft)
 • Total22,184
 • Density480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03644, 036462, 036465
Vehicle registrationAP, APD


Apolda was first mentioned in 1119. Until 1633 it was seat of a family of nobles, the Vitzthums, which acted relatively independent. Between 1633 and World War I Apolda was property of Jena University. Nevertheless, from 1691 to 1809 Apolda was part of the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar and from 1809 to 1918 of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (after 1815 Grand Duchy). Around 1700, the knitting industry began to grow, so that finally, at the end of the 19th century, Apolda was the wealthiest town of the whole region. After World War II, Thuringia became part of the German Democratic Republic. Up to German reunification Apolda still was famous for its textile industries. Since then, a notable economic decay has taken place.


Ernst Stegmann was the long-time mayor of Apolda with 33 years in office (1901-1934).

Period of office Name
1869–1871 Dr. jur. Hugo Mentz
1871–1877 Gustav Francke
1878–1888 Julius Schrön
1888–1890 Friedrich August Eupel
1890–1896 Oskar Stechow
1896–1900 Georg von Fewson
1901–1934 Ernst Stegmann
1934–1945 Julius Dietz
Period of office Name
from 23.4.1945 Friedrich Maul
from 3.6.1945 Walther Lührs
from 8.10.1945 Johannes Berger
1947–1948 Kurt Meyn
1948–1950 Kurt Sparschuh
1950–1953 Wilhelm Tischer
1953–1955 Anton Lifka
1955–1959 Kurt Koch
Period of office Name
1959–1963 Rudi Doye
1963–1983 Hans Reichert
1983–1985 Elke Brauer
1985–1989 Gerhard Brauer
1989–1990 Jürgen Goller
1990–2006 Michael Müller
since 1.6.2006 Rüdiger Eisenbrand

Main sightsEdit

It possesses several churches and monuments to the Dobermann Pinscher dog breed, which was created in Apolda, and to Christian Zimmermann (1759–1842), who, by introducing the hosiery and cloth manufacture, made Apolda one of the most important places in Germany in these branches of industry. By 1900 it also had had extensive dyeworks, bell foundries, and manufactures of steam engines, boilers,[2] cars and bicycles. After German reunification the majority of these had to be closed down for economical reasons.

The most important sights are:

  • St. Martin's Church (1119), details in Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque style
  • Town Hall (1558/9), in Renaissance style
  • Castle (16th/17th century)
  • Railway viaduct (1845/46)
  • Zimmermann factory building (1880-2)
  • Lutherkirche (1894)
  • St. Boniface's Church (1894)
  • Glocken museum (Bell museum)

The largest free hanging bell in the world, the Decke Pitter of Cologne Cathedral, was made in Apolda. Apolda also has mineral springs.

International relationsEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Apolda is twinned with:


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden, erfüllenden Gemeinden und Verwaltungsgemeinschaften in Thüringen Gebietsstand: 31.12.2019". Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik (in German). August 2020.
  2. ^   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Apolda". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 183.