Gotha (district)

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Gotha (German: Landkreis Gotha) is a Kreis (district) in western central Thuringia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis, Sömmerda, the Kreis-free city Erfurt, Ilm-Kreis, Schmalkalden-Meiningen and the Wartburgkreis.

Flag of Gotha
Coat of arms of Gotha
 • District admin.Onno Eckert (SPD)
 • Total935.89 km2 (361.35 sq mi)
 (31 December 2021)[1]
 • Total133,825
 • Density140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Vehicle registrationGTH


Gotha borders the Thuringian Basin in the north and east, with a low point of about 200 meters (656 feet) in the northern part of the district. Fahner Heights, a muschelkalk ridge with a height of 413 meters (1,355 feet), is located in the extreme north, between the municipalities of Tonna and Bienstädt.

The land rises to about 900 meters (2,953 feet) in the Thuringian Forest, which covers the south-western area of the district. The Rennsteig hiking trail follows a ridge line through the forest. The highest point in the district is Großer Inselsberg at 916.5 m (3,007 ft), on the border with Schmalkalden-Meiningen. The southern area of the district also has 3 dams: the Ohra Dam near the village of Luisenthal, as well as the Tambach-Dietharz Dam and the Schmalwasser Dam, both in the catchment area of the Apfelstädt, near the town of Tambach-Dietharz.

On the southeastern boundary of the district, between Ohrdruf and Mühlberg, is the muschelkalk Ohrdrufer Plateau which sits at an average of about 450 meters (1,436 ft). Since 1906, 49.5 km2 of this plateau has been used as military proving ground.

Aside from the areas covered by the Thuringian forest and other small wooded ridges, the district is largely used for agriculture.



In 1640, Gotha was partitioned from the Saxon Duchy of Saxe-Weimar to form the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha in the Holy Roman Empire. After acquiring additional territory from nearby dutchies, Saxe-Gotha was itself partitioned into seven dutchies in 1680, with the Gotha territory continuing in Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. The duchy's ruling family line went extinct in 1825 with the death of Frederick IV, and the territory was divided again, this time into Saxe-Hildburghausen and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. With the abolishment of the Monarchy of Germany following the November Revolution, the territory of Coburg was merged into Bavaria, and Gotha became part of Thuringia.

The Weimar district of Gotha was formed on October 1, 1922, from the largest parts of the cities and surrounding district offices of Gotha, Ohrdruf, and Waltershausen. The city of Gotha was made the district capital. This merged district extended south to Oberhof.

During the Nazi regime, municipal self-government ended abruptly in 1933. After the Second World War, both the US and later Soviet military government reinstated the administrative structures from the Weimar period, with some municipal additions and removals happening in 1946. In 1949, Gotha was integrated into East Germany, undergoing further territorial changes in 1950 and during the administrative reform of 1952.

In May 1990, the first free municipal elections since 1946 took place in Thuringia, with Thuringia being re-established as a free state later in October of that year. Local government was officially granted power by Thuringia in 1993, in the form of district councils and district administrators. The most recent territorial change for the district was in 1994, where it gained several towns from surrounding former East German districts.

In 2009, the Nesse-Apfelstädt-Gemeinden Verwaltungsgemeinschaft ("collective municipality") was disbanded.


  • 1925 - 104,178
  • 1933 - 106,262
  • 1939 - 111,101
  • 1994 - 148 437
  • 1995 - 148,373
  • 1996 - 148,868
  • 1997 - 149,532
  • 1998 - 149,625
  • 1999 - 149,491
  • 2000 - 148,527
  • 2001 - 147,418
  • 2002 - 146,632
  • 2003 - 145,383
  • 2004 - 144,833
  • 2005 - 143,745
  • 2006 - 142,491
  • 2007 - 141,405
  • 2008 - 140,041
  • 2009 - 138,857
  • 2010 - 138,056
  • 2011 - 137,340
  • 2012 - 135,376
  • 2013 - 135,155
  • 2014 - 135,381
  • 2015 - 136,831
  • 2016 - 135,430
Data Source: Thuringian State Office for Statistics[2]

Directors, Chairmen, and Administrators of the DistrictEdit

Years in Office Name Title
1922 Max Friedrich Jungherr Acting District Director
1922–1924 Edmund Christian Georg Koch District Director
1924-1926 Louis Leutheusser District Director
1926-1932 Louis Leutheusser District Administrator
1932-1933 Alexander Borkhardt District Administrator 1939–1945 Ernst Guyet District Administrator
1945 Hans Echarti District Administrator
1945–1949 Arthur Luck District Administrator
1949–1950 Kurt Hecht District Administrator
1950–1951 Elisabeth März-Wesenick District Administrator
1951–1952 Hugo Gräf District Administrator
1952–1953 Hugo Gräf Chairman of the Council of the District
1953–1958 Fritz Singer Chairman of the Council of the District
1958–1960 Herwig Roos Chairman of the Council of the District
1960–1966 Karl Hupe Chairman of the Council of the District
1966 Herbert Korb President-in-Office of the Council of the District
1966-1981 Rudolf Kornagel Chairman of the Council of the District
1981-1990 Wolfgang Schädel Chairman of the Council of the District
1990 Günther Hertel Chairman of the Council of the District
1990-2000 Dieter Reinholz District Administrator
2000-2005 Siegfried Liebezeit District Administrator
2005-2006 Konrad Gießmann Acting District Administrator
2006-2018 Konrad Gießmann District Administrator
2018- Onno Eckert District Administrator


Since 1990 the district has a partnership with the district Main-Kinzig in Hessen, Germany.

Coat of armsEdit

The coat of arms shows Friedenstein Castle in the top, the largest Baroque building located in the city of Gotha. The wavy line below symbolizes the Leina canal, which was built 1366 to 1369 from Schönau to Gotha, to bring water into the city. The star at the bottom was the symbol of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

The coat of arms was granted 28 June 1991.

Towns and municipalitiesEdit

BienstädtDachwigDöllstädtDrei GleichenEmlebenWaltershausenEschenbergenFriedrichrodaFriemarGeorgenthalGierstädtGothaGroßfahnerHerrenhofHörselLuisenthalMolschlebenNesse-ApfelstädtNessetalNottlebenOhrdrufPferdingslebenSchwabhausenSonnebornBad TabarzTambach-DietharzTonnaTröchtelbornTüttlebenWaltershausenZimmernsupraThuringiaErfurtIlm-KreisSchmalkalden-MeiningenWartburgkreisEisenachUnstrut-Hainich-KreisSömmerda (district) 
Clickable map of towns and municipalities in the district
Verwaltungsgemeinschaft-free towns and municipalities
  1. Friedrichroda
  2. Gotha
  3. Ohrdruf
  4. Tambach-Dietharz
  5. Waltershausen
  1. Bad Tabarz
  2. Drei Gleichen
  3. Emleben
  4. Georgenthal
  5. Herrenhof
  6. Hörsel
  1. Luisenthal
  2. Nesse-Apfelstädt
  3. Nessetal
  4. Schwabhausen
  5. Sonneborn

1. Fahner Höhe

  1. Dachwig
  2. Döllstädt
  3. Gierstädt
  4. Großfahner
  5. Tonna1

2. Nesseaue

  1. Bienstädt
  2. Eschenbergen
  3. Friemar1
  4. Molschleben
  5. Nottleben
  6. Pferdingsleben
  7. Tröchtelborn
  8. Tüttleben
  9. Zimmernsupra
1seat of the Verwaltungsgemeinschaft;2town

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden, erfüllenden Gemeinden und Verwaltungsgemeinschaften in Thüringen Gebietsstand: 31.12.2021" (in German). Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik. June 2022.
  2. ^ "Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik". 12 January 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 50°55′N 10°45′E / 50.92°N 10.75°E / 50.92; 10.75