Riesa is a town in the district of Meißen in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is located on the Elbe River, approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Dresden.

Coat of arms of Riesa
Coat of arms
Location of Riesa within Meißen district
Riesa in MEI.svg
Riesa is located in Germany
Riesa is located in Saxony
Coordinates: 51°18′29″N 13°17′38″E / 51.30806°N 13.29389°E / 51.30806; 13.29389Coordinates: 51°18′29″N 13°17′38″E / 51.30806°N 13.29389°E / 51.30806; 13.29389
 • MayorMarco Müller (CDU)
 • Total58.91 km2 (22.75 sq mi)
109 m (358 ft)
 • Total29,754
 • Density510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
01587, 01589, 01591, 01594
Dialling codes03525
Vehicle registrationMEI, GRH, RG, RIE


The name Riesa is derived from Slavic Riezowe. This name, romanised as "Rezoa", appears first in October 1119 in a document from Pope Callixtus II.

The world's first 110 kV power line was installed between Riesa and Lauchhammer in 1912. Between 1952 and 1994, Riesa was the seat of a district.

During the 1980s, Riesa was the headquarters of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany's 9th Tank Division.

Population historyEdit

The city grew from the start of the 20th century due to industrialisation. The population declined after German Reunification in 1989. The local steel works shut and the population fell from 52,000 to 31,000.

Historical Population of Riesa
Year 1575 1834 1849 1875 1880 1900 1933 1939 1946 1950 1960 1981
Population 350 1,631 2,679 5,707 6,259 13,491 26,248 29,963 34,406 36,150 36,769 51,857
Year 1995 2000 2005 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018[2]
Population 42,429 39,367 36,221 33,351 32,879 32,368 32,032 31,654 31,541 31,519 31,080 30,953

Sons and daughters of the cityEdit

Dieter Noll

Personalities connected with the cityEdit


Trinitatis church
"rusty oak"

Riesa has a 25 m tall, 234 tonne, cast-iron (GGG 40) sculpture of an oak trunk, named Elbquelle, which means source of the Elbe, by Jörg Immendorff, erected in 1999. Local folk call the sculpture by many other names, most notably "Rostige Eiche", which means "rusty oak".

In the city of Riesa there are two famous churches. The minster St. Marien was built in 1261 as an addition to the Benedictine Abbey. The Trinitatis Church was completed in 1897.

Riesa is known locally for the SACHSENarena, a large hall which hosted the European Sumo Wrestling Championship in October 2003 and the World Sumo Wrestling Championship in October 2004.


Riesa is well known locally for its pasta, which is produced at Teigwaren Riesa GmbH. Another symbol of Riesa are the Riesaer Zündhölzer, the matches which were traditionally manufactured there.

Very famous is also the steel production in Riesa.

Notable people from Riesa include the former footballer Ulf Kirsten. Riesa has a football club, BSG Stahl Riesa. The club's crest is blue and white, as are the club colours. They play now in the Landesliga Sachsen (6th. League).

Twin towns - sister citiesEdit

Riesa is twinned with:[3]


railway station

Riesa railway station is located north of the town's centre, it offers both regional and long-distance services.

Riesa is located on Bundesstraße 169, which ensures access to federal motorways A 14 (close to Döbeln, approx. 25 km) and A 13 (close to Ruhland, approx. 50 km).


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung des Freistaates Sachsen nach Gemeinden am 31. Dezember 2019". Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen (in German). July 2020.
  2. ^ Stadt Riesa (April 2018). "Statistik 1. Quartal 2018" (PDF) (in German). Retrieved 06.07.2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "Partnerstädte". riesa.de (in German). Riesa. Retrieved 2019-12-16.

External linksEdit