Vetschau/Spreewald (Lower Sorbian: Wětošow) is a town in the Oberspreewald-Lausitz district, in southern Brandenburg, Germany. It is situated in the Spreewald, 18 km west of Cottbus.

Vetschau Ratskeller.jpg
Coat of arms of Vetschau
Location of Vetschau within Oberspreewald-Lausitz district
SaxonyCottbusDahme-SpreewaldElbe-ElsterSpree-NeißeTeltow-FlämingAltdöbernBronkowCalauFrauendorfGroßkmehlenGroßräschenGrünewaldGutebornHermsdorfHohenbockaKroppenLauchhammerLindenauLübbenauLuckaitztalNeupetershainNeu-SeelandOrtrandRuhlandSchipkauSchwarzbachSchwarzheideSenftenbergTettauVetschauVetschau-Spreewald in OSL.svg
About this image
Vetschau is located in Germany
Vetschau is located in Brandenburg
Coordinates: 51°46′59″N 14°04′00″E / 51.78306°N 14.06667°E / 51.78306; 14.06667Coordinates: 51°46′59″N 14°04′00″E / 51.78306°N 14.06667°E / 51.78306; 14.06667
Subdivisions10 Ortsteile
 • Mayor (2017–25) Bengt Kanzler[1] (CDU)
 • Total110.22 km2 (42.56 sq mi)
60 m (200 ft)
 • Total7,862
 • Density71/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes035433
Vehicle registrationOSL


Vetschau was first mentioned in 1302 as Veczicz. In the course of time, the name of the town changed from Vetczaw in 1434 via Fetzow in 1450 to Fetczaw in 1480. In 1527 the town was first called Fetzscho, the formal town charter was granted to Vetschau in 1543. The coat of arms for Rath and Gmaind of Marckhts Vetzschew was issued to the town on March 17, 1548 by King Ferdinand I in Augsburg. The document was long lost and was rediscovered only in July 2005 in an attic in Vetschau.

Until the late 19th century, most of the villages in the vicinity of Vetschau were predominantly Sorbian-speaking. The change of language to German took place here - accelerated by the abolition of Sorbian religious services and the enforcement of German in schools - essentially until the middle of the 20th century.

In the years 1929 to 1932, the Spreewald Folk and Traditional Costume Festivals took place here at the beginning of August. They were organized by the then mayor Otto Rohde and the Lower Sorbian scientific society Maśica Serbska in Cottbus.

From 1964 to 1996 Vetschau was the site of one of the largest lignite-fired power plants in the region, the Vetschau power plant. The power plant's chimneys were the city's landmarks, but also caused considerable sulfur dioxide pollution.

Vetschau belonged to the district of Calau from 1817 to 1952 (until 1947 in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, 1947-1952 in the state of Brandenburg). 1952-1993 the town was part of the district of Calau (until 1990 in the GDR district of Cottbus, 1990-1993 again in the state of Brandenburg). Since the district reform in 1993, Vetschau has been located in the district of Oberspreewald-Lausitz.

With effect from April 1, 1997, the name of the city was changed to Vetschau/Spreewald.


Vetschau/Spreewald: Population development
within the current boundaries (2020)[3]
YearPop.±% p.a.
1875 7,243—    
1890 8,324+0.93%
1910 8,254−0.04%
1925 8,101−0.12%
1939 7,929−0.15%
1950 10,604+2.68%
1964 11,938+0.85%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1971 13,286+1.54%
1981 13,059−0.17%
1985 12,728−0.64%
1990 12,044−1.10%
1995 11,170−1.50%
2000 10,744−0.77%
2005 9,616−2.19%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2010 8,770−1.82%
2015 8,307−1.08%
2016 8,297−0.12%
2017 8,182−1.39%
2018 8,103−0.97%
2019 7,941−2.00%
2020 7,862−0.99%


City CouncilEdit

The Vetschau City Council consists of 18 members and the full-time mayor. The local elections on 26 May 2019 resulted in the following distribution of seats:


  • 1994–2010: Axel Müller (SPD)
  • since 2010: Bengt Kanzler

Kanzler was elected the new mayor of Vetschau on November 29, 2009 with 53.8% of the valid votes. He was confirmed in office for a further eight years in the mayoral election on October 8, 2017 with 51.7% of the valid votes.[4]


Vetschau castle

Sons and daughters of the townEdit

  • Richard Hellmann, (1876-1971), founder of Hellmann's Mayonnaise in the US, was born in Vetschau.
  • Hans Stiebner (1898-1958), actor and theater director


  1. ^ Landkreis Oberspreewald-Lausitz Wahl der Bürgermeisterin / des Bürgermeisters, accessed 2 July 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. ^ Detailed data sources are to be found in the Wikimedia Commons.Population Projection Brandenburg at Wikimedia Commons
  4. ^ "Groß Pankow (Prignitz) | Landkreis Prignitz | Ergebnisse der Bürgermeisterwahlen | Wahlen". Retrieved 2020-10-17.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Vetschau/Spreewald at Wikimedia Commons