Wurzen (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊʁtsn̩] (listen)) is a town in the Leipzig district, in Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the river Mulde, here crossed by two bridges, 25 km east of Leipzig, by rail N.E. of Leipzig on the main line via Riesa to Dresden. It has a cathedral dating from the twelfth century, a castle, at one time a residence of the bishops of Meissen and later utilized as law courts, several schools, an agricultural college[3] and as a police station including a prison.

Coat of arms of Wurzen
Location of Wurzen within Leipzig district
Saxony-AnhaltThuringiaMittelsachsenNordsachsenLeipzigBennewitzBöhlenBornaBorsdorfBrandisColditzFrohburgGrimmaGroitzschGroßpösnaKitzscherLossatalMachernMarkkleebergMarkranstädtNeukieritzschNeukieritzschThallwitzTrebsenBad LausickOtterwischGeithainBelgershainNaunhofParthensteinElstertrebnitzPegauPegauRegis-BreitingenWurzenZwenkauRöthaWurzen in L.svg
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Wurzen is located in Germany
Wurzen is located in Saxony
Coordinates: 51°22′N 12°43′E / 51.367°N 12.717°E / 51.367; 12.717Coordinates: 51°22′N 12°43′E / 51.367°N 12.717°E / 51.367; 12.717
 • Mayor (2022–29) Marcel Buchta[1] (Ind.)
 • Total68.54 km2 (26.46 sq mi)
124 m (407 ft)
 • Total16,238
 • Density240/km2 (610/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03425, 034261
Vehicle registrationL, BNA, GHA, GRM, MTL, WUR


Founded after 600 by Slavs, Wurzen is first mentioned in the act of donation from Otto I in 961 as a "Burgward" civitas vurcine. Situated in the "anderen Gau Neletici", it was a town early in the twelfth century when Herwig, bishop of Meissen, founded a Collegiate church here. In 1581 it passed to the elector of Saxony. During the Thirty Years' War (1637) it was sacked by the Swedish army[3] and burned almost completely down.

In 1768 Goethe travelled from Leipzig to Dresden and back through Wurzen. The long wait for the ferry later inspired a passage in his first edition of Faust.

On 31 July 1838 Wurzen was connected through Wurzen railway station to the first German long-distance railway (Leipzig–Dresden, opened 7 April 1839). Therefore, the first German railway bridge was constructed to cross the Mulde.

From 1935 to 1945 the city housed a military district command and several anti-aircraft units during the Second World War. From October 1943 to April 1945 Wurzen experienced several US air raids, with over 40 fatalities. The most severe occurred on October 7, 1944, when 13 "Flying Fortresses" B-17 dropped around 85 high-explosive bombs on Wurzen, which were actually intended for the Brüx hydrogenation works in northern Bohemia.

From July 1939 to May 1945, Armin Graebert (1898–1947) was mayor of the city; On April 24, 1945, together with members of the SPD, KPD and the pastors of the Protestant and Catholic churches, he achieved the surrender of the city to Major Victor G. Conley of the 273rd US Infantry Regiment and thus saved it from destruction.

Like in comparable cities of the former GDR, the city saw right-wing influence and right-wing motivated violence in the 1990s. However, there has been an active network of antifascist groups, civil society groups for democracy and church-related groups working against this - also with the support of the city administration.

Via regia and Central German St. James WayEdit

Wurzen is located on the central German route of the St. James pilgrims way to Santiago de Compostela, the so-called Camino de Santiago. It follows the old Via Regia street which was designated a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in 2005.

International relationsEdit

Wurzen is twinned with:


A main commercial focus is the production of pastries and candies. Furthermore, there are several high-performance medium-sized businesses in mechanical engineering and some specialty companies in town (conveying machinery, lighting design, production of felt).


Wurzen is connected to the Leipzig metropolitan area via national highway B6, the closest expressway (Autobahn) connector being situated about 15 km south of Wurzen. Wurzen railway station is linked to the central German commuter train network (S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland) and to the regional express train line between Leipzig and Dresden. There are two airports which can be reached within one hour's driving time, Halle-Leipzig airport and Dresden airport.

Main sightsEdit

Notable residentsEdit

Magnus Gottfreid Lichtwer
Otto Georg Thierack

Persons with relation to WurzenEdit

Wilhelm Hasenclever


  1. ^ Gewählte Bürgermeisterinnen und Bürgermeister im Freistaat Sachsen, Stand: 17. Juli 2022, Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung des Freistaates Sachsen nach Gemeinden am 31. Dezember 2021" (XLS) (in German). Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen. 2022.
  3. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Wurzen". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 860–861.

External linksEdit