[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Travel Insider Tips for Gera

Gera Overview

Gera lies at a height of between 180 meters (the level of the White Elster river) and 354 m (1,161.42 ft) (when measured at Gera-Falka at the furthest southeastern point). Usually the height above sea level for the city appears as 205 m (672.57 ft) when measured at the market place.

The largest city forest of all the towns of Thuringia, called the City Forest of Gera (Geraer Stadtwald), stands on the western edge of the city. Another forested tract borders on the northwest city boundary. The Zeitzer Forest in Saxony-Anhalt stands just northeast of the city.

Things to See in Gera

Town Hall (1576, Renaissance)

Market Square with Simson-fountain

Osterstein Castle, Gera (largely destroyed 1945)

City Pharmacy

Theater (1902)

Villa Schulenburg, designed by Henry van de Velde

St. Johannis church (Neo-Gothic)

St. Salvator church (Baroque with Art Nouveau interior decoration)

St. Marien church (Late Gothic)

St. Trinitatis church (Late Gothic)

Old beer cellars called "Geraer Höhler"

Zoo Gera (since 1973)

City Museum

Otto Dix House

Art Galley "Orangerie"

Museum of Natural History ("Schreiber House", the oldest building in the city), with its adjacent botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten Gera

Museum for Applied Arts ("Ferber House"), displays collections of Bauhaus ceramics by the artists Otto Lindig und Theodor Bogler; architectural works of Thilo Schoder; and photographs by Aenne Biermann.

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Gera

The place name Gera originally referred to the area of the Elster river valley where the city now stands. The name likely originated before the European migration period. The Slavic people who first settled the area during the 8th century adopted the name. The first known documentary mention of Gera dates from 995. In 999, Emperor Otto III assigned the "province" of Gera to the Quedlinburg (Quedlinburg vacation rentals | Quedlinburg travel guide) Abbey. In turn, the church assigned the protectorship of this area in 1209 to the Vogts of Weida (in German: Vögte von Weida) who served as its administrators. After some time, the settlement of Gera acquired the rights of a city in the 13th century. At first, the city grew only slowly. In 1450, it was almost totally destroyed during the Saxon Fratricidal War. Through inheritance over the next centuries, Gera eventually became part of the Reuss principalities.

At 1806, Napoleon placed his Imperial Headquarters at Gera during the War of the Fourth Coalition. It was from here, on October 12, 1806, that the French Emperor sent an arrogant and threatening letter to King Frederick William III of Prussia that led directily to war and the crushing defeat of Prussia at the Battle of Jena (Jena vacation rentals | Jena travel guide) a few days later.

From 1848 to 1918 Gera served as the capital of the Reuss Junior Line principality. With the industrial revolution in the middle of the 19th century, Gera enjoyed rapid growth through its textile industry. Its wealth at that time is still demonstrated by the many city villas built in that era. The Schulenburg mansion designed by the Belgian artist Henry van de Velde is an example. The city became a railway center where many rail lines met — highlighting its importance.

The city became a part of the newly created District of Gera (Bezirk Gera) in 1952 within the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). After the German reunification in 1990, Gera became part of the restored state of Thuringia — one of three metropolitan centers (Oberzentren) along with Jena and Erfurt (Erfurt vacation rentals | Erfurt travel guide). Since 1998, the Vocational Academy of Gera has found its home here, as well as a private school for allied health sciences. The city hosted the biennial federal horticultural show (Bundesgartenschau) in 2007.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Gera, the third-largest city in the German state of Thuringia (after Erfurt, the Thuringian capital, and Jena), lies in east Thuringia on the river Weiße Elster (literally the "White Magpie"), approximately 60 kilometres to the south of the city of Leipzig and 80 kilometers to the east of Erfurt. As of 2007 Gera had a population of approximately 102,000.

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