View over Coburg
View over Coburg
Flag of Coburg
Coat of arms of Coburg
Location of Coburg
Coburg is located in Germany
Coburg is located in Bavaria
Coordinates: 50°16′N 10°58′E / 50.267°N 10.967°E / 50.267; 10.967
Admin. regionOberfranken
DistrictUrban district
 • Lord mayor (2020–26) Dominik Sauerteig[1] (SPD)
 • Total48.30 km2 (18.65 sq mi)
292 m (958 ft)
 • Total41,842
 • Density870/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes09561
Vehicle registrationCO

Coburg (German pronunciation: [ˈkoːˌbʊʁk] ) is a town located on the Itz river in the Upper Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. Long part of one of the Thuringian states of the Wettin line, it joined Bavaria by popular vote only in 1920. Until the revolution of 1918, it was one of the capitals of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Through successful dynastic policies, the ruling princely family married into several of the royal families of Europe, most notably in the person of Prince Albert, who married Queen Victoria in 1840. As a result of these close links with the royal houses of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Coburg was frequently visited by the crowned heads of Europe and their families.

Coburg is the location of Veste Coburg, one of Germany's largest castles.

Today, Coburg's population is close to 41,500. Since it was little damaged in World War II, Coburg retains many historic buildings, making it a popular tourist destination.


A map of Coburg


Coburg lies about 90 kilometres (56 miles) south of Erfurt and about 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of Nuremberg on the river Itz. It is an urban district and is surrounded by the Landkreis Coburg. Coburg lies at the foot of the Thuringian Highland. Coburg, Bavaria was part of West Germany until reunification in 1990, but on three sides it borders Thuringia which was East Germany. The border between Bavaria and Thuringia was also the inner German border.


Coburg is divided into 15 Stadtteile:


11th century to 16th century

The Veste Coburg fortress
Ehrenburg Palace, rebuilt after a catastrophic fire in 1690, received its Gothic revival exterior in the 19th century

Coburg was first mentioned in a monastic document dated 1056, which marked the transfer of ownership to the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne,[3]: 16  although there was a settlement at the site that predates it called Trufalistat. The origin of the name Coburg is unclear; the first element may be kuh, which would give a literal meaning of "cow borough".[4]

"Coburg" initially referred to a property centred on the hill where Veste Coburg was later built. Its oldest remains date to the 12th or 13th century. In 1248, the castle came into possession of the House of Henneberg and in 1353 it passed to the House of Wettin[3]: 16  with the marriage of Frederick III with Catherine of Henneberg and was initially regarded by them as a Saxon outpost within Franconia.

During the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 reformer Martin Luther spent six months at the castle (located at the southernmost point of the Saxon duchy) while his liege lord, John, Elector of Saxony, attended the Diet. Luther was forbidden to attend by the Elector, who feared that he would be imprisoned and burned as a heretic. While quartered at the castle Luther continued with his translation of the Bible into German.

In 1547, the princely residence was moved from the Veste to a former monastery, rebuilt as a Renaissance palace, the Ehrenburg.[3]: 16 

17th century to early 20th century

In 1596, Coburg was raised to the status of capital of one of the dynasty's splintered Saxon-Thuringian territories, the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Coburg under the leadership of Duke John Casimir (ruled 1596–1633). From 1699 to 1826, it was one of the two capitals of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and from 1826 to 1918 it was a capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Ernest Frederick, the fourth Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, moved his capital from Saalfeld to Coburg in 1764. Coburg then became capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and later of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

In the early 19th century, the town's medieval fortifications were demolished and replaced by parks. The duke also started the collection of copperplate engravings that is today part of the Veste Coburg museum. Under his son, Ernest, the Schlossplatz [de] with what is today the Landestheater Coburg was created. He also rebuilt the Ehrenburg in Gothic revival style.[3]: 17 

In the mid-19th century, Duke Ernest II supported national and liberal ideas and Coburg hosted the first meeting of the German National Association, the founding of the Deutscher Sängerbund [de] and the first Deutsches Turnfest [de] (national sports festival).[3]: 17 

During the 19th century, dynastic marriages created ties with the royal families of Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal and Britain. This turned the ducal family from the rulers of a fairly obscure backwater duchy into one playing an influential role in European politics. The era of political influence peaked with Leopold Frederick; born Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, becoming the King of Belgium in 1831 and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, born in Schloss Rosenau, marrying his first cousin, Queen Victoria in 1840.

The marriage between Albert and Victoria established the present British royal house, which renamed itself Windsor during World War I. This marriage led to a union with Germany's ruling dynasty, the Hohenzollerns, when the couple's eldest child, Victoria, married the future Kaiser Friedrich III.

After her marriage, Queen Victoria said of Coburg:

If I were not who I am, this would have been my real home, but I shall always consider it my second one.[5]

Due to the royal connections among the royal houses of Europe, Coburg was the site of many royal Ducal weddings and visits. Britain's Queen Victoria made six visits to Coburg during her 63-year reign. In 1894 the wedding of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha brought together Queen Victoria, her son Edward (future Edward VII), her second son Alfred (Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), her daughter the German Dowager Empress Friedrich (Victoria), and many of her grandchildren, such as future Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia (Alix of Hesse), Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and the future King George V of the United Kingdom.

Old print image of Coburg, seen from the south
Veste Coburg at night, 2007

In November 1918, the last Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Charles Edward, abdicated. The Freistaat Coburg which now came into being had to decide whether to become part of Thuringia or Bavaria. In a November 1919 referendum, the locals voted to join Bavaria with an 88% majority. On 1 July 1920, Coburg joined Bavaria.[3]: 17 

Nazi era

In 1929, Coburg was the first German town in which the Nazi Party won the absolute majority of the popular vote during municipal elections.[6] In 1932, Coburg was the first German town to make Adolf Hitler an honorary citizen.[7]

Jewish community of Coburg

Coburg had Jewish citizens as early as the 14th century. In the 1870s they were granted permission to permanently lease the Church of St. Nicholas for conversion into a synagogue. In 1931 an unofficial boycott was imposed against Jewish businesses. In 1932 the municipal council abrogated the lease of St. Nicholas Church. In 1933 the synagogue was closed down. It still remains standing. On 25 March 1933, 40 Jews in Coburg were arrested and tortured. They were not released until the affair became internationally known.[8]

On 9 November 1938, Kristallnacht, all Jewish men were interned. Jewish homes, shops, and the school were destroyed. Coburg's Jewish community numbered 68 in 1869, 210 (1.3% of the total population) in 1880, 316 (1.3%) in 1925, and 233 (0.9%) in 1933. Around 150 managed to leave by 1942, either emigrating from Germany or moving to other German cities. The rest were deported to Riga, Izbica, and Theresienstadt in three transports between November 1941 and September 1942.[9] The memorial book of the German Federal Archives for the victims of the Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany lists in particular 63 Jewish inhabitants of Coburg, who were deported and mostly murdered.[10] Coburg's Jewish community was not reestablished after the war.

Post World War II

After World War II, which Coburg survived largely undamaged, the town faced the challenge of integrating over 15,000 refugees. While the other Saxon-Thuringian principalities were incorporated into the German Democratic Republic, Bavarian Coburg became part of West Germany. As a result, the town spent the Cold War years lying right next to the Iron Curtain, surrounded by East German territory on three sides and cut off from much of its natural back country.[3]: 17 

In 1946, Polish ambassador Oskar R. Lange alleged that Coburg was a base for the Western Allies to organize a Polish armed insurgency led by Władysław Anders against the Soviet-backed communists in Poland.[11]


Over two-thirds of Coburg's population live in the core town of Coburg rather than in one of the Stadtteile merged with it in the 20th century. Some of those retain a largely rural character.[citation needed]


Most residents of Coburg are members of the Evangelical Church (Lutheran). Other Christian communities are Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, the ICF Movement, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, Old Catholics and the New Apostolic Church, as well as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are also three communities of Muslims. Coburg had a large Jewish community until the 1940s. Jews had lived there since the 14th century. The old synagogue was a former church. Today it is used by Old Catholics. Coburg became Protestant after the Reformation. All Catholics were persecuted. A new Catholic community was founded in the 19th century.


Coburg has an oceanic climate (Cfb in the Köppen climate classification).

Climate data for Coburg (Lautertal, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1947–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.7
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 2.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −2.5
Record low °C (°F) −22.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 57.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 17.6 15.5 14.9 13.0 13.4 13.8 15.2 13.2 12.3 14.9 16.4 19.0 179.6
Average relative humidity (%) 85.1 81.4 75.6 68.7 69.5 70.4 70.7 69.7 77.1 83.1 87.0 87.2 77.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 47.3 71.1 121.5 180.4 205.7 211.4 220.8 208.9 150.5 102.4 44.6 37.4 1,594.3
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization[12]
Source 2: DWD (extremes)[13]


In 1919 Max Brose and Ernst Jüngling established the metal works Max Brose & Co. to manufacture car parts. The company is still in operation today, as Brose Fahrzeugteile.

In 1950, the Haftpflicht-Unterstützungs-Kasse kraftfahrender Beamter Deutschlands a. G. (today HUK-Coburg [de]) relocated from Erfurt to Coburg. HUK is today the largest employer and largest payer of Gewerbesteuer [de] (local corporate tax) in Coburg.[14][15]

Kapp Werkzeugmaschinen has been a manufacturer of gear-milling machines since 1953, after taking over the production assets of COMAG (Coburger Maschinenbau GmbH).

Waldrich-Coburg, founded in 1920, manufactures CNC-milling machines in a range of sizes, the largest of which can handle an object of size 50 x 14 x 10 metres.[16]

Founded in 1919, Kaeser Compressors produces air compressors in various sizes.

Coburg has an above-average share of goods-producing employees. In 2013, out of 32,962 employees 10,421 worked in the manufacturing or construction sectors (31% vs. a national average of 24%), 4,853 in trade, transport and tourism, 10,381 in professional services and 7,230 in public and private services.[17]: 9 

Hotels in Coburg counted over 61,000 overnight visitors in 2014 (of which around 53,000 were from Germany). They stayed for a total of almost 120,000 nights, or close to two nights per stay on average.[17]: 15 

In 2017, the GDP per inhabitant was €91,506 in Coburg, placing it 5th among the 96 urban and rural districts (Bavarian average: €46,698).[18]

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany

Coburg is twinned with:[19]

Coat of arms

Coburg coat of arms
Coberg coat of arms showing a profile of patron Saint Maurice
From 1493: Profile of Saint Maurice
Coberg coat of arms showing vertical sword with swastika pommel
Nazi era: Sword with swastika pommel

Coburg's coat of arms, honouring the town's German patron Saint Maurice, was granted in 1493. In 1934, the Nazi government forbade any glorification of the African race, and they replaced the coat of arms with one depicting a vertical sword with a Nazi swastika on the pommel.[20] The original coat of arms was restored in 1945 at the end of World War II. Today, the silhouette of the patron saint of the city of Coburg can be found mainly on manhole covers and the city coat of arms.[21]


Coburg has the typical features of a former capital of a German princely state. There are numerous houses from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The most important landmarks include:

Eastern choir of Morizkirche
Schlossplatz with Landestheater and Palais Edinburgh
Town hall
Stadthaus (town house)

Arts and culture

Coburg is home to two major festivals: Samba-Festival Coburg [de] and Johann Strauss Musiktage. Coburg is referred to as "Europe's Capital of Samba."[23]

As a result of the large presence of the US Army prior to German re-unification, Americans and American culture are still present in Coburg and the surrounding area. This influence ranges from American-style pubs and restaurants to two sports clubs sponsoring[24] baseball teams.


This article contains a list of miscellaneous information. Please relocate any relevant information into other sections or articles. (April 2023)

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council asserts that Frankfurt is traditionally credited with originating the frankfurter. This is disputed by those who claim the hot dog was created in the late 17th century by Johann Georghehner, a butcher, living in Coburg.[25]

A popular local delicacy is the Coburger bratwurst, a sausage (the official measure of which is denoted by the marshall's staff held by the statue of the town's patron, Sankt Mauritius, located on the town hall and overlooking the square) roasted over a pine cone fire.[3]: 58  The sausage is served in a semmel (a small bread bun, a third the size of the sausage itself), and is highly popular with locals and tourists alike. According to tradition, the Coburger bratwurst was first produced in 1530 on the occasion of a visit by Martin Luther.[26]

Coburg Peak on Trinity Peninsula in Graham Land, Antarctica, is named after the town, in connection with the Bulgarian royal house of Coburg (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha).[27]




Coburg can be reached by car via B 303 Schweinfurt-Coburg-Schirnding, B 4 Hamburg-Coburg-Nuremberg or motorway A 73 Suhl-Coburg-Nuremberg.


Main article: Railway stations in Coburg

Coburg has four train stations:

From the main station one can go to Lichtenfels, Bamberg, Forchheim, Erlangen, Fürth and Nuremberg, to Neustadt bei Coburg, Sonneberg, to Bad Rodach and to Kulmbach, Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg. Since December 2017, the Coburg station is served by Intercity Express high speed trains of the Munich-Nuremberg-Coburg-Erfurt-Berlin(-Hamburg) line (Nuremberg–Erfurt high-speed railway).


Small planes can land on the two airfields:

Large airports nearby are in Frankfurt, Erfurt and Nuremberg.

Local public transport system

The public transport system in Coburg is operated by SÜC (Stadt- und Überlandwerke Coburg) with 9 bus lines. The OVF (Omnibus Verkehr Franken) covers Coburg's surrounding countryside with an additional 11 bus lines.

Notable people

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, May 1860

Born in Coburg

Before 1900

After 1900

Yvonne Desportes 1930

Lived at Coburg


  1. ^ Liste der Oberbürgermeister in den kreisfreien Städten, accessed 19 July 2021.
  2. ^ Genesis Online-Datenbank des Bayerischen Landesamtes für Statistik Tabelle 12411-003r Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes: Gemeinden, Stichtag (Einwohnerzahlen auf Grundlage des Zensus 2011)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Klüglein, Norbert (1991). Coburg Stadt und Land (German). Verkehrsverein Coburg.
  4. ^ "Etymologie-Newsletter".
  5. ^ David Duff, Victoria and Albert (1972), p. 9
  6. ^ Man of the Year, Time, 2 January 1939
  7. ^ Oltmann, Joachim (18 January 2001). "Seine Königliche Hoheit der Obergruppenführer (German)". Zeit Online. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  8. ^ Encyclopedia Judaica: Coburg, Germany
  9. ^ Encyclopedia Judaica: Coburg, Germany
  10. ^ Gedenkbuch. Suche im Namenverzeichnis. Suchen nach: Coburg – Wohnort. In:, retrieved 20 December 2016.
  11. ^ The Milwaukee Journal – Google News Archive Search[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991–2020". World Meteorological Organization Climatological Standard Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 18 November 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  13. ^ "Extremwertanalyse der DWD-Stationen, Tagesmaxima, Dekadenrekorde, usw" (in German). DWD. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  14. ^ Schmidt, Oliver. "Von 1933 bis heute: Die Unternehmensgeschichte der HUK-COBURG (German)". HUK Coburg. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  15. ^ Schmidt, Oliver (2 April 2014). "Auch Brose kritisiert Erhöhung der Gewerbesteuer in Coburg (German)". In Franken (joint newspaper website). Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Waldrich-Coburg PowerTec". 15 November 2021. Archived from the original on 9 February 2023. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Statistik Kommunal 2014 (German)" (PDF). Bayerisches Statistisches Landesamt. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  18. ^ "VGR der Länder, Kreisergebnisse für Deutschland – Bruttoinlandsprodukt, Bruttowertschöpfung in den kreisfreien Städten und Landkreisen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 2000 bis 2017 (German)". Statistische Ämter der Länder und des Bundes. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften". (in German). Coburg. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  20. ^ Lips, Julius E. (1937). The Savage Strikes Back. Yale University Press. p. xxv.
  21. ^ "Stadtwappen: Coburger Mohr (Heiliger Mauritius) | Ferienwohnung Müller" (in German). 18 January 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Ferienwohnung Müller - Ihr Zuhause in Coburg - Puppenmuseum". Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  23. ^ DAAD – Studieren in Deutschland
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 February 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2006.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ National Hot Dog & Sausage Council
  26. ^ "Ferienwohnung Müller - Ihr Zuhause in Coburg - Coburger Bratwurst". Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  27. ^ Coburg Peak. SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica.

Further reading