.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (January 2022) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 9,736 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Plauen]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Plauen)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
View over the city centre
Old and new city hall
Astronomical clock at the city hall
St Mark
St John
Old market square
Clockwise from top: view over the city centre, astronomical clock, St John's Church, old market, St Mark's Church, old and new city hall
Coat of arms of Plauen
Location of Plauen within Vogtlandkreis district
Czech RepublicBavariaThuringiaErzgebirgskreisZwickau (district)AdorfAuerbachBad BrambachBad ElsterBergenBösenbrunnEichigtEllefeldElsterbergFalkensteinGrünbachHeinsdorfergrundKlingenthalLengenfeldLimbachMarkneukirchenMühlentalMuldenhammerNetzschkauNeuensalzNeumarkNeustadtOelsnitzPausa-MühltroffPlauenPöhlReichenbach im VogtlandWeischlitzRodewischRosenbachSchöneckSteinbergTriebelTheumaTirpersdorfTreuenWerdaPlauen in V.svg
About this image
Plauen is located in Germany
Plauen is located in Saxony
Coordinates: 50°29′N 12°07′E / 50.483°N 12.117°E / 50.483; 12.117Coordinates: 50°29′N 12°07′E / 50.483°N 12.117°E / 50.483; 12.117
Subdivisions5 city boroughs with 38 parts
 • Lord mayor (2021–28) Steffen Zenner[1] (CDU)
 • Total102.11 km2 (39.42 sq mi)
412 m (1,352 ft)
 • Total63,372
 • Density620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03741
Vehicle registrationV, AE, OVL, PL, RC

Plauen (German pronunciation: [ˈplaʊən];[3][4] Czech: Plavno) is, with around 65,000 inhabitants, the fifth-largest city of Saxony, Germany after Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz and Zwickau, the second-largest city of the Vogtland after Gera, as well as the largest city in the Saxon Vogtland (German: Sächsisches Vogtland). The city lies on the river White Elster (Weiße Elster; a tributary of the Saale), in the Central Vogtlandian Hill Country. Plauen is the southwesternmost city of a string of cities sitting in the densely populated foreland of the Elster and Ore Mountains, stretching from Plauen in the southwest via Zwickau, Chemnitz and Freiberg to Dresden in the northeast. It is the capital of the Vogtland District. Plauen borders Thuringia to the north, and it is also situated near the Saxon border with Bavaria (Franconia) and the Czech Republic (Bohemia).

Although being a Saxon city, the regional Vogtlandian dialect spoken in Plauen is a (Saxon-influenced) East Franconian variant related to the dialects of neighbouring Franconia in Bavaria. The name of the city as well as the names of many of its boroughs are of Slavic origin. Plauen and the surrounding Saxon Vogtland are known as the centre of the German embroidery and lace industry.


Plauen was founded by Polabian Slavs in the 12th century as "Plawe" and was passed to the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1327. The town was captured by the Archbishop of Magdeburg, Lippold von Bredow, in 1384. In 1466, it was passed to Albertine Saxony and later in 1569 to the Electorate of Saxony. Plauen became incorporated into the Kingdom of Saxony in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars, and in 1871 it became part of the German Empire.

In the late-19th century, Plauen became a centre of textile manufacturing, specializing in Chemical lace, called Plauen lace. Around 1910, Plauen, as an industrial 'boomtown' of the region, reached its population peak (1910 census: 121,000, 1912: 128,000). Plauen's population, however, has shrunk dramatically since the Second World War (1939: 111,000 inhabitants).

In the 1930s, Plauen hosted the first chapter of the Nazi Party outside of Bavaria. During the war, the Nazis operated a prison in the town,[5] and three subcamps of the Flossenbürg concentration camp. 500 women, mostly Polish, but also Russian, Italian, French, Yugoslavian and Croatian, were imprisoned and used as forced labour in the first two subcamps,[6][7] and 50 men from various countries were imprisoned in the third subcamp.[8] It was occupied by American troops on 16 April 1945 but was left to Red Army on 1 July 1945. On December 15, 1945, the city issued 7 semi-postal postage stamps of its own to raise money for reconstruction.

From 1945 onwards, Plauen fell into the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, which later became the German Democratic Republic (1949-1990). Plauen hosted a large Red Army occupation garrison and, in the last years of the GDR (DDR), an officer school of the Border Guards ("Grenztruppen der DDR"). The first mass demonstration against the communist regime in the GDR began in Plauen on 7 October 1989; this was the beginning of a series of mass demonstrations across the country and ultimately led to the re-unification of Germany in 1990.

The exposé Fast Food Nation gives special mention to Plauen as the first city of the GDR to have a McDonald's restaurant following the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

In the district reform of 1 July 2008, Plauen lost its urban district status and was merged into the district Vogtlandkreis.


The first freely elected mayor after German reunification was Rolf Magerkord of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who served from 1990 to 2000. The mayor was originally chosen by the city council, but since 1994 has been directly elected. Ralf Oberdorfer of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) was mayor between 2000 and 2021. The most recent mayoral election was held in two rounds on 13 June and 4 July 2021, in which Steffen Zenner (CDU) was elected.[1]

The most recent city council election was held on 26 May 2019, and the results were as follows:

Party Votes % +/- Seats +/-
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 20,717 23.7 Decrease 11.7 11 Decrease 5
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 17,464 20.0 New 11 New
The Left (Die Linke) 12,728 14.5 Decrease 6.9 6 Decrease 3
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 12,245 14.0 Decrease 5.0 6 Decrease 2
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 8,687 9.9 Increase 2.6 4 Increase 1
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) 7,529 8.6 Increase 2.7 3 Increase 1
Initiative Plauen (WV) 4,752 5.4 Decrease 0.4 2 ±0
The III. Path 3,366 3.8 New 1 New
Valid votes 30,247 98.2
Invalid votes 556 1.8
Total 30,803 100.0 42 ±0
Electorate/voter turnout 52,962 58.2 Increase 13.8
Source: Wahlen in Sachsen

Industry and infrastructure

Plauen station

Plauen (Vogtland) Oberer Bahnhof lies on the Leipzig–Hof line. The section of this line through Plauen is part of the Saxon-Franconian trunk line running between Nürnberg, Hof, Plauen, Zwickau, Chemnitz and Dresden. The city had another station, Plauen (Vogtland) Unterer station (now defunct), on the Elster Valley Railway. There is a plan to rename the Oberer (Upper) station into Plauen Hauptbahnhof (Main Station).

Vogtlandbahn (Vogtland Railway), a regional train company, operates services from Plauen to Hof, Werdau, Chemnitz, Zwickau, Falkenstein and Adorf within Germany and Cheb in the Czech Republic. At these stations, there are other Vogtlandbahn services to Munich, Regensburg, Marktredwitz, Dresden and Leipzig within Germany and Karlovy Vary and Prague in the Czech Republic. A Vogtlandbahn Express Bus service runs between Plauen and Berlin Schönefeld Airport and Zoological Garden.

The Plauen Straßenbahn is a tramway that has 6 lines connecting the centre of city, Plauen-Tunnel stop, to the surrounding areas and the Oberer railway station.

Main sights

Lace curtain factory, 1980
Lace curtain factory, 1980

Education and science

Plauen is home to a University of Applied Sciences with about 300 students and a DIPLOMA Fachhochschule.

Twin towns – sister cities

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

Plauen is twinned with:[9]

The urban district of Jößnitz is twinned with Heilsbronn, Germany.[10]

Notable people

Christoph Pezel 1598
Christoph Pezel 1598
E. O. Plauen 1943
E. O. Plauen 1943
Horst Dohlus 1986
Horst Dohlus 1986

Honorary citizens



  1. ^ a b 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. ^ Krech, Eva-Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz Christian (2009). Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch (in German). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. p. 828. ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6.
  4. ^ Mangold, Max (2005). Das Aussprachewörterbuch (in German) (6th ed.). Mannheim: Dudenverlag. p. 635. ISBN 9783411040667.
  5. ^ "Untersuchungshaftanstalt Plauen". Bundesarchiv.de (in German). Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Plauen (Industriewerke AG) Subcamp". KZ-Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Plauen (Cotton Mill) Subcamp". KZ-Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Plauen (Dr. Th. Horn) Subcamp". KZ-Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften". plauen.de (in German). Plauen. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften". heilsbronn.de (in German). Heilsbronn. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  11. ^ Miller, Michael (2017). Gauleiter Volume 2. California: R James Bender Publishing. p. 341. ISBN 978-1-932970-32-6.