History

The townscape of Zeitz is as manifold as its history. The town, which was mentioned for the first time in 967, developed from a former Slav settlement. For nearly 600 years bishops chose Zeitz as their place for residence. The ideas of church reformer Dr Martin Luther found so many sympathizers in the region around Zeitz, so that in 1542 Nicolaus von Amsdorf, a friend of Luther, became the first Protestant bishop in the entire world.

Late Gothic Part of the Town Hall  Belfry of Church St. Michael 

The chapter of the bishopric Naumburg-Zeitz drew to a close when the last bishop, Julius von Pflug, died in 1564. Consequently, administrators of the Saxon electors took over the reign of the territory. In 1657 Moritz, the youngest son of the elector Johann Georg I., took possession of his share of the inheritance and became duke of the newly created duchy Sachsen-Zeitz. His Baroque-style "Moritzburg Castle" was used as residence for following dukes until the year 1718.

Cloister of the Cathedral St. Peter and Paul  Coat of Arms at the Archway of Moritzburg Castle 

In 1815 Napoleon lost the war and, associated with him Saxony had to give up parts of its territory to the kingdom of Prussia. Zeitz became a Prussian district town, which developed into a modern industrial town during the so called Industrial Revolution. Factories for producing pianos, machines and prams influenced the townscape into the 20th century.

Briquette Factory Herrmannschacht 
Look from Voigtsplatz to the Tower of the Town Hall 

The acquired image of a grey industrial town has remained to this day. But many things have changed since the German reunion in 1990. Today, the old residence town of Zeitz is worth living in and has turned into a lovable small town with cultural-historical sights reflecting over 1000 years of history. 

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