Calau (German pronunciation: [kaːlaʊ], Lower Sorbian: Kalawa) is a small town in the Oberspreewald-Lausitz district, in southern Brandenburg, Germany. It is situated 14 km south of Lübbenau, and 27 km west of Cottbus. Calau is also called the home of the Kalauer.

Town hall of Calau

Coat of arms
Location of Calau/Kalawa within Oberspreewald-Lausitz district
Coordinates: 51°44′45″N 13°57′03″E
SubdivisionsTown of Calau and 11 Ortsteile
  MayorWerner Suchner (Ind.)
  Total162.59 km2 (62.78 sq mi)
93 m (305 ft)
  Density48/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03541
Vehicle registrationOSL, CA, SFB


The Town of Calau is situated in the middle of the Niederlausitz, about 27 km west of Cottbus at the eastern edge of the Lower Lusatian Ridge Nature Park as well as at the southern edge of the famous Spreewald.

The area around Calau is strongly characterized by former brown coal-mining sites, which are valuable retreat areas for animals and plants nowadays. Many places are left to nature after recultivation, the Heinz-Sielmann-Stiftung adopted numerous areas, others are managed near-natural and sustainably by the "Landesforstverwaltung". Foresters offer walking tours through the region. Particularly the "Geologische und Naturlehrpfad Luttchensberg" is a sight to see.

Town subdivisions

  • Stadt Calau
  • Ortsteil Bolschwitz
  • Ortsteil Buckow
  • Ortsteil Craupe with Radensdorf and Schrakau
  • Ortsteil Gollmitz with Settinchen
  • Ortsteil Groß Jehser with Erpitz and Mallenchen
  • Ortsteil Groß-Mehßow with Klein Mehßow
  • Ortsteil Kemmen with Säritz und Schadewitz
  • Ortsteil Mlode with Rochusthal
  • Ortsteil Saßleben with Kalkwitz and Reuden
  • Ortsteil Werchow with Cabel (Village) and Plieskendorf
  • Ortsteil Zinnitz with Bathow (Village)
    • Zinnitz has about 300 residents. It was first mentioned in 1255 as Cinnicz. The Name means Ort wo Rohr/Schilf wächst (Place where cane/reed is growing). Known citizen of Zinnitz is Dietrich III. von Bocksdorf, bishop of Naumburg from 1463 to 1466.[2]


There are only a few people with Sorbian roots living in Calau today, although the Sorbs were quite a large minority in 1843 with about 30.8 percent of the overall population. In following years the number of Sorbs decreased rapidly, and in 1900 only 3.5 percent of the population were Sorbs.


Calau: Population development
within the current boundaries (2017)[3]
YearPop.±% p.a.
1875 7,359    
1890 7,266−0.08%
1910 7,536+0.18%
1925 7,942+0.35%
1933 8,028+0.13%
1939 8,303+0.56%
1946 11,148+4.30%
1950 11,045−0.23%
1964 11,155+0.07%
1971 11,378+0.28%
1981 10,496−0.80%
1985 10,638+0.34%
1989 10,842+0.48%
1990 10,710−1.22%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1991 10,536−1.62%
1992 10,495−0.39%
1993 10,400−0.91%
1994 10,393−0.07%
1995 10,317−0.73%
1996 10,218−0.96%
1997 10,156−0.61%
1998 10,066−0.89%
1999 9,961−1.04%
2000 9,809−1.53%
2001 9,680−1.32%
2002 9,557−1.27%
2003 9,429−1.34%
2004 9,335−1.00%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2005 9,222−1.21%
2006 9,072−1.63%
2007 8,939−1.47%
2008 8,813−1.41%
2009 8,666−1.67%
2010 8,522−1.66%
2011 8,315−2.43%
2012 8,152−1.96%
2013 8,034−1.45%
2014 7,922−1.39%
2015 7,833−1.12%
2016 7,836+0.04%
2017 7,789−0.60%
2018 7,769−0.26%



Werner Suchner (independent) was elected in 2009 with 55,3 % of the vote. [4]

Municipal Assembly

The municipal assembly (Stadtverordnetenversammlung) consists of 18 "Stadtverordneten" plus the "Buergermeister" (town mayor).

(Stand: Kommunalwahl am 28. September 2008)

International relations

Historical sites

  • Memorial at the Karl-Marx-Straße/Ecke Parkstraße, 1928 initially dedicated to the first Reichspräsident Friedrich Ebert, destroyed by the Nazis in 1933, to be dedicated to the victims of National socialism in 1948, rededicated again in 1989 to the victims of Fascism and Stalinism
  • Memorial for actor Joachim Gottschalk. When his Jewish wife Meta and son Michael were to be deported, the whole family decided to commit suicide on November 6, 1941. The bronze figure, which was created by Theo Balden in 1967, resembles the actor. It was initially located in a park but had to be moved due to the building of the local Sparkasse in the 1990s. Its new place is a memorial wall in the Joachim-Gottschalk-Straße 35.

Economy and infrastructure

The transmitter station Calau, which belongs to the Deutsche Telekom radiates a variety of VHF-and TV-programmes of the rbb for Brandenburg. Its radio mast is a reinforced concrete tower of 190 m height, the so-called "Langer Calauer", in the southwest of town. It was built in 1982.


There are no "Bundesstrassen" going through Calau, the motorway junction Calau is seven km to the northwest at the A 13.

Calau is situated at the railroad lines CottbusLeipzig and LübbenauSenftenberg.




  • Carl Anwandter (1801–1889), stands out as leader of the first contingent of German colonists sent by Philippi; Anwandter is also founder of the German school Valdivia (Chile)
  • Ernst Dohm (1819-1883), editor and writer, helped the pun in his journal Kladderadatsch to regional awareness
  • Erasmus Robert Freiherr von Patow (1804-1890), Prussian politician
  • Joachim Gottschalk (1904–1941), stage and film actor



  • Richard Moderhack: Die ältere Geschichte der Stadt Calau in der Niederlausitz, Dissertation 1932
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