Wurzen (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊɐ̯tsn̩]) is a town in the Leipzig district, in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the river Mulde, here crossed by two bridges, 25 km east of Leipzig, by rail N.E. of Leipzig on the main line via Riesa to Dresden. It has a cathedral dating from the twelfth century, a castle, at one time a residence of the bishops of Meissen and later utilized as law courts, several schools, an agricultural college and as a police station including a prison.


Coat of arms
Location of Wurzen within Leipzig district
Coordinates: 51°22′N 12°43′E
  MayorJörg Röglin (Ind.)
  Total68.54 km2 (26.46 sq mi)
124 m (407 ft)
  Density240/km2 (610/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03425, 034261
Vehicle registrationL, BNA, GHA, GRM, MTL, WUR


Founded after 600 by Slavs, Wurzen is first mentioned in the act of donation from Otto I in 961 as a "Burgward" civitas vurcine. Situated in the "anderen Gau Neletici", it was a town early in the twelfth century when Herwig, bishop of Meissen, founded a Collegiate church here. In 1581 it passed to the elector of Saxony. During the Thirty Years' War (1637) it was sacked by the Swedish army and burned almost completely down.

In 1768 Goethe travelled from Leipzig to Dresden and back through Wurzen. The long wait for the ferry later inspired a passage in his first edition of Faust.

On 31 July 1838 Wurzen was connected through Wurzen railway station to the first German long distance railway (Leipzig–Dresden, opened 7 April 1839). Therefore, the first German railway bridge was constructed to cross the Mulde.

Like in comparable cities of the former GDR, the city saw right-wing influence and right-wing motivated violence in the 1990s. However, there has been an active network of antifascist groups, civil society groups for democracy and church-related groups working against this - also with the support of the city administration.

Via regia and Central German St. James Way

Wurzen is located on the central German route of the St. James pilgrims way to Santiago de Compostela, the so called Camino de Santiago. It follows the old Via Regia street which was designated a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in 2005.

International relations

Wurzen is twinned with:


A main commercial focus is the production of pastries and candies. Furthermore, there are several high-performance medium-sized businesses in mechanical engineering and some specialty companies in town (conveying machinery, lighting design, production of felt).


Wurzen is connected to the Leipzig metropolitan area via national highway B6, the closest expressway (Autobahn) connector being situated about 15 km south of Wurzen. Wurzen railway station is linked to the central German commuter train network (S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland) and to the regional express train line between Leipzig and Dresden. There are two airports which can be reached within one hour's driving time, Halle-Leipzig airport and Dresden airport.

Main sights

  • Collegiate church St. Marien (Cathedral, consecrated in 1114). Romanesque up to late Gothic architecture (1508). Large ensemble of bronze sculptures by Georg Wrba (1932)
  • Lutheran Church St. Wenceslai (16th/17th century)
  • Catholic Church Herz-Jesu (consecrated in 1902), in Neo-Romanesque style.
  • Castle of Wurzen (from 1497 to 1581 occasionally residence of the Bishop of Dresden-Meissen), an example of late Gothic architecture
  • House Lossow (historic-cultural museum with an exhibition of Ringelnatz art). Mannerism/ Baroque (1668)
  • Birthplace of the fabulist Magnus Gottfried Lichtwer at Cathedral's Square (17th century)
  • Birthplace of Joachim Ringelnatz (17th/18th century).
  • Fountain at the marketplace in honour of Joachim Ringelnatz (1983) showing Ringelnatz on a Seahorse.
  • Former post-office of the Electorate of Saxony with emblem-adorned gate (1734).
  • Postal column (miles distance column) (1724) (re-erected in 1984).
  • Classicist City hall (after a fire 1803). Today library and gallery of the town.
  • Former (royal) Gymnasium (1883) with mural paintings by Max Seliger.
  • Memorial for the dead soldiers of World War I in the former old cemetery (bronze sculpture by Georg Wrba 1930).
  • Pesthäuschen, memorial for the victims of the Bubonic plague 1607 (17th century) in the former old cemetery.
  • Memorial for the victims of Fascism and the dead of the long march (1945) in the new cemetery.
  • Memorial place for the soldiers of the Red Army and Albert Kuntz in the municipal park (1974).
  • Commemorative plaque for the victims of Stalinism in the castle courtyard (2005).
  • Millennial stone (Badergraben) (2000).
  • Cityscape dominating buildings of the mill (Mühlgraben) (1917–1925).
  • Former North-station of the "Muldentalbahn" (1875), today Magistrates' Court.
  • Water tower of the former municipal waterworks (1893).
  • Imperial post office with telegraph station tower (1890/91).
  • Bismarck tower on the Wachtelberg hill (Dehnitz, 1911).

Notable residents

Persons with relation to Wurzen


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Wurzen". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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