Infobox German Location
Art = Stadt
Wappen = Wappen Guben.png
lat_deg = 51 |lat_min = 57 |lat_sec = 12
lon_deg = 14 |lon_min = 43 |lon_sec = 00
Bundesland = Brandenburg
Landkreis = Spree-Neiße
Höhe = 45
Fläche = 43.75
Einwohner = 20129
Stand = 2007-11-30
PLZ = 03172
Vorwahl = 03561
Kfz = SPN
Gemeindeschlüssel = 12 0 71 160
Gliederung = 4 Stadtteile, 5
Straße = Gasstraße 4
Website = [http://www.guben.de www.guben.de]
Bürgermeister = Klaus-Dieter Hübner
Partei = FDP
Guben is a
townon the Lusatian Neisseriver in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. Located in the Spree-Neißedistrict, Guben has a population of 22,184 as of 2004. Along with Frankfurt (Oder)and Görlitz, Guben is a divided city on the border between Germany and Poland, having been separated into Guben and Gubin in 1945.
Guben is located in the district (Landkreis) of Spree-Neiße in the southeast of the state of Brandenburg. It is in the historical region of Lower Lusatia. Guben's position on the banks of the Lusatian Neisse between two plateaus was advantageous in its early economic development. These plateaus developed from ground
moraines of the Wisconsin glaciationperiod. Both the western ("Kaltenborner Berge" = Kaltenborn Hills) and eastern ("Gubener Berge" = Guben Hills) ended up as terminal moraines. The surrounding land is covered with pine forests and lakes.
Guben is divided into the unofficial sections of:
*"Altstadt", formerly to 1945 "Klostervorstadt" (developed from the early Benedictine cloister area, which developed into the industrial suburb of pre-division Guben)
*"Sprucke" (originally "Vorwerk Altsprucke", added after 1920 with quarter "Neusprucke" and after 1963 with quarter "Obersprucke")
Guben is divided into the official districts (with district mayors) of:
*"Groß Breesen" (with "Grunewald")
Coat of arms
Guben began to develop around 1200 as a trade and marketplace on the roads between
Leipzigand Poznańand between Görlitz and Frankfurt (Oder). A settlement on the eastern shore of the Lusatian Neisse was protected from swamps to the south and by the Lubst, a tributary of the Neisse, to the north and the east. Henry III, Margrave of Meissen, granted this settlement Magdeburg rightson June 1 1235and declared it an oppidum (town). On the western shore of the river, a cloisterof Benedictinenuns began developing as an outlying suburb of the town on the eastern shore of the river. In a charter of 1312 Guben received its coat of armsdisplaying three towers.
Until 1815, Guben belonged uninterruptedly to the Margravate of Lower Lusatia. Between 1367 and 1635 the margravate belonged to the crown of
Bohemia. The city was fortified in the 14th century with earthworks, trenches, and wooden planking, and then refortified from 1523–1544. In 1635 Elector John George I of Saxony received Lower Lusatia and Guben in the Peace of Prague.
Growth of economy and infrastructure
Guben's textile industry began to develop in the 16th century, although it began to flourish in the 19th century, especially with
leather gloves in 1849. Beginning in 1822, Guben's production of hats covered 65% of German demand. Later industrialization led to the production of rugs and shoes. Ligniteprocessing began in the eastern half of the city in 1847. The tradition for weaving is still prevalent in modern times as the textile company Trevira maintains a manufacturing plant in the city.
Guben became a rail connection between Frankfurt (Oder) and Breslau (Wrocław) in 1846 and between
Cottbusand Crossen an der Oder (Krosno Odrzańskie) in 1871. A direct line to Forst was finished in 1904, and a tramline ran in the city from February 24 1904until June 8 1938.
In 1815 the Margravate of Lower Lusatia was abolished and replaced with the district system. Guben became the capital of a district within the
Province of Brandenburg. On April 1 1884, the city of Guben separated from the district of Guben and became its own urban district. On December 1 1928the region of Mückenberg was incorporated from the district of Guben into the city of Guben.
Most recently the Anatomist Doctor
Gunther von Hagens, from Heidelberg University where he developed many of his cadaver plastinating techniques, has purchased a disused woolens manufacturing factory. This has been renovated and converted into a museum-cum-work centre. He expects to employ approximately 200 people, which will have some impact on the local unemployment figures currently running at close to 20%
There have been some objections to this development on moral grounds, but the majority of the Guben's population see this development as a good thing for the future prosperity of Guben.
After World War II
Potsdam Conferenceat the end of World War IIin 1945, the boundary between Germany and Poland was fixed as the Oder-Neisse Line. Because Guben was on the Lusatian Neisse, the city was separated into German Guben and Polish Gubin.
Because the historical center of Guben became Gubin, the western suburbs which grew from the Benedictine cloister remained in Guben. Although underdeveloped compared to the town across the river, the remaining Guben began to grow extensively after 1945, especially through the construction of a chemical plant and additional residential areas. From 1961–1990 Guben was officially named "Wilhelm-Pieck-Stadt Guben" by
East Germanyafter its first and only State President Wilhelm Pieck, who was born in the eastern half of the city (today's Gubin) in 1876. From June 1950 until July 23 1952Guben was part of the district of Cottbus.
German reunificationin 1990 brought economic depression and unemployment to the city. When the district of Guben was abolished on December 6 1993, Guben became part of the destrict of Spree-Neiße. In recent years the city has begun developing closer ties with Gubin across the river.
The following is an overview of Guben's population until 2005. Until 1844 the population was mostly estimated, while afterwards the figures are from census results (¹) or official administrative documents.
¹ census results
All links are in German.
* [http://www.guben.de Official site of the city of Guben]
* [http://www.guben-online.de City economic site]
* [http://www.touristinformation-guben.de Tourist information]
* [http://www.literad.de/geschichte/guben.html History from 1871-1945]
* [http://www.gubenergeschichte.de Site of a local publisher with historical information]
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