City coat of arms at Colditz Castle
City coat of arms at Colditz Castle
Coat of arms of Colditz
Colditz is located in Germany
Coordinates 51°07′N 12°49′E / 51.11667°N 12.81667°E / 51.11667; 12.81667Coordinates: 51°07′N 12°49′E / 51.11667°N 12.81667°E / 51.11667; 12.81667
Country Germany
State Saxony
Admin. region Leipzig
District Leipzig
Town subdivisions 4
Mayor Manfred Heinz (FDP)
Basic statistics
Area 83.55 km2 (32.26 sq mi)
Elevation 156 m  (512 ft)
Population 8,044 (31 December 2010)[1]
 - Density 96 /km2 (249 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate L
Postal code 04680
Area code 034381

Colditz (German pronunciation: [ˈkɔldɪts]) is a town in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, near Leipzig, located on the banks of the river Mulde. The town has a population of 5,188 (2005).

The town is most famous because of Colditz Castle, which has been used as a workhouse, mental health institution, a prisoner-of-war camp during World War I and as Oflag IV-C in World War II.



The first record of a settlement, located on the river Mulde, called Cholidistcha is from the year 1046.[2] In 1083, Henry IV recommended that Markgraf Wiprecht of Groitzsch build a castle on the cliff above the river. During the 12th century houses were built around the marketplace and the St. Nicholas church was built. In 1265 town rights were granted by the ruler. In 1504, the baker accidentally set Colditz on fire, and the city hall, church, castle and a large part of the town went up in flames. In 1506, reconstruction began and new buildings were raised around the rear castle courtyard.

During the 17th century a textile and weaving industry developed. In the 18th century clay from the Colditz area started to be used in the Meissen porcelain factory that was established in 1710 by the Elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong. In 1804 a ceramics factory was established in Colditz by Thomsberger & Hermann.

During World War II the town did not suffer any damage. The town became headquarters for the military personnel guarding the prisoner of war camp for officers, Oflag IV-C that had been established in the castle. On 14 April 1945 the U.S. Army entered the town and freed the prisoners. However, under the agreements signed at the Yalta Conference, the Americans withdrew and were replaced by Soviet occupation forces late in June 1945. As a result Colditz and the entire state of Saxony became part of East Germany. In 1958 a factory manufacturing porcelain was established [2]

Since German reunification in 1990 efforts have been made to increase visits by tourists. The castle was restored and has become a much visited museum.[3] The great flood of August 2002 caused some damage to the old town, but it has been restored.


  • Colditz Castle
  • St. Nicholas Church - Originally built in the middle of the 12th century.
  • Old Marketplace - Markt, the houses at #13 and #21 were built about 1600.[4]
  • Lower Market #3 - Untermarkt 3 - a Gothic house with steep gabled roof with date 1564.
  • Johann David Köhler house - the grandfather of information science and a grandfather of library science was born here 16 January 1684.

Twin towns

Colditz is twinned with


In the vicinity of the city are two airports: Leipzig-Altenburg Airport (26 km) and Leipzig/Halle Airport (52 km)

Wartime dramatisations

The story of the wartime prisoners at Oflag IV-C was documented by P. R. Reid in his books The Colditz Story and The Latter Days At Colditz, and the former was used as the basis for a 1955 film directed by Guy Hamilton. In the early 1970s the BBC broadcast a series, Colditz, created by Brian Degas and Gerard Glaister, with Reid as technical advisor. Beginning in 1973 a board game Escape from Colditz was marketed by Parker Brothers, followed by a computer game in 1991.


  • Michael Booker, Collecting Colditz and Its Secrets, page 32.
  • Eric J. Narveson, Prison Citadel, pp. 36–37.
  • Patrick Reid, Colditz: The Full Story, pp. 124, 259-263.
  • Georg Martin Schädlich, Tales from Colditz Castle, pp. 4–6, 27, 61, 63, 91-101.
  • Colditz in the Digital Historic Index of Places in Saxony (Digitalen Historischen Ortsverzeichnis von Sachsen)

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Colditz — Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

  • Colditz — Colditz, 1) Gerichtsamt im königlich sächsischen Kreise Leipzig mit 11,180 Ew. in 1 Stadt u. 34 Dörfern; 2) Amtsstadt darin an der Mulde, großes Schloß, steinerne (1822 erbaute) Muldenbrücke, Sparkasse, Spinn , Filz , Tuch u. Seingutsabriken,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Colditz — Colditz, Stadt in der sächs. Kreish. Leipzig, an der Zwickauer Mulde, (1900) 5281 E., Amtsgericht, Schloß (jetzt Irrenanstalt); Baumwoll , Wollindustrie …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Colditz — Colditz, sächs. Stadt zwischen Grimma und Waldheim, mit 3600 E.; Baumwollspinnerei, Fabrikation von Papier, Leinen, Tuch, Schläuchen, Steingut; großes Irrenhaus …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Colditz — Wappen Deutschlandkarte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Colditz — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Colditz (homonymie). Colditz …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Colditz — Cọlditz,   Stadt im Muldentalkreis, Sachsen, 150 m über dem Meeresspiegel, in waldreicher Umgebung (Colditzer Forst) an der Zwickauer Mulde, 6 300 Einwohner; Porzellanfabrik, Gewerbegebiet mit mittelständischen Unternehmen.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Colditz — Original name in latin Colditz Name in other language Colditz, ke er di ci State code DE Continent/City Europe/Berlin longitude 51.12821 latitude 12.80295 altitude 148 Population 5173 Date 2012 09 06 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Colditz — Col|ditz a castle in Germany in which prisoners of war were kept during World War II. Colditz was famous because it was very difficult to escape from …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Colditz — Herkunftsname zu dem gleich lautenden Ortsnamen in Sachsen …   Wörterbuch der deutschen familiennamen

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