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Eilenburg vom Burgberg.JPG
Coat of arms of Eilenburg
Coat of arms
Country Germany
State Saxony
District Nordsachsen
106 m (348 ft)
 • Total 16,031
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 03423
Vehicle registration TDO, DZ, EB, OZ, TG, TO

Eilenburg is a town in the north of the state of Saxony (eastern Germany). The town lies on the banks of the river Mulde ca. 20 kilometres northeastern the city of Leipzig. It belongs to the Nordsachsen Rural District and is subdivided into the urban districts Mitte, Ost and Berg (Stadtteile) and the villages Behlitz, Hainichen, Kospa, Pressen, Wedelwitz and Zschettgau (Ortsteile).

Eilenburg occupies 46.84 km2 (18.1 sq mi) and has about 17.000 inhabitants as of 31 December 2009.


The castle of Eilenburg was first mentioned at 29 July 961 in a document by Otto I. as civitas Ilburg. The name has Slavic origin and means town in clay deposits. Probably in the 11th century there has developed a settlement of purchase people in the advance of the castle, that forms the origin of the today's town of Eilenburg.

In the 16th century Eilenburg was a centre of the reformation events. Even George, Duke of Saxony, called this town a nominated place ("namhaftigen Ort"). Martin Luther was total seven times in Eilenburg and called it a blessed lard pit ("gesegnete Schmalzgrube"). It is passed that he took it into consideration to set here in the old.

The Thirty Years' War left hard mark in Eilenburg. First the town was spared of fighting, but it already suffered from the catastrophic economic effects of the war. From the year 1631 the town was directly involved in the war. In 1632 the body of Gustav II Adolf, King of the Swedish, was laid out in Red Deer Inn ("Gasthof Roter Hirsch") after he had been killed in the Battle of Lützen the 16 November 1632. In 1639 Eilenburg was conquered by the troops of Georg von Derfflinger. In 1646 peace negotiations between Saxony and Sweden began in Eilenburg to extend the expiring Armistice of Kötzschenbroda. The 14 September 1648 the Treaty of Eilenburg was made and meant the end of the Thirty Years' War for total Saxony. Subsequently the town recovered.

The slow onset of economic recovery got a sudden end by the began of the Seven Years' War. Virtually each male in Eilenburg had to serve in the armed forces. The city was occupied alternately by the Austrians and Prussians. In the following Eilenburg turned into an impoverished and squandered town. In the end of the 18th century the economy stagnated and Eilenburg became an insignificant town.

In 1813 during the Napoleonic wars shortly before the Battle of Leipzig Napoleon was in Eilenburg and took the last view on his and the allies Saxon troops eastern Eilenburg. After Napoleon's defeat, Saxony had to cede large territory to Prussia under the provisions of the Congress of Vienna. Eilenburg now belonging to the very modern Prussian state. Thereby the transition of Eilenburg to an industrial city was advanced significantly.

Because of the founding of numerous textile factories Eilenburg next to Berlin became most important centre of Prussian textile production. The ascent to an important industrial city came mainly from the nearby Saxony. Saxon industrialists settled in Eilenburg for having duty-free access to the Prussian market. Onset urbanization caused a rapid rising of the population. The social tensions resulting from the industrialization and the huge growth of population promoted a strong labour movement. In 1849 the health insurance support association ("Krankenkassenunterstützungsverein") was founded. In 1850 the food association of Eilenburg ("Eilenburger Lebensmittelassociation") as first food cooperative of Germany and "Darlehnskassenverein" as first Credit union in Germany were founded. Carl Degenkolb, owner of a factory in Eilenburg and member of Frankfurt Parliament, instituted first German works councils voluntarily at his factory.

In 1872 Eilenburg received its first railway. The 30 June Halle-Eilenburg-Falkenberg route was opened. Two years later transport services started on the new built Eilenburg-Leipzig route. Industrial development continued rapidly by settlement of chemical, wood and metal processing industry. The German Celluliod Factory ("Deutsche Celluliod-Fabrik") that settled in 1887 characterized the city's business for more than a hundred years.

During World War I hundreds of Eilenburg people were called up for military service. The 21 October 1917 Wilhelm Pieck, the later President of GDR escaped from a military transport at Eilenburg station. Total about 800 people from Eilenburg were killed during the war.

About two weeks before the end of the World War II the city was almost completely destroyed. 17. April 1945 the American troops reached Eilenburg. It was ordered defense to extremes. Three days and three nights the town was under heavy artillery fire, that destroyed most of the buildings of the city. The meaningless defense killed two hundred people, 90 percent of the City Centre (65 percent of the buildings of the whole city) were destroyed while the American associations had nearly no losses. Eilenburg was one of the hardest destroyed cities in Germany.

The city centre was rebuilt in the 1950s. In 1952 the city became the seat of the Eilenburg Rural District newly formed by the administrative reform in the GDR. In the east part of Eilenburg large new housing areas emerged. In autumn 1989 up to seven thousand inhabitants formed peaceful demonstrations reaching a change ("Wende") especially on political level. After the German reunification some long-established companies got out of business. Dismantling of jobs could only be partially offset by new business settlements on newly created industrial areas outside the city. In 1994 Eilenburg Rural District got merged with Delitzsch Rural District in the course of district reform. So the city lost the seat of district.

In 2002 Eilenburg was hit hard by flood of the river Mulde. The thereby caused damages amounted to EUR 135 million. The construction of flood protection facilities was intensified after the flood. In 2008 the construction measures ended after investments amounting to EUR 35 million. Eilenburg was the first city in Saxony that is completely protected against flood. Since 1 August 2008 Eilenburg lies approximately in the middle of the newly formed Nordsachsen Rural District.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Eilenburg para niños

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