Cottbus (German pronunciation: [ˈkɔtbʊs]; Lower Sorbian: Chóśebuz; Polish: Chociebuż) is a university city in Brandenburg, Germany, situated around 125 km (78 mi) southeast of Berlin, on the River Spree. Cottbus is a major railway junction with extensive sidings/depots.
The settlement was established in the 10th century, when Sorbs erected a castle on a sandy island in the River Spree. The first recorded mention of the town's name was in 1156. In the 13th century German settlers came to the town and thereafter lived side-by-side with the Sorbs. In medieval times Cottbus was known for wool, and the town's drapery was exported all over the Brandenburg, Bohemia and Saxony. In 1462 Cottbus was acquired by the Margraviate of Brandenburg; in 1701 the city became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1815 the surrounding districts of Upper and Lower Lusatia were ceded by the Kingdom of Saxony to Prussia.
From 1949 until German reunification in 1990, Cottbus was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
Development of Population since 1875 within the Actual Boundaries (Blue Line: Population; Dotted Line: Comparison to Population Development of Brandenburg state; Grey Background: Time of Nazi rule; Red Background: Time of Communist rule)
Recent Population Development (Blue Line) and Forecasts
Culture and education
Cottbus is the cultural centre of the Lower Sorbian minority. Many signs in the town are bilingual, and there is a Lower Sorbian-medium Gymnasium, but Sorbian is rarely spoken on the streets.
Next to Cottbus is the famous Branitz Park, created by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau after 1845. Schloss Branitz (Branitz Castle) was rebuilt by Gottfried Semper in a late Baroque style between 1846 and 1852, and the gardens laid by Prince Hermann feature two pyramids. One of these, the Seepyramide, is in the middle of an artificial lake and serves as his mauseoleum.
Cottbus is also home of the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) and the maths/science-oriented Max-Steenbeck-Gymnasium, which is named after the physicist Max Steenbeck.
Every year Cottbus is host to the East European Film Festival.
Cottbus has a football team called FC Energie Cottbus, which currently play in the 2. Fußball-Bundesliga. Their home matches are played at the city's Stadion der Freundschaft.
There are several coal-fired power stations in the area around Cottbus (Lausitz). The biggest stations are "Schwarze Pumpe" (1600 MW), "Boxberg" (1900 MW) and "Jänschwalde" (3000 MW).
Twin towns – Sister cities
Cottbus is twinned with: