|Area||39.98 km2 (15.44 sq mi)|
|Elevation||914 m (2999 ft)|
|Population||2,278 (31 December 2012)|
|- Density||57 /km2 (148 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Oberwiesenthal is a town and a ski resort in the district of Erzgebirgskreis in Saxony in Germany. It is situated in the Ore Mountains, on the border with the Czech Republic, 19 km south of Annaberg-Buchholz, and 23 km northeast of Karlovy Vary. At 914 metres (2,999 ft), it is the highest town in Germany. The Olympic and World Championships goldmedalist in ski jumping Jens Weißflog competed for SC Tractor Oberwiesenthal and Oberwiesenthaler SV.
Oberwiesenthal lies in the county of Erzgebirgskreis, on the border with Czechia that follows the course of the Pöhlbach stream as far as Bärenstein (10 km northeast). The highest elevation in the borough its the Fichtelberg (sometimes called the Grosser Fichtelberg or Great Fichtelberg) which, at , is the highest mountain in Saxony.
Other important mountains in the region around Oberwiesenthal are the:
- Keilberg (Klínovec) ( ; the highest summit in the Ore Mountains)
- Kleiner or Hinterer Fichtelberg ( ) ("Little or Farther Fichtelberg")
- Eisenberg ( )
On the Czech side is the municipality of Loučná pod Klínovcem (Böhmisch Wiesenthal) and, further west, is Boží Dar (Gottesgab). Adjacent municipalities in Germany are Bärenstein, Crottendorf, Sehmatal, Breitenbrunn/Erzgeb. and Raschau-Markersbach.
The "new town in the Wiesen valley" ("Neustadt am Wiesenthal") was founded in 1527 by the lords of Schönburg as a mining town because, one year earlier, silver ore had been found in the region. By 1530 the new settlement had been granted town rights and, in 1559, its ownership passed to the House of Wettin.
Mining operations finally wound up in the 19th century and tourism increasingly took its place during the 20th. However, after the Second World War, there were attempts by the Russians to mine uranium for the nuclear arms race in the Zechengrund, today a nature reserve. Traces of their activity are still visible. On 1 September 1921 Oberwiesenthal was merged with the town of Unterwiesenthal further down the valley, which had first been mentioned in the records in 1406 and had town rights by 1510.
Data source to 1990: Oberwiesenthal in the Digital Historic Index of Places in Saxony (Digitalen Historischen Ortsverzeichnis von Sachsen)
Data source from 1998: Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen
The town council of Oberwiesenthal consists of 14 councillors and the directly elected mayor or Bürgermeister, who presides over the council. The local elections of 7 June 2009, which had a voter participlation of 62.5%, the following result:
|Party||FDP||CDU||BfW||Die Alternative||Die Linke||Total|
Heinz-Michael Kirsten (CDU) was elected mayor (Bürgermeister) in January 2002. By February 2002 the Annaberg district office (Landratsamt Annaberg) had declared this result void due to unpermitted election advertising. This resulted in a five-year legal battle by all sides that ended with a decision in 2007 by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, that confirmed the decision in February 2007 by the administrative appeals tribunal (Oberverwaltungsgericht) of Bautzen as legal. Heinz-Michael Kirsten was then sent on leave by the regional authority (Regierungspräsidium). On 4 November 2007 a new election took place in which no party achieved an absolute majority. In the second round of elections on 18 November the independent (now FDP) candidate, Mirko Ernst, was elected mayor.
- Germany Fichtelberg, town "friendship" (Städtefreundschaft) since 3 October 1990
- Germany Lauf an der Pegnitz, town friendship since 3 October 1990
- Germany Schonach im Schwarzwald, town friendship since 3 October 1990
- Japan Hakuba, twin town since 18 August 2002
Culture and sights
- Fichtelberg Railway
- Fichtelberg Cable Car (the oldes cable car in Germany)
- Oberwiesenthal post coach in the style of the Deutsche Reichspost of 1939
- Ski and local history museum, Karlsbader Straße 3
- St Martin Luther's Church with its Hertelt crib
- Distance post on the market square (Marktplatz); whole milepost on the footpath to the "New House" (Neues Haus) in the Zechengrund and remnants of a half-milepost from the village of Hammerunterwiesenthal
- Royal Saxon station stone from the market square at the Neues Haus border crossing
- Anton Günther Way, a cross-border trail
- Currently the leading sports club in the town: WSC Erzgebirge Oberwiesenthal
- Leading former East German Alpine and Nordic ski club, disbanded in 1990: SC Traktor Oberwiesenthal
- Sportfördergruppe der Bundeswehr, armed forces sports centre
- "Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen – Bevölkerung des Freistaates Sachsen jeweils am Monatsende ausgewählter Berichtsmonate nach Gemeinden". Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen (in German). 17 June 2013.
- Official web site (in German)
- Das Sachsenbuch, Kommunal-Verlag Sachsen KG, Dresden, 1943, page 241
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