Perleberg is the capital of the district of Prignitz, located in the northwest of the German state of Brandenburg. The town received city rights in 1239 and today has about 12,000 inhabitants. Located in a mostly agricultural area, the town has a long history of troops being stationed here (most notably Prussian) and as an administrative center for local government.
One of the city's oldest buildings is St James's church. First mentioned in 1294, it was frequently altered and extensively remodelled in the 1850s. In German, it is called the Jakobikirche, and therefore sometimes mistakenly called St Jacob's in English.
In the 14th century the town was on its height as part of the Hanseatic League. In 1523 it was the muster-point for an army assembled by Elector Joachim I in support of his brother-in-law Christian II of Denmark's attempt to recover his throne. The Thirty Years' War caused serious damage to the town: of 3,500 inhabitants, only 300 survived. The mayor responsible for rebuilding the city after this period was Georg Krusemarck.
On November 25, 1809, Lord Benjamin Bathurst disappeared in Perleberg. Later accounts of the incident exaggerated the circumstances to such an extent that the disappearance is sometimes claimed to have been caused by paranormal phenomena.
Development of Population since 1875 within the Current 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
Population development within the current boundaries (2013)