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Coat of arms of Riesa
Coat of arms
Riesa   is located in Germany
Coordinates: 51°18′29″N 13°17′38″E / 51.30806°N 13.29389°E / 51.30806; 13.29389Coordinates: 51°18′29″N 13°17′38″E / 51.30806°N 13.29389°E / 51.30806; 13.29389
Country Germany
State Saxony
District Meißen
 • Mayor Gerti Töpfer (CDU)
 • Total 58.70 km2 (22.66 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
 • Total 30,885
 • Density 530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 01587, 01589, 01591, 01594
Dialling codes 03525
Vehicle registration MEI, GRH, RG, RIE
Website www.riesa.de

Riesa is a town in the district of Meißen in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is located on the Elbe River, approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Dresden.


The name Riesa is derived from Slavic Riezowe. This name, romanised as "Rezoa", appears first in October 1119 in a document from Pope Callixtus II.

The world's first 110 kV power line was installed between Riesa and Lauchhammer in 1912. Between 1952 and 1994, Riesa was the seat of a district.

During the 1980s, Riesa was the headquarters of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany's 9th Tank Division.

Population history[edit]

The city grew from the start of the 20th century due to industrialisation. The population declined after German Reunification in 1989. The local steel works shut and the population fell from 52,000 to 32,000.

Historical Population of Riesa
Year 1575 1834 1849 1875 1880 1900 1933 1939
Population 350 1,631 2,679 5,707 6,259 13,491 26,248 29,963
Year 1946 1950 1960 1981 1995 2000 2005 2010
Population 34,406 36,150 36,769 51,857 42,429 39,367 36,221 34,013
Year 2012 2013
Population 32,733 32,099 [2]


Riesa has a 25m tall, 234 tonne, iron (GGG 40) sculpture of an oak trunk, named "Elbquelle", by Jörg Immendorff erected in 1999. There are many other names for the Elbquelle, for example "Rostige Eiche", which means "rusty oak". Many inhabitants of Riesa call the sculpture "Rostige Eiche", because it looks rusty.

In the city of Riesa there are two famous churches. The minster St. Marien arose in the year 1261 in addition to the Benedictine Abbey. The Trinitatis Church was constructed later, completion in the year 1897.

Trinitatis church (2008)

Riesa is also known locally for the Erdgas Arena, a large hall which hosted the European Sumo Wrestling Championship in October 2003 and the World Sumo Wrestling Championship in October 2004.


Riesa is well known locally for its pasta, which is produced in the Teigwaren Fabrik Riesa . Another symbol of Riesa are the "Riesaer Zündhölzer", the matches which were traditionally manufactured there.

Very famous is also the steel production in Riesa.

Notable people from Riesa include the former footballer Ulf Kirsten. Riesa has a football club, BSG Stahl Riesa. The club's crest is blue and white, as are the club colours. They play now in the Landesliga Sachsen (6th. League).

Twin towns[edit]

Riesa is twinned with:[3]


External links[edit]