Colditz Germany


Colditz is a small town in the district of Leipzig, in Saxony, Germany. It is best known for Colditz Castle, which was used as a POW camp for officers in World War II (Oflag IV-C).

The first record of a burgward on the Mulde river, called Cholidistcha, dates to the year 1046, when Emperor Henry III dedicated it to his consort Agnes of Poitou. The name is possibly of Slavic origin. In 1083, Henry's son and successor Henry IV recommended that his follower Count Wiprecht of Groitzsch build a castle on the cliff above the river. From 1158, under the rule of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, the fortress became the residence of the noble House of Colditz, a dynasty of ministeriales in the Imperial Pleissnerland territory. In the 12th century, merchant houses were built around a marketplace below the castle and St. Nicholas' Church was built. In 1265, the Colditz citizens were granted town privileges by the ruler. In 1243, the former Imperial estates were pledged to the Wettin margrave Henry III of Meissen. His grandson, Margrave Frederick I of Meissen occupied Colditz Castle in 1309. The whole lordship was finally incorporated into the Margravate of Meissen by 1404. Merged into the Electorate of Saxony from 1423, Colditz was held by Elector Ernest upon the 1485 Treaty of Leipzig. In 1504, the local baker accidentally set Colditz on fire, and the city hall, church, castle and a large part of the town went up in flames. In 1506, reconstruction began and new buildings were raised around the rear castle courtyard. After the defeat of Elector John Frederick I of Saxony in the Schmalkaldic War of 1546–47, the town passed to his cousin Maurice. His descendants continued to rebuild Colditz Castle as a hunting lodge. From 1602 to 1622, it served as the reidence of Dowager Electress Sophie, widow of Elector Christian I.


  • Colditz Castle
  • St. Nicholas Church – Originally built in the middle of the 12th century
  • Old Marketplace – Markt, the houses at #13 and #21 were built around 1600
  • Lower Market 3 – Untermarkt 3 – a Gothic house with steep gabled roof with date 1564
  • Johann David Köhler house – the grandfather of information science and a grandfather of library science was born here 16 January 1684