Facts Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Selected Key Data



Thanks to the incorporation of several districts within the city boundaries, the old town centre has become more and more of an urban centre for the provision of utilities and infrastructure services to a sprawling rural hinterland. Nevertheless, Wittenberg constantly struggles with the issues of a decreasing population, the average age of which is steadily rising. Lutherstadt Wittenberg still had 52,000 inhabitants in 1995, but by 2007 the figure had fallen to 45,500 – despite the inclusion of the additional suburbs which are home to around 25 per cent of the city’s residents.

Municipal Boundaries


Because of increased suburbanisation from the early 1990s, the cities have lost a considerable proportion of their inhabitants and tax revenues to the surrounding communities. In order to dilute the impact of these losses, a gradual process of incorporation has increased the municipal areas in size, sometimes significantly so.

The coloured shape on the map symbolises the expansion of the city in 1990, the outer line shows the boarder of the municipal area of 2010.

Housing Situation


To access funding from the Urban Redevelopment East programme, Wittenberg drew up an integrated urban development concept. The top priority was to redevelop the old town centre, infusing its identity with restored architectural and cultural heritage. This aim was consistently pursued from 1992.

Today, the historic city centre is looking more and more like an intact architectural ensemble. Numerous houses with historic resonances have been restored and, in some cases, sensitively extended; for example, a new and award-winning entrance wing was added to the Luther House. The Cranach Courts, which had been scheduled for demolition in 1989, have since been almost fully restored. Redevelopment of the old city centre is scheduled to finish in 2015.

Housing Situation in Lutherstadt Wittenberg (2/2010):
Housing Stock: 25,200
Surplus Housing: 3,000 / 12 Percent 
Housing Demolitian since 2001/02: 1.800



The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification in 1990 were not just harbingers of political reform for the cities of the former GDR. Critical aspects of the situation were structural change, privatisation and closure of industry, unemployment, population decline as people moved away, falling birth-rates and an ageing population. It was vital to think differently and innovatively, to look beyond growth and concentrate on essentials, especially in urban planning.

The diagram illustrates the radical economic structural reform: Large industrial combines were forced to close, and even where smaller companies came along and still produce today, the often significantly increased output figures require only a fraction of the workforce once needed.

Economically, Wittenberg has re-emerged as a significant location for industry in the last two decades. Global chemical groups and specialvehicle manufacturers have brought numerous mid-sized companies in their wake. The chemical industry is still the largest sector, accounting for a 40 per cent share. Some 30 firms are now based at the Agro Chemical Park in the Piesteritz district. Wittenberg is also an important traffic and rail interchange on the Berlin – Leipzig – Munich and Magdeburg – Dresden routes. Thanks to the incorporation of several districts within the city boundaries, the old town centre has become more and more of an urban centre for the provision of utilities and infrastructure services to a sprawling rural hinterland.

Relocating and Commuting

Bildschirmfoto Pendler und Umzüge

In the 1990s, suburbanisation affected all the IBA cities. At the same time, people, especially those from the former industrial centres, began to move to West Germany. The populations of the large cities of Halle (Saale) and Magdeburg have increased minimally in recent times, mainly due to migration from Saxony-Anhalt. In the meantime, the improved transportation network allows for longer journeys to and from work and the number of commuters is climbing.

The interactive tool "Relocating and commuting" visualises this range of topics for all IBA cities.

Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL), Leipzig 2010 Data: Günter Herfert, design/programming: Sebastian Specht

Sources for statistics: Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt; Raumbeobachtungssystem Sachsen-Anhalt (RABE); Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt; Lutherstadt Wittenberg Urban Development Concept 2008 and 2009; GDR statistics, 1989; www.iba-monitor.de; Status as of 11/2009

Info: Lutherstadt Wittenberg

(Municipal Area of 2010)
1989: 65.669
2009: 50.113
2025: 38.924 (Future Prospect)

Municipal Area: 240,32 qkm

Website Campus Wittenberg