The most famous attraction of Cottbus is the theater. The "Staatstheater Cottbus" is one of the most beautiful theater buildings in Germany. The Art Nouveau theater was built in 1908 by the Berlin architect Prof. Bernhard Sehring. On the two pillars that tower above the theater are chariots pulled by panthers and directed by Dionysos and Ariadne. The Cottbus Theater is located in the Schillerpark, the most beautiful area of the city with elegant Wilhelminian style houses. Here you will also find the most beautiful coffee house in Cottbus, the Schiller Cafe.
The "Altmarkt" is the market square in the old town of Cottbus. Even though the square was built in the Middle Ages, almost all of the houses are much younger. The historical buildings at the "Altmarkt" were renovated after the turn of the century and are now shining in new splendor. At the "Altmark" there are many cafes and restaurants. In summer time you can dine on the beautiful place in a relaxed atmosphere. On the Altmarkt there is a fountain and a model of the Cottbus old town. Spremberger Straße leads south from the Altmarkt.
The "Spremberger Straße" is just called "Sprem" by the locals. The pedestrian zone is the main shopping street of Cottbus. The "Sprem" connects the "Spremberger tower" in the south with the old market "Altmarkt" in the north. On the shopping street there nice shops and coffee houses. The Schlosskirche is roughly in the middle of the pedestrian zone. There is a square with restaurants around the church. Spremberger Strasse is named after the town of Spremberg, which is around 20 kilometers to the south.
The "Spremberger Turm" is the landmark of Cottbus. The tower was built in the 13th century as part of the city wall. Here was the "Spremberger Tor", one of three city gates. In 1626 Walleinstein camped with his troops outside the city and ruined the cities budget. After the "Thirty Years War" the city fortification lost its importance. In 1726, the city finally grew beyond the old walls. Around 1880 the front bastion was demolished and replaced by residential and commercial buildings. The 28 m high tower can be climbed and offers a beautiful view over the city center of Cottbus.
The evangelical parish church of St. Nikolai is simply called "Oberkirche". The three-nave church, built of red brickwork, is the largest medieval church in the Lower Lusatia. The late Gothic "Oberkirche" was probably built between 1460 and 1520. The two-storey tower attachment with hood was added in 1671. After the capture of the city in 1945 by the "Red Army" the interior burned out. In 1988 the renovation work was finished with the top of the tower.
The "Gerberhäuser" (Tannery houses) are located on the Spree-Island. On the island there is the "Goethepark" and the "Cottbus Art Museum" (Kunstmuseum). The "Gerberhäuser" are already on maps of 1720. They used the mill ditch to wash and to tan leather. Three out of four half-timbered houses are preserved. The "Mühlgraben" with the "Gerberhäusern" is one of the most idyllic places in Cottbus.
The Elektrizitätswerk (electric power station) is the first of its kind in Cottbus. It was built and operated by Siemens & Halske in 1903. The power station uses the hydropower of the mill ditch, a side arm of the river Spree. Starting from 1927 the power station was extended by a diesel power station (now art museum). Today, the historic power station is used as an office building. The former power station is on an island in the river Spree, on which the Goethepark is also located.
The Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg is with about 8,000 students the scientific center of Lusatia. Many international students enliven the city and bring international flair to Cottbus. On some university buildings from the GDR era, you can still find socialist murals. The University of Cottbus is located on the northern edge of the city center and offers an interesting mix of different buildings. The most famous building is the university library designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed the Elbphilharmonie and the Allianz Arena.
The library of the University of Cottbus was designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Strictly speaking, the building is called the IKMZ Information, Communication and Media Center. The IKMZ of the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg was opened in 2004. The curved floor plan consists of four curves that were connected to one another. The glass facade was printed with a pattern of letters from various scripts. Inside you can find bright colors in green, yellow and pink. The BTU Cottbus library is the architectural highlight of the Lausitz metropolis.
The eccentric landscape planner "Herman Fürst von Pückler-Muskau" started to built the "Branitzer Park" from 1846 onwards. The castle was built by his grandfather in 1772. In the "Branitz Palace" you will find the "Pückler Museum", where rare objects of the Prince 's voyages to Egypt and England are exposed. Some of the rooms were rebuilt in the style of "Fürst Pückler" reign.
Welcome to Cottbus
With around 100,000 inhabitants, Cottbus is the largest city in Lusatia. The university's foreign students bring life and some international flair to the city. Even if Cottbus is not an urban city, the city has a lot to offer. The "Branitzer Park" and the castle of Prince Pückler are of course one of the top sights. In the old town you will find the Oberkirche, the Spremberger Tower and the old market, as well as the pedestrian zone "Sprem".
I once asked a Japanese student from Tokyo why he came to Cottbus to study. From the exciting "megacity" to a tranquil provincial town? His answer: He is interested in exactly the opposite of the overstimulated city, he loves the peace and quiet and nature around Cottbus, the vastness of the landscape.
I see it the same way, the special thing about Cottbus is the environment with a lot of nature. I have summarized the highlights in the sections "Parks and Lakes" and "Lausitz".