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Districts of the city Gera

District Cretzschwitz / Söllmnitz

Facts and figures

Name of the district:Cretzschwitz / Söllmnitz
with the localities:Cretzschwitz, Söllmnitz, Wernsdorf, Lauenhain
District of the city of Gera since:01.04.1994
Surface area:966 ha
inhabitants (as at 31.12.2022):641

District mayor and district council

Election period 2019 - 2024
District mayor:Zingel, Peter
Members of the district council:Geng, Petra (bis 13.01.2020)
Günther, Peter (bis 31.05.2022)
Heischmann, Frank
Koch, Robby
Köhler, Hartmut
Richter, Gordon (ab 28.01.2020)
Turza, Dietmar
Rittirsch, Florian (ab 01.06.2022)
District office:Söllmnitz 49
07554 Gera
Phone: 036695 20122
E-Mail: peter.zingel@gmx.de
Office hours:by telephone agreement

Location and transport connections

LocationThe villages of Cretzschwitz and Söllmnitz with Lauenhain and Wernsdorf are located in the northern part of the town, bordered by the B2 and the district of Greiz. The slightly undulating plateau is mainly characterized by agricultural land and a protected landscape area to the east of the reservoir.
Utilization:With the exception of Cretzschwitz, the existing and evolved village locations are strongly village-like in character and reflect the historical combination of agricultural and residential use in terms of design. Cretzschwitz is characterized by the formerly large brickworks and the settlement of the necessary workforce. Today there is an industrial estate here, where JOMA Dämmstoffwerk GmbH and various construction companies are located. The arable land is farmed by Landwirtschaftliche Produktions- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH. La-Pro-Ha Cretzschwitz also owns a cattle barn with 500 animals and uses the available biological waste materials in a biogas plant. Small craft and service businesses are located here. The new "Cretzschwitz industrial estate" is being built directly adjacent to the Hermsdorf "Am Vogelherd" industrial and commercial estate.
Landscape and site design:The landscape is characterized by fertile farmland and meadows. The integration of the established villages into the landscape is ensured due to the strong greening with trees and shrubs typical of the landscape. Bird species particularly worthy of protection, such as the red kite and the black kite, have settled here and use the area as a breeding and nesting site. The street structure is village-like. The development structure of the districts is characterized by many agricultural farms (e.g. four-sided farms) and new buildings. A striking church from the 15th century is located in Söllmnitz.
Transport connections:The villages can be reached from Gera on the B 2 and the L 1079. The inner connection is via municipal roads. Cretzschwitz/Söllmnitz can be reached by public transport via bus line 229 of Regionalverkehr Gera/Land GmbH from the "Duale Hochschule" transfer point or the main railway station.


History of Cretzschwitz / Söllmnitz

(Authors: Mrs. Mosch, Chairwoman of the local history association "Heimatfreunde Cretzschwitz e.V.", Mr. Weithaas (local chronicler), Mrs. Starke, Mr. Zingel)(Author: Mrs. Mosch, Chairwoman of the local history association "Heimatfreunde Cretzschwitz e.V.", Mr. Weithaas (local chronicler), Mrs. Starke, Mr. Zingel)


In 1121, the village was first mentioned in a document as Gresewitz, where the Bosau monastery had its property. In 1146, the village is referred to as Crescuwice. At that time, the center of the village was the manor, which belonged to the von Selmnenitze family until 1381 and then to the von Schauroth family.

In 1533, Kretschwitz, then Kretzwitz and popularly known as "Kreschwitz", was a village with a church and school facing Dorna, mostly surrounded by forest. A small, friendly, indented village on the plateau, 1 hour north of Dorna and ¼ hour above Söllmnitz, on the Rießbach and at the junction of two small streams, between wooded heights, built next to 6 ponds from east to west and 750 feet high in the middle of the village (medieval description). Until 1888, it was a farming village with a manor last owned by the von Brandenstein family on Hain.

In 1888, the "Reussengrube" company was founded, then known as "Reussengrube Erdfarben- und Verblendsteinfabrik Gera/Reuss AG".


In 1900, the construction of the Wuitz-Mumsdorf railroad with a factory siding to Cretzschwitz began. The recruitment of Bohemian workers and a general influx of workers into the brickworks brought about the change from a farming village to an "industrial area".

In 1946, the Reussengrube was forcibly expropriated and the dismantling of the machines began. In 1948, the "VEB Reussengrube" was founded.

In 1953, the LPG Type 1 was founded, later Type 3 with Söllmnitz and Wernsdorf, followed by the division into animal and plant production.

The school was closed in 1957.

In 1959/60, 5 multi-family houses were built for workers' families.

With reunification, a major restructuring took place in all areas and life in the village, as it had been known until then, was adapted to new standards.

In May 2003, the local history association "Heimatfreunde Cretzschwitz e.V." was founded. The aim of the association is to promote village traditions, organize public events, compile a chronicle of the village, design and maintain public spaces and repair and care for public monuments.

Söllmnitz was first mentioned in documents in 1121 as Selmitz. It was spoken and written in different ways. In 1121 it was called Selmitz, in 1146 Selmse, in 1333 Selmenitz. It is still called "Sellmser" in the vernacular today.

Söllmnitz was built on the Rothenbach - today a reservoir - from two groups of houses and three outbuildings. The third group of houses was Lauenhain.

Söllmnitz is the ancestral seat of a widely ramified knightly dynasty. From the
13th to the end of the 16th century, it belonged to a family from Meissen who took the name "Lords of Sellmenitz".
The name Söllmnitz is interpreted as "in or behind the quarry". This can be read in "Unserer Zeit" by E.P. Kretschmer. It would therefore have been a Sorbian settlement.
At the end of the 13th century, Conrad and Sauder von Selmenitz laid the foundation stone for what was then a church out of special Christian devotion. The lords of Sellmnitz extended the Söllmnitz chapel, which was supplied by the original Dorna parish, to become the parish church. The parish of Söllmnitz is said to have existed until the first decade after the Reformation. For almost 400 years, until 1927, the parish was served by the parish office in Hirschfeld and since then by the parish office in Pölzig.
The current church is an extension dating from the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. The tower is more recent. All the changes made by the landlords in the period from the late 17th to the 19th century mostly affected the interior. The tower is a ridge turret placed in the middle of the roof with a high pointed helmet. Unfortunately, the condition of the church has deteriorated considerably in recent years and is in urgent need of renovation. 

The roof and tower have already been renovated.
A widow of the von Selmenitz family was in correspondence with Martin Luther and secretly received Holy Communion from him in St. George's Abbey in 1523. The von Selmenitz family died out around 1858.
A brewery and a distillery had been in operation since the early 1600s and had a very good reputation. The cultivation of wine and hops was a major source of income at the time, and the field names have been preserved to this day. A volunteer fire department has existed since 1901.
Söllmnitz quickly developed into an attractive and beautiful village after reunification.
In 1992, ground was broken for the "Am Weinberg" residential area. Here, 46 detached and semi-detached houses were built on a gentle south-facing slope on the outskirts of Söllmnitz.
Söllmnitz took advantage of the village renewal, the program to improve rural infrastructure, to renovate some of the roads and the water supply and sewage disposal systems.


It was first mentioned in a document in 1333.

It consisted of a main outwork and was the only access to the manor. It was surrounded by large ponds and marshy areas on clayey ground enriched with drinkable water. It was protected by the forest that bordered the manor.

It is considered certain that the name of Lauenhain derives from a knight or another founding family (underground) who carried a lion in his shield. The word "Hain" means a protected, fenced-in place. Like Söllmnitz, Lauenhain belonged to the parish of Dorna until 1527. Today, Lauenhain is still a small, self-contained community.


First mentioned in a document in 1364. It was a generously laid out village at the time.

From 1839, Wernsdorf was also the school location for the children of Söllmnitz. Until then, the children had to go to school in Hirschfeld. The school was closed in 1971 and the children then attended school in Brahmenau.

Wernsdorf was an independent municipality until 1979, when it was incorporated into the municipality of Söllmnitz.

After various uses, the former school building was temporarily used as a youth club in the late 1980s and early 1990s before it was sold to private buyers by the town of Gera.

Today, the central fountain for the entire village is located on the Steinberg at 308 m above sea level.

The Wuitz-Mumsdorf railroad

(Authors: Mr. Weithaas (local chronicler), Mrs. Starke, former mayor of the district)

At the beginning of 1900, clay mining began in Söllmnitz for the former A.G. Cretzschwitz roof tile factory. On July 6, 1900, the Gera-Meuselwitz-Wuitzer Eisenbahn AG (GMWE) was founded and Söllmnitz received a train station in 1901. The importance of Söllmnitz station lay mainly in its function as a separating station for the line branching off here to the Reußengrube Cretzschwitz roof tile factory. Trains could cross at Söllmnitz station. The entrances were secured by trapezoidal boards. In addition to the 3 through tracks, the station had a siding from 1921, which belonged to Reußengrube and was located next to the high ramp. The entire track system and the Gera-Pforten station were devastated by a devastating flood on May 3, 1969 in the entire northern area of Gera.

A recommissioning was out of the question from an economic point of view, as the closure was planned for 1970 anyway. This meant that passenger services to and from Gera were also discontinued.
From May 1, 1969, Kraftverkehr Gera took over transportation to and from Gera.
On May 19, 1969, the last train finally left Gera-Pforten and the last vehicles were transferred to Wuitz-Mumsdorf for scrapping.
The station building was converted into a cultural center by the citizens of Söllmnitz with the help of NAW. The inauguration took place in 1976 and from then on it became a gastronomic, cultural and sporting center in the municipality of Söllmnitz.
On May 13, 1977, a class 99 555 steam locomotive and two passenger carriages from 1922 were placed in front of the Kulturhaus as a landmark and reminder of the town's railroad history.
Unfortunately, the people of Söllmnitz had to part with the traditional railroad and the two passenger carriages on August 24, 2002. The locomotive and the two carriages were in such a poor condition that professional and, above all, expensive repairs were necessary. All efforts to found an association to preserve the railway and raise the necessary funds had been unsuccessful.

It was with a heavy heart that the local council decided to hand over the traditional railroad and the two passenger carriages to the Zittauer Schmalspurbahn e.V. Oybin interest group. The association has set itself the great task of restoring the locomotive and the two passenger carriages and making them ready to run again.

School / daycare center / leisure facilities / sights

Children's facility:none
School:Primary school is located in Bieblach-Ost; secondary schools are located in the Gera urban area
Leisure facilities:Culture house with restaurant Söllmnitz
Restaurants in Cretzschwitz
Sports fields / playgrounds / leisure facilities:Football pitch and playground, volleyball court in Söllmnitz next to the cultural center
Skittle alley in Söllmnitz
Reservoir in Söllmnitz/Brahmenau (managed by the Alt-Bieblach fishing club)
Clay pit with adjoining garden in Söllmnitz
Worth seeing:Memorial to the fallen of the two world wars in Cretzschwitz, Söllmnitz and Wernsdorf
Listed four-sided farmhouses in Wernsdorf
Natural monuments: two English oaks in Wernsdorf and Lauenhain
Cretzschwitz Monument to the Battle of the Nations
Clubs:Söllmnitz/Wernsdorf Fire Brigade Association
Local history association "Heimatfreunde Cretzschwitz" e.V.
SV Söllmnitz with the bowling department
Cultural and traditional association "Sellms su blau"
Interest group Söllmnitz church
Allotment garden association Söllmnitz
Church / cemetery:Church in Söllmnitz
Cemeteries in Cretzschwitz, Söllmnitz and Wernsdorf