Sister cities of Gera
Gera is the third-largest city in Thuringia, Germany, located 55 kilometres (34 miles) S of Leipzig, 75 km (47 miles) E of Erfurt and 120 km (75 miles) W of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Chemnitz, Zwickau and Plauen it forms a polycentric old-industrial textile and metal production region with more than 1 million inhabitants, while the city itself has a population of 95,000.
Gera was first mentioned in 995 and developed to a city during the 13th century. Later, it was a residence of several lines of the Reussians until the end of monarchy in Germany in 1918. Over the 19th century, Gera became a centre of textile industry and saw a period of rapid growth. In 1952, the city became also an administrative centre in GDR as one of the country's 14 district capitals (of Bezirk Gera). Since 1990, Gera is part of Thuringia again. By losing its administrative functions as well as its industrial core (caused both by structural change among the European textile industry and the economic system change after the German reunification), the city slid into a deep economic crisis, which isn't overcome yet.
Since 1990, the city and its buildings got restored and big urban planning programmes like the Bundesgartenschau 2007 were realized to stimulate Gera's economy. Sights are some retained buildings of the royal residence epoque and a large number of public and private buildings from the economic heyday between 1870 and 1930. The famous painter Otto Dix was born in Gera in 1891.
Gera lies in a hilly landscape in the east of Thuringia, within the wide valley of the Weiße Elster river.
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