The city of Cottbus
The name Cottbus originates from the Wend language. The settlement's name is based either on "kopsebus", that is, "at the river crossing", or on the Slav personal name of "Chotibud". Even today, the bilingual street signs indicate that Cottbus, with its Sorbian-Wendish minority, is the largest bilingual city in Germany.
Romantic street cafés are invitingly assembled against a background of magnificent town houses and Baroque pedimented façades, all towered over by the dominant steeple of the Oberkirche. Small alleyways and modern arcades provide varied opportunities for a leisurely stroll. Resplendent with its array of colourful plants, the large sun dial indicates the friendly hours. Some of the city's moments of glory are owed to athletic achievements: directly opposite, in front of the town hall, the "Weg des Ruhms" or Path of Glory with almost 50 plaques commemorating Olympic medals won by Cottbus athletes clearly illustrates the ambition and performance capability of the people of Cottbus. Even so, this largest Lusatian city has retained its small town charm and today is friendlier and more beautiful in appearance than ever before. This includes also the newly renovated Großes Haus (main auditorium) of the State Theatre on Schillerplatz. We Cottbus citizens are proud of our city being home not only to the only multi-genre repertory theatre in Brandenburg, but featuring also the most beautiful Art Nouveau theatre in Europe.
In the southern part of the city, linked to the centre by green parks alongside the River Spree, the well-staged scenery of the Hermann von Pückler-Muskau landscape park opens up entirely new vistas. In the nineteenth century, this eccentric prince, a garden designer and man of letters, translated his views of the world into emotionally touching park landscapes, the central landmark of which is the lake pyramid containing the prince's mausoleum.
Modern Cottbus ...
... breathes the air of a small university city with some 8,000 students and embraces its proximity to Eastern Europe as regards both economy and culture. Each year, in early November, the FilmFestival Cottbus bears witness to this eastward orientation with its presentation of Eastern European film-making. In summer, the cheerful and cheeky PolkaBEATS festival presents another eastward glance. The many regional and certified long-distance cycle paths criss-crossing the surrounding region are contemporary traffic arteries welcoming the thriving tourism. The bicycle-friendly landscape is as flat as a board and the discoveries are surprisingly diverse: gigantic conveyor bridges in the still active open-cast mines of the region, rising water levels in the artificial lakes of the post-mining landscape, lakes for swimming and reactivated vineyards and, last but not least, the overall Spreewald region with its traditional charm and romantic waterways.
The Cottbus people's enthusiasm for sports is most audibly expressed in their love for their local football club, the FC Energie Cottbus: the team's battle for promotion and against relegation always challenges all emotions.