Rudolstadt is a town in the German federal state Thuringia, with the Thuringian Forest to the southwest, and to Jena and Weimar to the north.

The former capital of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, the town is built along the River Saale inside a wide valley surrounded by woods. Rudolstadt was founded in 776 and has had municipal law since 1326. The town's landmark is the Castle Heidecksburg which is enthroned on a hill above the old town. The former municipality Remda-Teichel was merged into Rudolstadt in January 2019.

Rudolstadt was once well known because of the Anchor Stone Blocks of the Toy Company Richter and porcelain factories, beginning with the establishment of the Volkstedt porcelain manufacture in 1762.


Early History

There is archeological evidence of a hill fort on the Weinberg in Oberpreilipp from the time of the late Urnfield culture and the early Iron Age. A Celtic settlement followed the Germanic one and the affiliation with the Duchy of Thuringia. From the 6th Century onwards, archeological records suggest Slavic settlement in the area.

The first documented mention of the placename was in 776 as Rudolfestat (Rudolf's settlement) as a gift from Charlemagne to Hersfeld Abbey

Historical Population

Number of Inhabitants (from 1960 as of 31st December, unless otherwise indicated):

: Data since 1994: Thuringian Statistical Office 29 October
31 August


Rudolstadt hosts Germany's biggest folk, roots, and world music festival, TFF Rudolstadt (Tanz&FolkFest), taking place annually on the first full July weekend.

Rudolstadt is twinned with Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

Since 2012 Rudolstadt hosts Getting tough race (German wiki), Europe's hardest obstacle race.


The headquarters of the EPC Group, a global engineering and construction company, are in Rudolstadt.

File:Richtersche Villa.jpg|The so-called "Richtersche Villa" (Richters Mansion). File:Rathaus Rudolstadt.jpg|Rudolstadt Town Hall File:Bobo 2006.jpg|Bobo 2006

Notable people from Rudolstadt

  • Hans Fallada, German writer. He went to school in Rudolstadt, it was here that he killed his friend Hans Dietrich von Necker in a duel.
  • Simone Lange, German politician (SPD)
  • Charlotte von Lengefeld (1766-1826), wife of Schiller
  • Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer worked here as the composer in residence for the Rudolstadt theatre
  • Richard Wagner, German composer, worked here as the composer in residence for the Rudolstadt theatre
  • Niccolò Paganini, Italian composer, worked here as the composer in residence for the Rudolstadt theatre
  • Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, German composer and choirmaster in Rudolstadt
  • Ahasverus Fritsch, German poet and composer
  • Princess Anna Sophie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, grandmother of King Leopold I of Belgium, great-grandmother to Albert, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom