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Gera(gā`rä), city (1994 pop. 122,970), Thuringia, E Germany, on the White Elster River. It is an industrial center and a rail and road junction. Manufactures include textiles, metal products, machinery, and furniture. Gera was chartered in the early 13th cent. and was badly damaged by several fires in the 17th and 18th cent. It was the capital of the former principality of Reuss (Younger Line) from 1806 to 1918. It suffered heavy damage in World War II, after which a new city center was built. Noteworthy buildings of the city include Osterstein Palace (built 1686–1735) and the city hall (18th cent.).
a district of the German Democratic Republic. Area, 4,000 sq km; population, 737,000 (1969). Its administrative center is the city of Gera. Located in the strongly dissected plain of the Thuringian basin (elevation 300-500 m), it is flanked on the south by spurs of the Thuringian and Franconian forests (maximum elevation, 792 m). Its rivers (such as the Saale, Orla, Roda, and Weisse Elster) are part of the Elbe basin. The climate is temperate; the mean temperature in January is -1°C to -2° C, and in July, 17° C to 19° C. Yearly rainfall is 600-700 mm. There are broad-leaf (oak, beech, and hornbeam) and coniferous (spruce, fir, and pine) forests; deposits of iron ore (at Saalfeld) and of marble, gypsum, and other building materials are found in the region.
Gera is one of the oldest industrial regions; the textile industry (wool and artificial silk), with centers at Gera and Greiz, plays a leading role. Many types of machine industry are found in the region, particularly optical and precision machinery (the Carl Zeiss and Schott plants at Jena) and electrical equipment, as well as metallurgy (a plant in the city of Unterwellenborn), chemical and pharmaceutical production (especially the Jenapharm plant in Jena), and glass-ceramic (Kahla, Hermsdorf) and cellulose-paper enterprises; there is a hydroelectric power plant on the Saale River. The basic agricultural products are wheat, rye, oats, barley, and potatoes. Dairy animals, pigs, and fowl are raised.
S. N. RAKOVSKII
a city in the German Democratic Republic, on the Weisse Elster River. The administrative center of the Gera district. Population, 111,400 (1969). Gera is a railroad and highway junction. There is a developed textile industry (Gera has a long history as a wool-weaving center), as well as machine industries, including machine-tool construction, electrical engineering enterprises, and textile-machine and compressor production. There are shoe, rubber, furniture, and food enterprises and a piano factory. Gera has a mining institute. Gera was first mentioned in 995. Architectural monuments of the 13th through 18th centuries have been preserved.