Köthen(kö`tən), city (1994 pop. 31,860), Saxony-Anhalt, central Germany. Köthen has lignite mines, sugar refineries, textile mills, chemical factories, and heavy engineering industries. The city is also a rail junction, and has an airport. It is home to a school of chemical engineering and a teachers' college. Known in 1115, Köthen was from 1603 to 1847 the residence of the dukes of Anhalt-Köthen, at whose court Johann Sebastian Bach was musical director from 1717 to 1723. A former spelling was Cöthen.
a city in the German Democratic Republic, in the district of Halle. Population, 36,600 (1970). Transportation junction. It has sugar and textile industries, and mining equipment is manufactured. Köthen is the site of a research institute for sugar processing. Nearby, brown coal is extracted. Köthen is the center of a truck-gardening region.