On the following pages we would like to provide you with a few important tips concerning your stay in Cottbus and Senftenberg. BTU is closely linked to both cities and works in cooperation with the mayors and relevant authorities. Along with BTU, these communities want you and your family to feel at home here.
Cottbus was first mentioned in 1156 and grew in importance as a commercial hub during the Middle Ages. In the 15th century, it gained further recognition thanks to the development of the local textile industry, particularly clothiers and weavers. Around the end of the 19th century, lignite mining helped the city grow into to a bustling metropolis. Fast forward to today and the city of Cottbus, along with its 100.000 inhabitants, has made a name for itself as a centre of scientific, sporting and cultural activity.
Walking around Cottbus, you will notice a very special feature in that most of the street signs and official names are bilingual - written in German and Sorbian. The Sorbs are a West Slavic ethnic group whose cultural festivals and customs enrich daily life in Cottbus.
Senftenberg was first mentioned in the 13th century. Its fortification and castle served as the most important gateway for urban development in the city. Originally, development in Senftenberg was shaped by agriculture and traditional craftsmanship. However, beginning in the 19th century with the discovery of brown coal, Senftenberg witnessed rapid industrialisation and a strengthening of economic development. Today, Senftenberg is located in the middle of the Lusatian Lake District and has about 25,000 inhabitants. In fact, Senftenberg is the economic and tourist centre of the district.