Apolda is a town in central Thuringia, Germany, the capital of the Weimarer Land district. It is situated in the center of the triangle Weimar - Jena - Naumburg near the river Ilm, c. 15 km east by north from Weimar, on the main line of railway from Berlin via Halle, to Frankfurt.

Apolda was first mentioned in 1119. Until 1633 it was seat of a family of nobles, the Vitzthums, which acted relatively independent. Between 1633 and World War I Apolda was property of Jena University. Nevertheless, from 1691 on Apolda was part of the Duchy (after 1815 Grand Duchy) of Saxe-Weimar. Around 1700, the knitting industry began to grow, so that finally, at the end of the 19th century, Apolda was the wealthiest town of the whole region. After World War II, Thuringia became part of the German Democratic Republic. Up to German reunification Apolda still was famous for its textile industries. Since then, a notable economic decay has taken place.
Around 300 A.D.: Date when the name "Apfelgebiet" ("apple area") was first mentioned.
10th or 11th Century: The Castle of Apolda was built, home of an Earl's family and later of the "Vicedomini" and "Schenken of Appolde" (later called "Vitzthume", aristocracy of Vitzthum).
1199: "Apollde" *first mentioned in a document. This was on the grounds of donations made by Earl Wichmann ("Schloss Church" and "Martins Church") to the "Main Church St. Mariä" of Erpesphort (Erfurt)
1260: The "Schenken of Apolde" possess coinage rights. The coined money is called "Apoldsche Schenken".
1289: The Castle of Apolda settlement has the town privilege, an own coat of arms and a seal. A document calls the inhabitants "Stadtbürger"(town citizens).
1440: The oldest existing community constitution is written and passed on to next generations in the "Rote Buch"(red book).
1558/59: construction of a new and bigger town hall.
1593: The name "David the Knitter" is first mentioned in the register of heir interest of the town. He set the foundation of the knitwear industry in Apolda by teaching the citizens how to knit stockings with five needles.
1714: The citizens of Apolda are dispensed from the first manufacturing regulation.
1722: Johann Christof Rose builds the first bell foundry here. The following bell founding families Ulrich and Schilling make Apolda famous as the "Glockenstadt" (bell town).
1789: With the foundation of the merchant house "Christian Zimmermann & Söhne", the boom of knitwear business starts.
1845/46: Construction of the Viaduct connected Apolda with the railway line Halle - Erfurt. This created a positive economic boom in Apolda.
1863: The first dog market in Apolda presents the "Dobermann" breed.
1878: Franz Schilling senior becomes the owner of the bell foundry Carl Friedrich Ulrich. The foundry is known as "Franz Schilling & Söhne." The foundry produces chimes and bells for churches all over the world.
18880/82: The factory building of Zimmermann is built. Today it`s the seat of the county administration.
1890: Todays Apolda train Station is constructed in the new renaissance style. 1904: The automobile production starts at A.Ruppe & Son. Since 1912 the factory is known as "Apollo-Werke AG"
1923: The bell for the Cologne Cathedral ("Decker Pitter") is cast by the company of Gebrüder Ulrich in Apolda.
1952: Apolda becomes "Kreisstadt" in the newly founded district of Erfurt. In the same year the first visitors come to see the bell museum.
1972/88: In 1972 the textile industry undergoes major changes initiated by the state. Afterwards, only seven jersey manufactures remained, managed by the state. Among them "Thüringer Obertrikotagen" with more than 2,800 employees.
1989/90: Political change in Apolda: as a result of the communal elections of May 6, 1990, a Christian-Liberal coalition wins the election. The privatization of industrial factories begins.
1990 to now: With the transition to a market economy, the textile industries looses their dominance in Apolda. Thousands of jobs were lost.

Main sights
It has few notable public buildings, but possesses three churches and monuments to the Dobermann Pinscher dog breed, which was created in Apolda, and to Christian Zimmermann (1759–1842), who, by introducing the hosiery and cloth manufacture, made Apolda one of the most important places in Germany in these branches of industry. It has also had extensive dyeworks, bell foundries, and manufactures of steam engines, boilers, cars and bicycles. After German reunification the majority of these had to be closed down for economical reasons.

The most important sights are:
* St. Martin's Church (1119), details in Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque style
* Town Hall (1558/9), in Renaissance style
* Castle (16th/17th century)
* Railway viaduct (1845/46)
* Zimmermann factory building (1880-2)
* Lutherkirche (1894)
* St. Boniface's Church (1894)
* Glocken museum (Bell museum)

The largest free hanging bell in the world, the Decke Pitter of Cologne Cathedral, was made in Apolda. Apolda also has mineral springs.

Tourist-Information Apolda
Markt 1
99510 Apolda

Phone: 03644 650100
Fax: 03644 650518
E-Mail: touristinformation@apolda.de

opening hours
Monday: 9:00 - 5:00 o'clock
Tuesday: 9:00 - 5:00 o'clock
Wednesday: 9:00 - 5:00 o'clock
Thursday: 9:00 - 6:00 o'clock
Friday: 9:00 - 5:00 o'clock