The district Schmalkalden- Meiningen is a district in the south west of Thuringia. Neighboring districts are in the northeastern district of Gotha, in the east of the Ilm-Kreis and the district-free city of Suhl, in the southeastern district of Hildburghausen, in the south of the Bavarian district Rhön- grave field, west of the Hessian district of Fulda, and the northwest of the Wartburg district.

The district covers an area of ​​1210.14 km ². The county town of Meiningen. Regional planning Risch the circle belongs to the Planning Region Southwest Thuringia and is a member of the planning community Südwestthüringen.

  • 3.1 District
  • 3.2 Kreistag
  • 3.3 Coat of Arms
  • 4.1 Culture and Tourism
  • 4.2 traffic
  • 4.3 Economics
  • 6.1 communities
  • 6.2 Management Communities


The geography of the area by second-and third-largest by population in the district in Thuringia is very diverse. To the west of the circle extends to the 814 m high elbow of the highest mountain in the Thuringian Rhön in the sky. To the northeast is the district of Thuringia with the Big Island mountain (916 m), the Wild head ( 943 m) at Zella- Mehlis limited the highest elevation and the trail Rennsteig. Between the two mountain ranges lies 250-300 m above sea level the Werra valley, which the Werra flows from south to north, and into which open out a large number of tributaries. East of the Rhön Werra Valley and south of the grave field follows, a vast hills at an altitude between 300 and 500 m.


The county was formed in 1994 by merging the then existing counties Meiningen, Schmalkalden and partially Suhl country. The district Schmalkalden- Meiningen is part of the historic Henneberger country, which was later taken mainly from the Duchy of Saxe -Meiningen and the land belonging to the county of Hesse Schmalkalden.

Population Development

Development of the Population:

  • 2000: 143 702
  • 2001: 142 488
  • 2002: 141 055
  • 2003: 139 637
  • 2004: 138 642
  • 2005: 137 267
  • 2006: 135 805
  • 2007: 134 262
  • 2008: 132 780
  • 2009: 131 312
  • 2010: 129 982
  • 2011: 128 800
  • 2012: 126 208



District since July 1, 2012 Peter Heim Rich ( SPD).

In the district elections on April 22, 2012, none of the three candidates came up with the absolute majority of the votes. This came home Peter Rich ( SPD, 43.7 % of the votes in the first ballot ) and Michael Heym ( CDU 40.8 %) in a runoff election against each other on May 6. Could enforce with 60% of votes Peter Heim Rich ( SPD).

Since the founding of the county in 1994 was Ralf Luther (CDU ) of the district. He was co-initiator of the "Golden Bridge ", the steel - glass figure " Barbarossa " and the steel sculptures "The Fugitive shot " and " expulsion" in the National Memorial Sculpture Park German unit. Luther entered 2012 not to seek re-election.


The 50 seats on the council are distributed as follows among the individual parties:

(As at municipal election on June 7, 2009)

Coat of arms

The circular coat of arms depicts the various rulers that once ruled in the area of ​​today's district. The hen is on the top left for the county of Henneberg, the red and white flag presented at the bottom left the diocese of Würzburg ( Meiningen, Walldorf, Leutersdorf ), the red-white- striped lion on the top right points to Hesse and Hesse - Nassau ( Schmalkalden, Brotterode and Steinbach- Hallenberg ), the diamond with the black and yellow stripes is the bottom right of the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen ( Meiningen, Wasungen, Breitungen ).

An overview of the coat of arms of cities and villages of the district can be found in the list of the coat of arms in the district Schmalkalden- Meiningen.

Economy and infrastructure

Culture and Tourism

With the Meiningen theater, the Meiningen Museums and the Meiningen Court Orchestra nationally important cultural institutions exist in the county. Tourist attractions are adjacent to the residence town of Meiningen with the locks Elisabethenburg and Landsberg and the town of Schmalkalden with the Castle William Castle of Oberhof winter and hiking regions in the Rhön and the Rennsteig in the Thuringian Forest. Many hiking and water trails traverse the county. Popular destinations are still the Trusetaler waterfall, volcano mountain Dolmar, with its airfield, the fairy cave in Walldorf, the Goetz Cave in Meiningen and the sea aquarium in Zella -Mehlis.


The construction of the federal highway 71, the county took place in 2003 following the German motorway network. Other major roads are the B 19 Eisenach -Meiningen -Würzburg and the B 89 Sonnenberg- Meiningen.

As rail lines traverse the county's railway Erfurt- Schweinfurt Grimmenthal and Meiningen, the Werrabahn ( Eisenach -Meiningen Icefield ) and the railway line Wernshausen - Zella- Mehlis Schmalkalden.

The nearest international airport is located in the state capital Erfurt ( 80 km ).


Economically, the county is dominated diverse. Metal manufacturing, tool and plastics industry can be found in particular in Schmalkalden, Steinbach- Hallenberg and Zella- Mehlis. Mechanical, electrical and high-tech industry have mainly settled in Meiningen. Food companies and agriculture are the Werra Valley, grave field and in parts of the Rhön. A traditional location for administrative and medical facilities is the county seat. A college can (administrative police FHS ) show Schmalkalden (electrical engineering, computer science, economics, engineering ) and Meiningen. With 10,070 points ( 2007) Meiningen provides the most jobs in the district, followed by Schmalkalden (about 6,800 ) and Steinbach- Hallenberg ( approximately 5,000 ). The largest employer in the county is the Klinikum Meiningen with more than 900 employees.

Cities and Towns

See also: List of places in the district Schmalkalden- Meiningen

(Population at 31 December 2012)

Cities ¹ fulfilling community for five additional communities ² member municipality to an administrative community

Communities ³ fulfilling municipality is the town of Meiningen

Management Communities * County seat

  • 3 Management Community High Rhön ( 5158 )
  • 4 Community Management Office Wasungen - sand ( 11,549 )

Regarding the terms " administrative community " or " community -fulfilling " see administrative community in Thuringia.

Territorial changes


  • Resolution of the municipality Struth- Helmershof - Integration by flea Seligenthal (1 January 1996 )
  • Resolution of the communities Bettenhausen, Gerthausen, Helmershausen, Hermann field Stedtlingen and Wohlmuthshausen - Formation of community Rhönblick also from the OT Seeba the community Herpf (1 August 1996)
  • Resolution of the spa Kleinschmalkalden - Integration by flea Seligenthal (1 February 2006)
  • Resolution of the communities Behrungen, Berkach, Bibra, Exdorf, Jüchsen, Nordheim, Queienfeld, Rentwertshausen, Schwickershausen and Wolfmannshausen - Formation of community grave field (1 December 2007)
  • Resolution of the municipality Heßles - Integration by Fambach (1 December 2008)
  • Resolution of the municipality Wernshausen - Integration Schmalkalden (1 December 2008)
  • Resolution of the municipality Herpf - Integration to Meiningen (1 December 2010 )
  • Inclusion of the city Brotterode in the community Trusetal, renaming the community Trusetal in town Brotterode - Trusetal (1 December 2011)
  • Resolution of the municipality Bauer Bach, integration into the community grave field (1 January 2012 )

Management Communities

  • Resolution of administrative Communities Official sand, Walldorf and Wasungen - formation of the joint management Wasungen official sand (30 June 1995)
  • Resolution of the governing communities Front Rhön Werra - Breitungen / Werra is fulfilling community for the other four municipalities (1st August 1996)
  • Resolution of the administrative community Rhönblick - Formation of community Rhönblick from the member municipalities (1st August 1996)
  • Resolution of the administrative community grave field - education of the community grave field (1 December 2007)
  • Resolution of the administrative community Rennsteig - integration of spa Kleinschmalkalden in the community flea Seligenthal (1 February 2006)
  • Affiliation of the Municipality Schwallungen to manage Community Wasungen official sand ( 1 January 2012)
  • Resolution of the governing communities Dolmar and salt bridge formation of the joint management Dolmar salt bridge with headquarters in Schwarza (1 January 2012 )