Apolda is the administrative centre of the Weimarer Land district. Its history is inextricably linked with the knitting trade - and in turn with the name ‘David, the knitter', who established the art of knitting socks in Apolda in 1593. Today, the Apolda European Design Award is a reminder of those glorious times.
The famous breed of dog, the Doberman, also has its origins in the town, having been first bred by Apolda resident Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann (1834-1894).
The town is fondly known as ‘Fress-Gramont' (which roughly translates as ‘feasting Gramont'), a nickname that originated from the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt in 1806 : when Napoleon arrived at the town's boundaries after retreating, he is thought to have caught sight of Apolda and proclaimed admiringly "Ah, ça c'est Gramont!" (Ah, that is Gramont). The famous hearty Apolda Rostbratwurst (barbecued sausages) and Apolda beer - from the local brewery founded in 1440 and known throughout Germany - have also contributed to the town's nickname.
Apolda is also called ‘the bell town' and can proudly look back on a 200-year history of bell-founding, which produced, among others, the ‘Decke Pitter' (St. Peter's bell) in Cologne Cathedral. At 24 tonnes, it is the heaviest and largest free-swinging and chiming bell in the world.
The Bismarck tower , railway viaduct (95m long and 23m high) and the town's three churches are also well worth a visit. The two parks in Apolda are ideal for long walks and for enjoying the fresh air.
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