Gera is an independent city in the east Thuringia. Behind the state capital Erfurt stands Gera by area second and by population behind Jena third in the Free State Thuringia. Gera is located on the Weißen Elster in the hilly country of East Thuringia at an altitude of around 200 meters and belongs to the metropolitan region of Central Germany. Leipzig is about 60 kilometers to the north, Erfurt 80 kilometers west, Zwickau about 40 kilometers southeast and Chemnitz about 70 kilometers east.
Gera was the fabric and Cloth industry one of the richest cities in Germany. Over 100 partly very important city villas (for example Villa Schulenburg) testify to the splendor and wealth of bygone days. The city also became a transport hub during the 19th century, as numerous railway lines meet at the main train station. During World War II, from May 1944 to April 1945, Gera was partially destroyed by air raids. After the founding of the GDR, the city became the seat of the newly created in 1952 Gera district. Since 1990, it has also been part of the administration Thuringia and is one of three regional centers here.