The town's origins reach back to the 9th century. New and expanded buildings were built and occupied by the dukes of Meranien in the 12th century. The counts of Orlamünde inherited the town in 1248. First mention of the town and its recognition as an independent municipality came in 1337.
During the Cold War division of Germany , Lichtenberg lay only a kilometer from the inner German border, on the western side.
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