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The Coburg Moor

Coburger Mohr
Anyone traveling in Coburg will encounter the Coburg Moor, who is on the city arms and is the patron saint of the city. Saint Mauritius from Egypt was portrayed as a Moor by the artists of the middle ages.  The oldest impression of the city seal with Mauritius dates back to the year 1521.
Saint Mauritius was portrayed for the first time in Magdeburg in a statue mistakenly with Negroid features. This portrayal was maintained and turned Saint Mauritius from Thebes in Egypt into the Moor's head of Coburg.

Sanctus Mauritius - Saint Mauritius - Parochial Patron Saint

Coburger Mohr According to legend, Mauritius used to be the head of the Roman legion in Thebes in Egypt, which was his homeland.  He and his troops were of the Christian faith. During the suppression of the Gauls in the upper Rhone valley in the fall of 285 B.C., Mauritius was issued a command from Caesar to worship Roman gods and the statue of Caesar.  As a Christian, he refused to do so and marched off with his soldiers, which Caesar interpreted as a revolt. As a deterrent, every 10th soldier of the legion was executed. Since Mauritius was steadfast in his faith, the legion was massacred, according to the legend. As the commander of his legion, Mauritius was beheaded and became a martyr.

The Mauritius Church and the Moriz Church were named after him and noble lineages, orders of knights, and naturally ecclesiastic institutions like the monastery in Magdeburg, use him on their coats of arms.  Although Martin Luther was against worshipping the saints, the reformation was not able to get rid of the cult.

The Coburg Bratwurstmännle

In June 1622, the figure of St. Mauritius was placed on the gable of the city hall. There, Mauritius is shown with a marshal's baton in his hand. In colloquial language, because this baton is the standard for the length of the Coburg bratwurst, the figure itself was named the "Bratwurstmännle" (little bratwurst man). In March 1939, it fell from the gable and was damaged. After the Second World War, it was put back on the city hall in the summer of 1949.

Coburger Mohr The Coburg Moor, Our City Arms Today

St. Mauritius influenced the City of Coburg. The church named after him is the main church in the city. He can be found on the "Stadtapotheke" (pharmacy), on manhole covers, license plates, on the Coburg city hall balcony, on fountains and on private buildings.
After 1945, different renditions of Mauritius were used. Today's official city arms dates back to the year 1974.
The City of Coburg is proud to bear St. Mauritius on its city arms.

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