The coat of arms of the city
Once upon a time, a giant called Riese was out wandering to the banks of the Elbe river. Before he crossed the river, he decided to take a short rest. He felt something in his boots because on his long journey some grains of sand and pebbles had got stuck there. He sat down on the banks of the Elbe and groaned while pulling off his boots. When he turned them over, what came tumbling out was a huge hill that the first houses from Riesa were built on.
The coat of arms of the city shows a half-split shield. There is a silver space where you can see a gold-seamed red rose which hails from the original coat of arms of the family of the Barons of Welk, the last private owners of the manor.
There is a red space with a shining golden anchor that is the symbol of Riesa’s centuries-old importance as a shipping and trading location on the Elbe river. In the blue space there is a silver-coloured, red-roofed church and castle on a green field.
Riesa was founded in 1119 and the castle at that time was a Benedictine Convent. After the Reformation in 1542, the family of the Lords of Merten from Miltitz took over the convent grounds. The family of the Baron of Welck sold the manor to the city in 1874. Ever since then, the municipal administration has been located in the main building of the former convent and manor grounds.
The shield has a tournament helmet with richly structured decorations in blue and silver on both sides. A wreath of blue and silver bands of lime leaves crowns the wide helmet with rings of visors. The lime tree was the only symbol in the coat of arms of Riesa to 1859. A giant towers above the shield of the coat of arms and his hips and head are encircled by oak leaves and he has a club on his shoulder. This giant comes from the saga of the city’s origin.