PIRNA, a town in the kingdom of Saxony, on the left bank of the Elbe, 1 1 m. above Dresden, and on the railway to Bodenbach and Prague. Pop. (1905), 19,220. The town is regularly built, with promenades covering the site of the old fortifications; the most notable edifices are the fine Gothic parish church, built in the 16th century and restored in 1890, and the old town-hall. Excellent sandstone is found on both banks of the Elbe. There are manufactures of glass, machinery, cigars, pottery and enamelled goods; and there is a trade in grain, fruit and timber, mainly carried on by river, and a little shipbuilding. Pirna, originally a Slavonic settlement, was for many years in the alternate possession of Bohemia and Meissen, but it became permanently united with the latter, and thus with Saxony, in 1405. The Sonnenstein, a fortress on a commanding eminence above the town, was erected in the 16th century on the site of an older castle by the elector of Saxony, Augustus I. It was once considered the most important fortress on the Elbe, and successfully withstood the Swedes in 1639, but it was captured and dismantled by the Prussians in 1758, and in 1813 was occupied by the French.
'See R. Hofmann, Zur Geschichte der Stadt Pirna (Pirna, 1891); E. Ktingel, Fuhrer durch Pirna (Pirna, 1889); the Urkundenbuch der Stadte Dresden und Pirna, edited by C. F. von Posern-Klett (Leipzig, 1875); and the publications of the Verein fur Geschichte der Stadt Pirna (Pirna, 1897 seq.).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)