SORAU, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, on the Sorebach, 54 m. S.E. of Frankfort- onOder by rail, and at the junction of lines to Cottbus and Gorlitz. Pop. (1905), 16,410. Ofte of the oldest towns in Lower Lusatia, Sorau contains a number of ancient buildings, among which the most prominent are several of the churches (one dating from 1204), the town hall, built in 1260, and the old palace of 1207 (now a prison). The new palace, erected in 1711 by Count Erdmann II. of Promnitz, is utilized for government offices. The varied manufactures of the town comprise cloth, linen, wax candles, starch, glass and porcelain.
Sorau is said to have existed in 840, and to have belonged to the abbey of Fulda till the 12th century. It received civic rights in 1260. With the surrounding district, known as the barony of Sorau, it became the seat of successive noble families; and in 1400 it was united with the barony of Triebel. The last Count of Promnitz, whose ancestor had purchased both baronies from Frederick of Bohemia in 1556, sold them in 1765 to the elector of Saxony for an annuity of 12,000 thalers (1800). In 1815 Saxony ceded them to Prussia.
See Worbs, Geschichte der Herrschaft Sorau und Triebel (Sorau ,1826).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)