Plauen (plouˈən) [key], city (1994 pop. 69,387), Saxony, E central Germany, on the White Elster River and at the northwestern foot of the Erzgebirge. It has been a textile-milling center since the 15th cent. Other manufactures include machinery, machine tools, electrical equipment, and motor vehicles. Originally founded by the Slavs, Plauen became (c.1224) the seat of a branch of the Teutonic Knights. It passed to Bohemia in 1327 and to Saxony in 1466. It was severely damaged in World War II. Noteworthy buildings include a 12th-century church, a castle (early 13th cent.), and the city hall (16th cent.).