The history of Chemnitz tells a unique story of ground-breaking inventions in automotive engineering, mechanical engineering and the textile industry, and of bold entrepreneurs. Today the city is a technological centre specialising in the automotive and supplier industries, information technology, mechanical engineering and microsystems technology.
Chemnitz is the third-largest city in Germany’s federal state of Saxony. The city lies at the foot of the Ore Mountains, and over the past century it has expanded from the banks of the river Chemnitz, stretching out over the hills to the west and the east. The river, from which the city takes its name, means ‘stony brook’. The philosopher Karl Marx gave his name to Chemnitz between 1953 and 1990, when the city was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt. His 13-metre high bust has been part of the cityscape ever since.
Tradition and modernity are also reflected in architecturally exciting contrasts. Architecture lovers can find delightful examples of the Bauhaus school and the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit). They can also enjoy the redesigned Chemnitz city centre, created over the past 20 years by internationally renowned architects.
For fine art enthusiasts, Chemnitz has even more to offer. The Chemnitz Art Collections, for example, or the Gunzenhauser Museum, which houses one of the most impressive collections of classical modernism. Meanwhile, the Saxon Museum of Industry has the visitor travel through history until the present day. The City Theatre with the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie draws audiences from across Germany.
A tour to the Town Hall, which is more than 100 years old, is also worthwhile: it is a chance to admire the monumental mural by Max Klinger in the city councillors’ hall. The council chamber is decorated with the painting Die Abwägung (Weighing Up) by Neo Rauch, one of the most important contemporary artists.
The wild animal reserve is an oasis of nature covering approximately 36 hectares. Wild European animals can be observed there in a peaceful and quiet environment. Visitors can observe around 100 animals from 15 species from paths or special observation huts. The Botanical Gardens in the north of Chemnitz attract old and young visitors. Covering an area of 12 hectares, the Botanical Gardens also includes the School Biology Centre and the Conservation Centre.