Portrait of the city
The history of Chemnitz tells a unique story – of groundbreaking inventions in automotive engineering, mechanical engineering and the textile industry, and of bold entrepreneurs such as Richard Hauptmann, Carl Gottlieb Haubold and Louis Schönherr. As a modern industrial city, Chemnitz has added a new chapter to this story, and today it is one of the German cities with the strongest growth. The city is a technological centre specialising in the automotive and supplier industries, information technology, mechanical engineering and microsystems technology.
The city and its people have a recipe for success – following one’s own path, daring to try new things and being a living embodiment of the spirit of invention. Chemnitz has seen the invention of the thermos flask and the first mild detergent, two patented ideas amongst thousands more. Today high-quality machinery and production systems are manufactured here and used by manufacturers around the world.
Tradition and modernity are also reflected in architecturally exciting contrasts. Architecture lovers can delight in unique witnesses to the Bauhaus school and the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) movement as well as the Kaßberg, one of the largest districts in Europe in which examples of late-nineteenth-century architecture can still be found alongside each other. They can also enjoy the redesigned Chemnitz city centre, created over the past 20 years by internationally renowned architects such as Helmut Jahn, Hans Kollhoff and Christoph Ingenhoven.
Chemnitz University of Technology as an intellectual centre, research institutions such as the Fraunhofer Institutes and a large number of successful medium-sized companies, largely made up of family businesses, together create the ideal conditions for an economic success story. Education and science will take up a place in the heart of the city with the planned city centre campus. Centrally located historic districts such as the Brühl are also thriving and establishing themselves as young urban quarters with an excellent quality of life.
For fine art enthusiasts, Chemnitz offers plenty to discover: take the Chemnitz Art Collections or the Gunzenhauser Museum, for instance, which houses one of the most impressive collections of classical modernism. Meanwhile, the Saxon Museum of Industry depicts history and the present day. The City Theatre with the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie draws audiences from across Germany.
A detour to the Town Hall, which is over 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.
Those who simply wish to relax for a while will also find what they are looking for in Chemnitz: restful oases such as the Castle Pond, right alongside Küchwald Forest, invite visitors to stroll and linger, as does the historic City Park along the River Chemnitz.
Many famous people were born or made their names in Chemnitz. They include the queen of figure skating Katarina Witt, the footballer Michael Ballack, Olympic weightlifting champion Matthias Steiner, world pair skating champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, discus thrower Lars Riedel, the speed skaters Nico and Denny Ihle, and many more besides. The spectrum is just as broad for art and culture: names linked with Chemnitz include the writer Stefan Heym, the painter Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Bauhaus icon Marianne Brandt and the artist Carsten Nicolai, the band KraftKlub and the actor Matthias Schweighöfer.
Let Chemnitz surprise you, discover the city – it’s worth it!