"Chemnitz - City of Modernism" Top 5 Page for this destination Chemnitz by german_eagle
Chemnitz Travel Guide: 128 reviews and 580 photos
With a pop. of about 250,000 Chemnitz is the third largest city in Saxony. It is located at the foot of the Erzgebirge mountains (elevation 309 m) at the confluence of several smaller rivers, surrounded by large forests.
In 1143 a Benedictine monastery was first mentioned here, located on a hill and founded by Emperor Lothar. A merchant's settlement developed below the monastery from 1165 on. The city became one of the most important industrial centres in Germany in the 19th/early 20th century - clothing, machine manufactures etc. It even got the inofficial name of "Saxon Manchester." After WWII the city centre was left in ruins. The communists decided to rebuild the centre very modern - meaning (mostly) pre-fabricated blocks, wide streets. The result is not particularly beautiful but after 1990 a lot was done (and built) to increase the attraction of the city centre.
From 1953 until 1990 the city was named "Karl-Marx-Stadt" an idea of the communist government in Berlin. Not that Marx had ever been there or that there was any other reference to Marx - but the communists wanted this to be a city of "proletarians". Most famous relic of that era is the "Nischel" - see picture and separate tip.
While Chemnitz may never become a hot spot of internation tourism it is well worth a visit, especially if you're interested in *real* life in a German city and not just the picturesque towns that seem to be stuck in past centuries. Don't get me wrong - Chemnitz has lots of attractions, like outstanding museums, several churches worth to see, castles in the outskirts of town, and also a lively restaurant, cafe and club scene.
However, Chemnitz will be particularly rewarding for those seeking architecture of the 19th and early 20th century - residential and public buildings, but also fantastic industrial architecture.
Due to its previously mentioned location at the foot of the Erzgebirge mountains the possibilities for short excursions to the natural wonders as well as cute towns there are abundant, not to mention the parks and gardens within the city itself.
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Latest: Dec 17, 2011