"Horch-Museum" Zwickau Things to Do Tip by Kathrin_E
Zwickau Things to Do: 37 reviews and 140 photos
For more than 100 years cars have been built in Zwickau. The city's automobile history begins in 1904 when the engineer August Horch opened his factory. Horch automobiles were successful on the young market. However, the owner and founder of the factory soon got in trouble with the management and had to leave his own company. He wanted to start a new business but authorities did not allow him to use the same name again. There is the anecdote how he visited a friend and told him about his problem, and the friend's young son, who was doing his Latin schoolwork in the same room, suggested translating the name - Horch ("Listen") became Audi.
In 1932 four car companies in Zwickau, Chemnitz and Zschopau united to Auto-Union and produced under that brand name until World War II.
Audi cars are still around on Germany's roads and elsewhere in the world. After the war Audi headquarters settled in the West, though. Ingolstadt became the seat of the new factory (which has in the meantime been taken over by VW). Under Socialist rule the factories in Zwickau produced the DDR's most popular car, the Trabant. In 1991 the production of the Trabant ended. VW is now building cars in the factory in Zwickau-Mosel.
This continuous history over a century is presented in the Horch-Museum. It occupies the original buildings of Horch's Audi factory (as far as they survived the war) and Horch's villa next door with some modern additions.
What I liked best about the museum: It is not only about cars and their technical details. The exhibition shows the cars in the historical context of their respective era. Presentations include, for example, street scenes, a petrol station, a glamorous 1920s hotel entrance, an old general store, machines from the factory, race courses, war ruins and scenes from life in the DDR. Horch's office in the contor wing can be visited (ask the guard to let you in) to see where the boss and his secretary worked.
Villa Horch is also part of the museum (see separate tip).
Virtual tour of the museum
More photos are in my travelogues.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 9.30-17.00, first Thursday of the month until 21.00
Entrance fees: adults 5 ?, kids and concessions 3.50 ?, photo permit 2.50 ? (prices of September 2011)
Address: Audistraße 7 (Map on the museum website)
How to get there: Tram 4 or 7 to "Kurt-Eisner-Straße", follow Kurt-Eisner-Straße through the art nouveau quarter, then turn right into Audistraße. The way is signposted.
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